A group of Russian political leaders arrived in eastern Iowa this afternoon to learn about democracy.The group learned about state government in Rhode Island, the workings of federal government in Washington D-C, and they’ll spend the next five days in and around Iowa City, studying the basics of our grassroots democratic system at the local level. Tom Baldridge is executive director of CIVIC, or the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities.The Russians will meet with Iowa City’s mayor, the chair of the county board of supervisors and several other political figures, including Representative Jim Leach and the wife of the former V-P, Tipper Gore. Besides politics, Baldridge says the Russians will learn a little about one of Iowa’s thriving farming/industrial communities when they visit the Amanas.The Russians, including two members of the Duma, will be in Iowa through Tuesday.
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