What’s the deal with Cedar Rapids?
I was doing a little thinking about Cedar Rapids politics last night, and I just can’t get out of my head how strange it is over there. Almost every Republican elected official or candidate over there is backed by one of just a few businesses. By “backed,” I don’t mean supported by political contributions., I mean they are on the payroll and allowed to focus on their political careers.
CRST, the huge trucking company based in Cedar Rapids employs two powerful Republicans, including House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen, and Cedar Rapids candidate for mayor, Ron Corbett. Talk about making sure your voice is heard on state and local issues.
The ESCO Group
The ESCO Group employed Chuck Larson Jr. while he served as a State Representative, State Senator, and Party Chair. Larson now lives in Des Moines, but the ESCO Group now employs State Representative Nick Wagner. It could just be a coincidence, but then again what are the odds?
Can we really hold it against AEGON for wanting to have their own elected official on the payroll? Not only does Fong work for AEGON, his non-profit is also funded by the company. I guess sponsoring Zack Johnson wasn’t enough. They need their own governor.
I have no problem with these folks working for employers who allow them to pursue their political careers. I just think it’s a little odd to see how prevalent it is in Cedar Rapids.
The moral of the story: When you are trying to recruit candidates in Cedar Rapids, hit these three businesses first.
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