# Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and weekend open thread

I’m heading to the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. I won’t be blogging there, but I will update this post with some highlights when I get home.

If you’d like to watch online, the IDP will be livestreaming the proceedings here, beginning at 6:30 pm central.

Senator Tom Harkin has taped a video greeting for the event, because he’s in Washington as the Senate begins to debate the health care reform bill. Democrats have all 60 votes they need to bring the bill to the floor, but several members of the caucus have not ruled out backing a Republican filibuster before the final vote. I won’t be supporting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this cycle, because I don’t want a penny going to a dishonest tool like Blanche Lincoln. She’s probably going to lose anyway.

In addition to any comments about health care reform or the JJ Dinner, please consider this an open thread for anything that’s on your mind this weekend.

For comic relief: in the middle of this afternoon’s Senate proceedings, Chuck Grassley tweeted,

Can somebody tell me why Wall st Journal no longer list Des Moines in its weather cities list. Iowa still exists

UPDATE: I hadn’t been to the JJ dinner in a few years and had a great time. Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal were making fun of each other when the bucket was passed around for extra donations.

McCarthy: What’s the difference between God and a state senator? God doesn’t think he’s a state senator.

Gronstal: What’s the difference between House representatives and boy scouts? Boy scouts have adult supervision.

Speakers: Bruce Braley, Leonard Boswell, Patty Judge, Chet Culver, and Tom Harkin’s recorded video before Biden. (Dave Loebsack is out of the country.)

Huge ovation shortly after 8 pm when IDP chair Michael Kiernan came on stage to announce that the U.S. Senate defeated a filibuster of the motion to bring the health care reform bill to the floor, 60-39. Harkin promised in his video that they will get a health care reform bill bassed before the end of the year, and it will contain a public health insurance option.

Biden gave a great speech, with plenty of jokes, Irish poetry, quiet moments and a few lines that got the crowd on their feet. He apologized for being a little late; he had been on the phone with some unnamed senators whose votes he had helped sway on health care reform.

I had to leave right after Biden’s speech, so I missed the after-party, where U.S. Senate candidates Bob Krause, Roxanne Conlin and Tom Fiegen were set to speak. If you were there, post a comment or a diary to let us know how those speeches were.

SECOND UPDATE: After the jump I’ve posted Kiernan’s remarks and excerpts from Culver’s speech.

FINAL UPDATE: The Iowa Democratic Party posted a slideshow from the event here.  

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Events coming up during the next two weeks

I’m looking forward to the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner this weekend. It will be live-streamed for those who can’t be there in person. The Iowa branch of Organizing for America is having a grand opening on Saturday as well, right before the JJ dinner.

Details for those and other events are after the jump. Post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know if something I’ve left out.

Linn County Dems: Don’t forget that November 24 is the special election in Iowa House district 33.

One more “save the date”: the Culver-Judge campaign’s holiday party will be on Saturday, December 5 at the Val-Air Ballroom in West Des Moines from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm. Tickets are just $35 for an individual, $10 for students and $50 for a family. Call 515-244-5151 or go to www.chetculver.com for more information.

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

If you want to get an early start on holiday shopping, there’s a Green Gifts Fair this Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm in Des Moines. I’ll try to swing by, because I know a bunch of the vendors, and there will be several no-clutter gift options for those trying not to buy people “stuff” they don’t need.

If you live within striking distance of Waterloo, you can catch Tom Vilsack at Representative Bruce Braley’s fifth annual “Bruce, Blues and BBQ” party on Sunday (details below).

Anyone else planning to see Vice President Joe Biden at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner next weekend? I’d like to meet other members of the Bleeding Heartland community. You can buy tickets online at the Iowa Democratic Party’s site.

Follow me after the jump for many more event details, and post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

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Events coming up during the next two weeks

Last month was so busy that I didn’t manage to post any event calendars here, but I am back on duty now. The highlight of this month for Democrats is the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday, November 21, featuring Vice President Joe Biden. You can buy tickets online.

Please note that November 10 is the deadline for public comments to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources about protecting our Outstanding Iowa Waters. The Farm Bureau is mobilizing public comments against these regulations. The DNR needs to hear from Iowans committed to preserving our highest-quality waterways. Click here for background and an easy to use comment form.

State Senator Staci Appel will officially announce her re-election campaign on November 12, and I’ve posted details about a fundraiser for her campaign below the fold. Appel’s Republican opponent, State Representative Kent Sorenson, is already gearing up for next year’s election. He spent the weekend in Texas attending the WallBuilders ProFamily Legislators Conference. Here’s some background on David Barton’s vision for America, chock full of Biblical interpretations supporting right-wing public policies. Barton spoke to the Iowa Christian Alliance not long ago (click that link to watch videos). Former presidential candidate Ron Paul is headlining a fundraiser for Sorenson on November 14, by the way.

Many more event details are after the jump. As always, please post a comment about anything I’ve left out, or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com).

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Biden to headline Jefferson-Jackson dinner November 21

Like many Iowa Democrats, I was impressed by Senator Joe Biden whenever I saw him speak during the presidential campaign. Whether you’re a longtime Biden fan or have never seen him in person before, you should mark your calendar for Saturday, November 21. The vice-president is coming to Des Moines to headline the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner (exact time and location to be announced later).

I’ve posted the IDP’s news release on the event after the jump. Click here to sign up for ticket information.

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