Freshman lawmaker enters Iowa House with experience

2013-01-14T22:19:00Z Freshman lawmaker enters Iowa House with experienceJames Q. Lynch The Quad-City Times
January 14, 2013 10:19 pm  • 

DES MOINES — Rep. Bobby Kaufmann doesn’t find it surprising that people make the connection between him and his predecessor in the Iowa House — former Rep. Jeff Kaufmann.

However, the 27-year-old Republican from Wilton makes it clear that he and his dad, who served 10 years in the House, aren’t the same person.

“The association is not a bad thing,” the younger Kaufmann said shortly after being sworn in Monday.  “But we’re two different people. We think alike a lot, but we’re not afraid to disagree.”

Although a freshman lawmaker, Kaufmann is a bit more seasoned that his classmates.

It’s not only the familiarity that he absorbed before his father left the Iowa Legislature to seek a seat on the Cedar County Board of Supervisors. It’s also the firsthand experience he gained serving as his father’s clerk.

“Having been a clerk for six years, I know the process to actually bring a bill to fruition,” the younger Kaufmann said.

In those six years, Kaufmann learned more than the legislative process.

“I remember as a clerk in 2004, not knowing where the rooms are,” he said. “So the smallest of things, knowing where to go, who to talk to and what to do, I find very helpful.”

Overall, the experience as a clerk is an advantage “because I know the process to bring something out of committee, through funnel week and have it come to fruition as a bill,” Kaufmann said.

Kaufmann said he was “battle-tested” during a campaign that included personal attacks, but has put that behind him with the start of the legislative session.

“I’ve had everything thrown at me possible, but maintained my composure and my positive outlook. I take the skills I learned from being attacked, and I can apply them up here, ably handling things up here,” he said.

His goals are “real property tax reform,” education reform and budget stewardship, Kaufmann aid.

Also, Kaufmann, who raises cattle, sheep and hogs as well as operates construction and recycling businesses, has been appointed by Ag Committee Chairman Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, to head the Young Farmer Commission.

 

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