Rotary hears about Iowa Caucus process

The Marshalltown Rotary club greeted a new calendar year with its Tuesday luncheon at the Orpheum Black Box Theater.

Bobby Shomo led with a prayer and Pledge of Allegiance while January birthday and membership anniversaries were recognized by John Fink. A trio of Rotarians got some applause during the news segment presented by Todd Steinkamp. United Way Executive Nancy Steveson and campaign chairs Dennis Drager and Theron Schutte were instrumental in achieving the United Way fundraising goal this year.

Greg Brown and Jacque Goodman are program chairs for January. Reed Riskedahl and Jeanine Grady were introduced to present an informational program on the Iowa caucuses. The two gave some interesting history of a caucus system that is first in the nation.

Grady said Iowans are accessible, the process is organized and the media costs are relatively inexpensive. While far from perfect and a challenge to administer, both agreed Iowa is committed to the caucus format and that the process is good for Iowa.

Both warned that there is no shortage of interests who would like to dethrone Iowa’s first-in-nation position. Both political parties cooperate with each other to strengthen the process.

While the Democratic Party process may look messy and chaotic, Grady says it brings out the people who really care. She described the mini-electoral college framework that uses a caucusing process that results in the identification of delegates.

Riskedahl described the Republican Party process as a bit more organized in the framework of a straw poll. Both use the process to recruit and constitute committee members and volunteers. Riskedahl indicated one of the most important activities is building the platform noting that “everybody has a voice and a vote when it comes to the planks.”


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