Congressman Blum hits on state of union

The Jones County Republicans invited Congressman Rod Blum (center) to address the crowd at their April 19 annual dinner in Anamosa. Chair Jerry Retzlaff (far left) also introduced college Repubican Taylor Collins, who spoke about the political atmosphere on college campuses. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

Current County Supervisor of Dist. 3, Jon Zirkelbach of Center Junction.

Candidate for County Supervisor Dist. 3, John Null of Scotch Grove.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Republicans held their annual dinner April 19 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa. Guests of honor were Rep. Rod Blum, First District, and Taylor Collins from Iowa State University.

     Collins is also head of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, and provided insight into the atmosphere conservatives such as himself are dealing with on college campuses throughout the country.

     Kicking off the event were several area and local candidates:

     • Chad Ingels, Fayette County, candidate for Secretary of Agriculture

     • Jim Hogan, Monticello, spoke on behalf of Sen. Dan Zumbach for Secretary of Agriculture

     • Rep. Lee Hein, District 96. Hein also spoke on behalf of Gov. Kim Reynolds.

     • Dianna Stadtmueller, Monticello, spoke on behalf of current Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig

     • Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach, District 3

     • John Null, candidate for Supervisor District 3

     • Supervisor Ned Rohwedder, District 4

     • Recorder Sherri Jones

     • Pauline Chilton, Dubuque, candidate for District 99

     • Rep. Andy McKean, District 58

     • Carrie Koelker, Dyersville, candidate for District 29

     Collins offered three true or false questions to those in attendance. “If you can pass it, you’ve surely been enlightened, as my professor likes to say,” he said.

     Question one: “Safe spaces are a great use of taxpayer money. In a good way, it helps students cope after being offended by a violent conservative thought.” Question two: “Socialism has yet to be implemented in its true form.” Question three: “It should be required curriculum to teach how oppressive the values are of constitutional government.”

     “People all the time ask me what it’s like being a conservative on a college campus. The short story is, not good,” explained Collins.

     He said following Trump’s election as President, the atmosphere at ISU was unreal. “Advisors sent out e-mails offering emotional support to help those students who just couldn’t deal with the fact that the benevolent Hillary Rodham Clinton lost.”

     Collins said many professors have taken a liberal approach to their teaching styles.

     “In our colleges and universities, we now have distinguished professors in economics, advocating for outright communism.”

     Collins said things are unreal. “It’s a mess right now on all of our college campuses and we need all of your support. When the left push, it’s hard to fight back. College Republicans are working really hard to combat that.”

     Rod Blum said people keep saying that the Republican Party is being demoralized. Looking around the room filled with constituents (and children), he said, “I got news for them. That’s not happening in Jones County!”

     Blum started off with some depressing news about the country’s finances. With $21 trillion in debt, he said the nation’s debt now exceeds the economy.

     “When a nation’s debt exceeds its economy, and we’re there, bad things happen.” Examples of those “bad things” are slow economic growth and higher interest rates.

     Blum, who was a member of the U.S. House last year when it passed 535 bills into the Senate, blamed the Democrats for stalling.

     “The Democrats filibustered almost everything. That’s resistance; that’s obstruction,” he said.

     He said too many politicians in D.C. are afraid to stand up for what is right and represent their constituents.

     “I’m convinced there’s little political courage in Washington, D.C. to make the tough votes. I’ll do it. I’ve done it, and I’ll continue to make the tough votes because I’m not afraid to be un-elected. I stick to my principles; what you see is what you get.”

     On the plus side, Blum said President Trump has accomplished a lot since taking office a year ago, which includes a 3 percent economic growth. He said Trump has taken on a lot “given what he has faced with the swamp in D.C. and resistance movement.

     “The economy is up. Optimism is up. Unemployment is down,” he said. “The unemployment rate overall is near record lows. This economy is humming.”

     Blum said two things need to happen in order to achieve 4 percent economic growth: welfare reform and immigration reform.

     He said with legal immigration filling jobs that U.S. citizens can’t, businesses will be on the rise and wages and salaries will increase as well.



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