O’Malley comes to Ames to rally Story Couny Dems, Weaver announces candidacy

Chris Anderson

Martin O’Malley was present to send a strong message in a time of Democratic resistance at the annual soup supper hosted by Story County Democrats Saturday night.

O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland and 2016 presidential candidate, told Story County Democrats to “withstand.” The message was relevant to Democrats now more than ever at a time when not only are the state executive and legislative branches are under full Republican control, but the national branches as well.

The word “withstand” came from an anecdote shared by O’Malley to a room so full that half of the attendees were forced to stand. In 1788 Alexander Hamilton warned that when America was faced with a politician who possessed the people’s confidence more than they deserved, Hamilton had one word of advice which was “withstand.”

O’Malley urged Story County to withstand a president that he said makes “overtly fascist” statements.

Much of O’Malley’s time spent on stage was criticizing President Trump’s policies to a crowd which was enthusiastically receptive of his criticisms.

One thing O’Malley did note were the faults of the Obama years in which the Democratic party was not strengthened in his belief. O’Malley urged democrats to regroup and fight back against republican control in 2018 and 2020

Candidates for positions from state representative to US Congress were all present at the event to give speeches.

Candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional district, Kim Weaver, was present to officially launch her “exploratory campaign.”

Weaver who took the stage with a broken toe jabbed at Senator Joni Ernst saying real Iowans know “the bread bag goes inside the boot, not on the outside.”

She recalled during the campaign how Story County became a second home to her. She told attendees that she had more votes in Story County than Hillary Clinton and Patty Judge, as well as 2012 and 2014 congressional candidates Jim Mowrer and Christie Vilsack.

“Christie Vilsack had two things I didn’t, money and name recognition. Now I have the name recognition and I promise you I’m gonna get the money,” Weaver said.

Weaver pledged to the crowd that she would raise $100,000 for her campaign by September 1, and that she will have campaign committees in every county in the 4th district.  She promised that if she could not accomplish this she would “hand the reigns” to whoever else wanted to run.

Another Story County Democrat who is planning on running for congress who was present to give a speech was Dirk Deam, political science professor at Iowa State.

Deam used his time to convey what he learned teaching politics to college students.

“The questions many of them ask and the assumptions many of them make reveal some interesting things,” Deam said.

The first thing Deam says he learned from college students is how anxious they are for change, and how skeptical they are that change will come from political parties.

Deam however, is not so skeptical of the parties. He praised the Democratic Party for its rich history and for its tradition of innovation.

 “Even at their young age[college students] are tired of seeing money limited by money and salesmanship… They want something better, and so do we all,” Deam said.

Deam ended his time calling for an end of partisanship and for Iowans to work together.

Other candidates present were gubernatorial candidates John Niederbach and Rich Leopold who plan to challenge Kim Reynolds for the Governor’s mansion.

Iowa Senate Minority Leader Rob Hogg took the stage to rally Story County Democrats.

“We are in a mission to get back to the majority, and we’re going to do it a lot quicker than people expect,” Hogg said.

Hogg also spent time talking about what he saw going on in the State Legislature and his opposition against state Republicans.

“It’s been worse than my worst nightmare,” Hogg said.

Hogg talked about budget cuts which are affecting Iowans across the board. He mentioned cuts to public education, human services, and courts. He also mentioned the attempts to defund planned parenthood.

Hogg’s message wasn’t all doom and gloom however, he also outlined many victories the democrats have had in state legislature. Among those stopping the reinstatement of the death penalty, proposal to allow firearms on campus, and a political test for university professors.

“We need to listen, educate, organize and unite. If we do that we will take back the Iowa House in 2018, take back the Iowa Senate in 2018, take back US Congress in 2018, take back the US Senate in 2018, and in 2020 we will take back the presidency,” Hogg said.