Steyer sinks as Iowa women rise

Ed Fallon is a former Iowa lawmaker who hosts the Fallon Forum and directs Bold Iowa. He is the author of Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, his memoir about the 2014 Great March for Climate Action. -promoted by Laura Belin

I caught the tail end of Tom Steyer’s bait-and-switch press conference on January 9. With great flair and grandiosity, Steyer announced he wasn’t running for President. Instead, he’ll invest his time and money pounding the impeachment drum.

I’m ambivalent about whether Steyer runs for president. But if he could have picked a more poorly conceived cause than impeachment, I’m not sure what it would have been (maybe opposing continental drift?). If Democrats in the US House want to impeach President Trump, fine. But there’s not much any of us can do to impact what is largely a procedural undertaking.

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A snowless December stroll

Ed Fallon is a former Iowa legislator, longtime environmental activist, and the author of Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, a memoir from the 2014 Great March for Climate Action. -promoted by Laura Belin

If you work the land, it’s impossible not to notice that our climate is changing dramatically. I checked out the cold frame Kathy and I planted in mid-October. Normally, the seeds sprout a little bit, then the young plants hunker down until early March. The way they’re growing this year, we’ll be eating fresh greens later this month.

That’s wonderful on one level — and deeply disturbing on another.

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IA-01: What oil and gas investments is Rod Blum failing to disclose?

Linn County constituent Caleb Gates found inconsistencies on Representative Rod Blum’s recent personal financial disclosure forms. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Members of Congress should serve “we the people.” Because U.S. House members make laws and have access to privileged information, federal law requires them to disclose their financial investments, income, and liabilities every year. According to the U.S. House Ethics Committee, members of Congress must also file a Periodic Transaction Report (PTR) every time they sell, purchase, or exchange more than $1,000 of any stock, bond, or security. This PTR must be filed within 45 days of the transaction.

Representative Rod Blum seems to believe these rules do not apply to him.

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IA-Gov: Notes on the final Hubbell-Reynolds debate

Governor Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell debated for the third and last time today in Davenport. Too bad not many viewers are likely to tune in at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, because the discussion was yet another study in contrasts. For those who prefer a written recap, I enclose below my detailed notes. Click here and here for Bleeding Heartland’s analysis of the first two Hubbell-Reynolds debates.

As during the second debate, journalists kept the candidates on topic and within the time limit, so kudos to moderator David Nelson of KWQC-TV6 and panelists Erin Murphy of Lee Enterprises, Forrest Saunders of KCRG-TV9, and Jenna Jackson of KWQC-TV6.

Both candidates recycled many talking points from their first two meetings. My impression was that Reynolds performed about equally well in all three debates, while Hubbell improved each time. For instance, after Reynolds noted that Iowa had moved up in mental health rankings three years in a row and was now rated sixth in the country for mental health, Hubbell pointed out that the study the governor cited covered the years 2013 through 2015. That was before the Branstad/Reynolds administration closed some mental health institutions and privatized Medicaid, which has led to worse care for thousands of Iowans.

For those who prefer to watch the replay, KCRG-TV posted the video in a single file, which is the most user-friendly option. You can also find the debate on KWQC-TV (with closed captioning) and WOWT-TV’s websites, but you will have to watch a series of clips, with advertisements before each segment.

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Severe weather events require new water management thinking

John Norwood: Polk County has an opportunity to be a leader in creating, promoting, and scaling a variety of conservation strategies. By working with urban and rural stakeholders, these strategies that can be used to drive regenerative agricultural practices, improve farm profitability and deliver and a host of environmental services that lead to cleaner water, air, and healthier soils. -promoted by desmoinesdem

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Pat Boddy for Polk County Soil and Water Commission

Pat Boddy is a former executive director of Polk County Conservation and deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. -promoted by desmoinedem

June 30, 2018 started out like a typical Saturday night. My husband and I attended a theatre performance in Indianola. We heard the thunderstorms rumble overhead, but didn’t think much about it.

On our way home, it soon became apparent this was no average storm.

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