Pledge to Mobilize

Dear Friends,

America urgently needs a heroic, collective response to climate change. We need the kind of mission-driven national mobilization that fired-up our country during World War II. A new initiative called the Pledge to Mobilize gives people a clear way to demand that politicians get behind the major climate mobilization we urgently need.

And Iowa is now front-and-center in the campaign to make that happen.

In the months leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, Shari Hrdina (who bears a striking resemblance to Rosie the Riveter, does she not?) and I will work with The Climate Mobilization to build a grassroots movement in Iowa. We are excited about this, and hope you’ll sign the pledge and volunteer to help get the message out across the state.

During last year’s Great March for Climate Action, 90% of my time was spent walking through so-called “Red America.” I talked a lot with conservative Republicans. I would tell the story my Dad told me when I interviewed him for a book about his life after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My Dad was a kid during World War II, growing up in the South Bronx, the son of Irish immigrants. He couldn’t understand why America was doing nothing in response to the atrocities occurring in both Europe and the South Pacific. Then Pearl Harbor happened, and the entire nation mobilized. My Dad would go down to the railroad tracks and collect cigarette boxes. He’d remove the foil for the scrap metal drives that were crucial to the war effort. That was his contribution, something he felt proud of.

And when America got involved as a nation, we retooled an entire economy in a matter of months.

With climate change, we again need that kind of national response, that collective sense of purpose and commitment. In Iowa, we have a unique opportunity to challenge the candidates running for President. We deserve to know if they are willing to confront the grave truth of the climate crisis honestly, courageously, and with the kind of determination our parents and grandparents demonstrated during World War II. We deserve to know if they have the wisdom and fortitude to pledge to mobilize NOW to fight climate change.

Will you work with Shari and I and The Climate Mobilization to bring the urgency of the climate crisis to the forefront of the Iowa Caucuses? Message me here if you’re ready to help or if you want to discuss further our plan to make this effort one of national and international significance.

************

On today’s Fallon Forum:

1. Dr. Maureen McCue with Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility discusses the global movement to eliminate nuclear weapons;

2. Attorneys Keith Puntenney and Bill Hannigan talk about the lawsuit filed last week over the question of whether the Iowa Utilities Board has the legal authority to grant eminent domain to an oil pipleine company;

3. Tim Kruse with Green Light Renewable discusses some of the breaking developments in the solar revolution;

4. Margaret Klein Solomon, founder of The Climate Mobilization, tells us about the Pledge to Mobilize.

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Walk to Paris for Climate Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9:00 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Contact:
Evelyn Davis at evelyn@climatemarch.org or (510) 316-2838
Ed Fallon at fallonforum@gmail.com or (515) 238-6404

Walk to Paris for Climate Action
Two Americans who walked across U.S continue on to Paris

On 11 November (Veterans Day in the U.S.), two Americans who last year walked across the U.S. for action on climate change will set-out from the coast of Normandy, France, walking over 350 kilometers to arrive in Paris on 28 November for the start of the United Nations Climate Summit. The Summit is seen as pivotal if the nations of the world are to take effective, timely action to address climate change.

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Climate Marchers make their way across America in 2014.

Last year, Ed Fallon of Iowa and Steve Martin of Kentucky walked 5,000 kilometers across America with the Great March for Climate Action. The March was conceived by Fallon, a former Iowa lawmaker, as a dramatic way to build public awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis. A core group of about 35 marchers walked 25-30 kilometers six days a week for eight months, engaging thousands of Americans in one-on-one conversations about climate change. Fallon walked every step of the way. Martin diverted his walk to New York City and the People’s Climate March.

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The Climate March enters Colorado with an overnight stop at Fort Garland.

Having reached the east coast of the United States last fall, and with the all-important UN Climate Summit in Paris looming, Fallon and Martin felt called to continue their mission.

For Fallon, starting the Walk on the coast of Normandy has deep personal significance. “My Dad was a kid during World War II, the son of Irish immigrants growing up in New York City. He told me stories about how, for the longest time, America ignored the atrocities being committed, yet finally came to the aid of France and the rest of Europe in Normandy in June of 1944.”

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Steve Martin posing with statue of the pilgrim at El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico.

“With the UN Climate Summit in Paris, America again has the opportunity and the responsibility to step forward as it did during World War II, to become actively involved in the global response to the climate crisis that threatens our very survival,” concluded Fallon.

Martin was deeply moved earlier this year by Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change.

“For me, this a pilgrim’s walk,” said Martin. “Making footsteps is an age-old practice. It links our common spirit to the change we hope to see, and in the end, I believe the human heart will triumph.”

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Ed and Steve near Washington, DC, as the Climate March prepares for the final day’s walk to the White House.

Martin sees faith as a key instrument.

Fallon and Martin intend to walk about 20-25 kilometers five to six days a week. They are working to build connections to organizations addressing climate change in both Europe and the U.S.

# # # # #

 

Ed and Steve in silhouette as they walk through the Colorado Rockies.

Ed and Steve in silhouette as they walk through the Colorado Rockies.

Normandy to Paris Walk for Climate Action

Dear Friends,

Big news: Last year’s Great March for Climate Action picks up where we left off! Steve Martin and I continue our footsteps, heading east to Paris for the all-important U.N. Climate Summit. Ok, we haven’t quite perfected the “walk on water” thing yet, so we’ll skip the Atlantic Ocean and start on the next available chunk of dry earth: the coast of France.

Help jump-start the Normandy to Paris Walk for Climate Action by sending this press release to your local media contact(s). That would be most helpful, thanks!

Here’s the release . . . and don’t forget to tune-in to today’s Fallon Forum (details after the release).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6:00 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 27, 2015
Contact:
Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404
Steve Martin at (270) 827-8247
Evelyn Davis at (510) 316-2838

Normandy to Paris Walk for Climate Action
LA to DC walkers continue trek to Paris for UN Climate Summit

On Veterans Day, November 11, two men who last year walked across America for action on climate change will set-out from the coast of Normandy, France, walking nearly 200 miles (320 kilometers) to arrive in Paris on November 28 — just before the start of the United Nations Climate Summit, an event seen as pivotal if the nations of the world are to take affective, timely action on climate change.

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Climate Marchers make their way across America in 2014.

Last year, Ed Fallon of Iowa and Steve Martin of Kentucky walked over 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) across America with the Great March for Climate Action. The March was conceived by Fallon, a former Iowa state lawmaker, as a dramatic way to build public awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis. A core group of 35-50 marchers walked 15-20 miles (24-32 kilometers) six days a week for eight months, engaging thousands of Americans in one-on-one conversations about climate change. Fallon and Martin were two of five marchers who walked every step of the way.

Having reached the east coast of the United States last fall, and with the all-important UN Climate Summit in Paris looming, Fallon and Martin felt called to continue their trek. Beginning the D-Day March & Pilgrimage for Climate Action on the coast of Normandy, where Allied troops launched the successful liberation of Europe in 1944, holds great significance for Fallon as he tells the story he shared with people he met during last year’s Climate March.

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The Climate March enters Colorado with an overnight stop at Fort Garland.

“My Dad would tell me about World War II and the home-front mobilization,” mused Fallon. “He was a kid at the time, the son of Irish immigrants growing up in the South Bronx. Military advisers warned of mounting atrocities in Europe and the South Pacific, and my Dad could not understand why America wasn’t responding.

“Finally, America woke-up and it was all hands on deck,” continued Fallon. “My Dad would go down to the railroad tracks and collect tinfoil from cigarette boxes for the scrap metal drives that were crucial to the war effort. And the nation as a whole got involved, retooling an entire economy in a matter of months to fight and win the defining crisis of the 20th century.

“Last year, I shared my Dad’s story with hundreds of people as I walked across America, coast-to-coast” concluded Fallon. “It’s time again for America to listen to the experts, in this case the scientists, who warn us of the urgent threat of climate change. It’s time for America to wake-up like we did in response to World War II and help lead a global response to the crisis that threatens our very survival.”

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Steve Martin posing with statue of the pilgrim at El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico.

For his part, Martin was deeply moved earlier this year by Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change. Martin continues what he calls a pilgrim’s walk, “a walk that began long before my memory can be trusted,” he quips. “No one is the enemy in the struggle for climate action,” he says. “All of us are participants, and we all have the power to reaffirm life, if we choose.

“Making footsteps is a practice that links our common spirit to the change we hope to see,” says Martin. “In the end, I believe the human heart will triumph.”

With the comparison to America’s mobilization in response to World War II, Martin sees a very important connection to the climate struggle: “Democracy represents the will of the people only when we become collectively engaged in a common cause, just as another generation did at Normandy.”

Martin is from western Kentucky, a region possessing the highest CO2 emissions rate per kilowatt hour anywhere in the country. It is an area of the country where coal is king. Yet last year, Martin found himself on a pilgrimage to walk every step across America with the Great March for Climate Action. He began in Los Angeles with the main group of marchers. In eastern Colorado he diverted from the March to connect his footsteps with the People’s Climate March in New York City. At the September 21 event that drew 400,000 people, Martin was the only participant to have walked across the entire country to attend.

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Ed and Steve in Bethesda, Maryland, as the Climate March prepares for the final day’s walk to the White House.

Martin anxiously awaits these new footsteps to Paris, and hopes that they contribute in a small way to a successful UN summit and decisive action to address climate change.

Fallon and Martin intend to walk about 20-25 kilometers (12-16 miles) five to six days a week. In both the U.S. and France, they hope to network with organizations addressing climate change, environmental concerns, churches, other communities of faith, and veterans organizations. In the tradition of pilgrims throughout history, they will travel simply and with faith in the goodness of humanity.

# # # # #

Today’s Fallon Forum features five topics and four great guests: 1. “Treating Customers Like They’re Stupid” with Maisie Ganzler, of Bon Appétit Management Company; 2. “Greece: Democracy in Action or Chaos?” with Ayman Amer, Economics Professor at Mt. Mercy College; 3. “Building Republican Support for Action on Climate” with Mark Reynolds of Citizens Climate Lobby; 4. “Is Hillary Democrats’ Weakest Option?” – Pat Betrouche joins Ed for this week’s “Caucus Buzz”; and 5. “State spends $115,000 on cannabis cards – for 50 people!”

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.

Thanks – Ed Fallon

Ed and Steve in silhouette as they walk through the Colorado Rockies.

Ed and Steve in silhouette as they walk through the Colorado Rockies.

I need your help!

Dear Friends,

Moment of absolute candor: For the past thirteen months, I’ve worked full-time as an unpaid volunteer for justice, the environment, our democracy and other critical causes near and dear your heart and mine.

It hasn’t been easy, but I am encouraged by the feedback I receive from you and many others. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m told what I have to offer Iowa and our country is unique. My three decades of political activism have given me connections, experience and a valuable platform from which to get things done on the pressing challenges of our time.

I live simply and resourcefully. Yet, I can’t continue to work 50-60 hours a week as a volunteer and make ends meet. If the work is to continue, I need a whole bunch of you to step forward and support my work financially, ideally by becoming monthly supporters.

Please consider $10, $25, $50 or $100 a month, as your resources allow.

Click here to support the Fallon Forum, one of the only independent talk shows in Iowa. Your backing helps me and my production team provide cutting-edge programming with great guests, including today’s line-up: Attorney Wally Taylor discussing coal-fired power plants; Des Moines MPO’s Gunnar Olson and Windsor Heights Mayor Diana Willits discussing the complete streets initiative; Mississippi attorney Joe Murray discussing the role of the media in presidential politics.

Click here to support Climate Action NOW!, the successor to the Great March for Climate Action. Your backing allows our climate activism to bear fruit, including publishing a book based on my walk along the pipeline route; helping landowners and others get their voices heard in deliberations on the proposed pipeline; bird-dogging presidential candidates on climate issues; and two other major initiatives in the works that will be announced soon.

I want to continue fighting for you, our environment and our country – and I want to continue to do it full time. I’d rather not take a job at Monsanto, Exxon or Goldman Sachs, or live in a tent by the river and subsist on weeds and squirrels.

If enough of you step forward, I won’t have to.

So, do it for the squirrels and become a monthly supporter today! Thanks!

{Reminder: FILE A PETITION TO INTERVENE ON THE PIPELINE!! You have until July 27 to get the full volume of your voice heard in Iowa Utilities Board deliberations on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Click here for a copy of the petition.}

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.

Thanks – Ed Fallon

Frank thinks I own the pipeline company!

Dear Friends,

My phone rings. It’s a number I don’t recognize. I’m gardening, and my hands are happily adorned with rich, black soil. Bad time for a phone call, but I answer anyway.

“Hello, this is Frank Durgin,” a voice says. “I’m with CTG Pipeline N Services and I’m looking for Kelcy Warren.”

Warren is the head of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company that wants to build the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Warren is my nemesis. If I’m Batman, he’s my Joker. Surely this is a prank. I play along.

“Hi Frank. This is Kelcy,” I respond.

Kelcy Warren’s 23,000 sq ft. mansion

Frank goes on to tell me how he loves my vision of this pipeline, how much he admired the article about me in Bloomberg Business, that he wants to sub-contract with me on laying the pipeline through Iowa.

Still smelling prank, I say “Sure. Just contact my P.R. guy. His name’s Ed Fallon. Work through him.”

I give Frank my email address, waiting for the “Haha!” moment when the prankster identifies himself, invites me to a cookout, offers to help weed my garden.

Instead, the next day I get an email from Frank with his bio and company information. Then I get two more phone calls and two text messages.

The guy is persistent. I do a little research. He seems legit.

At some point, probably today, do I have a moral obligation to tell Frank the truth?

Or do I continue the unintended deception, perhaps learn something of value that might help those of us fighting to stop the pipeline?

Tempting. But I’ll opt for the high road, though I’ll at least ask Frank how he got my number. And while I’m at it, I’ll ask how he feels about climate change, eminent domain, and the moral integrity of owning giraffes, javelinas and a gaur in a nation plagued by growing income inequality (see below).

Gaur

Gaur

In the meantime, I check out the Bloomberg article. I know Warren lives in Dallas, Texas. I know he’s one of the 60 wealthiest guys in America. But I did not know that:

Warren’s six-bedroom, 13-bathroom home has a chip-and-putt green, a pole-vault pit, a four-lane bowling alley, and a 200-seat theater where the billionaire’s musician pals play private concerts. A polished 12-foot section of an oak tree gives his 12-year-old son Klyde’s bedroom the feel of a treehouse. “Isn’t that cool?” Warren asks as he shows a visitor around.

But wait! Bloomberg has just glanced the surface of Warren’s astounding opulence:

Giraffes, javelinas, and a hulking, ill-tempered species of Asian oxen called a gaur roam Warren’s 11,000-acre ranch northwest of Austin. He also has ranches in eastern Texas and southwest Colorado, a house on Lake Tahoe, and an island off the coast of Honduras.

Wow. An oil-soaked version of Michael Jackson. And the obscenely rich wonder why Americans are more and more discontent, ill-tempered . . . gaur-like even.

I also learn that Warren’s company pays no income tax. Surprise, surprise.

And in defense of his right to lay pipeline through thousands of miles of farmland, Warren shares his feelings about my ilk:

“I don’t think it’s fair for a few activists to decide what the American people want.”

Right. That’s us. A few activists: the 74% of Iowans opposed to condemning private property for Warren’s pipeline. On top of recently being designated the most American state, perhaps Iowa can now claim to be the most activist state as well.

Wait till I break the news to Frank.

{Reminder: FILE A PETITION TO INTERVENE ON THE PIPELINE!! You have until July 27 to get the full volume of your voice heard in Iowa Utilities Board deliberations on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Click here for a copy of the petition.}

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks,
Ed Fallon, a.k.a.,
Kelcy Warren

Ed’s Caucus, Part 2

Dear Friends,

{Reminder: FILE A PETITION TO INTERVENE ON THE PIPELINE!! You have until July 27 to get the full volume of your voice heard in Iowa Utilities Board deliberations on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Click here for a copy of the petition.}

Different people have different approaches to how they involve themselves in the Iowa Caucuses. Me, I divide the year-long event into three parts.

Part 1: Encourage a slew of candidates to run. This usually isn’t much of a problem. Between the politically well-positioned (e.g., Governors and Senators) and the delusionally-wealthy who think they are politically well-positioned (e.g, Carson, Trump), there are no shortage of candidates eager to throw their recently-purchased seed corn hat into the ring.

On the Democratic side, this year threatened to be different. With the Democratic Party favoring coronations over nominations, the Democratic Caucus was shaping up to be a Soviet-style, one-candidate race, with Hillary Clinton squaring off against “None of the Above.”

Fortunately for Iowa Democrats, other recent attempts at coronations (i.e., Bruce Braley and Stacie Appel) remain fresh on the electorate’s mind. Thus, Dems now have a four- possibly five-person race to look forward to.

Part 1: Accomplished.

Part 2: Decide which candidate to support. Like most caucus goers, I’ve got a whole list of issues I want my candidate to be “good” on (and face it, when we say “good” we mean “agrees with me”). I don’t always have a litmus test, but this year I do.

And not a single candidate has yet to demonstrate they’re “good” on that litmus test:

The Bakken Oil Pipeline.

From a climate point of view . . . from a water quality point of view . . . for those concerned about Big Business abusing the power of Big Government to confiscate someone’s land through eminent domain . . . the Bakken Oil Pipeline is an issue many of us are strongly against.

We have a right to know where the candidates stand on it, and more broadly on the issue of expanding the fossil-fuel infrastructure across the country with pipelines, fracking and mountain-top removal.

So far, to my knowledge, not a single presidential candidate has come forth with a position on this.

Let’s make the pipeline an issue in the Caucuses. Republican candidates who say they support property rights should be against it. Democrats who say they understand climate change should be against it. Any candidate who says they care about the people or the little guy or the land or the future or our children should be against it.

Join us live from 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Supreme Irony

Dear Friends,

{Reminder: FILE A PETITION TO INTERVENE ON THE PIPELINE!! You have until July 27 to get the full volume of your voice heard in Iowa Utilities Board deliberations on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Click here for a copy of the petition.}

Ah, political irony! You know it’s been a wacky week when the so-called conservative U.S. Supreme Court is your friend and so-called liberal President Obama isn’t. Consider the Court’s rulings on:

– The Affordable Care Act. In Iowa, 40,000 of us earning less than $47,000 a year will still be able to afford health insurance.

– Marriage equality. Eighty percent of Iowans say gays and lesbians marrying has either a positive impact or no impact at all on their lives. With SCOTUS’ ruling for marriage equality in all 50 states, maybe the rest of the country will come to the same conclusion, and, like interracial marriage, we can put this issue behind us.

Housing discrimination. SCOTUS determined that housing discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal.

All three rulings benefit Americans who largely voted for President Obama. While the Supreme Court was hard at work delivering hope and change to the President’s base, what was the President himself up to?

Why, he was busy cramming the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress, despite strong opposition from Tea Party Republicans, House and Senate Democrats and the vast majority of Americans. Referred to by some as NAFTA on steroids, “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its cross-hairs,” wrote Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

And as Bill Curry writes in Salon, “Few in or out of politics grasp the TPP’s epic scope. This is partly due to the secrecy in which it is shrouded but also to how both sides have framed the debate. At stake are rules governing a quarter of all world trade. These rules may well supplant those in other trade agreements and so affect nearly all global trade. But that’s not the all of it, not by a long shot.”

Yup. So much irony, so little time. During one rapid-fire hour today, Dr. Charles Goldman and I will discuss the Supremes – not Diana Ross, but the rulings on Obamacare, marriage equality, and nondiscrimination in housing. Writes Charles, “Justice Scalia appears to be apoplectic over his high deductible policy.” Maybe we should all be apoplectic over TPP.

Join us live from 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Bullies

Dear Friends,

Business and political leaders in Iowa have been outspoken against bullying – a problem in our classrooms, on our playgrounds and in our streets. But these same leaders ignore – and actually enable – the corporate bullying tactics of Dakota Access in its aggressive push to build the Bakken Oil Pipeline.

This was on my mind this morning when, through bleary eyes, the above-the-fold Des Moines Register headline screamed at me:

“Firm: Most pipeline land secured”

Really? Sixty percent is “most?” If my kid leaves 40% of his dinner on his plate, he doesn’t get dessert. If I buy you a beer and you leave 40% in your glass, I’m unlikely to buy you another. “Most” involves a lot of grey area, but rarely does it mean a mere 60%.

Furthermore, as one reads the article, the 60% figure is highly disputed.

And as to the word “firm” – very clever double-entendre on the part of the Register’s editors, using a synonym for “company” that is never used in the article itself, while implying that the pipeline is a done deal.

There are two types of corporate bullying, and Dakota Access is good at both of them. First, there’s the direct approach:

– Tell farmers they should sign an easement or risk condemnation.

– Trespass on private property and wax defiant when confronted by landowners.

– Stockpile pipe on a central Iowa farm even before a permit has been granted.

Then there’s indirect bullying, getting others to do the bullying for you. Dakota Access’ billionaire owner, Kelcy Warren, has deep, deep pockets. He knows how to throw around his financial weight, to buy influence, to get others to either do his bidding or to meekly step aside and abdicate their responsibility to protect the public good. Consider that:

– Warren has bought off labor unions – and along with them, the state’s Democratic leadership – with the promise of a handful of temporary jobs.

– He’s bought off the state’s Republican leadership with campaign contributions.

– Though we can’t see the smoking gun, he’s silenced the leadership of Farm Bureau, who historically would be front-and-center in any battle to protect private property from eminent domain.

– And it’s likely that Warren has bought off some of the corporate media through advertising revenue, although again, there is no discernible smoking gun . . . at least not yet.

Part of the problem is that the corporate bully is harder to identify than the playground bully. When the latter comes at you, the meanness in his eyes tell you you’re about to get your butt kicked. The corporate bully on the other hand smiles, wears a suit, drives a nice car, looks respectable.

And his victim doesn’t sport a black eye when the bully moves on to his next target. Yet a black eye will heal far more quickly than the wounds Dakota Access threatens to inflict on our farms, our water, and our planet.

My life this year has been committed to stopping the Bakken Oil Pipeline. The work I feel called to do springs from my passion for our Earth, land and water. Yet as I walked 400-miles along the route of the proposed pipeline in March and April, my passion grew to embrace the hundreds of people I met along the way – farmers and landowners adamantly opposed to having their land condemned for a pipeline, even as some felt they had no option but to sign an easement.

I heard story after story of the bullying tactics of Dakota Access, its representatives and its surrogates. Headlines such as the one in today’s Des Moines Register are designed to cause despair, to make us abandon hope.

Don’t! This fight is far from over. As the battle shifts from legislative chambers to the Iowa Utilities Board office and Iowa’s courtrooms, never forget that on our side we have truth in a just cause. I leave you with this quote from Gandhi:

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

Join us live today on The Fallon Forum, Monday, June 22, 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts are available at www.fallonforum.com.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Call Branstad on eminent domain bill

For over a decade, my farmer friends in Clarke County have been battling to stop the abuse of eminent domain for a recreational lake along Coyote Canyon. This year, a bill that would provide some protection to landowners – SF 449 – passed and is now on Governor Branstad’s desk. SF 449 would hold developers responsible for the amount of acres actually needed for a water supply, and would also require them to investigate alternatives so eminent domain would not have to be used.

The Governor has not yet indicated if he will sign or veto the bill, but he’s receiving huge pressure from local lake developers to veto it. On top of that, this is a pet project of Lt. Gov. Reynolds, so perhaps she also is encouraging a veto.

Please call (yes, call, because the Governor does not have an email address) Governor Branstad and ask him to sign SF 449 to help farmers in Clarke County who do not want their land condemned for a lake. Call his office at (515) 281-5211, and remind him that last year he ran an attack ad implying his SUPPORT for private property rights. Let’s hold him accountable to what amounted to a campaign promise! Thanks – Ed

Action worth more than talk

Dear Friends,

Sanders at Drake

Bernie Sanders speaks at Drake University this past weekend.

Whether it’s a seat at City Hall or residency in the White House, the lure of public office is powerful. In the desire to win, politicians utter all manner of things they don’t believe, won’t do or simply can’t accomplish. One of my all-time favorites is Terry Branstad promising population growth in all 99 counties. I never knew quite how Branstad planned to accomplish that. Apparently, neither did he.

It’s not hard to imagine why candidates for President would spend tens of millions of dollars redesigning their image and message if they and their handlers thought it would improve marketability to voters. Indeed, the country is now infested with political consultants getting rich providing such a service.

O'Malley at Pride Parade

Martin O’Malley was the lone presidential candidate with a presence in Des Moines’ Pride Parade.

So, how does the responsible voter sort fact from fiction, sincerity from pandering, deliverable promises from marketing ploys? How do we select the presidential candidate most likely to do what he or she says they’ll do? Easy answer, really: pay more attention to what they’ve done than what they say.

Easy answer, sure, but easier said than done. You’ll find occasional tidbits of substantive discussion about issues in the corporate media, particularly in print, but not enough. Being a responsible early-state voter requires digging, analysis and relying on advocacy organizations that care more about issues than personalities, organizations that have the time and resources to dig into this stuff.

Perhaps this is obvious advice, but it’s a matter of being a good shopper. You buy a used car, you not only kick the tires and check under the hood, you find out how it performed over the course of its life. Voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada have a unique opportunity to test drive the next President. Along with that opportunity comes great responsibility. America is counting on us to invest the time and energy needed to choose wisely.

On today’s Fallon Forum:

(1) What do Pope Francis, Walmart and dead chickens have in common?

(2) In Caucus Buzz, we look at recent happenings for the four declared (or virtually declared) Democratic candidates for President: Webb, Sanders, O’Malley, and Clinton.

(3) Reverend Hugh Stone joins us to talk about the struggle within the United Methodist Church over GLBT equality.

(4) Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska and I compare notes on pipeline activism, and discuss how ethanol is entering into the conversation.

(5) We’ll look at the EPA’s recently-released study on fracking, which some are calling an industry sell-out.

Join us live on Monday, June 15, 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts are available at www.fallonforum.com.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon