Bernie Sanders

Sunday, January 26, 2020
Town Hall at La Poste
Perry, Iowa
Bird Dogs: Michelle Bruggenthies and Samantha Kuhn

Bold Iowa bird dog, Samantha Kuhn, went to Perry for a Town Hall with Sanders, Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez, and Michael Moore. Sanders talked about the climate crisis at length, stressing the importance that we have to do something NOW.

As an amusing side note, right at the beginning of the event, several protesters interrupted the Town Hall in the first five minutes, frantically screaming about not eating dairy. They were at the front of the crowd and a couple of them snuck in the line behind Sanders. They were escorted by security guards.


Thursday, January 23, 2020
Des Moines, Iowa
Bird Dogs: Shaun Ahern and Samantha Kuhn

Bold Iowa bird dogs Sam and Shaun discovered that unbeknownst to them, they have been helping the Sanders’ campaign. During one of the MANY events Shaun and Sam went to this summer, they were photographed with a bunch of Bernie supporters. In this day and age, with people take pictures of everything and everyone, our bird dogs didn’t even think twice about it — until they saw the latest Caucus for Bernie poster. Right smack in the middle of the picture is Sam holding a very familiar “Be Bold on Climate” sign with Shaun looking on. Since it is the only non-Bernie sign in the picture and it is in such a prominent position, it’s fair to say Sander’s campaign is stressing the importance of the climate crisis. After all, they could have easily photo-shopped a Bernie sign over the climate poster.


Saturday, January 11, 2020
Newton, Iowa
Bird Dogs: Kathy Byrnes, Ed Fallon, Steve Martin

Ed asked Sanders if he would declare a climate emergency on Day One if elected president. In an abbreviated response, instead of answering the question, Sanders said that he and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez have introduced legislation calling for a climate emergency. Ed points out, “That could take a long time to pass, or more likely, it wouldn’t pass at all. I asked Sanders if he would use his executive authority to launch a climate emergency, and he didn’t say he would. That was disappointing.”


Sunday, January 5, 2020
Des Moines, Iowa
Bird Dogs: Kathy Byrnes

Anyone who has been to Bernie Sanders’s events know how hard it is to talk to the man one-on-one—he is constantly surrounded by press, staffers, Bernie fans and everyone else in this state it seems. One of our Climate Bird Dogs was almost run down by the press twice during the Iowa State Fair in an attempt to get a word with Bernie, likening it to running with the bulls in Pamplona! But lo and behold, here he is with Kathy Byrnes, in front of her Birds and Bees Urban Farm! Bernie was just walking down the street, passing by the farm/Bold Iowa/Ed and Kathy’s, when she managed to get him to stop and say hello: “Only in Iowa does this happen out of the blue. When Bernie Sanders’s staffer, who took the photo put her coffee down, I had to tell her, ‘You just set your cup in horse manure.'” Only in Iowa, indeed! #IACaucus2020 #urbanfarm #climatecrisis


Saturday, November 9, 2019
Des Moines
Bird Dogs: Shaun Ahern, Kathy Byrnes, Ed Fallon, Lysa Fysk, Todd Steichen

Bold Iowa bird dogs, Ed Fallon and Kathy Byrnes, were interviewed by Isabella Murray of the Iowa Starting Line who was asking their opinion of whether or not Bernie Sanders can rightly be called the new “Climate Candidate.” Read their thoughts on the subject and those of other Iowans by clicking the following link:


Saturday, November 9, 2019
Des Moines
Bird Dogs: Shaun Ahern, Kathy Byrnes, Ed Fallon, Lysa Fysk, Todd Steichen

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Oscario-Cortez hosted a Climate Summit at Drake University which resulted in a full auditorium with standing room only. Our climate bird dogs are seen here with panelist Mechelle Sky Walker, a member of the Omaha Nation and an active water protector who has been protesting the Keystone Pipeline.

Ed Fallon was also interviewed briefly right before the summit by Chris Robinson of nozyproductions. Click below to watch video:


Sunday, September 8, 2019
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Bird Dogs: Shaun Ahern, Kathy Byrnes, Ed Fallon, Lisa Kinney

Sanders speaks about the imperative for climate action. Note that he is not using a plastic water bottle.

Climate Bird Dogs hold up signs during applause breaks and after Sanders spoke about the need for climate action. (Photo by Julie Charikov)

Sanders spoke to about 500 people, mostly students. We stood in front of him and displayed our “Climate is a Crisis” signs at appropriate moments throughout his speech. Afterward, Ed Fallon spoke with Sanders about the proposed expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sanders seemed to be aware of what was happening. His reaction strongly suggests that he is opposed to the expansion.

Shaun Ahern, Kathy Byrnes, Lisa Kinney (Photo by Ed Fallon)

Ed asks Bernie to speak out about the doubling of oil in the Dakota Access Pipeline, in this video taken by Kathy Byrnes.

Bernie talks climate during his remarks, in this video taken by Ed Fallon.


Sunday, August 21, 2019
Des Moines
Bird Dogs: Valerie Madison, Sam Kuhn, Shaun Ahern, Ed Fallon

The forum was focused on health care. We tried to catch Sanders afterwards to push him to come out against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but we weren’t able to catch him. Valerie, who sat in the front row with a Bold Iowa “Climate is a Crisis” sign mentioned climate as a prelude to her question about a friend with a medical emergency that the current system is failing to address.


Sunday, August 11, 2019
Iowa State Fair, Des Moines
Bird Dogs: Shaun Ahern, Anmol Pakhale, Sam Kuhn, Kathy Byrnes, Ed Fallon, Shari Hrdina


Saturday, March 9, 2019
Des Moines
Bird Dogs: Kathy Byrnes, Sam Kuhn, Adrianne Erickson, Blake Erickson, Kari Noble, Todd Steichen, Jennie Erwin, Lysa Fisk, Marty Monroe, Brenda Milligan

Bold Iowa signs on display during Bernie Sanders’ Des Moines rally, March 9, 2019

Our squad of climate bird doggers wasn’t intimidated by the Sanders campaign’s decision to prohibit signs. Our message of urgency on the climate crisis is simply too important to be silenced. When Sanders began to talk climate in the middle of his speech (see video below, through the 47:46 mark), the signs came out. At one point, Sanders looked right at us and then appeared to go off script, comparing the lies spread by the fossil-fuel industry to the lies spread by big tobacco companies. At his Des Moines rally, Sanders talked about climate change for nearly twice as long as he did in Iowa City and Council Bluffs, and we suspect the presence of our signs had everything to do with it.

Sanders platform on climate change is both strong and genuine. Yet we’re disappointed that climate doesn’t receive top billing in his platform. The issues he addresses are important, critical even. But none of them will matter if our leaders don’t prioritize the gravest existential crisis humanity has ever faced.


Thursday, March 7, 2019
Council Bluffs
Bird Dog: Melanie Williams-Smotherman

Melanie Williams-Smotherman (r) and Michelle Free-Lamere (l)

After announcing his decision to run for president, Bernie Sanders held his first Iowa rally. We prepared signs reading “Be Bold on Climate” and “Climate is a Crisis.” The plan was for volunteers to hold them up when Sanders spoke about climate.

We were surprised to learn that signs wouldn’t be allowed. “The staff told us explicitly that no homemade signs were allowed,” wrote Melanie, who also volunteers with the Sanders campaign. “The coordinator explained that it’s unfortunate, but they’ve been burned by allowing what they thought were supportive messages, only to have those signs turned around to display damaging messages.”

Ed Fallon said, “Sanders talks about the climate crisis in strong terms, and I’m happy to see that. But it’s disturbing that his campaign refuses to let voters express their views and creativity with signs — even supportive signs. I understand the risk, but it’s better to error on the side of the First Amendment than to stifle positive creative messaging from the grassroots.”