Collin Brecher to Clerk for Representative Dean Fisher in Des Moines

When Representative Dean Fisher convenes with his fellow legislators for the 2015 General Assembly, he’ll have some help from La Porte City by his side. Joining Fisher in January to serve as his legislative clerk is 2012 Union graduate, Collin Brecher. Collin, now a junior at the University of Northern Iowa, is a Political Science major eager to experience the inner-workings of state government.
“I am excited to have Collin join me as my clerk for the coming legislative session. I’ve gotten to know Collin and his family over the past few years as I’ve campaigned for office. Collin has impressed me as being exceptionally ambitious, intelligent and hard working, and his enthusiasm is infectious. I am certain Collin will be a tremendous asset to me and the people of District 72. I hope that working in the legislature will give Collin valuable insight as to how our government works for his studies in his degree field of Political Science,” Fisher stated.
Collin initially approached Fisher to inquire of any opportunities that might be available for the upcoming term. After forwarding a few possibilities to Brecher, Fisher learned his clerk would be unavailable in January, which opened a door Collin was more than willing to step through.
Collin’s duties will include tracking Fisher’s schedule and interacting with visiting constituents. He also anticipates doing research for Fisher related to potential legislation for the Assembly’s consideration.
When asked why he wants to clerk for Representative Fisher, Collin cited several reasons.
“Aside from being our district representative, he is the kind of legislator with values people would like to see in a politician. He believes politics is a calling, not a career. I really admire that.”
As evidence of Fisher’s values, Collin noted his practice of returning the stipend he receives for living expenses back to the taxpayers. Because he lives close enough to commute to Des Moines, Fisher chooses to return the unused portion of the money he receives for living expenses back to his constituents. Since he is not allowed to refuse the stipend, Fisher instead makes donations to the Fire and Rescue Departments that serve the communities in his district. Since taking office in 2012, Fisher’s donations have totaled more than $20,000.
While working full-time for Fisher in Des Moines, Brecher will retain his status as a full-time student at UNI, having received approval from the University to earn eight credit hours upon the successful completion of his clerking experience. In addition to his internship, Collin will also complete coursework related to an independent reading assignment in his study of political science. First up is the book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. It’s an appropriate choice for someone who hopes to share what he learns from his experience in Des Moines with young people who don’t believe politics and government affect their lives.
“I love learning how the gears inside the machine work and I hope to be able to share that with others,” he said.
“I don’t think people realize just how much people on different ends of the political spectrum agree on. There is a lot of common ground there. How to get there is where people differ. I’m very much looking forward to seeing one perspective, at least, on why exactly it is that people with very common goals can think so differently of somebody with a different opinion,” Collin stated.
While admitting he’s always had a passion for politics, Collin’s interest in political science was fueled by Union High School government instructor, Bruce Wigg, who Collin said would “play devil’s advocate and challenge me to defend a certain view.”
The challenges posed by Mr. Wigg in Government class have helped shaped the thinking of a young man who is passionate about politics and eager to explore the relationship between government and the world of business.
For Collin Brecher, learning how things work in Des Moines is just the beginning of a career path that, one day, may lead to him serving the public as an elected official. Working as a clerk and observing the legislative process up close is a life experience he hopes will result in a greater understanding of how elected officials can and should serve the will of the people.