The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

You weigh in: Miller or Hanson?

Who’s going to win and why? Also, does this race matter? Why? Why not? Trying really hard to get some comments here. Please help.

Filed under: County Government, , ,

34 Responses

  1. […] Go here right now to chime in. […]

  2. Steve says:

    Lyle Hanson has a lot of baggage left over form being involved with the city, I’d say give Miller a shot.

  3. Kathy says:

    Joel Miller has done an excellent job and I would like to see him continue on as auditor.

  4. Seth says:

    Miller, for several reasons.

    First, I honestly don’t believe Mr Hanson has earned a place in a Democratic Primary. His previous voting history and his lack of any activity within the county party should say enough. I don’t know if it was political opportunism or if he was recruited by those with an ax to grind, but either way this Democrat can see right through it. I hope the rest my Party is able to do the same.

    Secondly, Miller is getting the job done and doing so with integrity and ingenuity.

    Miller’s use of the internet to help keep the public informed should be lauded, not shut down as the Gazette has done with his “views from the auditor” blog (a bit of ‘thanks’ to Hanson for that as well). The posting of candidate profiles, petitions, etc. keep the public informed about who they have trying to represent them, leading to a more informed electorate.

    His insistence that fellow Democrats recuse themselves from an objection hearing due to perceived conflicts only strengthened my opinion that he is the right person for the job.

  5. Eric Mote says:

    I have known and trusted Joel since 1986. He is honest and ethical, direct in his communication, willing to take responsibility for his actions and expects the same accountability from others. His background in corporate and people management, information technology and as Chair of the Linn County Democratic Party serve as a strong foundation for his position as Linn County Auditor. Joel has proven leadership capabilities that include his ability to see the big picture, listen to other points of view, ask reasoned questions, and when necessary, dig into the details to develop sound, fiscally responsible solutions.

    He is fair and respected by independent voters and members of both parties. I am pleased Joel is willing to serve as our County Auditor. We need more dedicated individuals like Joel willing to work for the residents of Linn County. It is my pleasure to serve as his campaign treasurer.

  6. Brent Oleson says:

    Joel Miller has been another breath of fresh air in county government. I am a registered Republican who supported his opponent in the special election, but I must say that Miller is following in the footsteps of Linda Langenberg, and I for one am pleased to see him run a fair office where he is completely accessible. I have a feeling the county government types do not like Joel because he is fair and wouldn’t “go along” with that idiotic display regarding the Board of Supervisors reforms nor has he gotten on his knees for the three current members who tried to make a grab for power and duties of his office after Linda Langenberg left for Des Moines. I say kudos to Joel Miller, and while I can’t vote for him in the primary, I will pass my sentiments along to my wife in the hope she will vote for him in the Democratic primary.

  7. Jean says:

    Joel Miller will not allow “Politics As Usual.”

    I had the good fortune to work with Joel, and I cannot imagine anyone better suited for the position of Auditor. He has the technical background required for the changing environment of voting methods and in other areas of county government.

    Joel sets high standards and holds himself even more accountable than others. Joel’s ethics and integrity are above reproach. Equally important, Joel has a great sense of humor and an ability to laugh at himself as well as with others. He never takes himself too seriously, though he always takes his responsibilities quite seriously.

    You have my vote, Joel!!

  8. Tom Garner says:

    I’ve know Joel since the mid 80s and he has impressed me with his ability to grasp the content of important issues and his willingness to implement decisions that need to be made and to be accountable to the stake holders involved in those decisions for his actions and those of the people that report to him. I’m also confident Joel has the desire and ability to think outside the box and look for ways to improve any and all processes that can better serve and inform the tax payers of Linn County on the issues of the Auditor’s office. Joel has a record for being fair and non partisan on decisions that need an even hand and government at all levels need integrity, competence and a strong sense of fairness more than ever. It is for these reason I would encourage anyone to vote for Joel in the upcoming primary and following general election.

  9. Lois says:

    Joel Miller is doing a very good job as our county auditor. He is serving the residents of Linn County in a responsible and ethical way. He is a very fair, capable man and I feel we are fortunate to have him as our auditor. It is good to know we still have a hard worker in that office, and one with such integrity.

  10. Anne says:

    I have known Lyle Hanson for many years and know what a dedicated man he really is. Lyle takes any job or obligation very serious and we would be lucky to have him represent us. He is a stand up man and believe he would work extremely hard for all of us.

    Lyle has my vote!!!

  11. Terry Himes says:

    I will vote for Lyle Hanson. He was a proven leader with the Cedar Rapids City Council. He would still be Finance Commissioner for Cedar Rapids if we still had our previous form of government in place. He got the job done and done well.
    Vote for Lyle for an effective leader………..

  12. Gary Hughes says:

    First, let me begin by noting how incredibly stupid I find this unscientific Gazette sponsored “poll” to be, because it presents nothing more than an opportunity for one candidate’s supporters to try and “stuff” responses with more than their opponent. Could the writer not meet a deadline, and find nothing of truly quantitative substantance to write about? This reflects poorly on the Gazette.

    Having admitted to that, I believe I am one of only a few who can offer a personal perspective into local municipal / county government, by having served as a City of Cedar Rapids employee myself for three decades. During that tenure shared with Lyle Hanson I can personally attest that he most certainly has the education, background and experience in the arena of public finance to better serve as Linn County Auditor, than his opponent.

  13. Patricia says:

    Lyle Hanson will do a great job as County Auditor just as he did for the City of Cedar Rapids. Vote for Lyle, I am.

  14. Lee says:

    I am so pleased that we have an opportunity to elect a consumate professional for Linn County Auditor. Lyle Hanson proved himself to be a responsible, dedicated public servant in his former post on the Cedar Rapids City Council. During his tenure there, he often stood alone in trying to bring reasonability and sanity to the budgeting process. (It is interesting to note that the current counsil and city manager have spent innumerable meetings addressing the same issues that Lyle sought to resolve.)

    I truly believe that he is the most experienced and best qualified person for the job.

  15. Adam says:

    I have known both Lyle Hanson and Joel Miller for a number of years now and think they are both good people and qualified for this position. I am voting for Hanson due to the recent episode on Miller’s part of putting Hanson’s driver’s license number on the internet. He could of let people know that Hanson changed party affiliation through other means, but this makes me question how he keeps confidence in county matters. Also a person’s political persuasion means less in this position then it would in other elected offices.

  16. Troy Simon says:

    Lyle Hanson watches out for the people!
    I myself have been in Finance and Business for over 25 years. Mr. Lyle Hanson got my attention when as City Finance Commissioner for CR he would do the common sense approach with the Cities money.If the project made sense and fit in to the budget, he would encourage it.If Special Interest groups or the City Council at that time were pushing the limits or over our budgets for their own interest and not in the best interest of the citizens of Cedar Rapids he would fight them tooth and nail to be responsible with our City’s funds. I have seen it and I respect him for it! I will vote for a person of that Integrity!!!
    HIS RECORD SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS for the hard working Citizens of our County.
    Born and Raised in Linn County: Sincerely,Troy Simon

  17. Ray says:

    Joel has done a first class job of fracturing the Democratic party and sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. And , he lacks credibility; it is totally improper to post your opponent’s drivers license number on the web. The Auditor is supposed to be fair and impartial, not aid in identity theft.

    Lyle is an upstanding person who concentrates on his job. And that’s what Linn county needs and deserves……………

  18. Dan Wiese says:

    I support Lyle Hanson 100%. I know him to be a forthright and honest man who has and will do a terrific job for the people of Linn County.

    I don’t know Joel Miller and have nothing much to go by on him besides his incredibly inept attempt to discredit Lyle by posting his driver’s license number. Not just stupid, probably highly illegal.

    Also I must say how distasteful I find another Gazette attempt to encourage people to fight rather than cooperate just to stir things up or get a story or whatever. Dorman seems like the perfect guy to pander to the negative mentality in this burg. And this blog is certainly proof. I’m with Gary Hughes.

  19. Sandy says:

    I have known Lyle Hanson for almost twenty years. I have always known him to be honest and fair. Having lived in Cedar Rapids for over 10 years, I have seen the kind of care and concern he put into his job with the city. I know he will bring that kind of care and integrity to the position of County Auditor. He has my vote.

  20. Sandy says:

    Look what he did for the city!!!!!
    Go Lyle

  21. Supporter of... says:

    Hanson! The guy is a class act, a family man, and a true professional. He is far and away the best candidate for the job.

  22. robert ballantyne says:

    Lyle Hanson’s apparent later day involvement with the Democrat Party is easily explained. Municipal elections are non-partisan. It was not necessary for him to declare his party affiliation to run for city office, nor was it commonly done by any candidate.

    His prospective effectiveness in the position he is seeking in county government is without question. He has been an honest and conscientious public servant, who listens actively, seeks what is best for constituents without evident self-interest, and has much experience and demonstrated effectiveness.

    He is far and away the best candidate for the auditor position.

  23. Kristin says:

    I fully agree with this being a poor way to determine who is voting for whom. It is just a way for people to post things that are not always the most becoming things we can say.

    However, I must say that after having known Lyle for 20 years, he would never fall to levels that have been reached by his opponent during this campaign. Lyle is a very upstanding, honest man. He will be straight with you regardless of the answer. Honesty seems to be the most important when electing someone to a position. Everyone always will doubt the honesty of any candidate. You will never question Lyle’s honesty and integrity. Ask anyone who knows him.

    Vote for Hanson on June 3rd. Vote for honesty and integrity.

  24. jen says:

    I am supporting Lyle Hanson. I find Joel Miller to be petty and political – I flat out don’t trust him after the incident with his blog. That was absolutely unacceptable and unethical. I trust Lyle Hanson and I think he did an excellent job as Finance Commissioner.

  25. Sally says:

    When I vote for candidates, I look at their education and work experience, not at their volunteer work in party activities. Finance Commissioner for Cedar Rapids was not a partisan job. It was important for the commissioners to be non-partisan since they were working for the whole community. I value Lyle Hanson’s experience working in local government. The voters reelected him each time demonstrating their ongoing satisfaction with his service.

    Why did Joel Miller post Lyle Hanson’s driver’s license number on the internet on April 17? Everyone should be very careful about the information that they post on the internet. Public officials should be especially careful. I don’t understand why Joel Miller wasn’t sensitive to the possibility of enabling identity theft. How would Joel Miller would react if someone posted his personal information on the internet?

    I am glad that Lyle Hanson has a voting record. I would be concerned if he didn’t. There is nothing wrong with changing affiliation to participate in a primary. I think it is inappropriate to make any inference about any candidate
    based on primary participation. We have a secret ballot. You do not know who he voted for in the primary or in the general election. What does a voting record have to do with how well a candidate will perform a job if elected?

    It is nice for candidates to have web sites where voters can go to get information. I don’t understand why Joel Miller’s web site has a section devoted to “My Opponent”. And I think it is a bit “tacky” to request “facts” about his opponent. Lyle Hanson’s web site looks much more professional to me.

  26. Mark says:

    So often I see people passing judgment and making decisions without knowing or even caring to get the facts. I have nothing against either candidate, nor can I choose between them due to my party affiliation. This being said I believe that each one of you reading or writing on this blog has a direct interest in one guy or the other. I say get to know the details before you cast your vote, heck I would even recommend talking with them or attending one of the upcoming forum to learn about who these men are and what they represent.

    Lyle has served the City public life and as far as I know did so well, although I cannot remember too many news-worthy items he was tied too. This is either my memory fading or that he just chose not to cut the hand off that was feeding him. He may have proven himself at the City, (quiet as it may have been), but am concerned how that will carry over to the County.

    Joel has been in office a little over a year now (I think) and followed in the footsteps of Langenberg who held the Auditor’s office from many years. If my memory serves me correctly, Joel took office during a little turmoil and I believe he has done a very good job with all the functions of the Auditor’s office. The thing that sticks out for me is that Joel’s battles are not for his benefit, it is for open government with the attempt to make sure the public knows what is going on and that deals are not being done behind closed doors.

    Personally, I like this and wish Joel the very best on this upcoming Primary. In the past we only heard about how successful the elections process run here at Linn County, now we not only hear this continue, but we are learning more about the process. Conversations are being held in public meetings, not closed doors, so we are all hearing more. I just have to think the more transparent any office is the more we all benefit (including learning from mishaps).

    Good luck, Joel, you have proven yourself to me and will support you as much as I can.

  27. MARK says:


  28. Homer says:

    Who will make the decision for the good of the County?

    Joel makes a conscience effort to make the best possible decisions for the county. He works for the good of the people. He has proven that he can effectively manage the Auditor’s Office and made the duties of the office more transparent to the public. Joel has accomplished this by improving the Auditor’s section of the Linn County web page and by blogging. He has continuously posted information about Election Day process and the daily hurdles or achievements the office has made. Just to name a few items.

    The public needs to understand there is more to the Gazette’s articles. The Board of Supervisors has made negative comments about Joel when the reporters or the public are not around. I know people that have heard the same thing. The public needs to have the opportunity to attend the Board meetings. Remember, county government works for me and you. I would prefer to see Linn County be more tech savvy and the Supervisors to have blogs. This allows the public to get some idea of what they do.


    Has anyone noticed this yet? I went to the Democrat County Convention. Linda Langston spoke about being a true Democrat and has never wavered from being a Democrat. Then she mentioned something, not directly pointed at her opponent, along the lines of: I have not worked with the Republicans to get things passed like some other Democrats. My interpretation was Linda did not appreciate Bernita D Rozinek (D) working with Dave Machacek ( R ) in getting five Supervisors for Linn County. Fast forward a few weeks. Then Linda endorsees Lyle Hanson who happens to be Republican turned Democrat by going to his first Democrat Caucus. Holy Ted Kennedy! Not to mention the first democratic conversion of 2008 in Linn County!!

    Does anyone find this somewhat ironic? Could there be some motive here? Then Houser proclaims that all Elected Officials are democrats and so we should agree on everything. (Sorry I am paraphrasing from the Sunday Gazette.) People in the same religion do not agree on the same things. My educated guess is that there maybe times when everyone does not agree. The Supervisors are unable to get their agenda done without total agreement and now Lyle Hanson comes in as a way to gain some edge in county government. Some days, I wonder if this is just not a horrible version of Star Wars.

    Clearly my vote is for Joel. He is making a difference in our county.

  29. Kevin Canney says:

    After working for the city for nearly four years. I can tell you this about Lyle Hanson. He is hard working, dedicated and honest. Moreover, the thing that makes the most difference for me is the fact that Lyle supported meaningful change in the City not just more of the same old stuff.

    I wished I lived back in CR just so I could vote for the guy!!

  30. Homer says:

    I would like to say I didn’t know of Ted Kennedy’s condition when I wrote this. I am sorry.

  31. SJ says:

    It would appear there is chaos in the Linn Co Democratic Party. Is Rush reponsible for this too!

  32. Seth says:

    SJ – I don’t believe there is any real chaos in the Democratic Party. We’ve had lively primaries before and I am sure we will again. And, like always, we’ll come back together after our primaries are over with a clearer picture on the direction we want to take as a party. Loyal opposition can be a healthy catalyst to keep the party fresh.

    Democrats don’t just march along in lockstep with their party leaders the way Republicans do – we prefer to have our own opinions.

  33. Sandy says:

    I work as an election official. Mr Miller visited the precincts to see if things are going well. He can answer any questions and he can work on the voting machines. He is very professional and easy to work for on election day. That is just one of his jobs he does well.

  34. Chris says:

    Lyle Hanson brings teamwork and experience to our community. He has a proven himself with over 25 years of public service to Cedar Rapids. We need this kind of dedication to our community in elected officials. Lyle Hanson has my vote.

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