Bernie Sanders’ New Political Group Endorses Iowa Dems Kroeger, Meyer, Kacena

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A cheery Bernie Sanders greets supporters Monday night in Des Moines after a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses. Photo: Jon Lemons/Iowa Informer

In an effort to build on the movement he inspired during his run for president, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday launched Our Revolution, an organization whose goal is to “reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the ‘political revolution.'”

Our Revolution’s website has published a list of candidates it’s endorsing who are running for state office, including three in Iowa: Gary Kroeger, Teresa Meyer, and Tim Kacena.

Kroeger, an advertising executive and former Saturday Night Live cast member, is challenging Cedar Falls Republican state Rep. Walt Rogers in House District 60 after deciding not to run for Congress in the Democratic primary won by former Cedar Rapids council member Monica Vernon to challenge incumbent Rod Blum.

Meyer is running in House District 63 against second-term Janesville Republican Sandy Salmon after the Waverly resident emerged victorious in a three-way Democratic primary.

Kacena, an Army vet and retired firefighter from Sioux City, is running for western Iowa’s House District 14 seat left vacant by outgoing state Rep. David Dawson, also a Sioux City Democrat. He’s challenging Republican Bob Henderson, a Sioux City educator and founding member of Freedom Fest, a Christian music festival.

“Through supporting a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering millions to fight for progressive change and elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution will transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families,” the website’s About page reads. “Our Revolution has three intertwined goals: to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders and elevate the political consciousness.”

While the news of Our Revolution has been met with excitement by Sanders supporters eager to see his political vision live on, the group’s gotten off to a rocky start, with staff resignations and criticism that, as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, it has the same designation as the dark money groups that have been able to skirt campaign finance donor disclosure laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.