Wendy for Governor Campaign

Wendy Barth is running for the Governor of Iowa on the Green Party ticket, along with running mate Richard Johnson candidate for Lt. Governor.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fairbank "Meet the Candidates" night

Last Thursday evening I went to Fairbank Iowa for a town meeting. Fairbank is a pretty little town cut in half by the county line between Fayette and Buchananan counties. There's a park with a nice-sized pond with an island, and a footbridge to the island, where there's a playground and picnic shelter. Just gorgeous.

There was a great turn out from the local candidates – especially the board of supervisor candidates from the two counties that Fairbank straddles. The candidates for Iowa house and senate for the districts were also there, as was the Pirate candidate for US Congress, and an Independent candidate for something – I should have taken notes. I guess Chet and Jim were busy that night, they weren't there.

The Big issue was – CAFO siting. All board of supervisor candidates are for local control, they don’t want bureaucrats from DNR telling them what to do. But currently the supervisors have no authority, they are at the mercy of the Iowa congress. The candidates for supervisor were quite passionate about this issue. In Fayette county, you have one landowner that plans to subdivide his land, build houses and sell them. Down the road not too far is another landowner, who has plans to build a hog CAFO. Someone call Hollywood, this should be a very dramatic situation.

There was a good discussion of white collar crime. Some discussion on money corrupting politicians. Advice from the other candidates:

When you hear a politician say “regulation” think “oversight” – it will give you a different perspective.

If you get campaign literature with the return address of K Street Washington DC, ignore it – lobbyists should not be involved in local issues.

Wendy’s Fantasy

After all this discussion, I had a dream, where I was elected governor and while I am governing a big CAFO has a big manure spill and 30,000 fish are killed. I get on the phone to the sheriff of the county where the spill occurred, and tell him I want the owner of that hog lot in his jail by nightfall. I drive out to the jail (in my hybrid car) and go in to visit the prisoner, a well-dressed man who is obviously not used to spending time in jail.

“Governor, I’m glad to see you.” He says. “There must be some mistake – I’m sure you can get me out of here.”

“Yes, there’s been a big mistake – manure from your hog confinement operation just polluted a 5 mile stretch of the river.”

“I’ll post a bond”, says he.

“sorry, you are being held without bail, because we believe you are a flight risk. Your crimes are too severe to let you go.”

“But I’m an important person” he objects.

Governor Wendy turns to the jail keeper. “Can you turn off the water to his toilet, so he’ll have to put up with his own sewage?” she asks.

“You can’t do this to me!” sputters the prisoner.

“The hunters and fishermen around here are very conscientious” the Governor explains. “When they kill something, they eat it. You’ve just killed 30,000 fish.” Turning to the guard, she says, “tell the kitchen to order a case of tartar sauce. And tell them to make sure the fish are well-cooked, we don’t want to risk his health.”

Turning to the other prisoners, she says, “anyone here got loved ones living in the nearby town?”
A few say that they do.

Well, this man has just polluted the drinking water of that town. Please make sure he gets the respect he deserves while he's staying here with you.”

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