Congratulations Congress Member Loebsack

Loebsack 169 x 225

Welcome Aboard Congress Member Finkenauer

Abby-Finkenauer-for-Congress

photo: millennialpolitics.com

And Congress Member Axne

Axne-Family

 

Tremendous Try, Mr. Scholten!

JDScholten

As for our old and new members of congress, let me be the millionth to remind you of the little chore in front of you – saving democracy in America. 

You ran because you didn’t like the direction this country was going. That direction is toward authoritarianism and plutocracy. This may not be America’s darkest hours but the light is getting low as the occupant of the White House continues to dim the gas lights a bit more each day.

It will take courage to stand up against the rage that pours from the White House and often on their media outlets. You folks were elected because you can judge what is right and wrong, not because you do what you are told to do.

We will stand behind you through thick and thin. 

Thank you for standing for office and thank you for the task you are about to undertake.

And a special thanks to JD Scholten out there in Northwest Iowa. You almost pulled off the upset of the day. Thank you for what you did in exposing Steve King for what he truly is. May good fortune follow you, maybe into another run in two years.

We would also like to honor those who ran for state House and state Senate. You put in countless hours of door knocking, making appearances and on the phone. You sacrificed your personal life for a higher purpose. Thank you all so much.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, David Loebsack | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sunday Funday: 100 Years Ago Today Edition

quote-every-gun-that-is-made-every-warship-launched-every-rocket-fired-signifies-in-the-final-sense-a-dwight-d-eisenhower-282703

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Peace came to Europe 100 years ago today. As you read this there are probably some commemorations going on near the graves of those who died in the conflict. World War I (or the Great War as it was known at the time) was one of the costliest in terms of death and destruction at the time. As is often said the war was won, but the peace was lost. Within a couple of decades Europe was once again deep in war. This time it was much worse.

After two such huge conflicts one would like to think that controlling the megalomaniacs who lead their countries into war would be a top priority of every democracy. Yet all around the world we see the type of bellicose and authoritarian personality arising to once again start edging the world’s countries in the wrong direction.

Well, it was a week that offered at least a glimmer of hope. That may be the first one this year:

  1. Unfortunately Iowa gets another black eye on its public face when who was selected as interim Attorney General?
  1. What two Republican congress members who are under indictment for crimes appear to have been re-elected??
  1. What so called “news reporters” appeared with Dear Leader at a partisan event in Cape Girardeau, Missouri Monday?
  1. In some good environmental news the UN announced what atmospheric layer is repairing itself after major damage from aerosols and coolants?
  1. Early Friday morning a federal judge ordered a halt to work on what controversial pipeline?
  1. Steve King barely beat out what Democrat in by far his closest election yet?
  1. Memorabilia from the estate of what astronaut brought $7.5 million last Saturday?
  1. What CNN reporter lost his access to the White House when the White House faked a video showing him touching an intern?
  1. Former Texas congressman Steve Stockman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for what last week?
  1. What three very Republican states overwhelmingly approved medicaid expansion in referenda Tuesday?
  1. The first Native American women ever elected to congress were elected from what states?
  1. The oldest example of figurative rock art – some 40,000 years old – discovered in Borneo depicted what?
  1. The Republican led Wisconsin legislature called for a special session to do what following Tuesday’s elections?
  1. Protests were held in 900 cities around the country including 11 in Iowa to support the work of what?
  1. The first two Muslim women ever elected to congress were elected from what states?
  1. In Florida what group of people had their voting rights restored by an overwhelming vote Tuesday?
  1. What losing gubernatorial candidate was immediately on the short list to be nominated as Attorney General?
  1. What state will be the only state to have a divided legislature next year?
  1. What state (kind of ironically) elected the first gay man as its governor?
  1. What would a week in the US be without a mass shooting? Where did a mass shooting take place last week?

@fawfulfan

“Well, coverage of the migrant caravan stopped on November 7.

Just like coverage of Weiner’s laptop stopped November 9, 2016.

Just like coverage of Ebola stopped November 5, 2014.

The media’s top story is whatever Republicans say it is. Every. Single. Time.”

Answers:

  1. Matt Whitaker
  1. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York
  1. Fox “News” “reporters” Sean Hannity and Jeannine Pirro
  1. The ozone layer
  1. The Keystone XL pipeline
  1. JD Scholten
  1. Neil Armstrong
  1. Jim Acosta
  1. Conspiracy to defraud some groups he was working with
  1. Nebraska, Utah and Idaho
  1. Kansas and New Mexico
  1. An animal with a spear stuck in it
  1. Strip the New Democratic governor, Tony Evers, of power
  1. The special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller. They were triggered by the firing of Jeff Sessions
  1. Michigan and Minnesota
  1. Convicted felons who have served their time
  1. Kris Kobach of Kansas. He is the initiator of the voter suppression cross check program.
  1. Minnesota – all the legislatures in the country will be controlled by a single party
  1. Colorado. Colorado was the state where the religious right to refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple case arose from.
  1. Thousand Oaks, California.

Well, only 450 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses, folks. Start preparing.

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Humor | 3 Comments

EXIT POLL: Iowa voters support progressive policies

Image (1) progress-iowa.jpg for post 17381{editor’s note: this poll suggests that despite the loss at legislative and the governor’s level, Iowans generally support progressive values.}

Matt Sinovic <matt@progressiowa.org>

EXIT POLL: Iowa voters support progressive policies 

Des Moines, Iowa — New exit polling released today shows that Iowans who voted in this year’s election support a wide variety of policies including a return of state-run Medicaid, dramatically increased education funding, and support of rights for workers. Click here to read the entire poll. 

“Iowa voters showed clear support for progressive policies in our exit survey,” said Jim Williams, polling analyst with Public Policy Polling. “The electorate leaned Republican but voted Democratic in three of four Congressional races. And despite giving a narrow victory for incumbent Kim Reynolds, voters oppose privatized Medicaid, and favor other policies she has opposed such as raising taxes on corporations, restoring the rights of public workers, as well as funding for Planned Parenthood.”  

“Every elected official should pay close attention to how Iowa voters view public policy,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Exit polling from this year’s election shows how strongly Iowans believe in being part of a community. We want good health care, strong public schools, fair wages, and for everyone to be able to live safely and with dignity. Most importantly, we want that not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors, even saying no to a personal tax cut in order to pay for public services. That’s the definition of Iowa nice, and that’s the spirit in which our state should move forward.”

Despite legislation passed by the Republican controlled state government to remove minimum wage increases passed at the county level across the state, Iowa voters remain in favor of raising the wage. 82 percent want the minimum wage to increase from its current rate of $7.25 per hour to at least $9, and 59 percent think it should be $12 or more. 

Iowa voters strongly support public education, as 57 percent believe schools should receive a dramatic increase in school funding. And voters also oppose private school vouchers, with 64 percent who think public tax dollars should be used for public schools only, compared to 27 percent who think students should be able to use those tax dollars for non-public schools, including home schooling.

Funding cuts to Planned Parenthood were highly controversial over the past two years, and have resulted in the closing of several health clinics across the state, and the loss of federal funding to provide additional health care services. 54 percent of Iowa voters believe the Governor and legislature should restore funding to Planned Parenthood for reproductive and preventive health care services.

Governor Reynolds and Republicans in the legislature have publicly discussed the idea of changing the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System (IPERS) from a pension system to a privatized 401k system. Iowa voters oppose that change by a 69 to 21 percent margin. Even 56 percent of Republican voters oppose that type of change to IPERS. And one of the most intensely debated moments of the past two years in the legislature was the end of collective bargaining for public employees. Thousands of Iowans came to the capitol to oppose the change, and voters agree: 66 percent believe those collective bargaining rights should be restored. 

Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program has resulted in poor or nonexistent health coverage for the Iowans who need it most, and 55 percent of the voters in this year’s election want to see it removed from private companies and returned to state control. 

Tax policy was another area of debate on the campaign trail, and Iowa voters in exit polling gave a clear preference for funding public services and higher taxes in order to pay for those services. 57 percent said they would rather have public services paid for rather than see their own personal taxes go down by a few hundred dollars per year, and 61 percent said that corporations and the wealthiest in Iowa should pay more in taxes.

56 percent of Iowa voters think the Governor and legislature should ban the extremely controversial and dangerous practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors, with only 21 percent who think the practice should remain legal.

The first bill Governor Reynolds signed this year was water quality legislation that was described as having no requirements to decrease pollution. Iowa voters strongly favor requiring farms to reduce nutrient pollution runoff into our state’s waterways, with 73 percent in support of such a regulation.

Iowa voters support expanded gun safety measures as well. 71 percent think the state should close the private sale loophole, and require background checks for the private sale of all rifles and shotguns. And 76 percent think the Governor and legislature should require gun owners to report if their guns are lost or stolen.

The exit poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, surveyed 646 Iowa voters on November 6 and 7 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent, and respondents included only those who voted in the general election. 

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.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Job #1 Should Be Election Integrity

While this video is eight years old, many such machines are still used in elections:

https://youtu.be/3Sh20tzRb94

Beyond ironic that the man we sent to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One – the war that President Wilson at the time declared “would make the world safe for democracy” – is probably the biggest threat to democracy that this country has ever seen.

The integrity of elections is the very, very basic tenet of a democracy. We are now coming off an election where there have been significant questionable voting ‘irregularities.’ Irregularities include voting machines that have absolutely no way to verify counts against, machines whose software is so old it is easily hackable, millions of citizens who have had their right to vote for unknown reasons and voters who never know if their ballot was counted. This is just a short list.

Nearly every expert who is asked to comment on the current state of voting in the US almost immediately points out the vulnerability of voting on electronic voting machines whether it be by direct recoding machines or even having machine counted paper ballots. Computerized machines are quite vulnerable to hacking in various ways. 

Almost to a person the experts agree on the solution: hand marked, hand counted paper ballots. It may be clunky, we may not be able to get results one minute after the polls close, but the question here is whether we want accurate results or quick results.

In a recent article in Gentlemen’s Quarterly Sean Flynn discusses how relatively simple it would be for a small group of people to hack the machines leaving no trail. He notes that only a few tactically selected machines need to throw votes. If the votes have no paper trail who will ever know?

The article begins with an overview of what could (may have) actually happened:

“I’d been talking to Halderman since shortly after the 2016 election, when Donald Trump—to the surprise of everyone, including himself—was apparently elected president. Back then, Halderman explained in somewhat horrifying detail how relatively easy it is to hack an election and, maddeningly, how easy it would be to audit suspect vote tallies if there was the political will to do so. Last spring, by which time that political will still had not materialized, he showed me how easily votes can be rigged. In his little office, he demonstrated how a poll worker would set up an AccuVote-TSX to make sure it is properly calibrated to accurately record votes for a real-world election. Once that was done, we commenced with our pretend election. Halderman voted first, for Michigan. I cast the second ballot, also for Michigan, because it seemed polite and because I knew this was a parlor trick. Then Halderman ran the protocol to officially end our short election—he faithfully followed all the correct steps—and printed out the results: Michigan 0, Ohio State 2, the opposite of the votes we cast.

He didn’t rewrite the AccuVote’s software. Rather, he wrote a vote-stealing virus, with which he infected the machine in the same way that a vote-stealing hacker would. It took him six weeks to get the code right, which isn’t too bad for a professor on sabbatical without, say, the resources of a foreign intelligence service.

“Now, with more votes, the margin would be smaller and harder to detect,” he said. Indeed, when he later re-enacted the election with 239 true-blue Michigan students, Ohio State won by a mere 23 votes, 131 to 108. “But it’s scary to see it in front of you, right? It’s even scarier to do it,” he said. “I don’t want to be able to control an election. And I don’t want Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un to be able to, either.”

The article is medium sized, but is packed with real life scenarios that can and may have happened. While the American public spends time watching fictional crimes on TV the greatest crimes of all time may be taking place during our elections.

Couple the vulnerability of electronic voting machines with the recent Republican voter suppression vendetta and you have the perfect storm for election theft. Suppression tactics have generally focused on culling the rolls of populations that tend to vote Democratic. This includes blacks, latino, youth and city dwellers. That’s just about every voting group but older, whites in rural areas.

While voter eligibility generally is left up to the states in the constitution, the federal government has stepped in from time to time to establish rules to keep states from violating citizens rights. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 comes immediately to mind. So it is within the purview of Congress to establish some minimum standards.

As we also know, with Democrats controlling only one house of congress, it would be unlikely that a new election law would pass the senate. After all, the Senate will still be controlled by Republicans and it is their party that has overwhelmingly benefitted from the current state of voting.

However, the fact that a bill is probably doomed should not be a reason to not create and pass such a bill in the House. With their majority in the House, Democrats must make a stand for election integrity. Among items that must be central to such a bill is verifiable paper trails, random audits, an “innocent until proven guilty” concept on voter suppression (the state must prove why a citizen would lose his or her right to vote), restoration of felons right to vote upon completion of sentence, and equal access to participate – that is 1 voting booth per so many voters. If voting only consists of paper, pencil and a privacy booth, the cost can’t be too high.

Other regulations must also include a custody chain such that the paper ballots can be accessed in cases of law suits. 

Violations of these provisions must have severe punishment.

Iowa had an audit system of sorts after this last election. While hand counting is done there seems to be no recourse should the audits turn up discrepancies. Thus a law without any teeth. No doubt we will be hearing some reports on these audits soon.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, Verified Voting, voting rights | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Iowa’s Loss: Fred Hubbell Is A Class Act

Thoughts on the Governor’s race from Kevin McCarthy,  former state rep., Iowa house majority and minority leader, political director at Hubbell for Governor.  Posted with permission.

It was a Record setting night in Polk County (thanks to
many, many good people…the Campaign for Iowa…and Sean Bagniewski and Kimberley Boggus and CeCe Ibson, etc, etc).

It was a Historic night in Johnson County…unbelievable margin of victory! Iowa City blew everyone away! Epic! Thank you Mary Mascher and Sue Dvorsky and Joe Bolkcom and everyone there!

Early vote statewide…RECORD setting again for an off year election. A ton of hard-work and we blew past all goals. Thank you CFI and all the county parties!

Then…on to Iowa’s four congressional districts…Fred wins the First and the Second and yes the Third (out-performs)…

…and onto the Fourth…with huge turnout and massive energy on both sides of that hard-fought congressional contest…Reynolds wins in King’s district by a 22 point margin…negating everything else and after the provisionals are counted and the elections are certified… will make for about a two point win overall for the incumbent Governor Reynolds.

In 26 years of being involved in Iowa campaigns, including statewide and presidentials…I have seen wins from those who don’t have it all together so to speak…and losses from those that are well run.

All I can say, from my little corner of the world…is that I have never seen a more well-oiled machine as the Hubbell campaign. It was the best overall campaign, on every level, that I have ever seen. Our 98 county primary win in a crowded field was not just about messaging…it was about organization. In the general…our organization was superior by far. Not even close. Our press events dominated (hundreds of built events highlighting the disaster of Medicaid Privatization, etc.). Newspaper endorsements (which require interviews where one is questioned like Branstad used to do)…we dominated. Our Build at events like mental health forums and debate visibility dominated. Sometimes they would just leave, with reckless disregard, in the front of an important event, an entire row of their reserved seats for them…empty. They skipped important Ed Board interviews. No need for prep when you skip the interview process altogether. Etc.

Now to the candidate. Fred Hubbell is a decent man. A good person with a good heart. A great intellect with a amazingly humble disposition. In almost a year and a half of working on this campaign I have never seen him lose his cool or raise his voice nor make any decision that was not pragmatic and based upon a sense of what was the right and honorable thing to do. He respects people and his fellow human beings. I am telling you…he is a class act.

And…with all of that…WE did not prevail.

The status quo in Iowa will continue…and Medicaid Privatization will continue…and those that are disproportionately negatively effected by these policies, in part… provided the needed votes to allow it to continue. That is unfortunate.

There is a division in Iowa now that transcends issues at the moment in some pockets of our state …and…even our current ability to understand exactly how to navigate that.

It is what it is. I am proud of this campaign and everyone in it from top to bottom and from bottom to top. Two things can be true at the same time I think. This was a historic, amazing campaign effort, that broke records…that was focused on the issues…and had a great candidate with a great message of change.

And we lost.

Thank you to all that poured their hearts and souls into making Iowa a better place. From the very real issues of Medicaid Privatization, our broken Mental Health system and our educational system…we fought the good fight for the right reasons.

Now we turn the page…

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Mueller Protection Rapid Response Rallies In Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Indianola, Iowa City, Red Oak


Urgent Action Alert From
MoveOn.org/TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw

Nobody is Above the Law Rallys Thursday

Donald Trump just crossed a red line, violating the independence of the investigation pursuing criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal and cover-up.

Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we’ve got to get Congress to stop him.

We’re mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law.

Please make note of the date, time, and description to confirm that the host is able to organize the event on such short notice!

Once you sign up, make sure to invite friends to join you at the event!

Let’s show Donald Trump that nobody is above the law. Join a rapid response rally if special counsel Mueller is fired!

Note: If you choose to attend an event, you agree to engage in nonviolent, peaceful action, to act lawfully, and to strive to de-escalate any potential confrontations with those who may disagree with our values.

Click  on your city for details about Protect Mueller protests being held in Iowa Thursday: Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Indianola, Iowa City, Red Oak

 

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Jim Hightower: Republicans Have Made It Harder To Vote

At the time of posting, the mid-term election returns are not yet in.  Here is an excerpt from an article from The Hightower Lowdown

“Election meddling was rampant in 2016, and his [Trump’s] campaign’s blatant collusion in it corrupted America’s democratic process and perverted our nation’s public policies for the benefit of those behind the rigging. Moreover, the riggers are doing it again, with the goal of stealing the November midterm elections. But Putin and his Kremlin trolls are the least of it. The chief US election meddlers are not Russians. They’re Republicans.

For more than a decade, such GOP political schemers as Karl Rove, the Koch cabal, and ALEC have amassed hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate supremacists like ExxonMobil, the US Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, and AT&T to collude in a massive, nationwide offensive to re-write rules and take actions to prevent you from voting. Yes, you. The GOP’s relentless voter suppression strategy is both way less and much more than they want us to know. Start with less. The party’s suppressionists insist they are patriots coping with a crisis of fraudulent voters, including hordes of “illegal aliens” swarming across the Mexican border to vote Democratic in 2016. Trump alleges that he, not Clinton, handily won the popular vote–“if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” (The final tally by the non-partisan Cook Political Report shows Clinton winning the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes.)

Read on

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Get Off Of The Internet And Go Vote!

Iowa has Election Day registration. You will need a photo ID and proof of residency.  For more info. about voting go to IowaSOS.gov. Click here to find your polling location. Click here to find your county auditor.

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How You Can Help J.D. Scholten Defeat Steve King Today

Urgent action requested from the J.D. Scholten campaign

If we want to win this race, if we want to replace a Congressman that continually embarrasses us with one that we can be proud of, we need your help.

We don’t have enough people to canvass all the doors we need to hit in the next 48 hours, and we urgently need your help to get it done. 

Take a look at the images above. This isn’t just critically important work, it’s fun too! 

So help out tomorrow. Help out on Tuesday. We have turfs cut and lit ready to roll, and most of our offices have pretty good snacks to keep you fueled up as you go. If you’ve never canvassed before, it’s easy to get started and we have plenty of people on hand to offer support.

Just sign up here: https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/iowa/ to get started!

And if you’re not in the district and want to help, you can sign up to join our remote phone bank team here: https://www.scholten4iowa.com/volunteer/.

We’re on the verge of making history. Let’s not let this opportunity get away from us!

Thank you for being a part of this incredible movement.

Standing Tall for All,
Team Scholten Volunteers

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Republican Proposal To Ration Health Care

from the Iowa Senate Democrats – 

In the final days of the 2018 campaign, a Northwest Iowa State Senator may have mistakenly released the Republican Party of Iowa’s secret plan to “fix” the Medicaid privatization mess.

During a forum last week sponsored by the Sioux City Rotary Club, [Republican] State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City proposed rationing health care for Medicaid recipients.

Carlin specifically said lawmakers should “look into limiting the number of doctor visits” by people on Medicaid.

Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen called Carlin’s proposal “mean-spirited and dangerous.”

“This is another example of a politician playing doctor,” Petersen said. “The last thing that Iowa parents need is to be worried about politicians placing arbitrary caps on the number of times their children can visit the family doctor for an ear infection, a broken arm or diabetes. And how could the Legislature and Governor limit the number of doctor visits for disabled Iowans or those with chronic illnesses? That’s mean-spirited and dangerous.”

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Governor Reynolds and other Republican leaders acknowledged “mistakes were made” with Medicaid privatization, but they have offered no solutions for reversing course on a change that has turned over health care management for hundreds of thousands of Iowans to out-of-state corporations.

As a result, the Reynolds Administration, Senator Carlin and others in the Republican-controlled Legislature have led an effort that has:

  1. Cut and delayed payments to Iowa health care providers that provide critical services to hundreds of thousands of Iowans.
  2. Made health care services even less accessible to Medicaid members.
  3. Shifted more than $100 million away from education, health care and public safety to cover the additional payments to out-of-state corporations.

“Make no mistake about it, Senator Carlin’s plan would cost Iowa taxpayers more money in the long run and would further endanger the health and safety of Iowans,” Petersen said.

Read the full Sioux City Journal article: https://tinyurl.com/yd4oouq2

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