Friday, October 7, 2016

Vote Gandy for Jefferson County Supervisor

I recently received an email regarding the local Jefferson County Board of Supervisors election. The letter urged me to “split my ticket” in the election by voting for one Democratic candidate and for one Republican candidate, excluding one Democratic candidate, Paul Gandy.

I was surprised, as I have known Paul for fifteen years--and have known him to be a good community member and a person of integrity. The letter listed reasons why Gandy was not endorsed, focusing on CAFOs. Well, I just contacted Paul, forwarded the letter to him, and asked for his responses.

I happen to think that voting for a Republican in the current political climate should be a very hard sell. Given Paul Gandy’s credentials--and given the fact that I am a lifelong Democrat--I am not planning on "splitting" my ticket and voting for a Republican. More to the point, I was not convinced by the letter, and believe that Paul Gandy and Marg Dwyer, Democrats both, are the best choices for Board of Supervisors. 

Sometimes as good people we go so far out of our way to be "fair" that we miss the obvious truth right in front of our face. Paul Gandy is a perfectly fine candidate for Supervisor, with sterling qualities. 

Based on Paul’s responses (which were of the high caliber I expected), I plan to vote for Paul Gandy for County Supervisor.

Here is a quotation from the “split ticket” letter:
We face a growing onslaught of factory hog farms (CAFOs) and other dangers to our quality of life – much of that driven by outside corporate interests. We need Supervisors who will make it a top priority to protect our soil, water, and air, and to look for sustainable solutions. We also need Supervisors who will face the social challenges of our community, including our unacceptable levels of hunger and poverty (higher than average in Iowa). And we need Supervisors who are committed to Strategic Planning, to create a more positive future for all county citizens.
I think this description fits Paul perfectly. Below I’ve posted a few points from Paul’s comprehensive Facebook post that list reasons to support Paul’s candidacy.
  1. Paul supports JFAN and has done so for years.Please also show caution with any group asking their supporters to disregard or circumvent the rule of law in suggesting to you that a best course of action is to somehow separate your community from state and country. I believe this is a dangerous and unnecessary direction. In Jefferson County we already have an advocacy group that has been quite effective in limiting the siting and expansion of CAFOs. Let their work continue.”
  2. Paul will bring his skills as an attorney to the Board. He understands the law. “[D]on’t be led to overestimate the power of the County Board of Supervisors. The scope of authority of the BOS is defined by state statute. If you want to expand the BOS role (e.g. local control and siting authority of CAFOs)—the level of government at which to effect change is the state legislature. That’s where attention should be placed for this kind of change.”
  3. Paul respects farmers and will sort out the ethical from those who break the law. “Good farmers are good business people. In any type of business, however, there are people who bend and break the rules. Please don’t confuse my listening to both sides of an issue as me not expecting CAFO operators to be held accountable. While I support governing with a ‘light hand,’ that doesn’t mean not governing. They are, like all of us, bound to act within the law.”
  4. Paul understands the emotional and financial impact policy decisions can have on county residents.For over 25 years, I’ve dedicated the majority of my law practice to serving people in extreme financial distress, successfully helping over 2,000 individuals and families get a fresh financial start. From first responders to factory workers, teachers to truckers, seniors to single parents, and pharmacists to farmers—I understand the financial impact of small and large businesses on families and communities. I also understand that county policies today affect lives tomorrow, and so do county administrators. Tomorrow is now.”

If you have any questions regarding whom to vote for in the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors race, Paul urges you to attend the County Supervisor Candidate Forum hosted by the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Economic Development Association at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center’s Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016, at 7pm. The doors open at 6:45pm. All four candidates will participate in the question and answer forum. 


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