Congratulations on the 900th issue of the River Cities' Reader. Keep up the great work on covering the arts and entertainment, news, and politics of the bi-state area, as you have for the last 22 years.
I was a contributing editor for the first six months of publication but had to leave to pursue my writing career (up to getting book number 37 published soon).
On the first of February, the CEOs of corporations, small- and large-business owners, police chiefs, city leaders, pastors and priests, government and state workers, owners of trucking companies and convenience stores, and farmers participated in the Iowa Caucuses.
They will help select the next POTUS, who will probably appoint four Supreme Court justices, who will rule on labor laws affecting workers. They will select the next executive who will enforce immigration policy or not, prosecute crime, and lead our military as well as execute agricultural policy.
That is where the sinister elitism and downright undemocratic process of the Iowa Caucuses will rear their ugly heads. The people most affected by the selection of the chief executive will have no voice in this process. Sure, farmers caucus for candidates supporting ethanol because farmers are free at 7 p.m. on a February night. The majority of factory workers, truck drivers, active-duty military, railroad workers, cops, firemen, and nurses working second shift will have no voice. They pay taxes to the State of Iowa and the federal government. They are forced to buy the ethanol but have no vote. “Taxation without representation” was a battle cry that launched the founding of this country. We who are not of the professional class, who work, will have no representation.
It is time to end this tyranny of voter suppression by both political parties and allow the votes of every Iowa worker to be heard. It is time to end the caucus and enact voting procedures that allow for everyone to participate. By allowing every Iowan to vote, we will make Iowa a more representative state rather than the coronation of the elite and the special interest.
Mark J. Riley
My sincere thanks to Scott County Supervisors Diane Holst and Brinson Kinzer for supporting recording Scott County Board meetings, making them accessible to everyone with a television or Internet access. They are taking the people’s side in conducting the people’s business.
When I attended the January 2, 2015, board meeting – at which new members were sworn in – I witnessed a breach of the rules for electing the apparently pre-selected chair. (The name plaque for Tom Sunderbruch as chair had already been printed.)
It went: “The nominations for chairman is open. Any nominations?” Hancock: “I nominate Tom Sunderbruch.” Earnhardt: “I second.” “All in favor. The vote is unanimous.” There was no opportunity for other nominations, no opportunity for discussion, and no close of nominations prior to the vote.
But I can’t prove that because it wasn’t reflected in the minutes, which read: “Moved by Hancock, seconded by Earnhardt a motion that Tom Sunderbruch serve as Chair of the Board of Supervisors. All Ayes.”
A recording would have revealed that breech.
Supervisor Jim Hancock said that if people are truly interested in an issue, they show up. Supervisor Hancock, perhaps working people can’t show up because of the times of the meetings – 8 a.m. for Committee of the Whole (when the real work is done) and 5 p.m. for board meetings.
With trust in government at an all-time low, I believe supervisors Tom Sunderbruch and Hancock may want to re-evaluate their positions on open government.
Since neither plans to run after their current terms are up, hopefully their replacements will take the people’s side.
I will be the first to donate $500 to a “Watch How Our Supervisors Spend Our Money” fund to provide live and archived video and audio. And, so far, I have $1,550 in additional pledges.