Courage To Create Change"
Emphasizing community, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack,
a moderate Democrat,
announces underdog campaign for President in
Mount Pleasant. ...D1
of 9 >
|November 29, 2006--Henry County Democratic Chair Dave Helman
offered his thoughts about Gov. Vilsack. Helman is a retired federal
He impresses me in many regards, and I think here in Henry
County what's important and in Iowa, we've gotten to know this guy very
well through eight years as governor and he's very impressive in so many
ways in what he's achieved. We would like the rest of the country
to learn about him the way we do... We'd like them to see what we
think he brings to the candidacy and that's why we're so proud of him.
Question: Do you have any good Vilsack stories?
This is exciting. A small town like Mount Pleasant, Iowa to have
a guy run for president. How many folks get to say that? Not
many. It's historic. And he's a part of the town and everybody
knows him as a friend and a neighbor and here he is running for President
of the United States....
I ran for county supervisor here locally, just a local office,
two years ago and Tom took me aside and told me the good points and the
bad points and encoouraged me and kind of I felt took some special interest
in me at just a very local county level in terms of what I was getting
into. It was a great conversation. I remember it very well.
From it I ran for office--came up just a little short...
Question: Anything specific he said?
I remember when he said be prepared for some frustrations and
it's hard work. He said no matter what office it is, it is hard work
and he advised me to get out and know people and said knock on doors and
say hello to people, particularly in rural areas...
Question: Are there any issues that are particularly important to you
or that you feel are not being addressed at the national level?
There's no doubt that the war and international relations is
the number one concern and Iowans follow that. Iowans read and watch
the news. Iowans are very much attuned to not only concern over the
Iraqi war, but also our standing in the world and our relations in the
Question: Blue Bird...?
The second one that I hear people talk about, because we've lost a lot
of jobs here, we have people concerned about pensions, worried about their
future retirement. I hear people saying that they are indeed worried
that their children's level of living will be the first generation less
than theirs. They're worried about their children's future because
some of those things that my generation has grown to become secure with,
such as retirement security and job security seem to be at much greater
risk right now. There's a real anxiety about the future I think for
the economy. We lost 400 jobs I think from the Blue Bird Bus Company.
Celestica Corporation closed down last year.
They moved lock, stock and barrel to Georgia and we lost every
job, about three years ago... That still resonates here because that
was one of the major employers. Then just this last year the Celestica
Corporation, which is an electrical components [missing word]--they closed
up completely. Well in a town which only has 8,000 people in it,
when you lose almost a thousand jobs, that--so that has elevated that anxiety
a great deal.
Vilsack for President, Inc.
County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce
© 2006 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action