Wendy for Governor Campaign

Wendy Barth is running for the Governor of Iowa on the Green Party ticket, along with running mate Richard Johnson candidate for Lt. Governor.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Paperless Voting


October 27, 2006

CEDAR RAPIDS - Iowa Green Party gubernatorial candidate Wendy Barth
offered a response to comments from Linn County Auditor Linda
Langenberg. In a recent news article Langenberg referred to those who
raise concerns about the accuracy of electronic voting machines as

"As a career software engineer, I understand just how easily errors in
programming code can be overlooked," Barth responded, "and how difficult
it can be to thoroughly test a piece of software this complex. In
addition, it has been demonstrated by several testing groups that these
machines can be compromised rather easily. Given this the concerns of
the public are legitimate, and are deserving of consideration by the
Auditor. I understand that Ms. Langenberg feels she deserves to be
trusted, but the voting public deserve more reassurance than a simple
'trust me.’”'

Barth's running mate, Richard Johnson, added, "Having spent the last
fifteen years of my career as a network engineer I can assure you that
the risk of intrusion into these computers is real. There are
documented instances where the computers controlling these voting
machines have not only been "hacked," to use the popular term, but where
results have been changed without the operators being able to detect it.
I cannot understand someone dismissing these threats so lightly."

Recent testing by Princeton University
(http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting) has demonstrated how vulnerable
these computers are, and how easily intrusion into these computers can
be hidden. There have also been numerous reports of errors from these
voting machines reported in Ohio, Florida, and Georgia. A number of
states and counties are requiring that the machines have a verifiable
paper trail that includes a receipt for the voter and a printed
verification report.

At a meeting of supporters in Cedar Rapids earlier today, Barth
announced, "Our campaign is calling for an independent audit of the code
used to program these machines by qualified software engineers, as well
as a real paper trail with receipt that can be verified by the voter as
they cast their ballot. Every electronic cash register in the state
prints receipts, so why not our voting machines? It is inexcusable that
the gambling equipment in our casinos, which must pass regular
independent inspection, is subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than
our voting machines."

For more information on the voting machine problems here in Iowa and
throughout the nation go to the following websites:

VoteTrust USA - http://www.votetrustusa.org/
Iowa Voters for Open and Transparent Elections - http://www.iowavoters.org/
Iowans for Voting Integrity - http://iowansforvotingintegrity.org

For more information or further comments on the issue:

Wendy Barth for Governor
P.O. Box 1234
Iowa City, IA 52244-1234

Wendy Barth, IAGP Candidate for Governor
Phone: 319-363-5345
E-Mail: iagp-campaign@usa.net

Rick Johnson, Media Coordinator and IAGP Candidate for Lt. Governor
Phone: 319-601-1364
E-Mail: seiowagreen@fastmail.fm

Moratorium on CAFOs

October 23, 2006


CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - Appearing before supporters in Tipton on Monday
night, Iowa Green Party candidate for governor Wendy Barth called for a
moratorium on the construction of hog confinement facilities (CAFOs) in
the state. “With many citizens mobilizing to oppose the expansion of
CAFOs across the state, it is time to stop and address their concerns,”
Barth said. “Iowans are demonstrating their concern for the air and
water quality issues, the public health issues, and the issue of
consistent rule enforcement that are being raised by this movement.”

Across the state Iowans are calling for the legislature to craft rules
that will protect the citizens of Iowa while providing consistency for
our pork producers. A grass-roots organization in Marshall County is
the most recent group to join in this effort.

“The only way to address these issues completely and forthrightly is to
impose a moratorium on the construction of confinement facilities until
the legislature has the opportunity to examine the facts surrounding
CAFOs,” candidate Barth said on Monday. “The air, water and land we
hold in trust for our children is at risk, and their future depends on
our actions today.”

For more information:
Wendy Barth for Governor
P.O. Box 1234
Iowa City, IA 52244-1234

Wendy Barth, IAGP Candidate for Governor
Phone: 319-363-5345
E-Mail: iagp-campaign@usa.net

Rick Johnson, Media Coordinator and IAGP Candidate for Lt. Governor
Phone: 319-601-1364
E-Mail: seiowagreen@fastmail.fm

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cedar Rapids Wastewater Permit - DNR Meeting

We had a good showing of concerned citizens last night at City Hall. There were about 50 people in the room, which included representatives from the DNR staff, the Iowa Enviromnental Council, the Sierra Club, Iowa Green Party members, Iowa Fly Fishermen's Association, neighbors that live downstream, and neighbors who let their children wade in the Cedar River at Palisades-Kepler state park. The Sierra Club and The Iowa Environmental Council brought lawyers and other experts who explained in detail how the DNR was not in compliance with the Clean Water Act and EPA standards with the proposed permit.

Cedar Rapids municipal wastewater treatment plant treats wastewater from 5 major industries in the city as well as all the domestic wastewater. Approximately 80% of the water treated is from big industry. The argument goes that if each of these industries had their own separate wastewater treatment permit, the total would add up to what was proposed in the new permit. However, the law has a "no backsliding" provision - you cannot go from cleaner to dirtier water without a compelling reason, which has not been offered in this case.

We need to protect the mussel population at Palisades-Kepler. The mussels, also known as fresh-water clams, are imperiled, and this action would wipe them out.
Fresh water clams require fresh water to survive, which this permit would deprive them of.

A representative from Cargill spoke in favor of the new permit. The manager of the wastewater treatment plant spoke and said that he would like to have a permit.
Big industries, especially publicly traded industries, are always under pressure to make more money. One way to do this is to "externalize" the cost of cleaning up your messes. It's a selfish and narrow understanding of efficiency. If you look at the big picture, clearly it is cheaper to clean up the mess at the source rather than trying to clean ut up after it has been dumped in the river. er and expecting the towns downstream to clean it up.

The DNR has extended the comment period. You can send your comments to:

Courtney Cswercko, NPDES Permits Section
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources
Wallace Building
502 E 9th St
Des Moines, IA 52319

or email to: courtney.cswercko@dnr.state.ia.us

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The latest poll - 15 percent reject either

15 percent of Iowan likely voters polled, when asked to choose between Culver and Nussle, refused to do so.

Des Moines Register Poll

A new Des Moines Register poll shows Culver leading Nussle, 46 percent to 39 percent, among Iowans who say they definitely plan to vote, or who have already voted, in the Nov. 7 election.
The poll, conducted Oct. 8-11, asked the following:
If the election for Iowa governor were held today, and the candidates were Jim Nussle for the Republicans and Chet Culver for the Democrats, for whom would you vote?
Letter to the Editor of the Des Moines Register

The next time you do a poll of the governor's race, why not do a fair poll, and ask people:
Of the five candidates for governor on the ballot, whom will you vote for:
Democrat Chet Culver,
Republican Jim Nussle,
Green Wendy Barth,
Libertarian Kevin Litton, or
Socialist Worker Mary Martin?"

Is the Des Moines Register unaware that there are five candidates on the ballot? Many of the other papers in the state have figured this out by now.

Wendy Barth
Green Party Candidate for Governor.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Louisa-Muscatine School Technology Demo

Rick and I were at Louisa-Muscatine elementary school for the Technology demonstration, I as a candidate, and he as the technology director. This is a rural school which busses in all of its students, some riding as much as an hour each way to attend classes. It's a large elementary school with over 500 students. The building is relatively new, built in 1994, and was wired for computers from the beginning. They use computers a lot for drills and tutoring. The big new thing is the use of iPods for test taking. They especially tout the use by mainstreamed special students, who otherwise would need someone to read the questions to them - they can listen to the iPod and replay the questions as much as they want. This frees the teachers to be tending to the big picture.
Find out more at http://www.apple.com/education/profiles/louisamuscatine/

We were very well documented by several students with digital cameras who interviewed the candidates and recorded the presentation. I'm told that the report would be on the Flacon Network by the end of the week. There was someone from the newspaper there too.

I'm guessing that there is an opportunity for creating educational iPod content at the elementary school level.

David Korton

Friday October 6 we had a very good turnout in Cedar Rapids to hear David Korton promoting The Great Turning From Empire to Earth Community.
Mr Korton is very nice and personable, and he has spent a great deal of time focusing on the big dilemma of our time: how to turn the self-destructive tendencies of corporate power around, and replace our wasteful current system with a sustainable eco-friendly economy that respects us all.

I highly recommend you check out his work. at http://www.davidkorten.org/


I am quite impressed with the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance. They are certainly a model for the rest of the state when it comes to clean water. I attended the Dickenson County Issues Forum on October 8. The topic was "The Water Cycle, You and Government." They are upgrading their sewer system so that the effluent will be "swimmable and fishable" when it comes out of the pipe and into Mill Stream. Something we all should aspire to, in my opinion.

They had some fantastic data of their watershed - topographical data at 1 foot resolution that they can animate in 3D, maps showing concrete and rooftop vs. green space, etc. They are using this information to protect the beautiful lakes that are foundation of their economy, especially by making adjustments to planned development to handle storm runoff. The data was collected with LIDAR, which uses lasers to get data similar to radar data.

The parking lot has a bioswale to collect and filter storm water before it reaches the lakes. It was raining so we got to see that in action, and the permeable pavement that allowed water to soak thru it.

I asked Mike Hawkins of the DNR if it was true that Iowa had some of the worst water in the nation. His specialty is lakes, and his reply was that we have some of the most nutrient rich lakes in the nation, which is a problem.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sioux City

The Floyd Boulevard Local Foods Market on Saturday morning is a friendly place. There is lots of good healthy organic or near-organic fruits, vegetables, and even meats. Lots of artists have booths there too. There is an old fire house that has been converted into a restaurant (Firehouse 29) which uses locally produced foods, and a meat shop (One Stop Meat Shop) that has an amazing variety of free-range, antibiotic free meats including buffalo, pork, beef, fish, chicken, lamb, turkey, duck, geese, and even elk!
We discussed decentralization, immigration issues, home schooling and education. Channel 4 TV was there, we did a quick interview and they caught some footage of me talking with vendors. The scene is: Two women artists with paintings of flowers and fruits. I introduce myself, give them my brochure, and point out the Ten Key Values of the Green Party on the back. The women read through the values, and seeing a value that she relates to, one woman raises her fist and says, "Yes!"

If Channel 4 will give me a copy, I'll try to get it up on the web.

It was a long drive from Cedar Rapids to Sioux City, we followed the full moon much of the way. we passed through Early fairly early in the morning, after sunrise, and just west of Early on highway 20 we passed through a stand of at least a hundred large wind generators stretching along the ridge, turning gently in the southerly breeze. It was beautiful.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Cedar Rapids Water Pollution

The Cedar Rapids Wastewater Treatment Plant is requesting permission to increase the amount of pollution it dumps into the Cedar River. The proposed permit would allow substantial increases in permit limits without complying with anti-degradation or anti-backsliding requirements of the Clean Water Act. These increases are proposed without explanation as to why they are necessary or whether alternatives are available. The proposed effluent limits would allow the City of Cedar Rapids to legally discharge concentrations of ammonia over twenty-five times greater than normally contained in untreated domestic sewage and the proposed daily cyanide discharge limit is nearly four times greater than the amount allowed in the previous permit. Increased pollution discharge limits are especially objectionable because the Cedar River is considered an impaired waterway downstream from the Cedar Rapids facility. See http://www.votewendy.org/CedarRapidsWastewater.doc for more details.

A hearing on this proposal is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Thursday October 19th at the Cedar Rapids City Hall, 50 Second Avenue Bridge, in the 4th floor Council Chambers.

Please join me there.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Proposed Coal-fired Electric Plant near Waterloo

There are plans to build a huge coal-fired electric plant near Waterloo. The electricity to be generated by this plant is not for Iowans – it will be sold to big cities outside Iowa. Why do they want to build this plant in Iowa, then? Because coal fired plants create a lot of air pollution, and the air in these cities is already polluted. Our air is much cleaner, so they want to dump their pollution on us! Here we are, putting up clean efficient wind turbines to generate our own electricity, and some out-of state corporation wants to pollute our clean air to generate electricity for their use!

They get the power, they get the profits, we get the pollution. That’s not a good deal for Iowa.

for details, see http://yellowbkpk.com/cleanairwaterloo/waterloo.php

Monday, October 02, 2006

Virtual Debate tonight


Iowa Green Party candidate for governor Wendy Barth will take part -
virtually - even if not present in person for tonight's gubernatorial
debate sponsored by KCRG-TV.

Iowa's debate sponsors have held with the 15% rule - if a candidate is
polling 15% or more, they will be invited to take part in the major
debates. However, Barth notes that, "without the same kinds of
financial resources the major party candidates have, it's 'virtually'
impossible for third party candidates to achieve enough awareness
among the general public to gain 15% in the polls."

It's a good thing access to the internet is less cost-prohibitive.
The former software engineer plans to view tonight's debate and answer
the questions by uploading her responses to her campaign website:

The "Debates" page should automatically refresh every 30 seconds, with
the latest - and perhaps the most "refreshing" - responses.

The Virtual Debate was originally created by Iowa Greens in 2002 and
has since been adopted by Green candidates nationwide.