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Is Iowa On The Brink Of An Education Crisis?

Iowa Capitol

Iowa Capitol

Action alert from Progress Iowa:

The caucuses are over, but the legislature is still in session, and there’s a lot of work left to be done.

With the help of Public Policy Polling, we recently surveyed Iowans across the state, and the results were clear:


We need your help, let your state lawmakers know they cannot run from this important issue and that our children deserve better funding.

Below is a list of upcoming legislative forums. Please attend a forum near you and tell GOP lawmakers to support at least a 4% increase in education funding!



Representative Linda Miller-District 94
Devil’s Glen Hy-Vee
2900 Devils Glen Rd, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Senator Dan Zumbach-District 48
CLICK HERE to TWEET @DanZumbach to fund education today!
Delaware County Farm Bureau
115 E Delaware St, Manchester, IA 52057

Senator Randy Feenstra-District 2
CLICK HERE to TWEET @RandyFeenstra to fund education today!
Danny’s Sports Spot
1013 S 2nd St, Cherokee, IA 51012


Senator Tim Kapucian-District 20
First Presbyterian Church
1025 5th Ave, Grinnell 50112

Farm Bureau Office
212 W State St.
Williamsburg, IA 52361

Keystone Library
93 Main St. Keystone, IA 52249

Representative Ralph Watts-District 19
Redfield American Legion
612 N Main St. Redfield, IA 50233

Representative Sandy Salmon-District 53
Community Room
723 Main St. Plainfield, IA 50666

Senator Ken Rozenboom-District 40 and Representative Tedd Gassman-District 7
Bridge View Center
102 Church St, Ottumwa, IA 52501

Senator Tom Shipley-District 11
Cumberland Fire Station
216 Main St. Cumberland, IA 50843

Representative Zach Nunn-District 30
CLICK HERE to TWEET @FriendsforZach to fund education today!
Hy-Vee Club Room
108 8th St. SW Altoona, IA 50009

Senator Mark Segebart-District 60 and Representative Brian Best-District 12
Carroll Dental Associates
1406 US-71, Carroll, IA 51401

Representative Sandy Salmon-District 63
Community Room
113 3rd St. Frederika, IA 50631

Why We Should Say Yes To DC Statehood

And now for a refreshing change of topic!


Dave Loebsack Introduces Legislation To Reunite Deported Pastor And Family

Pastor Max and family

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – There’s a new push to bring Pastor Max Villatoro back to the United States – a bill in Washington, D.C.

Thursday U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack announced the bill “For the relief of Max Villatoro.” The bill would allow Villatoro to be issued “an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.”

Rep. Loebsack is with Iowa’s Second District which encompasses Iowa City. That’s where Villatoro lived for many years.

Villatoro was the pastor at First Mennonite Church of Iowa City. He was deported to his native country of Honduras in March 2015. It was part of a national sweep of more than 2,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions.

Federal paperwork showed Villatoro illegally migrated to the U.S. in 1995. He then pleaded guilty in 1999 to drunken driving and tampering with records charges. In 2006, Homeland Security pursued deportation.  Villatoro was arrested by immigration officials on his way to work March 3, 2015.

Since 1999, Villatoro married, had four kids and became a Mennonite pastor in Iowa City.

Villatoro’s impending deportation sparked several protests in Iowa City.  Protestors said his case showed a flaw in the immigration system. They even delivered petitions to the Omaha Immigrations and Customs Enforcement offices calling for his release.

The Iowa City Federation of Labor passed a resolution Thursday commending Congressman Loebsack for sponsoring the bill.

Federation president Jesse Case said “Max contributed greatly to the local community, his church and his family. Ripping him from his family and community was wrong and it’s a breath of fresh air to have Congressman Loebsack work to keep the plight of Max alive and work for his return.”

At, Gabe Ortiz writes: “As beloved faith leader in his Iowa City community for two decades, Pastor Max should not have been considered a high priority for removal under the immigration enforcement policies outlined in a November 2014 memo from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Johnson.

(click here to read more)

Iowa Democrats Should Be Proud Today

democrats hillary and bernieStatement from IDP Chair on Tonight’s Historically Close Caucus Results

More Than 170,000 Iowa Democrats Come Out to Support Our Outstanding, Pro-Middle Class Candidates

DES MOINES—IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire released the following statement on tonight’s 2016 Iowa Democratic Precinct Caucuses:

“Tonight we saw an historically close Iowa Democratic Caucus that featured one of our strongest turnouts ever and passion and energy from Democrats all across our state.

“After a year where Iowans took the time to see candidates, ask them thoughtful questions, and became volunteers and leaders themselves, tonight 171,109 Iowa Democrats came together with their neighbors to engage in a spirited discussion on the future of our country. We saw passionate, engaged Iowans turn out in all 99 counties, and for the first time ever, the IDP ran both a Tele-Caucus and satellite caucus locations, fulfilling our promise to expand participation and improve on an already incredible process.

“The results tonight are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history. Hillary Clinton has been awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents, Bernie Sanders has been awarded 695.49 state delegate equivalents, Martin O’Malley has been awarded 7.68 state delegate equivalents and uncommitted has been awarded .46 state delegate equivalents. We still have outstanding results in one precinct (Des Moines—42), which is worth 2.28 state delegate equivalents. We will report that final precinct when we have confirmed those results with the chair.

“I want to congratulate all of our candidates for running terrific campaigns and thank them for taking the time to travel across our great state to share their visions for the country. In particular, I want to thank Governor Martin O’Malley for the time he devoted to meeting with Iowans and for sharing his vision of continued progress all across our state. His distinguished record as a mayor and governor as well as his plans for continued progress inspired the people of our state, and I look forward to his continued service to the nation and our working families.

“Finally, I want to thank the thousands of volunteers who helped run our precinct caucus locations all across the state. And most of all, I want to thank all of the Iowa Democrats who came out tonight to caucus and make their voice heard.”

Caucusing: As Easy As Voting, Just Takes Longer And Is Way More Fun


Democrats, progressives, here is your to-do list for today:

  1. Find my caucus location.
  2. Go to my caucus.

That is all.  Go to your caucus. Your caucus is in your neighborhood so weather should not deter you. You may register to vote at your caucus. You don’t have to do any math. Someone else will do the math.  You don’t have to answer any questions. You don’t even have to speak. Just show up and vote.  Thank you and Democracy thanks you.

Click here to find your caucus location:


For more info., caucus start times and Q & A, go to

Official start time is 7:00 but you should arrive early for sign-in.


Democrats Lay Out Agenda For 2016 Legislative Session

Gronstal: “There is no net to the general fund. That is the fiction they’ve created.”

Children Should Not Have Guns

iowans-guns-web-version-jpeg300X300Why do we even have to say this stuff? 

Below is an action alert from Iowans for Gun Safety. The bill mentioned here appears to be sponsored by Matt Windschitl (R) who also helped pass it out of subcommittee and whose family happens to own a gun store in Missouri Valley.  Windschitl introduced “Stand Your Ground” legislation in 2013 based on a model bill originally promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  In 2014, Windschitl  wanted silencers:   “Another bill I am working on is to allow Iowans the opportunity to own a firearm suppressor,” said Rep. Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) in a newsletter. “As I have said before, law abiding citizens are just that, law abiding. We should be allowing Iowans to exercise their rights to the greatest degree possible and not be imposing burdensome restrictions on their Constitutional rights.”   Or burdensome restrictions on the ability to profit from the sale of guns and gun accessories?

HR 2042 would allow a child of any age to possess a pistol or revolver under direct supervision of a parent or guardian.  Watch the Iowa legislature for more great Republican ideas on how to get more guns into the hands of more people.

Please contact your state representative to oppose HF 2042, Kids under 14 handling guns. View the bill at

The proponents of this bill refer to it as a “gun safety” bill, but Iowans for Gun Safety sees it as opening up many dangers. Our argument against it is that children do not have sufficient judgment to understand the permanent consequences of misuse of guns. Children are the most frequent victims of gun accidents. This is true for children from 2-5 who may find a gun in the home and not understand the difference between a toy and a real gun. It is also true for children 12-14, who may want to show off a gun they found in the home and fire it in the process, killing or injuring a friend.

We also think a common sense approach to guns includes other principles, such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, violated when a gun is used to take a life, intentionally or accidentally. Common sense also needs to balance parental rights with public rights. The good of the community needs to be taken into account in gun laws. As the community includes people with many different approaches to parental rights and responsibilities, the law needs to take the broadest approach to safety and health.

To contact your legislator, click here.

Iowans for Gun Safety


Democratic Candidate Supporters Unite Against GOP

Iowa-Dem-Caucus-Logo_FDES MOINES—Before the Republican presidential candidates take the debate stage Thursday night for another display of failed policies and school-yard name calling, IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire and supporters from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders will stand united against the hate and division of the Republican field during a press conferences tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27, at 1:45 p.m. CST in the State Capitol.

As the three Democratic candidates demonstrated Monday night during the CNN/IDP/Drake Town Hall, all of our candidates are committed to addressing the issues that matter to working Iowa families and to building an economy where all Iowans have the chance to succeed. Our candidates showed that we can have spirited disagreements without resorting to name-calling, fear-mongering, and hateful rhetoric.

Press Conference: Clinton, O’Malley & Sanders Supporters Stand United Against GOP Field

Who: IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire, supporters from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders

When: Wednesday, January 27; 1:45 p.m. CST

Where: State Capitol, Room. 116

How: RSVP To

We Need To Overturn Branstad Education Veto


During the 2015 legislative session, Iowa lawmakers agreed to give Iowa schools $56 million in urgently needed funding. Iowa school leaders say this will help prevent larger class sizes, fewer teachers, and higher property taxes.

On July 2nd, Governor Terry Branstad vetoed this school funding compromise.

A special session of the Iowa Legislature is the only way to overturn this veto and help our local schools. For a special session to occur, two-thirds of Iowa lawmakers (67 in the House/34 in the Senate) must formally request one.

Sign this petition to encourage your state representative and state senator to join the call for a special session.

change petition

Letter to
Members of the Iowa Legislature
Call for a special session to restore school funding

You know what to do.

Ernst Characterizes Environmental Protection Agency As “Unelected Bureaucrats”

joni ernst the perfect Koch investmentThis article make it clear that our U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, has no interest in working to clean up Iowa’s water.  She and her fellow GOP cronies are more worried about power and posturing. Following President Obama’s veto of her proposal to block new federal regulations to protect our drinking water, she said the new rule is “complex, burdensome and overreaching” and  “this rule is not about clean water. Rather, it is about how much authority the federal government and unelected bureaucrats should have to regulate what is done on private land.” 

No Senator Ernst, the rule is in fact about clean water.  And yes, if someone is poisoning the water supply, I want my government to do something about it.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Joni Ernst, stymied by a presidential veto, said she would explore other ways to stop a White House rule regulating small bodies of water that she says will hurt Iowa and other states.

Late Tuesday, President Barack Obama vetoed a congressional resolution that Ernst sponsored in the Senate and would have blocked the new federal “waters of the United States” regulations.

Obama told members of Congress the new rule “is critical to our efforts to protect the nation’s waters and keep them clean.” The president said he could not support Ernst’s resolution because it blocks progress and denies businesses and communities “the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water.”

Ernst said the rule is “complex, burdensome and overreaching” and she would look for other ways to scrap it. She did not outline what other options are available.

“We all want clean water — that is not disputable,” Ernst said. “However, this rule is not about clean water. Rather, it is about how much authority the federal government and unelected bureaucrats should have to regulate what is done on private land.”

The Iowa Republican said the rule gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate water on 97 percent of land in Iowa, which could threaten the livelihood of people across the state.

Republicans and farm groups have said the rule gives the government too much power to regulate their land and potentially subject ditches, stream beds and self-made ponds to new oversight. Farmers worry they would have to pay for costly environmental assessments and apply for more permits.

The administration has said the Clean Water Rule is needed to clarify the Clean Water Act by specifying the types of bodies of water regulated by the 1972 measure.

Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, said a veto was the right decision to protect the nation’s waterways.”Every American who hunts, fishes, swims or kayaks — or who just wants to drink clean water from the tap — will benefit from this rule,” he said.