The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 14, 2013

Iowa Secretary of State in Ottumwa

(Continued)

"I want every eligible person to be able to vote," he said, "with the emphasis on the word eligible."

Rock Iowa is an offshoot of Rock the Vote. Schultz says Republican colleagues warned him that Rock the Vote is a Democrat-backed organization. So what? Schultz said to peers. It wouldn't be his only bi-partisan effort to see something worthwhile take place in Iowa.

"They're trying to get kids to vote. And we want young people to vote," he said.

Schultz talked about the other aspect of his office: interacting with business. In fact, that's what first attracted him to the job.

Businesses that are starting out, expanding or relocating may face a lot of paperwork with government agencies, with banking institutions, landlords and suppliers. But Schultz says he doesn't want individuals feeling discouraged after visiting the Secretary of State's offices.

"I want ... a positive experience for everybody who does business with our office," Schultz said.

He talked about a businessman who said he'd been an hourly worker in a nearby office building. He had ideas about starting a business, but mostly just pondered those ideas — until he went to the office of the Secretary of State. He filed paperwork needed to start a business, went back to work and turned in his two-week notice.

"When he filed the paperwork," said Schultz, "it went from being an idea to something real."

New businesses mean new jobs, the secretary said. With that in mind, he said his office was going to host a month in which fees for new businesses.

"We want people to get off the sidelines," he said.

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark

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