MLK Day 2019 Iowa Events

Thanks to Iowa ACLU for compiling this list of Iowa MLK Day events.  Click here if you would like to donate to Iowa ACLU.

About the Iowa ACLU:

We are a private, non-partisan organization that fights to advance civil liberties and uphold the Iowa and U.S. Constitution. We are the state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU prides itself in upholding everyone’s civil liberties, no matter who they are or what they believe.

For more information about these events go to:  https://www.aclu-ia.org/en/mlk-day-iowa-events-2019

Ames

Ames/Story County Community MLK Day Celebration 2019
Monday, January 21
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Ames Middle School

Learn how we can all work toward the common goals of cooperation, civility, respect for each other, and social justice.

2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Series
Monday, January 21 – Thursday, January 24
Iowa State University

Events will include:
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Birthday Celebration
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Convocation – Ron Stallworth
• The Power of Knowing Your Purpose – Brittany Packet

Boone

“Film Presentation to Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day”
Monday, January 21
1 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Ericson Public Library

Watch Selma, a 2014 historical drama film, based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis.

Cedar Falls
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 21
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
University of Northern Iowa Maucker Union

Join the Service & Leadership Council and the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley as they package meals for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank’s “BackPack Program.” This year, they will be hosting three different volunteer sessions that last an hour and a half.

Cedar Rapids
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at AAMI
Monday, January 21
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
African American Museum of Iowa

The Museum will be offering discounted admission at $1.00 per person to honor Dr. King. In addition, the Museum is celebrating Dr. King’s message of peace by collaborating with Veterans for Peace Chapter #169 to create and decorate Peace Poles. The Museum will supply the poles and supplies, all that is needed is you.

Coralville
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance
Monday, January 21
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Coralville Public Library

The library will host the third annual reading of Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream Speech.” Local leaders and allies will read Dr. King’s words, which remind us to celebrate what we have accomplished and recognize what we have left to do. Throughout the day, library patrons will also have a chance to write or draw their dreams for a more just world, which will be on display throughout the week.

Davenport
2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Monday, January 21
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Beyond the Baseline

Celebrate and honor Martin Luther King, Jr. through recreation, education, and spiritual guidance. Hoopn 4 Change, QC4teens, Beyond the Baseline, and the Quad City Youth Sports Foundation are hosting this event.

Des Moines
MLK Event: Dr. Yusef Salaam
Monday, January 21
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
First Christian Church Des Moines

On April 19, 1989, a young woman in the prime of her life was brutally raped and left for dead in New York City’s Central Park. Five boys, known collectively as “The Central Park Five,” were tried and convicted of the crime. They spent between seven and thirteen years of their lives behind bars before being exonerated. Learn more from Dr. Salaam about the Central Park 5 experience during a Q&A.

This MLK Day event is free and open to the community.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration
Monday, January 21
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Des Moines Public Library (Forest Avenue)

Join the Forest Avenue Library and the Des Moines community to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and remember the principles and beliefs for which he fought. Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Director Joshua V. Barr, a well-known advocate for equality and inclusiveness, will be the keynote speaker. Students will also be able to take part in a hands-on art experience with local artist Jill Wells.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m., and there will be refreshments following the program.

30th Anniversary Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Saturday, January 19
5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
State Historical Building

Please join the Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans at the 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The celebration will include a gospel musical “I Have A Dream” performed by Herman LeVern Jones TheatreSouth Company.

“I Have a Dream” is a Gospel musical about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, starting on December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person leading up to the assassination of Dr. King on April 4, 1968. This depiction will give insight into Dr. King’s love of his family, his sense of humor, and the incredible challenge that African-Americans faced in fighting for basic human rights.

Dubuque
How Far Have We Come?
Monday, January 21
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Multicultural Family Center

Join The Fountain of Youth Program, Multicultural Family Center, Wartburg Seminary, Sustainable Dubuque & United Way of Dubuque for a celebration of Marin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. There will be performances, cultural integration, networking, and snacks. Keynote by Renee Tyler.

Iowa City
MLK, Jr. Week 2019
Monday, January 21 – Friday, January 25, 2019
University of Iowa

An official University of Iowa holiday was designated in 1995 to provide an opportunity to engage the University community in a discussion of the human values that the King holiday epitomizes. All events are free and open to the public:

• MLK Day of Service
• Hawkeyes Changing Lives
• Dr. Raynard S. Kington Lecture
• Ron Stallworth Lecture – Author of The BlacKkKlansman
• STEM for Social Good

Ottumwa
MLK Day Celebration
January 21, 2019
7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Bridgeview Center

Hosted by United Way of Wapello County. Learn how you can serve the local community and honor the MLK Day of Service! Breakfast will be provided. Guest speakers will follow breakfast.

Perry
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Perry High School

ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer will speak about the legacy of Dr. King, including his impact on civil rights and civil liberties in the current moment.

Sioux City
Martin Luther King Celebration
Monday, January 21
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ

A celebration hosted by the Sioux City NAACP.

Waterloo
Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet
Sunday, January 20
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Electric Park Ballroom

Attend the NAACP of Black Hawk County’s 40th annual MLK, Jr. Banquet. For more information or to purchase tickets call LaTanya Graves at 319-214-3434. Tickets are $50 for an individual; $400 for a table of 8.

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War As A Campaign Strategy And Other Thoughts

One of the recent unwritten rules of an incumbent Republican president running for re-election is that they must have a war for Americans to rally around. It must be a war they are almost certain to win. They must control nearly all stories about the war. We saw this with George W in Iraq, his Daddy with Desert Storm, which ended too soon, Reagan with the great victory in Grenada and to a degree Nixon in Vietnam.

The logic is that Americans won’t vote out a leader who is conducting a war. Np matter how badly. With the next presidential election 22 months away and the polls going south, Dear Leader is most likely looking around for a nice little war where he can show – bone spurs or not – that he can lead the mighty US army to victory over…. WHO? Auditions are now being held.

  • Once again we are shaking the war sabres at Iran. But the question is, can we really beat them or nearly beat them by November of 2020? 
  • What about Venezuela? They are in such a mess that a Boy Scout troop may have a chance. We are already making war rumblings in their direction. It could be a victory AND put the 1% back in charge.
  • How about North Korea? But their guy is crazy too – he may not understand the game.
  • What about some really small weak country like Montenegro? 

Timing is important also. We have to invade and time things to have victory or near victory about the middle of October 2020.

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Internet Neutrality Ended January 1st – Good timing if one is wanting to try to control yet another media outlet before the 2020 election. Just saying.

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The whole reason behind the government shutdown does not seem to be some higher purpose or major disagreement over policy. The reason seems to be to “break Democrats” before Democrats took power in the House of Representatives. Had it not been a wall along the border it would have been some other flimsy excuse.

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By destroying all notes from his meetings with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump has left himself wide open for all sorts of blackmail and extortion from the Russian leader with absolutely no way to prove otherwise. In other words he is certainly now totally compromised. So what would you like the US president to do for you today, Mr. Putin. Seems like this may have been a trick Putin picked up during his KGB days.

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Paul Krugman reminds us that Abraham Lincoln had a team of rivals. In contrast, Donald Trump has a team of morons.

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Chief of Staff of the moment, Mick Mulvaney, has a personal debt from a failed business in South Carolina for about $2.5 million. Like so many of his compadres, Mulvaney simply refuses to pay. In the ethics world this would make him subject to extortion and a bad bet to have in a position of power. In Trump world, Mulvaney is just doing what the boss does.

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Well when do we hear the one two punch that Republicans want to do to screw over Iowans this session? Punch one will be the dramatic changes in IPERS that Republicans have been drooling over for a while. This will be the one where the money managers will win with new bigger fees for managing accounts. Stay tuned.

Punch two will be ending the property backfill that towns, cities and counties depend on after Branstad and the Republicans cut property taxes to the point where local governmental units can no longer survive without something to replace the missing money. Republicans have been waiting for the right moment to end these replacement (backfill) payments. 

The right time is when Republicans control all levels of government, the election is a long ways off and all the attention is going to the circus in Washington.

If the backfill goes away much of what Iowans think of as what makes Iowa a great place for families will disappear as local governments try to simply put police on the streets. Libraries will close as will pools and parks. Cemetery maintenance will be sporadic. In very small towns fire protection will be hurting as equipment will be hard to maintain and replace without money.

I like to think of this much as I think of Kim Reynolds: Branstad’s revenge.

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A couple of ironic notes for MLK Day:

  • Ironic that MLK died supporting the rights of men who worked for the government in Memphis, Tennessee. This year we see government workers once again been used as pawns in a game where the prize for Republicans is a wall that is a monument to their racist policies.
  • Ironic that on the Day honoring Martin Luther King and his lifetime of work for justice for all, another man named King is big in the news for his lifetime policy of racial supremacy.

Please honor Dr. King tomorrow. He lived the stated American ideals and tried to have America live them also.

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Branstad, Kim Reynolds | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An Update From J.D. Scholten

jd scholten speaking

With Steve King providing some current distraction fro m Trump’s hostage taking and Trump’s problems with the law, many of us were wondering what JD Scholten was up to. As you recall Scholten took King to the wire last November. Now there has to be a lot of people in the 4th district who wish they could change their vote.

So look what shows up in the mailbox Friday – an update from JD Scholten:

I know it’s been a while since you have heard from me. Rest assured, I have been busy.

Iowa’s 4th District has been at the center of attention, yet again, thanks to our Representative choosing to embarrass us with his offensive rhetoric that betrays our American ideals. Despite Steve King’s well-known record of racism and divisiveness over his 16 years in Congress, it took all of YOU and YOUR support for my supposedly “long-shot” campaign before Republicans in Iowa and Washington D.C. saw fit to also condemn him. Only now is he suffering the consequences of his actions because we showed the nation he was vulnerable and that many Iowans do NOT share his values.

I can’t thank you enough for your belief in our campaign and know that I am considering all options as I think through how best I can serve Iowa. Please stay tuned for an announcement soon about what’s next.

I am very proud of the attention our campaign generated on how Democrats can regain the hearts of rural voters. Here are some recent press clips in case you missed them:

My Op-Ed in USA Today on why Steve King keeps winning 

An interview with WHO-TV’s Dave Price in which I provide an update on my love life…

An interview with Iowa Informer in which I answer whether I will run again

A great Washington Monthly feature on our campaign showing how Democrats can regain the rural vote

A nice feature and update on Sioux City Sue

Two podcasts I did, one with Joe Gomez on his “American Grit” show and another for the BossCast where I talk Bruce Springsteen and the campaign

Still Standing Tall for All,

J.D. Scholten

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Steve King | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sunday Funday: America Held Hostage, Week 5

What Republican policies have done to families in this country is horrible from the tearing apart of refugee families on the border to the cutting of government aid to the poor to the total disregard Republicans have shown for government workers and their families. There is no regard for these people, they are merely pawns in a game that the the crazy current leader is playing. 

As we have been told forever that giving in to hostage takers will only empower them to do it again. This administration is holding these families hostage. There should be no bargaining until the hostages are released.

I believe right now the most important thing we can do is to let Republican senators know that this hostage situation is unacceptable in America. We will remember that Republican senators did absolutely nothing as families from the border to our neighborhoods were ripped apart by their policies.

The wall has little to do with the shutdown and the hostage taking. Trump was going to shut the government down over something as a ploy to make it look like the Democrats were at fault. But it is obvious to most Americans that Republicans orchestrated this whole scenario as a show. Their little ploy is hurting millions of Americans.

What else got hosed last week?

  1. What major event took place two years ago today?
  1. A resolution disapproving of white supremacist talk (inspired by remarks made by Steve King) passed the US House with only one dissenting vote. Who dissented?
  1. Two weeks in the minority was plenty for what Pennsylvania congress member who resigned his seat Thursday?
  1. Another summer, another killer heat wave in Australia. Noona set record for highest overnight record at 35.9C which is what Fahrenheit?
  1. Teachers in what major American school district went on strike this week?
  1. Speaker Pelosi postponed the scheduled State of the Union address scheduled for January 29th because of what reason?
  1. The State of the Union was delivered in an address to congress by Washington and John Adams from 1790 to 1801. It was then sent to congress until what president revived delivering the SOTU in person?
  1. Buzzfeed once again broke huge news Thursday when it reported that Dear leader had directed a witness in the Russian case to do what?
  1. Governor Reynolds called on the legislature to add an amendment to the Iowa constitution to allow what group to vote?
  1. New measurements show that ice is melting at what location 6 times faster than they were 4 decades ago, causing an alarm about rising sea levels?
  1. Dear Leader had the college national championship football team in for dinner this week and fed them what?
  1. At a location about midway between Congress and the White House, what celebrity chef is offering free meals to furloughed government workers?
  1. Who in the administration is helping oversee the process for selecting the next head of the World Bank? (The US’s selection is generally chosen as the head of the World Bank)
  1. Laura Loomer is a crazy right wing activist who got 15 minutes of fame last week pulling various stunts, including an attempted break-in, at whose home?
  1. In the British Parliament Tuesday, PM Theresa May’s government suffered the worst defeat ever for a government over what issue?
  1. VP Pence’s wife, “Mother,” took a job at a Christian school that forbids what?
  1. Gymboree and Shopko were among national chains that announced what as vulture capitalism yet more victims?
  1. In an apparent retaliation, Dear Leader stopped a congressional trip to visit troops in Afghanistan headed up by whom?
  1. Who continues to block legislation in the senate that could re-open the government?
  1. A small polling firm claims the Trump campaign tried to pay a $50,000 bill with some cash and a pair of used what?
tumblr_pldex1lwy31qhthzmo1_500

hat tip to tumblr.com

Answers:

  1. Dear Leader’s inauguration
  1. Congress member Bobby Rush of Illinois – he said it didn’t go far enough/
  1. Tom Marino
  1. About 97. That was the overnight low
  1. Los Angeles
  1. Lack of security due to the Trump government shutdown.
  1. Wilson in 1913
  1. Lie 
  1. Felons. 
  1. Antarctica
  1. Fast food burgers
  1. Jose Andres
  1. Ivanka Trump – you may laugh – or cry
  1. Nancy Pelosi’s
  1. Brexit
  1. LGBTQ staff or students
  1. Bankruptcy
  1. Nancy Pelosi
  1. Mitch McConnell
  1. Boxing gloves from some South American fighter of some sort.

Best wishes to the government workers, especially those who are contract workers, who are the pawns in Dear Leader’s big game of bluff. 

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Reynolds Misses The Mark By A Country Mile

cci action fund

Email from Adam Mason with Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement on their view of Kim Reynold’s “State of the State” Address last Tuesday:

I just finished watching Gov. Kim Reynolds deliver her second Condition of the State address.

Here’s our take: She missed the truth by a country mile with an address filled with falsehoods and half-truths that paint a rosy picture of what it’s like for folks across Iowa, especially in rural areas.

What we hear from people across the state paints a much different story.

In her address, Reynolds highlighted (amongst other issues):

•Achievements last year in funding water quality,

•Efforts to expand healthcare access around the state,

•Balancing the state budget, and

•Restoring felon voting rights.

CCI Action members want to call out the truth: 

•Factory Farms and Water Quality: Her “funding” for water quality efforts was simply shifted around from existing state revenues that are already stretched thin. And that money is being dumped into Iowa’s failed voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy faster than the factory farm manure entering Iowa’s waterways, as evidenced by the ever-increasing number of impaired waterways around the state. All while the factory farm industry continues to expand at an alarming rate, threatening Iowans’ quality of life for private gain.

•Healthcare: The two Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s) currently servicing Iowa’s Medicaid program continue to deny needed care to vulnerable Iowans, delay payments to service providers, and gouge public revenues to underwrite their profits. It’s immoral and an outrage.

•We’re in a revenue crisis: We’re pointing to mid-year budget cuts under her short tenure and the depletion of our state’s cash reserves under her watch. The GOP’s tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporate few have devastating impacts on our communities.

•Restoring voting rights: Iowa doesn’t need to wait four years to amend our constitution to restore rights and dignity to thousands of returning citizens. Reynolds can restore their vote with an executive order, just like Branstad took them away on his first day in office back in 2011. This is political posturing on her part, leaving these Iowans hanging until after the 2022 elections. And, she needs to squash Iowa’s new Voter ID laws.

She had a lot to say about supporting everyday Iowans, urban and rural, but missed the mark.

Iowans are ready for a state and elected leaders that put people before corporate interests!

Agree? Check out this beautiful image our Digital Organizer Cat made and give it share on Facebook with the words “Iowa is ready”.

 Adam Mason,

State Policy Organizing Director

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Iowa legislature 2019, Kim Reynolds, Republican Policy | Tagged | 1 Comment

Why Condemn King Now?

A 3 minute videos from just before the midterm election. At that time King was a campaign co-chair for Kim Reynolds. Reynolds refused to disavow King at that time. She won with votes from King’s district. Political opportunism, anyone?

We all try to build models of how we expect people to react to news stories and events. We do this so we will be able to deal not only with the story or event, but also so we can understand the reactions. It also helps us get an idea where some story or event might lead us.

For example, pretty much from the day that Donald Trump became a candidate, Republicans have gone into a mode of pretending that his behavior is normal. Treats women like dirt? Everybody does. A bunch of bankruptcies? Doesn’t everybody? Conspire with a foreign enemy? Haven’t all presidents?

So we hear another abomination from Trump and the reaction – or actual lack of reaction – pours out of his party. Conspired with Putin? So what – we are getting our judges, so we don’t care.

Trump’s Republican Party has become masterful in their ignoring reality and creating an alternative universe where what Trump and other nefarious critters do is considered normal. Nazi march in Charlottesville – everybody does it. 

Which is why the reaction to Steve King’s latest racist remark is so surprising. Usually the reaction to a King remark by his party is to yawn. Remember just last fall when Kim Reynolds had Mr. King as a co-chair of her campaign. Mr. King had just made yet another of his racially tinged comments. When asked if she would remove King as her co-chair, she demurred and said (I paraphrase) “Geez, I can’t be the police to what everybody says, now can I?”

We will just use that as an example of how most members of King’s Party have treated his remarks for – oh – ever since he’s been elected. When asked about a King comment the typical response was to smile, deflect and ignore. 

So what went wrong this time? When I heard what King had said my immediate reaction was to prepare for the usual response (see above) from the usual suspects. Grassley would seldom respond. Ernst nearly said something once two years ago, but showing her usual courage she backed down. I fully expected that Reynolds would go into an all out stall and deflection mode figuring she’s got four years before she has to stand for election and this will all be long forgotten by then.

The fact that any Republican said anything surprised me.  When I heard that Tim Scott senator from South Carolina said something I wasn’t overwhelmingly surprised since he has been speaking out about race a little bit lately. But then to hear Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy say the Party might pull King’s committee assignments, I was shocked. (They have since pulled his committee assignments.)

Then it seemed like the snowball was rolling downhill and even Grassley, Ernst and Reynolds couldn’t get out of the way. What ever did King do to deserve this treatment from colleagues that never cared a bit before? 

What he did is nearly lost in an almost impossible to lose district. And a good part of the reason he almost lost was his overt racism. Based on this and what can be expected to be two more years of Trump being by far the worst president (or elected official of any stripe) ever in this country, another election with Steve King on the ballot along with Trump in the top spot could easily spell disaster even in one of America’s reddest districts.

Thus when King gave them an opening they pounced like vultures on a fresh road kill. Much like road kill, King never knew what hit him. 

Kim Reynolds about face is the most laughable and hypocritical of all. Once she got what she wanted out of King she was ready with the knives as soon as there was an opportunity. With friends like that, who needs enemies, right Mr. King.

And then there is the opportunist Randy Feenstra. One has to think that his candidacy against King in the fourth district was orchestrated to be ready to exploit the next King snafu which is always only a week or so away. Like any good Republican, Feenstra will leave no carcass unpicked.

As for Joni Ernst it is another sad, sad chapter in the continuing story of a politician who can choose to do the right thing or take the cowards way out. After 5 years of total cowardice on Ernst’s part, suddenly she finds courage – after it appears that everybody else is going that way.

This just adds to her support for Brett Kavanaugh when she could have struck a blow for women by voting against him and her refusal to take any stand at odds with Trump. She is sure wasting a valuable seat in the senate that was so recently filled by a person who was such a champion of the common Iowan.

Way to go, Joni. It is people like you that make Iowa a laughingstock. 

And if you (Ernst) are truly horrified by Steve King’s racism and claim it doesn’t belong in your party, let me tell you about the guy that is a racist, a misogynist, a person who mocks the disabled and native Americans and who has proudly proclaimed himself a “nationalist” much like Steve King. This guy’s name is Donald Trump. Show us you mean it, Ernst. Stand up to Trump.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2020 election campaign, Blog for Iowa, Charles Grassley, Joni Ernst, Kim Reynolds, Republican hypocrisy, Steve King | Tagged | Leave a comment

Boone County Land Owners Win Court Case Against DAPL

From our inbox:  Here’s some good news from Ed Fallon @ Bold Iowa.  Check out Bold Iowa’s website. “We build rural-urban coalitions to fight climate change, prevent the abuse of eminent domain, protect Iowa’s soil, air, and water, and promote non-industrial renewable energy.”

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For those who feel Big Oil always gets its way, think again. In a battle of Lamb vs. Lion (read on and you’ll see what I mean), the little guy and gal just accomplished something impressive.

Judy and Dick Lamb with a photograph of their Boone County farm before the Dakota Access Pipeline came through.

When the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was still under discussion, most Iowa landowners I met as I walked the pipeline route were against it. In the end, many signed voluntary easements — not because they wanted to but because they felt they had no choice.

Dick and Judy Lamb, whose farm in Boone County was bisected by DAPL, opposed the pipeline from the start. They continue to do so, and their steadfastness just paid off. Literally.

Yesterday (Wednesday, January 16), the Lambs achieved an important victory against DAPL. In district court in Boone, Iowa, after a trial that lasted seven days, a jury ruled in favor of the Lambs, ordering DAPL to compensate them for the lost potential of their property due to the pipeline.

In 2016, the Lambs refused to sign an easement with DAPL for access to their land along Highway 30, two miles from the city limits of Ames. While the Lambs had not developed the property themselves, it struck them as grossly unfair for DAPL to take that opportunity away from them and their children, who would inherit the land. They believed that a hot pipeline would render their property unsuitable for many types of potential development. The Lambs had raised this issue with DAPL prior to being forced into condemnation, but the company refused to recognize any developmental potential for their land.

So the Lambs took DAPL to court. “We knew it would be an uphill fight against a highly proficient, specialized legal team,” Dick told me in an interview after the trial. “Their attorneys travel the country doing just this type of litigation, so they’re probably the best in the business. In fact, after they presented their case at the trial, I wondered whether we’d get anything at all.”

In one of many recent David-vs-Goliath lawsuits pitting pipeline opponents against Big Oil, the Lambs prevailed — at least to their satisfaction. “The jury awarded us $250,000,” said Dick. “We’d asked for $900,000, and out of the $250,000 reward comes the $90,000 we received after our condemnation hearing in 2016, and roughly another $50,000 in legal expenses. That doesn’t leave us a lot, but we certainly count it as a victory.”

The Lambs went on to note that, for technical reasons not easily explained, this particular lawsuit addressed the pipeline damage to just half of their land along Highway 30. There likely will be another trial this summer regarding the other half.

Both Judy and Dick said the experience of the trial helped restore their faith in the legal system. They were impressed that the jury remained attentive through hours of highly technical presentations on land-valuation issues, and after six hours of deliberation, issued a fair ruling.

Any day now, the Iowa Supreme Court will issue its ruling in Puntenney v. Iowa Utilities Board — the lawsuit filed by nine landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club over the Board’s decision to grant eminent domain to a private pipeline company. This landmark case isn’t the only legal action pending against DAPL. Other Iowa landowners have filed suits over soil compaction, ruined terraces, tile damage, and uncompensated crop loss.

I asked Dick and Judy how they felt about the threat of either a second pipeline coming through their land or the possibility that DAPL would increase the amount of oil it pumps through the existing pipeline. “Either of those options is a scary thought,” said Judy. “For now, the big picture is we showed that it’s possible to beat DAPL in court. That should give hope to other landowners who have lawsuits pending.”

Indeed, though the Lambs’ trial received little fanfare and almost no mainstream press coverage, their victory is a big deal. It’s further indication that the tide is turning against Big Oil and the politicians who do its bidding. The Lambs’ efforts should inspire all of us to persevere — and to support the landowners, farmers, and Native communities on the front lines of this and other fossil-fuel infrastructure fights.

Ed Fallon
Bold Iowa
735 19th St.
Des Moines, IA 50314

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How Democrats Are Beating Trump At His Own Game

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Loebsack Calls For King To Resign

Congressman Dave Loebsack

Loebsack: For the Good of Iowa, Steve King Needs to Resign

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today called on Rep. Steve King to resign for the good of the people of Iowa. While Steve King has a long history of making hateful and disgusting remarks, by having his committee assignments taken away, he is no longer able to effectively serve the people of Iowa. Loebsack also announced today that he has become an original cosponsor of Rep. Tim Ryan’s bipartisan resolution to censure Steve King for his history of making hateful and disgusting remarks. Earlier today, Loebsack sent a letter to Rep. King outlining his position.

“I have repeatedly called out Steve King when he has made disgusting and vile comments. His words and beliefs should have no place in public discourse. Additionally, Steve has made no effort to change his behavior and I believe it is past time for him to be held accountable for his actions.

“Iowans deserve a Congressman who is able to fight on their behalf and now that Steve’s committee assignments have been taken away, he is unable to truly be a representative for the people. Iowans deserve someone who can serve without distraction, and advocate for the people of their district. It is clear that Steve is no longer able to serve in that capacity and should, for the good of Iowa, resign and pass the important responsibilities of this office to another.”

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Wisconsin Court Rules For Stein Recount

I’m not a fan of Jill Stein’s inflammatory, overly cynical, self-serving Democrat bashing.  That said, I don’t think  she was involved in any way in the Russian conspiracy. I tend to believe her story of why she was in a picture with Putin in Moscow of 2015.  So in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, Stein is doing something incredibly important that no one else thought was worthwhile enough to bother with, and is winning court decisions. 

The following is a press release from last week from Stein Recount 2016 on VotingJustice.us

Court Rules for Stein Recount, Denying Attempt to Prevent Public Disclosure of Voting Machine Inspection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2019
Stein Recount 2016

Today, former Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein announced another win in her push for election integrity in the 2016 recount follow up. She hailed a Wisconsin court ruling that denied a request by voting equipment corporations that would have barred any public disclosure of the findings of a groundbreaking examination of voting machine software that the Stein campaign will conduct. The voting machine corporations sought the gag rule in the wake of a Wisconsin Elections Commission decision allowing the Stein campaign to inspect this software and review its accuracy and reliability.

“This decision is a huge win for voters everywhere, and for the common-sense principle that the accuracy and reliability of our voting system is more important than shielding corporations from scrutiny,” said Dr. Stein. “As the Wisconsin Elections Commission ruled and the court affirmed, the law is unambiguously on our side. If the voting machine corporations had their way, we’d be prohibited from disclosing our findings under penalty of law, even if we discovered evidence of problems that could have changed the outcome of the election.”

“The only reason for voting machine corporations to push for a gag rule was to prevent us from revealing any problems with their machines, which would threaten their ability to keep profiting off our elections. It’s outrageous that we’ve had to go to court to argue that the integrity of our elections is more important than protecting corporations.”

“When we launched the 2016 recount with the support of over 161,000 people, we knew it wasn’t just a single election people were worried about, but the whole system. Over and over, we heard the concern that the computers and technology that were supposed to make our elections modern and reliable had instead made them more vulnerable. So when the recount in Wisconsin made it possible to examine voting machine software, we jumped at the rare opportunity to look inside the voting machines to see if they deserve the immense trust we’re told to put in them.”

“Wisconsin law allows us to conduct a groundbreaking state-wide examination of the voting machine “source code” – a crucial piece of voting machine software that controls the actual counting and tallying of the votes. This decision allows us to start preparing for the first-ever independent post-election examination of voting machine source code.”

The Wisconsin decision is the latest in a series of victories for election integrity resulting from the 2016 recount effort, including a recent settlement with the state of Pennsylvania to replace easily-hacked paperless voting machines with paper ballots and institute automatic vote audits. This precedent raises the bar for election integrity across the country. It adds to previous victories in Michigan and Wisconsin after the recount identified voting machine failures, leading to the replacement of faulty machines.

The Wisconsin court decision can be seen here.

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