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Miller-Meeks Should Answer For Her Involvement In Settlement Scandal

Miller-Meeks Signature on Settlement Document

Miller-Meeks Signature on Settlement Document

Paul Deaton wrote a story on Blog for Iowa back in April about Marionette Miller Meeks’ involvement in the Branstad administration settlement scandal.  Check out his article for more links to information and additional newspaper coverage of the story.

The following is a recent press release from the Loebsack for Congress campaign.

As head of the Iowa Department of Health, Dr. Miller-Meeks has a slim record of accomplishments. She seems to rely solely on the achievements of Governor Branstad’s economic team, which she had no part of, as a way to try and bolster her record in state government.

The one headline she did make during her tenure as head of the Department of Health was using taxpayer dollars to pay off a former employee in a political hush money scandal.  Dr. Miller-Meeks’ signature appears on the settlement (pages 5-8), which Governor Branstad himself deemed illegal. This settlement gave $20,000 taxpayer dollars to a former employee to keep quiet about her time serving the people of Iowa.

And as of yet, Dr. Miller-Meeks has refused to answer any questions about her involvement in this scandal.

The abuse of taxpayer dollars to cover up happenings in the Department of Health is sickening. Dr. Miller-Meeks needs to be held accountable for her involvement and serious questions need to be raised, such as:

  • How did the decision to fire the IDPH employee come about? Was a review conducted? What were the criteria used for the review? Were other positions/persons considered for elimination? If so, which ones?
  • After the decision to fire the employee was made, was Dr. Miller-Meeks involved in drafting and negotiating the secret agreement?
  • Did Dr. Miller-Meeks blindly follow instructions by Governor Branstad and sign a $20,000 hush money settlement to cover up what appears to be rampant cronyism, or did she act on her own and directly engage in political retribution?
  • Will Iowa taxpayers be able to trust Dr. Miller-Meeks to manage Washington’s budget mess when she wasted $20,000 for political payoffs?
  • How can Iowans expect Dr. Miller-Meeks to bring change to Washington when the only change she brought to Iowa was inserting New Jersey style politics in state government?

The taxpayers of Iowa deserve answers and they deserve more from their public officials.


Jennie Johnson


President Obama Reaffirms Commitment To Net Neutrality

Last week President Obama reiterated his “unequivocal support for net neutrality” because he does not want to “limit the power of the Internet.”

The President said he can’t just call up FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and tell him what to do, but we can.  If you haven’t called, e-mailed or signed a petition, now is the time.

Call FCC Chair Tom Wheeler 1-202-418-1000.

Click on the link to send an e-mail to Tom Wheeler.  This only takes a second:

Sign a petition.


Democracy For America To Help Turn Iowa House Blue

Democracy for America launches effort to help Dems take over Iowa State House. 
DFA backs seven state House candidates; Dems need just four to take chamber.

BURLINGTON, Vt — Today, Democracy for America (DFA),  has endorsed seven Iowa House candidates in an effort to help Democrats end Republican control of the state’s lower chamber.

The Iowa State House candidates Democracy for America has endorsed includes Dave Grussing (IA-HD-7) , Charlie McConkey (IA-HD-15), Scott Ourth (IA-HD-26), Joe Riding (IA-HD-30), Teresa Meyer (IA-HD-63), Curt Hanson (IA-HD-82), and Kristi Keast (IA-HD-95). Democrats need to gain just four seats to secure control of the Iowa State House.

“Whether they were voting against an increase to the minimum wage or trying to block legislation designed to guarantee women receive equal pay for equal work, Iowa House Republicans have fought even the smallest efforts to address growing income inequality. This November, Democracy for America members in Iowa and across the country are looking forward to helping Hawkeye State voters end Republican obstruction in Des Moines, turn the state House blue, and send all politicians with 2016 ambitions a powerful message about the importance of responding to the growing divide between the wealthy and everyone else.” — Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America.

DFA’s endorsements for Iowa State House are a part of the organization’s “Purple to Blue” Project, a national, multi-year effort launched in 2013 to win state House and Senate chambers across the country by making so-called “purple” state legislative seats decisively Democratic.

As a part of its efforts in Iowa this Fall, DFA intends to contribute over $36,000 directly to Iowa State House candidates and their field efforts to turn out key voters. The group will also work to encourage its over 10,000 in-state members to participate in volunteer canvass efforts for DFA-backed candidates up and down the ballot throughout the Hawkeye State.

Additional key facts about DFA and today’s Iowa State House endorsements:

  • DFA has 10,309 members in Iowa and 1 million members nationwide.
  • During the 2014 cycle, Democracy for America members have have made more than 1,892 individual contributions to DFA-backed campaigns in the Hawkeye State.
  • Also in Iowa this cycle, Democracy for America has endorsed Bruce Braley for U.S. Senate, Staci Appel (IA-3), and Jim Mowrer (IA-4).
  • Since DFA’s 2004 founding by Gov. Howard Dean, DFA members have contributed more than $31 million, made more than 8.9 million volunteer calls and successfully elected 802 progressive candidates across the country.

T. Neil Sroka
Communications Director, Democracy for America

Joni Ernst Squarely In Dead-Ender Fringe Camp

So her husband said it was a “hot topic” so therefore, there were actually WMDs in Iraq!  And she can see Russia from her house.  Do NOT vote for this tea party candidate who by the way is into the Koch brothers for around 12 million.

National Group Awards Rep. Dave Loebsack “Problem Solver Seal Of Approval”

No Labelsdave loebsack updatedIowa Congressman Endorses Campaign to create a National Strategic Agenda

Washington, D.C. No Labels, a national organization dedicated to a new politics of problem solving, has awarded its “Problem Solver Seal of Approval” to Iowa Democrat Dave Loebsack for his support of the group’s year-long effort to create a National Strategic Agenda, a roadmap for the country based on goals shared by both parties.

No Labels is calling for America’s leaders to support a new governing process to build a National Strategic Agenda centered on four goals. These goals – chosen with input from a nationwide survey that No Labels conducted last fall – are:

  • Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years;
  • Balance the federal budget by 2030;
  • Secure Medicare and Social Security for another 75 years; and
  • Make America energy-secure by 2024.

“Disagreements over specific policies or politics aren’t the only causes of perpetual gridlock in D.C.,” said No Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon. “Our leaders also haven’t defined a shared vision about what our country’s goals are. TheNational Strategic Agenda will enable our leaders to decide together where we as a nation should be going and how we will get there. We commend Rep. Loebsack for his support of this new governing process and his willingness to challenge the status quo on Capitol Hill.”

The National Strategic Agenda, with specific policy proposals to address each of the four goals, will be developed over the course of the next year through working groups and meetings all over the country with elected officials and policy experts, business and community leaders, and citizens. No Labels will be developing the Agenda in partnership with Deloitte Consulting LLP, a worldwide leader in strategy consulting. Rep. Loebsack will be among those participating in the process. The comprehensive agenda will be unveiled in New Hampshire in October 2015.

More than 80 members of Congress have already endorsed the campaign for a National Strategic Agenda.


No Labels is a national movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to a new politics of problem solving. With a network of hundreds of thousands of citizens and local leaders across America and almost 100 allies in the U.S. Congress, we have proposed reform ideas that have been introduced with support across the aisle, passed by Congress, and signed into law, including No Budget, No Pay.

In 2014, No Labels called on America’s leaders to commit to a new governing process to create a National Strategic Agenda, which will be developed with input from those all along the political spectrum. Find out more at

Staci Appel Should Be Iowa’s First Mom In Congress

Her tea party Republican opponent David Young  said that he would like to see the Department of Education  “done away with.”  Volunteer for Staci Appel’s campaign here.

Did Joni Ernst Violate Iowa Conflict Of Interest Laws?


The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller requesting his office investigate whether Joni Ernst violated Iowa conflict of interest laws while serving as Montgomery County Auditor and the county’s Chief Financial Officer for its flood disaster assistance operation while her father secured county contracts for his construction business. Under Iowa law, county officers or employees are prohibited from having “an interest, direct or indirect, in a contract with that county.” Ernst appears to have had an interest in the contracts awarded to her father’s company as a result of their familial relationship.

The full complaint and associated exhibits are available here.   (

The American Democracy Legal Fund is a group established by David Brock and run by Brad Woodhouse to hold candidates for office accountable for possible ethics and/or legal violations.

Today Is Election Day

Senator Tom Harkin explains why voting early helps Democrats win.

Manure Spills Causing Toxic Algae In More Iowa Lakes

email inboxThanks CCI (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement) for sounding the alarm on toxic algae!

First it was Ohio, then Lake Red Rock in Iowa, and now it’s Big Creek Lake – toxic blue-green algae has struck again.

A reader sent us this photo that he took at Big Creek Lake last week with this comment: “Can see from the photo that water quality is one of Branstad and the DNRs’ top priorities…”

The toxic algae’s unpleasant odors and potentially dangerous health effects cannot be ignored.

blue-green toxic algae EMAIL(1)This toxic algae growth is caused by runoff from corporate ag, including factory farms.

When we look at the number of manure spills, just in the past year, the growth of this harmful algae is not surprising.

55 manure spills since Sept. 2013 when the DNR signed the Clean Water Act Work Plan – that’s over 1 manure spill per week. ​​​

The DNR must issue permits to these manure polluters – here is one action you take right now:

Share this photo on FB to keep the #cleanwaterfight in the public eye!

October is going to be a busy month for the #cleanwaterfight – stay tuned!

They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up,

The Iowa CCI Crew

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
2001 Forest Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311-3229
515-282-0484 .

Iowans Censored By Corporate Owned “Local” Newspaper

letter alternative pressThe editorial page of your local newspaper is where conversations can occur about local issues and a place where information can be shared neighbor to neighbor.  Local newspapers  are (or should be) the remedy to information polluters like Fox News and the rest of the corporate owned media.  The local newspaper is sacred ground that has been encroached upon by media consolidation and corporate ownership.  From now up to the election BFIA will be helping give voice to the ordinary Iowan by posting letters to the editor from the brave warriors for democracy that dare to stand up to corporate power.

Most of us know how completely Big Ag dominates politics and policy in Iowa, but does it now dominate our small-town newspapers, too?

We’re used to our governor and state legislators putting the interests of industrial-scale pork producers before the interests of drinkers of tap water. We’re not surprised when Farm Bureau opposes efforts simply to measure the water quality in Iowa rivers.

But I was surprised to find my local newspapers have apparently closed ranks with Big Ag and chosen to help it gag the voice of ordinary citizens. I live three-fourths of a mile from a new 2,500-head hog confinement located just north of Woodward. Some of my neighbors and I got together to tell the owner of the confinement, Brodie Brelsford of Perry, about the harm we think it will do to the quality of our lives and the quality of water in the Des Moines River.

When Brodie wouldn’t meet with us, we decided to send him an open letter, but none of the area’s newspapers — neither the Perry Chief, Boone News-Republican, nor the Northeast Dallas County Record — would accept our letter for publication no matter how much we changed it. They wouldn’t even sell us space to run it as an ad. These three papers are all owned by Stephens Media LLC, a Las Vegas corporation, and they toe the same line. That line appears to be one that stifles discussion of an issue of great public importance.

— Ken and Jan Danilson, Wayde and Julie Burkhart, Janelle Hammarstedt, Danielle M. Wirth, Don A. Wirth, Frances Hamman, Deb Schutt, Dave and Shelly Morlan, Mark and Donna Burkhart, Don Burkhart, Stan Oviatt, Ed and Marcelle Knapp, Dennis and Rhonda Smeltzer and Chuck and Julie Smeltzer, Woodward