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April 2014
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Public Realizing Privatization Is GOP Scam

Backlash Against Privatization Is Growing in States and Cities Across the US (via Moyers & Company)

The privatization of public services was always driven by an underlying ideological hostility toward government, but it wasn’t sold as such. Rather, privatization was supposed to yield huge, tangible benefits for the public. The ostensible efficiency…

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Sen. Hogg: Branstad Scandal Update

Video about 8 minutes long.  4/23/14

Iowa Governor’s Race Now A Statistical Tie Due To Branstad Scandals

Gov. Branstad, founding member of ALEC

Gov. Branstad, founding member of ALEC

Ed Fallon is continuing to broadcast his radio show the Fallon Forum while on the Great March for Climate Action.

Popular wisdom has it that Governor Branstad’s armor is so thick it can’t be damaged by one lousy scandal. But what about a whole pile of lousy scandals? A poll released yesterday by PPP and commissioned by Progress Iowa spells big trouble for Branstad, with State Senator Jack Hatch polling a mere 5 points behind the 5-term governor.

More important, when poll respondents were asked about the recent scandals, Hatch trails by only one point. One point!

In other words, the Iowa governor’s race is a statistical tie!

That’s unprecedented. Branstad has been unbeatable in the past. He has always polled well ahead of his Democratic challengers. For Hatch to be this close six months before the election moves the race for Governor into a more prominent position in the national spotlight. It gives Hatch more credibility. It brings in new allies. And it will most certainly attract donations from individuals and causes favorable to the environment, campaign finance reform, health care reform and government accountability.

Whatever you thought about the Terry Branstad of the 1980s and 1990s, this millennium’s Branstad has taken political dysfunction and denial to new levels. Pundits who once thought Jack Hatch was either a sacrificial lamb or a long shot are having to rethink that viewpoint. With the legislative session about to end and Hatch free to bring his message of a fresh approach to governance to Iowans across the state, I’d say Branstad is in big trouble. This poll bears that out.

This week, we’ll talk about politics, issues and give you updates on the Great March for Climate Action on the Fallon Forum. Join the conversation live Monday-Thursday from 6:00-6:30 pm. Listen and watch online at Call-in at (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. Podcasts available after the program. And catch the Fallon Forum Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) from 4:00-5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Thanks! – Ed

Climate March Supports “Reject and Protect”

Climate March Supports “Reject and Protect” with a 5-Day Week Of Actions

Tuesday:   Send a video to why you oppose Keystone XL Pipeline.
Wednesday: Sign Credo’s Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance.
Thursday:  Write a letter urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Friday:  Day of Silence
Saturday: Day of Fasting. action in Washington, DC

Every Day Should Be Earth Day

earth day 1970 According to, every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day.  That fact in itself is cause for hope.

But it is tempting to be cynical because we’ve been having Earth Days since 1970.  When Earth Day started, it signified the beginning of a mass environmental consciousness, a wonderful, hopeful new awakening!  You would think something repeated for 44 years would have improved conditions, educated and enlightened people, resulted in positive change, but that hasn’t really happened.  People have become more informed about environmental issues, but things have still gotten worse.

Earth Day should not be like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretaries Day, Boss’s Day, etc.  A day set aside to make us all feel like we’re doing the right thing. Then when the day is over most of us move on and forget about it.  Unlike other (fill-in-the-blank) days, the point of Earth Day is to actually do something, not to merely acknowledge.

Truly, we need more than an annual Earth Day. We should have an Earth Year or an Earth Decade or two where every day is dedicated to repairing and making amends to our abused planet. Perhaps this Earth Day will be the one that marks the environmental tipping point.

For some, like CCI members, every day is Earth Day because they are fighting every day for Iowa’s environment.

So in the spirit of doing something meaningful on Earth Day, the one day every year that we are all designated environmentalists, why not take an action that could help?    There is a fight going on right now for something as basic as clean water.  Let’s try to win this fight.

CCI Action Alert:

Have you taken action for clean water?

We are a few days into our 28-day Clean Water Fight public comment period and we need your help to demand a stronger rule to protect our water.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been hit with 200 comments. Let’s double that number for Earth Day!

Today, people will be celebrating our planet. What better reason to lift up the need for clean water in our own backyard.

Help us get 200 more comments into the DNR for Earth Day!

Make your voice heard. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION

Let’s make Earth Day count and let the DNR know we care about our water.

They dump it. You drink it. We won’t rest until they clean it up!

Thank you for being a part of the Clean Water Fight.


Earth Day: The History of a Movement

Howard Dean Is Right

DFA10_GillibrandWe don’t normally post every e-mail that comes around from DFA. But we’re making an exception during the month of April because as you know, it is the 10-year anniversary of Democracy for America, the grassroots organization that grew out of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and also the tenth anniversary of Blog for Iowa, one of the original blogs of the state DFA chapters. 

One of the best things that DFA does is something called the “Dean Dozen.” These are progressive candidates for office that the organization has selected to throw its weight behind.  President Obama was one of the original “Dean Dozen” candidates. Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Kirsten Gillibrand are also on the list.

Here is Kirsten Gillibrand’s inspirational story.

When I heard Democracy for America was turning 10 years old, I couldn’t wait to reach out to celebrate with all of you. After all, DFA’s story is, in so many ways, my story too.

When I first ran for Congress in 2006, I was trying to do the impossible: to unseat a four-term Republican incumbent in a district that Republicans had owned for all but 4 years since 1913. A local group of amazing Dean-inspired activists won me DFA’s endorsement that year, and their hard work on the ground helped send me to the House of Representatives, which set me up to join the Senate in 2009.

Since then, DFA has been a reliable partner of mine on so many important issues. During the battle for health care reform in 2010, when I urged Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a public option a reality, DFA members secured support for the move from 119 House members. And when the Senate looked poised to unfairly jack up student loan rates, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and I worked with DFA to collect 35,423 signatures in support of keeping student loan interest rates low — a move that helped pressure Congress into keeping the rates from doubling.

I love working with DFA because through the years, they’ve proven that their members can move Congress on issues that matter. On this milestone anniversary, let’s show DFA how much their passionate advocacy has meant to us: Please give DFA a $10 birthday gift today — one dollar for every year they’ve fought for progressive change.

Of all of the fights DFA and I have shared, none demonstrates our ability to change the world together in real, tangible ways better than the quest for gay rights. The year I took office, the backlash against the marriage equality movement was in full swing. States across the country were rushing to pass same-sex marriage bans — and 18 of them had succeeded. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was upheld in federal courts 5 times, guaranteeing continued discrimination against LGBT Americans by our armed forces.

Fast forward to 2009. While the battles over marriage in the states raged on, I had become a leading advocate for repealing DADT in Congress — and DFA was right there with me. While I worked to find the votes for repeal in the Senate, Gov. Howard Dean and DFA members petitioned President Obama to act to end the unfair policy. And when the Administration stepped in to clear the way for a repeal vote in 2010, DFA went to work building pressure on vulnerable members of Congress and helping us secure a victory.

Next up, the Defense of Marriage Act. While the tide against marriage was starting to turn in the states, DOMA was still preventing completely legal same-sex marriages from being recognized by the federal government. I turned to DFA, and together we ran a campaign to increase awareness of the effects of DOMA and to build support for a complete repeal. More than 40,000 DFA members signed our petition. It was an amazing demonstration of the momentum marriage equality was gaining nationally — momentum that would soon lead to DOMA being overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.

Today, it is a different world for LGBT Americans than it was when I was elected. The military now welcomes soldiers regardless of their sexual orientation. Seventeen states and counting have legalized same-sex marriage. More Americans now support gay marriage than oppose it — and the momentum for equality is showing no signs of slowing down.

This is what true progressive change looks like. And every step of the way, DFA has been instrumental in making that change happen. Howard Dean is right: together, we really are unstoppable.

Join me in thanking DFA for 10 years of making a difference by donating $10 — one dollar for each game-changing year — to support DFA’s important work in the decade to come.

Thank you for being a part of this incredible progressive team,

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Donate today

Move To Amend’s Barnstorming Tour Coming To Iowa City

On Thursday April 17, David Cobb will be making a stop in Iowa City as part of Move To Amend’s spring barnstorming tour.

The event will be at noon at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A.  This event will be open to the public, and is especially intended to give elected officials and others interested in the legislative process an opportunity to meet David Cobb, hear about Move To Amend’s work and progress around the country, and hear a summary of what has developed in Iowa’s legislature and several cities and towns.  We think this will be a great opportunity to hear about Move To Amend’s work and for Move To Amend to learn about what is developing in Iowa.

If you plan to attend, an RSVP would be helpful, so we know how much pizza we should order, but definitely not needed:  we’d like anyone interested to stop in!

Move to Amend is the organization that originated the drive for a constitutional amendment to address out-of-control corporate spending and influence in our elections – the result of the US Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” ruling among others.  The organization is working for the adoption of an amendment that will clarify that corporations are not people; and money is not speech.

The goal of Move to Amend’s Barnstorming Tours is to educate, inspire action, and assist local organizers with Move to Amend affiliate groups.

Originally from Houston, Texas, David Cobb began his legal  career after working as a waiter and shrimper.  He has worked with the Project on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD), the Sierra Club and, more recently, with Move To Amend as one of their chief speakers and educators.  As part of his commitment to democracy and human rights, he also works with a team facilitating anti-racism workshops throughout the country.

For more information about Move To Amend:

Can’t We Just Say The Branstad Administration Is Corrupt?

branstadIt’s not mismanagement. It’s not incompetence.  It’s corruption.  Iowans need to wise up about Governor Branstad.

Listen to Senator Hogg explain how things are.

“Why is the Assistant Director of the Iowa law Enforcement Academy, Mike Quinn, who has committed and and been confirmed to have committed repeated sexual harassment, and threatened to slit the throat of a female worker who exposed it, why is he still working at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy?  …Why have you done nothing, Governor?”  

This and more:  Watch.

Branstad Using Religion To Get Votes

This is just plain weird.

How The Money & Media Complex Is Sabotaging Our Elections