The Special Interest Fix Was In For Iowa Workers

Guest post from House Leader Mark Smith The last two weeks have been the most contentious in my 17 years in the Legislature. In just 10 days, Republican lawmakers and Governor Branstad unraveled Iowa’s successful, bipartisan collective bargaining law. After watching the events unfold the last week and a half, what we’ve learned is that the fix was in long before Iowans ever saw the bill....
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Des Moines Water Works Under Attack By Republican Lawmaker

A Republican-sponsored bill, HF316, would replace the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) and replace it with a regional water authority appointed by Des Moines and suburban municipalities. State Representative Jarad Klein (R-Keota), the bill’s sponsor, claims the utilities' suburban customers don’t currently have adequate representation. It’s assumed that Klein’s real motivation is to punish...
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Senator Mark Chelgren Aims To Purge Democrats From Iowa Universities

The party affiliation on your voter registration card could block you from employment at Iowa's state universities were a newly proposed bill by Senator Mark Chelgren to become law. Senate File 288, proposed by the Ottumwa legislator, could bring about a Soviet-style purge of liberal-leaning college staff in Iowa. Chelgren wants to impose an ideological litmus test in order to create a "partisan ...
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Grassley And Ernst Host Town Hall Forums This Week

With a roiling national debate over healthcare, immigration and Donald Trump's presidency, Congressional town hall forums in recent weeks have seen massive turnouts of angry constituents. In a reversal from the 2009 forums that sparked the creation of the Tea Party, this year it's Republicans who have found themselves on the defensive. Both Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst will host t...
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ID Bill Won’t Fix Bigger Election Integrity Problem

It’s fair to say many Iowans worry about our elections. They are concerned shenanigans are going to change the outcome of the voting. But from where I sit, our concerns are misdirected --- as headlines last week indicate. More about that shortly. In 2012, Iowa’s secretary of state at the time, Matt Schultz, launched a two-year investigation of possible voting fraud and election miscon...
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Eyeing Gubernatorial Run, Todd Prichard Puts Focus On Pocketbook Issues

For a party that hasn't seen a major, non-presidential statewide victory in over a decade, Iowa Democrats are looking for a special kind of candidate in 2018: one that can win. Friends of State Representative Todd Prichard believe he could fill that role, and Prichard is now strongly considering a run for governor. On paper, Prichard, 42, fits many of the qualities Democrats say they want more...
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Abby Finkenauer Considering Run For Congress In Iowa’s 1st District

Second-term U.S. House member Rod Blum could face second-term Iowa House member Abby Finkenauer in his reelection campaign in 2018. Finkenauer, the 28-year-old Democratic legislator from Dubuque, has been strongly considering a run against the Republican incumbent for several months now. Iowa's 1st Congressional District, where Blum won by 53.7% to 46.1% over Monica Vernon in 2016, will likely b...
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Running For Iowa School Boards More Important Than Ever Now

Guest post from Josh Hughes, Iowa's youngest school board member It has been a rough, rough few weeks for public education both in Iowa and nationwide. Last Monday, Iowa House and Senate Republicans underfunded Iowa schools with a meager 1.1% increase in public education allocations, the third-lowest amount since 1973. Then on Tuesday the United States Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos, a wom...
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The List Of Corporate Donors That Bought Collective Bargaining Vote

If you turned on your TV in Iowa recently, you'd think we're back in campaign season. Priorities for Iowa is running many TV ads in support of Republicans' union-busting, anti-collective bargaining bill. The group's other operations have been funded by giant corporate sponsors from outside the state. Why have giant corporate hedge funds, coal companies, real estate moguls, bankers, pharmaceut...
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Democrats Fight To “The Bitter End” On Collective Bargaining

Democrats stalled the vote on Republicans' fast-tracked bill to gut Iowa's collective bargaining bill for as long as they could, but the legislation eventually prevailed this afternoon. Senate File 213 passed on a 29-21 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor. All Democrats were opposed, as well as Republican-turned-Independent David Johnson. Six Republicans broke rank in the Iowa House o...
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