Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 10, 2018 John Norris: An ordinary guy who has done extraordinary things
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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John Norris for Governor:

I am proud to announce that I have decided to support John Norris in the Gubernatorial primary! Before I get into my own reasoning, let me give you John’s impressive bio:

John is a fifth generation Iowan, raised on the family farm. John was educated at Red Oak Community Schools, Simpson College and The University of Iowa College of Law. After graduating from college, John worked for Tom Harkin. Concerned for family farmers, John became the State Director of the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition. John also owned and operated the Old Hotel restaurant in Greenfield.

When Leonard Boswell decided to run for Congress, he asked his friend John to manage that race and serve as his first chief of staff. John chaired the Iowa Democratic Party during Governor Vilsack’s historic win. Vilsack then appointed John Chief of Staff. He chaired the Governor’s electric restructuring committee, leading the development of legislation that resulted in Iowa’s now booming wind energy industry.

Vilsack would later appoint John to Chair the Iowa Utilities Board and Chief of Staff at the US Department of Agriculture. President Obama appointed John to serve as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Then President Obama appointed him to represent the United States on agricultural policy at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy.

John and his family returned home to Iowa. He is co-owner of State Public Policy Group. John and his wife Jackie live in Des Moines where Jackie, a former public school teacher, is now the CEO of Goodwill of Central Iowa.

Needless to say, John Norris is by far the most experienced candidate in the race. But experience is NOT the main reason I support John.

I met John Norris when he headed up the Jesse Jackson campaign in the 1980s! My friend and mentor Dave Leshtz introduced me to John way back then, and we did well, too – Jackson finished second to Paul Simon, and Johnson County was among his best counties in the whole US!

Fast forward 20 years, and I was one of the first Johnson County people to get on board with candidate Barack Obama. President Obama later saw something in both John and Jackie, and recruited both into his administration, where they served us long and well.

Yes, John has the resume. But I know John the idealist. He marched with Ceasar Chavez. He marched against the WTO at the Battle for Seattle. He is an ordinary guy who has done extraordinary things supporting ordinary folks. He has my support.

Happy Birthday, Zuri

May 10 marks the first birthday of Ms. Zuri Foote, our first grandchild! I can honestly say that being a grandfather is the best gig I have ever had! And Zuri makes it easy! She is sweet, kind, fun, and smart!

I found the following stats about grandparents today. I would have to say that I am in the majority in every category:

• 72 percent think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.

• 63 percent say they can do a better job caring for grandchildren than they did with their own kids.

• 68 percent think being a grandparent brings them closer to their adult children.

• 90 percent enjoy talking about their grandkids to just about everyone.

I should mention that I am really proud of my daughter Rachel – Zuri’s mom. Rachel has done a great job as a mother, and I could not be more pleased with her.

Happy Birthday, Zuri! Grandpa loves you!

Employee Residences:

I recently received some interesting data as to where the 541 full time County employees live.

One-hundred and eighty-six live in Iowa City. No surprise there. I WAS a bit surprised to see that North Liberty was second with 74 employees, far ahead of third place Coralville’s 48. Solon is right behind Coralville, with 41 County employees.

Oxford is home to 24 County employees. Cedar Rapids checks in as the first non-Johnson County place of residence, with 23 employees. Tiffin follows close behind at 21.

Riverside has 17, Kalona 13, Lone Tree 12, and West Branch 10. Interesting stuff, huh?

Tax Cuts Impacts:

From Mother Jones: The recent federal income tax cut gives $1.3 trillion to corporations, whose rate dips from 35 to 21 percent.

How much is $1.3 trillion? It would pay for all of the following combined:

• All the necessary Obamacare subsidies for 10 years.

• Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 10 years.

Free college tuition for all students for 4 years.

• The Apollo Space Program.

• Trump’s proposed border wall.

This is an example of some of the things we could have with $1.3 trillion dollars. And remember, these are only the corporate cuts. Wealthy individuals got a huge cut too.

Kaufmann Update:

As you may recall, on March 21 I challenged State Representative Bobby Kaufmann to a debate on HF2372. The bill was later changed, and passed in a different form. But he still supported taking away even more local control. Not from his dad, mind you, but from Johnson County. I still think this is a terrible vote, and an important topic to discuss.

I have not yet received a response from Kaufmann. I will keep you posted.

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