"Somebody else's babies"

Waterloo teacher John Grieder reflects on the “disgusting and disturbing” phrase now made famous by Representative Steve King. -promoted by desmoinesdem

So as many of you know I teach and I truly, regardless of any grumblings you may hear from me after a long day, love my job. And it’s because I love working with my students. I tremendously enjoy going to work and helping young people better understand our history, their place in the world and how to build a better future. And I fight every day to show my students that they can be whatever they set out to achieve so long as they are willing to work hard, persevere, and learn. I believe in my students, I believe in their futures, and I firmly believe that they can and will make Iowa and the United States a better place.

And my students and their families come from all over the world. I have students whose families have lived in Waterloo for decades and I have students whose families fled chaos and destruction within the last few months. I have students who have plenty and I have students with very little. And I say this not to garner sympathy or to paint a saintly picture of myself. Rather a say it because I want you to understand what a challenge the classroom can be and what hurdles face some of our students. But for all the challenges facing our children I firmly believe that they can be overcome. And I know, in my heart of hearts, that all of my students are capable of truly amazing, awe inspiring things because I see it in my classroom every single day.

So it was with an extremely heavy heart that I watched the events of the last few days unfold. And it all started, as apparently it will these days, with a tweet.

Continue Reading...

Kim Weaver, Dirk Deam considering Congressional bids in IA-04

At least two Democrats are actively exploring a campaign against eight-term Republican Representative Steve King in Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

Long-term care ombudsman Kim Weaver, who was King’s challenger in 2016, confirmed her interest in a repeat bid today. Bret Hayworth reported for the Sioux City Journal,

Weaver said Tuesday she is passionate about making sure people in the 4th District have strong rural education and protections that the federal Medicare and Social Security programs won’t be cut.

Weaver also told Hayworth she has name recognition and “a good framework within the district” for a campaign. In recent months, she has depicted her low-budget 2016 campaign as an efficient use of grassroots energy:

While Kim’s bid to take the seat wasn’t successful, she received a higher percentage of the vote in all 39 of her counties than both Hillary Clinton and [U.S. Senate nominee] Patty Judge. Because she was working full time while campaigning, she was unable to raise millions of dollars like other candidates. Despite this, she ran a campaign where her final dollar per vote was only $1.22. This is compared to $14.00 per vote in the 1st District and just under $10.00 per vote in the 3rd District. This shows just how well a true grassroots campaign can work.

Weaver raised only $159,626 during the 2016 election cycle but received roughly the same percentage of the vote as Jim Mowrer did in 2014, when he raised and spent more than $2 million running against King.

Click here for more background on Weaver’s life and career. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter. UPDATE: Added below a statement from Weaver on forming an exploratory committee.

Iowa State University political science Professor Dirk Deam is also exploring a Congressional campaign in IA-04. He recently discussed his plans in a Facebook post and with Iowa State Daily reporter Danielle Gehr. Scroll down for excerpts from those pieces and more background information from Deam’s Facebook page.

Election analysts, including most recently Roll Call, rate IA-04 as a “solid Republican” district. Its 39 counties contain 122,811 active registered Democrats, 194,477 Republicans, and 177,035 no-party voters, according to the latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. Voters in IA-04 favored Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election by a 60.9 percent to 33.5 percent margin. King received about 61.2 percent of the vote against Weaver.

Continue Reading...

A Bold Step Forward

Kim Weaver continues the series of guest commentaries by candidates seeking to lead the Iowa Democratic Party. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I’m honored to have an opportunity to outline my vision for the future of the Iowa Democratic Party. Over the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of talking with many State Central Committee members and will be reaching out to the remaining members before our election in January. Despite our devastating losses in November, I am excited about our future. Just like the Phoenix who rose from the ashes, we have an opportunity to re-build, but we need to take bold steps forward to do so.

As Democrats we basically have a mutually shared goal. I believe that goal is to strengthen the Party so we are able to get Democrats elected who support our visions, values, and beliefs. Where we get caught up is how we think we will reach that goal. Below is my vision of what the Chair, the SCC, and the IDP Staff can do to help us achieve this.

Continue Reading...

Enter Bleeding Heartland's 2016 Iowa general election prediction contest

Continuing a Bleeding Heartland tradition, I encourage readers to post their general election predictions as comments in this thread before 7 am on November 8. Predictions submitted by e-mail or posted on social media will not be considered. It only takes a minute to register for an account here, log in, and write a comment.

Anyone can enter, whether you now live or have ever lived in Iowa. You can change your mind, as long as you post your revised predictions as an additional comment in this thread before the Tuesday morning deadline.

No money’s at stake, just bragging rights like those most recently claimed by Bleeding Heartland user zbert for Iowa caucus predictions and JoshHughesIA for having the best guesses about this year’s primary elections. This isn’t “The Price is Right”; the winning answers will be closest to the final results, whether they were a little high or low. Even if you have no idea, please try to take a guess on every question.

Minor-party or independent candidates are on the ballot for some races, so the percentages of the vote for Democratic and Republican nominees need not add up to 100. You can view the complete list of candidates for federal and state offices in Iowa here (pdf).

Good luck, and remember: you can’t win if you don’t play.

Continue Reading...

Steve King doesn't get it: Equating protest with terrorism is un-American

Blogger’s dilemma: which of Representative Steve King’s latest embarrassing, bigoted comments on national television should I focus on today?

Arguing that the government should guarantee parental leave only for the so-called “natural family” (which in King’s mind does not include gay or lesbian parents) was reprehensible. Why does he keep looking so hard for ways the state can treat LGBT people like second-class citizens? A parent’s sexual orientation should have no bearing on whether a baby deserves more time to bond with the primary caregiver. CNN’s Chris Cuomo already did a good job challenging King, pointing out research shows babies in LGBT households “are doing just as well if not better” than children being raised by a man and a woman.

I’ll take door number 2: King telling a friendly interviewer that professional football player Colin Kaepernick engaged in “activism that’s sympathetic to ISIS” and should be forced to “take a knee and beg forgiveness from the American people.”

Continue Reading...
View More...