Events coming up this week

Lots going on at the state capitol this Tuesday: first, rival lobby days for the LGBT advocacy group One Iowa and Bob Vander Plaats’ umbrella organization FAMiLY Leader, which is reportedly bringing in ousted Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Later in the day, another pro-labor rally will be held on the west steps outside the capitol building. More details on those and other events coming up this week are after the jump.

As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail to let me know of public events that should be included on this calendar.

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Derek Eadon will direct the Iowa Democratic Party's Coordinated Campaign

The Iowa Democratic Party announced today that Derek Eadon has begun working as the director for the 2010 “coordinated campaign,” the Democrats’ main voter turnout operation. From an IDP press release:

Derek will oversee the Coordinated Campaign, which will focus heavily on organizing the grassroots, from volunteer coordination to get-out the vote-programs.

“My job is to build on the organization already put into place by the Iowa Democratic Party so that Democrats win here in November. I am confident we can do that and I am eager to get the Coordinated Campaign underway,” said Eadon.

Eadon is a 2006 Coordinated Campaign veteran, working as a field organizer in the Cedar Rapids area. He then became the first field organizer hired in Iowa for President Obama’s campaign, and he worked for the Obama campaign throughout the 2008 election. Prior to this, Eadon was the Iowa State Director for Organizing for America.

I wish Eadon every success in his work, and I hope this year’s coordinated campaign is as successful as the 2006 turnout operation. The Iowa Democratic Party did an excellent job that year of focusing on Democratic voters who were unreliable for off-year elections. Although the Obama campaign had an excellent field operation before the Iowa caucuses, I was critical of letting the Obama campaign take over the 2008 coordinated campaign, and I felt the down-ticket gains weren’t as strong as they could have been. (I wasn’t alone.) I do credit the Obama campaign for its focus on early voting in 2008; that saved several Democratic seats in the state legislature. A strong absentee ballot drive also helped Curt Hanson win last year’s special election in Iowa House district 90.

Even the best turnout operation is no substitute for having this state’s leaders deliver on issues of importance to the Democratic base. But that’s a topic for another post.

Speaking of GOTV, John Morgan argued persuasively at the Pennsylvania Progressive blog that Organizing for America is a poor substitute for the 50-state strategy the Democratic National Committee carried out under Howard Dean’s leadership.  

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Year in review: Iowa politics in 2009 (part 2)

Following up on my review of news from the first half of last year, I’ve posted links to Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of Iowa politics from July through December 2009 after the jump.

Hot topics on this blog during the second half of the year included the governor’s race, the special election in Iowa House district 90, candidates announcing plans to run for the state legislature next year, the growing number of Republicans ready to challenge Representative Leonard Boswell, state budget constraints, and a scandal involving the tax credit for film-making.

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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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Pronoun trouble at Organizing for America

Around 5:30 on Friday afternoon I received a robocall paid for by the Democratic National Committee on behalf of Organizing for America. The voice informed me about a rally for health care reform, scheduled for Saturday at 6 pm just west of the state capitol building in Des Moines. Press 1 if you plan to attend.

I didn’t press 1 and stayed on the line to see what would happen. The voice came back, telling me “The president needs you to show support” for reform.

The folks at Organizing for America have some pronoun trouble. It’s not President Obama who needs us. We need him to show support for real reform.  

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