Martin O’Malley for . . . Vice President?

Dear Friends,

Before I tell you the most important take-aways from Saturday’s JJ Dinner, I’ve gotta share three moments of personal interest:

– I attended the JJ as Press, which gave me a whole different perspective on the event, and a chance to catch up with David Yepsen, John Nichols, Dennis Goldford and other media pundits I’d not seen in awhile.

– Andy McGuire, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, came over to say she couldn’t understand why former Party Chair and current congressional candidate Jim Mowrer refused to meet with me, and that she’d like to get together soon. That was refreshing, especially since McGuire and I have butted heads in the past. JJ - My Stalker copy

– When I ran for Congress, Leonard Boswell’s campaign hired a guy who literally stalked me, filming me everywhere I spoke, including a non-campaign related speech on religion to a group of seniors at a nursing home. Well, I spotted the guy at the JJ and snapped a picture of him from behind. Apparently, he’s now working with the O’Malley campaign.

Ok, my three take-aways of political value:

1. Martin O’Malley solidified his spot as a distant third place contender. There’s still time for that to change, but it didn’t happen at the JJ. Having an entire section of reserved seating marked for your supporters yet empty did not go unnoticed. O’Malley’s an excellent communicator. His speech featured some memorable lines on Donald Trump and immigration. His focus on gun violence was clearly an attempt to lure folks away from Sanders’ camp . . . and position himself as a possible VP choice should Clinton win the nomination.JJ - O'Malley seats empty copy

2. Between a strong performance in the first Democratic debate and holding her own in the Benghazi lynch-mob hearings, the second half of October has been kind to Hillary Clinton. She did herself no harm with the polished speech she delivered at the JJ Dinner, although some felt it came off as shiny to the point of phony. Her biggest liability among Democrats is that they do not see her recent transformation on several issues as sincere. Clinton did nothing to ameliorate that concern at the JJ.

3. Enter Bernie Sanders. I think Sanders gained the most from the JJ with his strongest remarks yet about the contrast between himself and Clinton. On issue after issue, without ever mentioning Clinton’s name, he pointed out how she’d been on the “wrong” side of Keystone, DOMA, TPP, Glass Steagall, Iraq. If Sanders lets it lie there, there’ll be no bump for him. But I expect he, his surrogates, supporters and perhaps even the media will hammer away at those differences over the next several weeks – with potential favorable impact to Sanders.

We’ll see. American politics, as covered by the American media, is not that different than professional sports. The game can change quickly, unexpectedly and conclusively.


Join Dr. Charles Goldman and I today from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Here’s our program line-up:

– Why has Ben Carson vaulted to the front of the Republican presidential pack – and will it last?

– What impact did last week’s Benghazi hearings have on the presidential campaign, Congress, and most important, the truth?

– We talk with ISU student Joe Heegaard about climate activism on the Iowa State campus.

– Central College political science prof Andrew Green joins us to discuss what the electorate are really hungering for in their apparent preference for political outsiders.

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 Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans).

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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If the IUB has any integrity . . .

Dear Friends,

I am so proud of all the landowners standing strong against the Bakken pipeline. (See the article in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette.) Their position is not an easy one to be in. Yet despite Dakota Access’ aggressive tactics, threats and lies, 37% of the land needed for the pipeline remains in the hands of farmers and landowners who have said “NO” to granting the company an easement.

With that threshold of opposition, there is no way the Iowa Utilities Board, in good conscience, can grant Dakota Access the power of eminent domain. But to make sure they know that, it will require continued citizen pressure and vigilance over the next two months.I’ll add this too: As I discovered time after time on my Pipeline Walk earlier this year, many of the landowners who have said “YES” felt they had no option. (For more on that, read my blog posts from Day 11 and Day 36 of the Walk, as just two examples.) The opposition to the pipeline among residents along its proposed route is even deeper than the IUB probably thinks.

Iowa’s politicians should be listening. In fact, the presidential candidates campaigning in Iowa should be listening, too. Seventy-five percent of all Iowans are against taking private property through eminent domain for a pipeline. So far, I know of only three candidates who have said they oppose the Bakken pipeline. They are Rand Paul, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders. If you know of others, tell me so we can thank them – and even Paul, O’Mallely and Sanders should be challenged to speak-out more strongly against the Bakken.

Of course, some of Iowa’s political leaders are not only listening to our concerns but are in the fight with us. A special thanks to State Rep. Dan Kelley, State Sen. Rob Hogg, and State Rep. Bobby Kaufman – and Bobby will join me on today’s program at 11:00.

Also on today’s Fallon Forum:

– Congressional candidate Desmund Adams;

– Ted Glick, who was part of a group fasting in front of FERC for 18 days last month in opposition to that agency’s rubber-stamping of permits for fracking;

– Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau, discussing last week’s awarding of the Food Sovereignty Prize; and

– State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad on the most recent anti-Muslim comments by Congressman Steve King, and how race and religion plays into this year’s presidential campaign.

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.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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Squash vs Bureaucrats

Dear Friends,

The personal story I’m about to share is not exactly a struggle against the abuse of eminent domain. But it’s an urban parallel that should deepen city dwellers solidarity with rural landowners fighting to stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline.

I’ve been involved with the Des Moines Community Garden program for a dozen or so years. Sadly, I have watched the program morph from a gardener-driven initiative to one controlled by City bureaucrats — bureaucrats who have taken the “community” out of the program and replaced it with centralized control by non-gardeners.

The plots I manage aren’t legally “mine.” But they’re on public ground that is otherwise unused — ground that I and other gardeners carefully nurture year after year.

But City bureaucrats have gradually exerted more and more control over how gardeners manage their plots. Last year, they even began charging us for the privilege of being hassled and harassed. I now pay $150 a year. It’s not eminent domain per se, but it sure feels like a “taking” of the public’s right to grow food on public land.

The list of ridiculous things that I and other gardeners have been cited for includes:

– A weed violation that was actually dill;
– A weed violation that was an edible cover crop;
– Having a composting device on one’s plot;
– The design of raised beds within plots;
– Squash and sweet potato vines growing into the pathways.

That’s just a few of the “violations” we’ve been cited for. Nearly every gardener I’ve spoken with has a story or two about being harassed by City staff about something silly.

So, yeah, when farmers across the state share stories of how badly they’ve been treated by Dakota Access workers and Iowa Utilities Board officials, I’m empathetic as all get out. When they tell me how losing their land to a pipeline would impact their ability to raise crops and livestock, I can relate to that, albeit it in a much smaller way.

If you live in Des Moines, expect to hear more about the City’s botched management of the Community Garden program. (Hopefully, working with the Mayor and Council members, it’s a problem we can fix.) If you live anywhere in Iowa, I appeal to you to stand with landowners fighting to stop Big Oil and its allies in Big Government in their accelerated push to build the Bakken Pipeline. For breaking developments, visit Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition and No Bakken Here.

On today’s Fallon Forum:

– We talk with Tim Dwight about challenging the presidential candidates to support powering the U.S. economy with 50% clean energy by 2030. Read Tim’s recent opinion piece here: Why Clean Energy is Necessary for a Sustainable Future.

– Author John Massaro joins us to discuss his book, NO GUARANTEE OF A GUN: How and Why the Second Amendment Means Exactly What It Says. The book’s premise is not that guns are bad and all guns should be banned. It is simply that gun control is a public-policy issue and not a Constitutional one.

– Des Moines being the Cultural and Culinary Crossroads of America, we talk with Billy McGuigan about his Beatles band and “Yesterday and Today,” an interactive concert happening this week at the Des Moines Playhouse.

– In this week’s Caucus Buzz, we talk about the Trump campaign rally in Waterloo that I got thrown out of, the obscene amount of money already being spent by a few presidential candidates on tv ads, and tomorrow’s first debate among Democratic presidential candidates.

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.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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Disrupting Trump’s self-love fest

Dear Friends,

In the fight for a just and peaceful world – and now, in the fight against climate change – I’ve done a lot of uncomfortable things. Running for office, walking thousands of miles, fasting, getting arrested. None of that is in my “fun-time” category.

But what I did this week beat all else in terms of discomfort. Please check out the press release about our climate action at a Donald Trump campaign event this week.

First, an important reminder: The Iowa Utilities Board hearing on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline draws near, with a date of November 12 in Boone. For regular updates, visit Bakken Pipeline Resistance and/or No Bakken Here.

Trump supporters get aggressive with climate-change activists

Oct. 9, 2015

WATERLOO, IOWA – On Wednesday, October 7, a group of Iowans – several dressed as Rosie the Riveter – interrupted Donald Trump’s campaign speech at the Electric Park Ballroom with calls to “Mobilize Now!” and take “Climate Action Now!” The seven-member team was there on behalf of The Climate Mobilization, a national campaign calling on the United States to end net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and restore a safe climate for humanity through a World War II-scale mobilization of the economy.

Trump initially endorsed the suggestion, saying, “That’s right, mobilize now.”

When demonstrators continued their call, chanting “Climate Action Now,” Trump realized he had made a mistake. “Oh, I thought they were on our side!”

Trump supporters became aggressive with the demonstrators, pushing them and grabbing and destroying their signs. Miriam Kashia, a 72-year old woman from Iowa City, was shoved from behind and nearly fell over.

As demonstrators walked toward the exit, some in the crowd became hostile. Others, however, offered heartfelt words of thanks. Kashia reported that, while she was exiting the event, “A woman held out her hands and said, ‘Thank you for doing that.’”

“We’ve been working hard to question the presidential candidates, to get them to talk about climate change,” said Ed Fallon, who organized the demonstration. “Some live in denial. Others get it. But no candidate has yet to prioritize climate for the crisis it is. No one has pledged to mobilize the full force of the U.S. economy to fight it on the scale needed.”

“We’ll continue to question candidates about climate change,” said Fallon. “But with less than four months before the Caucuses, it’s time to up the ante. For me, chanting and holding signs like we did today is uncomfortable. But climate change is causing discomfort and worse across the globe. I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone so the candidates hear – loud and clear – that climate change demands a full-scale home-front mobilization.”

Besides Kashia and Fallon, the other demonstrators were George McCloskey of Des Moines, Peter Clay of Des Moines, Shari Hrdina of Des Moines, Barbara Schlachter of Iowa City, and Kristy Medo of Iowa City.

Video Available Here

CNN: “Trump tells crowd not to get violent when protesters disrupt event

POLITICO: “Trump heckled by climate change activists

Ed Fallon:
(515) 238-6404
Margaret Klein Salamon:
(734) 476-5169

Preview YouTube video Climate Mobilization Activists Disrupt Trump Event 10/7/15

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