Wishing is not a strategy

Bruce Lear, a longtime regional director for the Iowa State Education Association, ponders what a new governor could do to help pass a fairer law on bargaining rights for public-sector workers. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I wish the new Democratic governor could simply wave a magic wand and restore public sector collective bargaining rights.

I also wish every day in Iowa were 70 degrees, the Cubs won the World Series, and I lived in Mayberry. But wishing is not a strategy.

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The case for each Democrat running for Congress in IA-03

With less than three weeks remaining before the June 5 primary, many Democrats (including myself) are still undecided in the primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. All three candidates left standing in the once-crowded field have raised enough money to run strong, district-wide campaigns.

This post focuses on how Cindy Axne, Pete D’Alessandro, and Eddie Mauro have presented themselves in stump speeches, direct mail, and television commercials aimed at Democratic voters.

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Gone but not forgotten: Labor's struggle with itself

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese reflects on Workers’ Memorial Day and the troubling trend of “criticism and bad-mouthing of pro-labor candidates and their supporters BY their respective supporters and even by unions themselves.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Each year at the end of April, labor organizers across the country hold a vigil of remembrance called “Workers’ Memorial Day.” Here in Johnson County, it was just this past Friday. We gathered to remember and to hear speeches, but more importantly to hear the names and stories of the 36 workers who lost their lives on the job in Iowa in 2017.

Many in attendance lined up to read from a notecard about such a story. As each is read, the gathered crowd chants together, “Gone, but not forgotten.” It is indeed quite moving as those words repeat, like a solemn drumbeat, another echo for each story read, another worker dead, each name mentioned, each face shown on the screen, and again: “Gone, but not forgotten.” And again. 36 people who went to work one day but never came home to their families.

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Diversity lacking on Iowa Democrats' new governing body

Both major parties held district conventions on April 28. One encouraging sign from the Iowa Democratic Party’s proceedings: activists are much more energized this year than usual. Every delegate slot was filled in all four Congressional districts. Quite a few alternates (including myself) did not receive credentials. According to former State Senator Jack Hatch, it was only the second time in 40 years that an IA-03 district convention “packed a full slate of delegates.” State party chair Troy Price observed in a Facebook post, “Typically, in a non-Presidential year it is a struggle to reach quorum, and this year we had more people than spots available.”

All of the district convention delegates elected at county conventions in March are automatically delegates for the state conventions in June. So the main order of business yesterday was choosing members of each party’s State Central Committee.

Both Democrats and Republicans will have lots of new faces on their governing bodies. But Democrats mostly missed an opportunity to elect leaders who reflect the diversity of the party’s base.

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Iowa House passes energy giveaway bill like sneak-thieves in the night

Last night’s highly irregular Iowa House proceedings inspired Matt Chapman’s latest commentary. The chamber’s rules do not normally permit debate past midnight, but Republicans approved an amended version of a terrible energy bill a little past 5 am. A forthcoming Bleeding Heartland post will discuss the substantive changes to the legislation, which goes back to the Iowa Senate. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Senate File 2311, the Aliant Energy/Mid-American omnibus energy bill, was trotted out in the Iowa House after a more than eight-hour caucus after 10:00 pm last night. Much like last year’s bill that busted the unions for 180,000 public employees, this cowardly approach of sneaking legislation through while working Iowans are sleeping seems to be on par with the GOP’s values.

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Iowa’s collective bargaining law, one year later

Randy Richardson has previously written about the consequences of Iowa collective bargaining changes here, here, and here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have walked out of classrooms and shut schools across their states in protest of poor funding and attacks on pensions. Arizona teachers have joined the protests after years of underfunding schools in that state. In Iowa the new collective bargaining law has been in effect for a little over a year and many teachers are just now realizing the impact of the dramatic changes brought about by the legislation.

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