Bold Iowa’s bird-dogging of presidential candidates on climate change continues to generate interest. Over the course of the presidential campaign, we were quoted or mentioned in many major US publications, including USA Today, Bloomberg News, US News and World Report, The New York Times, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal.
Our effort continues to grab attention. Last week Bold Iowa’s director, Ed Fallon, was featured in The Independent — a British news publication with a monthly reach of just under 23 million. The story by Alex Woodward is titled Joe Biden told these voters to vote for someone else. Here’s what they want from his campaign.
Fallon and one of the other voters profiled in the story — Michaelyn Mankel of the Sunrise Movement — had questioned Biden about climate change last year. Video of those exchanges went viral. Yet despite the uncomfortable exchange with Biden, Fallon makes it emphatically clear that he plans to vote for Biden in the fall.
Here are excerpts from The Independent story:
During the candidate’s repeat visits to the state, Mr Fallon and his Bold Iowa organisation have pressed him on his positions on climate change, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and whether he supports removing or replacing older gas pipelines leaking methane, after giving apparently contradictory statements over his opposition to new construction.
“When a candidate was evasive we [Bold Iowa’s bird dogs] came back and tried to get them on record where they really stood,” Mr Fallon told The Independent.
“Though Mr Fallon has been disillusioned with the Obama administration’s climate response (what Mr Fallon said “promised us the moon” but “delivered a whole bag of mixed messages” in return), he admits that Mr Biden — joining a growing chorus among Democrats — can now speak to the urgency of the moment.
“It’s good to see that the input of Bernie Sanders and other progressive voices within the Democratic party seem to be taken seriously by Biden,” he said.
If Mr Biden ultimately receives the party’s nomination, Mr Fallon will be supporting him in November, just as he promised the former vice president on the campaign trail.
“The bottom line is, I’ve had six or seven statements from Biden — how many have I had with Trump?” he said. “Trump is a firm climate denier. He’s doing everything he can to worsen the crisis. … [Biden] may not be strongest on climate, but given the alternative, I really hope people will follow Senator Sanders’ lead on this and support Biden.”
Mr Fallon says the “gold standard” is for Mr Biden to declare a climate emergency “on day one” of his administration, contrasting the moment to President Trump’s first day, in which he reauthorized Keystone and DAPL pipelines.
“Biden is going to become increasingly clear he’s got to take some major leadership,” he said. “We need a president who understands the climate and the urgency to act on day one to address it.”
With Mr Biden in office, climate organisers like Mr Fallon are “going to work our tail off to hold him accountable” to the demands of the crisis.
“With Trump you can’t even do that,” he said. “At least with Biden you can have the conversation. Voters need to remember this is not a choice between an evil and ideal candidate. It’s a choice between evil and someone who is going to at least not going to lead us down the road to oblivion.”
Thanks again to all Bold Iowans who took the time and made the effort last year to bird dog presidential candidates. We continue to influence the conversation, not just in Iowa but across the nation and around the world.
The Bold Iowa Team