Friday, August 14, 2020


Iowa Dems Dispatch: Highlights from the Hawkeye State

In the wake of Monday’s storm, Iowa Democrats worked to support farmers, families, and struggling communities across the state

DES MOINES — This was a challenging week for Iowans as Monday’s derecho devastated farms, Main Streets, and homes across the state. While many, particularly in eastern Iowa, are still struggling, Iowa Democrats came together to support one another, lift up farmers, and call for more aid for struggling families.

 Take a look at some of the highlights from Iowa Democrats this week: 

Iowa Democrats responded to Pence’s campaign photo-op — where he didn’t even change his schedule to tour storm damage: 

On Thursday, as tens of thousands Iowans still didn’t have power and the state surpassed 50,00 coronavirus cases, Mike Pence came to Iowa for a tactless campaign rally — and refused to divert his schedule to tour the derecho’s damage. Iowa Democrats spoke out against this shameless campaign stunt to try to do damage control for Trump’s failure to help farmers or contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

WOI: “It’s important for the Vice President also to hear how the policies of this administration, the Trump Pence administration, have hurt Iowa farmers. Specifically the trade war and the war on ethanol.”

KGAN: “The Vice President met with some farmers before his event, but there were no official visits to places hit hardest to survey the damage which drew the ire of his critics like former Governor Tom Vilsack who criticized the Vice President’s visit, saying he shouldn’t be playing politics while the state is reeling from a disaster.”

DMR: “Iowa Democrats seized on those details to attack Pence and the Trump administration for what they described as a botched pandemic response. In a call with Iowa media, organized by the Iowa Democratic Party, former Gov. Tom Vilsack criticized Pence for hosting a campaign event while Iowans were still in the throes of the havoc wreaked by Monday’s derecho wind storm.”

Iowa Capital Dispatch: “Democrats, in advance of Pence’s remarks, criticized the Trump-Pence administration’s record on agriculture and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indianola farmer Kevin Middleswart said his family had personally felt the impact of the Trump administration’s renewable fuel policies. He said he was delivering grain to a local co-op on a day when one of the area ethanol plants closed unexpectedly.”

Theresa Greenfield met with Iowa farmers to talk about how she’ll fight for them in the Senate:

This week, Theresa met with Siouxland area farmers and biodiesel plant officials to talk about how she’ll fight for the agriculture industry in the Senate — starting with opposing the small refinery exemptions that are hurting Iowa’s farmers and biofuels industry. Theresa grew up on a family farm, and holding Senator Ersnt accountable for failing rural Iowans is personal for her.

Carrol Times Herald: “‘I speak up about ethanol and biofuels almost every time I get a microphone,’ Greenfield said outside of the Wall Lake production facilities. ‘The small refinery exemptions have been devastating to Iowa, devastating to your industry and our pocketbooks.’”

KTIV: “Greenfield has been stopping by Iowa farms recently to talk to farmers about how she plans to fight for Iowa’s agricultural and biofuels industry if elected to the U.S. Senate. She said the tough economic times rural America and Iowans are facing is a personal issue for her, since she grew up as a farm kid.”

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer called for disaster relief for her district after devastating derecho:

While the majority of the Cedar Rapids area is still without power and families are struggling to charge medical devices, cook, or do other essential services, Congresswoman Finkenaeur has been a fierce advocate for her district. She called on Governor Reynolds and the federal government to offer immediate disaster relief and aid to Iowans as she brings attention to the derecho’s devastating impacts.

Globe Gazette: “At a news conference with city officials Thursday, Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, who lives in Cedar Rapids, said she has twice called on the governor to submit an ‘expedited’ request for assistance. ‘This needs to be done as fast as possible,’ said Finkenauer, who is seeking re-election. ‘I know there is a lot going on. They are trying to do what they can, but, quite frankly, it is not fast enough.’”

Watch Congresswoman Finkenauer speak about the derecho and show the consequences in her own neighborhood:

Rita Hart visited neighbors and called for federal aid: 

After the storm significantly damaged Rita’s farm, she spent the week visiting friends and neighbors to help them recover from damage. Rita also called for a federal disaster declaration to offer aid to Iowans.

Congresswoman Cindy Axne sought aid for storm damage and advocated for affordable housing:

Congresswoman Axne joined in on calling for federal aid and disaster relief after the storm damaged crops and communities across Iowa. On Wednesday, Congresswoman Axne also held a virtual roundtable on affordable housing issues and heard from housing developers and advocates about the ways in which coronavirus is exacerbating the housing crisis.

KMALand: “The congresswoman says local governments need disaster aid in order to meet storm damage recovery expenses, plus those associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

“‘This is another example of why we’ve got to support state and local funding,’ said Axne. ‘This is an expense that’s going to come out of our cities, our towns’ pockets, which are already depleted by COVID, and I have grave concern about how we’re going to address those ongoing financial needs. We could break the backs of many towns in our districts, and I want to make sure to fight for that money.’”

Iowa Capital Dispatch: “Axne said much of the talk in the House is looking for ways to address housing and other infrastructure needs, especially broadband, at the same time.”

J.D. Scholten launched his socially-distant “Every Town” tour:

This week, J.D. began to hold parking lot rallies to kick off his “Every Town” tour to visit every town in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District and meet voters where they are. The tour will eventually cover 375 towns, giving supporters in all communities a chance to meet J.D. and hear his message of fighting for Iowans.

Radio Iowa: “The Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 4th district congressional seat has a new twist on campaigning during the Covid era. J.D. Scholten has equipped his “Sioux City Sue” RV with special equipment so he can hold parking lot rallies. […]

“‘The last time and again this time, we say all the time that it doesn’t matter if you’re white, black or brown, it doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat, independent Republican or never voted before — we’re going to go out there and earn your vote,’ Scholten says, ‘and that continues to be our strategy.’”

Siouxland News: “Sioux City’s North High School parking lot hosted a rally in support of the democrat running for the 4th congressional district in Iowa. J.D. Scholten’s ‘Every Town Tour’ brought local supporters to this socially-distanced event. Attendees could listen in, from the comfort of their vehicles, by tuning in to 89.9 FM. The tour will eventually cover 375 towns in Iowa’s 4th district, giving Scholten a chance to meet his supporters.”