# State Politics

If you want to elect more Iowa women

Consider heading to DMACC this afternoon for a meeting I only just learned about from Iowa Independent:


Members of The White House Project will visit Iowa on Thursday to help buoy efforts to create a five-year plan to elect more Iowa women into political office.

The meeting will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 22 in Building 7, Oak and Maple rooms, Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.

Two Minnesota staffers from the project will discuss the non-profit, non-partisan group’s national goal to help increase the number of women into elected positions including the U.S. presidency. They’ll also discuss Iowa’s needs and the creation of a five-year plan to increase women political leaders in Iowa, among other things.

Sounds interesting–if anyone attends this event, please put up a diary or at least a comment afterwards in this thread.  

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Events coming up this week

Please put up a comment if you know of an event I’ve missed, or e-mail me to let me know about upcoming events: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.

A bunch of meetups and other events are listed on William Meyers’ website (http://www.meyersforhouse.com/home.html), but I couldn’t find details about the time or location for any of those.

I listed the central Iowa events for Bike to Work week, but there are also events taking place in Iowa City and the Quad Cities. Go here to find a link to those event schedules:


Monday, May 12:

Bike with Congressman Leonard Boswell, 7:45 a.m., 39th and Grand Avenue, ride to 300 E. Locust in Des Moines. Federal, state, and city policy makers will ride to kick off the work week. The number of riders demonstrates to them how many of us are watching and listening and demanding safer bicycle facilities.

Becky Greenwald, a Democratic candidate in the IA-04 primary, will be in Decorah from 7-8 p.m. at the Oaks Restaurant to meet and talk with Democratic activists in Winneshiek County.

Tuesday, May 13:

Bike Kollective Breakfast, 6:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. • 617 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. Stop down, grab a bite and check out the new space called the Des Moines Bike Kollective (while supplies last).

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Annual Award Dinner, Reception at 6 pm, Dinner at 7 pm, Hotel Fort Des Moines, 1000 Walnut Street, Des Moines. The Keynote Speaker will be The Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, retired Episcopal Bishop of Washington; second woman in the United States to be elevated to the office of Bishop. The Interfaith Award will be presented to Rekha Basu. The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus will perform. Individual reservations are $50. Although reservations for this event were due by May 8, you may be able to squeeze in. For more information, email tiaiowa@dwx.com or call (515) 279-8715.

One Iowa “Happy Hour/Coffee House” at Ritual Cafe, 13th St. between Grand and Locust in downtown Des Moines, 5 pm to 6:45 pm. This is a time to meet like-minded friends and relax in a welcoming atmosphere. If you have never attended, the Happy Hour crowd will put you right at ease. If you are a regular or have attended in the past, we want you to come see how we have grown! On Tuesday, One Iowa has the honor to host Mathew Skuya, one of One Iowa’s Regional Organizers at Ritual; he will talk about the all of the Pride events happening around Des Moines and throughout Iowa in June, and discuss how you can become more involved.  Matt’s presentation will start at 5:30pm. Ritual Cafe is an LGBT-operated coffee shop and cafe offering “really great coffee and food” in an open and affirming place.

State Representative District 16 Forum and local Democratic candidates, 7 pm at the Decorah City Hall, Council Chambers. For further info contact Lyle Otte, 563-382-3137

House party for Jerry Sullivan, candidate in House district 59, at the home of Kerry Bowen in Windsor Heights, starting at 6:30 pm. Call 274-1877 to RSVP and get address details.

Wednesday, May 14:

This is the last day of the current reporting period for candidates seeking state offices in Iowa. Donate to one or more Democrats facing a tough House or Senate race!

“Helmet Hair Specials” are available at participating businesses all over the state as part of Bike to Work Week. Coffee shops all over the metro are offering those who bike and shop great deals. Show your support, because these businesses support us! After the jump I’ve put the full list of Des Moines-area businesses offering discounts to bicyclists on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 15:

If you need maintenance done on your bicycle, this is the day to take it to a participating bike shop. Many of them are offering deals on maintenance items as well as maintenance classes on this day. Call your local bike shops for details.

Friday, May 16:

It’s the official Bike to Work Day. Go to biketowork.bikeiowa.com for a list of free breakfasts, showers and staging locations. Staging locations are for camaraderie, commuting with friends, and creating a group of cyclists for visibility. Today one lucky registered rider will win the grand CASH prize! Awards will also be announced for the top Two Bicycle Clubs and Employers with the most registered riders.

“Potluck” Commuter breakfast in Ames, 6:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., Skunk River Cycles. Coffee, juice, and some bagels/bakery goods will be provided. Free to bring something to share with others that stop in. While supplies last.

Afterwork drop-in following Bike to Work day, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Stomping Grounds in Ames (303 Welch Avenue in Campustown). Stop and share stories of the day and put your name in the drawing for prizes.

Crossroads Luncheon organized by The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.The Crossroads speaker is Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, Executive Director of Colorado Council of Churches (formerly Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa & senior minister at First Christian Church, Des Moines). The concept of his new book Doing Justice in a Purple Congregation and of the conversation at Crossroads is there really are no red or blue congregations but a mixture (making purple).  Yet, how do purple congregations really “do” social justice to create change?  It is a very relevant conversation in these times and at the intersection of religion and politics.  Reservations are due by noon this Tuesday, May 13. For more information, email tiaiowa@dwx.com or call (515) 279-8715.

Handlebar Happy Hour celebrating Bike to Work week starts at 5 pm at the El Bait Shop, 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines. Ed Fallon will ride his bike down to the event and play his accordian.

Saturday, May 17:

Pancake breakfast for Windsor Heights Firefighters, 8 am to 1 pm at the Windsor Heights City Hall (a block south of University on 66th St.). Windsor Heights Mayor Jerry Sullivan, candidate for House district 59, will be there. It’s a fun event for families–kids can see and even touch a real fire truck! $5 per person or $10 per family.

The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club is having a fundraiser for its Political Action Committee at the Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D Ray Dr., May 17, 2008 from 3-5 PM. Refreshments will be served. The cost is $50. A presentation by Ty Smeades, nature photographer, called “Things Worth Saving” combines, wildflowers, wildlife, and Iowa scenes, into a 17 minute show set to music. Ty says, “I truly went the quality route with this show”. Contact Debbie Neustadt at debbieneu AT earthlink.net if you plan to attend.

Sunday, May 18:

Fourth Congressional District Democratic candidate Forum:

1:00-2:00 p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall, Waukon

2:30-4:00 p.m. at The Oaks Steakhouse, Highway 9 in Decorah

5:00-6:00 p.m. at Mabe’s Pizza, Cresco

For further info contact Barb Ettleson 563-382-1469

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks to Betsy Muse of BlueNC for compiling this roundup and writing the text that goes with it. -desmoinesdem  

We’re down to the final days before the North Carolina and Indiana primaries.  We have a complete primer on the North Carolina primary process posted at BlueNC.  

Blue Indiana has this first in a series posted at this link.  

In North Carolina the excitement has spilled over to the down ballot races.  It’s the biggest year I can remember in my voting life.  I was 14 the last time North Carolina had a say in who would be the Democratic nominee.  I’m almost 46.  At this rate it may never happen again in my life, so I’m enjoying every minute of it.  I can even get past the negative ads so that I can celebrate the unprecedented voter registration numbers and so that I’m prepared to help the other North Carolina races take advantage of the organization efforts once all eyes are on to the next state.  

The rest of the the roundup is after the jump.

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BlogPac launches new campaign: From Blue to Bluer

Chris Bowers announced the launch of the “From blue to bluer” campaign on Tuesday, and asked state bloggers to spread the word. Here are some highlights from his post on Open Left:

Five years ago, starting with his Presidential campaign and continuing with his tenure as DNC chair, Howard Dean introduced the idea of a “fifty state strategy” to the Democratic Party. The basic premise of the fifty-state strategy is that in order to truly revitalize the party Democrats needed to organize everywhere in the country, no matter how red or how blue a district may be, and not just in a select few “swing district” districts.

More recently, progressives have utilized Democratic primaries as a means to successfully change Democratic behavior. So far this year, this strategy has worked in districts such as the Illinois 3rd where Dan Lipinski changed his vote on Iraq because of his primary challenger, the Iowa 3rd where Blue Dog Leonard Boswell has suddenly become a progressive on a range of issues now that Ed Fallon is running against him, and the Maryland 4th where Donna Edwards handily defeated the more conservative Al Wynn. It is in the spirit of all three of these projects that BlogPac is announcing a similar program to reform safe, blue seats at the local and statewide level: From Blue to Bluer.

From Blue to Bluer seeks to first identify, and then help elect, progressive, grassroots candidates who are running in competitive Democratic primaries in blue districts around the country. The primaries can either be for open seats or against incumbents who are either too conservative for their districts, or who are simply corrupt, or both. The goal is to find a handful of proudly progressive primary candidates for local and state legislative races, and then provide them with the national support they need to help put them over the top. Through this program, we can show Democrats across the country that that a fifty-state strategy means blue districts too, and that all Democrats, no matter how local, can be held accountable for not representing their districts or for selling out progressive ideals.

Chris’s post goes into more detail about how solidly Democratic districts do not necessarily produce progressive office-holders (and he cites some examples from Philadelphia politics).

BlogPac is asking progressive activists from all over the country to nominate candidates who have the potential to turn blue districts bluer:

At BlogPac, we want to identify, and help elect, the best progressive primary candidates in blue districts around the country. Let’s find more Anne Dickers! The first step in this campaign is finding the right candidates to support, and that’s where you come in. If you have a suggestion for a local or state-level candidate for us to support, please fill out the form below and email it to natasha[dot]the[at]gmail.com:

From Blue To Bluer Submission Form

Please send your emails as word documents with the subject line “From Blue To Bluer.”

Just because a seat is blue does not mean it can’t become even bluer. Let’s build a truly national movement, and make a more progressive, reformed Democratic Party nationwide. Send in your suggestions today. The candidates we help support will only be as good as the ones you suggest.

At Open Left, you can find the link to the submission form, which is a pdf file. It looks like this:

Your name:

Your email:

Your website, if applicable:

Suggested Candidate Name:


Major towns in district and/or link to a district map:

Incumbent name, if applicable:

Why is that primary a good one for the national netroots to get involved in (1,000 words or less):

If you know of any good primary battles shaping up at the state or local level in Iowa, please consider bringing the progressive challenger to the attention of BlogPac.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks, as always, to Betsy Muse of BlueNC for this roundup. -desmoinesdem

It’s Spring Break here in our neck of North Carolina. We’re Tar Heel fans, so are glued to the tube during March Madness. Unfortunately, North Carolina is in for a different type of March Madness as the Clinton and Obama campaigns descend on the state. We have a short roundup this week while many of our state bloggers take a much needed break. Enjoy!

The roundup is after the jump.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks, as usual, to Betsy Muse of BlueNC for the roundup. -desmoinesdem

After an unexpected absence last week, I’m back and so is the 50 State Blog Roundup.

How’s the tension at your favorite national blog community?  Take a break from all the nastiness and drop by your favorite state blog for a change.  Look in on our statewide and local races…..just stay away from the presidential primary threads.  They bring a whole new meaning to March madness!

After the jump are a few posts from last week and the roundup for March 14, 2008.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks again to Betsy of BlueNC for the roundup.-desmoinesdem

This week finds many of us burning the candles at both ends.  We see campaigns gearing up in North Carolina as the time for filing to run for public office comes to a close at noon today.  Campaigns are looking to hire “internet outreach coordinators” for the first time and BlueNC has been announced as a venue for an open forum discussion between our two Democratic gubernatorial candidates.  Imagine seeing that in the newspaper and realizing we didn’t have a date set for the event!  We will also host a debate or forum between at least three of the four candidates for Lt. Gov. in NC.  Just yesterday we received confirmation from a candidate for senate that she will live-blog at BlueNC.  Check out the other state blogs on the list and on the Open Left and MyDD state blogrolls.  

The rest of the roundup is after the jump.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup, late edition

Thanks to Betsy for the roundup, which came while I was in the hospital. -desmoinesdem

Rick Renzi’s under indictment, Sue Myrick gets caught with her fingers in the cookie jar – possibly legally, Patrick McHenry has questions surrounding just about everything he does, John Shadegg can’t make up his mind. How many more Republicans will get caught up in legal or ethical controversies prior to November?

One way to stay on top of this is to follow along with the state blogs. We’re discussing our congress critters and their shenanigans long before it hits the national scene. Stop by. Check us out. You too can be the first to know.

The roundup for last week is after the jump.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks again to Betsy of BlueNC for this week’s roundup. -desmoinesdem

   Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report lays out the strategy of how Barack Obama can win Texas.  

   First recorded version of Ginsberg’s HOWL was in Berkley, right? Nope–a new discovery puts it at Portland’s Reed College, 52 years ago this Valentine’s Day.  

   Clinton, Obama campaigning for – but not IN – Michigan

   desmoinesdem discusses the preferences of Iowa’s superdelegates and notes that Democracy for America has endorsed Ed Fallon, who is challenging incumbent Leonard Boswell in the primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district.

New York
   The Daily Gotham diagnoses a rebellion among national Democrats and wonders what that means for the State of New York.

   As the focus on the Democratic Presidential Primary shifts to Texas, Fort Worth Is Fired Up and Ready to Go!

   Incumbent Republican John Shadegg is out of the picture in AZ CD3 and Bob Lord has received increased support from local and national Democrats.  

   Arnold Schwarzenegger talks a big game about putting all options on the table, but won’t be forthright about the need to raise revenue.

New Mexico
   New Mexico’s filing deadline came and went this week, and now we know who is running for the three open House and one open Senate seats.  Fun times.

   Republican State Rep. Nancy Wagner uses earmarks to give her husband a job.  Rev. Chris Bullock announces his candidacy for Delaware’s sole congressional seat.  State Sen. Harris McDowell delays Delaware’s move to wind power with meaningless hearings.  

    RK Conference Call with Gov. Kaine.  

South Dakota
    What Was That You Were Saying, Gov. Rounds?

   Is Utah the worlds nuclear landfill?

West Virginia
   W.Va. state Sen. Hunter says “I introduced Senate Bill 588 because I fervently believe that God did not intend for us to destroy the mountains, the streams, the forests and His people in order to mine coal.”  Jay the Telcom Operator: Sen Rockefeller’s unwavering support of telco immunity earns him a new nickname “One Ringy-Dingy Rocky” (with a must-see photoplay by OneCitizen).

   SurveyUSA indicates a dead heat between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken.

   Mooncat brings us a heartbreaker on Valentines Day.  Read about payday lenders preying on the elderly and disabled.

   At Squarestate, David Sirota is reporting a Colorado Superdelegate plans to ignore the will of Colorado voters.

North Carolina
   At BlueNC, Jerimee reports that Congressman Brad Miller has taken a leadership role in passing the contempt resolution.

   Shays embarrasses Connecticut…..again.

   At Uppity Wisconsin, xoff says Wisconsin doesn’t need another presidential debate.

   At Tondee’s Tavern we find tha Rep. David Scott flipped to Obama and Rep. John Lewis is looking that way.

   At 43rd State Blues Idahogie takes on the Super Delegate petitions floating around with a convincing argument.

   At Prairie State Blue, Michael in Chicago writes about raising Democratic visibility.

   Must see video at Blue Indiana.  An Indiana State Rep., John Elrod (R) is caught on tape doing campaign work during a legislative session.  

   Donna Edwards wins! And Eric looks at the implications of that victory.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

[Betsy at BlueNC helms the update again this week…]

This week we bring you double the pleasure in our 50 State Blog Roundup. Real life threw me a curve ball last week and I wasn't able to follow through with the roundup. My apologies. You will find last week's roundup tagging along at the end. Without further delay, here's what's going on locally at our state community blogs:

   Tim Walz — first-term congressman and Democratic National Convention superdelegate — endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid this week.

   desmoinesdem discusses the dispute between Iowa's governor and secretary of state (both Democrats) over the best fix for paperless voting machines.

   The Primaries are coming to Louisiana… and Daily Kingfish is torn between the two candidates remaining. Although Daily Kingfish is undecided, Ryan is sick of the all spin being put on the Louisiana internets about how Hillary hasn't released a plan to deal with the Gulf Region. Locally, Governor PBJ's Ethics Plan has some serious holes, and is facing criticism from the Ethics Board themselves!

{much more under the fold!}

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

This week’s round-up once again brought to us by Betsy Muse of BlueNC.

On the eve of the South Carolina primary, those of us near the state are busy canvassing, calling and doing everything we can to stay on top of the local news. Earlier today I pulled up every online newspaper I could find listed for the state and found that the local news was doing a better job than the national media at portraying the race for the Democratic presidential nomination as a three person race.

John Edwards had plenty of press in the local news with at least one or two of the larger papers touting his rise in the polls and a couple of the smaller ones still reporting last week’s news. It was interesting to see that some papers showed only pictures of Clinton and Edwards and at least one paper showed only Barack Obama. Since online “front pages” change frequently, I obviously only had a snapshot of what was being shown at that particular time. However, if it was indicative of the mood of voters in South Carolina, might the national press and the pundits that bloviate therein be out of touch with what’s really going on in South Carolina? I guess we’ll find out on Saturday.

In the meantime, your bloggers at the 50 State Blog Network have been busy.

Your roundup for this week is after the jump.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks again to Betsy for the roundup. -desmoinesdem

Here is your roundup for the eve of the Nevada Caucuses.  Scroll to the bottom and head on over to My Silver State for some excellent and balanced (they actually admit John Edwards exists) coverage of the top three Democratic candidates.

The writers at the state blogs are working hard to bring us the latest on the Dem congressional candidates.  Check them out, especially if you live in a very red district and need a Democrat to adopt.

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50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup

Thanks to Betsy for the roundup. -desmoinesdem

Once again the writers at the state community blogs are busy staying on top of local and state news and bringing local flavor to national news. It takes longer each week to pull this together because I find myself caught up in reading the excellent coverage provided by these state blogs.

Find an interesting post and jump in the conversation. If you don’t see your state represented here, check out the state blogroll at Open Left or MyDD.

The rest is after the jump.

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