Thursday, March 8, 2012

Carroll Democrat Mary Bruner, a candidate for the new Iowa Senate District 6, is getting positive press in the northern part of the newly drawn political territory on a crucial issue: dredging in Storm Lake.

For years, The Storm Lake Times has aggressively advocated for improvements to the lake.

The newspaper in its Feb. 29 issue credited Bruner — who is a cousin of State Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs — with “interceding” on behalf of Storm Lake to secure $1.5 million in dredging funds for next year.

Senate President Jack Kibbie informed Bruner that the money would flow to Storm Lake, The Times reported.

In other words, The Times, in one of its top front-page stories, is giving Bruner credit for doing Senate work before she’s even elected, a political boon for the Carroll banker in Buena Vista County.

“Jack assures me that Storm Lake will get its funding because Storm Lake is at the top of the list of lake priorities,” Bruner told the Times.

Dredging started on Storm Lake in 2012.

“I was made aware that this was certainly a big issue for Storm Lake,” Bruner told The Times. “I just wanted to see what I could do to help. I certainly hope that’s the way the funding will turn out.”

State Sen. Steve Kettering, R-Lake View, told The Daily Times Herald that he questioned whether Bruner had a significant role in all of this — and noted that The Storm Lake Times already has editorialized favorably about Bruner and other Democrats.

For his part, Kettering has said he will not seek re-election in November, creating what amounts to an open seat in this year’s elections in the new district, drawn after the 2010 census.

Senate District 6 includes Carroll, Sac, Buena Vista and Audubon counties and the eastern part of Crawford County.

There are no sitting state senators living in District 6 territory other than Kettering.

Carroll County Republicans, working with Gov. Terry Branstad and other party leaders, have sought to recruit candidates from Carroll County but have been turned down by at least two well-known Carroll residents who would have been strong contenders.

The search continues …

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The Carroll County Republican Party Convention will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Carroll High School. The event is open to the public, but only Republicans can participate in the process.

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Interesting fact …

In our reporting today on the overpass construction in Jefferson we were reminded that Greene County has only one intersection with traffic signals — the Russell Street and Highway 4 intersection in Jefferson.

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HBO tonight at 7:30 will show a documentary about a subject that is unimaginable to westerners, Iowans especially.

Acid attacks.

The film — “Saving Face” — won the Academy Award for best documentary short two weeks ago. The Pakastani piece chronicles the work of a plastic surgeon who seeks to repair damage and disfigurement visited upon women in the developing world by husbands and spurned suitors through acid and burning.

It promises to be both eye-opening and hard to watch.