Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jackson County GOP Announce Spring Event

The Jackson County Republicans have announced plans for their upcoming annual spring event to be held Sunday, May 17 at the Clinton Engines Museum Program Center in Maquoketa.

This year's spring event will be a legislative wrap-up luncheon. Scheduled speakers include Iowa Representative Steve Lukan (District 32) and Jackson County Supervisor Jack Willey. More details about this event can be found here over the next several weeks as they become available.

Union-Friendly Bills

Another Legislative Forum in Maquoketa this morning, and it seemed like a rerun of the last forum in Maquoketa. Union members were recruited to speak in favor of the expansion of union bargaining topics and the selection of doctors by union members injured on the job. Of course, there were persuasive arguments why these bills should be passed.

We also heard persuasive arguments why prevailing wage legislation should be passed during the January Legislative Forum. But their arguments weren't even convincing enough for all the Democrat Representatives, as that bill did not pass. Beware of bills that benefit a minority segment of our population (union members), but may be harmful to business people and taxpayers in general.

Thanks to the Farm Bureau for sponsoring these Legislative Forums. Larry Jepsen does a great job handling these events.

Jean, the Political Junkie

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jackson County Supervisors Meeting Report

Last week's meeting featured comments that show our supervisors are concerned about state legislative issues and plans by Governor Culver.

Example: Legislators support a gas tax increase of up to 10 cents per gallon to pay for infrastructure improvements, but the governor has said he will veto any bill that contains a gas tax increase. The governor, on the other hand, has proposed a huge bonding program that will put the state in debt for many years--a proposal not supported by legislators. Sounds like a lot of good people spent time formulating Time 21, only to see its plan picked apart by dissension between the administrative and legislative branches. Meanwhile, our roads continue to deteriorate. . .

Senator Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) was mentioned concerning a proposed mental health bill. Both he and Supervisor Jack Willey serve on the Mental Health Committee, but his proposed bill addressed none of the concerns of that committee.

Is anybody listening to the concerns of the ordinary citizen in Des Moines? It sounds like our County Supervisors are much closer to the taxpayers and voters than other elected officials.

Jean, the Political Junkie

Friday, March 13, 2009

Preschool Education--Public or Private

Now that government officials are touting preschool education as an economic stimulus, the debate concerning private or government-controlled preschools is heating up once again.

Why would we want government-imposed standards for preschools when private business has been doing an outstanding job? I've been told about studies showing preschool-educated children have an advantage in the classroom that disappears by the fourth grade. Is preschool so necessary that everyone should be taxed to pay for it? Shouldn't the parents have a choice? Parents could choose a private preschool, or they could choose to keep a four-year-old at home with Mom or Dad.

Good Morning America aired a segment this morning with John Stossel interviewing the owner of private preschools. She noted it's laughable for the government to impose standards on preschools when primary and secondary school children are ranked so far behind the children of other countries.

Doesn't it seem incongruous that we are laying off teachers and teachers' aides all around the country, while the government wants to take over preschool education?

Jean, the Political Junkie