For US Congress . . . Eddie Mauro!

Dear Friends,

Eddie Mauro

Iowans living in the Third Congressional District are fortunate to have a talented field of candidates running in the Democratic Primary. But Eddie Mauro stands out as a genuine, authentic, caring person — the complete opposite of the bought-and-paid-for politicians running, and ruining, our state and our country.

I first met Eddie twenty years ago when I was bringing food, clothing, and other supplies to homeless men and women living along the Raccoon River. Eddie wasn’t there for a photo op. I learned that day that he spends a lot of time serving our most disenfranchised population.

Eddie’s commitment to help the homeless, the poor, and the downtrodden has persisted all these years. In fact, at two recent events for the homeless, Eddie was the only congressional candidate in attendance.

Three Eds are better than two: Mauro, Bloomer and Fallon

I’m passionate about a lot of issues, but none more than the urgent climate crisis. Eddie’s position on climate change is not only the strongest among candidates running in the Third District, it’s one of the strongest of any congressional candidate in the country! Check out Eddie’s white paper on The Climate Crisis.

Eddie truly understands the urgent need for bold action on climate change and the importance of creating clean energy jobs as climate mitigation becomes a driver of economic development. His message on climate is one that resonates with both urban and rural Iowans.

Beyond the specific issues that Eddie champions (learn more here), I’m impressed with his authenticity and leadership skills. I’m impressed, too, with the campaign he’s running. Frankly, Eddie is Iowa’s best prospect to beat David Young in the fall.

That means a lot. Winning a tough primary in June means nothing if you can’t win the general election in November. With the Third District listed as one of the pivotal congressional seats in the country, it’s tremendously important that Democrats put forth their strongest champion.

With Eddie Mauro, we’re fortunate that the strongest candidate to win is also the strongest candidate on the issues. Please join me in supporting Eddie. Let me know how you’d like to be involved. A grassroots campaign such as this requires ALL our voices and a whole lot of effort. Let’s make it happen!

“Sabotage” bill a Trojan Horse for eminent domain abuse

Dear Friends,

About twenty years ago, growth-management advocates across the US were shocked when the Tennessee General Assembly enacted one of the nation’s strongest anti-urban sprawl bills. At the time, I was working on similar legislation in Iowa, so I traveled to Nashville to learn more.

Sitting in the office of a state lawmaker who helped champion the bill, I asked, “How did you make this happen?”

“Mah friend,” drawled the lawmaker as he drew on his cigarette, “if you want to accomplish something big, you have to manufacture a crisis.”

That conversation provided solid insight into the mechanics of back-room politics, which occasionally, but only occasionally, benefit the common good. I’ve since learned, however, that you don’t have to manufacture a crisis to accomplish something big. Sometimes, all you have to do is latch on to an existing one.

Such is the case with so-called “critical infrastructure sabotage” legislation (HSB 603 and SSB 3062) currently before the Iowa House and Senate. The proposal is  backed by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the corporation behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.

ETP is fortunate not to have had to manufacture a crisis. Multiple acts of arson and vandalism against the pipeline in 2016 and 2017 provided the ostensible justification for this legislation, giving ETP the cover it needed to push for a bill that has nothing to do with sabotage and everything to do with silencing nonviolent dissent and influencing a historic Iowa court case.

Consider these key points:

1. Under Iowa law, arson and vandalism are already serious crimes. Remember Charles Willard, the man who torched a Catholic church in Stuart in 1995? He got 25 years — the same number of years prescribed in the proposed legislation. Further cracking down on arson and “sabotage” isn’t necessary. The Iowa Code already has it covered.

2. The legislation could potentially apply the 25-year sentence, plus a fine of up to $100,000, to completely peaceful and nonviolent protesters who “cause a substantial interruption or impairment of service.” ETP originally said oil would flow through its pipeline in the fall of 2016. Yet because of numerous delays, some caused by protesters, oil didn’t begin to flow until June of 2017.

It’s impossible to say how this legislation would be interpreted in a court of law, but ETP could argue that, given the delay, protesters caused an “interruption” of service and deserve the maximum fine and penalty. What a chilling effect that would have on the First Amendment!

3. This legislation legitimizes the Dakota Access Pipeline as “critical infrastructure.” It lumps a privately owned oil pipeline in with genuine public infrastructure, including lines that transport electricity, gas, broadband service, water, and wastewater.

That’s my biggest concern. More than anything, this legislation could be used to help defeat the lawsuit filed by nine landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club against the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for granting ETP the authority to use eminent domain to take landowners’ property by force to build the pipeline.

Of all the compelling arguments against the Dakota Access Pipeline, one of the strongest is that ETP is a private company merely transporting its product through Iowa. True public infrastructure is used by the people whose land it passes through. Whether it’s a road, a gas line, telephone lines, or a water line, people living along the route are able to use that service or product. Not so with the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Its highly questionable status as critical public infrastructure is ETP’s Achilles’ heel. It knows this, and it hopes Iowans either haven’t noticed or have stopped caring. If ETP can use its financial might to ram this legislation through quickly and quietly, it will effectively codify a private oil pipeline as a public necessity.

Even if you’re not concerned about the Dakota Access Pipeline, you should be disturbed by the broader ramifications of SSB 3062 and HSB 603. And you should be interested in the landowner/Sierra Club lawsuit because if plaintiffs lose, all bets are off with how eminent domain could be used in the future.

During the thick of the pipeline fight, a farmer along the route said to me, “If ETP can call itself a public utility because some of the crude oil flowing through my soil may eventually find its way into my gas tank, what’s to stop mall developers from using eminent domain and arguing that they’re a public purpose because I might shop there someday?”

Great question. Conservative or liberal, Iowans ought to oppose this legislation. It’s a Trojan Horse that has nothing to do with sabotage.

It’s about cracking down on peaceful protest.

It’s about throwing open the doors to the abuse of eminent domain wider than ever before.

It’s a slippery slope — greased with oil and campaign donations — that will only lead to further erosion of Iowans’ property rights and put our land, water and climate at even greater risk.

# # #

Check out this week’s Fallon Forum. We discuss:
1. “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” with David VanCleave
2. Why New England Patriots still best team ever
3. DREAMers find ally in conservative Christians
4. Mighty Earth vs Tyson, with Jessye Waxman and Lora Fraracci
5. Global warming kisses Paris accord goodbye
6. No one president can fix America’s deep disfunction, with Ron Yarnell

– Listen to the Fallon Forum live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 96.5 FM and 1260 AM (central Iowa).

– Online, listen here: FALLON FORUM LIVESTREAM AND PODCAST.

– Listen on other local affiliates:
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Iowa Pipeline Fighters Head to Super Bowl to Pressure US Bank to Divest

Dear Friends,

Go Tom Brady! Yeah, I just had to get that out of the way. Across the country, people are turning up the heat on politicians and corporations intent on destroying our water, land, and planet for satiate their lust for power and money.

US Bank is one of them, and it’ll be in the spotlight on Super Sunday when the Pats and Eagles tangle at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The day before the Super Bowl — let’s call it Super Saturday — pipeline fighters, Native leaders, and property-rights defenders from across the upper Midwest will converge in Minneapolis to turn up the heat on US Bank. I’ll be there and, with cold weather forecast, will be wearing two hats. See photo on right. And see the release below for details about the action.

And “Go Tom Brady!” (Or did I already say that?) — Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 1, 2018 — 11:00 a.m. CST

Contact: Christine Nobiss at (319) 331-8034 or cnobiss@gmail.com
Contact: Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or ed@boldiowa.com

Iowa Pipeline Fighters Head to Super Bowl to Pressure US Bank to Divest
High security, restrictions on freedom of speech, expected in Minneapolis

Bold Iowa and Indigenous Iowa will join a coalition of Native and non-Native organizations from across the upper Midwest this Saturday, February 3 at 12:30 at the headquarters of Minnesota 350.org at 2104 Stevens Ave in Minneapolis for a rally and action in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl game at US Bank Stadium. Native communities, farmers, landowners, and environmentalists fighting Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline are pressuring US Bank to stop financing oil pipelines.

“If US Bank has a moral compass, this should be a no brainer,” said Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon. “US Bank is as complicit as Energy Transfer Partners for abusing eminent domain, trampling the rights of rural landowners, destroying farmers’ soil and crops, and threatening our water and climate. That can change. It needs to change, and we’re turning up the heat to make it happen. In Iowa, we’re educating people about the lawsuit filed by landowners and the Sierra Club. That case is expected to come before the Iowa Supreme Court this spring, and the ruling could well be historic.”

“US Bank is perpetuating the cycle of colonization that disenfranchises and oppresses those who are not ‘privileged’ enough to be part of middle and upper class American society,” said Christine Nobiss, founder of Indigenous Iowa. “US Bank funds the extraction industry and allows government-backed corporate conglomerates to move in to poor communities and create havoc. Not only does the extraction industry add to climate change and destroy local environments during construction, spills, and explosions but it also institutes ‘man-camps’ which bring added violence and sexual assault to local communities. As an Indigenous woman, I’ve seen and heard first hand what man-camps have done to our First Nation communities, and it is frightening. These camps are one of many institutions in society that contribute to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, men, and children. This is on you, US Bank.”

Last year, Nation of Change published an informative article about the nuances in pipeline infrastructure financing. That article also contains links to the contracts between Energy Transfer Partners, US Bank, and other financial institutions providing capital to allow the Dakota Access and other pipelines to be built.

Indigenous Iowa was founded by Christine Nobiss, Plains Cree-Salteaux from the Gordon First Nation. She is a decolonizer and also works with Seeding Sovereignty. One of the main goals of Indigenous Iowa is to raise awareness about the devastating effects that oil, gas and coal have on our environment while simultaneously promoting the development and implementation of renewable energy. Indigenous Iowa’s website is www.indigenousiowa.org.

Bold Iowa is an independent non-profit organization that addresses the climate crisis, opposes the misuse of eminent domain to expand fossil-fuel infrastructure and other private purposes, promotes individual and entrepreneurial efforts in renewable energy and energy conservation, and works to build a broad, urban/rural coalition. The organization’s website is www.boldiowa.com.

# # #

Pipeline “Sabotage” Bill Legislative Extremism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 26, 2018 — 2:00 p.m. CT,
Contact Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or ed@boldiowa.com

Pipeline “Sabotage” Bill Called Legislative Extremism
Proposed bill could render peaceful protest against oil pipeline impossible

Bold Iowa today strongly criticized legislation that passed unanimously out of a Senate subcommittee on Thursday. The legislation — Senate Study Bill 3062 — defines “critical infrastructure sabotage” as an “unauthorized act that is intended to or does in fact cause a substantial interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public related to critical infrastructure property. The bill provides that a person who commits critical infrastructure sabotage commits a class B felony.” Such an offense would come with a fine of $100,000 and a prison sentence of up to 25 years. The parent company of the Dakota Access pipeline — Energy Transfer — is listed in support of the bill.

“This latest attempt by Big Oil to silence dissent is no surprise,” said Ed Fallon, a former lawmaker who now directs Bold Iowa. “This is legislative extremism at its worst. The bill’s backers want you to believe this is about cracking down on arson and vandalism. But the hundreds of pipeline protests who were peaceful, nonviolent and didn’t engage in property destruction could be accused of interrupting service under this bill and subject to insane consequences.”

Bold Iowa is continuing to fight Dakota Access through educating Iowans about the lawsuit filed by Iowa landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club. That case is expected to come before the Iowa Supreme Court this spring. Bold also supports the growing movement to compel banks to divest from financing fossil-fuel infrastructure projects. A couple dozen Bold supporters will travel to Minneapolis on February 3 for “Super Saturday,” calling out US Bank to stop funding oil pipelines.

Bold Iowa was formerly part of the national Bold Alliance and is now an independent non-profit organization that addresses the climate crisis, opposes the misuse of eminent domain to expand fossil-fuel infrastructure and other private purposes, promotes individual and entrepreneurial efforts in renewable energy and energy conservation, and works to build a broad, urban/rural coalition of Iowans. The organization’s website is www.boldiowa.com.

# # #

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Dear Friends,

Kim Weaver and Deidre DeJear

{Please come to Bold Iowa’s “Here Comes the Sun” Party on Friday, January 26 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Victor’s Mexican Restaurant, 602 US 69 in Huxley. In addition to learning about Lee Tesdell’s solar set-up, we’ll discuss the lawsuit against the Dakota Access pipeline that will soon come before the Iowa Supreme Court. Details on the Bold Iowa website or Facebook.}

Christine Nobiss

This weekend, an estimated five million people turned out for 673 Women’s March events across the U.S. and around the globe. I attended the Des Moines rally where an estimated 6,000 people showed up at the Iowa State Capitol. The organizing team — including former congressional candidate Kim Weaver, West Des Moines City Councilwoman Renee Hardman, and Robin Covington — did an incredible job in a short span of time.

I was encouraged to see the voices of Indigenous women featured prominently in rallies across the country, including Des Moines. Christine Nobiss of Indigenous Iowa gave one of the most passionate and inspiring speeches I’ve ever heard.

Here’s the link to the livestream of Christine’s speech, and the text is included in its entirety, below.

Please check out this week’s Fallon Forum.

Christine Nobiss joins me for the opening segment. Then I discuss the killing of 500,000 bees in northwest Iowa by two young boys. Joel Kurtinitis is my next guest as we talk about the 1.3 million US troops that remain overseas despite claims that ISIS has been destroyed. Kim Weaver joins me to talk about the election focus of this year’s Women’s March, and I give an update on the DAPL lawsuit.

*******

CHRISTINE NOBISS, WOMEN’S MARCH,DES MOINES, JANUARY 20, 2018

I want to say thank you to the organizers for having me on this stage at the last minute. In these settings, Indigenous people are often overlooked. We overcame assimilation and extermination but we are still often ignored or romanticized by settler-descendant society. I had to ask to be here because there was no Indigenous representation in the line-up. I’d also like to say thank you to Ed Fallon and Heather Pearson from Bold Iowa who also asked on my behalf.

I’d like to start by saying why is it so important that there be Indigenous representation here. As the original inhabitants of Turtle Island, we should always be represented at forums like this to pay respect to the land on which we are standing right now. And with that in mind, I’d like to honor the Meskwaki Nation, the only First Nation left in Iowa. And we can’t forget all of the other nations that thrived in this area of the world before they were murdered or removed — the Ioway, the Omaha, the Ho-Chunk, etc.

This March is about many things, but primarily it is about empowering women. The reality is that Native American and Alaska Native women endure the highest rates of rape and assault in this country. Older statistics told us that one in three Native American women will be raped or experience sexual assault in their lifetime, but recently that statistic has been moved to 1 in 2.  A new Department of Justice study shows that of over 2,000 women surveyed:

  • 84 percent of Native American and Alaskan Native women have experienced violence;
  • 56 percent have experienced sexual violence;
  • Over 60 percent had experienced psychological aggression or coercive control;
  • 90 percent have experienced violence at the hands of a non-tribal member.

Experts say these astonishing statistics still underestimate the number of women affected by violence because the infrastructure for women to report and handle incidents is underfunded. Also, there is a lack of local law enforcement on reservations and tribal courts do not have the jurisdiction to prosecute non-tribal members for many crimes like sexual assault and rape–even if they occur on a nation’s territory. And our men our also facing similar statistics.

This leads to my next point. Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: on some reservations in the United States, Native women are murdered at more than 10 times the national average. In Canada, it is 6 times the national average and there are currently over 1000 missing Indigenous women there. It is no different here, where the rate of missing women is astounding but has barely made a dent in mainstream newsources. These women are either dead, ran away or have been sold into the sex trade that exploits our vulnerable population. Here in Iowa, the Meskwaki have taken the initiative to protect their people and have started a program for missing and murdered indigenous women that is led by my good friend Dawson Davenport. He recently created the Rita Papakee Foundation in dedication to this missing Meskwaki woman. It provides resources for families and educates the public about this serious issue.

With all of this being said, I have to ask, do you think Donald Trump and his misogynistic, white supremacist administration is going to help or hinder us in our fight to overcome this awful realty? I think not. This Administration has already announced that they will make cuts to the Department of Justice. This means that the violence against women act is in jeopardy. This act has specific programs under it that are targeted towards Indigenous women because of our crisis status. This is something to keep in mind as we move forward in 2018.

Furthermore, I’d like us to keep in mind that Trump has a vendetta against the Indigenous people of Turtle Island. Back in the 80s he lobbied very aggressively against us and our gaming rights. He has been quoted saying, “Well, I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations.”  In fact, his 27-member Native American Coalition states that his presidency will minimize federal oversight and regulations through the privatization of our lands. He is not doing this for our well-being but to exploit the resources on our land.

It is estimated that Native American land holds about 30 percent of the nation’s coal, 50 percent of potential uranium, and 20 percent of known oil and gas. He wants to deregulate federal control on reservations and allow private entities to entice poverty-worn Nations with money in order to take their land. This is what Winona LaDuke calls predatory economics. This could undo our sovereignty, undo 500 years of resistance and 100 years of policy-making that has led us to a semblance of self-governance.

And, it may not be obvious but the health and safety of Native American women and men are directly linked to the health and safety of our land. It has been reported by many Native people that they feel much safer when they are living within their own communities where identity and purpose are linked to the traditions and cultures that rest on Sovereign territories. Basically, our Indigenous women’s body sovereignty is directly linked to the sovereignty of their first nation. And Trump is systematically and viciously trying to dismantle that.

However,  even with his portrait of Andrew Jackson hanging in the Oval Office, he has yet to realize the tenacity and strength of our people. We were the first to fight a corrupt, imperialistic, genocidal, slave trading, white supremacist government. We were the first environmentalists in this country and the first revolutionaries. And, we have been doing this for over 500 years. We have experienced much more than what he and his administration have even begun to attempt. We have shut down bridges, taken over buildings like Alactraz, and protected sacred areas that rightfully belong to us. We have set up resistance camps for hundreds of years. We have fought in the Walleye Wars, Oka, against Custer, fought for rivers in the northwest, mountains in the southwest, fought against commercial expansion in the Northwest and for the integrity of the ocean in the southeast. We took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that we will not to be easily oppressed anymore. We are coming out of the darkness and there are many of us that continue to fight this government and their manifest destiny campaign. Trump is but a manifestation of what this country was truly founded upon. And before I conclude I’d like to pay recognition to the our Latin, African American and Asian American brothers and sisters who have also endured a long history of extreme violence and oppression in this country. I’d also like to recognize the more recent immigrants into this country and the Two Spirit community that are also experiencing the same issues. And I’d like to say thank you to all of the settler descendants that are taking a stand and fighting for a better future for all of us. The imperialist agenda is to divide and conquer, but together we can overcome this.

And I would like to give a shout out to Bold Iowa, the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, the Sierra Club and Indigenous Iowa for continuing to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline here in Iowa. Thank you.

Women’s March!

Dear Friends,

This week, I’m pulling together my contacts who’ve supported the Great March for Climate Action, Bold Iowa, and the Fallon Forum for one urgent message:

SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S MARCH THIS WEEKEND!

What’s been happening across America this past year is incredible and historic.

This part is frightening:

The oligarchy of political and corporate elites who oppose justice, equality, peace and our environment are enacting policies that erode the very foundations of our democracy.

The other part is encouraging and essential:

Pushback from a growing coalition of average Americans committed to fighting for our rights, liberties, and planet continues to swell.

Every week, there are more events, rallies and calls-to-action than I have ever seen in my three decades of activism. Thanks to all of you who participate.

It’s hard to tell when you’re in the middle of the storm, but you are changing history. You are blocking tanks even more threatening than the ones blocked by “Tank Man” in Tiananman Square in 1989.

That’s how much is at stake!

That’s how important your involvement is at this time!

This weekend pulls all of our concerns together under one banner, highlighting the growing power of women’s voices in our fight. Your voice is needed this weekend! Come stand with hundreds and thousands of others at the Women’s March in your city or state. I’ll be in Des Moines, and hope to see some of you there.

Women’s March events across America

Marches in (or near) Iowa:
Des Moines
Iowa City
Quad Cities
Decorah
Dubuque
Lamoni
Omaha, NE
Sioux Falls, SD

*******

Check out this week’s Fallon Forum (above) featuring one of Iowa’s promising young women leaders, Ashley Vanorny, recently elected to the Cedar Rapids City Council. Also, Charles Goldman and I cover the previous week’s policy and political highlights, including the fury over Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” the insanity of Hawaii’s ballistic missile alert, and (because we can’t help ourselves) the NFL playoffs.

Thanks!

Ed

A New Year, A New Bold

Dear Friends,

Things may appear the same on the surface, but Bold Iowa is a markedly different organization than it was last year. Regrettably, the story is filled with broken promises. Bold Iowa’s supporters deserve to know what happened. So here goes.

In 2014, Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb and I worked together when the Great March for Climate Action crossed Nebraska. In 2015, Jane joined me for a portion of the Pipeline Walk across Iowa. She approached me about expanding Bold here, and in March of 2016, Iowa became the first of four states to join the Bold Alliance.

Launching Bold Iowa together made so much sense. With my deep network of contacts built during three decades of political action, we jump-started Bold Iowa quickly. Jane’s connection to national funders landed a significant annual commitment to Iowa for five years. In return, the funders asked for a five-year commitment from me. I recall the funny conversation with Jane that sealed the deal. She asked if I could commit or if I was on the verge of becoming a full-time chicken farmer instead.

Our work went incredibly well. Bold Iowa received extensive state and national media coverage as we helped lead the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline. By the end of the first year, we’d grown the Bold Iowa Facebook page to over 9,000 and built a strong grassroots donor base. Jane and I talked nearly every day, and the rapport among our core team was positive and upbeat.

The turning point came when Jane called me in November of 2016 to tell me she was thinking of running for chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. She asked my opinion, and I told her candidly that I felt noone could direct a growing, multi-state, grassroots organization and run a state political party.

Jane ran for chair, won, and almost immediately our regular communication stopped. In mid-April of 2017, she called to tell me she was disbanding the network (she didn’t — only Iowa and Oklahoma got the ax), and Iowa’s last day as part of the Alliance was May 31. I was stunned. I asked her about the five-year commitment. She denied there had ever been such a commitment, even though our five-year plan is referenced multiple times in email exchanges.

This break-up would have been more manageable if Jane had allowed Iowa to keep the resources we’d developed: our Facebook page, email list, donor list, and website. Last May, she kept going back and forth on what, if anything, she would allow us to keep. In the end, she presented conditions that were impossible to accept and we were left with nothing.

After working for over a year to brand “Bold Iowa,” I wasn’t about to ditch what so many people had worked hard to create. So last June, I incorporated Bold Iowa with the Iowa Secretary of State, purchased a new domain name, and created a new website and Facebook page. The transition has been stressful, frustrating and slow.

I don’t mind being sued by fossil-fuel companies (twice in one year now), politicians, or others who put greed and power ahead of the common good. But it’s painful to be at odds with someone who’s on the same side of the fight. For three years, Jane and I had built a solid working relationship. I will always have great respect for her organizing skills. But what she did to Iowa is unconscionable. Worse, it’s counter-productive to the very goals and values she stands for.

I’ve thought long and hard about how to bring this matter to closure. I sought legal representation in Iowa and later in Nebraska. I wrote to Jane multiple times last month about why it was in our mutual interest to share the resources we developed. No response.

The bottom line is this: injustice — even if it’s an injustice committed by someone fighting for a just cause — must be challenged. Those of us struggling for a better world have to be brave enough to hold each other accountable.

So, if you want to be involved in rebuilding Bold Iowa, we could sure use your help. Visit our new Facebook page and website.

If you’d like to donate, use this link. (Some of you have tried to donate on the Bold Alliance site, but we’ll never see a penny of that.) With the all-important court case brought by landowners and the Sierra Club likely to come before the Iowa Supreme Court this spring, your involvement and support are needed now more than ever.

While we’re on the subject of calling out injustice even when it’s uncomfortable, check out the conversation on this week’s Fallon Forum (above) about workers getting sick at the TPI wind-blade factory in Newton. We absolutely need new power sources to move beyond fossil-fuels, but what’s happening with industrial wind raises grave concerns. Give the program a listen, let me know what you think, and please help me build our audience by subscribing to the Fallon Forum on iTunes or Stitcher.

Listen to the Fallon Forum live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 96.5 FM and 1260 AM (central Iowa).

Outside of central Iowa, listen here: FALLON FORUM LIVESTREAM AND PODCAST.

– Listen on other local affiliates:
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks!

Ed Fallon

My 2018 “WRAPs”

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! So far, so good. Let’s hope this deep winter cold continues to tromp the life out of some of Iowa’s most despised insect pests.

I’m excited about our first talk show of 2018. On this coming Monday’s Forum, we’ll talk with Des Moines Register investigative reporter Kevin Hardy. Hardy and Grant Rodgers wrote about workers at Newton’s wind blade factory who were sickened by chemicals. Listen live from 11:00 – 12:00 noon in Des Moines on 96.5 FM or online in the known universe.

Against the wisdom of better judgement, here are my Wishes, Resolutions and Predictions (WRAPs) for 2018, wrapped up in one tidy mess. If you want to make a game out of it, circle W, R or P indicating whether you think the item is a wish, resolution or prediction. If you get the most correct answers, I treat you to lunch on Ground Hog Day.

1. Trump will no longer be president by the end of 2018 . . . but with Mike Pence ready to assume the mantle, don’t don the party hats quite yet. W R P

2. The growing threat of climate change will become so evident that the full-scale mobilization humanity needs to survive will finally commence. W R P

3. Democrats will regain control of the U.S. Congress but not the Iowa Legislature . . . unless the IDP embraces an entirely new image and direction. W R P

4. Landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club will win their lawsuit against Energy Transfer Partners, and that victory will have huge ramifications not just for the Dakota Access pipeline but for other eminent domain battles. W R P

Over 200 march in frigid conditions, December 14, 2016.

5. I will finish my book, which way less than half of you will read and slightly more than half of you will like. W R P

6. Winter will mostly end by February 1st, regardless of what any groundhog says. W R P

7. By the end of the year, the Fallon Forum will air on twelve stations. W R P

8. Tom Brady will again win the Super Bowl, with the rest of the New England Patriots roster doing its bit part to help Brady out. W R P

9. I will not walk more than twenty miles at a time. W R P

10. A bear, a cougar, and a moose will walk into a bar in Des Moines, and . . . W R P

Ok, so that last one is in a class by itself. But I won’t be surprised to see at least one of those critters make it’s way into Polk County this year.

At any rate, we’ve got work to do on a number of levels, especially in response to the growing crisis of climate change. Remember to support the local businesses that make the Fallon Forum possible. I hope to see and/or hear from all of you in the New Year. Yeah, even you, Troy.

Onward! – Ed

One Year Ago Today . . .

Dear Friends,

Over 200 march in frigid conditions, December 14, 2016.

One year ago today, Iowans rallied at the Polk County Courthouse to support landowners suing state government over the abuse of eminent domain to build the Dakota Access pipeline. That case now advances to the Iowa Supreme Court. Its ramifications for other eminent domain fights, climate change and water quality are significant.

Today, one year later, Bold Iowa issued the following press release. Please take a few minutes to read and share it . . . and please make a donation to support our work as we rely almost entirely on grassroots support!

*******

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 14, 2017 — 11:00 a.m. CT,
Contact Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or ed@boldiowa.com

Bold Iowa, other groups, continue to support landowners
Pipeline fight moves to Iowa Supreme Court

The lawsuit filed by Iowa landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club against the use of eminent domain to build the Dakota Access pipeline is expected to come before the Iowa Supreme Court sometime in 2018. Plaintiffs and observers feel landowners have a strong case, in part because a 2006 Iowa law prohibited the use of eminent domain by private companies. Many people, including numerous legal experts, feel the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) erred in granting Dakota Access eminent domain authority to take land by force to build an oil pipeline. That pipeline continues to be controversial, in part because it merely transports oil through Iowa without offering any direct public benefit to people living along the route.

“We feel the IUB’s decision was a clear violation of Iowa law,” said Ed Fallon, director of Bold Iowa and a former Iowa lawmaker. Fallon’s last vote as a member of the Iowa House was in support of the 2006 eminent domain legislation clarifying that eminent domain was not to be used for a private purpose.

Other grassroots groups committed to building public awareness about the importance of this lawsuit include Indigenous Iowa, 1000 Friends of Iowa, the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition and 100 Grannies for a Livable Future. That list is expected to grow as interest in the lawsuit builds.

“The problem is most people don’t know about the lawsuit or its potential impact on all of our lives,” said Fallon. “With an aggressive campaign set to begin in January, Bold Iowa and other groups will push hard to increase public awareness of this potentially precedent-setting court case.”

Fallon and others believe the lawsuit has broad implications for other eminent domain battles, for private property rights, for Iowa’s water and land resources, and for climate change. “This case has historic implications for people across the state, yet few people are tracking it. Our challenge is to educate Iowans about what’s at stake and encourage them to pay close attention.”

Fallon indicated that he and others are working to flesh out the details of their effort and raise funds to make it happen. Strategies under consideration include:

    • Recruit supporters to write letters to newspapers across the state;
    • Harness online outreach to increase public awareness of the lawsuit;
    • Conduct ongoing research regarding the pipeline’s water and climate impacts, including a potential spill’s impact on local emergency responders;
    • Host a public meeting in each of Iowa’s four congressional districts; and
    • Hold a press conference or other key event in central Iowa each month.

Bold Iowa was formerly part of the national Bold Alliance and is now an independent non-profit organization that addresses the climate crisis, opposes the misuse of eminent domain to expand fossil-fuel infrastructure and other private purposes, promotes individual and entrepreneurial efforts in renewable energy and energy conservation, and works to build a broad, urban/rural coalition of Iowans. The organization’s website is www.boldiowa.com.

Bold Iowa’s director, Ed Fallon, served in the Iowa Legislature for 14 years before running unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 and US Congress in 2008. Since 2009, he has hosted a talk show, The Fallon Forum, which airs on six radio stations and is available online. Ed has directed Bold Iowa since its inception in March of 2016.

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