The Sentence I Didn’t Get To Write In 2016

As we count down the hours until the end of this much maligned year of 2016, many are eager to forget all the awful memories from a such a volatile, nasty year. As for writers like myself, the end of a year comes with regrets about planned stories not written and projects never completed. I have notepads filled with story ideas that I just plain ran out of time to finish. But one abandoned post in particular sticks out, not one that was cut due to lack of time, but by a change in circumstance. I had planned on writing a personal reflection on […]

No Apology Necessary As We Move Democratic Party Forward

Guest post from Dylan Funk I keep hearing the two major camps in the Democratic Party, the Clinton supporters and the Sanders supporters, say that the opposing camp needs to apologize to the other. The question I have is, “apologize for what?” From my point of view, both camps were fighting for the same cause, they were just fighting in different ways. Let me start off by saying that I was, and still am, a supporter of Senator Sanders, even though I ultimately voted for Secretary Clinton. I was a life-long Independent that did the research and voted the issues, not the party, […]

Jim Lykam Handily Wins Special Election In Davenport

Democrats boosted their number of state senators to 20 for the upcoming legislative session tonight, thanks to State Representative Jim Lykam’s victory in the Davenport special election tonight. Lykam defeated Republican Michael Gonzales, thanks in part to an exceptionally strong absentee ballot effort. The Democrat won 73% to 25%, or 3,788 to 1,130, with all precincts reporting. As they often do in special elections, Democrats racked up a huge early vote lead. The early vote broke for Lykam over Gonzales by 2,148 to 407, or 84% to 16%. Senate District 45 came open after Senator Joe Seng passed away from a battle […]

What Was Branstad Thinking When He Said “Yes”?

Iowa, this place we call home, has been a state since it was admitted to the Union 170 years ago next week. In that long arc of history, there has not been an Iowa political figure quite like Terry Branstad. Many politicians start plotting their next campaign for a higher office almost as soon as they are sworn in. Not Branstad. He has been a model of consistency (or complacency, depending on your point of view). Admire him or dislike him, you have to give Branstad credit for resiliency: Twenty-one years as Iowa’s governor, the longest-serving chief executive in Iowa […]

Many Important Topics Missing From IDP Chair Discussion

Some people fear a vacuum of power post-election, but the wide-open race for IDP chair has generated some much-needed discussion over what has gone wrong with our party, and what we need to do differently. Rather than having a hand-picked chair, the uncertain coming election has allowed a wealth of new ideas to get debated for a party struggling with how to move forward. It’s refreshing, and it’s been a joy to observe. However, one thing that struck me after watching the two forums last week and listening to a few of the conference calls, is how narrow the debate […]

A Plea For Unity In The Iowa Democratic Party

Editor’s note: At the September Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) State Central Committee (SCC) meeting a resolution was introduced to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. The resolution failed, but there were several extenuating circumstances surrounding that vote. This past Saturday at the December SCC meeting Tisha Dumkrieger sent a letter to explain her motivation for her September vote and the criticism she has received as a result. Tisha is the Native American Caucus Chair. Statement From The Native American Caucus Chair Tisha Dumkrieger: “You owe your people an explanation!” “Don’t you understand, this is the most important thing that has happened to your […]

The Political Party Endorses Kurt Meyer For IDP Chair, Praises Eadon And Weaver Too

Last week seven of the eight candidates for IDP Chair attended a forum hosted by The Political Party, a relatively new group that’s encouraging millennial progressives to get more engaged in politics. Today they announced their endorsement for the position: Kurt Meyer. The group also recommended that party members strongly consider Derek Eadon and Kim Weaver as well. They sent out their full reasoning in this endorsement press release:   The Political Party Endorses Kurt Meyer for Iowa Democratic Party Chair (DES MOINES, IA) – On Friday, December 16 The Political Party partnered with the Grand View Democrats to host the […]

New Letters Show Kim Reynolds’ Medicaid Privatization Is Falling Apart

Just one week ago Senate Democrats pressed Iowa officials at an oversight meeting how the state was saving all the money it claimed on the Medicaid privatization system. They were met with vague answers and generalities. Today the real answer became more clear thanks to an open records request from the Des Moines Register: Iowa just isn’t paying the healthcare companies. “Catastrophic” was the word used by one of the managed care organizations to describe the current state of affairs with the Reynolds/Branstad privatization effort, in a letter they sent to state officials. The state’s actions “jeopardizes the sustainability of the […]

In Iowa Jason Kander Pitches Path Forward For Democrats

After a year of terrible losses, Democrats around the country have been searching for a handful of silver linings and moral victories to give them hope for the future. Many have looked to Jason Kander’s impressive – if ultimately unsuccessful – campaign for U.S. Senate in Missouri for inspiration and lessons on how to move forward. So when Kander came to Des Moines last night to speak at Progress Iowa’s annual Holiday Party fundraiser, he was greeted by a record turnout of Iowa progressives for the event, eager to hear what he had to say. Despite Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton by […]

Four Vice Chair Candidates Compete Early For Party Role

State Central Committee members heard from eight candidates looking to be the next Iowa Democrats chair at their meeting this Saturday. They also saw speeches from four people hoping to become a vice chair of the IDP. Currently, the party elects a 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice Chair to go along with their state leader. Their roles vary from year to year, usually depending on who was actually elected. Some help with fundraising, some help with messaging by doing media appearances. Others disappear from the role after getting elected and don’t accomplish anything. Either the 1st or 2nd Vice Chair automatically […]