Northwest Iowa — While it isn’t a Presidential election year, county parties across Iowa did hold caucus meetings this past week.
Caucus attendees at both parties’ caucuses voted for members of the Central Committee and voted on delegates and alternates to the County Convention. They also proposed County Platform Planks.
In O’Brien County, attendance at the Republican caucus was low. Party leaders say they expected low attendance with people gone and having other commitments, but the weather also played a role. For example, Sheldon precinct 1 had 5 attendees, precinct 4 had 3 attendees, and precincts 5 and six had just one attendee per precinct.
The Sioux County Republicans had about 70 folks there, according to party leaders.
Attendance at the Osceola County Republican caucus was also a little low. Party leaders say they did have a good caucus though and accomplished party business so they said it was a successful evening. They listed the top planks discussed:
1. Strong Support of the 2nd Amendment, Right to Carry legislation, and ability to defend yourself and your family, no matter where you are.
2. Right to Life: Life begins at Conception, Opposing abortion, And it was said that attendees want a Personhood rights bill.
3. Education: Elimination of the Federal Department of Education was mentioned as well as the belief that control of education should be left to parents, local school boards, and teachers. Thus, they said that they reject the Common Core Standards plan.
4. They noted their support for the display of the American flag, voluntary prayer in schools, and a daily Pledge of Allegiance.
We checked with the Lyon County Republicans, but couldn’t make contact to bring you a report on how their caucus went.
On the Democratic side, in Lyon County, we are told that the caucus went well, from all corners of the county. County party leaders tell us that healthcare was the issue they discussed the most.
The Sioux County Democrats proposed platform planks including voting rights for felons that have served their time, opposing immigration restrictions based on race or religion, Iowa becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, and working against criminal justice practices that result in a disproportionate number of African Americans in prison.
The O’Brien County Democratic party leaders tell us that they had twelve people attend, which was more than they were expecting for a non-presidential-year caucus. They say that all but two of the nine county precincts were represented. We are told that no one submitted a platform plank, but several people took home resolution forms and planned to submit resolutions to the platform committee. The committee will meet in a few weeks to prepare resolutions for the county platform, which they will approve at the county convention on March 24th. While no planks were proposed, we are told that the caucus attendees were concerned about the health of the state finances and, in particular, funding for education and healthcare. They say that those in attendance were very interested in the governor’s race, although most people haven’t yet selected a favored candidate.
The Osceola County Democratic leaders tell us they had an average turnout for a nonpresidential year. Some of the planks that attendees were most interested in were increased funding for public education, the restoration of collective bargaining rights, and ending the privatization of the Medicaid program.