Archive for October 30, 2010
“Yes, Yes, Yes” on Iowa Supreme Court Judicial Retention
Guest Blog from Alan Egly, Rev Mary Moore & Judge Jim Kelly
Three branches of government were established to assure the possibility of good governance of our great nation. The judicial branch serves as a balancing agent to assure the ideal of a democracy under the constitution. The judicial branch is expected to serve the entire population and is not to be subservient to any lobbying special interest group. The current negative retention efforts in Illinois and Iowa reflect a narrow point of view that would subvert the intention of the founders of our nation.
A sitting judge should not be faced with losing his home, his salary and his respected position because of a vote interpreting the state constitution.
The retention concept is a protection from those judges who might be incompetent, who might fail to give due diligence in reviewing cases or who might be proven to have received bribes to influence a vote. The concept was not intended as a reprimand for failure to interpret the constitution as demanded by any religious ideology or business interest.
A vote against retention of a specific person based on self-interest or on individual belief is a vote against the judicial system.
Alan L. Egly
Iowans are coming together in a Homegrown Justice movement to vote YES, YES, and YES to retain the three Iowa Supreme Court justices on the ballot this November. They work hard to defend our Constitution with fairness and integrity. We're taking the high road in an effort to ensure our judicial system has the interest of all Iowans in mind.
We will continue to counter the rhetoric of out-of-state extremists (and their “Judge Bus” which will be stopping in 20 Iowa communities) with the voices of everyday Iowans.
Out-of-state special interests are attempting to hijack Iowa’s courts. We are speaking as Quad City folks to urge fellow Iowans to stand up for our justices, turn the ballot over, and vote YES, YES, and YES to protect homegrown Iowa justice! As of Monday, Oct. 25, polls showed 40% planning to vote not to retain and only 44% voting to retain!!
Rally attendees gathered nearby the “Judge Bus” group. Pro-retention signs simply read, “YES YES YES!”
Once the “Judge Bus” group had left, 2 Homegrown Justice speakers addressed the crowd and the media with messages about the importance of protecting our courts from deep-pocketed out-of-state interests. The program lasted 15-20 minutes.
The goal is to provide a positive message about our courts and the justices and judges who work in them to counteract the negative message of the “Judge Bus” group.
More information can be accessed on the Homegrown Justice website.
Thanks to Joyce Wiley who scheduled Forum on this issue at UUCQC this past Sunday and to Judge Jim Kelley who gave an excellent presentation at the Forum.
UUCQC voted at a Congregational Meeting back on May 2 to support marriage for all Iowans without regard as to gender. This was as it should be since it is a local congregational matter as your Interim Minister and your Minister Emeritus, Rev. Alan Egly, with the authority of this congregation perform marriages for all Iowans.
Below is an informational handout from Jim Kelley from last Sunday's Forum regarding criteria to use when deciding to retain judges or justices in Iowa:
SUGGESTED CRITERIA TO USE WHEN DECIDING TO RETAIN JUDGES OR JUSTICES IN IOWA
* Integrity – is the judge honest, upright and committed to the rule of law?
* Professional Competence – does the judge have a keen intellect, extensive legal knowledge and strong writing abilities?
* Judicial Temperament – is the judge respectful, composed, decisive and impartial?
* Work Ethic – is the judge prompt with rulings and decisions?
* Service – is the judge committed to public service and the administration of justice?
Rev Mary Moore
More coverage on this issue:
Campaign to oust judges puts system on trial.
Iowa Progressives Never Give Up
by Paul Deaton
the election, progressives will continue the work we have started to
make Iowa a better place for every resident. It began more than a decade
ago and it is work that will never be finished. Progressives are in it
for the long run.“
Democrats are playing to their strong suit during the final days leading into the 2010 midterm elections. With a voter registration advantage and a tested ground game, Democrats are expected to hold their own. Blog for Iowa will be out in the community, working the get out the vote effort this weekend, like progressives across the state. The election is a choice for our vision of the future of Iowa, and what we contribute between now and the election will make a difference, regardless of the final results of this election.
Blog for Iowa reads polling data and has been a fan of Nate Silver and his fivethirtyeight.com. His extensive modeling algorithms helped us understand the 2008 campaign as it developed. The closer we got to the election, the more the model resembled the election results. Even though Silver sold out to the New York Times, we should look at his polling data analysis as a key indicator.
Fivethirtyeight.com shows incumbents winning all five congressional seats in Iowa. Overall, Silver shows Democrats with a 17% chance of retaining the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. His model predicts a House comprised of 203 Democrats and 232 Republicans. Democratic chances of winning the five Iowa House seats as follows: Bruce Braley 97%, Dave Loebsack 87%, Leonard Boswell 67%, Bill Maske <1% and Matt Campbell <1%, according to Silver.
The race is not over, and we have solid candidates in the 4th and 5th districts in Maske and Campbell. We hope they can work the ground game to eke out a victory, despite the polling. Braley, Loebsack and Boswell have not won the race, and need every bit of help they can get between now and the election to get out the Democratic votes needed to win.
In the U.S. Senate race, the polling has favored the incumbent since the beginning. In Roxanne Conlin, Democrats have found the most viable candidate fielded against Senator Grassley in many years. Conlin recognized the nature of her challenge and focused on the ground game early. She met with voters in all 99 counties, and activated Democrats to work on her campaign across the state. While Silver gives Conlin <1% chance of winning, Blog for Iowa believes she can eke out a victory based on the strength of her message, the Democratic ground game and the voter registration edge. Overall, Silver shows Democrats retaining control of the United States Senate with 52 Senators in their caucus.
The movement to change Iowa from being a long time Republican State began for most people during the 1998 campaign that elected Tom Vilsack as governor. The author remembers talking to some Iowa Republicans during that campaign. They were residents of Western Iowa, small business owners, and lifelong Republicans. It was the Republican party of Jim Ross Lightfoot that turned their household Democratic. The only thing that has changed since then is people have aged and the Republican party has moved significantly to the right. Going backwards, to a new Branstad administration, will not bring former Republicans back into the their party.
If the polling indicates there will be no significant change in who Iowa sends to the 112th Congress, the election is not over until the polls close, so please take some time this weekend to volunteer to help the effort. It will make a difference.
After the election, progressives will continue the work we have started to make Iowa a better place for every resident. It began more than a decade ago and it is work that will never be finished. Progressives are in it for the long run.
Contact your county auditor or go to IowaDemocrats.org for early voting info Find contact information for your Democratic county chair here….Did
you know? .. one knock on
the door within 72 hours of the election can increase turnout by 12.5%
– a second by almost as much… a live
phone contact increases turnout by 2.5% to 3%… link There are only 4 days left to volunteer. Find contact information for your Democratic county chair here. Sign up for a GOTV shift. Your help will be appreciated.