The event is usually a dessert and cash bar event with socializing being the best part. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was held via Zoom. We yearn for the social element of the event yet made do.
U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield, and Second District congressional candidate Rita Hart gave brief speeches. They were both upbeat about their prospects for the Nov. 3 election even though their races are tight.
Many on the Zoom event were part of Loebsack’s first campaign for Congress in 2005 and 2006. Dave reviewed the names of attendees and remarked we are getting “long in the tooth,” highlighting the need for younger Democrats to get involved with party politics. The thing about older Democrats is we can spare a donation to attend events like the Hall of Fame and every Democrat will be needed going forward.
Dave recounted election night in 2006 at the Hotel Vitro in Iowa City, how he won the election day vote but we were waiting for the Johnson County absentee vote to be reported. He was confident he would win the absentee vote as we waited for his opponent to concede.
It is a long drive to the county seat so I went home after the polls closed. Like may, I wasn’t sure Dave would win. When it became clear Dave would win, toward midnight, I got dressed and drove in to join the celebration. It was a big win and Loebsack successfully defended the seat six more times.
Dave has been a journeyman congressman. He’s not flashy, he does the work of the district, his story hasn’t changed much since he went to Washington D.C., he remains the person I got to know in his 2006 campaign office. He is still working.
Last week’s news highlights some of his work: With Congresswomen Cindy Axne (IA-03) and Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) he introduced a cattle marketing reform bill. He co-sponsored the PPP Flexibility Act to fix problems with implementation of the CARES Act for small business owners. He co-authored a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to address the carbon neutrality of farm crops. He worked on the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. Loebsack is not in Washington just for the perquisite of the congressional gym, even if he often talks about who he sees there. He is doing the work we sent him to do.
From his speech, Dave and Terry are planning to actually retire. Dave is part of the Mount Vernon political crew that gave us David Osterberg, Ro Foege and Nate Willems. Over the years Dave has proposed legislation to prevent members of congress from becoming lobbyists after serving. It would be surprising and uncharacteristic for him to become a lobbyist now. He talked of going on road trips with Osterberg in retirement although what actually happens remains to be seen on the other side of the pandemic.
Congratulations Dave and Terry Loebsack for being inducted into the Johnson County Democrats Hall of Fame.