# Mari Culver

Weekend open thread: No bullies edition

Iowa marked an anniversary on September 1: three years since all accredited schools in the state had to start implementing the Iowa Safe Schools law. I wasn’t able to attend the event celebrating this milestone, but I looked up more information on Senate File 61, “an act relating to the establishment of state and school antiharassment and antibullying policies.” The Iowa legislature passed this law in March 2007, thanks to the leadership of State Representative Roger Wendt and State Senator Mike Connolly. Governor Chet Culver signed it right away, but it didn’t take effect until September 1.

The law defined “harassment” and “bullying” as “any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment […].” The law further defined “trait or characteristic of the student” as any of the following 17 categories: “age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.”

That’s quite an inclusive list, but you won’t be surprised to learn that when this bill was under consideration, activists on the religious right opposed what they characterized as special rights for the LGBT community. I read through the bill history for Senate File 61 and downloaded the Iowa House and Senate journals for the days the bill was debated on the floor. Republicans offered one weakening amendment after another, most of which were rejected or withdrawn. But in the end, six Iowa Senate Republicans joined all 30 Democrats in the upper chamber to pass the bill. Nine Iowa House Republicans joined 53 Democrats in the lower chamber to pass the bill.

Although their votes weren’t needed to pass Senate File 61, the Republicans who sought to reduce bullying and harassment in Iowa schools should be commended. They went against their caucus leaders on that vote. Many represented suburban districts where tolerance for the LGBT community is more widespread.

Sadly, to my knowledge none of the Republican legislators who voted for this bill in 2007 attended the September 1 celebration, nor did any current Republican elected official or candidate. (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.) According to a source who was there, the crowd included First Lady Mari Culver and many other Iowa Democrats, but only one well-known Republican: former Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning. Her pro-equality stance has been known to send Republicans into conniption fits.

State Senator Brad Zaun’s vote for the bullying bill briefly became an issue in this year’s GOP primary in the third Congressional district. Although he offered a couple of weakening amendments and voted for many others during the Iowa Senate floor debate, Zaun ultimately recognized the importance of this bill. Kids should not be bullied in school. Too bad that’s not a politically correct position for the Republican base.

Speaking of schools, the U.S. Department of Education formally approved $96.5 million for Iowa school districts last week. The funding came from the fiscal aid package Congress approved last month. Governor Chet Culver hailed the decision:

“This will allow our schools to recover almost completely from the difficult budget cuts created by the economic downturn. It will mean more teachers staying on the job and fewer students per classroom. I encourage school districts to use these funds immediately to offset previous budget cuts, as that is the intent of the Education Jobs Act.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad opposed the bill that allocated extra federal funds to state education and Medicaid budgets. If he and Congressional Republicans had gotten their way, many Iowa teachers would not have their jobs back. In my children’s school district, elementary school students would have less time for art, music and physical education.

This is an open thread. What’s up with you this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers?  

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Biden in Cedar Rapids and other events coming up this week

Governor Chet Culver and Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge are kicking off their re-election campaign this week with events all over the state. One highlight will be Tuesday’s rally at noon in Cedar Rapids’ Greene Square Park, headlined by Vice President Joe Biden. To RSVP for any of the Culver campaign events, click here.

Follow me after the jump for the whole event calendar. If you know of anything I’ve left out, please post a comment or send me an e-mail: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.

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Events coming up during the next two weeks

Governor Chet Culver kicks off his re-election campaign on Monday, May 17. The governor, First Lady Mari Culver, and Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge will hold events in 41 counties over five days. Members of the public can RSVP to attend the Culver campaign events here.

Details on those and many other events can be found after the jump.

Bike to Work week also begins next Monday and runs through May 21. According to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition,

In 2009, 716 employers, 114 cities, and 2,395 commuters (22% first-timers) participated. Approximately 63,188 commuting miles were pledged, 3,510 gallons of gas saved, and $7,336.83 saved in fuel costs. Contact Mark Wyatt at (515) 309-2867 or mark@iowabicyclecoalition.org.

Here’s hoping the bicycle commuters will get warm, dry weather next week.

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Rest in peace, Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell, a legendary figure in the Iowa Democratic Party, died last Thursday and was fondly remembered today during his funeral at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Des Moines. I hadn’t realized until I read the obituary in the Des Moines Register that Campbell had been a Republican before going to work for Governor Harold Hughes. In that job, he helped “oversee the establishment of the community colleges” in Iowa. Campbell later worked in Hughes’ Senate office, and managed John Culver’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1974. He chaired the Iowa Democratic Party during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though he never held elective office, he advised many political candidates and took immense pride in his wife Bonnie’s election as Iowa attorney general in 1990. He played a central role in that campaign and in her bid for governor four years later.

Click here to read reflections from Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa, as well as statements released by the Iowa Democratic Party, Governor Chet Culver, Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge, Senator Tom Harkin, and former President Bill Clinton. The Des Moines Register noted Campbell’s influence over “a class of political professionals” in Iowa, including Teresa Vilmain, John Cacciatore and John Frew, who told the Register, “He taught a whole generation of us how to count, that every minute of every day in a campaign counts.”

At the bottom of this Radio Iowa story you can listen to audio clips of eulogies delivered by Monsignor Frank Chiodo, Campbell’s sister Christine Lantis, Iowa First Lady Mari Culver, longtime friends Dan Miller and Ned Chiodo, and President Bill Clinton. Kay Henderson posted a partial transcript of Clinton’s eulogy as well. Many of the speakers shared funny stories about Campbell. Clinton spoke about how fortunate he and Hillary Clinton had been to receive advice and support from Campbell over the years. The former president got some of the biggest laughs of the service during this part of his eulogy:

I know Ed Campbell had a gentle, good, kind side, but he was brilliant at hiding it. I mean, the first time I ever met this guy he leans into me with this big bald head and these sharp features and these piercing eyes.  I actually thought I had run into somebody out of Star Wars. I thought I was being interviewed to see whether I was suitable to go on the next inter-galactic conquest mission.

Ned Chiodo told several stories about Campbell’s kindness and generosity to people in need. He also reminded the audience, “Every single one of you have an Edward story and they’re terrific, but I want to assure you Edward had a story about every one of you. And I took copious notes.”

I didn’t know Campbell well but was fortunate to see him in action while I volunteered for Bonnie Campbell’s gubernatorial campaign in 1994. He was a great story-teller, and I hope he wrote down or recorded his political memories. I wish I could remember the details of his story about attending the funeral of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. Somehow Vice President Walter Mondale, who was representing the U.S. at that event, included Campbell in the American delegation. During the procession Campbell brought up the rear of the U.S. group, which meant he was walking immediately in front of the Soviet delegation led by General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.

Although complications from cancer eventually killed Campbell, he lived far longer than expected after his lung cancer diagnosis in 1983. His family’s wishes are that in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be given to the American Cancer Society or the Iowa Democratic Party.

Bleeding Heartland readers, please share your own memories of Ed Campbell in this thread.

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Chet Culver news roundup

Governor Chet Culver hired John Frew as chief of staff yesterday to replace Charlie Krogmeier, whom Culver appointed head of the Department of Human Services in May. Frew goes way back in Iowa politics, having worked for Senator John Culver (the governor’s father) and managed Tom Harkin’s first Senate campaign in 1984. Frew will begin as chief of staff in late September. Until then, Culver has named his general counsel Jim Larew as acting chief of staff. After the jump I’ve posted a news release from the governor’s office with more background on Frew and Larew.

Also on Thursday, the Culver/Judge re-election campaign announced that

A long-time and respected political strategist is returning to Iowa to help Governor Chet Culver’s campaign committee prepare for 2010. Teresa Vilmain will serve as a senior advisor to the Chet Culver Committee.

“Teresa Vilmain is not only synonymous with well-run, well-organized political campaigns around the nation, but she knows and loves Iowa,” said Governor Culver. “As we start to look ahead to 2010, Teresa will play a leading role in helping us prepare our effort to reach out to Iowans about the important issues we are working on in our state.”

I’ve posted the full text of that news release, containing more background on Vilmain, after the jump. Some highlights: she was deputy manager of Harkin’s 1984 campaign and general consultant to both of Tom Vilsack’s winning gubernatorial campaigns. Vilsack had to come from behind to beat Jim Ross Lightfoot in 1998 and faced re-election in 2002, which was a challenging national environment for Democrats.

First Lady Mari Culver was in Mason City on Thursday

to talk about state grant funding for shelters for domestic abuse, emergencies and the homeless and the need to apply for it soon.

Available through the $10 million Public Service Shelter Grant Program, a part of the Iowa Jobs Program (IJobs), the funding is for construction, expansion or upgrades. […]

Funding can be used for deferred maintenance issues, additional security measures and expansion, said Culver […]

I recommend reading the whole article in the Mason City Globe-Gazette for more on the pressing needs of Iowa’s crisis shelters. Click here to listen to the first lady’s comments about this program in an interview with KGLO radio. Applications for this portion of the I-JOBS money are due next Wednesday, July 15. Click the link for the Iowa Finance Authority’s contact information. Republicans can criticize the I-JOBS borrowing all they want, but this is another example of how I-JOBS will improve services that Iowans need.

Finally, I want to call your attention to a new poll that The Iowa Republican blog has been highlighting this week. I will have more to say about the poll in a future post, but for now, here are some important facts:

This statewide poll conducted by Voter/Consumer Research found that 53 percent of Iowans approve of the job Culver is doing as governor, while 41 percent disapprove. Furthermore, 48 percent of respondents had a favorable impression of Culver, while 41 percent had an unfavorable impression.

Of course, The Iowa Republican blog is putting a Republican spin on these results. Criag Robinson headlined one post “53 percent of Iowans want a new governor,” based on a question suggesting that 36 percent said Culver deserves re-election, while 53 percent said it’s time to give someone else the chance. He also touted the findings on some issue-based questions that had ridiculously biased wording.

The bottom line is this: in a Republican-commissioned poll, Culver has a 53 percent approval rating and a 48 percent favorability rating. Also, the statewide survey sample contains “35% Republicans, 37% Democrats, 25% Independent or declined to state, and 2% other/don’t know.” I’m looking into how that compares with the proportion of Democrats and Republicans who have cast ballots in recent Iowa general elections.

I’ll write more about this poll when The Iowa Republican releases more of the findings.

LATE UPDATE: Forgot to mention this story:

Gov. Chet Culver on Thursday directed state revenue officials to delay any enforcement against taxpayers who claimed disaster-related credits on their state tax returns that later were not validated by Iowa lawmakers.[…]

The federal changes approved for 2008 offered income-tax deductions, exemptions and other advantages for such items as disaster-related expenses, business equipment depreciation, education-related expenses, tuition and fees and certain sales tax charges. The state, however, did not retroactively adopt those deductions as part of the state tax code.

On Wednesday, Culver asked the state Department of Revenue to provide him “any and all options” to address the issue, and one day later he sent a letter to agency director Mark Schuling directing him to “hold off specific enforcement” for taxpayers who may have claimed federal disaster relief provisions on their state returns.

“I am aware that changes must be made by the Iowa Legislature in order for these same disaster relief provisions to be available for Iowa tax purposes,” Culver said in the letter. “This will require legislation in 2010 to couple with the federal law changes that will benefit those individuals and businesses directly impacted by the 2008 disasters.”

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Events coming up this week

Lots happening this week, culminating in the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner featuring Al Gore in Des Moines on Saturday

Tuesday, September 30:

Today is the last day of the current FEC reporting period. Give money to good Democrats before midnight!

From the Obama campaign in Iowa:

Des Moines, Iowa – Today, at 2:45 PM CDT, Governor Chet Culver will respond to Senator John McCain’s attack on ethanol during his event in Des Moines and discuss why Senator McCain is wrong for Iowa’s economy. During Friday’s debate, and again today during a roundtable in Des Moines, Senator McCain expressed his strong opposition to ethanol subsidies. The details are:


2:45 PM CDT

Governor Chet Culver to Respond to Senator John McCain’s Attack on Ethanol and Discuss Why Senator McCain is Wrong for Iowa’s Economy

Obama Iowa Campaign for Change office

1408 Locust St.

Des Moines, Iowa  

Des Moines, Iowa – On Tuesday, September 30th, 2008, Iowa First Lady Mari Culver will hold roundtable discussions in Fort Dodge and Carroll to discuss John McCain’s radical health care plan and Barack Obama’s plan to fix America’s broken health care system.

“Affordable health care is one of the most important issues facing Iowa working families, and we are thrilled to have First Lady Culver talk about Barack Obama’s plan to fix our broken health care system,” said Jackie Norris, Iowa State Director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.  “There is an enormous difference between the two candidates when it comes to health care.  Senator Obama has a detailed plan to cover every American and lower costs for every family by $2,500.  This is in stark contrast to Senator McCain, who will do nothing to reduce the number of uninsured.”

First Lady Culver will be talking about health care and other issues important in this election, as well as encouraging Obama supporters to vote early so they can volunteer on Election Day.

Early voting in Iowa has begun and the Obama campaign has set up a voter information hotline, 877 – IA08VOTE, for Iowans to call to get information on how they can vote. Iowans can also visit iowa.barackobama.com for more information.

The details of the events are:


10:30 AM

Roundtable Discussion with First Lady Mari Culver


900 Central Ave #10

(in the Trolley Station)

Fort Dodge, Iowa

1:30 PM

Roundtable Discussion with First Lady Mari Culver

Coffee World/Crossroads Bar and Grill

1012 N US Highway 71 (corner of Highways 30 and 71)

Carroll, Iowa

The Iowa Citizen Action Network is organizing another “listening post” event on health care:

Iowa Citizen Action Network (ICAN) is proud to take a lead role in the “Health

Care for America Now” campaign and we hope you will join us and all the coalition partners in Iowa to make our voices heard!

Health Care for America Now is all about raising this very important question in the minds of the public and in decision makers: Do we want a health care system where everyone has responsibility to ensure access for all Americans – individuals, employers, our communities, and our government?  Or do we want to continue with a system that says – “You’re all on your own to deal with insurance companies.”

We’ve been doing just that this summer, and we’re excited to bring this campaign to cities all around Iowa.  Take a look and see where you can join us.




Have you been struggling with your health insurance coverage?  Do you find yourself paying more for less coverage every year?  Have you been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions?  Have you been dropped from your coverage and aren’t sure how to fight back?  Do you have a family member or neighbor who is struggling?

Here’s your chance to let your elected representatives know what you’re going through, and what you think they should do about it.

September 30th, 6:30-7:30

Cedar Rapids, IA



From the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation:

Please attend forums on

Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund

The Sustainable Funding Coalition, a diverse group of Iowa organizations (including INHF) that works for sustainable conservation funding, is sponsoring a series of candidate forums on the proposed Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.

So you can make your voice heard on this important issue, this e-mail provides background information on the forums, a list of forum dates & locations, and pre-registration instructions.

About the Fund: The proposed Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund would provide a permanent funding source to support efforts to improve and preserve Iowa’s water quality, soils, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

To create the fund, proposed legislation mandates that 3/8ths of a cent from state sales tax revenue will be appropriated for the Trust Fund the next time the Iowa legislature approves a sales tax increase. The Sustainable Funding Coalition hopes to pass Trust Fund legislation during Iowa’s 2009 legislative session.  NOTE: This bill does not raise taxes, nor does it give voters the ability to raise the sales tax-only the legislature can do that.

About the forums

Ten candidate forums scattered throughout the state provide a chance for citizens and legislators/candidates to discuss this legislation together. Please consider attending the forum nearest you to learn more about this proposal, show your legislators/candidates that Iowans care about conservation funding, and promote passing the needed legislation for this fund during Iowa’s 2009 legislative session.

How to pre-register & attend: Find the forum nearest you in the list below and then pre-register at http://conservation-candidate-… NOTE: Pre-registration is critical because individual events may be canceled if pre-registration numbers are low.

Schedule of Forums

Ames, 9/30/2008 @ 6:30 PM

Ames Public Library (515 Douglas Ave)

Fort Dodge, 10/1/2008 @ 7 PM

Iowa Central Community College (One Triton Circle)

Muscatine, 10/4/2008 @ 9AM

the Student Center at Muscatine Community College, (152 Colorado St)

Mason City, 10/6/2008 @ 6:30 PM

Mason City Library (225 Second St. SE)

Wednesday, October 1:

There’s a candidate forum on the sustainable funding initiative at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge at 7 pm (see above for details)

Thursday, October 2:

Gwen Ifill moderates the vice-presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, which will start at 8 pm central time. Pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Friday, October 3:

From One Iowa:

  Pappajohn Center

1200 Locust

Des Moines, IA 50309


Date:   10/3/2008 from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm (Central Time)

Hosted By:   One Iowa

RSVP by:   October 3, 2008 at 5:30 pm (Central Time)

Join Us For The First Annual Sweet Equality

Join us for the First Annual Sweet Equality! Professional chefs, local celebrities, and businesses will come together to show off their skills in the name of Equality! To celebrate Iowa’s rich history of equality, you are invited to a fun-filled evening of dessert competition, wine tasting, friends and music!

Amateur Sweet Equality competitors include local celebrities such as First Lady Christie Vilsack, Tracy Levine, Christine Hensley, and a special treat from Meredith test kitchen.

Wine tasting from local Iowa Wineries and live entertainment, from local artists will round out the festivities.

The event costs $35. RSVP to Scott@oneiowa.org or call 515-288-4019 extension 207

Saturday, October 4:

The Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner will be held in Des Moines. Al Gore will be the featured speaker. Tickets are available at www.iowademocrats.org or by calling (515) 974-1691. You can also get tickets that do not include dinner.

There’s a candidate forum on the sustainable funding initiative in Muscatine at 9 am at the Student Center at Muscatine Community College, (152 Colorado St). See above for details.

Capital City Pride events will be held on October 4 and 5 in Des Moines. For details about the schedule and volunteer opportunities, go to www.oneiowa.org.

There will be a Prairie Seed Harvest at Marietta Sand Prairie State Preserve, near Albion in Marshall County, Oct 4, beginning at 1 p.m. All ages are welcome to help hand-harvest native prairie seeds on the preserve, to be planted on a recently-acquired addition.  Learn about prairie from your fellow volunteers, many of whom will be prairie experts. This is a casual day: drop in and stay as long as you like. For more details, contact the Marshall County Conservation Board at 641-752-5490.

Sunday, October 5:

Capital City Pride events continue in Des Moines.

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar or events:

 Farm Crawl 2008

October 5, Central Iowa

Enjoy a leisurely autumn day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., “crawling” between six unique small-family farms in south-central Iowa – one hour south of DM Tour the farms, visit the animals, meet the farmers, sample the goodies, purchase locally grown products and have fun in the beautiful Iowa countryside. While at the farms, enter to win a basket of goodies assembled with wonderful items from each farm. Visit the Farm Crawl 2008 website at http://www.farmcrawl.com to learn more about the farms.  A map can be found at http://www.farmcrawl.com/maps….

Submitted by Matt Russell

* * * * * * * * * *

Bike Ride and Trail Celebration

Celebrate a new trail segment: Join us on Sunday, Oct. 5 for a bike ride and celebration of progress being made on the Ankeny-Woodward Trail. Riders should gather at the Ankeny trailhead at 11:30 a.m. The free, 12-mile ride (one way) begins in Ankeny at noon and ends at the Heart of Iowa trailhead in Slater.  There, at 2 p.m., riders and others can enjoy a program, entertainment, refreshments and door prizes. Riders should gather in at the Ankeny trailhead at 11:30 a.m. This ride covers part of 18 miles of newly paved trail between Ankeny and Madrid. If another $1 million can be raised in time, partners can complete the final four miles to Woodward (including a spectacular ½-mile bridge) by 2010. For details or directions, visit www.inhf.org.

Submitted by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Tuesday, October 7:

From Becky Greenwald’s campaign:

Please join First Lady Mari Culver & Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (SD-at large) for a Women’s Reception to benefit Becky Greenwald, Democratic Candidate for Congress (IA-04)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

5:30 PM Pre-Reception

6:00 PM General Reception

at the home of Toni Urban, 214 Foster Drive, Des Moines, IA

Contribution Levels:

Host:  $1,000  Sponsor:  $500    Friend:  $250    Supporter:  $100

(Host, Sponsor and Friend levels include admission to pre-reception and photo opportunity with Rep. Herseth-Sandlin)

General Admission: $30

To RSVP or for further information, please contact Eric Dillon at (515) 987-2800 or dillon@beckygreenwald.com.  

Join Whiterock Conservancy’s land stewardship crew in collecting prairie and savanna seeds for use in restoration projects. Learn to identify grassland plant species, learn their habitats, and assist in collecting the seeds for the future. Join the collection crew just east of Coon Rapids on: October 7 and October 12. Help collect today so that we may plant tomorrow. Contact WRC’s ecologist, Elizabeth Hill to sign up for prairie seed collection forays: elizabeth@whiterockconservancy.org.

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Smart move

John Edwards cancels all speaking engagements before the November election:

“Nothing is more important than electing Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” Edwards, the former Democratic senator from North Carolina, said in a statement released by the agency. “I don’t want my appearance at these events to be a distraction from the important issues of the election, or from the important purpose of these meetings.”

Last month he canceled plans to deliver the keynote at Iowa first lady Mari Culver’s Conference on Solutions to Poverty on September 16. That event was originally scheduled for June but had to be postponed because of floodwaters threatening downtown Des Moines.

Keeping a low profile is the right thing for Edwards to do now. The unfortunate side effect is that we don’t have any nationally-known Democrat talking about poverty or what to do about it.

In one of his last public appearances before admitting his extramarital affair, Edwards delivered the opening remarks at the AARP Foundation’s Poverty & Aging in America Symposium. Click the link to read edgery’s post about that speech and the policies that the “Half in Ten” poverty eradication program is advocating.

UPDATE: On the other hand, the Buffalo News says Edwards still plans to debate Karl Rove at the University of Buffalo on September 26. Perhaps Edwards’ representative has not yet informed the university about the change in plans, or perhaps he is making an exception for this event. I would think it prudent to cancel this appearance too, although when it was first announced I thought it would be fantastic to watch Edwards take on Rove.

SECOND UPDATE: Wesley Clark will debate Rove in place of Edwards. Should be worth watching, although it is scheduled for the same night as the first Obama-McCain debate.

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Events coming up this week

As always, please send me an e-mail or put up a comment if I have left out any significant event.

In many communities, this week will be dominated by flood clean-up activities. Stay safe if you are volunteering for any of those.

Note that First Lady Mari Culver’s Poverty Conference in Des Moines, which was originally scheduled for June 19, has been rescheduled for September 16. John Edwards was to be the keynote speaker for that event. It is not yet clear whether he will deliver the keynote in September.

If you already registered for this conference but won’t be able to attend in September, go here to update your registration:


Tuesday, June 17:

Rob Hubler, Democratic candidate for Congress in Iowa’s fifth district, will be at a picnic with the Schaben family at Pleasant View Park in Dunlap 6:30pm. BBQ and an auction, including a signed copy of Obama’s book! Call (712) 352-2077 for details.

Congressman Bruce Braley will hold a first-ever telephone town hall meeting at 7 pm “to discuss gas prices and the need for a new direction in our energy policies.” Iowans who wish to call in to the town hall themselves should contact one of Rep. Braley’s district offices for a call-in number and passcode.

Thursday, June 19:

Johnston’s Green Days weekend begins on Thursday evening and runs through Sunday with a long list of events and activities:


Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa is holding its annual event from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the Marriott Hotel in West Des Moines. The special guest will be the “Shoe Lady,” Miss Meghan Cleary. Miss Meghan, author of The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You, can tell your personality just by looking at your shoes. How fun! Plan on kicking up your heels at Celebrate Shoes! Tickets cost $125/person or $75/person for 35 years old and under. To reserve your seat at the event, call 515-235-0406 or e-mail JGood AT ppgi.org.

Friday, June 20:

Ankeny Area Democrats annual Garage and Bake Sale will be held at the home of Arvid and Mary Oliver 1709 NE Lowell Court, on June 20 and 21. Start gathering the items you would like to donate to the sale. These items can be delivered the any time during the week of the sale. Your help is invaluable to a successful sale. We will be setting up and pricing on Thursday the 19h.  For further information either email Ankenyareadems@msn.com or, call Arvid or Mary at 964-1227.

Johnston Green Days events begin on Friday at 5 pm. More details are here:


Saturday, June 21:

Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa and the Healthy Families project will be at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market this Saturday, June 21st. Volunteers will represent the Planned Parenthood mission, and help educate people about the need to reduce unintended pregnancies in Iowa.  Of course we’ll be handing out lots of goodies as well! Past Farmer’s market volunteers have had a lot of fun, and say it’s one of the best volunteer opportunities available. Help educate the public and have fun too. Any time you can give is much appreciated: work for a couple of hours, or the whole time. Shifts are available from 8am – Noon. Click here to e-mail Chelsea Hammond to volunteer or call (515) 235-0415

Congressional candidate Rob Hubler, Council Bluffs Mayor Hanafan, Senator Gronstal, Representative Shomshor, Kurt Hubler (house district 99 challenger), other local candidates, and the Pottawattamie county democrats will be at the grand opening party of the county office at 722 Creek Top in Council Bluffs. Rob Hubler will be speaking and answering questions from 5-7pm. Details 712-352-1192.

As part of the Juneteenth celebration in Des Moines, Neighbors Day will run from noon to 7:00 pm on Saturday at Evelyn Davis Park, 14th and Forest Avenue in Des Moines. Come out, enjoy some tasty food and listen to some great performances from the Ambassadors of Praise Choir of Cornerstone Family Church(directed by Rev. Tina Williams), Big Bang!, Comfort Zone, Des Moines Boyz, Sumpin’ Doo and more.

Johnston Green Days event schedule:


Sunday, June 22:

Last day for carnival at Johnston Green Days event from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Johnston Commons.