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drugtestA favorite Republican pastime recently has been to demonize the unemployed by proposing that they submit to drug tests before collecting their unemployment insurance. Both at the federal and state level, Republicans have pushed for such a policy, even though, as it turns out, such requirements save barely any money and only prove that those on unemployment insurance are less likely than the public at large to be using drugs.

One Iowa Republican this week decided that such measures are not enough. During debate over Iowa’s budget, state Sen. Mark Chelgren (R) proposed that people who receive child support payments also be forced to submit to drug tests on the whims of the person making the payments:

The proposal came from Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa who said he was pushing the idea on behalf of an unidentified constituent who believed his ex was using child support money for illegal drugs.

A person paying child support under Chelgren’s proposal could require the recipient to a drug test every six months as long as they pay the costs.

“We shouldn’t be ducking our head and running away every time there’s a difficult issue coming up,” Chelgren said. However, following open laughter in the Iowa Senate chamber, Chelgren withdrew his amendment.

The Iowa Senate’s next task will be debating yet another Chelgren amendment. This one goes back to the standard Republican aim of forcing those collecting from state welfare programs to undergo drug tests. In Indiana, just 1 percent of those tested before collecting unemployment insurance or entering the state’s job training program during the final six months of 2011 failed their drug tests.

Link to original article from Think Progress

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Public High School Students Won’t Learn About Voting In Government Class If Iowa Bill Beco…

Public High School Students Won’t Learn About Voting In Government Class If Iowa Bill Becomes Law

Iowa state Rep. Pat Grassley (R) — the grandson of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — introduced a bill earlier this week that increases the amount of instruction in government and “the tenets of American citizenship” in the state’s high school social studies curriculum, but specifically eliminates “the high school social studies requirement to teach voting procedures.” Under the measure, public high school students in Iowa would learn about “national, state, county, and local governments” without receiving instruction in voting procedures or methods: This bill increases the amount of instruction in government required...

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10 Arrested--Including Vietnam Veteran, Minister, Students, Unemployed--At Wells Fargo Act…

10 Arrested--Including Vietnam Veteran, Minister, Students, Unemployed--At Wells Fargo Action

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Regina Zilbermints | Des Moines Register 24 Apr 2012 Hits:624 Iowa

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Iowa Republican Proposes Drug Testing Child Support Recipients

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A favorite Republican pastime recently has been to demonize the unemployed by proposing that they submit to drug tests before collecting their unemployment insurance. Both at the federal and state level, Republicans have pushed for such a policy, even though, as it turns out, such requirements save barely any money and only prove that those on unemployment insurance are less likely than the public at large to be using drugs. One Iowa Republican this week decided that such measures are not enough. During debate over Iowa’s budget, state Sen....

Pat Garofalo | Sourced from Think Progress 13 Apr 2012 Hits:722 Iowa

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County Dems Push for Uncommitted Delegates and Get 19

County Dems Push for Uncommitted Delegates and Get 19

The Iowa Democratic caucuses showed one-sided support for Democratic candidate and incumbent Barack Obama, but some Democrats showed up in enough numbers to appoint uncommitted delegates. The goal of these uncommitted delegates: open discussion about discontent with some of the president’s policies, primarily Obama’s pro-war actions. “This was a success,” said Jeff Cox, University of Iowa history professor and member of the UI Faculty Senate who pushed for uncommitted delegates. The 19 reported delegates not supporting Obama in Johnson County is a large increase from...

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Election Day Registration, No Photo ID Requirement Will Help Boost Turnout In Tomorrow’s I…

Election Day Registration, No Photo ID Requirement Will Help Boost Turnout In Tomorrow’s Iowa Caucuses

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Scott Keyes | ThinkProgress 02 Jan 2012 Hits:748 Iowa

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Progressives Plan to Challenge Obama in Iowa

Progressives Plan to Challenge Obama in Iowa

  The group Progressive Democrats of America hope to send a message to President Barack Obama by organizing people to vote for “uncommitted” in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. “I believe we need an inside outside strategy,” Tim Carpenter, the founder of the group, said at an organizing meeting in Des Moines this week. “We’re not asking everybody in this room to vote for Barack Obama. We’re not voting for Barack Obama. We’re organizing uncommitted slates to go to the caucus on Tuesday to challenge Barack Obama because he gave up on his...

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Iowa: The People's Caucus

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Rev. Jesse Jackson and Progressive Democrats of America Challenge Democratic Party

Rev. Jesse Jackson and Progressive Democrats of America Challenge Democratic Party

Political legend Rev. Jesse Jackson will be joining Jean Ross, co-president of National Nurses United, which is leading the fight for Medicare for all and the financial transaction tax, and Steve Cobble, from the Institute for Policy Studies, for a conversation on progressive theory turned to action. Reverend Jackson has for decades campaigned for open and inclusive politics--outlined a quarter century ago by his "Rainbow Coalition" campaigns of 1984 and 1988. In 1988, Jackson showed the possibility of this new politics with his bold...

E News Park Forest 30 Dec 2011 Hits:539 Iowa

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Iowa GOP Seeks to Suppress Occupy's Push for 'Uncommitted' Caucus Voting

Iowa GOP Seeks to Suppress Occupy's Push for 'Uncommitted' Caucus Voting

Dubuque—Iowa caucus voters have frequently rejected announced candidates and chosen uncommitted delegate slates. It’s a way of protesting the paucity of appealing candidates, and of maintaining options as the race evolves. Since the caucuses became a national phenomenon in the 1970s, “Uncommitted” slates have won two Democratic contests and secured a second place finish as recently as 1992. Republican contests have frequently featured credible finishes by “Uncommitted” slates and “No Preference” votes—in 1988, they beat Alexander Haig; in 1980, they beat Bob Dole. But the Republican Party of Iowa now wants to shut...

John Nichols | The Nation 27 Dec 2011 Hits:669 Iowa

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Occupy the Caucus: Occupy Iowa to be First in the Nation to Take Action

Occupy the Caucus: Occupy Iowa to be First in the Nation to Take Action

Republicans are not alone in preparing for the January 3, Iowa caucuses. Occupy Iowa groups are organizing to be the first occupiers in the nation to challenge the electoral status quo, and none of the candidates – including President Obama – will be spared. Occupy Des Moines organizers have said there are no plans to disrupt the actual precinct caucuses next week. Protesters are planning to target campaign offices, and they expect hundreds of people from Occupy movements across the Midwest to participate. A group...

Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report 27 Dec 2011 Hits:617 Iowa

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Des Moines Protesters Occupy Obama's Campaign Offices

Des Moines Protesters Occupy Obama's Campaign Offices

One of the best things about Occupy, aside from the resolve, is that the creativity is ceaseless. Most recently: Occupy Des Moines, along with Veterans for Peace and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, has decided to hold it down outside Obama's Iowa campaign offices, not just during banking hours (ha), but 24-7. Their impetus? They arrived for a midday protest on Saturday, but were locked out. Des Moines Register: By 2:30 p.m. Saturday, demonstrators had set up two tents and hung a sign ...

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | Sourced from AlterNet 20 Dec 2011 Hits:822 Iowa

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Going Uncommitted at the Iowa Caucus

Going Uncommitted at the Iowa Caucus

People who plan to go uncommitted need to understand how the rules have changed.  See the Press Citizen link below. Caucus goers will be directed to consolidated locations, where they will first be subject to a campaign speech on behalf of Obama.  Furthermore, there will be two sets of "results" reported to the press.  The first, following the surrogate video speech, will be the total number in attendance, and the number who have volunteered for the Obama campaign.  These "results" are designed to be reported to the national press at...

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Protesters Use Aging Bridge to Illustrate Country's Economic Peril

Protesters Use Aging Bridge to Illustrate Country's Economic Peril

The message of a group of protesters that marched across the Park Road Bridge shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday morning was broad, but partially tied to the very structure they walked on. The signs of aging on the nearly 50-year-old bridge that spans the Iowa River are obvious: chipping paint, bent side rails and chunks of concrete missing. A sign draped over the side of the bridge read, “This bridge needs work. So do we.” The bridge was chosen as an example of the many bridges,...

Tara Bannow Iowa City Press-Citizen 17 Nov 2011 Hits:570 Iowa

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'Occupy' Targets Iowa Caucuses

'Occupy' Targets Iowa Caucuses

The state’s protesters are inviting fellow Occupiers from across the country to “occupy” the campaign offices of the Republican presidential candidates and President Barack Obama in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state, The Des Moines Register reports. “You go inside, or if they won’t let you in, you shut ’em down. You sit in front of their doors,” Frank Cordaro of Des Moines, the man credited for the idea of the “First in the Nation Caucus Occupation,” told the Register. “Who knows? It could be a...

MJ Lee | Politico 01 Nov 2011 Hits:548 Iowa

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Harkin Statement on Pending Trade Agreements

Harkin Statement on Pending Trade Agreements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement as the U.S. Senate considers trade agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama. “I took many aspects of these trade agreements and their impact on my home state of Iowa into account as I decided my vote on these proposals. I understand that there are important provisions that could reduce or eliminate obstacles to increase exports of Iowa agricultural products, manufactured goods and services offered by Iowa businesses. I listened intently to those who favor these agreements as...

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