Iowa’s Congressional District 4 shines again

This evening the Huffington Post reported that Iowa’s Steve King said, ” ‘all bets are off” about the fate of a continuing resolution to fund the government if President Barack Obama decides to unilaterally take action to provide deportations relief for undocumented immigrants.

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear,” King said, according to the Des Moines Register. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.” ‘

Which public is Representative King talking about. There are disagreements about immigration reform, but where are they discussions?

Reuters News Service is also reporting the conservatives in Congress are planning or another shutdown.

And Allen Clifton with the Forward Progressives begins a column with these insights.

“This is by far my favorite argument that I’ve seen coming from Republicans when it comes to pretty much anything.  It’s so absurd that it just makes me wish for a moment I could be inside their heads, because I would love to see what reality is like on their planet. Because, based on comments such as those of Republican Rep. Steve King, many of them sure as heck aren’t living on this one.  See, according to Rep. King, if the government does end up getting shut down it won’t be the fault of Republicans—it’ll all be President Obama’s fault. Let’s take a look at his “reasoning” for this: “So the House will make sure that the funds are available.  And if the president should decide he’s going to shut down the government, it will never be the House of Representatives, if this happens it will be either an act of either Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate or the president or them working in conjunction with each other.  If the president decides to shut the government down, it will be the equivalent of a political tantrum, saying ‘I will have my piece of signature legislation even if the American people reject it and I’ll punish you by shutting the government down if I don’t get my way.’”

It is time to give our Representative King a permanent vacation from government work and to elect candidate Jim Mowrer so someone sensible can sit down with other members of Congress and work to solve issues, rather than create more of them.

Big money, big problems, no end in sight

A blog piece ran on the Huffington Post  site by Marge Baker about a secret recording of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.  In it he is “gushing” to the Koch Brothers for supporting him. This was first reported by the The Nation publication.  (Caught on tape: What Mitch McConnell complained about to a roomful of billionaires.)

In the piece he rails against those who want to rein in corporate “free speech” spending:

“And no one is a more vocal supporter of our broken campaign finance system than Mitch McConnell himself. In the secret tapes, Sen. McConnell says that the Citizens United decision (which paved the way for unlimited corporate political spending) simply “level[ed] the playing field for corporate speech,” even calling the proposed constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United ”an act of true radicalism” from people who want to “use the power of the government to quiet the voices of their critics.”

But Americans know that it’s not billionaires or corporations who need the playing field to be leveled. Their priorities are coming through loud and clear in our democracy, thanks to politicians like Sen. McConnell who are fighting to ensure that those with the most to spend can continue to buy our elections. It’s ordinary Americans, who increasingly cannot be heard over the roar of big money, whose voices need to be protected. And that “radical” push for a constitutional amendment, which will be voted on in the Senate on September 8, is actually supported by nearly three in four voters.”

Also mentioned in the recording is that Iowa Republican candidate Joni Ernst is also so happy for the Koch Brothers support.

“In the audio recording, Sen. McConnell says everything that the Koch brothers want to hear. At the beginning of his remarks, he gushes to the brothers: “I don’t know where we’d be without you.” He rails against Senate votes on raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, and tackling student debt. It’s no coincidence that he has received heaps of cash from wealthy special interests that oppose action on those issues. (Reporting today from The Huffington Post shows that at the same Koch retreat, Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and state Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa — both Republican nominees for U.S. Senate — “directly credited donors present…for propelling them forward.”)

It is so important that we talk with our fellow Democrats, friends, and moderate Republicans and see that we stop candidate Ernst from becoming a reality to Iowans. Her election as a senator is a reality show that should never run.

Brad Anderson, Democratic candidate Secretary of State

Brad Anderson is running for the Secretary of State position in this fall’s election. Like a lot of Iowans, he was tired of Matt Schultz pursuing “phantom” law breakers who are illegally voting during the elections and wasting tax payer dollars that probably would be better spend educating people about registering to vote and what voting means to them.

But as it turns out, Shultz’ pursuit of such wanton disregard of the law was misplaced. According to a recent Des Moines Register story the two-year investigation at an expense of $250,000 didn’t find the major fraud he and other Republicans said there was. In some cases Iowa citizens were denied  the chance to vote, only to find later they should have been able to cast their ballots.

While voter fraud is a serious topic, this obsession in finding such law breakers is miniscule and not enough to sway an election. Worse, people are being denied the chance to vote, simply because they are suspected of being illegal voters. Guilty before trial, the Republican version of the American way.

Brad Anderson wants to change that, wants to see that more people can vote, should vote, and do this through education programs and let existing laws prevail in stopping voter fraud.

Woodbury Dems fundraiserWoodbury Dems fundraiser Woodbury Dems fundraiser

Getting to know local candidates

Recent video postings on WoodburyDems should give area Democrats a chance to “meet” and get to know their area candidates a bit better.

Take the time to watch the short statements and then click on accompanying links to learn more about how these candidates want to sustain the Middle Class and give a hand up to those who looking to improve their lives through hard work. Then please support their campaigns, financially, or through volunteering to help them reach other voters to see them get elected this fall.

If Republicans gain the US Senate

So recent stories tell different outcomes if the Republicans gain control of the US Senate. A report by the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch headline states: “Why a Republican-controlled Senate might not change much”.

It states: ”

So, what happens if Republicans win the Senate in November’s midterm elections? A sea change in Washington politics? Off-the-charts political drama? The answer, according to Goldman Sachs’s Alec Phillips, is actually a little more boring.

“There should be little effect on most of the major policy debates,” writes Phillips in a new note. Why? As Phillips points out, it’s a matter of numbers, and one number in particular: 60.”

 However, a recent Plum Line column in the Washington Post by gives a much different and harsher reality. One more likely that Democrats believe is true.
In referencing an interview with Politico, the column states:
“Mitch McConnell spelled out the consequences of GOP control of the Senate in surprisingly stark terms: It could lead to more government shutdowns.

“Mitch McConnell has a game plan to confront President Barack Obama with a stark choice next year: Accept bills reining in the administration’s policies or risk a government shutdown.

In an extensive interview here, the typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate if Republicans gain control of the chamber. The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic to circumvent Democratic filibusters and force the president to “move to the center” if he wants to get any new legislation through Congress. In short, it’s a recipe for a confrontational end to the Obama presidency…

…asked about the potential that his approach could spark another shutdown, McConnell said it would be up to the president to decide whether to veto spending bills that would keep the government open.

Obama “needs to be challenged, and the best way to do that is through the funding process,” McConnell said. “He would have to make a decision on a given bill, whether there’s more in it that he likes than dislikes.’

But according to Matt Cantor, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says:

 ”This is a rare bout of honesty for Mitch McConnell. He’s admitting to America that he has no interest in forging compromise or solving problems. He’s determined to shut down the government and create utter chaos and instability for our economy, hurting middle class Americans.”
Which is why it is so important for all Democrats to step up. This weekend is a weekend of action and volunteers are needed to make phone calls, to canvas neighborhoods and talk with neighbors and friends about the importance of voting in this upcoming election and getting fellow Democrats to fill out their Vote by Mail forms to make certain they will have a ballot come this November 4.

Democrat candidates running for office

There are a few local Democrat candidates running for office or re-election this fall. Chris Hall is running for Iowa House District 13, David Dawson is running for Iowa House District 14 and Ken Mertes is running for Iowa House District 17. Jim France is running for Iowa Senate District 7. Alex Watters is running for Woodbury County Supervisor seat District 4 and George Boykin is running for Woodbury County Supervisor seat District 2.

Information and related videos can be found under the Candidates heading above for each of those running for office.



Republicans, not always truthful?

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank writes that the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party, does grand old phoniness.

He writes:

NRCC Launches Fake News Sites to Attack Democratic Candidates” was a headline in the National Journal on Tuesday.

As Shane Goldmacher reported, “The National Republican Congressional Committee, which came under fire earlier this year for a deceptive series of fake Democratic candidate websites that it later changed after public outcry, has launched a new set of deceptive websites, this time designed to look like local news sources.”

“These two dozen sites, with names such as “North County Update” and “Central Valley Update” look like political fact-checking sites; the NRCC’s spokeswoman, Andrea Bozek, called it “a new and effective way to disseminate information.”

Milbank states that a NRCC official said the sites are legal because printed at the bottom of them is the statement, “Paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee in small print.

As always is noted, the devil is in the details, and the GOP seems to have many devils.

Congressman King’s committed compassion

In a recent New York Times article, yes that liberal leaning rag, did a story about another GOP go at the immigration issue. Our Congressman King is one of those compassionate Republicans trying to help out. It is one more reason to get involved with the Woodbury County Democrats, to get people elected to Congress that will sit down and work out issues that will advance this country rather than take us back to the 1950′s in viewpoint and isolation.

“As senior members of the Judiciary Committee looked on, the opponents — Representatives Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve King of Iowa and Mo Brooks of Alabama — reshaped two bills to address the rush of unaccompanied children trying to enter the country illegally. Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, was there, too, and she and Mr. King later took to Twitter to post photos of themselves approving the final language.

For the Obama administration, which is considering carrying out broad immigration policy changes by executive decree, the end of the legislative session was potent evidence that Congress could not be a partner on the pressing, delicate policy decisions to come. A legislative year in which Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio set out to publicly marginalize the more vocal right-wing members of his conference ended with them emboldened, and with new leaders ready to bring the right back into the fold.”

A former Pres. George W. Bush administration member did not have a warm and fuzzy feeling toward Congr. King.

““When you put Raúl Labrador, Steve King and Michele Bachmann together writing an immigration bill, there’s damage done, no question,” said Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary under President George W. Bush who led the failed war room in 2007 trying to get a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws passed.”

Guitierrez also continued that where in the U.S. Congr. King and other somewhat obscure House GOP members’ names may not resonate with U.S. voters, he stated these individuals are well known outside the U.S. borders.

“Regardless, Mr. Gutierrez said, political damage was done. Complexities of immigration law that slip by most of the American news media remain front and center on Spanish television, where news figures such as Jorge Ramos advocate immigration overhaul positions, he said. And little-known lawmakers like Mr. King and Mr. Brooks are not so obscure among Latinos.”

2014 mid-term elections, get out and vote

This coming mid-term election is an important one for Democrats. It is also important for us to remind out like-minded friends and family the need to actually get out and vote this November and to support the party.

The New York Times recently published an article about the upcoming election and in it Iowa features prominently as does the writer’s take that Iowa’s legislature could become a Red State.

“Officials from both parties say there are two states that the Republicans might be able to add to the list of places where they enjoy complete control — Iowa and Arkansas. (There are no similar opportunities for Democrats.) Given that, Republicans this year are also looking to pick off individual chambers as a way of increasing their negotiating ability with Democratic governors and statehouses, or to block Democrats from passing legislation.

Republicans are looking to take over senates in Colorado, Iowa, Oregon, Maine and Nevada, and houses in Kentucky, New Hampshire and West Virginia. Republicans could emerge with complete control of the legislatures in New Hampshire and Kentucky, though both of those states have Democratic governors.”

The article continues: “ In Iowa, Republicans are looking to eliminate a tax on manufacturing and enact a ban there on telemedicine abortions, where women in rural areas obtain abortion pills after videoconference consultations with faraway doctors.

Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which is spearheading the statehouse efforts, said, “The pattern is crystal-clear at this point, and Wisconsin is the best example of it: That ability to drive your agenda when you are completely in control of state government will absolutely continue to play out.”

Mr. Walter said even picking up a house in a divided state was critical at a time when both parties are so ambitious. “The ability to restrain the other side from advancing their agenda very often comes down to a couple of seats in one chamber,” he said.

In Iowa, Democrats hold a two-seat edge in the Senate. The House is Republican, and Terry Branstad, the popular Republican governor, seems almost certain to win re-election. (Arkansas could also go all Republican if the party wins the governor’s seat; that is complicated by what both parties acknowledge is one of the few bright spots for Democrats — the possibility of picking up the lower house there.)

“We really believe we have tremendous opportunities in Iowa,” said Bill Dix, the Republican minority leader in the Iowa Senate.

Michael Gronstal, the Democratic majority leader of the Senate, said if Republicans take control next year, “I would fully expect them to come in and try to make it harder for unions to organize in this state. They have proposed that kind of stuff in the House. It died in the Senate.’”

Woodbury County Democrats, promoting democratic ideals and greater participation.