Support your lake

Storm Lake never has looked better. The water is clear as we have ever seen it over six decades. The lake has become the top spot in Iowa for walleye fishing, and it also may be the state’s best spot for catfish. This is all because of a massive dredging project that is set to continue for at least another three years. And it would not have happened were it not for the Lake Preservation Association of Storm Lake.

The LPA is a private, non-profit group of lake lovers whose sole mission is to enhance and protect the lake. It is modeled after a successful grassroots organization in Clear Lake that started in an effort to get sanitary sewer installed around the lake. Our LPA in turn has been a model for the Iowa Great Lakes.

More than 10 years ago the Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced that it would dredge the west end of the lake on its own accord. The LPA applauded the effort and urged more dredging. IDNR challenged the LPA to find spoil sites and raise some money — which it did pronto. Former City Administrator John Call and Infrastructure Superintendent Pat Kelly suggested that the city could run the dredging operation to save money. LPA members lobbied legislators and IDNR. The LPA hired a lobbyist to advocate on behalf of all Iowa lakes.

Since then, through fits and starts, the state has invested about $1 million per year to clean up the lake. The LPA kicked in private funding — including a $500,000 anonymous donation. Storm Lake, Lakeside and Buena Vista County also jumped in. It was the perfect expression of inter-governmental cooperation to get something done in a big way.

As a result, the lake is clear.

Now here comes the pitch:

Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. the LPA holds its annual picnic at the Sunrise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse. For just $6, you get an annual membership in the LPA plus a delicious pork loin supper. Better yet, you showing up tells all the IDNR people that we appreciate what has been and will be done for Storm Lake. It tells everyone that you support dredging, watershed protection and clean water. It tells the state that you believe in the future of Storm Lake.

It’s a fun evening. Be there. This is how we keep moving the ball forward together.


Dead long ago

US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in a Virginia GOP primary Tuesday by another Republican who is opposed to comprehensive immigration reform, specifically allowing undocumented immigrants and their children a path to citizenship if they pay a fine and keep their noses clean. It was thus declared that immigration reform was “dead on arrival” by any number of advocates left and right.

They have not been keeping up with events.

Rigor mortis set in years ago.

There is no serious effort in Congress to update our broken immigration laws. We have at least 11 million — nobody really knows how many, since we can’t even keep count in Storm Lake — undocumented immigrants living in the USA.

President George W. Bush, the compassionate conservative, tried to drum up an immigration reform plan. It went nowhere.

President Barack Obama tried the same thing. The Senate passed a bill. Cantor led the way in blocking it because the Anti-Brown Caucus led by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told him that was the way it would be.

Nothing serious will happen in Congress until King and Gohmert are cleared out.

King could be beat if the Democrats were intent on taking care of their Latino constituency. The Democrats take Latinos for granted. Just drop money on the district with lots and lots of dedicated volunteers on the ground. We checked the Fourth District Democrats’ Facebook and web pages this week and could find no mention of their candidate, Jim Mowrer of Boone.

We also would note that moderate Republicans like Doug Gross, who promised King a primary if he did not stop bashing Latinos, are full of hot air and empty promises.

Gohmert covers a district in northeast Texas (Tyler and Longview) formerly held by the legendary progressive populist House Speaker Sam Rayburn, D-Texas, mentor of Lyndon Johnson. A pro-gun Democrat could win that seat, if the Democrats put their effort where their mouth is.

Cantor really had very little to do with the prospects of immigration reform. He was merely a messenger for the far right who got shot while delivering messages inside the Beltway. They say Cantor was beat by a Tea Party guy. Cantor was the Tea Party in the House. The Republican Party is the Tea Party, one and the same. The Republican Party apparently has picked up on the circular firing squad concept perfected by post-McGovern Democrats.