No gravy was spilled when the lights went out on Presidential candidates during a Clayton County Republican Central Committee Dinner in Elkader, Iowa. When the supernado made its way through Clayton County Tuesday, Sept. 18, it left the Lincoln Club’s annual dinner at Johnson’s Reception Hall, Elkader, and its VIP guests in the dark.
Unperturbed by the set back delegates gave their speeches, with the aid of flashlights, after the unexpected candle light dinner had been consumed.
This year’s dinner was in honor of retired supervisors Bob Walke and Neil Meyer. The two supervisors gave short speeches and were presented with plaques.
Just some of the VIPs at the event were: Steve Rathje, for U.S. Senate, State Representative, Steve Lukan, District 32, on behalf of John McCain for President, Kevin Clefisch, Clayton County Attorney, Greg Grant, on behalf of Duncan Hunter for President, State Representative Dan Rasmussen, District 23, Dave Vaudt, Iowa State Auditor, Billy Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and State Senator Mark Zieman, District 8.
When the power went out, it wasn’t just the lights that were affected – there was no microphone and no air conditioning. Gradually VIPs began stripping off and only one VIP, State Representative Dan Rasmussen, had mastered the art of vocal projection and winging a speech. Others fumbled with flashlights and reverted to cracking a few jokes.
“Think about this, just sitting at your tables ‘in the dark,’ now you now know what it feels like for the Democrats,” State Auditor Vaudt said.
Master of Ceremonies at the event, Ron Cashman, held a flashlight over the shoulder of Senator Zieman so he could read his speech.
During Mick Shadler’s speech, who was there on behalf of Senator Sam Brownback, the power returned. Rathje and Lukan were fortunate to be able to give their speeches with full power. Presentations to retired supervisors Walke and Meyer also took place after the power was back up.
Clad in pristine suit complete with tan, Rathje gave a polished speech. In an interview later he said that he was a successful business man and that he does not believe in a socialized healthcare.
“We cannot allow socialized medicine. We all need to work harder at providing healthcare…We need to stop politicizing healthcare the way it is going today.”
When asked why women should vote for him, Rathje said, “I’ve worn the shoes of every American I think there is, I’m someone who has been on welfare, I’ve lined up for cheese and powdered milk.” He explained.
The event which is held each year by the Clayton County Republican Party raises funds to help pay for state, district and county commitments. Lincoln club memberships help pay for the campaign expenses of candidates.
Linda Sedlmayr, secretary and treasurer, said that the Lincoln Club is made up of financial donators and regular meetings are held at Central State Bank in Elkader.