Getting it done

EDITORIALS

BY ART CULLEN

God bless Rick Peterson for showing up at a score of block parties in Storm Lake as part of National Night Out. Peterson brought volunteer sign-up sheets for people interested in campaigning for the school bond issue Sept. 10 that aims to complete a new early childhood education center. “We need your help,” Peterson told the good people gathered over potluck.

It’s that sort of foot soldier who can help make great things happen for Storm Lake and its future.

Peterson explained that the bond issue will increase the school property tax asking by about $85 per year on a $100,000 home. He listened as an elderly woman said she couldn’t afford it. The higher the age, the higher the voter turnout. The issue narrowly failed, at a higher tax rate cast over fewer years, the first time around. The school board lengthened the term of the debt and cut the tax levy to make it more palatable. They hope that is enough.

It takes people like Peterson to get this thing over the top. Our schools are growing, and urgently need space. The school board has avoided tax increases for many years while still building an elementary school and expanding the high school. The need is real. Schools cost money.

Join Rick Peterson. An accountant by disposition and training, he can make a penny wince. But he is out campaigning to invest in Storm Lake for tomorrow. The eyes of the state are on The City Beautiful for all it has accomplished, especially in education. We have to show them what we are made of. Ask a friend to vote yes. Knock on the doors around your block. Write a letter to the editor. That’s what it will take to get this job done.

Scholten for Congress

Steve King has been offensive for a long time and it never bothered many Republicans, Randy Feenstra among them. That’s why we think we know who that guy driving the pickup with Dixie in the shape of a heart in his back window with the gun rack will vote for in a primary, and it won’t be a Dordt College professor from Hull. It will be Steve King, straight-talking son of a gun just like Trump.

Even if Feenstra pulls off a victory, he is King Lite: Another Trump acolyte who can’t really answer for the President but mindlessly stands with him four-square.

Which is why it is such a good thing to hear that JD Scholten, a Democrat from Sioux City, is running for Congress again. Voters in the Fourth District can send a message that we have had enough of this nonsense. Scholten nearly knocked off King in the 2018 election, and believes he will beat King this time.

We certainly hope so. King is an embarrassment to the 39 counties of Northwest Iowa he underserves. He is a white nationalist. He is crass and filled with his own crackpot version of history dreamed up by Steve King. Feenstra called on Northwest Iowa to boycott Des Moines — but then Hull Western Christian had to play in the state tournament. He is a fool.

Scholten is an affable former semi-pro pitcher and paralegal who understands farms, small towns and family values, and is willing to listen. He tours around in Sioux City Sue, his used Winnebago, in every little village of the Fourth and delivers a dose of optimism with a dollop of horse sense that makes you think he actually has your best interests at heart. People who meet him can’t help but like him.

He rolled out his campaign with an impressive video narrated by Kevin Costner (Field of Dreams). For once, a Democrat in the Fourth District has money behind him. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar are on board with him. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted this race.

This is the campaign. Steve King’s time is up. Randy Feenstra is no better. We are tired of rural decline, of race-baiting disguised as national security, of fear and division. JD Scholten offers us an optimistic vision where rural communities can come together and grow again, where farmers are not treated as throw-aways in trade talks, and where everyone has a seat at the table no matter their ethnicity.

JD Scholten can clear the slate and bring friends together around integrity, fairness and common sense. He deserves everyone’s support.

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