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At least three progressive Democratic groups (Democracy for America, MoveOn, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee) are mobilizing liberal Democrats to support U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren for president. The idea is to make sure the 2016 campaign includes a strong voice for economic populism. In a statement released yesterday, Democracy for America's executive director Charles Chamberlain said one of the group's "top priorities will be ensuring that the battle for the Democratic nomination is a contest, not a coronation." I've enclosed their full press release after the jump.
There's a first time for everything, and I believe this is the first time I've disagreed with DFA's strategy. Warren has consistently said and continues to say that she is not running for president. I don't believe she is open to changing her mind, unless Hillary Clinton surprises everyone by not running. Instead of wasting time trying to draft a candidate who doesn't want to seek the presidency, progressive groups should wait until the field is set and then support the contender who most closely aligns with their interests.
Finally, it's hard to disagree with Governor Howard Dean's contention that "Hilllary Clinton is by far the most qualified person in the United States to serve as President." The only Democrat who even comes close is Vice President Joe Biden, who said this week that he will decide whether to run again "at the end of the spring or early summer." Clinton has the highest name recognition and sky-high favorables with almost every key Democratic constituency.
I understand the concept of a candidate like Warren pushing Clinton to the left during the primaries, but let's get real: a Harvard professor turned senator from Massachusetts, in the middle of her first term, is not going to be elected president, even with the "Big Blue Wall" propping her up. Whereas Clinton would go into the general election as the front-runner against almost any conceivable Republican nominee.
Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.
UPDATE: A Bleeding Heartland reader shared an e-mail that some former Barack Obama campaign workers received this morning. The Ready for Warren Presidential Draft Campaign PAC is urging "Obama alumni" to sign a petition calling on Warren to run for president in 2016. I've enclosed that message at the end of this post.
Democracy for America announced this morning that it has endorsed Jim Mowrer, Representative Steve King's Democratic challenger in Iowa's fourth Congressional district. I've posted the official statement after the jump. The progressive advocacy group Howard Dean created after his 2004 presidential campaign has 1 million members across the country, including 9,589 members in Iowa. Some of them may be more likely to volunteer for Mowrer knowing he has DFA'a backing.
Christie Vilsack's campaign is asking supporters to help the former Iowa first lady gain the endorsement of the progressive political action committee Democracy for America. However, the Democratic challenger to Representative Steve King in Iowa's new fourth Congressional district has not formally applied for the group's support.
We need to restore a civil political dialogue in Iowa and Roxanne Conlin is exactly what Iowa needs after 30 years of Chuck Grassley. She's a fighter who will stand up for Iowans, like she did as Assistant Attorney General and U.S. Attorney. When an Iowa teacher was fired for being pregnant, she took that woman's case all the way to the state Supreme Court - and won.
Roxanne will go the extra mile and it's that work ethic that is going to earn her the votes to win in November. Now, we need to provide her with the resources to fight back against one of the Senate's most entrenched Republicans.
Iowa's Water and Land Legacy campaign seeks a qualified campaign manager or consulting firm to oversee a statewide ballot campaign from November 2009-November 2010. The coalition supports a proposed November 2010 constitutional amendment to establish Iowa's Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Candidates should have extensive campaign experience-ballot campaign experience preferable, along with experience in fundraising and managing vendors. Ideal candidate will possess significant skills in coordinating and facilitating decision-making for large, diverse coalitions; ability to relate to diverse organizations and interest groups. Salary is commensurate with experience.
For a complete position description or to apply, e-mail resume by and cover letter by September 30 to: Iowa's Water and Land Legacy, attn: Rosalyn Lehman, 303 Locust St, Ste 402, Des Moines, IA 50309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, Representative Bruce Braley confirmed on Friday that he is running for re-election in Iowa's first Congressional district. I consider him highly likely to run for U.S. Senate when one of our current senators retires.
Fred S. Hubbell was a member of the Executive Board and Chairman of Insurance and Asset Management Americas for ING Group. Mr. Hubbell retired from ING Group's Executive Board effective April 25, 2006. Mr. Hubbell was formerly Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Equitable of Iowa Companies, an insurance holding company, serving in his position as Chairman from May 1993 to October 1997, and as President and Chief Executive Officer from May 1989 to October 1997.
Charlotte Hubbell, Fred Hubbell's wife, serves on the Environmental Protection Commission.
Trish Nelson of Blog for Iowa forwarded to me a job listing from Democracy for America. They are hiring "public option field organizers" in 12 states, including Iowa. This is a short-term position but does include health benefits. You can apply here. I've posted the full listing after the jump.
"We need members of Congress to leave the bubble of Washington, D.C. and stand with their constituents," said Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake.com and co-founder of Accountability Now. "We need members of Congress to ask the tough questions about continued Wall Street bailouts that reward the donor class, two wars without seeming end, the ceaseless assault on our civil liberties, and other issues that separate the citizenry from the DC cocoon."
"Accountability Now is an organization built around a single guiding principle: challenging the institutional power structures that make it so easy, so consequence-free for Congress to open up the government coffers for looting by corporate America while people across the country are losing their jobs and their basic constitutional rights while unable to afford basic health care," said Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com and co-founder of Accountability Now. "Accountability Now believes that members of Congress in both parties need to hear from their constituents, and that nothing focuses the mind of a politician on listening to citizens better than a primary."
"Accountability Now PAC will recruit, coordinate, and support primary challenges against vulnerable Congressional incumbents who have become more responsive to corporate America than to their constituents," said Accountability Now's new Executive Director, Jeff Hauser. "By empowering the grassroots, Accountability Now will help create the political space needed to enable President Obama to make good on the many progressive policies he campaigned on - such as getting out of Iraq, ensuring access to affordable health care for every man, woman and child, restoring our constitutional liberties and ending torture."
In 2007, grassroots activists banded together to oust Al Wynn out of office, and it shook House Democrats to their core. Similarly, we learned in 2006 how even a primary challenge that does not win could change behavior, as Jane Harman has been more accountable to the concerns of her constituents after a tough primary race against Marcy Winograd.
Out of these recent lessons, diverse and politically powerful groups have decided to support Accountability Now's efforts, such as MoveOn, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), DailyKos, ColorOfChange.org, and Democracy for America, 21st Century Democrats and BlogPAC.
On principle, I agree with the goals of this PAC. Like some guy once said, "the system in Washington is rigged and our government is broken. It's rigged by greedy corporate powers to protect corporate profits. [...] We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats [...]"
However, I won't get excited about the Accountability Now PAC until I learn more about the criteria it will use to determine which Democratic incumbents are "bad enough" to be primaried, and which primary challengers are "good enough" to be endorsed.
To my knowledge, Democracy for America was the only organization in the Accountability Now PAC that helped Ed Fallon in last year's primary in Iowa's third district (a D+1 district represented by Blue Dog Leonard Boswell).
How would someone thinking about a primary challenge know whether he or she is likely to get full support, like Donna Edwards in MD-04, or almost nothing, like Fallon?
As Iowa Goes So Goes the Nation Symposium: Varnum v. Brien and its Impact on Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples
Sponsored by the Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice and featuring a keynote by Dan Savage
University of Iowa School of Law, Iowa City
Click here for more information or to register.
Someone post a diary afterwards to tell us how Dan Savage did!
From the Center on Sustainable Communities:
Leadership Forum on Sustainable Building With Marc Richmond Thursday, February 26, 2009, 9:45am - 2:00pm
LOCATION: Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.
PROGRAM: As Iowa's leading resource on sustainable building education, COSC is conducting a Leadership Forum with Marc Richmond for Iowa's business leaders, community leaders, state agency leaders, and policy makers. The session will define the key components of sustainable building and illustrate strategies for building sustainable communities based on national models.
You will find more information at www.icosc.com.
Friday, February 27:
The symposium on Varnum v Brien continues at the University of Iowa law school.
Saturday, February 28:
Democracy for America is holding its acclaimed Training Academy in Des Moines on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1. Click here for more details. Iowa blogger noneed4thneed will be there!
The Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring a "sustainable living seminar" for "everyone interested in gardening, landscaping, conservation, and the environment" at DMACC from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. I put the full agenda after the jump--looks like a great program.
Saw this on the Sierra Club Iowa Topics list:
Plymouth Church UCC, Des Moines, Green Team will sponsor the showing of the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car?" after the Saturday evening Service (service 5:30-6:30) on February 28. "This 2006 documentary film explores the creation, limited commercialization, and subsequent destruction of the battery electric vehicle in the United States, specifically the General Motors EV1 of the 1990s. The film explores the roles of automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, the US government, the Californian government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles, and consumers in limiting the development and adoption of this technology." Admission is free. Plymouth Church is located at the corner of 42nd and Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines. The church is 2 blks south of the 42nd St exit of I-235. The Green Team has a new blog on the Plymouth website: plymouthgreen.org where they discuss "our own struggles with adopting a greener lifestyle and welcome your comments." Plymouth Church is a Cool Congregation.
I have never attended these trainings, but I have heard many good reports about them. Whatever your level of experience with political volunteering, these sessions will be worth your time and well worth the very reasonable suggested contribution of $60.
Event Date: Feb 28, 2009
Event Time: 9:00 AM CST (10:00 AM EST)
Venue Name: DMACC Urban/Des Moines Campus
Address: 1100 7th Street
City: Des Moines
Zip Code: 50314
Ten reasons to attend the DFA Campaign Academy training in Des Moines this Febuary 28th - March 1st:
1. Learn how to plan and run a winning grassroots campaign
2. Meet and hear from local progressive candidates
3. Learn from trainers with decades of experience
4. Mingle with other local progressive activists at social events
5. Get a copy of our 180 page Grassroots Campaign Training Manual
6. Set goals and make plans to pass progressive legislation
7. Re-connect with old friends from the campaign
8. Help elect progressive mayors, city council members and other municipal offices in 2009
9. Learn to organize your neighborhood or precinct
10. Look for a new job or volunteer opportunity
Click here to see the skills you'll learn at a DFA Campaign Training!
All we ask is a small contribution of $60 to DFA to help us cover our costs. Don't worry if you can't afford it, you can always find someone to sponsor you through our training scholarship fund and we offer reduced tuition rates to those in need.
Space is limited so reserve your seat today!
For more info on our trainers, curriculum, and history visit our training homepage at: www.democracyforamerica.com/training.
If you have questions you can email us at training(at)democracyforamerica.com or call our DFA Training hotline at: 802-651-3200.
Canâ€™t make it to the training that weekend but still want to help? You can contribute to a scholarship fund for this training and help send a local organizer in your place. Click here sponsor another attendee!
We have secured a number of discounted rooms at the Holiday Inn across the street from DMACC. The discounted group rate is available until February 13th.
Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus
1050 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50314
Phone 515-283-0151 Fax 515-288-1339
Ask for the "Democracy for America" Group Rate of $85 per night.
Please post a comment if you've gone through the DFA training before.
I love the Republican whining about Shawn Johnson reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic convention. She's not giving a political speech, she's saying the pledge! Anyway, the more they complain, the more people will tune in to watch 75,000 Democrats go crazy over the Pledge of Allegiance.
Good for Shawn for taking this step, even though it could very well cost her some endorsements.
UPDATE: Democracy for America is phone-banking tonight (I got a call shortly after 7 pm). Smart move--a whole lot of Democrats are going to be at home in front of their television sets.
Bill Richardson: John McCain may pay hundreds of dollars for his shoes, but we're the ones who will pay for his flip-flops.
SECOND UPDATE: Switched to C-SPAN an hour ago because I couldn't take the inane punditry. Whose idea was it to have a parade of retired generals and ordinary people speak after Al Gore? Gore should have been the last speaker before Obama.
THIRD UPDATE: I was distracted by my kids and didn't realize that Wesley Clark was one of the retired generals who stood on stage, but he was not allowed to say a word. That is atrocious. He is a good speaker, and the Obama campaign is running scared. That's why the right-wing noise machine went after Clark last month--they wanted to make Obama afraid to use him.
FOURTH UPDATE: I only caught the last 15 minutes or so of Obama's speech. I like this excerpt I read from earlier:
And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Great visuals at the end with a packed stadium going wild. I have no idea what that country song was they played after Obama spoke, though.
Some commenters at Open Left pointed out that the Republicans picked a terrible week to have their convention. Monday is Labor Day, and a lot of Americans will have other things to do besides watch the RNC. Next Thursday is the opening night for the NFL, so McCain will deliver his acceptance speech opposite two nationally televised football games. I look forward to comparing the ratings for the GOP convention to our convention.
FIFTH UPDATE: The full text of Obama's speech (as prepared) is after the jump.
As always, please send me an e-mail if I've left out any important event.
UPDATE: I found out that Kathleen Sebelius will do several events in Iowa on Thursday and added them to the calendar below.
Monday, August 18:
The Obama campaign is holding a Rural Roundtable Discussion with Gary Lamb, a member of the Agriculture and Rural Policy and Action Committee, at the Charles City Public Library (Zastrow Room), 106 Milwaukee Mall St in Charles City at 12 pm.
From the Center on Sustainable Communities:
Iowa Home Crafters is hosting a COSC member open house at 1571 P Avenue in Madrid, IA, Monday, August 18th from 4-7pm.
Free to COSC members and those interested in membership.
Carpool with at least two others and you will be eligible for a door prize.
Visit www.icosc.com for more details.
Representative Steve King will appear at a fundraiser for Mariannette Miller-Meeks at The Drake in Burlington at 6 pm. Bring your sign and/or chicken suit to ask why King won't debate Rob Hubler, Democratic candidate in Iowa's fifth district.
Tuesday, August 19:
The Obama campaign is holding a Rural Roundtable Discussion with Lt. Governor Patty Judge at 4:15 pm in the Formal Dining Room at Gentle Student Center, Ellsworth Community College, 1100 College Avenue in Iowa Falls.
The Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission will hold its fourth meeting to discuss the state's disaster and rebuilding efforts at the Holiday Inn Cedar Falls - University Plaza, 5826 University Ave., Cedar Falls, from 2 to 5 pm.
Steve King is holding four town-hall meetings:
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
King to host Council Bluffs Town Hall Meeting
Iowa Western Community College Aviation Center
211915 Cessna Avenue
Council Bluffs, Iowa
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
King to host Red Oak Town Hall Meeting
US Bank, Community Room
323 Reed St
Red Oak, Iowa
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
King to host Creston Town Hall Meeting
Supertel Inn and Conference Center
800 Laurel St.
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
King to host Denison Town Hall Meeting
812 4th Ave. S.
Wear your chicken suit outside the event, or bring your video camera inside in case there are any "macaca moments"!
Wednesday, August 20:
The Obama campaign will hold a Rural Roundtable Discussion with Gary Lamb, a member of the Agriculture and Rural Policy and Action Committee, at 10 am in the Benton County Library, 510 2nd Ave. in Vinton.
A second Rural Roundtable with Gary Lamb will take place at 3 pm at the Farley Fire Station, 202 1st St. NE in Farley.
An Obama campaign Rural Roundtable Discussion with state Representative John Whitaker will be held at 6:30 pm at the White Buffalo Restaurant, 100 Hwy 34 E in Albia.
Tom and Ruth Harkin will attend a fundraiser for Becky Greenwald at the home of David and Loree Miles, 1402 Tulip Tree Lane in West Des Moines at 5:30 pm. To RSVP or for further information, call Eric Dillon at (515) 987-2800 or e-mail dillon AT beckygreenwald.com. The minimum suggested contribution level for this event is $100.
Democracy for America is holding another "Night School" session:
Join us on Wednesday, August 20th as DFA Night School returns for an hour with one of the pioneers of the Netroots movement: Zack Exley.
DFA Night School: Online Organizing w/ Zack Exley
Wednesday, August 20th
8:30pm Eastern Daylight Time
Zack Exley was an early player in the Dean movement and later went on to work as Director of Online Organizing for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. We'll be talking about what works and what doesn't when it comes to organizing online as well as what are some of the new technologies poised to revolutionize campaigns of the future.
Night School is DFA's interactive online training program. Every month Night School brings top campaign experts right to your home at absolutely no cost to you. Simply visit www.democracyforamerica.com/onlineorganizing and sign up to learn how to listen to the call live on either your home computer or over the telephone.
The training will last approximately one hour and will be accompanied by a slideshow you can view online or download and print out ahead of time.
From One Iowa:
Join other political, civil rights, business, religious and civic leaders to learn more about the Campaign for Marriage Equality in Iowa. You are invited to join One Iowa and members of our Kitchen Cabinet to discuss our current campaign to ensure that all Iowa families are protected equally!
Campaign for Marriage Equality Briefing
11:30 AM - 12: 45 PM (Lunch Provided) or
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM (Refreshments Provided)
Davis Brown Law Firm
Board Room - 13th Floor
215 10th Street, Des Moines
Lt. Governor Sally Pederson
Senator Matt McCoy
Connie Ryan Terrell
RSVP by August 19 to Brad Clark, Campaign Director at email@example.com or 515-783-5950
Thursday, August 21:
The Obama campaign will hold a Rural Roundtable Discussion with Congressman Bruce Braley at 12 pm at Luigi's Restaurant, 1020 S. Frederick Ave in Oelwein.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas will campaign for Obama in several places on Thursday:
1:00 PM CDT
Governor Sebelius to speak at a women's brown bag lunch about pay equity and Senator Obama's plan to strengthen economic security for America's women
Scottish Rite Consistory
519 Park St.
Des Moines, Iowa
2:45 PM CDT
Governor Sebelius to hold a community gathering
Funaro's Deli and Bakery
201 N Buxton St.
4:00 PM CDT
Governor Sebelius and Becky Greenwald to hold a meet and greet with voters
Obama Iowa Campaign for Change Office
144 E Laurel St.
5:30 PM CDT
Governor Sebelius to kick-off a volunteer phone bank
Obama Iowa Campaign for Change office
1408 Locust St.
Des Moines, Iowa
Richard Leopold, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is holding a public forum at Lake Wapello State Park Lodge in Drakesville. The public forum begins at 6 p.m. with Director Leopold outlining the department's top 10 priorities, work being done to develop environmental indicators for the state, providing an update on sustainable funding for natural resources and discussion of local issues. Another hour-and-a-half will be devoted to answering questions from the public.
Friday, August 22:
The Obama campaign will hold a Rural Roundtable Discussion with Chuck Hassebrook, a member of the Agriculture and Rural Policy and Action Committee, at 10 am at Lakeshore Family Restaurant, 1520 Lake Avenue in Storm Lake.
A second Rural Roundtable featuring Hassebrook will take place at 3 pm at the Boone Historical Center, 602 Story Street (Use South Entrance) in Boone.
Steve King is holding two more town-hall meetings:
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
King to host Spencer Town Hall Meeting
Spencer Library Meeting Room
21 E 3rd St
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
King to host Storm Lake Town Hall Meeting
City Council Chambers
620 Erie St.
Storm Lake, Iowa
As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail if I've left out any important event.
Democratic candidates, please e-mail me about your upcoming public events and/or fundraisers, so that I can include them in these posts.
Thursday, July 17:
Democracy for America is holding another one of its "Night School" sessions, this time featuring Professor George Lakoff:
Ever wonder why simply stating our positions on the hot button issues isn't enough to win votes? Or why Democrats who try and adopt conservative stances on issues usually lose their elections even in conservative districts?
Professor George Lakoff has the answers and will show us how to frame the solutions during the next Night School. Thursday, Professor Lakoff will be our special guest trainer; highlighting specific thinking points from his new book "The Political Mind" and teaching the framing progressives need to know to win. Join us "Live from Netroots Nation" at a special time: 5:30pm Eastern.
More information from Democracy for America is after the jump.
Rob Hubler will be at the Decatur County fair in Leon at 6:30 pm.
Friday, July 18:
Rob Hubler will be at the Carroll County fair in Carroll at 1:00 pm.
Hubler will be at the Crawford County fair in Denison at 3:15.
Hubler will be at the Mills County fair in Malvern at 6:15.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is holding its Statewide Convention on Friday and Saturday at the Hotel Fort Des Moines (10th and Walnut). The keynote speaker on Friday night will be John Nichols, writer for The Nation magazine. Tickets for the Nichols event can be purchased for $15 in advance or for $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Iowa CCI at 515-255-0800 or visit www.iowacci.org.
The Iowa Renewable Energy Association is holding a Residential Solar Photovoltaic Workshop at the Des Moines Botanical Center from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It costs $100 for I-Renew members and $150 for non-members, with an optional $11 lunch. Click here for more information, or read the whole e-mail announcement from I-Renew after the jump.
Rob Hubler will be at the Buena Vista County fair in Storm Lake at 1 pm.
Hubler will be at the O'Brien County fair in Primghar at 3 pm.
Polk County supervisor Tom Hockensmith is holding the 6th Annual Hockensmith Family Picnic from noon to 3 pm at Doanes Park, Shelter #1, 451 S. Pleasant Hill Blvd. $10 per person - or - $25 per family. Directions from E. University / Hwy 163: Go South on Hickory Blvd., West on Maple Dr., then South on S. Pleasant Hill Blvd.
Sunday, July 20:
Rob Hubler will be in the Monona County fair parade in Onawa at 10 am.
Hubler will be at the Pottawattamie County fair in Avoca at 3:15 pm.
How do we know we have this Bush Democrat on the ropes?
Well it's not just the desperate Washington-style attack ads Boswell is running to distort Ed's record. And it isn't just the favors Boswell called in to get his beltway friends raising money in a panic for the campaign.
It's the Boswell record that tells the real story of this campaign:
Boswell used to vote for the war and every chance to fund it. Since Ed Fallon challenged him, Boswell votes against it.
Boswell used to vote for illegal spying on Americans. Since Ed Fallon challenged him, Boswell votes against it.
But it's clear that turning Rep. Boswell into some sort of "Ed Fallon-Lite" isn't going to cut it. We need a real progressive in office who will stand with his constituents all the time -- not just when it's politically convenient.
With your contribution today, our victory in June will wake up Congress and send the message: Shape up or ship out.
Democracy for America's 2008 Grassroots All-Stars vote is underway and we have a chance to use the voting to push for a endorsement of progressive Democrats running in tough primaries. Specifically Ed Fallon.
Ed is a progressive Democrat running against Bush Dog Leonard Boswell. Ed ran for governor in 2006 and won the district in the primary. We have done great work for Mark Pera and Donna Edwards campaigns against Bush Dogs. Now with a extra netroots boost Fallon can beat another Bush Dog!
Democracy for America has been buzzing all day about the statement released by our Executive Director Arshad Hasan. Here one of the reasons why:
Our challenge to Al Gore: Jump In or Drop Out!
Despite the fact that Al Gore has not announced that he will run and wasn't even included in the endorsement poll, DFA members have seized the power and written him in. With over 65,000 votes cast so far, the time has come for Vice President Gore to make a decision.
The clock is ticking. We are deep into the 11th hour. There are fewer than 90 days until the first votes are cast. And filing deadlines to be on the ballot start closing in just days.
You deserve to know. Is Al Gore in or out?
Voting is still open until November 5 at midnight, and there is plenty of time for any candidate to win. All your candidate needs is your vote right now: