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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Social conservative Ginny Caligiuri launches IA-02 bid

Describing herself as a “pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-Israel, and pro-Constitution conservative,” Ginny Caligiuri made her quest for the Republican nomination in Iowa’s second Congressional district official today. Her candidacy was no secret; the former state director for the Congressional Prayer Caucus, National Governor’s Prayer Team, and US National Prayer Council had nominating papers out to be signed at the February 5 precinct caucuses and has been making the rounds at GOP county central committee meetings.

Bleeding Heartland profiled Caligiuri in January. You can keep up with her campaign online at GinnyGetsIowa.com, Facebook, or Twitter (at this writing, a protected account).

The announcement for Caligiuri’s kickoff event in Osceola on March 8 noted, “The 2nd District elected Donald Trump, and Ginny plans to help him accomplish what he was elected to do.” That line struck me as a subtle dig at Caligiuri’s competition in the GOP primary. Dr. Christopher Peters is a libertarian-minded Republican; as the IA-02 nominee, he announced in October 2016 that he would not vote for Trump.

I enclose below Caligiuri’s official bio and a map of Iowa’s Congressional districts. According to the latest figures from the Secretary of State’s office, the 24 counties contain 160,891 active registered Democrats, 141,798 Republicans, an 181,740 no-party voters.

The Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball both rate this race as a likely Democratic hold for six-term Representative Dave Loebsack. For reasons discussed here, I think Republicans missed their best chance to defeat Loebsack by not targeting his district during the 2016 cycle. Trump carried the 24 counties in IA-02 by 49.1 percent to 45.0 percent, a huge swing from Barack Obama’s 55.8 percent to 42.7 percent margin over Mitt Romney in 2012.

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Four in five Iowans support citizenship for DREAMers

Eighty-one percent of Iowans consider it a “worthy goal” to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, according to the latest statewide poll by Selzer & Co. for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom. The same survey indicates that 65 percent of Iowans support a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.

An estimated 800,000 DREAMers (including 2,681 Iowans) are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Barack Obama enacted in 2012. Some 11 million immigrants are thought to be living in the U.S. without legal authorization, including about 40,000 in Iowa.

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Senate rejects 20-week abortion ban despite Iowans' support

A ban on almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to advance in the U.S. Senate on January 29, as a motion to proceed with debating the bill gained only 51 votes, short of the 60 required under Senate rules. Three Democrats (Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia) voted for cloture on the misleadingly-named Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, joining most Senate Republicans, including Iowa’s Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted no, as did most of the Democratic caucus. Two Democrats facing potentially tough re-election campaigns this year–Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri–opposed the bill.

The U.S. House approved the same legislation in October on a mostly party-line vote of 237 to 189. Republicans Rod Blum (IA-01), David Young (IA-03), and Steve King (IA-04) supported the legislation, while pro-choice Democrat Dave Loebsack (IA-02) opposed it.

Nineteen states already ban most abortions after 20 weeks; Iowa joined their ranks in May 2017. Most terminations at that stage of pregnancy happen either because the mother has a serious health problem or because of a severe (often unsurvivable) fetal anomaly. Five women who have faced those difficult circumstances allowed Bleeding Heartland to share their stories last year.

I enclose below statements from some of the Iowans in Congress and background on the bill, which uses a faulty premise as an excuse to restrict women’s ability to make decisions about their own medical care.

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