Welcome to Blog for Iowa, the official weblog of Democracy for Iowa!

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Linda Thieman (pronounced TEE-mun), and I live in Storm Lake, Iowa  (Buena Vista County, NW corner of the state).  I am working with Dr. Alta Price of Bettendorf to set up Democracy for Iowa.  I have volunteered to be the blogmaster for Blog for Iowa, and the webmaster for Democracy for Iowa.  You may know me from my participation in the Dean campaign.  I post on the Blog for America under the name “Linda in Iowa,” and I also run the 6 Reasons site, create flyers, and back in September, 2003, I hosted the Virtual Steak Fry.  Those were the days, my friend!

You know, I used to be an ESL/EFL teacher.  One of my teaching jobs landed me in Japan on a branch campus of an American university.  There, I taught in an Intensive English Program that was organized by proficiency levels.  Each teacher was given a syllabus for the level and the same set of tests to administer.  We shared a set of common goals and objectives, and we desired to accomplish the same end – to empower the students, to teach them not only the English language and American culture, but how to thrive in an American university setting and in an American classroom.  Yet, within that structure, we, the teachers, were given complete freedom to meet these goals and objectives in a way that suited each person’s talents, preferences, and creativity.

That is the very thing we are trying to create as we build this new organization called Democracy for Iowa.  We are the official state chapter of Gov. Howard Dean’s new progressive political action organization, Democracy for America. Democracy for Iowa will work to elect candidates to office who are socially progressive and fiscally responsible.  We will work within the Democratic Party, but this is just one of our goals.  We also seek to make Democracy for Iowa a place where all progressives and moderates are welcome, whether they consider themselves Democrats or not.  Originally, Dean for America welcomed a broad range of participants, including Democrats, Independents, Greens, moderate Republicans, Libertarians, and others, and we will make Democracy for Iowa a place where all of these people, our sisters and brothers, are welcome, too.

We are hoping through Democracy for Iowa to create a structure that will serve us (not rule us), and that will help us meet our goals and objectives (more about that later).  We hope the Blog for Iowa structure will serve as:

1) a way for Iowans to keep up to date with what is happening in Democracy for Iowa;

2) a place where Dean delegates can find each other and organize strategies for the next levels;

3) a place where Iowa counties can organize and communicate;

4) a place where DFIA leaders can connect with each other; and, last but not least,

5) a way for Iowans to contribute to DFIA, to make comments and suggestions, to have an ongoing conversation as we build a structure that will suit our purposes.

This is just the beginning, a glorious, exciting beginning.  We will rise from the ashes of the Dean campaign and soar to victory  – and, oh, by the way, we WILL take our country back!

Join Democracy for Iowa today!


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Glad to be part of this extraordinary effort to restore Democracy !


  2. Anonymous says:

    Linda you have done a marvelous job with this blog! And so quickly, too! I am pleased to report that I have officially joined Democracy for Iowa. And I've told my Dean friends to join, too.
    Go Dean! Go Iowa!
    Alta Price


  3. Anonymous says:

    Not first….but a close second or is that Third?!?
    Happy April Fool's Day…glad to say that Gov. Howard Dean was Not an April Fool's joke…He was for real & so his his new organization…
    Democracy for America….
    Welcome one and All to Democracy “Iowa” style!
    Thank you Linda….blog on…..


  4. Anonymous says:

    Is Iowa actually the first state to have a DFA 2.0 affilate website?
    I will be promoting Democracy for Iowa as much as I can.
    Take care all?


  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Linda,
    I'm glad to have found the email from you and I have joined up for Democracy for Iowa and blogforiowa. Anybody in Des Moines, please check out the progressive Democrat, Ruth Ann Gaines for City Council At-Large. It's a start if we can get some great Dems like her into positions like this. I know City government is way down there, but that's where we have to begin to take our country back.
    If anybody knows of more progressive Dems in my area that I should know about, please let me know.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Ok! I am so impressed!
    How did you do all of this Linda?
    Will there be a link at the blogforamerica website?
    I am curious …can only the entity that controls blogforamerica give oks on state names? Or could another organization that is to the “right” come in and signup other states ..think of the mess that could create? I am really curious as to how this all works.
    Is the Iowa group a name on the internet only?
    And lastly, I am still trying to find out where there are some Dean people in Jasper County. If anyone knows these folks, please help me locate them. Thank you very much and again, Linda, this is wonderful!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful site. I have added a listing at http://localpols.fordean.net


  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info, Gloral! As you can see, I've posted it on the main blog and in the Candidates section.


  9. Anonymous says:

    These are some excellent questions, Bev. Upon the advice of the fellow in Illinois who is starting up the state chapter there, Alta snapped up the domain names we needed. Democracy for Iowa owns blogforiowa.com and Alta owns the others. Democracy for Iowa also owns the membership list. We also have a PayPal account. (Alta is acting treasurer since she has a knack for it and seems to be treasurer of every organization she belongs to.) So far, we have not formed a legal entity on paper, but we're looking into it.
    I hope BFA will put up a link, but they are swamped and a bit slow. I did this by using a template and then also using my very scant knowledge of HTML. For example, it took me 10 attempts to get that little Blog for Iowa logo up, but once I figured out how to do it, I could use the experience with the rest of it and it went faster.


  10. Anonymous says:

    This is byootiful! I love the rolling fields graphic – I should have known that when Vilsack rejected it for our Iowa quarter he was a Kerry supporter! This is wonderful grassroots action!
    We here in DSM are actually, finally, developing some roots in the grass. During the campaign we had so much, so early – staff, $ (well, comparatively), Burlington attention, even Dean himself – that DSM (central Iowa) was a top-down organization from the git go. And guess what? At the caucuses we delivered only 10% to the state average of 18%.
    Linda, is this really the first state blog? FANTABULOUS! We're working on a site I hope can become a link to this; it's a great idea that will help TAKE BACK the majority in Iowa. More on this later.
    Bev in Jasper Cty: Are you going to the District Convention April 24th? We're trying to contact Dean people beforehand, county by county. I'll let you know what we find out.
    Gloral: I'm voting for Ruth Ann, of course!
    Sally Troxell AKA Sally from Iowa


  11. Anonymous says:

    I did a little research on Aldon's site, which he posted below (thanks for putting us up on your site, Aldon) and what I found was that a few Dean sites have been converted to Democracy for (state name) sites. Some states have “under construction” notices. And some that start with “Democracy for” you can't really tell if they are DFA 2.0 related.


  12. Anonymous says:

    I'll be emailing you, girl!
    You are sure right about that hole in the middle of the state, Dean-wise. We're having some trouble finding people there. Although we did just find a huge cache of Dean supporters in SW Iowa – that was one of our other “trouble spots.” Those former Dean field organizers sure have been helpful.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much, Linda, for creating this fabulous site. And be sure to let the incredible Demetrius know how much we appreciate his contribution. Linda and Alta, YOU ROCK!


  14. Anonymous says:

    Linda, thanks for all your efforts. I'm hoping that we will become a force that can convince Democrats that our party can both stand for progressivism AND take back the White House and Congress. I'd just like to add that George W. Bush has done enough dividing in this country; we don't have to help him.
    — Ira Lacher in Des Moines


  15. Anonymous says:

    Just chiming in to say, I love the color scheme too. I had set up a website a longtime ago for a friend with nearly the same colors. I'm helping with the Ruth Ann Gaines campaign here Des Moines already for the past 2 weeks. So If anyone wants some names to contact to do specific volunteering contact me or directly contact Viola Perry one of the campaign organizers, who can tell you when they do mailings and run the phone banks or Connie Evans, a fellow Deaniac, who is running the absentee ballot push.
    This great it's like a civilized underground revolution, sans the bombs and hatchets, I love America! Give me good feeling support whilest I have to reintroduce some progressive platform resolutions from the Polk Co. Democratic platform this Sat., that were conspicuously removed from the District 3 agriculture&environment platform during the subcommittee that there was no debate allowed on.


  16. Anonymous says:

    Great job Blog for Iowa. And who said Dean for America didn't have an excellent organization?
    Three cheers for Linda!


  17. Anonymous says:

    This is so great!
    Blog for Iowa and AirAmerica all in one week!
    I'm getting AA via Chigago's WLIB 1190 AM.
    If you haven't listened in yet, do so soon.


  18. Anonymous says:

    WLIB 1190 AM is out of NY


  19. Anonymous says:

    Hello Linda! Super! Awesome Job! I am sorry to say that I am not the 1st Dean Campaign Staffer to visit! My good friend and mentor David LeBreton has already been here. A little about my self to all of you, I am a High School Senior at Pocahontas Area Comm. School in Pocahontas Iowa. I worked on the DFA staff from December untill the end. (I volenteered WAY BEFORE THAT) I have learned so much about Iowa, its people, and the political process. Gov. Howard Dean (GHD) has impacted my life in so many ways. To stand up for what you believe in…even when its not the not most popular thing to say and do. GHD, connected with me in ways I cannot describe. GHD means alot to me and I'm willing to help with his NEW organization. And when I am Senator in D.C. I will be thanking HIM for giving me my passion/fire/honesty and so many of the great quallities he possesess. As for now, I am a Dean alternate now for district and state convention. I am building up alot of influence in Pocahontas County as far as Democrats go, so if you need anything from Pocahontas Co. you know where to turn! I'll be glad to help!
    P.S. I was just interviewed by NPR about how GHD impacted my life…It should be on All things considered Sat. or in the next few days:) Check it out!
    Thanx again,
    Benjamin Williams-Pocahontas


  20. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad to be a part of this experiment. There is no better time than now to reclaim our birthright as Americans. I see an America now that is so fragmented. We should do anything and everything possible unify our nation.


  21. Anonymous says:

    For Linda and Sally —and others in Iowa trying to connect to any DEANERS in their area of Iowa!!
    DeanLink is still up and running at the DFA website..that is DFA 1.0, of course.
    You can go there and look for people in your zip code area and send them an email of invitation…to get connected with them.
    I heard though from Alta that Linda might know the easiest way to use this feature….some way that makes it easier to send an email to all of those listed…like in Sally's case in the Des Moines area, it would be around 300 different email addresses and they only come up at a rate of 10 a page, I think.
    What say you Linda??!!?? Do you know the easier way to write to all 300 at once??
    We would like to use this too in our Eastern Iowa area, if we can figure out the best way to do it.
    Of course, anyone that is here looking from other States, could do the same in their part of the country!!!
    'kid' in Davenport


  22. Anonymous says:

    Well, according to Mainefem1 on the Dean blog, it's still a slow process to set up. You have to set up a Group and then add each person to a Group one by one. You can have up to 200 members in a Group, apparently. Many folks on the blog complained that they thought their Deanlink emails were not getting delivered.
    I wrote to about 20 people in SW Iowa the other day and didn't hear from even one person. I wonder if many of the email addresses are out of date.


  23. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, I should probably get a link to the blogforiowa Website on my site. But it could bring in some trolls. It's so nice not to have to read trolls' messages. What do you all think?
    Let me know. When my friend stops being so busy, I'll ask him who all the Dems are up for election this year that Des Moines folks can check out. But he's soooo busy right now, I need to leave him alone for a few days. Okay?
    Thanks for any info and answers to my questions.
    Linda, don't try to use any bordered backgrounds. They are a B to work with. I had to finally get rid of the bordered backgrounds on my web pages. To get them to work for all browsers, well I have less hair than I used to. 🙂 Other than that, HTML is pretty easy once you experience all the thrills and spills. I've yet to try everything out. I know one thing that is important. If you use an image for a link you need to use the “alt” tag to aid sight challenged guests. You probably knew that already, but what the hey. 🙂
    I'll be back!


  24. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Gloral–
    I think you know far more HTML than I do! The borders are a template from the BlogHarbor company. I can't really do anything with them except modify them with components, like adding links and such.
    Good advice about the image links, although it will be a cold day in July before I figure out how to write the code for links with images. LOL
    And I see what you are saying about different browsers. Blog for Iowa looks good on IE 6.0 and my mom didn't seem to have any trouble with AOL (Hi, Mom!). But I tried my extremely old version of Netscape (3.1) and the blog looked horrible.
    Regarding linking to Blog for Iowa from your site, please feel free to do so. We've been posted on Blog for America (but not officially linked yet) and we are also linked automatically to many of the other BlogHarbor sites. And if we get trolls, I'll just delete them. If you see one that I haven't caught, just click the Contact Us link at the top of the page and email me about it. Thanks!
    Oh, and can't wait to hear from your friend!


  25. Anonymous says:

    This is from an email from Linda:
    I think this subject should be a key part of our work.
    From Linda:
    Got this from a fellow in Laurens who is working the verified voting angle
    in Iowa. I have already forwarded on the required wording to Rep. Fallon.
    Please write your State Representative asking him/her to support Rep.
    Fallon's amendment.
    Good news!
    State Representative Ed Fallon of Des Moines has offered to help us. When
    the bill on absentee voting comes before the House, Fallon intends to offer
    an amendment requiring paper trails for all voting machines.
    1. Send a word of thanks to Rep. Fallon at Ed.Fallon@legis.state.ia.us
    2. Tell your Representative about the possibility that Mr. Fallon will
    offer a paper trail amendment to the bill on absentee voting. Express
    your interest/support. It is not clear when this bill may come to the floor,
    act soon.
    3. Wording for the amendment has not been determined. If you can write
    legislation or have preferred wording in mind, let me or Rep Fallon know.
    > > *******************
    > > Jerry Depew
    > > 16595 450th Street
    > > Laurens, Iowa 50554
    > > 712-845-4496
    > > *******************
    > > Have you tried this? http://www.WheresThePaper.org/


  26. Anonymous says:

    Good idear, Bev! I was just in communication with Jerry late last night. He had received a copy of Rep. Fallon's amendment and needed to advise some changes. Rep. Fallon was sitting at his desk, working on the amendment. Jerry kept up with him and got in the wording we needed.
    Will have Jerry do a main blog post on the subject once we know just a bit more.


  27. Anonymous says:

    I would like to understand more about DeanCorps.
    Is this a legal nonprofit entity?
    Is it still functional?
    Is there an Iowa chapter or is everything done under a national umbrella?
    I am thinking of some community service projects that I would like to do under DeanCorps if it is still viable.
    Any information is appreciated.


  28. Anonymous says:

    We're just taking a look at getting DeanCorps up and running again. I believe there are still some active groups in Iowa. I just posted the open position for DFIA DeanCorps Coordinator. Once we fill that, DeanCorps ought to start moving pretty quickly.
    I don't really know if it is a legal, non-profit entity. Maybe someone could fill us in on that. The one thing I DO know, though, is that Blog for America has started referring to DeanCorps as DFA Corps. Alta and I like the name DeanCorps, and as Alta said, DeanCorps started here in Iowa, we can call it whatever we want! LOL We like to honor the man who inspired so many of us.


  29. Anonymous says:

    Please make sure that Rep. Fallon's amendment has provisions for open source software for electronic voting machines. This way nobody can cheat with the program code to redirect votes to whom ever they want to win, because anybody who can read program coding can check for illegal procedures. We need that in addition to paper trails. Thanks for all of your help.


  30. Anonymous says:

    Great site Linda! So glad their are people like you to keep the movement going! I just signed up the blog for Iowa tonight and will visit often. Hi to Ben from Pocahontas! I lived in Poky for 8 years (78-86) and was involved with Democratic politics while there. Great community with a lot of Democrats. Looking forward to hearing your interview on NPR!
    We still have the Power!
    Dennis Olson
    Urbandale, IA


  31. Anonymous says:

    Tonight, April 4, 2004, we held the Founding Meeting for Democracy For IA, Central Iowa Chapter (DFIA,CIC), for Des Moines and the surrounding area.
    Our action items: set up fundraising tools for candidates within Iowa; develop a process for selecting candidates; establish a preliminary slate of candidates; and write a preliminary Mission Statement.
    We have begun!!!
    Sally Troxell


  32. Anonymous says:

    Sally-girl! You totally rock! Congratulations! Be sure to share with us what your hard-working CIC comes up with!


  33. Anonymous says:

    OK. I sent this off to Jerry. Thanks, Gloral.


  34. Anonymous says:

    Sally and Dennis beat me to the blog!
    anyone out there from Lucas County or other District 3 counties, get in touch with me regarding District Convention. I know that Dean had support in Lucas County because I volunteered down there in Chariton and perfect stormed in Chariton Precinct 1.
    I am also on the candidate research committee for our new CIC. We are way excited in Central Iowa!!


  35. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sally:
    Do you know of any Dean people in Jasper County? I feel lonesome over here, near Baxter.
    Thanks for any ideas!


  36. Anonymous says:

    Comment Subject:
    Comment Body:
    Hi Bev!
    Start reading from the bottom up; it will show you my progress thus far. Haven't heard from Dave yet today but when I do I'll forward it to you asap.
    Sally Troxell
    From Dave Inbody:
    Glen Jesse is a former state senator. I should clarify that he was the county chair for the Dean campaign.
    Amber worked for me (similar to Courtney, Jamal, etc… at HQ) and is currently a legislative clerk for Dave Jacoby at the Capitol.
    I have their numbers at home and can pass them on tonight.
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Sally Troxell [mailto:stroxell@azw.com]
    Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 12:04 PM
    To: Dave Inbody
    Subject: Re: Jasper County
    Thanks – but are they Deanocrats?? Also, do you have phone #s?
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Dave Inbody
    To: Sally Troxell
    Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 8:13 AM
    Subject: RE: Jasper County
    Glen Jesse was the county chair. Amber Tischer, who lives in Grinnell, was the staffer. I will check my list tonight at home and send you some additional names.
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Sally Troxell [mailto:stroxell@azw.com]
    Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 12:03 AM
    To: Dave Inbody
    Subject: Fw: Jasper County
    Dave – do you know anyone there?
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Linda Thieman (Iowa Blog)
    To: Sally Troxell
    Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2004 5:39 PM
    Subject: Jasper County
    Hi, Sally–
    As you know, we have a rabid, Dean-supporting lady in Jasper County named Bev Clark. She's very, very isolated and doesn't know even one other Dean supporter in Jasper Co.
    Do you have any contacts in Jasper? Or do you know anyone who might have Dean contacts in Jasper? Do you know who the Dean staffer was in Jasper? I'm trying to help her out.


  37. Paul Deaton says:

    Happy birthday Blog for Iowa.


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