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Strange Political Bedfellows to Converge on Iowa

CCI Action convention organizers say there are only so many venues in Des Moines that are big enough to host these kinds of events. (Tony Walker/Pixabay)
CCI Action convention organizers say there are only so many venues in Des Moines that are big enough to host these kinds of events. (Tony Walker/Pixabay)
July 11, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa – In what's being called an "interesting" occurrence, the Iowa Events Center plays host this Saturday to two groups with widely divergent political perspectives.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, will address the annual Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund convention.

At the same time, in another part of the center, speakers ranging from President Donald Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, will speak to the Family Leadership Summit.

Evan Burger, CCI Action senior organizer, says the convergence is purely a coincidence.

"We're not going to mess with them," he said. "We don't think they're going to mess with us."

It's the first time Sanders has spoken in Iowa since Trump was elected President. And while the two groups support entirely different political candidates, Burger notes they've actually come together on issues like restricting payday lenders.

The theme of the Family Leadership Summit is "Principle Over Politics." The CCI Action convention theme is "From Protest to Power."

Family Leadership Summit officials say their event is not, quote, "merely an echo chamber." Their list of past years' speakers includes Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee.

Burger says Sanders will likely speak to the CCI Action convention about the healthcare bill being considered by the Senate.

"The problems with it, how it will throw millions of people off of insurance - and a better system that we could put into place to guarantee healthcare to every American," he explains.

Burger says when they booked the Iowa Events Center, they were told that another group had reserved a separate part of the facility. Only later, he says, did they learn which group it was.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - IA