A Strange Way To Pay the Price

Posted: November 12, 2015 | By: Iowa Caucus Project Staff Tagged: Blog
A Bernie Sanders supporter at Iowa Pays the Price Super PAC rally. Photo by Ryan Tunink.

A Bernie Sanders supporter at Iowa Pays the Price Super PAC rally. Photo by Ryan Tunink.

On my way to Iowa Pays the Price’s “Stand Up to Super PACs” rally, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I had barely heard about the organization, and the Facebook event was very vague in its description. That being said, I knew the “Iowa Nice Guy” Scott Siepker would be in attendance, so I decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed. This was a weird event.

Located on the steps of the capitol, I arrived to the Uniphonics‘, a local Iowa band, first hour long set. Iowa Pays the Price field organizers were wandering around in giant dollar-bill costumes, largely ignoring the rest of the rally. In fact, the only people that talked to me were volunteers with an entirely different organization focusing on raising the minimum wage and a Martin O’Malley field organizer. I have never been to a political event with so little effort to collect the attendees’ information.

The event only got stranger as it actually began. An organizer for the event took the mic to lead chants against super PACs, only to face the inevitable awkward silence from the rest of the crowd. Siepker gave a solid opening speech, speaking to the dangers super PACs pose to democracy and the average voter. However, the next few speeches seemed … strange. All were college students, one Republican, Democrat and Independent each. Their speeches were all very well done, but collectively the four speakers spent about 12 minutes talking. That, compared to the two hours of Uniphonics playing music, seemed a little short. Furthermore, the age of the speakers, the band, and the inclusion of Mr. Iowa Nice himself all pointed to a young audience. Despite that, the majority of the crowd was middle-aged or bordering on elderly. The atmosphere clearly threw off many of these rallygoers, the majority of whom were wearing or carrying Bernie Sanders swag.

The event concluded with another hour of Uniphonics, during which the crowd quickly dispersed. Sophia Mattson, a student at Drake, was also confused with the event. She said, “I feel like I was at a Uniphonics concert where people happen to really care about super PACs.” This sentiment was clearly shared by others in attendance. That being said, for the relatively new group this event did a good job of getting its name out there to a diverse group of Iowans.

IMG_1214Tunink is a sophomore political science and law, politics, and society major from Waukee, Iowa. He enjoys running on the Drake cross country team and binging on Netflix. Follow him on Twitter.