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Dave Loebsack Overcomes DC Gridlock To Benefit Iowans

dave loebsack updatedLoebsackforcongress

Dave Loebsack has been able to overcome the Washington gridlock and advance many of his priorities that will benefit the people of Iowa.

Below is a list of the many achievements that the Congressman has had during this 113th Congress.

Growing Iowa’s Economy

Dave secured the passage of large portions of his SECTORS Act as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The SECTORS Act will ensure workers have the training they need to secure good jobs and employers have access to a workforce with the skills that are needed for them to expand, boost our economy, and out-compete the global competition. It uses Iowa community colleges and local industry as models for how to create and retain good-paying jobs in rural areas while growing local industry. This is part of Dave’s strong focus on growing Iowa’s and our country’s manufacturing sector to create good jobs and grow the economy.

Improving Child Care for Working Families

As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, Dave helped author and pass the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) reauthorization. CCDBG provides funds to states to help low-income families pay for child care while a parent works or is in an educational or job training program. As the son of a single mother, Dave knows firsthand how important affordable, quality child care is for working families. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation makes long needed updates and improvements to CCDBG that will promote healthy child development and enhance quality and safety. It will allow parents and guardians to work or attend school with the peace of mind of knowing their children are safe and well cared for.

Supporting Our Seniors

Dave was successful in restoring funding to Meals on Wheels and other senior nutrition programs when they endured huge cuts during sequestration. Having been raised in part by his grandmother, Dave knows how critical supports like Meals on Wheels are to seniors struggling to make ends meet on fixed incomes. Dave led a group of nearly 50 bipartisan members in this effort, and was able to secure the restored funding.

Cleaning Up Congress

There is no doubt that the American people have lost faith in those who were elected to represent them. That is why Dave has fought to hold Congress accountable for its actions. Dave introduced a bipartisan House Resolution that would have reversed a decision made by the Ethics Committee to eliminate the requirement for Members to disclose privately funded travel on their yearly Financial Disclosure Statements. Because of Dave’s efforts, the Ethics Committee reversed their initial proposal and maintained the original reporting requirements. Dave has also introduced legislation to cut Member’s pay for the first time since the Great Depression and permanently ban all Member’s from becoming lobbyists.

Strengthening Rock Island Arsenal

Dave introduced, and passed through the House of Representatives, the Installation Arsenal Reutilization Act. This bill provides the Arsenal with another necessary tool to partner with the private sector to more efficiently utilize the Arsenal’s resources and workforce, and to attract more private industry to the Quad Cities area. As Co-Chair of the Depot, Arsenal and Industrial Facilities Caucus, Dave has fought to ensure that Rock Island Arsenal maintains the workloads necessary to be productive. In the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, Dave included an amendment that would push the Department of Defense to consider arsenals when deciding how to fulfill a manufacturing requirement. This effort has already resulted in additional projects coming to Rock Island Arsenal.

Protecting Rock Island Arsenal’s Workforce

Dave successfully inserted language into the 2014 and 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to push the Department of Defense to streamline how they award work between the civilian workforce and private sector companies. Dave pushed to ensure that jobs that are inherently governmental are going to the civilian workforce at Rock Island Arsenal, and are not being outsourced to the private sector.

Farm Bill

For over two years, Dave fought tooth and nail to get the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the Farm Bill, signed into law. This long-term farm bill is essential for farmers and rural communities to be able to invest and plan for the future. The new farm bill makes important reforms, gives our farmers strong risk management tools, strengthens our rural communities, and creates job well beyond the farm.

Renewable Fuels Standard

We all know the importance of biofuels to Iowa’s economy, which is why Dave has been leading the fight in Congress against the EPA to reverse its announced Renewable Fuels Standard proposal. The proposal that the EPA announced last fall is flat-out unacceptable and would have dire consequences to Iowa’s economy. As part of his efforts to overturn the proposal, Dave led the first meeting of Members of Congress with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and also took his opposition directly to the White House in meetings with Senior White House officials.

Production Tax Credit

As a longtime supporter of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), Dave has led the way in Congress to ensure it is renewed to give the wind energy sector the stability it needs. The PTC has helped the still growing wind energy industry employ 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Iowans. Just recently Dave introduced HR 5559 – the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act. This legislation would extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy through 2016. Living in Iowa, Dave understands how important renewable energy is to our state, to our country’s future, and to our economy.

National Guard

Dave worked in a bipartisan manner to protect the Iowa National Guard from experiencing severe budget cuts and force structure reductions. As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Dave worked with Congressman Joe Wilson to stave off these cuts by creating an independent commission that is tasked to look at the total force structure of the Army. Without this Commission, the Iowa National Guard would have lost over 100 Guardsmen and Reservists, and would have lost helicopters that have been vital in responding to natural disasters and emergencies.

Fighting for Our Troops

As a parent of two children in the military, Dave knows firsthand the strain put on military families. Dave worked with his Republican colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to reverse the President’s 2015 budget submission which called for a reduction of Earned Housing Benefits for military families, forcing them to pay an additional 5% out of pocket. Dave also inserted language into the National Defense Authorization Act that would expand person-to-person mental health screenings to at least one screening during each 180-day period a servicemember is deployed.

Water Resources Reform and Development Act

While it took are too long, Dave’s work to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure was finally signed into law. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) authorizes Corps of Engineers funding for improvements to ports, waterways and projects tied to flood protection, drinking water, dams and levees and environmental restoration. This bill also contained Dave’s legislation to protect Cedar Rapids from future flooding.

Introduced the Re-Fuel Act

In order to give American’s more choice at the gas pump, Dave introduced legislation that would establish a grant program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invest in renewable and alternative fuel infrastructure. The Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion and Leadership (Re-FUEL) Act (HR 4051) will help create new and retrofit existing infrastructure, including pumps for biofuels and hydrogen, tanks, piping and electric vehicle chargers.

What’s The Matter With Wisconsin?

scott walkertalkingpointsmemo.com/

An armed militia group in Wisconsin plans to confront people who signed the petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) at the polls on Nov. 4.

The “Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia” will check the names of those on the petition and will then seek out the Democrats on that list, according to Facebook exchanges viewed by Politicus USA.

The Facebook page for the militia has since been scrubbed.

The group plans to follow people from polling locations to their homes, according to a Facebook post viewed by The Capital Times.

“Please private message us names of people you know are active voters and wanted on warrants. We can get our agents to watch their polling location, identify the individual, and then follow them to their residence. A call the police and they will be picked up for processing,” the Facebook message read.

The group is using the website Put Wisconsin First to identify petition signers who have outstanding arrest warrants and those with tax defaults.

According to Politicus USA, the Facebook page for the group featured pictures of African-Americans, but the group denied that they are targeting blacks.

“We can assure you that we will be targeting all democrats, not just black ones,” a Facebook message read, according to the Capital Times. “If you think we meant blacks only it is because you are a racist who thinks the only people with warrants are black. We know better because we have a nice list of people who are wanted democrat activist types. Most are actually white. We will target everyone.”

Hatch Closing In On Branstad

Democrat Jack Hatch is gaining on Branstad. New polling by Rasmussen who many consider Republican-leaning has the race at 46% for Branstad to 40% for Hatch.  Hatch has significantly narrowed Branstad’s August lead of 52% – 35%.  A 17-point lead of a month ago for Branstad is now a mere 6 point lead with 10% undecided.

Click here to volunteer for Jack Hatch’s campaign and finally retire for good one of ALEC’s founding fathers, Terry Branstad.

ICYMI: This is the 2nd of 3 gubernatorial debates.

Labor Update: Upcoming Events Around Iowa

Labor Movement  Iowa AFL-CIO

September 22:

Clive:  Reception with Dave Loebsack
6 PM.   Clive. IA. RSVP 319-804-9218 or nick@loebsackforcongress.org.

September 22:

Clinton Labor Walk 5 PM. 309-738-3196 224 22nd Place, Clinton, Iowa

September 24:

Mason City Labor Walk. 9 am, Mason City Labor Temple, 510 S Pennsylvania, Mason City. contact Matt Marchese at marchesematthew@gmail.com 515-243-1924 or 917-757-8788

September 24:

Davenport – Quad Cities. Labor Walk 11 Am to 7 PM. UFCW 431 2411 W Central Park Avenue, Davenport. Tracy Leone at 309-738-3196

September 24: Performance and Reception for Staci Appel

Des Moines:  4 – 6 PM Java Joe’s 214 4th Street, Des Moines, IA. 50309. Performance by Jon “Bowzer” Bauman from Sha NA NA. RSVP 515-957-1391 or sarah@appelforiowa.com.

September 25-26 New Stewards School.

Coralville:  Labor Center. University of Iowa BioVentures Center, Coralville. $150 per person. Includes materials, parking and lunch both days. Registration deadline is September 10. 319-335-4144 or labor-center@uiowa.edu.

September 26:

Iowa City: Winning better laws: How can ordinary people be heard
Center for Worker Justice.  940 S Gilbert Court, Iowa City. 319-594-7593. All workshops take place at 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm at the Center for Worker Justice, 940 S. Gilbert Court, Iowa City. Call 319-594-7593 for more information. Interpretation is available upon request.

September 27:

Des Moines:  Labor Jam –  Labor Park. Noon to 10 PM. $5 per person. Bring you own beer, chairs and blankets. Food, pop and water will be for sale. 515-265-1862 or mark@scifl.org

September 27:

Burlington: Labor History.  Saturday, Sept. 27, 8:00 am-12:00 noon, 16452 US Hwy 34, West Burlington (Machinists Hall)

Download flyer (pdf)

Learn more about key struggles and dramatic turning points in U.S. and Iowa labor history, and what labor history tells us about the challenges workers continue to face today. Sponsored by Des Moines-Henry County Labor Council with support from the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Contact Ryan Drew to RSVP or for more information: 319-759-3188 or dhclc@hotmail.com.

September 27:

Walker.  Labor Walk – 2000 Walker

September 27:

Quad Cities Sat. Sept 27: Labor to Labor Walk – 10 – 1pm @ UFCW 431

September 29:

Quad Cities:  Monday Phone Bank @ UA Hall 5-8PM Tracy Leone at 309-738-3196

September 29:

West Des Moines

Citizen Koch Screening –
Citizen Koch: A Film About Money, Power and Democracy
WHERE:
Century 20 Theatres at Jordan Creek
West Des Moines, Iowa
WHEN:
September 29, 2014 @ 7:30 PM
TICKETS:
https://www.tugg.com/go/9vwmx3

I’ve Got A Thousand Million Questions

question
A line from that Moody Blues song “Question” –
“I’ve got a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war.”

And budgets and the wealth gap and the environment and health care and education and … well many more. Can I substitute for Dean Borg one week? Please?

1) Let’s start with the budget. Once again we appear to be moving to war with no talk of how we will pay for the bombs and the planes and the soldiers so on and so forth. Yet that will not stop us from going to war. However, we have bridges about to fall down, schools that are unsafe, sewer and water lines bursting around the country that are not being addressed. Why do we always have money for war, but no money for infrastructure needs?

2) An add on to the previous question, how will you pay for the next war? Please be specific on added taxes or program cuts and who will be affected.

3) Around the country we have seen corporations create major public damage to common goods like waterways, aquifers, land, health and more yet they walk away from responsibility for those damages. Tell me what you will do to relieve taxpayers of the burden of corporate irresponsibility?

4) As a country we have spent trillions to secure oil from the middle east through wars and standing armies and aid. It looks as though we will be in the middle east as long as we need oil. What are your proposals to get off the oil addiction?

5) who are you largest donors? What will they get for their investment in you?

6) When we go into war, the lives and bodies of soldiers are broken. We have been greatly negligent in repairing those broken lives and bodies. Would you favor a tax to pay for soldier maintenance throughout their lives before we send them into war?

7) Should there be a tax or cost added to products to pay for their impact on the environment?

8) Why do companies get tax breaks when they move jobs and facilities out of the US? What will you do to bring these jobs and facilities back? How will your approach work.

9) There is a new awareness of battered women in this country. What have you done in the past to address this problem and what do you propose that the government can do?

10) Finally – It has been nearly 2 years since the Sandy Hook massacre. We are killing each other as if we are in an internal war. What proposals will you advance to end this slaughter and tell us why they will work?

I could go on and I bet you could also. I really want to hear questions that affect our daily lives and see if the politicians understand what their platitudes mean.

“I’ve got a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war.”

Oktoberfest? It’s Time!

House district 91 candidate John Dabeet poses with Lt. Governor candidate Monica Vernon in Muscatine

House district 91 candidate John Dabeet poses with Lt. Governor candidate Monica Vernon in Muscatine

Muscatine County Democrats will be hosting their 10th annual Oktoberfest fundraiser at the Strawberry Bed and Breakfast next Saturday, September 27th from 1 to 5 PM. Strawberry Farm Bed and Breakfast is located at 3402 Tipton Road in Muscatine. This is in the north part of Muscatine just south of the Hwy. 61 bypass on Tipton Road.

Hosts Karl and Linda Reichert began this tradition when their son Nate was running for the state House in 2004. Unfortunately, Nate did not survive the 2010 election, but the Reicherts continued their fundraiser for the local party.

This year’s headliners are Monica Vernon, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Congressman Dave Loebsack from Iowa’s second district. Other local officeholders will also make an appearance. Donation levels from are suggested from $300 down to $25 are suggested. There is also a meal provided by A Guy and A Grill for a $10 donation.

The setting is bucolic and there will be lots of friendly Democrats around to trade stories with and some great candidates to listen to. If you are looking for a good time in a beautiful setting with some new and old friends next Saturday, come on down. And maybe you can persuade Karl to make you a root beer float!

Strawberry Farm

Strawberry Farm

Free Speech TV Covers People’s Climate March

peoples climate march
From 9:30 until 12:30 today Free Speech TV (Dish channel 9415, Direct TV channel 348 or online at https://www.freespeech.org/) will be carrying live coverage of the People’s March For Climate Change. This will be a Democracy Now presentation. The major part of the march will be in New York City ahead of the UN Summit on Climate Tuesday.

2500 marches are taking part in the event across the world. Already today 30,000 people showed up in Melbourne Australia – a country where Prime Minister Tony Abbot has rolled back much of his predecessor’s climate actions.

As far as we know, no corporate broadcasting entity in the US will have any coverage.

Sunday Funday – The Divorce Didn’t Happen Edition

dinna cheatAnglophiles everywhere can sleep better tonight. The rumored breakup with their rascally little partner, Scotland, did not come to pass. That doesn’t mean all is bliss. England made lots of promises to keep the marriage together. We will see how well those promises are kept in the near future. But for now we can visit their home without having to duck flying dishes and nasty name calling. Peace – isn’t it wonderful?

Were you paying attention last week?

1) President Obama committed troops and money to combat what potential major threat in Africa?

2) What independent senator made his very first appearance on Meet The Press, saying issues are pushing him to run for president?

3) Claiming he was “too busy” what official was able to get his scheduled deposition delayed until after the election?

4) A vintage Kent State sweatshirt with what looked like bullet holes and blood was marketed last week by what company?

5) What Chinese company attracted major publicity for its initial public offering Friday on the New York Stock Exchange?

6) Is this a sign that things are getting better? The number of gamblers in Iowa increased by what percent in 2013?

7) Let no man out asunder. England and Scotland are still together. When were they put together under one parliament?

8) Who was the leader of the of the “YES” position in the vote to split Scotland from England?

9) The No Child Left Behind law has listed more or less than half of Iowa’s schools in need of help?

10) September 24 1957. President Eisenhower sends federal troops to Arkansas for what purpose?

11) While many major corporations have threatened to uncouple from the NFL over the domestic abuse issue, what corporation has actually pulled its campaign against breast cancer from the NFL?

12) In the run up to the independence vote in Scotland, what major financial company threatened to move its headquarters out of Scotland?

13) What politician joined the Nuns on the Bus as they kicked off another national tour this time promoting voter registration?

14) In a horrific crime Thursday in Belle Florida, a man killed who?

15) In Florida, a bill that gives students “sole discretion in determining whether an inspirational message is to be delivered” at a student assembly has been embraced by what religious sect?

Well I guess I won’t have to get my kilts out and press them. Never did look good in them anyway.

Answers:

1) Ebola

2) Bernie Sanders

3) Gov. Branstad. – Hey,guv, we all get busy.

4) Urban Outfitters

5) Ali Baba – already worth more than Amazon

6) 9%

7) 1707

8) Alex Salmond

9) more than half – 54.4%

10) to desegregate Little Rock’s Central HS

11) P&G

12) RBS or Royal Bank of Scotland

13) VP Joe Biden

14) his daughter and his six grandchildren before killing himself

15) The Satanic Temple which in turn is rallying for Florida governor Rick Scott.

Special Treatment For Branstad

Branstad raise
A story that sort of went under the radar at the end of last week was one about how once again our Governor stretches the limits of equal treatment under the law. Branstad is the defendant in a lawsuit concerning discrimination and illegal tactics in forcing an employee to resign. The plaintiff, Christopher Godfrey, had sought a deposition from Branstad during September or October.

But Branstad claimed he could not carve out a few hours until after the election. Seems to me if Branstad were an ordinary citizen like you and I then he would have been told “No you have to give this deposition.” But once more he pulls rank, claims he is too busy and mocks the justice system.

It is just one thing after another with this guy. He puts himself above the law time after time. Should we list a few? Let’s start with the hush money paid to employees that were let go under suspicious circumstances by the Branstad Administration. Then how about the illegal closing of the state home for juveniles in Toledo? Or maybe taking his governor’s pension while he is governor? We can go on with his ignoring traffic laws and the subsequent firing of a highly respected Highway patrol officer. Then there is the unilateral changing of the administrative law judge’s position to an at-will position.

Let us not forget his total disdain for people – how he line item vetoed a unanimous funding for food banks, how he fought like the devil to stop the Medicaid upgrade, how he continues to bust unions at every turn, or how he passes out our economic development money like its his pocket change. It is our money.

Just like it is our money that is defending Branstad in this lawsuit and will be our money in lawsuits that will no doubt be coming. Like so many Republican governors across the country – Christie, Perry, McDonnell etc. – Branstad just seems to set himself above the law.

It is way past time for Iowa to look forward once more. It is way past time to put someone in the governor’s mansion that will be looking out for the common Iowan, not his donors and rich buddies. Hopefully on Wednesday November 5th we can all look to Des Moines and wave a final farewell to Terry.

Medicare Still Working

save medicare
I am here to report that Medicare is still in full fettle. This month I joined up. What a feeling. I feel like I have just moved into a grand home with few worries. No more wondering if the landlord will toss us out on our ear because he can. In more practical terms it means I can go to see a medical person without the fear that we may lose our home and everything we worked for. For a cost way less than half of what some really bad “insurance” used to cost me, I can now get real medical care. Plus the system itself is doing well.

Even though the ACA was supposed to address problems with the health care system (or more accurately the health insurance system), insurance companies have done all and everything they can to subvert its mission. The policy I had for the past eight months was sold to me with one set of providers, but that was switched when I went to use it. Thus I was little better off than before. With Medicare that is not a worry.

Prior to the ACA, it was pretty much a given that if you were over 50 pretty much everything you would see a medical person for was a “pre-existing condition” and thus not covered by the insurance company. So for years I paid out big bucks for horrible coverage, just like most of the country. This is what led to health care being one of the central issues of 2008. Most people wanted and still want I believe a form of Medicare for everyone. What we got is protection for the health insurance industry with a few trinkets for the consumer.

Thus we are still the only major economy without universal health care and we still pay nearly twice what any other country pays per person while getting about half the results. Taking a chunk out for that middle man that adds nothing to the actual care of a patient really affects the system. Too bad a person has to wait to 65 to finally have access to decent health care in this country. Medicare is a great template for what this country should be aiming for.

No doubt Medicare is a popular program. So popular that Republican candidates for national and statewide offices have had to couch their once outspoken opposition to Medicare in phraseology that attempts to hide their real intent. Joni Ernst has a commercial that claims she favors Medicare when in reality she will be one pushing hard to voucherize Medicare. Her loyalty is not to get good medical access for Iowans young and old, but to deliver on what the Koch Brothers tell her to do. Lying about her position is not a problem when it may accomplish her goals.

We know how Steve King feels about medical care – it is just not for the poor and middle class. David Young is using the old and long debunked lie that Obama stole $700 billion from Medicare. Anyone who tells you that is an idiot, pure and simple. In the second district we see Mariannette Miller-Meeks lining up with libertarian tea bagger Rand Paul. Her policies have shifted way to the right of the years. Her views on Medicare have moved also. I really find it hard to believe that a doctor would work to restrict access to health care, but there she is to prove me wrong.

I must say I do not know where Rod Blum stands, but I could guess and I am sure I would be close. Most of the Republican candidates say they do not want to take Medicare away from those who have it. That is simple logic. That would be political suicide. But taking it away from a generation that Reaganomics has oppressed to the point where they have seen the middle class slowly disappear is fair game to them.

Just another in their war on the middle class. Now, I believe and I think most Iowans believe that Medicare and its companion programs Social Security, Medicaid and the current ACA, are social contracts between the government and the citizens. Remember we are the government and we do direct what our representatives do.

In case you have forgotten, Terry Branstad would have been ecstatic to dump the Medicaid portion of the ACA like all his Republican buddies. But he was forced to compromise and put in at least a form of the new Medicaid due to a gutsy stand by his now opponent Jack Hatch. Branstad would love to have a chance to roll back that decision. Electing Jack Hatch would give Iowa a chance to join those at the top tier of health care. We really owe it to ourselves to send Branstad packing and to put a man with vision for the common Iowan in the governor’s mansion.

If health care is still a concern of yours and your family, and it should be if you are human, there is little question that you should vote for Democrats this fall.