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List Of Iowa Legislators Supporting Monica Vernon For Congress

monica vernonCEDAR RAPIDS – Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tempore Monica Vernon today announced over a dozen endorsements of leaders across the state in her bid for congress in Iowa’s First Congressional District.

Below is the complete list of leaders who are endorsing Monica Vernon today:

State Senator and President of the Senate Pam Jochum
State Senator Liz Mathis
State Senator Rob Hogg
State Senator Bill Dotzler
State Senator Joe Bolkcom
State Senator Bob Dvorsky
State Senator Rich Taylor
Former State Senator Jack Hatch
State Representative Art Staed
State Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt
State Representative Liz Bennett
State Representative Timi Brown-Powers
State Representative Vicki Lensing
State Representative Mary Mascher
State Representative Sally Stutsman

For more information, go to

Monica Vernon Announces 2016 Congressional Run


Loebsack Statement On HR 37

dave loebsack updated“I strongly support the Volker rule and agree that we must work so that it remains as strong as possible. However, included in the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act, HR 37, was a fix to Dodd-Frank that had an economic impact on farmers and rural Iowans and supported the future of Iowa’s rural economy. I therefore held my nose and supported the first version of HR 37. Since then, I urged the agriculture focused provisions to be decoupled from the provisions weakening the Volker rule. Recently, the agriculture provisions were fixed and I no longer support HR 37. Yesterday, [Wednesday] when the most recent vote on HR 37 occurred, I was traveling with President Obama in Cedar Falls, had I cast a vote, I would have voted against this legislation.”

Climate Marchers Heading To The White House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAExciting news for climate change marchers from Ed Fallon:

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, January 28th at 10:00 a.m., twelve participants of the Great March for Climate Action will arrive at the White House for a meeting with Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change and Rohan Patel, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Marchers traveling to Washington, DC for the meeting come from ten states. They will share with Mr. Utech and Mr. Patel their experiences throughout the eight-month, 3,000-mile journey from Los Angeles to Washington, DC last year. Marchers want to thank President Obama and his administration for their leadership on climate change, including the President’s promised veto of legislation authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. At the same time, marchers will urge the President’s staff in the strongest possible way to take bolder action, and to take it sooner rather than later.

“We experienced things most people can’t even imagine,” said Ed Fallon, the March’s founder. “Throughout our journey, we encountered first-hand some of the unprecedented weather climate scientists have predicted. And we met face-to-face people impacted by climate change and people grappling with an expanding fossil fuel infrastructure that is damaging or destroying their land, water and very way of life.”

The participants traveling to the White House are Fallon and Miriam Kashia (Iowa), Steve Martin (Kentucky), Marie Davis (Vermont), Kathe Thompson (Florida), Paul Sherlock (Ohio), Doug Grandt (Nebraska), John Jorgenson (Arizona), Benjamin Bushwick (Maryland), Kat Haber (Alaska), and Kelsey Erickson and Bruce Nayowith (Massachusetts).

Podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum are available here, and include these conversations:

– Lessons for America on Paris terror attack
– Nebraska Supreme Court thwarts justice on Keystone pipeline, with Channing Dutton
– Wanted: Leadership on bio-diesel, with David May
– Change needed in Iowa’s primary election process, with State Senator Brad Zaun
– Bad news for bees, with State Apiarist Andy Joseph

Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM “La Reina.” Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 5:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.

Ed Fallon | | The Fallon Forum | 735 19th St. #1 | Des Moines, IA 50314

President Obama’s Broadband Plan – Full Cedar Falls Speech


Loebsack Statement On President Obama’s Broadband Announcement

dave loebsack updatedCedar Falls, IA – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today as he traveled with President Obama to Cedar Falls for his announcement on his plans to provide more Americans with access to fast and affordable broadband. Loebsack was recently named to the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over broadband issues.

“The future of economic development in Iowa and across the country depends, in large part, on access to the internet and specifically broadband. I have met with many small businesses, farmers, and rural telecommunication companies who have stressed the importance of expanding high speed internet to rural areas. Broadband also gives small and rural schools the power to vastly expand their educational options, providing students with a cutting-edge 21st Century education regardless of geography. Today’s announcement is a necessary step for rural economic development, education, job growth, businesses, farmers, and families

“I was pleased to join President Obama today as he laid out his plan to make sure Iowans and others in rural areas are not left behind. Expanding broadband for all Iowans is critical so that this economic development tool is available for everyone, regardless of where they live.”

What If The Governor Gave A Speech And Nobody Cared?

cat care-o-meter“Vice President Joe Biden often says ‘Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.’ The Governor’s budget is a perfect example of Iowa values not being reflected in a state budget,” said Citizens for a Healthy Iowa Executive Director Mark Langgin.

 “Governor Branstad doesn’t place a high value on investing in our natural resources to protect sources of clean drinking water and water for recreation & industry. There are over 600 impaired rivers, lakes and streams statewide, and source water from Iowa’s largest city contains dangerously high levels of nitrate. We need sustained long-term funding for clean water – and investing less than 25 cents per acre in dedicated water quality money is not enough to protect Iowans health and quality of life.”

Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement In response to the Governor’s remarks, which also failed to mention poverty or minimum wage:

“Governor Branstad failed middle class Iowans today. He refused to even say the words ‘middle class’ while at the same time heaping praise on a number of out of state corporations. The Governor’s priorities are completely out of step with everyday Iowans, who know that the foundation of our economy and our state’s success is a strong and growing middle class.”

“Governor Branstad’s distorted jobs math proves that he has no respect for working Iowans. The Governor inflates the number of jobs created by not counting jobs that have been lost, insulting every Iowan who has lost work during his term in office. An accurate accounting of Iowa’s job growth is less than half as many as the Governor claims.”

“The Governor also refused to bring up a minimum wage increase, or acknowledge the 300,000 workers who would benefit from an increase. Unfortunately, minimum wage workers in Iowa have waited longer than those in any other state for a raise.”

“Governor Branstad’s refusal to mention the middle class, poverty, or minimum wage during his Condition of the State address today was disappointing but not surprising. His failure to prioritize the needs of middle class working families has never been more clear.”

Paul Deaton took a larger, more philosophical view on the Governor’s remarks, so today we give Paul and Plato the last word.

A couple of progressive web commenters complained that Branstad used fallacious job creation numbers and made no mention of “middle class priorities” like increasing the minimum wage. There was a decided lack of interest in the speech, so few were likely listening to the commentators or the governor.

No one is listening. There is a lack of interest in government among a middle class that makes up most of 3.1 million Iowans. If some have their interests, written on a legislative agenda, most do not. The disinterest goes beyond what the 86th Iowa General Assembly does or does not accomplish.

The bubble in which we Americans live is real and is becoming the ridicule of the world. It is as if we took what’s best about our country and locked it up in a strongbox to protect it from those who might steal it. We venture from our borders to loot planetary resources, wage war and assert hegemony where we can. We have become exceptional in these things and our culture is the less for it.

Plaato quote


President Obama Stumping In Cedar Falls Today For The Internet

Watch this preview of the President’s talk:

Something For People Of Faith And No Faith

interfaith alliance[Note from BFIA … Just because you don’t have religion does not mean you have “no faith.”  One can have faith in many things.  But the point is, this event is for everyone!  And that is a good thing.]


A civility project of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa


Rev. SickelkaDavid
Incoming Chairperson, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

January 16, 2015

11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC)
Waveland Hall
4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines

$10 per person (payable at the door)

Rev. David Sickelka, incoming chairperson of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, will lead a discussion on how we will move the progressive voice forward together in our state.  Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is building toward the future with an exciting yet challenging new 3-year Strategic Plan, which addresses areas of Program, Outreach, Communications, Fund Development, and Human Resources.

How can progressive people of faith and no faith across Iowa be part of this movement for change? The discussion will be interactive and informative and we hope you will be part of it!

Reservations must be received by Tuesday, January 13, and may be made at or by calling 515.279.8715. If you make a reservation and are unable to attend, payment for your reservation is appreciated if you do not cancel by the Tuesday deadline.

hearing loopThis venue has a hearing loop and those with telecoils may use them.

Like Crossroads on Facebook!  You can find Crossroads on Facebook. We will have updated info on speakers for the coming months. Reservations will still need to be made by email or phone.

Crossroads is a monthly gathering of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. An opportunity to learn, to participate in civil dialogue, and to discuss issues at the crossroads of religion and politics.

Loebsack On KXL Vote: We Need Comprehensive Jobs Legislation

dave loebsack updated“It is unfortunate that Republicans have refused to move any comprehensive jobs legislation to keep jobs from going overseas. A good first start would be an immediate consideration of a long-term transportation bill so American workers can get back to work and the U.S. economic recovery can be further enhanced.” – Rep. Dave Loebsack

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the House voted on the Keystone Pipeline.

“I have long subscribed to the belief that the best course of action regarding energy policy is to move from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy as quickly and as feasibly as possible. I understand the concerns about the potential impact of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. At the same time, any decision such as the one regarding Keystone is hardly a simple or easy one to make. Environmental concerns are important, but so are other factors.

“In my mind, one of the most important reasons is the infrastructure jobs that will be created due to the construction of the pipeline. I am fully aware of the short-term nature of the 40,000 plus jobs that will be created by this project. But I cast my vote today in favor of creating these jobs that can’t be shipped overseas and for the countless hardworking men and women who put their hard hats on every morning so that they can put food on the table and help their children pay for college. We have seen Wall Street recover, yet working folks across Iowa and America continue to wait their turn. Our focus must continue to be on improving the economy, getting Americans back to work, and moving our country forward. It is unfortunate that Republicans have refused to move any comprehensive jobs legislation to keep jobs from going overseas. A good first start would be an immediate consideration of a long-term transportation bill so American workers can get back to work and the U.S. economic recovery can be further enhanced.

“Additionally, today’s vote marks only the beginning of the work Congress must do on energy policy during the next session and in the years beyond. First, we must do all we can to reduce carbon at its sources and ensure that polluters bear the costs of their action. This can be done by imposing a carbon fee on the pollution emitted by the use of fossil fuels, with the revenue generated returned to households. We also must extend the Production Tax Credit to continue to spur the generation of wind power, extend the Investment Tax Credit to incentivize the development of solar power, and continue other policies to enable the increased use of other renewable forms of energy. These policies will both protect our environment and create hundreds of thousands of jobs across America. These efforts will continue to move our nation on a path that practically and affordably moves us farther from reliance on fossil fuels and towards significantly more use of renewables.”

[Bolding added by BFIA]

Iowa Legislative Session 2015: Democrats Advocate For Kids, Environment, Rural Broadband

Iowa State Capitol

Iowa State Capitol

According to WHO-TV there are several pre-filed bills already waiting  including a bill that would ban phone calls while driving:

“The Department of Public Safety is suggesting legislation to update the texting ban. It would make it illegal for you to use your phone for just about everything while driving — emails, making calls, making video calls, and using the internet.  You would still be able to use GPS and make calls with hands free devices. 

Legislators are also expected to work on the gas tax, bullying, and the state’s budget.”

Not mentioned in the story is what the Iowa Firearms Coalition is thinking:

“On January 12th we begin a new legislative session, and with the NRA and your help we plan to chart new territory. In recent years we’ve had limited success passing pro-2nd Amendment bills. It’s not because those bills lacked strong support. On the contrary, they generally had a huge backing. But one anti-gun legislator, Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids, held a key position in the legislature, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. From there he used procedural measures to block every bill that the Iowa Firearms Coalition and the NRA supported.

This year things are going to be different though. Rob Hogg is no longer the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He’s been replaced by Steve Sodders of State Center. Sodders is a Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy. In recent years he’s supported some of our bills. But he’s also opposed others. Let’s make sure Steve Sodders knows full well that Iowans believe strongly in our 2nd Amendment rights and will fight any attempt to infringe on those rights.”

Gun people and the NRA believe that their right to feel safe by carrying a gun trumps everyone else’s right to actually be safe from gun violence.  Progressives, you too can contact Democrat Steve Sodders and exercise your first amendment right to free speech.  And if you haven’t done so yet, how about we all send a thank-you to Senator Rob Hogg?

Democrats’ legislative agenda:

After three mentions in one article of how they fully intend to cooperate with the GOP (thus defeating the purpose by inadvertantly communicating that they, not the GOP,  are the problem), and placating the media by pretending to agree that we all are begging for “tax relief,” Democrats did reveal a sensible, people and environment-friendly agenda.

“The Democratic legislative agenda includes increasing access to preschool for 4-year-olds, helping Iowa companies land state contracts, and making sure private-sector workers aren’t cheated out of their wages by unscrupulous employers.

The priority list also proposes providing more worker training at community colleges, expanding access to broadband services for Iowans in rural and underserved areas; and encouraging the production and use of renewable energy, such as biofuels, wind and solar.”   Des Moines Register

Thank you Iowa Democrats for sane ideas. Now please work on better messaging and better framing of the issues.

Good luck in 2015!