(EnviroNews DC News Bureau) — Des Moines, Iowa — A mock caucus event was held 7-900 pm on Friday January 29, 2016, at the Central Campus High School auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa. Representatives from all three Democratic presidential campaigns were in attendance, making the case for why their candidate was the best suited to lead America through the challenges posed by climate change.
Attendees were informed that the simulated caucus was a hybrid-style between the traditional Democratic and Republican formats, wherein they would be asked first to break into preference groups, and then to cast a vote as well.
The 501c4 group The Climate Mobilization sponsored and organized the event and told the audience they had also invited all the candidates from the Republican field to attend as well — though none accepted nor sent a representative. Nevertheless, the group read climate quotes from those candidates, and put up signs representing preference groups for each of them so attendees could caucus for them if they wanted to.
The Clinton camp deployed former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa to pump up the former Secretary of State and to represent her views. Harkin’s 40 year-career in elected office in both the House and Senate made him a formidable weapon for team Clinton. He even received a standing ovation when he was announced to speak.
Governor Martin O’Malley sent his sister Bridget Hunter out to tell everyone why he was the strongest candidate on climate and environmental issues.
But it was Jean Ross, Co-President of National Nurses United, who knocked it out of the park and gave Bernie Sanders the day. National Nurses United is the largest union of nurses in U.S. history, and has proudly endorsed Sanders for president — and Ross turned out to let everyone know climate change is the highest priority for both nurses, and Senator Sanders.
“Nurses across the country actually understand that a clean climate — clean air to breath — clean water to drink — is beneficial to your health. And if it isn’t clean, you’re going to be very sick — so we can’t have that happening” the union leader told onlookers. Our union does not talk about ‘climate change’ — it talks about a ‘climate crisis’ — because that is what we’re in” Ross continued. “Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who has come out and said, ‘climate change (climate crisis), is the major issue of our time’ — and he is correct,” Ross concluded.
By the time the night was through, Sanders would win in a landslide — devouring 67% of the vote with a grand total of 80. Clinton finished way behind in second, with only 15 votes, while Governor O’Malley was beat back to third with 13. 12 participants were undecided and failed to vote.
An in-depth recap of the simulated caucus with extended video coverage of the keynote speakers can be linked to just below.