While you were going about your daily routine this past week, four staffers for the campaign of South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg were planning for an event on Monday, Sept. 23.

These folks are a fraction of nearly 100 campaign employees across Iowa working for the youngest Democrat in the crowded primary field.

After the famous Polk County steak fry on Saturday, Buttigieg was kicking off a four-day bus tour of the state. It includes a stop at 6 p.m. Monday at the Alliant Energy Amphitheater in the Port of Dubuque. Before that, he will hold a meet-and-greet event in Elkader.

Buttigieg’s deputy press secretary for Iowa, Sean Manning, said the campaign has many helping hands — even in a small city like Elkader, population 1,200 or so, in a historically, reliably Republican Clayton County.

“You have to be organizing in every precinct to win the caucuses,” Manning said. “Our organizer in Clayton County has built an incredibly dedicated team of volunteers who have helped spread the word about the event. Just a few weeks ago, thirty-five people showed up in Elkader for a house meeting to get more involved in the campaign.”

Manning said the campaign also has active cells in McGregor, Monona and Postville, and that’s just in Clayton County.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, also will return to Dubuque on Monday, holding an ice cream social at 4:30 p.m. near the Town Clock. His campaign has staff in Dubuque as well, but none responded to messages requesting comment for this piece.

Chesney donates unwanted pay raise

Illinois Rep. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, announced last week that he made good on a previous promise to donate a pay raise approved by lawmakers — but that he has objected to from the get-go.

“Lawmakers do not deserve a pay raise considering the fiscal condition of Illinois and the push for higher taxes on residents at all turns,” he said in a press release. “I co-sponsored legislation to reject the pay raise, but that legislation was not called for a vote this year. That’s why I am rejecting this pay by donating it to local organizations representing northwest Illinois values.”

Chesney, whose district includes Jo Daviess County, reported that he donated the $1,628 pay bump to five organizations, including Tyler’s Justice Center for Children in Stockton and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I debated returning this pay raise to the state coffers,” Chesney said in the release. “However, when I personally oppose Illinois taxpayer dollars going to abortion services (including late-term), going to services for nonresidents and addressing urban issues at the expense of the rest of Illinois, I cannot abide this voluntary use of these dollars”

Kind introduces higher education plan

During a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville last week, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., outlined a new plan to lower costs and expand access to higher education.

“Wisconsin graduates are entering the job market with an average of $28,000 in debt, and instead of investing in local businesses and planning for their future, they are paying off their loans — often at a high-interest rate,” Kind said in a press release announcing the move.

Kind’s plan would also try to improve transparency and support workforce development.

Local police chiefs meet with Marklein

Wisconsin Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, visited with some of the top law enforcement officials in southwest Wisconsin last week.

The senator shared a photo on Thursday of himself with four police chiefs: Doug McKinley, Platteville; Jason King, Darlington; Joe Hallman, UW-P Police Department; and Tony Green, Elroy.

The lawmaker said the chiefs’ visit was part of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association’s lobby day.

Baldwin takes aim at Trump properties

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, has introduced legislation that would stop taxpayer funds from being spent at President Donald Trump’s hotels.

The Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating and Lodging (HOTEL) Act “aims to prevent potential conflicts of interest and abuse of taxpayer dollars by making clear that all three branches of government may not approve any spending, including travel expenditures, at businesses owned or controlled by the president and other high-ranking government officials,” states a press release from Baldwin’s office.

“President Trump is a walking, talking, tweeting conflict of interest, and it is wrong for him to line his own pockets with the abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Baldwin stated in the release.”This reform will make sure taxpayers are not funding profits for Trump’s business interests — period.”

Among the co-sponsors listed in the release are fellow Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, both of Illinois.

Calendar

  • 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23 — Sanders near the Town Clock in Dubuque.
  • 6 p.m. Monday — Buttigieg at Alliant Energy Amphitheater, Port of Dubuque.
  • 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 — The Jo Daviess County Republican Central Committee will host a meet-and-greet event for Esther Joy King, a Republican candidate vying to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, a seat currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos. The event will be at DeSoto House Hotel, 230 S. Main St., Galena, Ill.
  • 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 — Iowa Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Peosta, will host Shannon’s Brews & BBQ Fall Fundraiser at Trackside Bar & Grill, 709 Peosta St. in Peosta. An event announcement states that special guests at the event will be Iowa House of Representatives Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, R-Urbandale; Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, one of the Republicans vying for the U.S. House of Representatives seat now held by Democrat Abby Finkenauer, of Dubuque; and Iowa Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford.
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