Peter Cownie was elected to the Iowa State House (District 60) this past November and enters his freshman year.Â I think that Peter’s insights into this year’s General Assembly work will be valuable, and will be posting his newsletter here.
First, the following text was included in the email with his first newsletter:
SOLVE PROBLEMS IN A BIPARTISAN MANNER
The inauguration of President Barack Obama this past week was a historic moment for the United States. Not only is President Obama the first African-American to become President of the United States, but he is probably inheriting more problems than any other President in recent history. However, I believe this to be a time of optimism forÂ Americans and Iowans alike. The most important thing I took from President Obamaâ€™sÂ inaugural address is his increased emphasis on personal responsibility. This is referring toÂ personal responsibility for all citizens in their daily lives. We should not wait for the government or anyone else to solve our problems. President Obamaâ€™s tone and rhetoric are sadly not struck upon enough in American politics and society.
President Obama is surely one of the greatest speakers to ever ascend to the White House. It will take all of his powers of oratory as well as salesmanship to be a successful president. President Obama inherits two wars, a recession, a massive federal deficit, and nearly every state in the Union looking for a bailout to deal with its own budget problems. Iowa is no different in this regard. The Statehouse seems to be â€œwaiting by the phoneâ€ to see how much money we will get. Frankly, I do not see this as the job of your elected officials to sit and wait for the feds to bail the state out. You elected us to solve problems.
I intend to follow one of President Obamaâ€™s guidelines and work in a bipartisan manner to solve Iowaâ€™s problems. Too often the peopleâ€™s government gets bogged down in petty differences and party politics. There will obviously be differences during this session and it will be the minority partyâ€™s job to highlight those differences. However, I think the people of Iowa will be better served if the Legislature spent more time finding common ground amongst ourselves rather than worry about the next election cycle. Instead, we should be focusing on helping the people that are still displaced from the floods of this past summer and working to cut waste from our state budget. Hopefully next week I will be able to report some progress on these fronts.
In closing, Iowa lost one of its finer public servants this past week. State Senator Mary Lundby of Marion passed away after a long battle with cancer. Senator Lundby was a tireless worker for her state and district as well as one of the most effective legislators to serve at the Statehouse. On a personal note, Senator Lundby hired me a few years ago to work for the Senate Republican Caucus staff. I credit Senator Lundby with my start in public service. Thank you, Senator Lundby. You will be missed.