Call to action for Iowans united on issues like health care, climate action

Barb Kalbach is the Board President of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action and a fourth generation family farmer from Adair County. -promoted by Laura Belin

Caucus season means endless polls constantly taking the temperature of how Iowans are dividing themselves among this year’s over-abundant crop of charismatic politicians. At the Polk County Steak Fry the paid staff and supporters of the campaigns competed to hold the most signs and chant their candidate’s name the loudest.

What gets lost in the caucus circus is how much unites us beyond the candidates, like the Selzer Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register in March, which showed 91 percent support among Iowa Democratic caucus-goers for the Green New Deal, 84 percent for Medicare for All, and 76 percent for tuition-free public college.

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Saturday's other presidential candidate event

Ira Lacher reports on the People’s Forum in Des Moines. -promoted by Laura Belin

While thousands sat in single-lane traffic at Water Works Park hoping to hear seventeen presidential candidates deliver ten-minute stump speeches, several thousand Midwesterners from five states crammed into the Iowa Events Center on September 21 to listen to four candidates explain at length why they deserved the votes of progressives.

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Amy Klobuchar: A leader for everyone

State Representative Molly Donahue: “Amy Klobuchar is running to be the president of all the people, not half the people.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Amy Klobuchar isn’t just a smart, funny, gritty, senator from Minnesota who gets things done. She is someone who studies and weighs the pros and cons of policy. She not only knows her own policies in and out, but she also knows the policies of her fellow presidential candidates.

Amy’s one-liners are filled with a wealth of knowledge about how the system works and how to get to where we want to be, while uniting those around her. She has proven her strength is uniting by getting people to work together towards a common cause as a senator, and she has shown time and again that she can stand up to Trump and his policies.

Amy has fought to expand affordable health care options, building on and improving the Affordable Care Act, and working across the aisle to reduce prescription drug prices while allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. She wants to end the stigma of mental illness in this country, and to make sure that services are available and affordable for the people in need.

She believes in providing a pathway for citizenship for undocumented workers, and that we must begin to reduce carbon emissions with a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while embracing natural gas as a “transition” fuel to help the U.S. move away from foreign oil. She has experience working with agriculture and knows that our farmers and rural communities are at risk because of President Donald Trump’s tariffs. She has a plan to put our rural areas back to work and help farmers be sustainable into the future while protecting the environment.

Amy doesn’t look at things and say they can’t be done. Instead, she asks, how do we get there with everyone, not just part of the country? She is running to be the president of all the people, not half the people.

She is the daughter of a public school teacher, and knows the importance of a public education for a successful future. Amy stands for the people, the workers of America and stresses the importance of the unions to strengthen our work force and continue to build a strong middle class with good jobs, wages, benefits, and safety in the workplace. She supports expanding access to vocational training and other post-secondary education in an affordable way, so students aren’t burdened with insurmountable debt.

Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action have praised Amy for her strong stance on gun violence prevention. She jokes she isn’t looking to hurt her uncle, who’s a big hunter. Rather, she supports instituting universal background checks, banning assault rifles, and Extreme Risk Orders, also known as “red flag” laws – which allow law enforcement to remove guns from people they determine to be a threat.

Amy speaks about our allies around the world, and how she will bring them back to the table to stabilize the damage done by the Trump administration. She is a fighter for LGBTQ and women’s rights.

From campaign finance reform to foreign policy, Amy Klobuchar is a great candidate who can win.

I am very happy to announce that I have endorsed Amy Klobuchar for president. She is the person we need to unite this country and to move the country forward. Amy will work across the aisle to pass progressive policy and has what it takes to not only stand up to Trump, but to beat Trump.

She has the work ethic and values that the country wants in a leader, and she will put the people first when she implements the policies and changes for her administration.

Plain and simply, Amy Klobuchar will provide a great future for our kids as president of the United States.

Editor’s note: Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts related to the Iowa caucuses, including but not limited to candidate endorsements. Please read these guidelines and contact Laura Belin if you are interested in writing.

Top image: Senator Amy Klobuchar (left) and State Representative Molly Donahue in Cedar Rapids at a September 1 “climate conversation” event organized by State Senator Rob Hogg. Photo provided by the author and published with permission.

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Loretta Sieman on the public option and why she's in that ad

Industry-funded groups have recently spent more than a million dollars on television and online advertising in Iowa opposing Democratic plans to expand access to health insurance.

Some ads primarily focus on single-payer plans (often known as Medicare for All), which more than half a dozen presidential candidates are supporting. But Partnership for America’s Health Care Future has used its hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Des Moines market targeting more modest proposals to offer a “public option” on exchanges selling private health insurance policies.

Many central Iowa Democratic activists were surprised and upset to see Loretta Sieman, a longtime West Des Moines city council member, in one of the partnership’s commercials. Sieman spoke to Bleeding Heartland on September 11 about why she opposes the public option and why she agreed to appear in the ad, now in heavy rotation on YouTube as well as Des Moines broadcast and cable stations.

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Twelve quick takes on the third Democratic debate

First disclaimer: I don’t agree with the Democratic National Committee’s debate criteria and encourage Iowans to keep listening to all the presidential candidates.

Second disclaimer: I doubt anything that happens more than four months before anyone votes will significantly affect the battle for the Democratic nomination. As Dan Guild has shown, history tells us more than half of Iowa Democrats who participated in the 2004 and 2008 caucuses decided in the final month.

That said, here are my thoughts on last night’s three-hour debate at Texas Southern University in Houston.

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Jack Hatch considering run against Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie?

Former State Senator Jack Hatch appears to be seriously considering a campaign for mayor of Des Moines.

In recent days, numerous Democrats living in the capital city have received a lengthy telephone poll testing positive messages about Hatch and mostly negative messages about Mayor Frank Cownie, a four-term incumbent who has held the position since 2004.

Hatch did not immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment on his plans and whether he commissioned the poll. I’ve paraphrased the questions below, based on detailed notes from a source who took the survey on September 9, and will update this post as needed when Hatch makes his intentions clear.

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