IA-03: David Young not defending Iowa's medical cannabis law

Carl Olsen is a longtime advocate for expanding access to medical cannabis in Iowa and maintains the Iowans for Medical Marijuana website. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Representative David Young is co-sponsoring federal legislation, the CARERS Act of 2017, H.R. 2920, that would interfere with Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Act of 2017, passed during the closing hours of last year’s legislative session.

And it’s not just Young. Representative Dave Loebsack, Iowa’s only Democrat in Congress, is also co-sponsoring the CARERS Act of 2017.  What is surprising to me as a Democrat is that the Republican representing the first district, Rod Blum, is actually the only Iowa member of Congress that understand federalism.  What I mean by “federalism” is that Blum is representing the people of the state of Iowa rather than federal interference with our new state medical marijuana law.

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Shady internet company still mentions fake clients, but not Rod Blum

Dubuque-based Tin Moon still promotes its work on behalf of 11,000 website clients it doesn’t have and “success stories” that did not involve the firm’s customers, if they happened at all.

But the company selling search engine optimization and reputation management services “recently removed any mention” of U.S. Representative Rod Blum from its website, the AP’s Ryan Foley reported today.

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The state of play in Iowa's most competitive Congressional race

It’s been too long since Bleeding Heartland checked in on the campaign in Iowa’s first Congressional district. Two-term Representative Rod Blum is not only our state’s most endangered U.S. House member, he is among the country’s most vulnerable GOP incumbents, according to leading election forecasters.

Recent revelations about Blum’s shady, undisclosed internet company may further undermine his election prospects. Tin Moon used Blum’s chief of staff in a fake testimonial, touted phony client “success stories” on its website, and solicited business by promising to make FDA warning letters harder to find in online searches.

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Rod Blum's internet business, other firms tout identical "success stories"

The Dubuque-based company mostly owned by U.S. Representative Rod Blum touts the same 11,000 clients and verbatim “success stories” as several other firms offering search engine optimization (SEO) services around the country.

Tin Moon‘s existence and connection to Blum became widely known this week following coverage by the Associated Press. Todd McCally, listed on Tin Moon’s website as “Chief Technology Officer and Director of SEO Activity and Research,” holds similar titles for at least four other companies, several of which promote the same customer testimonials.

The founders of two such firms told Bleeding Heartland today that they and Tin Moon were “affiliates” of McCally’s parent company, GetMePlacement.com.

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Rod Blum's undisclosed, shady company used Congressional staffer for fake ad

How many unscrupulous practices can one member of Congress engage in with one small business in less than two years?

Quite a few, as Ryan Foley showed in a scoop with an incredible lede: “A congressman from Iowa violated House ethics rules by failing to disclose his role in a company that he formed, a mysterious outfit that uses his top federal staffer in a false testimonial promoting its services, an Associated Press review shows.”

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When Iowa's Republicans overturned rule on gun checks for mentally ill

After yet another mass murder involving an assault weapon made national news, Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters on February 15, “we have not done a very good job of making sure that people that have mental reasons for not being able to handle a gun getting their name into the FBI files and we need to concentrate on that.” Similarly, Senator Joni Ernst said today that the U.S. needs more “focus” on mental illness, not gun control. (Not that she has any ideas on how to address that problem.)

The talking point is bogus, because people with mental illness aren’t more likely than others to commit violent crimes, and mental illness isn’t any more prevalent in the U.S. than in other countries that experience far fewer mass shootings.

But let’s leave that aside for the moment. A year ago, all of Iowa’s Republicans in Congress voted with their GOP colleagues to overturn “a sensible Obama administration rule designed to stop people with severe mental problems from buying guns.”

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