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June 2015
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How Iowa Pays For Big Money In Politics

AlecBillionaires are drowning out the voices of Iowans.   Iowa Pays the Price supports increasing transparency in campaign finance and accountability for those who break the rules.  Check out


“That Family Doesn’t Matter” – Life Next to A Hog Confinement

Factory farms poisoning Iowa“I didn’t even put in my garden this year.”

You will need ear buds or headphones to listen to this video but it is incredible what you will hear.

This woman describes stink so bad they can’t go outside, but also large clusters of flies on her window sills and being covered with welts from fly bites, a dumpster in one of the driveways piled with dead animals…”you can see carcasses coming out the top.”

Iowa allows this.


Iowa Republicans Attempt To Dismantle Public Schools; Democrats Try To Stop Them


On the Iowa Senate Democrats website: 

The Legislature closed out the 2015 session with Senate Democrats opting to end five months of gridlock on school funding. The goal of the compromise is to maintain educational opportunities and boost student achievement.

The final agreement provides an additional $156 million for the 2015-16 school year. The compromise includes a 1.25 percent increase in basic aid for our local schools as well as an extra $56 million in one-time funding for Iowa schools this fall.

The attention now turns to Governor Terry Branstad, who must sign this funding or veto the compromise. A veto would result in larger class sizes, fewer course offerings and extracurricular activities, and higher property taxes. Please contact the Governor, and ask him to sign into law the school funding approved by the Legislature in Senate File 510 and House File 666. You can e-mail him by going to or call his office at 515-281-5211.

After several lean years, Iowa’s improving economy makes it possible to do more for our students and schools. The state has nearly $1 billion in savings, but as support for our public schools has become divided along party lines, Iowa’s investment has dropped to $1,600 less per student than the national average.

In addition to ensuring our K-12 schools can make ends meet this fall, we also voted this year for:

• Continuing a teacher leadership effort that is bringing the best techniques to more classrooms.

• Affordable tuition, job training and skilled workforce initiatives at our community colleges.

• An increase for our state universities that should allow them to continue their tuition freeze.

• Need-based financial aid to help Iowans attend our private colleges.

As we set our sights on funding for the 2016-17 school year, Senate Democrats will continue to work with parents, teachers, community leaders and students to make the case for investing more in educational opportunities that help Iowans of all ages build a successful future.

Why The GOP Is Losing Voters

Upcoming Bernie Sanders Events

Things I love to hear

Find an event near you and RSVP at

Friday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Town Meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders
Drake University, Sheslow Auditorium
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines

Saturday, June 13 at 3:00 p.m.
Town Meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders
UAW Local 893
411 Iowa Avenue West

Saturday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. (Bernie speaks at 7:00 p.m.)
Hawkeye Labor Council AFL-CIO Steak Fry
IBEW Local 405 Hall
1211 Wiley Boulevard S.W.
Cedar Rapids
Tickets for the dinner are $25 and can be purchased by contacting Rick Moyle at or by calling him at 319-396-8461. RSVP is required.

Sunday, June 14 at 12:00 p.m.
Town Meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders
Waterloo Center for the Arts, Hope Martin Theatre
225 Commercial Street

Sunday, June 14 at 2:30 p.m.
Flag Day Town Meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders
Bill Riley Bandshell Estes Park
Iowa Falls
(RAIN SITE: Iowa Falls – Alden High School Auditorium)

Sunday, June 14 at 4:00 p.m. (Bernie speaks at 5:30 p.m.)
Warren County Democrats 12th Annual Summer Picnic
Veterans Memorial Park
Corner of G Street and West Euclid Avenue
Free will offering requested

To RSVP for an event go go

The Hillary We Hope To See On The Campaign Trail

Hillary the riveterThis video illuminates the reasons why conservatives do not like the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She is strong and tough and not afraid to stand up for women. She’s not going to be just sitting around baking cookies (not that there’s anything wrong with that). is a “strategic research and rapid response team designed to defend Hillary Clinton from right-wing, baseless attacks” of which there have been and will continue to be many.   I believe that the regular and liberal media go out of their way to be fair to conservative women who support the status quo, so Hillary Clinton should be given no less consideration.


Ed Fallon And Governor Branstad Achieve Common Ground


Dear Friends,

Last month, when I asked Governor Branstad to meet with me to discuss the Bakken Oil Pipeline and the eminent domain bill, I believed that – historically at least – we had two things in common: (1) Criticism of Big Oil, and (2) Support for property rights and limiting the power of eminent domain.

Well, on Sunday, the Governor and I achieved a new milestone in common ground: We both received a thistle from The Des Moines Register. I’ll let the Governor fight his own thistle-battle. Regarding mine, the Register accuses me of wanting to “punish all politicians who don’t agree with {my} crusade against an oil pipeline.”

Not true. I’m smarter than that, as the Register concedes (“Fallon is a smart fellow”). I don’t want to punish all politicians who disagree with me on the pipeline. I just want to send enough packing to change the political dynamic at the Statehouse, to let elected leaders know that people are tired of being taken for granted.

And it’s not just me that feels this way. Two days after the announcement of the campaign to target a few key lawmakers, $4,500 in unsolicited donations was pledged to the effort!

The goal is very strategic: defeat one or two majority party members in both the House and Senate. That would send a strong message to leaders in both parties that if they refuse to do what’s right for Iowa’s people, our land and our planet there will be political consequences. (Read the full statement and tell me if you agree.)

If this strategy works and forces politicians to take more seriously the will of the people on eminent domain, it sets a precedent that they’d better take us seriously on other key issues as well.

The Register also says that the eminent domain bill in question would “make it next to impossible for pipeline companies to secure needed right of way.” It’s hard to see how they came to that conclusion. Sure, a lot of us want a bill that does just that. But this bill is a compromise. It sets a higher bar and creates a more level playing field, giving landowners some protections and a fighting chance against the power of a corporation owned by one of America’s richest tycoons.

The Register also says I should “{know} better than to judge politicians on a single issue.” Constituency and advocacy groups target resources in political campaigns based on a single issue all the time. And if an issue is important enough, there’s no reason it should not be the litmus test for whether or not a politician deserves reelection.

What truly boggles the mind is that in the very same section of Sunday’s paper, the Register talks about the importance of America “reducing its reliance on coal and oil that contribute to climate change.” What a disconnect! Now, The Register is a smart fellow. It seems to understand the urgency of the climate crisis. Yet it supports building an oil pipeline? Go figure.

Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines)   Or you can listen online.  Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122.  Podcasts available after the show. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.

The Corporation

Hidden Knowledge: Corporations; how they came into being, how they have changed, how they are run and how they are the key to the erosion of society, erosion to the rights and lifestyles of people.


Donald Kaul’s Guide To The 2016 GOP Candidates

donald kaul

Your Guide to the 2016 GOP Candidates

Here’s how to tell them apart.

By Donald Kaul

The Republicans have a big problem. Their presidential primary contest is beginning to resemble the New York marathon — hordes of contestants as far as the eye can see.

How is a voter expected to choose among them, particularly since virtually all say pretty much the same thing?

To name a few examples, the entire gang of 15 or more politicians wants to cut taxes, roll back the Affordable Care Act, ban abortion, crack down on undocumented immigration, keep gun laws weak, and do nothing about global warming.

They also uniformly despise Hillary Clinton.

As part of my continuing effort to make the world a better place, here’s a brief analysis of a few top GOP candidates. I hope it helps you tell them apart.

Jeb Bush: The former governor of Florida and latest member of the Bush dynasty angling to occupy the White House is the nice-guy conservative of the bunch.

He’s no less conservative than the others, mind you — except for the suspicion that he’s soft on immigrants because his wife grew up in Mexico — but an iron fist in a velvet glove nevertheless. Jimmy Stewart would play him in the movie, if there were a movie and if Jimmy Stewart were still around.

Carly Fiorina: The former CEO of Hewlett Packard is easily spotted since she’s only woman seeking the Republican nomination.

She’s a failed corporate executive who thinks she’s the perfect answer for voters who’d like to vote for a woman but can’t stand Hillary. Maybe.

Rand Paul: The senator from Kentucky passes for this gang’s anti-war candidate. Even if Paul did sign that silly GOP letter that tried to sabotage nuclear talks with Iran, he’s still way, way out to the left of mainstream Republicans, who are nothing if not bellicose.

Paul also has other libertarian-based ideas that make him an odd goose in this company of ducks — especially his opposition to the NSA spying on us all.

Lindsey Graham: The senator from Mars — I mean, South Carolina — has yet to meet an international problem that he doesn’t think U.S. troops can fix. I get the feeling that he’d bomb Canada if he got the chance.

Marco Rubio: The senator from Florida is the closest thing to John F. Kennedy the Republicans have had in years.

He’s young, he’s good looking, and he gives a good speech. He gets a lot of mileage from how hard his parents, Cuban immigrants, had it when he was growing up. He’d be the ideal vice president for Bush if they didn’t both hail from the same state.

Ben Carson: As the only African-American contender, he’s as easy to pick out in this crowd as Fiorina. He’s a brilliant brain surgeon, and a rip-roaring speaker prone to saying some strange things.

Ted Cruz: As the leader of the Senate’s does-not-play-well-with-others caucus, it’s unclear how he would forge requisite alliances with Congress if he were elected. He sees his function as being the sand in the gears of government. People who love him, love him a lot. To the rest of us, he’s Darth Vader.

Chris Christie: The New Jersey governor is Tony Soprano on the hoof. If a blustering bully is your idea of a national leader, he’s your man.

Scott Walker: The Wisconsin governor is the one wearing a little label on his lapel that says: “If found, return to the Kochs.” His viability as a candidate depends on whether he remains the billionaire brothers’ favorite.

Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor did quite well in his failed 2008 presidential bid as the pick of the religious right, which dominates the Iowa GOP caucuses.

This growing flock also includes the following sure-to-lose politicians: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, Ohio governor John Kasich, businessman Donald Trump, former Texas governor Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum.

Remember Santorum? The former senator from Pennsylvania and father of seven kids is the biggest zealot and easily the least likable guy in the race. If he wins, expect a mass exodus to Canada.

OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Grassley Causes Judicial Emergency

not working for most Iowans

not working for most Iowans

Action Alert from Progress Iowa:

For the past six months, Senator Grassley has refused to schedule a nomination hearing for Judge Felipe Restrepo in the Judiciary Committee. He is obstructing the Restrepo nomination despite the Judge’s extensive qualifications, past support in the U.S. Senate, and despite the support he has received from his home-state Senators – one Republican, one Democrat.

Judge Restrepo’s vacancy has now been declared a state of ‘judicial emergency’ — with people needlessly awaiting their day in court because of Senator Grassley’s obstruction.

Senator Grassley promised not to play politics with our courts when taking over chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee; it’s time for him to live up to that promise.

Will you call today and ask Senator Grassley to stop obstructing the Restrepo nomination?

Thanks for all you do,
Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

P.S. Sen. Grassley doesn’t get it, that justice delayed is justice denied. Tell him to stop obstructing the Restrepo nomination today.