When The Establishment Fails To Back The “Establishment” Candidate

What do you get when the so-called “establishment” fails to back the so-called “establishment” candidate? The Iowa Senate Democratic primary, apparently. Throughout this year’s presidential primary, both Republicans and Democrats have obsessed over “establishment” politics, and which candidates the powers to be are backing. Typically aligning themselves with the seemingly more moderate or electable candidate, party leaders and top donors succeeded on the Democratic side while failing miserably among Republicans. I hesitated to write an entire post about “establishment” forces because I don’t really like the term. It’s vague and fluid and is usually just used as an epithet against […]

Democrats Keep Up Pressure On David Young’s “Vote-Switching Scandal”

Democrats in Iowa are working to make sure that voters don’t forget about David Young’s recent votes on LGBT protections in defense and energy spending bills. The first-term Congressman in the 3rd District is seen as potentially vulnerable this November, and any high-profile misstep could tarnish the little-known Young. At a 3rd District Democratic debate last night, Desmund Adams repeatedly referred to Young as “Congressman Flip-Flop.” Mike Sherzan blasted Young last week as “voting for discrimination.” Another one of Young’s potential Democratic opponents, Jim Mowrer, held a press conference today to drive home the point, calling it a “vote-switching scandal.” […]

Is Governor Branstad Preparing Another Holiday Veto Spree?

Tick tock, tick tock. A stack of budget bills passed from the Iowa Legislature this session remain sitting on Governor Terry Branstad’s desk, probably collecting dust at this point. It’s been nearly a month since the Legislature adjourned on April 30th, but the Governor still hasn’t acted on many important pieces of legislation. So we’re waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more. What’s Branstad himself waiting on? Many are starting to worry that we’re about to see a repeat of last year, when Branstad issued vetoes on the K-12 funding, keeping the two mental health facilities open and higher education funds. That […]

A New Progressive Caucus Recommended By IDP Central Committee

The soon-to-be-new members of the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee are quickly making their mark on the organization. Those elected at the district conventions several weeks ago won’t be seated on the party’s governing body until after the state convention, but many still attended the central committee meeting in Des Moines this weekend. Roughly half of the new members backed Bernie Sanders in the caucus, and this weekend the committee voted to recommend the creation of a new Progressive Caucus at the state convention on June 18. The idea for such a committee isn’t new – it’s been debated within the party […]

Patty Judge’s Awesome Time-Traveling TV Ad

Iowa Senate candidate Patty Judge put out a new TV ad today two weeks in advance of the June 7 primary. It highlights her leadership as the Homeland Security advisor for Iowa during the 2008 floods. It’s a little heavy on the “let’s work together” rhetoric, but seems to lay the foundation for her eventual contrast with Chuck Grassley as a creature of D.C. It’s a pretty decent TV ad, well-shot and does a nice job of framing Judge’s past leadership in her role as Lt. Governor. I can’t help but think it’s not quite impactful enough, however, in a […]

Another Look At Updated Early Vote Numbers For The Primary

With just two weeks left before Iowa’s primary elections on June 7, let’s take another look at the early vote totals across the state. A lot has changed since we first discussed the numbers three weeks ago. The Secretary of State’s office is posting these totals regularly now, so you can always go check yourself on their website. Also, here’s the useful list of candidates running. One caveat for the numbers I’m posting here – you’ll note that in some places the return rate of absentee ballots is very low. My guess in most of these cases is that those are areas […]

Behold: The Most Pointless, Vapid Political Speech Ever, By David Young

What does David Young stand for? Who the hell knows. Two days after switching his vote at the last minute on a LGBT provision in the U.S. House after it looked like it might actually pass, Congressman Young took the stage at the Iowa Republican state convention. What followed could generously be described as the most boring, pointless, vapid political speech ever given. The first-term Congressman has kept a relatively low profile since his unique win in 2014. It’s been difficult to determine what issues and causes he really feels passionate about, or how he even stands on most key […]

A Day On The Trail With Rob Hogg

What good is an endorsement? That’s an open question in any political campaign. Some bring an army of volunteers, others bring only the single vote of the endorser. State Senator Rob Hogg has a lot of public endorsements in his quest for the Democrats’ nomination for U.S. Senate: AFSCME, the Iowa Federation of Labor, over 90 current and former legislators. One of them, former State Senator Daryl Beall, did his best this past Tuesday to deliver Webster County for his old friend. Hogg meets his former colleague from the legislature at Bloomers, a downtown Fort Dodge coffee shop. Beall has […]

EMILY’s List Ad Nearly Word-For-Word From Monica Vernon’s “Action Alert”

  Monica Vernon is getting some help in her campaign for the Democrats’ 1st District nomination. EMILY’s List, which has endorsed Vernon, is running a new ad under part of their Women Vote Project that looks to elect pro-choice female candidates. Women Vote is organized as a Super PAC, so it can’t coordinate with an official campaign. However, the transcript for the ad is nearly word-for-word from a specific section near the bottom of  Vernon’s website labeled “Democratic Action Alert.” Here’s the ad from Women Vote: This is my transcript from it: Democrat Monica Vernon: She knows seniors have paid […]

A Day On The Trail With Desmund Adams

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Desmund Adams was on the road again. This day he was headed west, to campaign stops in Adair County and Council Bluffs. Adams, one of three Democratic candidates in the 3rd District primary, has logged a lot of miles during his campaign across the district’s 16 counties, meeting Democratic organizations, small town reporters, and community leaders for the past year. It’s earned him a number of endorsements from elected officials and local leaders, and gotten his name out to grass-top Democratic activists. The retail-heavy focus has been an intentional strategy from Adams, but also a […]