Kurt Friese

Hubbell's primary landslide calls for unity

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese: “2018 is no time for a ‘No-true-Scotsman’ logical fallacy about who is more (or less) progressive than whom, bickering amongst ourselves while the Republican Party consolidates power under the banner of Donald Trump and the Branstad/Reynolds administration.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

As a lifelong holder of minority opinions, I am accustomed to candidates I support being defeated. I’ve never done the math but I’ll bet my record for supporting the winning candidate in a primary is just slightly north of 50 percent–far worse if you only look at the presidential races! I suppose this may be something future candidates who seek my endorsement may want to keep in mind, but anyway…

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Gone but not forgotten: Labor's struggle with itself

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese reflects on Workers’ Memorial Day and the troubling trend of “criticism and bad-mouthing of pro-labor candidates and their supporters BY their respective supporters and even by unions themselves.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Each year at the end of April, labor organizers across the country hold a vigil of remembrance called “Workers’ Memorial Day.” Here in Johnson County, it was just this past Friday. We gathered to remember and to hear speeches, but more importantly to hear the names and stories of the 36 workers who lost their lives on the job in Iowa in 2017.

Many in attendance lined up to read from a notecard about such a story. As each is read, the gathered crowd chants together, “Gone, but not forgotten.” It is indeed quite moving as those words repeat, like a solemn drumbeat, another echo for each story read, another worker dead, each name mentioned, each face shown on the screen, and again: “Gone, but not forgotten.” And again. 36 people who went to work one day but never came home to their families.

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Home rule, the Iowa legislature, and your county board

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese sounds the alarm about a Republican bill that’s stayed mostly below the radar. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The Iowa Senate is considering a bill that would force Iowa’s ten most populous counties (and only those ten) to use districts to elect supervisors. Not only that, but supervisors would be elected only by the people in those districts, not by everyone in the county. It’s called House File 2372, and it’s a bad idea. And I say this not just because I have a dog in this hunt.

The numbers say I’d stand a pretty good chance if I were to run for re-election, with or without the districts (no decisions on that yet, by the way, though at this point I don’t see why I wouldn’t). But the aim of the plan–which depending on who you ask is to get either more Republican or more rural representation on the board–is misguided at best, and foolish at worst. There is no legal way to create a majority rural (or majority Republican) district in #JoCo. Why? Because math.

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Keeping all our options open: A vision for a "new century farm" in Johnson County

Thanks to Kurt Friese for this perspective on a controversy that brings together concerns over land use, local foods, and affordable housing. Fellow Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan explained his vote on the proposal here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

It what might be called the most contentious vote of my time so far on the Board of Supervisors, on June 23 we chose one of three potential concepts for “phase 2” of the planning for the historic Johnson County Poor Farm. The concept, titled “New Century Farm,” is the most ambitious of the three, and is the only one of the three that keeps all our options open.

What it does not do is sell off public land to private developers, nor “pave the poor farm,” nor create urban sprawl. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, a little background.

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Using Iowa's property taxes to solve a non-existent problem

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese weighs in on how the Republican voter ID bill, House File 516, will affect county budgets, and by extension property taxpayers. The bill is pending in the state House, after GOP senators passed a different version from the bill approved earlier in the lower chamber. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Voter fraud in Iowa, and more specifically voter impersonation, is so statistically insignificant that it is essentially non-existent. It has zero impact on the outcome of our elections. None. Nada. Zip. Bupkis.

Requiring voters to show ID at their polling place accomplishes exactly nothing to protect the integrity of the election. There is one thing it does accomplish, however: lower voter turnout, especially among minorities and the elderly. That is among the reasons why the Supreme Court blocked North Carolina’s version of the law ahead of last fall’s general election, and why it would likely do so with the Iowa proposal.

Before it comes to that, though, House File 516 will raise your property taxes in order to solve a non-existent problem.

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The Children of Immigrants

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese’s latest reflection resonated with me, since all four of my grandparents were born outside the U.S. -promoted by desmoinesdem

My grandmother Marie was an immigrant. She arrived at Ellis Island with her mother Dorthea and siblings on August 21st, 1906, aboard the SS Bremen. Then, as now, many Americans decried the influx of foreigners on our shores even while they celebrated the liberties embodied by the Statue of Liberty, who lifted her lamp beside the Golden Door for my grandmother and countless others, and who herself was a gift from a foreign land.

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