Archive for May 7, 2012
CORALVILLE, Iowa– Yesterday, Blog for Iowa reported that there would be a counter protest to the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) event at the Coralville Holiday Inn. Since our party chair wanted to talk to me on another matter, and he was participating, I decided to spend an hour holding a sign protesting the explosion of corporate money in the political process after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The Koch Brothers are the founders of AFP, so the hubbub about Joe the Plumber, Senator Rand Paul and Representative Steve King attending drew me off the campaign trail for a while. I was not disappointed.
First, Joe the Plumber called off. We did not hear why, just that he was not coming. We were told Paul and King did arrive, and the assembled group would be viewing the latest attack ad about President Obama. There were three Johnson County Democrats, the two of us in the photo and a young female college student who took the photo. Emily Schettler of the Iowa City Press Citizen was covering the event and interviewed the three of us before going inside. Her account is here. IMHO she does good work, but then I admire people beginning a career in the fifth estate.
Schettler pointed to what many of us have heard, that AFP “bills itself as a grassroots movement.” What we know is they are more astro-turf, founded by the Koch Brothers, a wealthy pair of Republicans, and their money. They claim to be non-partisan, but everyone who believes that stand on your head.
I hailed a local conservative blogger making his way inside. I had not seen him since the two of us appeared on Talking with… Yale Cohn back in October 2010. He looked at me, said he was not a billionaire (referring to my sign) and went inside. He did not make time to chat, maybe his astro-turf dreams lived on, but I wouldn’t know much about that since he had little to say in person.
Next came a gent who said he came because he was a friend of the organizer. He had some issues with the Des Moines Register, the Iowa City Press Citizen and NBC, but I was not sure why he was telling us about these corporate media outlets. I don’t think he knew I was a blogger. He said something about the Constitution, tried to pick on the young student (who held her own), and when I asked him to tell us more about himself, he said he was going inside.
After a few minutes, we decided that the attendance would not be much more and headed across the parking lot to leave. Two people wearing name tags, presumably hotel staff, hailed us from across the parking lot. We couldn’t hear, so the three of us walked back across the asphalt to talk. They asked what we were doing there. I said we were protesting the AFP event, but were finished. Apparently someone had made an issue of our protest inside. Like many things with the Republicans, they catch on… too little, too late.
~ Paul Deaton is an occasional contributor to Blog for Iowa.
Candor alert: Whether it’s TV, radio or print, the media are controlled by a handful of really rich white guys. I know it, you know it, and Wall Street knows it. Some outlets are a little more “fair and balanced” than others, but being part and parcel of Wall Street, the media’s overriding priority is to slobber big wet kisses on the profits-first agenda of Corporate America.
And they’re doing a bang-up job. In the case of radio, extreme-right voices now outnumber liberal and moderate voices 12 to 1! The disparity between nationally syndicated shows and local programs is just as pronounced.
I need your help as we continue to work to change this!
The past 2 1/2 years have seen great progress. When the Fallon Forum first aired in September of 2009, 98.3 FM’s 7:00-8:00 pm time slot had 1,500 listeners. By offering diverse topics with engaging guests, and by striving to treat all perspectives with civility and fairness, the audience grew to 6,000 listeners per show.
Switching to an online format has been challenging. Yet it also presents new opportunities, and during our first month the show’s audience reached over 20,000 – comparable to where we started in 2009.
My goal is to expand the program’s ability to further impact Iowa politics and public policy – through online broadcasts, community-owned radio stations, and a growing social media network. I want to help jump-start other promising local talk-show hosts, too. And wherever you fall on the political spectrum, I’ll continue to give YOU a chance to be heard (and please, send me YOUR on issues we should talk about, too).
So, while the Fallon Forum takes a week off from live broadcasts, I ask you in the strongest possible terms to go to our website and pledge your financial support. Please consider $25 per month, using either Pay Pal or Dwolla. And if you own a business, run a non-profit, or are organizing an event, respond to this message and let’s talk about collaborating on promotion.
So, join the conversation online from 12:00 noon-1:00 pm, Monday-Friday. You can hear the show live on my website. I would love to have a veritable truckload of listeners call-in to join the conversation at 244-0077. And of course, there will be podcasts if you miss a show.
Thanks! — Ed
The three recipients were simply doing their job as they saw fit. As judges, they simply made a fair and impartial judgment concerning the application of equality to all. But the case which earned them the award was the infamous Varney v. Brien case concerning the rights of gay citizens to marry their partners. A unanimous Iowa Supreme Court agreed that marriage should be available to all citizens.
Chief Justice Marsha Thurness (pictured above), Justices David Baker and Michael Streit were then run from office by voters in the next election for their part in the decision. They paid for doing their job right by being thrown out of office.
A heartfelt congratulations to Justices Thurness, Baker and Streit on their selection for this prestigious award. And thanks for your courage.