Back when I was in school – when we walked miles there and miles back – one thing that was emphasized was that even as an average citizen you were expected to participate in the running of your government. Next week will give you an opportunity to be a part of the mix.
The very first thing to do is to make sure you are signed up to get healthcare. The open enrollment period has been drastically cut by the president, so if you need healthcare you need to act quickly. To find out if you qualify for assistance go to healthcare.gov and fill out and application. Remember to do it today since the sign up period has been cut back to Dec. 15, 2017!
The second assignment for the week is to vote in your municipal elections on Tuesday. These election are probably the ones that will touch your life more than others since you will be electing officials closest to the people – the mayors and city councils across the state.
When folks don’t pay attention to their local governments, they too can get out of control.
You may have heard of a judge throwing out the removal of the mayor in Muscatine and wondered what has been happening. It sounds like a council and city manager extracted some vengeance without using proper procedure. In any case they wasted a lot of money and really burned some reputations. From the QC Times:
Mayor Diana Broderson was never the problem in Muscatine.
It was the City Council that torched the U.S. Constitution when it named itself judge and jury over Broderson’s impeachment, even though its members had vested legal and political interests in the outcome. It was City Administrator Gregg Mandsager that lobbed half-baked allegations of wrong-doing at Broderson, including accusations that the very act of a mayor talking to staff was an impeachable offense. It was City Attorney Matt Brick who, along with Mandsager, schemed behind closed doors with the City Council and decided the impeachment proceeding’s outcome months before a show trial convened last spring, according to records quoted by Muscatine County District Court Judge Mark Cleve. Collectively, they’ve burned through more than $100,000 of taxpayer money waging a shameful campaign against the voters.
No, Broderson, for all her faults, wasn’t the problem at Muscatine City Hall. It was, and continues to be, the men who worked so hard to oust her who forfeited any claim to public trust.
City Administrator Mandsager’s involvement was especially troublesome. He pulled the strings throughout this entire shameful affair. He bullied the council with threats of defamation lawsuits. He spent gobs of taxpayer cash suppressing release of public records, taking the matter to state Supreme Court. He sent thinly veiled ultimatums to critical media organizations on Muscatine letterhead. He flouted the public trust.
Your vote is extremely important Tuesday to let folks know that you are paying attention.
The final assignment for the week is to call your representative and senators and tell them that you DO NOT want that tax cut bill! It is a give away to the richest among us. The middle class and poor get little to nothing from this bill.
When the tax cut blow yet another huge hole in the deficit as it has done time and again, Republicans know where they will get the money to fix that hole – your Medicare, your Medicaid (you may need it someday) and your Social Security.
Stop them now before you deeply regret it.
Write and call over and over. Many in congress are like mules – they need to be told over and over!
- Washington, D.C., offices:
- U.S. Representative Rod Blum, 202-225-2911
- U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack, 202-225-6576
- U.S. Representative David Young, 202-225-5476
- U.S. Representative Steve King, 202-225-4426
- U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, 202-224-3254
- U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, 202-224-3744
- Iowa offices:
- Blum, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-2288
- Loebsack, Iowa City, 319-351-0789
- Young, Des Moines, 515-282-1909
- King, Sioux City, 712-224-4692
- Ernst, Cedar Rapids, 319-365-4504
- Grassley, Cedar Rapids, 319-363-6832