We need help here in northern Iowa, to elect Todd Prichard in House District 52. He is a real Democrat, a better Democrat, one of our own, a grass-roots activist who knows why he is a Democrat. No crawfishing, no triangulating, just a simple affirmation of the values of the Iowa Democratic Party, and commitment to important issues: the economy, education, veterans, and the environment. He is a lawyer, part-time county prosecutor, veteran of four deployments in the military, including 16 months as a company commander with the 1/133 Infantry Battalion in Iraq's Al Anbar Province, father of three adorable little kids, and a decent, smart person capable of standing up to the efforts to pass ALEC-sponsored legislation in the Iowa House. Throw him a few bucks if you can. I know this is not a great time to ask for help. Trust me when I say I was not hoping for another campaign in my Christmas stocking. But I will be doing GOTV in Iowa in January, because I believe that we need to expand the bench of progressives in our party, starting with state legislatures, and if Todd is elected he will take the seat of the only Democratic legislator in Iowa who was a member of ALEC. That is an upgrade worth door-knocking in subzero temperatures for. I know Todd will be door-knocking too, because I saw him doing it through the November election. He is one of the activists who always show up.
Can you help? If you are in Iowa, especially in the adjacent counties, the campaign needs volunteers to knock on doors and make calls. Like every other campaign, it needs money, and fast. More below the fold.
We all come from experiences that shape the way we think. Todd had early lessons in the daily struggles of families to get by. His parents ran their own cleaning service, among other things, and the family always struggled to make ends meet. At thirteen, he watched his father pace the floor, sick with worry, as young Todd passed kidney stones in agony. His father knew he could not afford to take Todd to a doctor. He remembers what it was like to be sick, and on your own, with no safety net, and is a strong supporter of universal access to health care.
He helps out when he can on the family grain and cow/calf farm near Charles City that his wife, Ann, grew up on, and understands the challenges that farmers face every day. Agriculture drives Iowa’s economy, and he is committed to sustainably growing Iowa’s agriculture industry for generations to come. He told the nominating convention:
I come from a farming background. I think probably most Iowans have some connection to agriculture and land. Going to the Middle East as many times as I've been there, three times--they have oil there. We have soil. Soil is much better than oil. We need to work to protect the soil in this land for the long term, so we're sustainable, and it continues to drive our economy and feed our nation...The environment really is our bread and butter here in Iowa. It's how we will grow our economy.His top priority will be growing Iowa’s middle class and he believes that every child in Iowa must get a quality education and graduate with the skills necessary to land a good-paying job.
I see first-hand the importance of education when I deal with people in the courts. I know how important it is to have places like this, a community college center, to get people to a position where they can get back into the labor market, and find their dignity and self-respect from work. Especially in this community, new employers look for a labor pool of people who have the right job skills, and that comes from places like this.He is committed to helping veterans and members of our military return to their communities and be successful, as well as supporting military families during deployment.
I also feel passionate about early education. I serve on The Learning Center board here in town. I'm very involved and a big believer in early education. I know how important it is, especially with a family that's struggling, that their infant or toddler gets the right nutrition, gets the right exposure to get to where they can develop and be competitive in today's world and job market. And it starts at a very young age.
Iowa is in the Koch cross-hairs. The plutocrats have not yet conquered the Hawkeye State, though not for lack of effort. Governor Branstad is a founding member of ALEC. What they have in mind for Iowa can be summed up in a word: Wisconsin. In November, the Democrats narrowly held the Senate, but failed to regain the House. (I wrote about State Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm, who won her race by 120 votes.) In the next session we can expect more of what we saw in the last one from the Iowa House--obsessive attention to the usual wedge social issues and zero attention to economic development and creating jobs.
Todd Prichard has what it takes to be a force for positive change in that body and beyond. But first we need to get him elected. He needs help, and the election is January 22nd. The county parties in House District 52 are stepping up, but the fundraising has just started.
An account of the way this seat came open and Todd was nominated is here. His conservative Republican challenger was chosen on Wednesday night. In the last week the Democrats in the district counties have begun the process of calling voters to vote early, and planned a series of fundraisers, beginning tonight. We expect the Republicans to concentrate a lot of money on this race, after their loss of the Iowa Senate. It is the only opportunity for them to enlarge their majority for the next two years.
Todd has promised to stand up to the majority, while trying to find common ground. We need that. And we need to be represented by people like him, who will follow the example set by Tom Harkin in standing up for children, veterans, the elderly and the vulnerable.
There will need to be cash for media and GOTV. The state party has provided a couple of people to help organize field/GOTV, but the needs are many. This is just a House race in Iowa, but if we lose, a Democratic seat will be lost, and we will be that much closer to a GOP takeover, Wisconsin style.
I am asking the Iowans who care about this state to help. I am asking for support from the Badgers, who had support from their Iowa neighbors through their times of trial. I am asking Kossacks to help elect a Democrat in Iowa because every state legislature matters. Can you drop a few dollars on ActBlue? Can you make calls and knock on doors? If so, I thank you.
I wish you all a heartwarming holiday season, and more and better Democrats, wherever you are.