99% Will Occupy 99 Counties: Occupy Iowa Targets Caucus

Occupy Iowa plans to occupy the state’s caucus in January. Will they be able to impact the discourse of the primary season?

One of the most widely-publicized, grassroots-oriented events is about to get occupied by another, newer and angrier grassroots movement. Occupy Iowa’s General Assembly has voted in favor of occupying the state’s caucus in early January. This will include both Republican candidates’ and President Obama’s offices at the caucus.

Iowa’s caucus, set for January 3rd, will almost definitely now come before the New Hampshire primary, which came close to scheduling its own vote as early as late December so that they could abide by their own policy of holding their primary at least one week before any “similar event,” which kind of sounds vague and possibly ominous until you remember that we’re talking about political primaries. Although I am sort of terrified at the prospect of any of the three main contenders winning the nomination, whether pizza-loving Uzbekibekibekibekistanstan Cain, defund-the-government Perry or Mitt Romney, in whose blatantly opportunistic conservative drifting I only find hopeful because the last candidate to basically pull the same move – McCain – lost the last presidential election.

Anyhoo, the fact that the caucus will indeed be the first primary-like event (it’s not a primary technically) of the season is good news for Iowan occupiers. They clearly want to garner as much coverage for the occupation of the caucus as possible and, ideally, impact the conversation at the caucus. Unlike a primary, at the Iowa caucus voters listen to other caucus participants campaign on behalf of candidates, which leaves the opportunity for the occupiers to have their voices heard and, they must hope, to set the tenor for the rest of the primary season. Although it must be admitted that Frank Cordaro, who apparently thought up the idea in the first place, doesn’t sound 100% sure of his own plan when he said “Who knows? It could be a very big deal.” Who knows? Really? I have no professional grassroots organizing history, but even I know you need to sound more assured if you truly want occupiers from across the country to show up at this shindig.

Here’s at least one interesting number in their favor: there are 1,784 precinct caucuses in the state, which are held in – you guessed it – Iowa’s 99 counties! There’s more than one ready-made slogan here, right? The 99% occupy 99 counties? And where will Hermain Cain’s 999 plan fit into these puns? Could the country’s unemployment rate rise to 9.9% to help us out? These are important, politically-relevant questions, people.

[Photo from Wikipedia Commons]

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Samantha Kimmey lives in New York, NY. Follow her on Twitter at @Samantha_Kimmey. ...read more

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