IA-Gov: Read the messages Fred Hubbell is testing with Iowa Democrats

Are Iowa Democrats more likely to support a successful businessman who is not a politician? Are they sympathetic to the argument that a self-funding candidate for governor is less susceptible to influence by special interests? Are they more impressed by private- or public-sector jobs Fred Hubbell has held, or by his charitable giving to causes like Planned Parenthood?

A recent survey of Democratic voters appears to be the Hubbell campaign’s first attempt to answer those and other questions.

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IA-03: Austin Frerick welcomes fight with the Koch Brothers

Austin Frerick is building his Congressional campaign around the case against economic concentration, which he has called “the fundamental issue of our time.” His opening shot was a Des Moines Register guest column last month. In that piece, Frerick called for the federal government to block the proposed Monsanto-Bayer merger and break up “Big Ag corporations” that command near-monopoly power, “limiting farmers’ choices and making the products they need even more expensive.”

Frerick’s column provoked a response in the Register by the head of a conservative think tank, who defended the Monsanto-Bayer merger and questioned Frerick’s “political motivations.” At last week’s Iowa Wing Ding event and in a statement released today, the Democrat embraced this fight with “a right-wing organization” funded by the Koch Brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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Iowa scientists warn humidity rising due to climate change

“Uncomfortable humidity, water‐logged spring soils, extreme rain events, mold, and mosquitoes are all expected to become more prevalent in Iowa due to a rarely discussed impact of climate change: increased humidity,” 190 scientists at academic institutions warned last week. In the sixth annual Iowa Climate Statement, science faculty and researchers from 39 colleges and universities noted that “Increases in humidity have been measured across the Midwest and in Iowa across all seasons and at all long‐term monitoring stations.”

High levels of humidity create hazardous conditions for Iowa workers and sensitive populations through the danger of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Allergic rhinitis and asthma are worsened by heightened exposures to mold and dust mite allergens in humid environments. There also is evidence for increased aggression and societal violence associated with hot, humid weather.

For Iowa agriculture, increased warm‐season humidity leads to increased rainfall, extreme rain events, water‐logged soils during planting season, soil erosion, and runoff of chemicals to waterways. Rising humidity also leads to longer dew periods and higher moisture conditions that elevate costs of drying grain and increase populations of many pests and pathogens harmful to both growing plants and stored grain. Increased nighttime temperatures coupled with humidity causes stress to crops, livestock and pets and, in extreme cases, heat stress can cause loss of life.

I enclose below the full text of this year’s Iowa Climate Statement, with references, along with the news release highlighting key findings. You can view the names and academic affiliations all who signed here.

P.S.-The Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa, which has coordinated the release of the Climate Impact Statement, is set to lose much of its funding in 2022. This spring, Republican legislators approved and Governor Terry Branstad signed into law a bill eliminating a small tax on investor-owned utilities, which has supported the CGRER and the Iowa Energy Center at Iowa State University for 25 years.

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Austin Frerick launches Democratic campaign in IA-03

Declaring that “economic concentration is the fundamental issue of our time,” Austin Frerick launched his candidacy for Congress in Iowa’s third Congressional district today.

In a news release, he said, “For too long, agricultural monopolies like Monsanto have been milking Iowa’s farmers with high seed costs. I’m tired of watching career politicians stand aside while huge corporations push around average Iowans.”

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