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Why is the Collective Bargaining Bill such a big deal?

As I have jumped into my spot here at Scott County Republicans, the buzz has been about the collective bargaining bill.  Of course, once again the Republicans are painted as people who want their fellow humans to starve.  What is our problem?  Why is this bill such a big deal?

First things first, this collective bargaining agreement has not been changed since 1974. Can’t we all admit that things have changed since then?  I think it is probably time to look at it with fresh eyes.

What has changed with this new bill?

  1. The past negotiations were for everything from wages to healthcare to seniority perks. When was the last time you joined a company and negotiated your healthcare?  You are given the option to purchase healthcare through the company or go get your own.  Why should they get to negotiate better healthcare at taxpayers’ expense?  If you want more than what is offered, you can go buy your own.  The new bill is going to limit negotiations to wages.  I believe that is fair.  This will allow the school board in each district to prioritize student’s needs over that of vacation time or evaluation procedures. (Update: In the final bill the unions are able to negotiate for seniority perks as well grievance procedures, but the bills still much more fiscally responsible than it was.)
  2. Before, if the contract negotiation went to arbitration, it went to an unelected arbitrator to choose one of the two numbers. That person couldn’t choose something in between that was a compromise for each party; he had to choose one number or the other regardless of the outcome to taxpayers.  The new bill requires the arbitrator to consider the ability of the employer to finance the wage hike.  Imagine that!
  3. There is also a provision in this new bill which separates public safety employees from non-public safety employees. The men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day will still be able to bargain collectively, if we can make their lives a little easier and less stressful, we should.
  4. Under this new bill, public workers will also have to vote every two years for the union that represents them. I have to vote every few years for the people who represent me in government.  The people in these unions should have an active voice in who represents them in these negotiations.

These seem to be the areas that everyone is most concerned about, so why is this bill so important?

This is about being a good steward of the resources that God has given us.  We have a right to expect great work for great pay, and we need to reward the people who are outstanding and fire the ones who are not.  This will create a competitive workplace and give us the best workers in the country.  We do not mind paying for quality, but we have the right to demand quality.  We don’t want to take away anyone’s healthcare or great work environment, we just believe it should be comparable to ours.

Dana Huss

Secretary, Scott County Republican

15 Presidential Campaigns Join #UnitedIowa Rally

DES MOINES – All 15 announced presidential campaigns will joined the Iowa GOP at #United Iowa event, a testament to their joint commitment to elect a Republican president in 2016.

Campaigns participating in Friday’s #UnitedIowa rally include:

  • Governor Bobby Jindal
  • Governor Jeb Bush
  • Donald Trump
  • Senator Lindsey Graham
  • Dr. Ben Carson
  • Governor Rick Perry
  • Governor George Pataki
  • Senator Marco Rubio
  • Governor Chris Christie
  • Senator Ted Cruz
  • Senator Rand Paul
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Senator Rick Santorum
  • Governor Mike Huckabee
  • Governor Scott Walker

“For the first time all campaigns are coming together to make it crystal clear that we are ready for 2016 and will all work together to make sure one of our candidates is elected to the White House,” Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. “There are 481 days until the election, and we’re already laying the groundwork for success.”

Chairman Kaufmann will lead a door knock in the Cedar Rapids area following the rally. Door knocking teams will also be dispatched from the Iowa GOP’s offices in Sioux City, Des Moines, and Ottumwa.

“While tired ideas of the Democrat Party will be on full display this weekend, our Republican candidates will be represented at the Iowa GOP’s United Iowa event just a few miles away,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee said. “Unlike the Democrats, we have a robust field of strong, highly talented Republican candidates capable of defeating Hillary Clinton, who the American people find dishonest and untrustworthy.”

What is #UnitedIowa?

United Iowa is a coalition of Iowa Republicans who have pledged to unite and work together to elect a conservative to the White House in 2016.

Branstad Economy Results in 5th Lowest Unemployment Rate Nationwide

DES MOINES – Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% last month, the 5th lowest in America, as Governor Branstad’s leadership gives businesses the confidence they need to invest in our state.

Chairman Jeff Kaufmann: “Governor Branstad has led this state and Iowa with an eye toward sustainable growth, resulting in broad based employment gains from Lyon County in the northwest corner to Lee in the southeast. Governor Branstad’s leadership stands in sharp contrast to the Democrat’s tax-and-spend ethos, which would lead to higher taxes, higher spending, and higher unemployment for Iowans.”


96 out of 99 Counties have seen a drop in unemployment since June 2014. –Source

KGAN: Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – More and more Iowans are getting to work. New numbers out from Iowa Workforce Development show Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped last month to 3.7%; down from 3.8% in May. At this time last year, 4.4% of Iowans were unemployed. “For the fourth time this year, the unemployment rate is down,” said Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend.  “As the low unemployment trend continues, encouraging gains are being seen in the retail sector; the business establishment survey added 3,000 retail jobs this month.” Iowa is also ahead of the national unemployment rate of 5.3%.

Another presidential candidate visits Scott County next week!

Official Portrait

Senator Marco Rubio

WHO: MARCO RUBIO, U.S. Senator from Florida and 2016 Presidential candidate
WHEN: Thursday, July 9, doors open at 7:30 am, remarks from Senator Rubio at 8:00am
WHERE: Scott County GOP office, Paul Revere Square
2322 E. Kimberly Rd, Davenport in the WEST Building, Suite 235, park in the north
parking lot

No charge to attend, and open to the public.

Iowa GOP Central Committee Votes to Cancel Straw Poll

DES MOINES – The Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee voted today to cancel the 2015 Iowa Straw Poll, previously planned for August 8. The final vote was unanimous to cancel the event.

Statement from Chairman Jeff Kaufmann: “I’ve said since December that we would
only hold a straw poll if the candidates wanted one, and this year that is just not the case. For that reason I called a special meeting to update the State Central Committee, which then voted unanimously this morning to cancel the event. This step, while extremely distasteful for those of us who love the Straw Poll, is necessary to strengthen our First in the Nation status and ensure our future nominee has the best chance possible to take back the White House in 2016.

Through the whole process we’ve listened to Iowa activists and our Republican candidates. We listened in January when a groundswell of support prompted the Central Committee to continue the decades-old tradition. We listened when we moved the Straw Poll location from Ames to Boone to lower costs. We listened when we passed those savings on to our candidates by getting rid of the expensive lot auction and reduced costs even further by planning to bring more outside food vendors.

Now, we’re listening again. Many candidates are still concerned about participating in an event that carries significant media-driven expectations well ahead of our First in the Nation Caucuses. While we still deeply believe that the Straw Poll offers a fantastic opportunity for candidates, we need to focus on strengthening our First in the Nation status and putting a Republican back in the White House.

Canceling the event is not a decision anyone on the State Central Committee took lightly, and I commend them for the thorough, thoughtful job they’ve done. Iowa is First in the Nation because of our strong grassroots tradition and because we believe in a process that gives equal chance to all candidates. We also believe in hosting a process that puts our candidates in the best position possible to win the White House in 2016.

Closing the Books on the 2015 Session


Friday afternoon the Iowa House adjourned for the year, closing the books on the 2015 legislative session.

I’d like to thank all of you who took the time to send me emails, called my office and sent letters expressing your support or opposition to pieces of legislation.  I am always appreciative of your feedback and thoughts.

During the interim, please feel free to contact me at kraig.paulsen@legis.iowa.govor call my office at (515) 281-3521.  Also visit www.iowahouserepublicans.com for constant updates and articles.

Iowa Republicans

Pictured here on the last day of the 2015 session with the three House Republican legislators who were sworn in with me in 2002:  Rep. Tom Sands (Wapello), House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (Clear Lake), me, and Rep. Ralph Watts (Adel). 

Below is the speech I gave to close out the session:

I know this took a little bit longer than all of us wanted, but we should be proud that rather than rushing to an end, we did quality work on behalf of Iowans.

I’d like to start by quickly thanking you, the members of the eighty-sixth general assembly for your hard work and willingness to come together to do what’s best for Iowans.  It is truly an honor to serve as your speaker.

Thanks to my page Aaron, you’ve been a tremendous help in our office this year.

To the House Republicans – you have shown willingness to do what is right and responsible for Iowa taxpayers, even in the face of great pressure to expand government just to hurry the process.  It’s an honor to be a part of your caucus.

To my wife, Cathy, and our children, thank you for your constant support and understanding.

I want to thank our great leadership team that I am honored to work with – Reps. Fry, Hagenow, Hein, Klein, Rogers, and – I appreciate your leadership and dedication to the Republican caucus.   To Speaker Pro Tem Matt Windschitl, your work on behalf of this chamber is significant.

To the Majority Leader, Linda Upmeyer, thank you for your unwavering commitment to our caucus and Iowans. I value your friendship and appreciate your tireless work.

To Leader Smith and the minority party, thank you for your efforts this year.

To our leadership staff:  Louis, Terri, Josie, Angie, and Tony.  And, in my opinion, the best caucus staff in the building – the House Republican Caucus staff: Jeff, Lew, Brad, Jason, Kristi, Carrie, Colin, Amanda, Dane and Brittany – you are not thanked enough for the work that you do and the service you provide.  We are very appreciative.

Chief Clerk Boal, thank you to you and your staff, the work you all do to make this chamber operate efficiently.   And LSA for all of your hard work, much of what you do is not seen but it does not go unnoticed.

And finally, thanks to Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and their team for their willingness to once again work together to move Iowa forward.

For the fifth year in a row, the Iowa Legislature has made a serious commitment to Iowans to not spend more than the state takes in.  This is an incredibly significant accomplishment.

Why do House Republicans fight so hard to maintain our budget principles?  Because Iowans work so hard to earn that money and we have a responsibility to protect the taxpayers and families who go to work, play by the rules and pay their taxes.  Those Iowans expect to be treated with respect.  That is why House Republicans will stand up and protect their money every day.  Every dollar the Legislature spends that it doesn’t have puts the financial security of those taxpayers and families in jeopardy.  Responsible budgeting ensures Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens have resources they can depend on next year and the year after.  Keeping spending aligned with revenues will be our first priority of the 2016 session.

We are nearing a tipping point in the budget process where Medicaid is consuming resources that in the past have gone to education.  The work we did this year on the cost containment measures will be vital to the ongoing stability of our state’s resources.  But the challenge does not end there.

We must continue to find other ways to effectively manage state dollars.  We’ll be back next year to continue our work on giving school districts more flexibility and also on making the case that reform to Iowa’s collective bargaining laws protects Iowans’ money and helps critical dollars actually reach our kids.

This session we took a bold stand with Iowa landowners to fiercely protect their property.

And lastly, we added some of the most substantial pro-life language to Iowa law in over a decade.

Regrettably, this General Assembly could not come together to advance second amendment rights for Iowans and our law enforcement community.  It is something we will continue to push for next session.

This is no small checklist.  We took Iowans’ priorities and turned them into realities by working together and finding common ground.  We gave them results, and we’ll be back next year to fight for them again.

Don’t forget to visit the House Republicans’ homepage for new updates.  www.iowahouserepublicans.com

You can also find us on twitter @iahousegop (https://twitter.com/iahousegop)

Meet and Greet with Governor Mike Huckabee


Governor Mike Huckabee

Saturday, June 6, 8:00 am – 10:00am
Thunder Bay Grille
6511 Brady St, Davenport

Governor Mike Huckabee invites you to join him this Saturday for a “Meet and Greet” at Thunder Bay Grille in Davenport.

RSVPs are appreciated to www.MikeHuckabee.com/Davenport

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham to Attend 94th Annual VFW State Convention

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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

Saturday, June 6, 9:00 am
Isle of Capri Casino Hotel
1800 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham to make remarks to the 94th Annual VFW State Convention as a part of his announcement tour!

No charge to attend and open to the public.

RSVPs are appreciated to aetgeton@grahamhq.com

Santorum Hits the Trail Again

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, the come-from-behind winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses, hit the road again in Iowa.

With his first campaign stop Thursday after announcing his 2016 presidential candidacy the day before in Pennsylvania, the former U.S. senator visited the Iowa Machine Shed, where he gave a relatively brief seven-minute stump speech.

Then, he spent an hour and 10 minutes taking questions.

Then, he went outside and greeted a line of people.

Read the full story here.

Paul: Providing Arms to Syrian Rebels Led to ISIS Growth

Rand PAul

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that “no one’s to blame for ISIS, other than ISIS,” but he nonetheless argued that the idea the terrorist group rose up because of the decision to pull American troops out of Iraq is false.

Paul, who announced his candidacy for president last month, was in Davenport to sign his new book and make remarks at Modern Woodmen Park.

Read the full story here.

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    • US Senator Tom Cotton is featured speaker at Scott CountyGOP Reagan dinner Oct 11 Go to scottcountyrepublicans.org 4 info & 2 make reservations 5 months ago
    • Super Sat at Scott Cnty GOP HQ, 8/27 come meet our county and statewide candidates, come to either a 9 am shift or a noon shift. 5405 Utica. 5 months ago
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