The Exchange, August 22, 2018, Jackie Smith and Rick Bertand, Lies My Teacher Told Me, Barry Phipps

Aug 24, 2018

State Senator Rick Bertrand (R), District Seven, Sioux City

The Exchange. 082218

Coming up next on The Exchange, the battle over Sioux City’s seventh district Senate seat is heating up.  Democratic Candidate Jackie Smith says her opponent Rick Bertand is facing a tough race.

Bertrand says he has a strong history of support in District 7/

Also, why your kid’s history textbooks my not be up to snuff and how a one photographer and artist moved to Iowa and reinvorgorated his craft.  That’s coming up on the exchange after this news. 

Jackie Smith (D) Candidate for State Senate, District 7, Sioux City

 Introduction

Iowa's preliminary unemployment rate dropped to 2.6 percent in July, tying it with South Dakota for the second-lowest rate in the nation.  Iowa Workforce Development said in a news release Friday that the rate was an 18-year low. Hawaii had the nation's lowest rate last month: 2.1 percent.Iowa's July rate compares to a national rate of 3.9 percent last month, down from 4 percent in June.

However, the leader of the Iowa Democratic Party is not convinced that everyone who needs a job or job training is getting it. Troy Price is the Executive Director of the Iowa Democratic Party. He has been traveling around the state telling Iowa voters Republican reductions on Iowa Workforce Development and other policies are hurting employers’ ability to fill jobs.   Last Friday morning, Price was in Sioux City speaking at the Woodbury County Democratic Party office. 

Price said in 2010, 260,000 Iowans used Workforce Development offices. That number dropped to 160,000 a number of years later.  The drop coincided with the decision by Governor Terry Branstad in 2011 to close 36 of the state’s 55 Workforce Development field offices, replacing them with computer kiosks.  Gov. Branstad and others said the new system would better serve Iowans seeking employment help. He vetoed a bipartisan legislative measure intended to keep the offices open. By 2017, Des Moines Register reporters found the kiosk system largely had been abandoned.

Price also claimed cuts in education funding, especially that to community colleges, has also contributed to the skilled worker deficit.  Price said he has been talking about the job training situation with Democratic Gubernortorial Candidate Fred Hubbell.Price

Price says many of the close workforce development offices are in rural communities. Price

Price also said that Governor Kim Reynolds has not been living up to her promises about workforce development. Price

Price said he has been hearing from a lot of Iowans who are concerned about the problem of creating a well trained workforce that will choose to stay in Iowa.  Price

I asked Troy Price about the seventh district state senate race, that’s pitting former Woodbury County Supervisor Jackie Smith against two-term Republican Rick Bertrand.  Bertrand had said in April that he wouldn’t see a third term. However, after candidate Steven Stokes dropped out, Bertrand was asked by party leaders to step into the gap and run once again.  Price said Smith is a strong candidate and the problems of the Republican party wouldn’t have much of effect on the election.Price

Troy Price, Executive Director, Iowa Democratic Party

Price said he and other Democrats in Iowa are working hard to try and break the control state Republicans have in the legislature and the governor’s office.Price

That was Troy Price, the executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party.  He was in Sioux City Friday morning, as part of a statewide tour of county democratic offices.  Democratic state Senate candidate Jackie Smith was also at the event on Friday.  Smith is a former Woodbury County Supervisor and she has Jackie SmithSenate District 7 includes the north and west sides of Sioux City, mainly north of Gordon Drive, and some rural areas of Woodbury County just east of the city limit.

Smith served eight years on the county board, losing her bid for a third, four-year term in November 2016 to Republican Keith Radig, 55 percent to 45 percent. She represented supervisor District 1, which takes in much of the same territory in Sioux City as Senate District 7.

State Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City,  has decided to run in November's election for a third term.

Forty-eight year old Bertrand was nominated last week by Sioux City Republicans to be on the election ballot for Senate District 7. He announced in March he wouldn't campaign again for the seat, but changed his mind in recent days after GOP nominee Steve Stokes withdrew from the race, saying he needed to devote more time to his business.

Bertrand will face Democrat Jackie Smith, a former Woodbury County supervisor, who has promised to focus on improving Iowa's schools and ensuring access to affordable health care.

In 2016, when Bertrand unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, in the 4th Congressional District's Republican primary election, Bertrand said he strongly favored term limits and had already concluded that eight years in the Iowa Senate would be enough. He said the best ideas by lawmakers are generated during their first few years of service.

Rick Bertrand

You’re listening to The Exchange on Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett. Well, the kids are back at school this week, after a few months summer vacation.  Some are excited to go back to school, but some are not.  Part of the problem  could be boredom with the material and outmoded textbooks.  That’s what sociologist James Loewen posits in the 20thanniversary editionof his book, “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.”  The book is one of the most successful history books of our time, challenging some well-worn assumptions about American history.  This edition has a new preface that shows how inadequate high school history courses can be.

That was sociologist James Loewen, talking about reissue of his book, “Lies My Teacher Told Me:  Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.”  The book  has sold more than two million copies since it was published twenty years ago.  

Between Gravity and What Cheer, by Barry Phipps

You’re listening to The Exchange, I’m Mary Hartnett.  Multi media artist Barry Phipps never thought he would call himself an Iowan. But A job offer for his wife at the University of Iowa lead him to Iowa city and it revitalized his photography. His photographic inquiries into the nature of small-town Iowa have been collected in “Between Gravity and What Cheer: Iowa Photographs.”

Phipps lived in Chicago for 22 years and moved there from the Kansas City Art Institute to be in a band.   “

Phipps says his Iowa photography project was born after he got a flat tire on a trip back from Galena to Iowa City. He stopped in Dubuque to get his tire changed, and began taking pictures.

Hauff's Sporting Goods, Downtown Sioux City

Once he was on the road again, he found himself turning down various roads and taking photographs of things along the way

Map of Barry Phipps Journey

BriouxFest

Canteen Lunch, Ottawa, Iowa