Saturday, April 29, 2006

Third District Democratic Convention Report

We had a great day at the Third District Democratic Convention in Johnston. Sorry I didn't get this written and posted sooner, but I've been enjoying a few beverages and talking on the phone for a while since we got home.

So here's a quick review of the day:

We departed here in the wee hours of the morning, picked up the grandparents in Albia, and headed to the convention in Johnston.

After a quick stop to pick up my brother's fiancee in Des Moines, we arrived in time for Rep. Boswell's pancake breakfast. We sat down and were joined by Dodie Boswell for a nice chat. The Congressman then came over and sat down for a few minutes. Let me just say, he's looking fit as a fiddle.

Sen. Russ Feingold was the special guest, and I went up and introduced myself. We didn't talk long, but he was very engaging. I told him and his staffer about this blog, and asked them to send me any info that they would like to send. I'll make sure to post about anything they send my way in the future.

Then it was into the auditorium for the convention. The delegates gathered and were called to order by Third District chairman, Joe Judge (my little brother).

I won't bore you with all of the details, but there were the usual spats here and there about parliamentary procedure and all that. All in all, however, we participated in a wonderful excercise of democracy. And I was basically happy with the results.

Rep. Boswell was the featured speaker. Joe had a minor goof when he didn't notice that Boswell was already up on stage. He got on his walkie-talkie and then on the microphone and asked if Leonard was ready. We could all see that Leonard was sitting right there, but Joe didn't see him. Joe said "Oh, you snuck up on me!" We all had a good laugh.
Rep. Boswell then delivered a moving talk about Iraq, and forcefully declared that "It is time for us to be involved in a planned drawdown." I was really proud to be a long-time supporter of our Congressman.

The next speaker was Gov. Tom Vilsack. Great speech. He has honed his speaking skills well and has near perfect timing. Well done.

The governor was followed by Attorney General Tom Miller. I like him, but I had to go to the bathroom. When I returned, he was still talking. Then he started talking about Mike Blouin and I got quite bored. Sorry, I'm just not down with that.

Fallon time...He gives a good speech. Money is bad and all that. Then he said his hero was Howard Hughes. Whoops! Harold Hughes. This is the second time I've heard him make that slip. I think Ed has watched The Aviator a few too many times. I liked that movie, too. Howard Hughes was actually a very interesting person. Kooky...different...odd. But I wouldn't say he's a hero of mine. Kinda like Ed Fallon.

Michael Mauro...Nice speech, discussed the philosophical difference between Democrats and Republicans in regard to voters and their rights. I think he's going to be a great Secretary of State.

Dusky Terry...I liked what he said about bringing young people into the Democratic Party. Strong support of ethanol and biodiesel.

Time for more business. Some minor parliamentary snafus, but we got through it. People were ready for a break for lunch.

But first...Sen. Russ Feingold! This guy really got the crowd energized. The highlight came when he was discussing his proposition of censure of President Bush. One mention of the great Senator who joined him in his call for censure, Tom Harkin, and the entire crowd erupted into a standing ovation. All in all, Feingold is an impressive speaker.

Then it was back to the school cafeteria for a tasty lunch. Well, it wasn't that tasty, but I ate it. Actually it wasn't too bad. A ravioli tomato soup and sandwich, and pie. I love blueberry pie, even if it's not particularly good blueberry pie.

After lunch, we re-convened and it was back to business. And walks Chet Culver! I swear, Chet gets better every time he gives a speech. He was highly energized and kept the crowd pumped up throughout. Lots of great applause and cheers from all around the room. We in the Monroe County delegation had to really work to be his loudest cheering section. Again, I felt very proud to be a supporter.

Chet was followed by Denise O'Brien. She gave a really good speech. Make sure to watch for her green school bus powered by biodiesel.

We did some more business throughout the afternoon. We began the process of electing representatives to the State Central Committee, and had one more candidate speech...

Mike Blouin...Nice speech. I'm obviously not a supporter, but he gave a good speech and I shook his hand afterwards as he walked by.

There was more to do with our representatives to the central committee. But before we were done, we heard from Mary Compos, who helps organize the Brown-Black Forum. The event will be held on Saturday, May 6, from 6:30-8 p.m. at North High School in Des Moines. There are no tickets, and everyone is welcome to attend. I think I'm going to try to get to Des Moines that evening.

That's it for now. I'll make another post tomorrow.

Update: I talked to Mom on the phone tonight and she said everything went very well in her travels and her message was well received at the district conventions in Peosta and Mt. Pleasant.

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