Dan Kelley for Iowa State RepresentativeHere’s What The Newton Daily News Doesn’t Want You To See!

Dear Friends,
For the six years I’ve had the honor of serving as your State Representative, I’ve always sought to give you a direct line to the legislature. And, it’s no secret that I believe it’s time to clean house at the Jasper County Courthouse, and that for too long, a small group of elected officials and their friends have acted as though these people are entitled to the public offices they hold.

I believe our community deserves better. I believe that bullies need to be shown who’s boss – the voters are the boss – and that these bullies need to be shown the door. I believe everyone in Jasper County can stand up to bullies!

This has ruffled some feathers among the self-appointed leaders of our community. Make no mistake: they don’t like being called out for what they’ve done. But instead of changing their behavior, they’ve ramped it up. You’ve seen some of the attacks against me in the paper, for example. Did you know that my own volunteers have been harassed by local police while doorknocking? Did you know that Jasper County elected officials have even publicly made fun of my family – including my twelve-year old nephew – as part of their last-ditch effort to hang onto power? Did you know that the Newton Daily News accused me of a crime in order to get me to stop standing up to bullies, and that the Newton Police Department even used taxpayer funds to try to intimidate me?

Look, this is tough stuff. But it’s nothing compared to the hardships families in Newton have faced ove the years. Every time a bully – whether the County Treasurer, your State Senator, or even a sworn officer – tries to bully me, I get fired up. They’re trying to take your vote away from you, and they’ve forgotten that they’re here to serve you. I’ve always remembered that!

The latest round of the bullying campaign was once again made public in the Newton Daily News. The newspaper has refused to print my responses to their “Election Central” survey. Friends, that is hard proof that the Newton Daily News is no longer interested in printing news – but instead, it is actively working to change the outcome of the election. So – I’m going right to you – the voters – so that you can have all the information you need to make your decision on election day. No matter who you vote for – you deserve to know where the candidates stand. So, scroll down below to see the answers the Newton Daily News refused to print. You are the boss – not the bullies!

It’s the honor of my life to represent you. Thank you for your support over the years, and we will see each other soon.

Dan Kelley
State Representative

Why are you running for state representative?

It’s vital there be common-sense voices returning to the Statehouse to make decisions on jobs, education, and healthcare. I am accountable to you, not a corrupt, self-appointed political party boss.

Four years ago, one such boss, Doug Bishop, demanded my silence concerning a state law-enforcement investigation into unethical behavior by Jasper County’s Drug Task Force officer. I refused. He ran a smear-campaign against me in the pages of this newspaper. He bullied me publicly and privately. I left a Listening Post in Baxter when I felt threatened. He spread lies and slander amongst my closest supporters, using lists stolen by Senator Allen’s staff.

I ignored him and kept working. He got desperate and angry. Bishop and an unethical labor lobbyist from Des Moines made a dirty-deal. Bishop pledged to make Sandy Shaver a supervisor in exchange for enough absentee votes for another candidate to win the State Representative seat. The keys to the Statehouse aren’t some trophy. This is serious business for serious people.

I’m not here to complain about a bully. I’m here to say there’s a better way.

For those reasons, I am running for re-election, to stand up for my constituents, and to stand up against bullies.

Should the Legislature provide a base level annual increase for public school funding to allow more consistency with allowable growth?

To clarify, “allowable growth” and “base level funding for public schools” are the same thing, not interchangeable parts. This question indicates how unnecessarily complex school funding issues have become and how little understanding exists concerning the education funding process.

To answer the question, however, no, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We simply need to follow the law. Each of the six years I’ve served in the legislature, I’ve voted to follow state law regarding education funding. It states the legislature must set ‘allowable growth,’ (the percentage by which local school boards can increase their budget) within 30 days of convening in January. Political party leaders create another ‘political kickball’ by refusing to follow this law.

Our school funding law is designed to put public schools first and when it is ignored there are consequences like rising class sizes, fewer opportunities for students, and higher property taxes. I will continue to advocate for stable, adequate investments in our public schools. We need to prepare our children for tomorrow’s workforce, and we cannot do that without keeping quality teachers in the classroom with up to date materials, which all comes from adequate school funding.

The Economy

Local jobs and support for working families must remain our top priority. As we all know, Newton and Jasper County have been through tremendous changes in the last decade. Many of these changes were forced upon us with the loss of Maytag jobs. I’ve done my best to strengthen the new opportunities that have come since those days.

Renewable energy and fuel have provided many of these new jobs. These are industries with great promise, but require support to protect current jobs while developing more. I’m proud of my work to promote wind-power and bio-fuel. We’ve put men and women back to work on the factory floor, right here in Newton, but our job is not done.

I’ve talked to you. I share your frustration with stagnant economic development at home. Jobs are tough to come by. Working families are struggling to make-ends- meet. Over half the kids in our local schools qualify for free and reduced lunches. Poverty is reality for many.

Yet, a handful of local officials like Doug Bishop and Chaz Allen get rich on yesterday’s successes and fail to acknowledge the conflict of interest in running economic development efforts while serving as elected officials. Change is critical.

Does the Iowa Legislature have a role in addressing the diminishing availability of mental health services? If so, what efforts do you propose?

Like too many issues, mental health, particularly in rural Iowa, has become yet another tool for Republicans and Democrats to throw at each other. I believe strongly in focusing on people, not political power games.

I’m disappointed in legislators who put Iowans needing mental health care at risk by ignoring the Medicaid privatization mess created by the Governor. Instead of doing their jobs as lawmakers and providing, as I argued for, vigorous oversight of the $4 billion privatization transition, action was not taken to hold private companies and the Governor accountable.

I take mental health issues very seriously. I’ve fought diligently for adequate funding for mental health facilities, particularly those offering treatment to Iowans who suffer addictions. Services cannot keep up with demand for alcohol, drug, and gambling addiction.

Throughout the six-years I’ve served, I’ve stayed in close contact with NAMI, a local group of mental health advocates and clients of local providers. I share a core belief with them. There should be no stigmas attached to mental illness.

If you or someone close to you needs assistance in dealing with the Medicaid transition, or a state agency, I am happy to help. Call me at home, 641-521- 9260 or dan.kelley@legis.iowa.gov.

Issues regarding the state’s Medicaid privatization have been widespread. How will you address those issues in the Iowa Legislature?

Elections have consequences. The failed privatization of Iowa Medicaid is a direct consequence of the re-election of our Governor and ineffective opposition to this decision by the Senate majority party. The Governor and Senate leadership have simply created a political kickball with very little concern for individuals affected by this bad policy.

If Senate Democrats had wanted to stop this poor decision by the Governor from being enacted, they should have prevented the bills he demanded from reaching his desk. I voted to stop them.

It’s not hard to do the right thing. Politics before people is bad policy, every time. My work remains focused on local people who require assistance related to the privatization of Medicaid. I'm also committed to helping local providers who have run into problems. The needs of everyday people matter. The ability of local providers to make ends meet and provide essential services is at risk.

It's time for party gamesmanship on Medicaid to come to a screeching halt. I've never bought into it, and never will. I ask you to read between the headlines. Wes Breckenridge would do what he’s told by party bosses and lobbyists. He owes them. I’m accountable to you, not them.

Efforts to make medicinal marijuana more accessible have been unsuccessful in the Legislature. Should those efforts be renewed?

I’ve worked very hard during the three-terms I’ve served in the legislature to earn your trust.

Unfortunately, instead of respecting the seriousness of the issue, local political bullies have exploited medical marijuana bills to take dishonest, off-target political punches at me. Several letters to the editor of this paper were submitted by Chaz Allen’s closest political advisor, Dennis Combs. They’re nothing more than efforts to break the trust we’ve built over the years.

Whether medicinal marijuana is a good idea or bad idea, frankly, is a decision for medical experts, not legislators. While both sides point to one study or another to prove their view, federal research currently being conducted will provide a definitive answer. Other states’ laws allowing possession of medicinal marijuana are in violation of federal law and put hurting families in jeopardy.

While I care deeply for children and adults who suffer ailments and diseases, the flawed policies in two different bills provided false hope. Requiring families to transport illegal substances across state borders and face potential prosecution is not acceptable. Two-years ago twenty legislators voted no because of this flaw in the bill. Last year, most legislators realized this problem and another bill failed to pass.

Why are you a stronger candidate than your fellow opponents?

As an environmental leader, I know the strongest trees get that way by weathering many storms and standing tall. I’ve done so as your State Representative and it’s the honor of my life.

We’ve accomplished a lot of great things together. We’ve refused to allow a local political party boss to distract us from the work we are doing to make this a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

When I was first elected, in 2010, I promised to work hard every day on behalf of our local kids and working families. I’m proud of my solid record of support for local workers whether they be in the factory, office, shop, or small business.

I’ve put our kids first by fighting hard for local schools and teachers. I’ve paid particular attention to the needs of disadvantaged children living in poverty. I’m a state leader in efforts to support emergency food banks.

I understand the importance of protecting our air, land, and water for our kids’ future.

I’ve kept my promise, and earned your trust. There’s more work to do.

I ask for your vote or re-election. Check the box next to my name, “Dan Kelley.” Thank you.


I'm Dan Kelley, a long-time resident of Jasper County. I serve in the Iowa House representing the 29th District. I am commited to being your voice in the Statehouse!


Call me at 641-521-9260 or email me at electkelley@outlook.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Mail in your check: Dan Kelley for State Representative, PO Box 333
Newton IA 50208.

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As your State Representative, I will focus on serving the needs of our communities, not the special interests. I will put your needs before those of party leaders. In Des Moines, I will fight to:

*Raise the minimum wage,
*Help families with the high cost of child care,
*Make public schools our top priority again and ensure our schools prepare our kids for the 21st-century economy
*Bring good-paying jobs to our communities,
*Expand support for veterans and their families, and
*Stand up to special interests on behalf of seniors.

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