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Author Archive

Focus On Iowa: Jim Mowrer For Congress

Jim Mowrer, Iraq war vet, is running for congress in #IA03.  We need a Democrat to replace first-term Republican David Young.  Iowa has 4 congressmen and 2 senators. All are Republicans except one – Dave Loebsack, #IA02.  This has to change.  Iowa is not that red.  Democrats just didn’t vote in the mid-terms.  Let’s send more Democrats from Iowa to DC.  Check out Mowrer’s website  and Facebook page.

Stopping The Dakota Access Bakken Pipeline

oil spill

Dakota Access’ Bakken pipeline will spill 1 million+ gallons of crude in its lifetime

 

Video below is Bold Iowa Director Ed Fallon holding this petition to present to the Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha!

“Ancestral farmland, ancient tribal burial grounds, imperiled rivers and public drinking water are ALL at risk in the path of the Bakken pipeline. North Dakotans, South Dakotans, Iowans and Illinoisans are taking a stand against this deadly plan to transport 500,000+ barrels a day of highly toxic crude oil through some of the richest and most productive farmland in the world. The state government officials charged with “reviewing and approving” this plan are NOT elected officials. They are political appointees looking after their own narrow interests instead of the future of the people they allegedly serve on behalf of. Unite with us to fight this violation of native treaties, sacred burial sites, and The Clean Water Act. We need all of the help we can get to stop this disastrous and wasteful plan to spend billions to build new fossil fuel infrastructure in an age where that money needs to go to renewables instead of making quick cash for big oil and poisoning farmers and average Americans in the process. Join us as we fight for the right to a liveable future!”

If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch the video and also sign the Standing Rock Youth petition!

 

Focus On Iowa: Pat Murphy For Congress

Pat MurphyAccording to Pat Murphy’s website, he lost the congressional race of 2014 by 7,000 votes but there were 15,000 absentee ballots that went uncollected. That happened.  So… if you would like to volunteer for a campaign this year and you don’t like making phone calls to voters (who does?), volunteer to go out and collect Democratic absentee ballots.

A lot of Democrats are upset that lifelong Democrat Murphy is making an issue out of the fact that his primary opponent Monica Vernon, is not a lifelong Democrat, having switched from the GOP in 2009, but it seems like fair game. True, she was on the Democratic ticket with Jack Hatch during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, so it’s kind of a moot point. At the same time, if much was said about her changeover, it may not be widely known.   So I think there is nothing wrong with pointing out the fact that she’s a relatively recent Democrat.  She could use it as an opportunity to tell her personal story of leaving the Republican party to become a Democrat,  turn a negative into a positive. Was it purely a political move or was there some sort of ideological transformation? It would be interesting and informative for voters to hear.

Just for the record though, Democrats in general should not villify one another while emphasizing differences during primary season.

Here is a link to candidate Patrick Murphy’s campaign website and Facebook page.

I couldn’t find a recent, share-able video. Note to campaigns: post your videos on Youtube, please. They are much easier to find and share!

Time To Think About Iowa

Some say the Republican party is dead at the national level because they’ve focused all of their evil efforts on the state legislatures and congress.   So it’s time to focus on Iowa’s statehouse and congressional races.   With that in mind, here’s Monica Vernon, Democrat running for congress in Iowa’s first district, formerly Bruce Braley’s seat, now held by Republican Rod Blum.  Visit her website at monicavernonforcongress.com.   Follow her campaign on Facebook.

 

Cook Report Predicts Bad News For Republicans

for state and nation vote democratWell, duh. The nation may be slow, but we do catch on.  Iowa should take advantage of the prevailing winds and elect as many Democrats as possible up and down the ticket.  Click here for info. about all of Iowa’s Democratic candidates.

PoliticsUSA.com

The Donald Trump nomination is already having a disastrous impact on the presidential map for Republicans. Trump claims that he is bringing millions of people into the Republican Party, but polling numbers and voter registration data suggest that he is driving people to register for Hillary Clinton in the fall.

A new Electoral College projection map shows the immediate impact of Donald Trump’s nomination as 11 states have moved towards the Democratic column.

The Cook Political Report’s updated Electoral College map contains all bad news for Republicans. Colorado and Florida were moved from toss-up to lean Democratic. Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin moved from toss up to solidly Democratic. North Carolina went from leaning Republican to toss-up. Georgia and Arizona went from likely Republican to lean Republican, and Indiana went from solid Republican to likely Republican.

According to The Cook Political Report more states could be projected to go blue in November, “With these changes, 190 Electoral Votes are in the Solid Democratic column, 27 are in Likely Democratic, and another 87 are in Lean Democratic – enough for a majority. Yet another 44 Electoral Votes are in Toss Up. Although Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio could shift to Lean Democratic and Nevada could shift to Likely Democratic, we are holding off on changes in these states until we see more evidence.”

The Cook projection sees Democrats keeping the White House by an Electoral College margin of 304-190.

Majority of Iowa Waterways Exceed Drinkable Nitrate Limit

Iowa Water Quality Information System

Click on the image to go to iowaenvironmentalfocus.org


IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org

KC McGinnis | May 3, 2016

Data from the Iowa Water Quality Information System (IWQIS) shows that more than half of Iowa’s waterways being recorded currently exceed the nitrate threshold of 10 mg/l, with several outpacing levels from previous years.

Weeks of warm spring temperatures followed by a week of consistent rain throughout the state last week may have contributed to a spike in nitrate in Iowa’s waterways as it was washed out of fields where it had previously been applied in fertilizers, either as part of the planting process or in the form of anhydrous ammonia in the fall. Nitrate is a pollutant that must be removed at water treatment plants before the water can be suitable for drinking, sometimes at great cost to the plants. Excess nitrate can also cause the spread of toxic algae in lakes and ponds and contributes to a lack of oxygen in the Gulf of Mexico, causing what’s known as a Dead Zone.

Nitrate levels are well ahead of where they were in previous years by this time. Annual data available through IWQIS shows that the Daily Accumulated Yield (the amount of nitrate per watershed acre) in the North Raccoon River is at a level not reached until late May of 2015 and not until late September of 2014. Similar progress can be seen at the South Fork Iowa River in north central Iowa, where nitrate levels are currently the highest in the state at about double the drinkable limit.

The Iowa Water Quality Information System, developed by the University of Iowa IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, has a wealth of data available to the public on Iowa’s water quality.  Click here to go to their website and view a tutorial on how to use the system.

IUB: Stop Rewarding Dakota Access

Bakken Pipeline Proposed RouteChange.org

May 4, 2016 — The IUB has requested that Dakota Access produce justification to begin construction BEFORE the Army Corps of Engineers permit is issued. The company has repeatedly fed us the line that “delays will impact farmers over two growing seasons instead of one.”

If they are genuinely worried about impacting farmers, then they need to do the right thing and wait until next year to commence construction instead of arguing that delays will cause them to work during two growing seasons.

No one asked them to jump the gun on “pre-construction” clearing and cutting. No one asked Dakota Access to stockpile materials throughout our state. They are using these activities to pressure public servants, farmers, and elected officials all over our state. The IUB needs to stop rewarding Dakota Access for behavior that is far from “Iowa Nice”.

Please file a complaint at https://iub.iowa.gov/

Within the form choose “other” and say “Dakota Access is NOT a utility” then tell them that it benefits no one to allow construction to begin early.

The Real Reason For Republican Voter ID Laws

 

Help Democrat Susan Bangert Oust “Goofy Guth”

iowa capitolWouldn’t Iowa be better off with one less gay-bashing, right wing Republican in the legislature?

“Guth himself is an extremely weak incumbent. In his first election in 2012 he won with only 53% of the vote against a Democratic candidate who didn’t have any time to campaign. He’s known locally as “Goofy Guth” for his peculiar personality and hard-right ideology.” – Iowa Starting Line

ALGONA, IA- Democrat Susan Bangert announced today that she will be a candidate for State Senate in Iowa’s 4th Senate District, which includes Emmet, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock, and Wright counties. She will seek the Democratic Party nomination at a convention following the primary, and will face off against Republican incumbent Dennis Guth in November.

Bangert has dedicated her life to serving her community, spending all of her professional life as an educator. She worked in area schools for 30 years as a speech pathologist, and also owned her own small business, Great Minds Learning Center. Her time working with Iowa’s students is the primary motivation behind her run.

“Education is such an important part of a child’s life. I have had the joy and privilege of serving the children in our community and shared their excitement when they mastered a new skill. It is such a thrill. I’ve also experienced the heartache of students who struggle academically. It’s agonizing, and I go home at night thinking, how can we do more to help.”

For Susan, helping means running for office so that she can fight to ensure that our schools get the funding they need to help each and every student succeed.

Susan is a lifelong Iowan. She was born and raised in Forest City, the fifth of nine children. Her father was a factory worker, and her mother a homemaker. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Truman State University. Susan and her husband, Kevin, have lived in Algona since 1981, where they started a family that now includes three children and four grandchildren. Kevin also served their community, working for 30 years as a police officer, and spending 25 of them as Algona’s Police Chief, before his retirement.

“I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I will promise you that I will always listen to you, and with your help, seek solutions to our common problems.

I’m running for State Senate to bring people together and keep our state a wonderful place to live and work.”

Susan can be reached at (515) 295-9505 or at bangertforsenate@gmail.com. Residents of the 4th district are encouraged to reach out with their ideas for what Susan can do in the Senate to move Iowa forward.

Amber Morrow
Iowa Senate Majority Fund Director
Office: (515) 244-7292
Direct: (515) 974-1694
Cell: (515) 867-3681
5661 Fleur Dr., Des Moines, IA 50321

Did Mason City Councilors Conceal Information From Citizens Re: Prestage Slaughterhouse Project?

cciAction Alert From CCI:

CCI members reviewed and released 218 documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act request regarding proposed Prestage slaughterhouse

Des Moines, IA. Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) are demanding that the Mason City City Councilors vote no on the proposed Prestage slaughterhouse after leaving citizens in the dark.

Following an initial review of public records regarding the proposed Prestage slaughterhouse, which were obtained from the City of Mason City through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, it is clear that city officials went to great lengths to keep the public out of the decision-making process.

Based on this initial review, it is clear to CCI that:

The city intended to rush this project because Prestage is “on a fast track” and the “sooner we get it done the better,” according to an email string between Governor Branstad’s Economic Development Authority and city officials, as well as a handwritten note from an internal city meeting. While city leaders discussed the project for months, the public was deliberately kept in the dark due to concerns about opposition.

The rezoning of the new Southside Gateway Urban Renewal Area was quietly initiated just 12 days after the city was approached about the Prestage slaughterhouse for the purpose of “[providing] TIF incentives for the new pork production plant.” Yet, the city made no mention of Prestage, making it impossible for the public to truly weigh in on the rezoning process.

City councilors are aware of the potential explosion of factory farm construction in North Central Iowa and the problems associated with the factory farm industry. In an email to city councilors, Chad Shrek, President and CEO of the North Iowa Corridor, glossed over the impact of the Prestage slaughterhouse. Yet the same email cites industry analyst Steve Meyer, saying, “filling the five plants (Mason City, Iowa; Coldwater, Mich.; Sioux City, Iowa; Windom, Minn.; and Pleasant Hope, Mo.) being built or remodeled at present would take roughly 9.625 million head of hogs or 8.3 percent more than last year’s slaughter.” This shows that the city knows the implications of the Prestage slaughterhouse to the area.

CCI invites the public to review the 218 FOIA documents, which includes email correspondences, handwritten notes, site plans, project documents, meeting notes, etc. Documents can be viewed online by clicking here.

“This shows that we can’t trust the city councilors. They’ve already made their decision before listening to what the public has to say,” said Dillion Daniels, a Mason City resident. “We’re still calling on them to do the right thing.”

Prestage Farms is a privately held, out-of-state corporation and the nation’s 5th largest pork producer. It currently operates 142 factory farms in Iowa. Its proposed slaughterhouse in Mason City, which would kill up to 22,000 hogs per day, will mean more factory farms and more pollution in Iowa at the expense of independent family farmers, taxpayers, and quality of life.

The Mason City City Council will take its final vote on the proposed Prestage slaughterhouse at its meeting on Tuesday, May 3. CCI members and community members will attend this final hearing to demand that the City Council vote against approving this project.