Democrats hold county convention
Emmet County Democrats Saturday in Estherville passed their platform and approved delegates to the regional convention in Boone on March 29.
Obama delegates approved were Dale Green, Nathan Madden, Mark McHugh, Matt Moorberg, and Wendy Olesen. Clinton delegates were Carol Pluth, Sharon Archer, and Steve Erickson.
County Democratic Chair John Nelson lauded the participation of 560 Democrats in the Jan. 3 caucus.
Following are points of the platform planks approved:
n Agriculture and environment — “Be it resolved that the Democratic Party be dedicated to finding, developing, and using alternative sources of energy such as conservation, nuclear, bio-diesel, solar, and wind energy.”
n Livestock confinement — “We support legislation…providing for county control in applying state guidelines, with a temporary moratorium until zoning is returned to counties…”
n Bottle recycling — “Bottle recycling fees should be increased on all liquid drink bottles to ten cents per bottle to allow two cents per bottle for redemption fees and one cent per bottle for REAP (Resource Enhancement Assistance Program).
n Iraq — “Congress shall immediately form a plan for an immediate planned withdrawal of troops from Iraq.“
n Education — “We urge Congress and the President to amend the No Child Left Behind act to allow the use of multiple sources of evidence to assess student learning…“
“We call on Congress and the President to support fifty percent federal funding of special education.“
“We oppose diverting public money from public schools to fund vouchers…“
“We support maintaining professional salaries for educators and increasing the wages of support professionals in our public schools.“
n Reproductive rights — “Whereas we recognize that Roe vs. Wade is the established law of the land, and Whereas, we recognize the historic position of the Democratic Party desiring to keep abortion legal, safe, and rare, Therefore, we urge exploration of and active support of alternatives to abortion, including: comprehensive birth control education, expanded adoption services, and increased supportive services for women and unborn children of unplanned pregnancies.“
n Establishment of an Office of Technology Assessment to provide unbiased information on scientific and technical issues facing our country.
n Every candidate for public office should make prevention and treatment of chronic disease a major issue in this year’s election.
n Funding should be provided for aids, cancer, stem cell, birth defects, and nanomedicine research.
n Peace — “The State Department should also emphasize and pursue diplomacy and all other means necessary and reasonable to promote peace and peaceful resolutions to world and geopolitical situations.’
n Iowa should assess its mandatory sentencing laws to allow judges to consider extenuating circumstances.
n Employers would be required to heed the written word of medical doctors and hold affected employees harmless and immune from retaliation for following doctor’s orders.
n Calls for substantial increases in college financial aid for students who demonstrate that they can academically apply themselves.
n Minimum wage increases should be made at least annually.
n Recent changes in bankruptcy laws should be rescinded to reflect fairness. Changes in the bankruptcy law should also prevent businesses and corporations from structuring their business organization(s) which allow management and owners to isolate themselves from costs incurred by financial, environmental and social responsibility.
n Calls for fair vehicle licensing fees, increased fuel taxes, imposed and/or increased fees for licenses and permits for overweight loads, additional surcharges on traffic violations in the state of Iowa, additional enforcement, and educating system users of the importance and economy of not abusing the privilege of using the system.
n Calls for local control of animal feeding operations, limits on concentrated animal feeding operation concentrations, more controlled issuance of permits, elimination of tax exemptions, infrastructure and resource damage, and a sustainable solution for decommissioning concentrated animal feeding operations without unfairly burdening other taxpayers.
n Called for a safe and secure state for both Israel and Palestine.
In other matters, Larry Morphew asked the convention to consider a plank calling for impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney. “History will still record that we were lied to on several occasions and did nothing about it,” Morphew said, urging passage of the plank.
Opinions varied on both sides of the issue as to the effectiveness of the plank. The convention voted 17 against the plank with 11 in favor.
Lowell Meyer, brother of Kurt Meyer, who is running for Tom Latham’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, asked the convention for its support.
“He talks about his greatest career accomplishment as helping people make their lives better,” Meyer said. “I think that my brother Kurt is the best man for the job. Kurt is running a strong, energetic, issues-focused campaign. As the last seven years have reminded us, elections have consequences.”