[by Rod Sullivan]
As you may have heard, Iowa’s Second District US Congressman Dave Loebsack plans to move to Johnson County in an attempt to continue to represent SE Iowa in the US House of Representatives.
I wholeheartedly support Congressman Loebsack, and it goes well beyond party politics. Please allow me to explain:
First and foremost, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I have considered Dave a friend since the mid-90s. I was fairly heavily involved in the Johnson County Democratic Party at the time, and Loebsack was frequently in attendance at our meetings and events. I will admit, at first I wasn’t sure what to think of someone who gets that involved in a neighboring county. When I asked, it became clear as a professor, he was always interested in observing and learning. From that day forward, I always smiled at his enthusiasm. The guy enjoys politics!
Dave and I got to know each other well during the 1998 Osterberg for Senate campaign. I volunteered several days each week, while Loebsack took time away from teaching to run the campaign. We made a lot of phone calls, stuffed a lot of envelopes, and got to know each other much better. We have lots of mutual friends, we are both in AFT716, and we both love to visit Sutliff.
OK. All that is personal, and we all have personal friends who would not make good Members of Congress. So let’s discuss Dave’s record. Do we agree on everything? Of course not. But Dave and his staff are willing to listen to our points of view.
I think the best recommendation of our Congressman is his hard work on the Armed Services Committee. Congressman Loebsack has won awards for his dedication to veterans’ issues. Every veterans group gives him a 100% rating. He has completely won over hard core Republicans who care about this issue; they recognize his efforts.
Does Dave care about veterans? Of course. But you would get the same results if it were education, labor, health care, agriculture, or any other topic. That is because Dave WORKS. The guy is a tireless worker, and he will pursue an issue with a doggedness that would amaze you! I have seen it, and it is real!
Another example of Dave’s work is the aftermath of the flood. In addition to getting things done in DC, Dave worked shoulder to shoulder with our local victims.
I must share a story that says it all:
I spent a few days sandbagging at Thatcher Mobile Home Court in Iowa City. This location was not high profile like the UI buildings; it is a location full of poor and working class people. They were not flush with money nor volunteers. So, who showed up and joined us sandbagging? Dave.
You should have heard the residents of Thatcher as word spread throughout the workers. “Our Congressman is here? And he’s actually working? You mean he’s here, even though there are no cameras?” It is safe to say that those folks all gained an appreciation for Dave’s genuineness that day.
Most politicians were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Not Dave. Congressman Loebsack grew up in poverty, the son of a single mother who struggled with mental illness. Every Democrat claims to support the “least among us”, but few actually know what it is like. I can guarantee you that Dave will NEVER vote against Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the like. Those programs kept his family afloat when he was a kid, and he has not forgotten his roots.
Interestingly, many politicians are also born with POLITICAL silver spoons in their mouths. A remarkable number of Governors, Senators, and Representatives are the daughters and sons of political movers and shakers. Not Dave. You just read his background above.
Look, I know a lot of people are jealous of Dave. Every one of them had the opportunity to run in 2006. Loebsack was no big name. Dave won the nomination by default. Any big shot could have had the nomination. I am certain that many people out there regret the fact that they chose not to run, but hindsight is 20/20. Dave had the courage, and Dave won.
I could write more, but you get the idea. I wholeheartedly support Congressman Dave Loebsack as he runs for reelection to the US House of Representatives.
From Sullivan’s Salvos, a newsletter from Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan, sent once per week to any interested party. These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned. E-mail Rod Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org