Malcolm Nance: Democrats Must Vote Or This Could Be The Last Free Election

Get Malcolm’s new book, “The Plot to Destroy Democracy” Subscribe to the daily Stephcast and the Happy Hour podcast here

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Money Money Money Money

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Republicans Using Single Party Control To Advance Ideological Causes

Urgent action alert from Democratic senator Rob Hogg.

Please read this message below and share. We can turn this around. We can work together for all Iowans, un-do the damage, and build a better future for our state.

Senator Rob Hogg
Cedar Rapids

Pocahontas County Democrats
October 13, 2018

As a state senator, who has worked the last two years under all-Republican control, I want to go into some detail about how much damage Governor Reynolds and the Republican majority in the Iowa Legislature have done to our state so you can help educate Iowans about the issues most important to them.

For years, we have prided ourselves on bipartisan support for legislation. Even when Democrats were in control, we passed legislation that had strong bipartisan support, like raising the minimum wage and extending health care to 60,000 children in Iowa. Personally, I am proud that we got bipartisan support for the solar energy tax credit in 2012, the flood mitigation program in 2012, and the bill to phase out the state income tax on Social Security income that was signed by Governor Vilsack in 2006.

Unfortunately, since 2016, Republicans have used their single-party control for highly-partisan and ideological legislation that has done real damage to Iowans, such as their attack on workers’ rights, women’s rights, and voting rights.

They have also made major budget cuts because, they said, we didn’t have enough money. Well, that wasn’t true, the state has always had enough money. Over the last two years, we have always had over $500 million in our rainy day funds, but Republicans still wanted to make cuts that have hurt Iowans.

First, education. Republicans have short-changed our public schools, with increases of 1% and 1.1%, not enough to keep up with inflation. Gas prices are up 30% over the last two years, and one superintendent told me that the increases weren’t even enough to cover increased utility costs and gasoline costs.

On top of that, Republicans have actually cut early childhood education by more than $1 million a year, and we all know that early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make, and they have cut our community colleges in the middle of the budget year by over $5 million, and they have cut our universities by over $30 million. No wonder tuition and fees are going up. The state is now actually providing less support for our universities than it did in 1998, a generational disinvestment.

Second, health care. At this point, everyone should know about the Medicaid mess, and it is a real mess, hurting Iowa patients and hurting Iowa providers, and it hasn’t stopped the increase in Medicaid costs. But on top of that, Republicans have actually cut our two remaining mental health institutes by $1.7 million, cut substance abuse treatment by $2.5 million as part of overall cuts to the department of public health, cut tobacco prevention by $1.2 million, and this year, Governor Reynolds and Republican legislators cut medical education at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Broadlawns by $8.1 million, at a time when Iowa already has a shortage of health care providers.

Third, public safety. They have cut our state troopers – we are close to the lowest number of state troopers in a generation. They have cut our courts and corrections. Corrections isn’t just about prison facilities like Rockwell City, like the cuts that Jake Thompson talked about, it is also community corrections and supervision of people on parole or probation, and because of those cuts, the rate of recidivism has increased from 29% to 35%, and combined with a higher number of releases from prison, recidivism now accounts for nearly 500 additional crimes a year that were not committed at the prior rate.

Another issue that has not gotten enough attention is the cuts to victim services for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. They cut that by 26%, or $1.7 million, in 2017, and haven’t restored any of it. And that makes it harder for victims to get services they need, and hurts our ability to prevent sexual assault and domestic abuse in Iowa.

Fourth, they cut human services, and you heard John O’Brien speak about that earlier. We have lost over 900 human service employees since 2011. And they actually cut aging services that provide support for the elderly through our area agencies on aging, and they actually cut the Iowa Veterans Home which takes care of elderly and disabled veterans in Marshalltown, and they actually cut veterans’ home-ownership grants by $500,000.

Finally, they have cut natural resources and flood mitigation, and flooding has been a real big problem in recent years. They cut the REAP program that is so important for our county conservation boards by $6 million, they cut the DNR and the DNR floodplain program, they cut the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa by $328,000 (or more than 20%), and they eliminated funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

I know there are other cuts, too, but the point is, Republican legislators and Governor Reynolds have been doing real damage to our state. They had an excuse for that, which is we didn’t have any money. Well, we did have the money, but if we didn’t have the money, why is that? After more than seven years of Branstad and Reynolds, the fact is their economic development strategy is not working. They promised 200,000 new jobs, and a 25% increase in family incomes, in five years, and eight years later they are still not close to either number.

But the real reason they made all these cuts that have hurt Iowans is because they wanted to pass even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers, and that’s what they did on May 5 of this year, using a process that didn’t even allow Democrats to offer any amendments.

That tax bill is heavily tilted toward the wealthiest taxpayers. For those of you in the room making over $1 million a year, and I won’t ask for a show of hands, you will receive on average a tax cut in 2019 of $18,773 – nearly $19,000 for every taxpayer earning over $1 million a year – a total of $49 million, more than all the mid-year budget cuts they did in 2018.

If you happen to make between $70,000 and $80,000, the average income tax cut will be $215, and for those making between $30,000 and $40,000 a year, the average income tax cut will be $92. Just $92 or $215 compared to $18,773. That’s unfair.

What makes this even worse is the tax bill is also expected to increase sales tax collections by more than $130 million a year – paid for mostly by working families and the middle class – and it will require even more cuts to education, health care, public safety, human services, and natural resources.

I know this long list is depressing, but Iowans need to know about it. And I really believe we can turn this around and un-do the damage with a renewed spirit of citizen involvement. This is our state. This is our country. This is our democracy. We can shock the world and elect Jake Thompson and John O’Brien to the state legislature in Pocahontas County. Please get more involved, educate your friends, family, neighbors, and fellow Iowans, get people registered to vote, get people to vote, so we can un-do the damage Republicans are doing to our state, and start working together for all Iowans to build safe, healthy, prosperous, inclusive, and growing communities in every county in Iowa.

Thank you.

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Second And Final Blum-Finkenauer Debate Tonight

State Representative Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) and Iowa 1st District Republican congressman Rod Blum (R-Dubuque) will debate for the second and final time Tuesday at 6 pm.

The debate will be carried live on CBS2 and on NewsTalk1540 KXEL from 6-7 pm. It will also air at 9 pm Tuesday on FOX28 and at 2 pm Wednesday October 17 on KXEL.

CBS2/FOX28 political reporter Nick Weig and KXEL News & Program Director Jeff Stein will co-moderate the event and ask the questions.

Watch their first debate (starts around 23:00).

To volunteer for Finkenauer’s campaign or to donate, visit her website

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Iowa Voting: A One Minute How-to Guide

The time to do it is now. Today. Stop by your county auditor’s office. Click here to find your county auditor.  We only have about three weeks left.  We suggest voting early at your county auditor’s office because you won’t have to worry about your ballot getting lost and campaigns won’t have to spend precious volunteer time collecting ballots. Just do it. They are open over the lunch hour. No excuses!


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Cardboard Rod Blum

Can’t remember where we heard of it, but one of our secret chuckles is to go visit the facebook and twitter pages of Cardboard Rod Blum. Ridicule is one of the best weapons against those who think they are high and mighty. Rod Blum has demonstrated throughout his tenure in Congress, that the only people he should answer to are his donors, not the voters of his district.

cardboard rod blum

Cardboard Rod

Whoever is behind this bit of ridicule on facebook and on twitter we applaud their effort. When there is an inflated ego that needs popping, deserved public ridicule is a nice tool to use.

Let’s look at some of the posts that have been used to dog the disappearing congressman this election year:

Some twitter entries:


11 Dec 2017

Hi there! Since Congressman @RepRodBlum refuses to listen to everyday Iowans like you & me, I’m stepping up to hear your concerns. I hope you will join me on my journey through #IA01. #RunAwayRod

Is anyone really surprised that @RepRodBlum isn’t planning to meet with the @DMRegister editorial staff? It is typical for #RunAwayRod to shun his constituents but now he is also running from the media. #RetireRodBlum

Cardboard Rod Blum Retweeted OutFrontCNN

“At the most recent debate, @RepRodBlum slipped in through the back.” Blum also declined an interview with @CNN. And it has been 517 days since his last public townhall in #IA01. Hiding from constituents is Rod Blum’s favorite game. He’s wrong for Iowa. #VoteHimOut #RunawayRod


Oct 5

.@RepRodBlum still doesn’t get it — metal detectors in schools is NOT the answer to eradicating gun violence in schools. He’s dangerously wrong on this and he needs to be called out on it. We need universal background checks, a policy supported by the majority of Iowans. #IA01

From Facebook:

Cardboard Rod Blum

October 5 at 3:39 PM ·

I have been looking for Congressman Rod Blum for the last 512 days and haven’t been able to find him. But we know where to find him tonight. 7 pm @ Gallagher Bluedorn Center on the UNI campus. Tune in on @KWWL to watch #Abby4Iowa show us what real leadership looks like. #RetireRodBlum

Cardboard Rod Blum

October 2 at 2:47 PM ·

Does Congressman Rod Blum think the voters of #IA01 aren’t paying attention as he votes to plunge the country deeper and deeper into debt? Blum’s tax cuts will put Social Security and Medicare at risk for America’s seniors. Time to #RetireRodBlum…/editorial-b…/1489613002/

Cardboard Rod Blum

September 20 at 4:55 PM ·

This is just one of the many reasons why Congressman Rod Blum is going to be retired in November. “Voters say 2-to-1 the tax law benefits rich over middle class.”…/internal-gop-poll-we-ve-lost-th…

Take a visit and read some of the adventures of Cardboard Rod Blum.

Meanwhile, Abby Finkenauer is battling hard so she can really represent the people of Iowa-01 the way they should be represented.

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Sunday Funday: VOTE, VOTE, VOTE Edition

What??? Early voting has been going on for a full week and you haven’t voted yet? What’re you waiting for? 

Seriously, if you have time to vote, do it now. That will relieve you of worrying about possibly missing voting on Election Day itself. There are a couple of ways to vote early. One is by absentee ballot that can be obtained from you county auditor. The other is by going to the auditor’s office during regular business hours and voting there. This is a form of absentee voting so you will have to put you ballot in the secret sleeve and into the envelope. However instead of mailing it to the auditor, you hand it to them.

Plus this is a sure way to check your registration. Details on absentee procedures can be found at the Secretary of State’s website.  

This year, vote for facts, don’t vote for fear.

Sounds like the new badge of honor for female politicians is to have the orange presidential buffoon, Dear Leader, lead his crowd in a chorus of “Lock Her Up” in your name.

It gets worse every week.

  1. Thursday was a great day for rock ’n’ roller Dear leader as he met with what 2 music personna?
  1. Dear Leader announced permanent sale of what blend of gasoline at an appearance in Council Bluffs Tuesday?
  1. What multi-billionaire dumped at least $25 million into Republican campaign coffers Thursday?
  1. Another week of giant storms – Hurricane Michael made landfall in what state after blowing up to a near category 5 Wednesday morning?
  1. What female music icon caused a surge of younger voter registration after she broke her political silence last Sunday?
  1. What goes up must go down. In two days the DJIA lost nearly how many points in an unexpected plunge Wednesday & Thursday?
  1. Fox News announced it would no longer carry what live as the ratings for these events is tanking?
  1. ”Seriously, you asked Russia to hack me on national television,” was the response by who to Dear Leader’s claim she colluded with Russia?
  1. October 19th, 1781 British forces led by General Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans at what location ending the Revolutionary War?
  1. At least for this week Dear Leader says he has no plans to fire what deputy attorney general?
  1. In trade for some time off to campaign back home, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to do what for Republicans?
  1. Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was thought to have been killed in Turkey by agents of what country he has been critical of?
  1. The Democratic party picked up what pair of notables who registered as Democrats this week?
  1. Rudy off the rails again! Dear Leader’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for whose assets to be frozen?
  1. The USA Today newspaper printed a totally misleading and totally fact free editorial about Medicare written by whom?
  1. Officer Jason van Dyke was found guilty of 2nd degree murder of Laquan McDonald in what city?
  1. What US Ambassador to the UN announced her plans to leave that post last week?
  1. A Michigan man using what object as a doorstop for decades found out it was worth over $100,000 last week?
  1. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last week that the world has how many years to stop a possible climate change catastrophe?
  1. In voter suppression news, Native Americans in what state have had their right to vote almost eliminated due to a law that requires street addresses to register?

@haroldpollack on twitter

George Soros survived the Nazis+Soviet communism to become a self-made billionaire+generous advocate for human rights. His emergence as a totemic hate object on the right just sickens me. And yeah, there’s more than a tinge of anti-Semitism in this.


  1. Kanye West and Kid Rock
  1. E15 (15% ethanol)
  1. Sheldon Adelson
  1. Florida’s panhandle
  1. Taylor Swift
  1. 1400 points
  1. Dear Leader’s “campaign” rallies
  1. Hillary Clinton
  1. Yorktown, Va.
  1. Rod Rosenstein
  1. Confirm 15 federal judge appointments. (Bad choice, Chuck)
  1. Saudi Arabia
  1. Michael Bloomberg and Michael Cohen, who may not be able to vote very soon.
  1. George Soros. The right imagines Soros is doing some bad things to them (see above twitter post)
  1. Dear Leader
  1. Chicago
  1. Nikki Haley
  1. A big rock that turned out to be a meteorite
  1. 12 years
  1. North Dakota. A federal judge ruled the law did not discriminate 

Once again the last thought goes to John Fugelsang:

“Gorsuch was cheating. Kavanaugh was cheating. Voter ID laws are cheating. Russian interference was cheating. Using stolen emails is cheating. Gerrymandering is cheating. An electoral college that was demanded by slaveowners is cheating. And in Georgia, letting the white GOP man stop black ppl from voting for the black Dem woman is some serious WTF weapons-grade cheating.”

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Billboards Highlight Gutting Of Workers Compensation

Gary Carlson your out of luck

sign reminding workers of Gary Garlson’s involvement in gutting Workers Compensation. Hwy 61 north of Muscatine 

From Progress Iowa Wednesday:

From: Matt Sinovic <>

Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 2:39 PM

Subject: TOMORROW: Progress Iowa Launches “You’re Out of Luck” Billboards Targeting Cownie, Carlson For Gutting Workers Compensation

 For Immediate Release: October 10, 2018

Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0133

Progress Iowa Launches “You’re Out of Luck” Billboards Targeting Cownie, Carlson For Gutting Workers Compensation

DES MOINES – Progress Iowa is launching a new advertising campaign this week to hold Representatives Peter Cownie and Gary Carlson accountable for their efforts to pass House File 518, gutting workers compensation benefits for Iowa workers. More than $10,000 will be spent on billboard and digital advertising in West Des Moines and Muscatine to call attention to the failed leadership of both Cownie and Carlson.

Click here to view the billboard encouraging constituents to call Rep. Peter Cownie

Click here to view the billboard encouraging constituents to call Rep. Gary Carlson

Progress Iowa will host a press conference tomorrow in front of one of the new billboards, to highlight the personal stories of injured workers and the failure of House File 518.

What: “You’re Out of Luck” Billboard Launch

Who: Iowans injured on the job

When: Thursday, October 11, 10:00 AM

Where: Near the intersection of 9th Street & Grand Ave, West Des Moines, Iowa

Clark Hassig was a truck driver in Des Moines who had a career ending shoulder injury. He went to the capitol in the spring of 2017 to speak at a public hearing and warn lawmakers like Representatives Cownie and Carlson against passing House File 518, which has been disastrous for workers. “They ignored me,” said Hassig, who had never spoken at a legislative meeting until that day, “Truck driving is what I know, and at 55 it’s not easy to find a new career. I lost my ability to earn a solid income, and with a diabetic son, I also lost my family’s health insurance. Without the income replacement benefits from my workers’ compensation coverage, my family would have lost everything overnight.”

A worker facing an injury similar to the one Hassig suffered would see an 80, even 90 percent reduction in insurance coverage under House File 518. Representative Peter Cownie was the architect of this cruel new law, and Representative Gary Carlson led the charge to get it passed. A recent study released by the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project determined that workers with shoulder injuries would lose an average of $72,000, and potentially up to $200,000.

Progress Iowa is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization with a network of more than 75,000 progressives. Year-round, Progress Iowa advocates for a stronger middle class, first-class public education, and fairness for all Iowans under the law.

Carlson’s opponent in Iowa House district 91 is Democrat Laura Leigois

Iowa Policy Project: Giving Workers The Cold Shoulder

From Iowa Policy Project’s news release on their study of the effects of the hew workers compensation law:

“A review of shoulder injury cases from 2017 provides a startling glimpse into the impact of changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation system, indicating that workers who suffer serious shoulder injuries will on average lose out on $72,000 in compensation under the new law. 

“This is the result of just one of the extreme changes in the new law,” said Matthew Glasson, a labor educator at the University of Iowa Labor Center and co-author of a new report for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project (IPP). “Under these new rules, some injured workers whose cases we analyzed would have seen their benefits cut by as much as $200,000 under the new rules.” 

The workers’ compensation changes, along with significant reductions in public employee bargaining rights and repeal of local minimum wage laws, were among noteworthy blows to working families from the 2017 session of the Iowa Legislature. “


“The only constant among all the many changes in this law is that they are bad for workers. Probably the most significant impact will be on workers who have serious, permanent disabilities,” he said. 

Much more at the link

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David Young The Epitome Of Today’s Republican Party

Retired teacher schools David Young on taxes (6 minutes) The sound is a little hard to hear so you may want to turn it up.

Iowa’s 3rd district has a tight contest going on and I am kind of at a loss to understand why. During his time in office, David Young has done little to help the people in his district. Instead, like nearly all Republicans of the past two decades Young votes for the think tank prescribed solutions to the problems that are created by Republicans and then goes back to his district to try to sell these bogus policies.

In the video above from last January, Young is trying to sell the huge tax cuts for the richest to some of his constituents. As you can see at least one of his constituents seems have a lot more knowledge about taxes than old Dave there. Frankly Young looks and talks like an old fashioned film-flam man. From the comment posted by Progress Iowa on the video:

“Susie Olesen, a retired teacher from rural Iowa, took Congressman David Young to school at his town hall meeting in Redfield, Iowa yesterday. Olesen accurately describes the TrumpTax scam bill that Young voted for, which would harm middle and working class Iowans. She corrected Young’s statements when he started to spin, and even proclaimed “geez, Louise” at the amount of money Young and Republicans are giving to big corporations who don’t pay their fair share.”

This is hardly the only example of Young trying to sell crappy policies to his district. After promising over and over he would not vote to end pre-existing conditions protections in health care, Young has voted over and over to end the ACA which would in effect also bring back pre-existing conditions clauses in health care insurance. Then he has the audacity to claim he favors keeping the pre-existing conditions protections in place. 

Can we talk about tariffs? Looks like that is something Young doesn’t want to do – talk about them. He is a Trump support from the get-go.

While Young claims he has not done anything to harm seniors, there is this to think about: With the tax cuts voted for by David Young exploding the debt like a fourth of July firework where does Young and his cohorts plan to get the money to just simply pay the interest on the national debt they are raising to such heights? Will Young and his cohorts admit their mistake and raise taxes back up to rates that would pay the debt down to reasonable levels?

Or would he and his party more likely look to stripping other programs to pay just the interest? Little doubt in my mind their answer would be to “reform” programs like Medicare and Medicaid and to finally “reform” Social Security so their buddies on Wall Street can finally get their hands on trillions of dollars to put in their casino.

Based on his record would you trust Young to guard current Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid or would you expect him to go along with his cohorts in raiding the safety net programs so they can continue to give HUGE tax cuts to America’s wealthiest and make the enormous interest payments they are accruing with those tax cuts?

I know when you look at it like that the answer seems simple. Young will continue to go along with Republican policy that is killing the poor and middle class. There are many other issues that Young will go along on and then come back and try to polish up the turd to sell to his district as a piece of art.

Thank goodness Young has a level headed opponent in Cindy Axne. Based on Axne’s record you can believe what she says. You can believe it when she says she will work to keep the pre-existing protections and also to expand access to healthcare for all. You can believe Axne when she says she will actually keep programs for the seniors. You can believe Cindy Axne when she talks about working to help small businesses and public education.

The deciding factor in this race should be who can you trust? Based on their records trust the one who has earned the trust in the past. Cindy Axne can be trusted and will work for all Iowans. Dvid Young will go along with whatever crap proposal Republicans are pushing today and then try to spin you into believing that it is good for you when it is not.

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Full Video: Hubbell vs. Reynolds

Reynolds tried repeatedly to bait Fred into the same old partisan dog fight but Fred wasn’t having it.

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