Hansen keynotes Democratic fundraiser
Sportscaster says mid-terms are most important election in history
Two-time Associated Press Sportscaster of the Year, Dale Hansen of Dallas, shared his social and political commentary Wednesday night at the Hamilton County Democrats annual soup supper and fundraiser.
Hansen, who works for the ABC affiliate in Dallas, spoke to a large crowd at the Webster City Middle School and told the audience that he wasn’t there to endorse anyone except his baby sister, Colleen Hansen who is running for county treasurer.
Hansen shared stories about his upbringing in Logan, Iowa, his early jobs in radio and his journey to a successful broadcasting career.
“I work for a station that gives me the opportunity to talk about the issues that effect every American,” he said. “Because sports, I absolutely believe, is a metaphor for life.
“Almost everything single thing I believe in my life was learned on the baseball field in Logan, Iowa,” said Hansen. He said his father told him that his success would be determined not by his accomplishments on the ball field, but by what he would contribute to the success of a team.
“The true winners are the people who make people around them better,” he said quoting what his father had told him. “He told me there are rules to play the games by, there are rules to live your life by. Games will demand it, society will expect it.”
“That’s how I try to live my life everyday,” he said.
Hansen also talked about one of his many commentaries — on Michael Sam, the gay football player from the University of Missouri. The commentary went viral, he said, with people from all over the country and around the world weighing in.
“I followed that up a year or so later with a commentary about Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem,” he said. Hansen said when Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke gave comments during a campaign appearance about taking a knee, he used a couple of lines from Hansen’s commentary.
“One of his campaign people thanked me for inspiring Beto’s response,” he said.
“I do think silent, peaceful, nonviolent protest is the single greatest thing about this country,” he said. “Protest by the very definition of the word is going to make people uncomfortable.”
“These young men, Colin Kaepernick in particular, are giving up millions of dollars for what they believe. We should all have something that motivates us to go that far,” he said.
Hansen told the crowd that he hadn’t voted in an election since 1976 when he voted for Jimmy Carter. He said he became frustrated with the Carter presidency and the power of the electoral college. When he moved to Texas, he said he felt like his vote had no power.
“I’m here tonight to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, I was wrong. I am registered to vote. I am going to vote,” he said, adding, “This is the obligation we have, the responsibility we have and the opportunity we have.”
Hansen said the mid-term election in November may be the single most important election in history.
“We’ll send the message now. We will not tolerate the injustices that have been foisted on the people of America any longer,” he said in conclusion. “It stops today. Make your voice heard Nov. 6.”
Hansen’s sister, Colleen Hansen, the Democratic candidate for county treasurer also spoke.
“I plan to be your next Hamilton County treasurer,” she said.
She pointed out her experience in serving as the office manager for Hamilton County Secondary Roads, and monitoring the department’s budget, currently at $5million. She said she has experience monitoring wages and overseeing payroll for 30 employees in the office.
“By comparison, the treasurer’s office has 5 ½ employees,” she said.
She said she had several new ideas for the treasurer’s office, including the number of days the drivers license station is open.
“I will do everything possible to research all areas so Hamilton County will have the best treasurer’s office in the state of Iowa,” Colleen Hansen said.
JD Scholten, the Democratic candidate for the 4th Congressional district also spoke to the crowd. He’ll face Republican Steve King, R-Kiron, in the Nov. 6 election.
Scholten has been crisscrossing the 4th District, making stops in most towns, he said. He said he’s accepted no corporate political action committee money, but has still been able to out raise King 2 to 1.
“We’re laying the groundwork. We’re getting out there. We’re going to all 39 counties and we’re going to be launching 39 town hall meetings in the next month,” he said.
He said King has been polling at 41 percent approval.
“When an eight-time incumbent is polling at 50 percent, he’s vulnerable. But when you’re nine points below that, this race is absolutely in play,” he said.
Tim Winter, a candidate for Iowa House District 48, said Iowans are looking for people who will fight for them.
“It’s not just about changing Iowa, it’s about saving Iowa,” he said, pointing to what he called the failed Medicaid privatization, the cuts to the state government departments and large corporate tax credits.
“This is our time,” he told the Democrats present. “This is our year.”