"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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>> Thursday, April 20, 2006

This morning's schedule included an event that was listed in the paper as "The Polk County Supervisor will meet with constituents over coffee at Hy Vee in (town) from 7:30-9 am".

OK, the way I understood that was: The public is welcome to come and speak with the county supervisor; ask question, raise issues, that sort of thing, between 7:30 and 9 am.

We arrived shortly after 8 as Brenna slept in today. (I, of course, was up early as Murphy's Law rules in this house)

What we found was this: A table filled with what felt like the "Ol' Boys Network" where myself and my adorable munchkin weren't really included. The supervisor had what appeared to be an agenda of what he wanted to talk about in front of him. There wasn't anyone there who wasn't in a suit (except us).

It felt like a board meeting and we were tardy. Again, not at all what I expected. If Doug hadn't already known the county supervisor I wouldn't have dared to approach that table because it felt so closed to "outsiders".

Which made me wonder if that is how most people under 50 feel about politics? Do you feel shut out or like you are not made to belong? Would you like to be more involved but you don't feel included when you try? Do you feel like "their" issues aren't "your" issues?

I actually addressed the age issue in Doug's latest mailing:

Interestingly enough my age has been a topic of conversation. Both my Republican Primary challenger and the Democratic candidate are quite a bit older than I am. Most comments have been positive and many people are excited to see someone younger with a desire to serve. I have, however, heard, “With age comes experience”. My response to that is, “With experience comes experience”.

If you have visited my website you already know that I spent 10 years in the military. I enlisted in the Iowa National Guard at age 17. In 1989 I transferred to the Active Duty Army and was stationed with the First Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. I served in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during Desert Storm and was honored to be selected Soldier of the Year in 1991. In 1994 I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, E Company/ 52nd Infantry (Airborne)(Long Range Surveillance) where I became the Company Training Noncommissioned Officer (NCO).

When I left the Army I was able to step into a good civilian job in Dallas, Texas. Upon returning to Iowa I started my own consulting business and have designed computer programs for many companies in a variety of industries around Des Moines. It is a job that I love. I figure things out, solve problems, build the solution and make peoples' jobs easier and more profitable.

The experiences I have had in my life have proven invaluable. The Army taught me to become a leader, learning from those more experienced than I. My job in consulting has taught me to solve problems and create the best possible solutions. Everything that I have learned has prepared me for this next step- being elected to the State Senate.

(If you would like to read the letter in it's entirety let me know. I'll be happy to send it out via email or post)

Any thoughts on this? I surely can't be the only one who feels this way. What can we do to get more people involved and to make ourselves heard as well?

If you don't want to comment on the blog please email me. I really want to know what you think!

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