McCoy addresses College and Young Democrats Conference

Paige Godden

Iowa state Sen. Matt McCoy spoke at the first College and Young Democrats Conference on Sunday. 

The conference was put on by the College and Young Democrats of Iowa. 

McCoy, who represents District 31, said the Democrats’ priority should be on getting a Democrat elected to the open seat in Marion. 

Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Sen. Swati Dandekar to an executive position on the Iowa Utilities Board. Because of the appointment, she has to vacate her Senate seat. 

If a Republican wins, Democrats will lose their control of the Iowa Senate. 

McCoy said students need to be focused on three issues this legislative term. 

“The first,” McCoy said, “is education reform.”

McCoy said the Iowa director of the Department of Education, Jason Glass, has suggested Iowa withdraw from No Child Left Behind. Glass’ plan, according to McCoy, would also make it easier to fire Iowa teachers. 

The second issue to focus on is Branstad wants to cut commercial property taxes, McCoy said. 

He said the third issue is job training and unemployment. 

McCoy said former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack’s campaign is going well. Vilsack is running for the U.S. Congress in Iowa’s 4th District.

He said she should be able to outspend her opponent, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. 

McCoy said the best thing a student could do to support Vilsack’s campaign is to get on the ISU campus and hand out fliers. 

As for the three regents institutions, McCoy said outside of the conference, students and faculty need to make sure they are keeping a close eye on the Iowa Board of Regents. 

McCoy said the Board of Regents has worked so well in the past because of its independence from the governor’s office. 

He said he’s concerned about how Branstad went about getting rid of former president David Miles and how much he wanted Craig Lane and Bruce Rastetter in. 

McCoy said hopefully students won’t be told to leave the Legislature this year, because it’s these kinds of actions that create double-digit raises in tuition. 

The conference, according to Margaret Murphy, CYDI’s communication director, was to get all chapters of CYDI prepared and mobilized for the 2012 elections.