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Democratic Senators elect leaders; Plan to strengthen Iowa’s middle class during the 2015 session

State Senators Chaz Allen (Newton) and Amanda Ragan (Mason City) talk during an organizational meeting of Iowa’s Democratic State Senators.  The Democrats will lead the Iowa State Senate during the next two years thanks to their 26-24 majority.  Allen, the former Mayor of Newton, was elected to his first four-year term.  Senator Ragan, the executive director of the Community Kitchen of North Iowa and Mason City Meals on Wheels, was re-elected to her fourth term.
State Senators Chaz Allen (Newton) and Amanda Ragan (Mason City) talk during an organizational meeting of Iowa’s Democratic State Senators. The Democrats will lead the Iowa State Senate during the next two years thanks to their 26-24 majority. Allen, the former Mayor of Newton, was elected to his first four-year term. Senator Ragan, the executive director of the Community Kitchen of North Iowa and Mason City Meals on Wheels, was re-elected to her fourth term.

DES MOINES – On Sunday, November 9, the new 26-member Democratic majority of the Iowa Senate met to elect their legislative leaders and welcome three newly elected members.

The three new elected Democratic Senators will be sworn in on January 12 when the 2015 session begins. They are Chaz Allen of Newton, Tony Bisignano of Des Moines, and Kevin Kinney of rural Oxford.

Senator Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs was elected to continue serving as the Senate Majority Leader of the Iowa Senate.

“We will focus on broadly supported, common sense measures to expand and strengthen Iowa’s middle class,” Gronstal said. “The most serious economic challenge we face is that the recovery has yet to reach the broad majority of Iowans.”

Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque was re-elected President of the Senate. Senator Steve Sodders of State Center was re-elected Senate President Pro Tempore.

“The Iowa Legislature has repeatedly shown we can reach important agreements despite our political divisions,” Jochum said. “Iowans want action on jobs and education and I believe we will deliver.”

Senate Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City was elected Majority Whip. Senators Mary Jo Wilhelm of Cresco, Amanda Ragan of Mason City, Matt McCoy of Des Moines, and Bill Dotzler of Waterloo were elected Assistant Majority Leaders.

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@maybe, wasn’t blaming Bush, just pointing out that the problems were already there. Cut the bullshit if you want to talk with me. If you don’t, see ya.

I blamed it on the economic disaster. If you don’t think there was one, then make that argument. If you don’t think it happened during the previous administration, make that argument.

It’s good to have some free time again, but I’m not going to engage people who aren’t looking for an honest discussion. Is that you?

I don’t know what you are talking about, I didn’t attack you with anything all I said was the the reason why the economy collapsed in 2008, the majority of it was frank and dodds fault but there is still plenty of blame to go around. If you need an argument look up what Frank and Dodd did with the banks loaning out money for home loans.

Won’t own what you say, so see ya.

Well since I didn’t say anything bad to you, see ya.

The middle class has been going down hill for a long time, why has it taken so long to realize it…

They lost control of the senate so now they are trying to prove that they are the party that cares, why didn’t they do this long ago?

They are still playing that game. They just are not smart enough to know that it is their policy’s that are killing the middle class.

How so, LVS?

@Mediator-I know you know the answer to this Doug. Start with Obamacare.

Whoops, hit report by accident.

No, LVS, I don’t know what you are thinking and I’m asking you to actually explain your position about how the Iowa State Senate policies are killing the middle class.

They don’t have anything to do with Obamacare, so please give your reply some additional thought. If you are sticking with Obamacare, please spell it out.

This is your chance to be heard and understood. Please explain.

@Mediator-I guess I have obamacare on the brain. You are right, the local Democrats don’t have much to do with it. But, they could certainly apply pressure to fix it. A lot of Democrats didn’t get re-elected just because of it. There are a lot of people who vote straight ticket and I know lots of Democrats that told me they were not voting Democrat just because of Obama. My problem with the locals is they always want to raise taxes. It is always more and more for the schools and public unions.

More and more for the schools and public unions, eh? And that’s bad for the middle class? Who is it they want to raise the taxes on?

See, I think spending public money on things that pay off for the public is a good idea. Education is certainly a good investment for the people to make, right? Spending money in our communities is good, since that’s what keeps people here employed and the local economy strong.

I’m just not following you how it’s a bad thing for the middle class.

@Mediator-Your idea and mine of middle class is entirely different. You see the people I know that work in factory’s and stores have not had a wage increase in years. In my case with S.S. being a good part of my income I go farther in the hole every year but my taxes go up every year. Energy is up and food is certainly up although I am not sure why. I know grain prices are down but you would never know it at the store. My utilities went up $100 p/mo and my taxes went up $150.00 p/year.

Cont.-Health care and insurance has gone up and medicine has certainly gone up. The only thing that does not go up is my income. Why do we need more and more money for schools when we have less and less kids and the quality of education goes down. The public unions are out of control and just want more and more all the time. It is time they started paying like the rest of us. Sorry to rant but it is a touchy subject with me.

It sounds to me like you vote against your own interests, Larry. Have you considered that possibility?

@Mediator-No I don’t think I do. I voted for several Democrats this time that have shown they do not follow the party doctrine all the time. I want a representative that will do the right thing, not what the Party tells them to do. Before the liberals and progressives got control of the Democratic Part I voted Democrat well over 90% of the time. It has become the party of lies in the last few elections.

Well, I disagree with your conclusions and encourage you to keep an open mind. But there’s probably too much to be said for this format. Perhaps we could grab a coffee someday.

I, too, shall keep an open mind, since I asked you to do so.

The problems you stated about living within your social security income, I believe, would be lessened under a democratic party model. We’ve had nearly 4 years of a Republican governor and Iowa house and the cuts have not been to your benefit.

@mediator- most of the problems we are facing in Mason City are due to the local government and the federal government. The increases in prices are due to Obama’s policy’s and over regulation. Branstad can not approve anything that are not submitted to him by the legislature.

Again, I don’t necessarily agree with your conclusions. You state them as if proven, like blaming Obama policies for higher prices, yet they can easily be blamed on the economic disaster which occurred during the previous administration and the resulting Fed Bank actions. I’d like to explore your thinking in more depth concerning things like over-regulation hurting your ability to pay your local taxes. But, as I said, this format may not be the best venue.

@Mediator-Possibly this will help clarify my position for you. I just read on Yahoo that only 36% of Americans approve of the Democratic Party. There are many reason’s for this but the one that sticks out for me is the many, many lies of the Obama Administration. If you can not trust your president to tell the truth you have a real problem. The war on coal and oil has something to do with it too I am sure, but of course the biggie is Obamacare. $6000 deductible with high co-pay is bad.

Mediator, the economic crash of the previous administration, still blaming bush huh, was caused by Frank and Dodd and the democratically controlled house and senate.

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