116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Do we need to be concerned about hyperpartisan elements entering our local elections again in 2021?
The first vote of the 15-member Home Rule Charter Commission in 2004 and 2005 was a motion led by Cedar Rapids resident and former publisher of The Gazette, Joe Hladky, that our local government should be nonpartisan in nature.
At the time, as the soon-to-be drafting chair of the commission, it also indicated to me that the council-manager form should be pursued, under our proposed home rule charter. The other discussed form at the time, the mayor-council form, is historically partisan.
Now, we're witnessing a new candidate, Amara Andrews, who has party mechanics behind her campaign for local mayor. It's hardly nonpartisan when the fundraising affiliations of the Democratic Party are being utilized. That includes ActBlue, 'an American nonprofit technology organization established in June 2004 that enables left-leaning nonprofits, Democratic candidates, and progressive groups to raise money from individual donors on the internet by providing them with online fundraising software.”
Watching Andrews' announcement unfold on social media, it made me wonder what my former commissioner and SE neighbor Joe Hladky would have to say today.
I ran in 2007 for city council and raised concerns of partisan elements growing in local government. It appears it has been taken to another level.