Teamsters’ New TeamCAN Partners With Indivisible Iowa

Iowa Teamsters Local 238 has created an exciting new organizing group and are quickly reaching out statewide to partner with other progressive groups. In March they launched a Teamsters Community Action Network (TeamCAN), a 501(c)3 nonprofit which is separate from their traditional Teamsters labor union. The first TeamCAN organizational meeting in Cedar Rapids in March drew over 200 progressive leaders and activists composed of labor union members, civil rights groups, environmentalists, progressive religious leaders and progressive organizers including the Indivisible group. That initial organizational meeting led to TeamCAN partnering with the group Indivisible to jointly sponsor six regional training conferences for Iowa progressives. […]

Rural Iowans Give Urban Iowans Some Tough Advice

The Iowa Democratic Party has been conducting a 2016 post-election postmortem on why they lost rural Iowa so badly.  One recommendation resurfaces in every one of these autopsies conducted over these losses.  The suggestion is that urban Democrats must listen to the needs of rural Iowans if they ever expect to gain their votes. However, one rural Iowan warns Democrats it will take more than fake listening and feigned concern to reconnect with rural Iowa. Doug Burns, co-owner of the Carroll Daily Times Herald writes a column, “Taking Note,” for the Herald’s editorial page. Burns also writes the “Political Mercury” […]

Iowans March For Science This Saturday

Science and fact-based scientific research is under attack by Republicans at all levels of government. The national scientific community is asking the public for support. There will be national Science Marches in cities all across the country tomorrow. Here’s the stated mission of the Science March: “The March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” You can show that […]

DREAMer Deportation Increases Fear Among Iowa Immigrants

Yesterday’s shocking news on the deportation of Californian Juan Manuel Montes has increased the anxiety in the immigrant community. Montes, 23, came to the United States at age 9 and believed he was protected from deportation under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). This is the first reported deportation of a DREAMer covered by the DACA program and it’s causing panic. Montes lawyer is suing the Trump administration over his deportation. “Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how,” stated Nora A. Preciado, a staff […]

Protests Put Trump’s Tax Returns Back In The Spotlight

National tax day protests this past weekend focused on President Trump’s stubborn refusal to reveal his tax returns. His unsupported claim that he can’t reveal his returns because he’s under audit has been thoroughly debunked. The IRS is on the record confirming that Trump can make his returns public while under audit. Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer was peppered with questions about Trump’s tax returns on Monday. Following the massive tax-day protests the questions about Trump’s tax returns have resurfaced with even greater intensity than ever. Until now, Trump supporters haven’t seemed bothered by Trump’s refusal to show his tax history. […]

Big Business Wins Again Over People On Internet Privacy

It’s an unusual day when Congress can bring together the disparate factions in the United States. But our lawmakers in Washington have done just that. And it has largely slipped past public view because of cable news’ fixation on all things Trump. This is unfortunate, because the actions that occurred in the past three weeks in Washington amount to an unwarranted assault on the privacy of everyday Americans. The U.S. Senate and House votes, coupled with President Trump’s signature last week, erased a Federal Communications Commission regulation that had required internet service providers to get your permission before they provided […]

Vote Smart Opens Fact HQ At Drake University

If you love and value facts, you should be excited about this announcement. Vote Smart, one of the nation’s premier non-partisan political research organizations, opened their new headquarters at Drake University on Monday. Vote Smart President Richard Kimball said they had looked at 17 schools before selecting Drake University as their new national headquarters. This is a significant boost to Drake University’s growing reputation as a center for political research. Drake currently houses the political archives of both former Governor Robert Ray and Senator Tom Harkin. Bringing Vote Smart to Drake enhances central Iowa’s pivotal role in political relevance and […]

Focus On Issues In Governor’s Race, Not Fake Des Moines “Curse”

Recently, I have been in a public discussion with members of the Eastern Iowa press corps.  Columnist Todd Dorman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette believes a Des Moines candidate for Governor is the wrong voice for Democrats. He defends his position by acknowledging Governor Chet Culver’s loss and my loss to Governor Terry Branstad in 2010 & 2014 respectively. This discussion is as old as our attempts to rationalize why Democrats have lost the governorship 11 of 14 elections since 1968. The home towns of our candidates should tell us something about our candidate’s values, not election competence. Mr. Dorman […]

Demand Answers At Upcoming Forums, Tax Day Rallies

Iowa’s Congressional delegation are on their Easter recess until April 21. This is an opportunity for you to demand answers on the Trump agenda.  We know the activists that attended the first set of Town Halls were very effective. These activists changed public opinion on Obamacare and stopped Republicans from passing their Trumpcare alternative. However, the fight over Obamacare isn’t over. Congressman Ryan is promising to continue the repeal effort. In addition, we must hold Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst, Congressman Blum, King and Young accountable and demand answers. Below is the Town Hall locator by state. As of this posting […]

Insurance And Government Are Like Pickled Beets

The Republican health care plan was unraveling in front of our eyes when an Illinois congressman opened his mouth without first putting his brain in gear. Rep. John Shimkus objected to men having to pay for prenatal care in their health insurance policies. The reaction rained down like a spring thunderstorm. Shimkus was criticized for his insensitivity and for neglecting to see the role of men in the need for women’s prenatal care. Some women asked why they should have to pay higher premiums in their policies for coverage that includes men’s prostate cancer screenings or treatment of erectile dysfunction. […]