Follow BFIA on Twitter
Blog for Iowa Archives
Blog for Iowa Categories
Search BFIA by Date
November 2015
« Oct    

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Fight Media Bias


Iowa Rapid Response Action

First responders to biased, imbalanced or factually inaccurate media coverage

Iowans for Better Local TV


FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
FAIR is a national media watch group that offers well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship

Free Press

News Corpse

Prometheus Radio Project

Radio for People

Save the Internet

Save the News

Author Archive

Fast Food Workers Going On Strike

jobs-with-justice1Jobs With Justice

Today, underpaid fast food clerks, care providers, adjuncts, retail associates and thousands of women and men across the country are bravely going on strike once again. Along with their supporters, they’re raising their voices to demand $15 an hour, full-time hours and the right to stick together. I believe that their fight is incredibly important. ALL working people should be paid enough to sustain their families.

You can help support our collective call for $15 by submitting a letter to the editor to your local paper. We’ve made it easy by putting together talking points for you. Click here to get started!

I’m guessing you’ve heard people say that $15 is too much to ask for in this economy. But you and I know that it’s absolutely necessary that all men and women have decent jobs with fair schedules and wages that allow them to provide for themselves and their families. Our time, our work and our contributions to the bottom line are all valuable.

Corporate CEOs want us to think that there’s not enough to go around, but their profit statements tell a different story. Let’s take back the conversation from McDonald’s, Walmart and others who don’t want to have a real discussion about what it takes to get by in our country today. Click here to make your voice heard now!

Writing a letter takes just a few minutes, but each one has an impact. By declaring your support for better wages for all working people, together we can make a difference. If thousands of people are brave enough to protest and go on strike on November 10, we should back them up in one clear, powerful voice. Let’s make sure that our communities know that ALL work has value. Submit your letter now!

Loebsack To Host Roundtables On Expanding Broadband Access in Rural Areas

Dave Loebsack IA02

Dave Loebsack IA02

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that he will be hosting a series of roundtables at rural telecommunications providers across Iowa to discuss legislation he helped introduce to expand wireless coverage in rural communities. The bipartisan Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act would provide incentives for wireless carriers to lease unused spectrum to rural or smaller carriers. At each stop, Loebsack will also take a brief tour of the facilities and hear directly from providers about their challenges and successes.

Loebsack is a member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over broadband issues.

For more information, call (319) 351-0789.

Is Bakken The New Keystone XL?

Listen live Mondays at 11 am

Listen live Mondays at 11 am

With the Keystone Pipeline finally laid to rest, the national coalition that helped secure victory must turn its attention to the Bakken Pipeline.

Don’t be fooled: Bakken is the replacement for Keystone – a fact that became crystal clear to me during my 400-mile walk along the pipeline’s proposed path earlier this year. Bakken’s ultimate target is Alberta’s tar-sands oil, not North Dakota’s “sweet” crude.

Four years ago when the battle to stop Keystone was engaged, scientists claimed that building Keystone would be “game over” for climate. If that’s true, Bakken is just as much a threat.

With Dakota Access pushing aggressively to build the Bakken line before opposition broadens beyond the four targeted states, the national coalition that stopped Keystone needs to engage immediately.

Can the grassroots coalitions in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois stop Bakken on their own? Perhaps. (In Iowa, visit Bakken Pipeline Resistance and No Bakken Here for daily updates.) But a broader coalition from across the country would be more powerful – and more likely to light a fire under state and federal officials.

So take a moment, both to celebrate our Keystone victory and to take the next step:

* Congratulate Bold Nebraska, who through incredible creativity and tenacity built an unstoppable coalition of ranchers, farmers, Native Americans, property-rights advocates, environmentalists and climate activists.

* Thank President Obama for his leadership in denying TransCanada’s request for a permit.

* Write to any national environmental, property rights, climate or land stewardship organization you’re affiliated with and tell them in the strongest possible terms to make Bakken the next target in stopping the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure.


Ron Yarnell hosts the Fallon Forum this week. I’ll call-in from France to share an update on preparations for the walk from Normandy to Paris.

Also, Dan Kim joins Ron to discuss the upcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, and Ron talks with Ben Yetter, who co-plays Spider-Man in the Justice Corps of Iowa.

Hear the Fallon Forum live Mondays 11:00-12:00 noon CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans).

Ed Fallon


Now-December – Utilities Board deliberations pipeline (ND, SD, IA, IL) In Iowa, for details on the evolving schedule, visit For questions on how you can have your voice heard in the process, contact Ed Fallon at or the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Facebook Page.

November 11-28 – Walk to Paris for Climate Action (Normandy-Paris)
On 11 November (Veterans Day in the U.S.), Ed Fallon and Steve Martin (who last year walked across the U.S. for action on climate change) will set-out from the coast of Normandy, France, walking over 350 kilometers to arrive in Paris on November 28 for the start of the United Nations Climate Summit.

Thu, Nov 12 – Public Hearing on Bakken Pipeline (Boone)
Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Iowa Utilities Board will hear public comments on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. It’s at the community building at the Boone County Fairgrounds. All opponents of the pipeline will be given a chance to speak, and those who do not wish to speak are still encouraged to attend in solidarity with others. Car pooling options available. Contact

Fri, Nov 13 – Panel discussion of “24 Hours of Reality” (Ames)At 12:00 noon on the ISU campus (exact location TBD). Students, professors and others will discuss the urgency and necessity of climate action, and also the economic feasibility of transitioning off of fossil fuels in regards to the upcoming UN climate negotiations this December. Contact Joe Heegaard at or (612) 418-7715.

Mon, Nov 16 – A Cure for Capitalism (Ames)
Richard Wolff will speak as part of the Iowa State University Lectures Program at 8:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Wolff has innovative ideas which would allow for a sustainable and authentic democracy. Check out his work on

Sat, Nov 21 – Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit (Ankeny)
At FFA Enrichment Center, Des Moines Area Community College, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy. A day-long event, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., with eighteen seminars offering practical solutions to today’s business challenges. Visit or call (515) 288-3188 for more information.

November 30-December 11 – U.N. Climate Summit (Paris, France)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders from government, finance, business, and civil society to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement.

Dems Must Vote Down-Ballot To Flip States In 2016


Tuesday’s election delivered some big wins for DFA-endorsed progressive candidates — and dealt a powerful blow to the NRA.

The good news: On Tuesday in Virginia, DFA-endorsed Jeremy McPike defeated the NRA in the biggest State Senate race of this cycle. Longtime DFA hero Jennifer Boysko won a stunning upset in the House of Delegates, joining DFA-endorsed winners John Bell and Kathleen Murphy. In a huge win against GOP gerrymandering, DFA’s endorsed candidates swept the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and DFA members also contributed to big wins on clean elections in Maine and in city elections from Seattle and San Francisco to Philadelphia and Tucson.

The 2016 election just got under way, and we have a lot of work ahead. Compared to yesterday’s state and local elections, we know that Democrats are going to vote in big numbers in 2016, with control of the White House on the line.

2016 is a huge opportunity. If we can get Democrats to vote down-ballot in their state and local elections, we can flip more states from purple to blue and start rebuilding progressive power from coast to coast. But we need your help to win.

On Election Day in November 2016, the stakes will be significantly greater. That’s why DFA needs your help not just today — but for the next 12 months. Will you help us build on these victories and ramp up DFA’s 50 State Strategy for 2016 by making a monthly donation of $3 or more now?

As I wrote to you a few weeks ago in reaction to the Matthew Yglesias article on Vox about “Democrats being in denial,” the 2016 election won’t just be about who wins the White House. It will also decide if Democrats take back the all-important state governments that Republicans now control — 70 percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governors — which has a profound impact on the lives of millions of Americans.

Since 2010, Republicans have used their power in the states to undermine progressive causes. They’ve blocked Medicaid expansion because they hate Obamacare, sided with the NRA to block sensible gun violence laws, declared a war on women and Planned Parenthood — just to name a few of the worst things they’ve done.

And, as Republicans take control of state legislatures, they are gerrymandering Congressional districts — a significant reason why the GOP and new Speaker Paul Ryan are now running the House of Representatives.

The lesson is clear: To win 12 months from now, every day from this moment to November 8, 2016, counts.

That’s why DFA — carrying out our commitment to the 50 State Strategy — is partnering with allies in cities and states to recruit strong progressive candidates to run for state legislature and city councils. In 2016, we’re planning trainings and mobilizing grassroots leaders to build winning campaigns. Our goal: Train 25,000 leaders by November 2016.

The NRA, the Koch brothers, and other right-wing extremists are pouring millions into state legislative races. We just proved that people power can beat them. To sustain our 50 State Strategy over the next 12 months, please chip in $3 or more each month between now and November 2016.

Thank you for investing in this important work. We can’t do it without you.

– Howard

Gov. Howard Dean, Founder
Democracy for America

Hoover Library Will Host History Of The Iowa Caucuses

jimmy carter iowa

Hoover Presidential Library/Univ. of Iowa to explore
History of the Iowa Caucuses

History of the Iowa Caucuses November 7, 2015 from 1 to 5 p.m.

The History of the Iowa Caucuses is the first of a series of programs examining the past, present and future of the caucuses through a partnership of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, the Hoover Presidential Foundation, and the University of Iowa Public Policy Center.

Until relatively little known Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter made a surprising first place finish in the Iowa Caucuses in 1976, the media had not paid much attention to him. With Carter’s surprising win, his campaign garnered more media attention, ultimately gaining the Democratic nomination for President and winning the general election over Gerald Ford. How did he do it, and what are some of the unknown stories that can be shared that will give us insight into the 2016 Caucuses?

Tim Kraft was Carter’s campaign manager in Iowa, whose strategy and organizing efforts led to Carter’s win, and eventual election. Kraft will speak on some of the strategies and stories on how it was done at a free program, Nov. 7 at the Hoover Presidential Library’s Figge Auditorium. A panel discussion will follow.

Democratic caucus managers Richard Bender and Jeani Murray, and Republican caucus manager Eric Woolson will share the history of the Iowa Caucuses and how they differ. A second panel including members of the media will discuss what makes a successful campaign and the media’s role. David Yepsen, a longtime political reporter from the Des Moines Register, O. Kay Henderson, Iowa Public Radio’s news director, and WHO-TV in Des Moines weekend anchor Dave Price, who has recently released his first book, “Caucus Chaos” will join us in a media panel discussion.

“Herbert Hoover was a public servant for the last 50 years of his life, who was extremely interested in better public policy discussions and decisions. I have no doubt if he was alive today, he would be vitally interested in how the Iowa Caucuses have shaped politics and public policy in America,” stated Jerry Fleagle, Executive Director of the Hoover Presidential Foundation.



KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Tim Kraft began his White House service as Special Assistant to the President for Appointments at the onset of the Carter Administration. He originally supervised the Office of Scheduling and Office of Advance. He also held the position of private secretary to the President and social secretary to the President. In late April 1978, Kraft’s title was changed to Assistant to the President and his area of supervision included the Offices of Presidential Personnel and Presidential Messages. In 1979, the White House announced that Kraft was leaving to join the Carter-Mondale Committee as campaign manager.

PANEL OF IOWA CAUCUS MANAGERS: Richard Bender was an architect of the modern Democratic caucus system. He became a special assistant to Senator John Culver in 1975. Bender was on Tom Harkin’s staff from 1977 till 2013. He was his senior legislative assistant, focused on appropriations, taxes, economic development and infrastructure. Throughout his years in Congress, Bender remained involved in the Iowa caucus process and deflected various efforts to replace Iowa’s first in the nation position.

Jeani Murray served as an Iowa Representative, Leonard Boswell’s Chief-of-Staff on Capitol Hill, a National Field Director for a major public interest non-profit, Executive Director of the Iowa Democratic Party, and a campaign manager.

Eric Woolson of West Des Moines, Iowa, has worked for a mix of candidates over the years. In 2008, Woolson was the Iowa campaign manager for presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. He was senior advisor for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign in 2011 and was also the Iowa communication director for three other GOP campaigns – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2010; Doug Gross for governor in 2002; and George W. Bush for president in 2000 – as well as one Democratic campaign: then Delaware U.S. Sen. Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential bid.

PANEL OF IOWA CAUCUS REPORTERS: David Yepsen became director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on April 1, 2009. Previously, he had a 34-year career with the Des Moines Register serving as the paper’s chief political writer, political editor and political columnist. Dave Price is the political director and weekend anchor at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. His work has earned him a national Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award, along with dozens of state and regional awards. Dave also recently released his first book, Caucus Chaos, his insider’s account of the unique Iowa Caucuses.

O. Kay Henderson, News Director — In 1987, Kay became one of the three founding members of the Radio Iowa network newsroom. In 1994, she became the network’s news director. She is a featured reporter and commentator on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.”

The History of the Iowa Caucuses is a free event at the Hebert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum in West Branch, Iowa. The Museum is located ¼ mile off Interstate 80 at Exit 254, for more information: or

Urgent: Act Now To Stop The Bakken Pipeline

bakken cover photo smNovember 12 is a critical day in the fight against the Bakken Pipeline and we need you there. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) will hold their public comment hearing where everyday Iowans will have the opportunity to share their dissent to this risky proposal with the three appointed IUB Board Members.

We want to have a huge impact that day. This means we need hundreds of Iowans lining up out the door at the Boone Fairgrounds to tell IUB: No Bakken Pipeline!

Will you join us? REGISTER HERE

When: Thursday Nov. 12 | 8 AM

Pipeline fighters will rally at 8:30 AM before heading into the hearing together by 9 AM

Where: Boone County Fairgrounds Community Building
1601 Industrial Park Road, Boone


If you are in Des Moines, we’d love to have you travel with us! Iowa CCI has reserved two vans to transport folks to the event. Please contact me ( if you would like a ride. There is no cost, but we need you to meet at our office (2001 Forest Ave, Des Moines) by 7 AM to hop in the van. Refreshments will be provided at the Fairgrounds!

Let’s win a clean energy Iowa,


More Medicaid Listening Posts Scheduled


Senate Democrats are holding listening posts to hear what you have to say about Medicaid privatization. Here are the listening posts that have been scheduled so far

Sigourney with Senators Kinney and Bolkcom: Monday, November 2, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sigourney Public Library – Meeting Room (720 East Jackson Street).

Clinton with Senators Hart and Mathis: Wednesday, November 4, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Clinton Community College – Auditorium (1000 Lincoln Boulevard in Clinton).

Waverly with Senators Schoenjahn and Ragan: Monday, November 9, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Bremer Room of the Waverly Public Library (500 W. Bremer Avenue, Waverly)

Manchester with Senate President Jochum: Thursday, November 12, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Manchester Public Library – Meeting Room (300 North Franklin Street).

Council Bluffs with Senate Leader Gronstal: Friday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs – Classroom A & B (800 Mercy Drive).

Decorah with Senators Ragan and Bolkcom: Monday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Luther College – Room 102 in Olin Building (700 College Drive).

The Health Care Policy Oversight Committee is a joint committee of the Iowa House and Senate that will receive public input and make recommendations for improvements to Iowa’s Medicaid managed care.

Statehouse meetings in Room 116: Tues., November 3 (10 AM-3:30 PM) and Mon., December 7.

More information:


Are Iowa Republicans Blum, Young And King Owned By The Koch Brothers?

koch brothers own americaKoch Brothers Hand Blum, Young and King Perfect Scores in 2015 for Putting Their Anti-Middle Class Interests First 

[note from BFIA: Ernst and Grassley didn’t do too bad by the Kochs either at 86% each.  In contrast, Iowa’s Democratic congressman, Dave Loebsack, stands alone among the delegation in refusing to do the Koch brothers’ bidding with a current grade of only 20%.  Thank you, Congressman Loebsack for representing people not corporations.]

DES MOINES – It’s no secret that Iowa’s GOP Congressmen are literally voting in lockstep with the Koch Brothers’ agenda. In fact, the Koch Brothers political organization, Americans for Prosperity, has handed Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King each a perfect 100% rating so far in 114th Congress for supporting the Kochs’ interests over Iowa families – including votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and repeal the Clean Power Plan.

So it comes as no surprise to see Blum, Young and King once again supporting the Koch Brothers today at the expense of Iowa businesses.

This evening, Iowa’s GOP Congressmen voted against reopening the job-creating Export-Import Bank at the behest of their special interest backers. The Export-Import Bank has been a driver of economic growth in Iowa and is responsible for1,500 Iowa jobs. Moreover, the Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $230 million in export sales across Iowa since 2007, including $54 million in CD1, $17 million in CD3, and $174 million in CD4.

(click here to read the entire story)


What Happened To The Middle Class?

Medicaid Listening Posts In Muscatine, Sigourney

chris braseDear Friends,

Just a reminder: If you are concerned about the Governor’s privatization of Iowa Medicaid, make your voice heard.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Joe Bolkcom and I will host a listening post.

The meeting will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 28, at Muscatine Community College—Room 75 (Larson Hall), 152 Colorado Street, Muscatine.


Get more information about Governor Branstad’s unilateral decision to privatize Iowa Medicaid at

If fully implemented, the Governor’s decision would have negative impacts on Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens and Iowa’s healthcare providers.

Contact Chris

Iowa Statehouse
Des Moines, IA 50319

There will also be a meeting in Sigourney with Senators Kinney and Bolkcom: Monday, November 2, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Sigourney Public Library – Meeting Room (720 East Jackson Street).

Click here to find out more about what you can do.