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Charles Grassley

*Release* Iowans to Hold Sen. Grassley Accountable During Recess‏

Filling the vacancy on the Court should be a top priority

Filling the vacancy on the Court should be a top priority

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2016
Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530

Iowans to Hold Sen. Grassley Accountable During Recess
Sen. Grassley to be followed by demonstrations, questions, and a mobile billboard criss-crossing the state

IOWA — Iowans will gather across the state this week, beginning this weekend in Creston and Sioux City, to hold Senator Grassley accountable for his unprecedented obstruction of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. A mobile billboard sponsored by Americans United for Change, demonstrations by Why Courts Matter Iowa, and Iowans attending Senator Grassley’s town hall meetings will question why he has refused to hold or schedule a hearing for Garland in the Judiciary Committee, where he serves as Chair.

Grassley’s obstruction is truly unprecedented, as it would be the first time a Supreme Court nominee has been denied a hearing, according to the Senate historian.

This week’s events will be the most recent actions taken by Grassley’s constituents to hold him accountable. During the past few months, Iowans have delivered more than 9,000 petition signatures, 36,000 copies of the U.S. Constitution, held more than 2 dozen events, and used online and social media to tell the Senator: #DoYourJob.

Here are additional details about each event this week:

WHAT: #DoYourJob Mobile Billboard
WHEN: Saturday, April 30, 12:00 PM
WHERE: Southwest Iowa Community College, 1501 W Townline St, Creston, Iowa

WHAT: #DoYourJob Mobile Billboard
WHEN: Sunday, May 1, 12:00 PM
WHERE: Outside Sen. Grassley’s Office, 320 6th St, Sioux City, Iowa

WHAT: #DoYourJob Mobile Billboard
WHEN: Monday, May 2, 12:00 PM
WHERE: Outside Sen. Grassley’s Office, 201 W 2nd St, Davenport, Iowa

WHAT: #DoYourJob Mobile Billboard
WHEN: Tuesday, May 3, 12:00 PM
WHERE: Outside Sen. Grassley’s Office, 531 Commercial St, Waterloo, Iowa

WHAT: #DoYourJob Demonstration! (featuring mobile billboard)
WHEN: Wednesday, May 4, 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the federal building, 210 Walnut St, Des Moines, Iowa

WHAT: Sen. Grassley Town Hall (featuring mobile billboard)
WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
WHERE: Taylor County Farm Bureau Meeting Room, 607 Pollock Blvd, Bedford, Iowa

WHAT: Sen. Grassley Town Hall
WHEN: Friday, May 6, 8:00-9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Ringgold County Courthouse, 109 West Madison St, Mount Ayr, Iowa

WHAT: Sen. Grassley Town Hall
WHEN: Friday, May 6, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Leon Community Center, 203 NE 2nd St, Leon, Iowa

The Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition is focused on ensuring that the federal judiciary is representative of America’s diverse population and ending the judicial vacancy crisis so that every American can have his or her day in court. Why Courts Matter Iowa is led by Iowa Citizen Action Network, Americans for Democratic Action Iowa, Progress Iowa, and One Iowa. For more information visit

Grassley Events In Iowa Week Of May 1 – 7

taking some time off from doing nothng in the senate

taking some time off from doing nothng in the senate

Senator Grassley will be making public appearances in three counties along the Iowa Missouri border next week.

If you can, get out and let him know that obstructing the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland goes against Iowans sense of fair play.

Here is his schedule:

Taylor County
Thursday, May 5, 2016
3:45-4:45 p.m.
Taylor County Farm Bureau
Meeting Room
607 Pollock Boulevard

Ringgold County
Friday, May 6, 2016
8:00-9:00 a.m.
Ringgold County Courthouse
109 West Madison Street
Mount Ayr

Decatur County
Friday, May 6, 2016
10:00-11:00 a.m.
Leon Community Center
203 NE 2nd Street

Chuck, Can We Have A Refund?

republicans refuse to work

We hired you to do a job. You refuse to do it. The law says we can’t fire you until November. You haven’t done your job for two years. That’s $350,000 plus the cost of your staff that you should pay us back.

What have you been doing with your time while we have been paying you?

When you don't do your job there is lots of time for gardening

When you don’t do your job there is lots of time for gardening

You know what would happen to anyone of us if we told our boss we weren’t going to do our job? We’d get fired in a New York second!

You better have a damn good excuse because we are your boss and we are mad, very mad.

Your job is written in black and white in the constitution. We can’t have this kind of stuff continue, can we?

You choose not to work for Iowa and the country, but only for your party. Time to hit the road.
(1.5 minute video)

The Supreme Court, The Republicans, And Democracy

supreme courtWithin an hour of the news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on February 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ruled out Senate consideration of any U.S. Supreme Court nominee until the inauguration of the next president in 2017. This obstructionist tactic has the support of nearly all Senate Republicans, including Iowan Charles Grassley, chair of the Judiciary Committee.

The Constitution gives the president the power to appoint Supreme Court judges with the advice and consent of the Senate. But Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have made clear their unwillingness to even hold hearings or vote on Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a brilliant and highly regarded centrist judge. This denies Garland a fair hearing.

The Constitution says nothing about when a president can appoint a person to fill a federal court vacancy. One-third of all presidents have appointed a Supreme Court judge in an election year.  The GOP gambit amounts to an abdication of the Senate’s constitutional duty. Conservative columnist George Will refers to the Republican response to the Supreme Court vacancy as “a partisan reflex in search of a justifying principle.” He rejects the party’s refusal to consider Merrick Garland as one based on a “preposterous premise” that “radiates insincerity.”

The reasons for the stall do appear purely partisan. Even before Scalia’s death, GOP leaders in the Senate were delaying confirmation votes on many of the President’s lower court nominees.

Conservatives are delaying the confirmation of judicial nominees until after the next presidential election, when they hope to have a more conservative president making appointments. According to McConnell, blocking any consideration of the President’s nominee gives the people a voice in filling the vacancy. But the selection is about an appointment, not an election. Besides, the people have already spoken by electing Obama twice. Ironically, McConnell accuses Obama of politicizing his selection when actually McConnell and his fellow Republicans have put the election before their constitutional obligations.

This nefarious Republican tactic means the Senate negates its constitutional obligation of advice and consent on the nomination. The Constitution contains no exception to those obligations for presidential years or off-years.

With the court now composed of four conservative and four liberal justices, the result of a 4-4 tie could be a default upholding of regional circuit courts or state supreme courts. A recent such deadlock means that an appellate decision to uphold union “fair share” fees as constitutional stands.

Some circuit courts could make federal law for the entire nation. Or lower courts could disagree over how to interpret constitutional rights. If circuit courts disagree, Americans could essentially find themselves in a chaotic situation with different speech, property, or due process rights depending on where they live.

The Supreme Court is poised to rule on a series of critical and divisive issues, including immigration, affirmative action, religious freedom, women’s health, voting districts. But without nine justices, the nation’s lower court judges could have the final say on many controversial issues.

What GOP Senators are doing is more than a dereliction of duty. It actually amounts to an unconstitutional act. Keeping a vacancy open for what likely will be two full Supreme Court terms is unprecedented, extraordinarily reckless and shows a blatant disrespect of the rule of law, the third branch of government and the American people.

Polls indicate that a majority of the American people oppose the Republican blockade. They want the Senate to hold hearings and vote on Garland’s nomination. That is what should happen.

Ralph Scharnau
March 31, 2016


Grassley Losing It?

When you don't do your job there is lots of time for gardening

When you don’t do your job there is lots of time for gardening

For the past decade it has sure seemed like Chuck Grassley is showing signs of what age can do to the mind and temper. In answering questions he sometimes wanders. Sometimes he takes to lecturing his audience as though he were the keeper of some knowledge of the inner sanctum that we peasants are not privy to. On one occasion we saw Grassley simply drop the microphone and walk out of a town hall when a questioner broached a subject he didn’t like. In other words, he wasn’t there as a servant of the people but more as a Lord who was willing to share the truth with his peasants if they were good.

The recent flap that has been created by his own decision to interpret the Constitution appears to be taking a toll on Grassley. In town hall after town hall across the state, Grassley was no longer getting the obsequious treatment from the public. Instead, citizens from across the spectrum have been asking why he can’t follow the Constitution. Grassley’s answer is that he knows much better the meaning of the constitution than do the mere peasants who dare ask him these questions.

When it got to the point that Grassley could no longer control the public as he once did, he and his staff devised a new approach to his vaunted 99 county tour: the public tour suddenly became a tour that was held in private and not publicized at all to avoid any non-vetted public disturbing the aura of a controlled event. Stated another way, Grassley took his public office underground.

Grassley is back in Washington doing what he does best – not doing his job and obstructing justice in America. Like so many Republicans, when he sees things go wrong he knows that he is not the cause. Nope, gotta be someone else causing his problems. Tuesday, Grassley figured out who the guy is that is causing all the trouble for the Republican Party in general and Grassley himself in particular.  Chief Justice John Roberts.

John Roberts ( old “call balls and strikes” Roberts) had the audacity to criticize the Senate for approving Justice nominees on party lines. Grassley went into a positive snit. How dare the Chief Justice say such a thing. Why the problem isn’t in the Senate, nosiree! It is in the Court itself!

“In fact, many of my constituents believe, with all due respect, that the chief justice is part of the problem,” Grassley said of Roberts, who has at times incensed conservatives with his votes to uphold Obamacare and other rulings. “They believe that [a] number of his votes have reflected political considerations, not legal ones.”

“The chief justice has it exactly backwards,” Grassley also said. “The confirmation process doesn’t make the justices appear political. The confirmation process has gotten political precisely because the court itself has drifted from the constitutional text and rendered decisions based instead on policy preferences.”

The Iowa Republican went on to warn Roberts not to inject himself into the Senate showdown over whether Garland should be confirmed this year, which Republicans have vowed will not happen. Grassley said Roberts has been encouraged by some academics to urge the Senate to take up Garland’s nomination.

Grassley really seems to be more and more traveling in a world that only he and a few others inhabit these days. That world doesn’t seem to include many Iowans. Iowans generally are a fair minded group of folks who expect others to do the jobs they are assigned. Iowans also expect their elected leaders to have valid reasons for their actions. When it becomes apparent that the elected officials are no longer working in Iowa’s interest, but in the interest of the Party or special interests, they should expect to be called on it.

Iowans are calling Grassley out. Grassley’s response so far is to make up ridiculous excuses, then hide, and now to blame his problems on someone else. The one thing he refuses to do is listen to Iowa voters. Every week, it seems that our Senator crawls further and further into his bubble.

It is long past time for a change. Chuck Grassley has been on our nickel for some 58 years, longer than most Iowans have been alive. Iowa needs new blood and a new perspective that is more in line with those who will inherit Iowa. In our household we like Rob Hogg. He is a sharp young man with an eye on the future for Iowa.

After 58 years, Iowa needs new leadership.

Future Senator Rob Hogg?

Future Senator Rob Hogg?

NRA Should Not Pick SCOTUS

iowans-guns-web-version-jpeg300X300Action Alert from Iowans for Gun Safety:

Thanks to the influence of the gun lobby, US Senators (including Grassley and Ernst) have vowed to deny President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee a hearing—never mind an up or down vote. But the Constitution is clear: It’s the President’s job to nominate Supreme Court justices, and it’s the Senate’s job to consider them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he can’t imagine the US Senate confirming a nominee that is not endorsed by the NRA. Since when did the gun lobby get to decide?

Join us in the Call for Nine campaign now.

Tell Grassley and Ernst: it’s time to fulfill their constitutional responsibility, consider Chief Judge Merrick Garland and restore the Supreme Court to nine justices.


Jeremy Brigham, Executive Director
Iowans for Gun Safety

Smoking Grassley Out

disdain for citizens

disdain for citizens

Pretty sad when a United States Senator has to skulk around his own state ashamed to be seen by the general public.

Chuck Grassley has spent his Easter recess from his day job pretending to meet with citizens of Iowa. However, his extremely unpopular an highly partisan stand on the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justices has caused Chuck to move his show to a kind of underground theater.

Kudos to the folks at Why Courts Matter for setting up a method of letting people know where Grassley will be appearing and when he will be there.

Grassley may be tired of hearing people complain about his position on Scalia’s replacement, but he doesn’t get to make the call on what the public wants their senator to talk about. Hiding is not going to help.

It is really curious why he and his staff have decided that hiding from the public is a good political strategy in this case. During the astroturf driven uprising against the ACA in 2010 the smart representatives stood up to the crowds of naysayers.

In this case these are genuine concerns from citizens on both sides of the aisle who see Grassley’s obstruction as simply unconstitutional and driven totally by Republican party concerns.

Come out of hiding, Chuck. We won’t hurt you. We just want to let you know we think you are very misguided.

Seems like if Grassley doesn’t want to see people we should elect someone who does.

Iowans To Demonstrate At Closed-Door Grassley Event

When you don't do your job there is lots of time for gardening

When you don’t do your job there is lots of time for gardening

Action alert from WhyCourtsMatterIowa

Iowans will stand together and call for Senator Grassley to hold a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee for Judge Merrick Garland

Carroll, Iowa — Wednessday at 9:45 am the Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition and volunteers will hold a demonstration near St. Anthony Regional Hospital immediately prior to a private event held by Senator Grassley. The coalition learned of the event as a result of its ‘Where is Chuck’ hotline and confirmed via local sources.

Constituents across Iowa have criticized Grassley since his controversial stance to hold off the Supreme Court nomination hearing until next year. Iowans have flooded state and local newspaper outlets calling for Grassley to “Do Your Job” and hold a hearing. In response, Grassley has scaled back the number of public events being held in Iowa while the Senate is in recess. Iowans want to let Grassley know that they will not be ignored. They want the 35 year incumbent Senator to know that he cannot hide from his constituents or duck their scrutiny.

Last week, Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition established, a “Where’s Chuck?” Hotline for tips on Grassley’s whereabouts and private events. Iowans across the state called the hotline and sent emails not only with information but frustration and anger. Iowans reported unfriendly interaction with Grassley staff and difficulty reaching anyone at any of Grassley’s offices. Why Courts Matter Iowa is holding a public demonstration to stand up for every Iowan who is disappointed in Grassley and his obstruction.

WHO: Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition members and volunteers

WHAT: Iowans demonstrating against Sen. Grassley’s Supreme Court obstruction

WHEN: Wednesday, March 30, 9:45 AM

WHERE: The public sidewalk at the corner of South Clark Street & Anthony Street Near St. Anthony Regional Hospital; 311 S Clark St, Carroll

The Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition is focused on ensuring that the federal judiciary is representative of America’s diverse population and ending the judicial vacancy crisis so that every American can have his or her day in court. Why Courts Matter Iowa is affiliated with the Why Courts Matter coalition, and is led by Iowa Citizen Action Network, Americans for Democratic Action Iowa, Progress Iowa, and One Iowa. For more information visit

Where is Chuck hotline: (515) 421-8997

When Your Opponent Is Drowning Throw Him An Anvil

When you don't do your job there is lots of time for gardening

When you don’t do your job there is lots of time for gardening

That was some sage political advice from James Carville

Chuck Grassley is one of the national leaders of the Republican Party. As a member of leadership Grassley helped come up with the current insane Republican policy to not even hold hearings on a replacement for the departed Antonin Scalia. Thus Chuck and his buddies have put themselves in a real lose/lose situation. We thank him for that.

Republicans came to their policy of refusing to even hold hearings because they claim Obama is a lame duck. Based on that way of thinking they must believe that Obama has been a lame duck since Jan. 20, 2009. That is the approximate date they began their policy of refusing to do anything that President Obama has pushed. They have practiced a policy of refusing to do anything while Obama was president. The only question was coming up with some excuse that sounded legitimate.

Of course the excuses all come under some misinterpretation of liberty or freedom (the people don’t want health care. They want the freedom to die in the streets). No matter how outlandish the excuse, they knew the press would never question it because they owned the press. Very convenient. So in this case only on the few left leaning outlets will you hear that the Republican strategy to declare Obama no longer president is insane.

Thank heavens for the still open and neutral internet. It is about the only place left for a true exchange of ideas. Because of that, many people quickly realized that the excuse that Grassley and his mates concocted is a big old load of horse manure spread thick. Trying to sell this pile of horse manure to the public as air fresheners is not going really well. Citizens are really, really mad that their government refuses to do its job. They are mad enough to fire the highly pampered idiots that make $3,000 + dollars a week and have incredible privileges that refuse to do their jobs.

However, not all citizens are that mad. There is a small band of people that are the core supporters who want their senators to maintain their idiotic stand against the constitution, else those senators will lose their votes. Now since these are voters who will vote for anything with an ‘R’ behind their name, the threat of losing those votes scares them.

Therefore Republican senators, especially our friend Chuck, have painted themselves into a corner. If they continue to refuse to do their constitutional duty they risk pissing off voters who think they should let government work. Republicans have once more found a way to shut down government which makes people mad, real mad.

On the other hand, if Republicans relent and go back on their current stand and decide to even go through the motions of allowing a hearing they will piss off those who are their base voters. You have to admire a party that has leadership that is so dumb that it puts its members in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

So now that they are out in the water and starting to drown, here comes another group of Republicans to throw them an anvil. The anvil’s name is Donald Trump. There is no need to recount the tales of how Trump has come to be the anvil that many Republicans will have to contend with as they go underwater in their races this fall. You would have to be living under a rock not to know.

Let’s just imagine a summer scene where Chuck Grassley shows up at a picnic and wants to give a little speech. Some of the crowd starts shouting “hey, how about doing your job.” Others say “hey, don’t let ‘em have a vote.” then when Chuck finally gets the crowd to quiet down by pretending he doesn’t know what they are talking about, he has to launch into a speech where he has to praise “that great American Donald Trump!” and then solicit voters to “vote for Trump for President!”

Just to add a little weight on top of that anvil we really need to remind the public how Chuck signed that letter to Iran that tried to interfere in the President’s conduct of foreign affairs – very much against the constitution. Or we can remind the public of how Chuck and his cohorts want to raise the age to receive Social Security and cut benefits. Or we can remind the folks of how Chuck wants to repeal the ACA and return to the days of pre-existing conditions. There are just so many things that Grassley has done against Iowans especially in his last term.

It will be so much fun to watch even the vaunted Grassley stay afloat trying to swim with the anvils of his own making.

Grassley Major Climate Denier

Pretty Bad Week For The Environment

Of course the IUB approves the Bakken oil pipeline

Bakken Pipeline Proposed Route

Honestly, did anyone in Iowa think that the Iowa Utility Board would do anything but approve the Bakken oil pipeline? The protests and the coming court cases will delay but probably won’t change anything but to possibly sharpen the the lines of reasoning that will be used as decision after decision favors business and thumbs its nose at the environment.

In case you missed it, after much delay the IUB voted to allow the construction of the Bakken oil pipeline by a 3-0 vote. This pipeline will be carrying about 450,000 barrels of tar sand oil through precious Iowa farmland. This at a time when oil prices are low. This also at a time when our country and our world would be much better served by pouring money and effort into ways to get off the fossil fuel addiction.

In other environmental news the past couple of weeks, Fiji was slammed by Cyclone Winston which contained the highest wind speeds ever. In Melbourne Australia overnight temperatures were the warmest they ever recorded at 82 degrees as they headed into fall. In the southern US they were hit with another {fill in the blank} hundred year flood as “record strength low” drops swimming pools of water on them

Record-Strength Upper Low Brings Extreme Rains to South U.S., Thundersnow to Mexico

“A remarkably rare atmospheric event is unfolding over Mexico and the Southern U.S., where an upper-level low pressure system of unprecedented strength in the historical record for that location has stalled out, bringing multiple days of torrential rain to the Southern U.S. and snow to the mountains of Mexico. The upper low tapped into an atmospheric river of moisture from both the Western Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific, bringing rainfall amounts one would expect to occur only once every 200 years (a 0.5% chance of occurrence in a given year) over portions of northern Louisiana. According to the latest NOAA Storm Summary, as of 9 am EST Thursday, the city of Monroe, Louisiana had received 17.25″ of rain since Monday, and Shreveport had picked up 16.70” at Barksdale Air Force Base.”

Iowa has had its share of these rains in recent years and no doubt will have more.

Looking forward CO2 readings at Mauna Loa, which is used as the world measuring spot, continue well above 400 PPM. Recordings above 350 PPM indicate an amount of CO2 that will be very conducive to greenhouse effect. As you can see from the chart for the last year the trend is up, up, up.

mauna loa co2 plot

Climate change should be one of the overriding issues in this year’s US senate race. Here in Iowa we have the two very opposite views represented. On the climate change denial side we have our current senator, Chuck Grassley. Grassley is a climate denier of the first order. He denies that climate change is in any way caused by humans. In a recent town hall meeting Chuck claimed that the world has been cooling since 1998, which contradicts records. Lat month was the warmest February on record just as last year was the hottest year on record.

Challenging for the Democratic party nomination is Rob Hogg who literally wrote the book on climate change – or at least on of the many books on climate change. Below is Sen. Hogg doing a presentation on his book in Denver a couple years back (video @ 1 hour)

Stated simply, you’d be a fool to vote for a guy who denies reality and puts YOU and YOUR FAMILY in jeopardy by that denial.