Get inspired and informed.

We are excited to unveil the four, ok five, dynamic workshops being presented by our great guest speakers. 

This year, back by popular demand, you will have the opportunity to attend TWO workshops instead of just one! Rest assured, all the workshops will have one common underlying theme – confronting corporate power.


Moral action in the fight to confront corporate power:

What are some of the direct actions and demonstrations over the past year that stick out most in your mind? Why do you remember those? Together we’ll dig in on our own history of direct action as an organization and look at recent examples of those that utilized the power of personal stories (think the I am the 99% tumbler photos and OccupyourHomesMN). Sally will guide break out group discussions on we can inject our personal stories and more to move hearts and minds and up the level of pressure in our fight to confront corporate power!

Speaker:  Sally Kohn Sharp as a tack, witty, and a tough, speak-truth-to-power commentator, Sally is brave enough to be the progressive voice on Fox News. Yes, Fox News.


Exposing ALEC and other corporate lies:

You’ve probably seen the headlines – people pressure has forced 25 giant corporations to pull out of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). But there’s still more to be done. In this revealing workshop, Lisa will lay out the breadth of their pro-corporate agenda and what that means for our communities and our democracy and discuss what grassroots groups can do to stay on the offense against big-money corporate front groups locally and nationally.

Speaker:  Lisa Graves — We wouldn’t know nearly as much as we do about ALEC were it not for Lisa and the Center for Media & Democracy, a leading organization on exposing corporate spin and disinformation over the past 20 years.


The long road to justice: how corporate power feeds on racism:

In this riveting workshop Heather will dig deep on the ties between corporate power and institutionalized racism and how views that we now see as fringe and extreme have actually, and intentionally, come to form the basis for several key economic policies that exist today. She’ll also share some big ideas for what we need to do to reverse this trend with a progressive economy that works for all.

Speaker:  Heather McGhee — a forward-thinker with years of experience dismantling racism and envisioning a new economy that works for all, Heather is VP of populist think–tank Demos.


Taking on corporate power in Minnesota – Lessons for Iowa:

From affordable healthcare to factory farming, corporate power is getting in the way. Mark will share hopeful organizing stories from the Minnesota countryside about everyday people standing together to get action on these issues and discuss how we must take on corporate power with racial equity and escalating tactics.

Speaker:  Mark Schultz—a long-time powerhouse organizer, Mark is the associate director of the Land Stewardship Project, a CCI ally organization.


“Fire Bruce Rastetter” Strategy Session:

We’ll take this session to dig in and develop strategy for our “Fire Bruce Rastetter” campaign. Rastetter abused his position on the Board of Regents, exploited African refugees and diminished Iowa State’s Ag reputation all for his own personal financial gain. This is our best chance to show that this type of politics is not what we want in Iowa and this is not the future we want for our land grant universities. We want big thinkers in this session, but more importantly members who are willing to play an active role in some way – be it calls, letters to the editors, turnout.

Speakers:  Mark Schultz, CCI staff and members


>>Read more about the speakers by clicking here

>>Go back to the home convention page


RSVP online today or contact us at 515-255-0800.


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Bruce Rastetter is no stranger to Iowa CCI members. We started fighting his Heartland Pork factory farms in the late 90’s. Since then he has continued to make his big money mark across Iowa, starting and selling ethanol plants under his Hawkeye Renewables, and most recently with his AgriSol effort. His political power has grown too, through hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to candidates, and millions spent in shadowy political attack groups like the American Future Fund and Team Iowa PAC.

Yesterday we filed a conflict of interest complaint against Rastetter. (Read some of the press coverage of the event here) Now we have compiled a timeline of Rastetter’s involvement in the AgriSol affair and his attempts to use ISU to further the project.


2007: Rastetter donates $1.7 million to ISU

2008: Rastetter begins talks with Tanzanian government

2009: Collaboration between ISU and AgriSol begins

2010: Rastetter is the single biggest donor to the Branstad campaign, giving more than $164,000.


February 25: Branstad appoints Rastetter to Board of Regents

May 1: Rastetter’s term begins: he should have recused himself from discussions of an ISU partnership with AgriSol at this point.

May 18: Rastetter finances a $13,000 trip for ISU officials to Tanzania


June 14: Des Moines Register publishes AgriSol expose

June 17: Rastetter discloses his financial interest in AgriSol to the public

July: Rastetter elected President Pro Tem of Board of Regents

September 13: Rastetter finally recuses himself from discussions of partnering with ISU — four months after he becomes a Regent.

September 26: Dan Rather reports on AgriSol


February: ISU cuts all ties to Tanzania project

April 24: Rastetter files a false financial disclosure report with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

June 19: Iowa CCI members file a conflict of interest complaint against Rastetter with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

Take Action

  • Join hundreds of other Iowans calling on Gov. Branstad to fire Bruce Rastetter —  the man unable to separate his role as an Iowa public Regent from his personal financial interest. Click here to read more and add your name.

Join the fight

When: Saturday, July 14 – 9AM- 4PM

Where: Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston

Why: Good times, great speakers, meet up with others, fight corporate power!


Speakers             Workshops             Details


You don’t want to miss one of CCI’s most powerful and energetic events of the year. The 2012 annual convention will be filled with nationally-recognized speakers and an action packed agenda to take on corporate power.

The 99% Spring was just the beginning of a nationwide movement to confront corporate power and this years convention will be the next major step to bring our “People First” message to the doorstep of decision-makers and corporate executives.

  • Register today

    For only $45 you will join hundreds of other like-minded folks to take on corporate power.

  • Agenda for the 14th:

8:00     Registration opens   Coffee/social hour,   Silent pie auction begins             

9:00     Opening Plenary Celebrating another victorious year

10:05   Workshops Session 1

Sally Kohn — Moral action in the fight to confront corporate power

Heather McGhee — The long road to justice:  how racism benefits corporate power

Lisa Graves — Exposing ALEC and other corporate lies.

*Mark Schultz — Taking on corporate power in Minnesota  – Lessons for Iowa

11:10   Workshops Session 2

Sally Kohn — Moral action in the fight to confront corporate power

Heather McGhee — The long road to justice:  how racism benefits corporate power

Lisa Graves — Exposing ALEC and other corporate lies

*Mark Schultz & CCI Staff— Taking on  Rastetter—Iowa’s version of the Koch brothers

12:15   Lunch

12:45   Panel Discussion with four guest speakers       What will it take to move money out and put people in?

2:00   Call to Action

4:00    Closing Plenary

Also don’t forget to mark Friday, July 13th at 6PM on your calendars. We are hosting our annual kick-off party at the CCI headquarters with dinner, beverages and time to mingle with old friends, lots of members and our guest speakers!

>> Read more about our great guest speakers

>> Learn more about the workshop sessions

>> Find out all the details you need to know about the 14th

RSVP online today or contact us at 515-255-0800.

Online registration closes at midnight. In case you missed it you can show up Saturday morning and register at the door!


Click LIKE and TWEET to invite your friends to join you!

This year we are very lucky to be having four nationally recognized leaders coming to Iowa to speak at our Money Out, People In: Confront Corporate Power Statewide Convention.


Each speaker will present a workshop, and all four will speak at a panel discussion after lunch.


Below are their bios, a few words why staff are excited they are coming and a video clip!


Heather McGhee

Heather is the Director of the Washington office of Demos, a non-partisan policy center working on developing strategies for a more equitable economy, a more  robust democracy and a strong public sector that can provide for everyday people’s common interests and needs. Heather is an influential and dynamic speaker, with frequent commentary featured in media outlets like Current TV, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and CNN. Her vision centers on working towards a new economy that includes and functions for everyday people.

Why is Chris excited for Heather’s workshop?

“I first met Heather at the National People’s Action Organizers Conference (NPA), where she fired up the room by talking about the need to meet the pro-corporate agenda head on. I can’t wait to hear Heather speak because she has been a leading voice for young people, powerfully demanding that the generation now entering the workforce has everything they need to live to their full potential to keep the American Dream alive.”

Listen to a few words from Heather on big money in politics:



Sally Kohn

Sally  is a veteran community organizer and passionate political commentator. She was Senior Campaign Strategist with the Center for Community Change, a 40-year-old hub of grassroots organizations nationwide. Sally makes complex political issues accessible for everyday audiences. A grassroots strategist actively engaged in movement building for equality and justice, she is a regular on Fox News (including Hannity, O’Reilly Factor, Megyn Kelly), CNN (American Morning, CNN Newsroom) and MSNBC (Ed Show).

Why is Adam excited for Sally’s workshop?

“The first time I met Sally, I knew she was a “speak truth to power” justice fighter. Now five years later you can find Sally giving them hell on Fox News, writing great op-eds and stories with a tough progressive take on today’s public issues, or luckily enough – at the Iowa CCI Convention!”

Listen to Sally speak on Fox News regarding the revenue crisis  and taxing the rich:


Lisa Graves

Lisa is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the publisher of PR Watch, SourceWatch, BanksterUSA, and The CMD has been one of the leading forces behind uncovering the inner workings of the right-wing think tank, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pushed “Stand your ground”, voter ID and anti-immigrant laws across the country. Lisa previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government, as well as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy. She has also appeared as an expert on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and on numerous radio shows, including National Public Radio and Democracy Now!

Why is Matthew excited for Lisa’s workshop?

“If you don’t know who Lisa is she runs the Center for Media and Democracy which was the first organization to blow the lid wide open on ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) dirty secrets. I’m particularly excited to see her because I know she will lay bare the corporate manifesto and right wing spin machine, exposing the corporate lies and disinformation from ALEC to Fox News.”

Check out the video below to see Lisa at a D.C. rally protesting ALEC’s “Stand Your Ground” law:


Mark Schultz

Mark is a long-time friend and ally of Iowa CCI. As the Policy Program Director of Land Stewardship Project in Minnesota and an integral partner in the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment he confronted corporate power by organizing the campaign against the mandatory pork check-off. Mark was also a founding board member of our NPA allies to the north, TakeAction Minnesota, and currently serves as their board chair. For his take on corporate power and structural racism, click here.

Why is Ruth excited for Mark’s workshop?

“You should come see Mark Schultz from Land Stewardship Project (LSP) for one main reason. Forget that LSP passed local control in Minnesota. Forget that they’re fighting frack sand mining corporations. Forget that they are taking on corporate power in the health care industry. Just know this: Mark Schultz is the best organizer I know.  And, I’m not just saying that because he’s my dad! ;)”

Get to know a little more about Mark and his organizing by watching this video:


Each speaker will present a workshop, and all four will speak at a panel discussion on confronting corporate power to reclaim our democracy!

>>Go back to the convention homepage

>> Learn more about the workshop sessions

RSVP online today or contact us at 515-255-0800.

Click LIKE and TWEET to invite your friends to join you!

You and I have a key opportunity to elevate our “People First” message in the media and with the political parties Jan. 3.

Since the national spotlight is on us, we are uniquely positioned to drive home – in a big way – a vision of good government that puts communities before corporations and people before profits.

That’s why we’re asking you to print out and take the resolutions below  to your caucuses and work to get them adopted into the party platform.  Our resolutions are woven together by a common theme – that government needs to work for everyday people and the 99%, not big money corporate interests and the 1%.

Step 1: Print out the resolutions

Step 2: Find your caucus location

All caucuses begin at 7 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 3. It is recommended you get there 20-30 minutes early. You must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican to participate in the party’s caucus, but don’t worry you can register or re-register at the door. Just in case bring your photo ID and a document, like a bill, that proves where you live. If you’ll be 18 by election day (11/6/12), you can participate!

Step 3: Attend and work to get your resolution introduced

Resolutions are general presented towards the end. Be prepared to read it aloud. If passed resolutions work their way up through both party platforms. It’s a great way to show party leaders that we’re fed up with business as usual from Washington DC, Wall Street and at our Iowa Statehouse.

Step 4: Let us know how it goes!

Contact us at 515-282-0484 or shoot us a line at iowacci @ to let us know your resolution passed and what precinct you are in. Also, don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions. 


Please click “Like” or “Tweet” below to encourage your friends to take these caucus resolutions to their caucus!