Pete D’Alessandro Launches 3rd District Bid

In what could easily become the most interesting 2018 campaign to watch, Pete D’Alessandro filed papers today to form an exploratory committee for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. D’Alessandro is a longtime Iowa political operative, with a resume that includes prominent campaign positions for Tom Vilsack, Chet Culver and Leonard Boswell. His most notable recent role was Bernie Sanders’ state coordinator for the Iowa Caucus. The winner of the Democratic primary will face two-term Republican David Young in a swing district that covers Des Moines and Southwest Iowa. D’Alessandro remains well-connected with the national Sanders and Our Revolution operations, and has been […]

Rural Iowans Give Urban Iowans Some Tough Advice

The Iowa Democratic Party has been conducting a 2016 post-election postmortem on why they lost rural Iowa so badly.  One recommendation resurfaces in every one of these autopsies conducted over these losses.  The suggestion is that urban Democrats must listen to the needs of rural Iowans if they ever expect to gain their votes. However, one rural Iowan warns Democrats it will take more than fake listening and feigned concern to reconnect with rural Iowa. Doug Burns, co-owner of the Carroll Daily Times Herald writes a column, “Taking Note,” for the Herald’s editorial page. Burns also writes the “Political Mercury” […]

It Begins: Klobuchar, Sanders Schedule Iowa Events

In the state where presidential politics never ends, two potential 2020 Democratic contenders have scheduled Iowa visits in the coming months. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar will speak at the Polk County Democrats Spring Dinner on May 7 in Des Moines. Senator Bernie Sanders plans on keynoting Citizens for Community Improvement’s annual convention on July 15, also in Des Moines. Neither are sure bets to run for president in 2020, but what they say during their visits could shed some light into how seriously they’re considering it. Klobuchar has often made road trips down to Iowa in past years, in particular to […]

Consumer Rights Eroding Under GOP And Trump Administration

In the first ninety days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his actions speak more to his business background than of politics. He has been frank about his disapproval of government laws, which are oftentimes burdensome to businesses but essential for the safety of consumer rights. He has followed through on his campaign promise of cutting funding for the EPA and has started process of streamlining multiple government agencies by cutting regulations for the FDA, CDC, and EPA. “I will ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not […]

Iowans March For Science This Saturday

Science and fact-based scientific research is under attack by Republicans at all levels of government. The national scientific community is asking the public for support. There will be national Science Marches in cities all across the country tomorrow. Here’s the stated mission of the Science March: “The March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” You can show that […]

The Case For Staying Involved In 2017

The people of the state of Iowa have been subjected to arguably the most sweeping, malicious legislation in the state’s recent memory. Public schools and family planning services were underfunded. Collective bargaining rights have been quashed, local minimum wages were preempted and lowered, workers compensation laws intentionally weakened, strict limitations passed on abortions, gun restrictions were loosened, a discriminatory and costly voter identification law was passed, and that is only to name a few. However, the worst part of the legislative session is not one particular bill or issue – it is the fact that we are only halfway through […]

Congressman Blum, I Too Am America

Congressman Rod Blum has caused quite a commotion among many of his constituents, both Republicans and Democrats, for his response to being asked about holding public town hall meetings in his District. Rep. Blum, with an alarming casualness, brushed off the requests claiming that real Americans don’t ask him about town hall meetings. He went on to point out that his Republican colleagues have been holding meetings and getting yelled at by constituents, who I presume are upset about the way they’re being represented in Congress. While it is troubling that Mr. Blum fails to realize that Iowans are upset for […]

DREAMer Deportation Increases Fear Among Iowa Immigrants

Yesterday’s shocking news on the deportation of Californian Juan Manuel Montes has increased the anxiety in the immigrant community. Montes, 23, came to the United States at age 9 and believed he was protected from deportation under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). This is the first reported deportation of a DREAMer covered by the DACA program and it’s causing panic. Montes lawyer is suing the Trump administration over his deportation. “Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how,” stated Nora A. Preciado, a staff […]

Josh Mandelbaum Scares Christine Hensley Into Retirement

In news that shocked the Des Moines political world, longtime City Councilwoman Christine Hensley announced she would not seek reelection in 2017. The Republican representing a deeply-Democratic seat was already facing what likely would have been her toughest race yet in her 24-year career on the council. Environmental attorney Josh Mandelbaum kicked off his candidacy last month and had already put together an impressive campaign. He had planned to roll out new fundraising numbers and endorsements tomorrow to demonstrate continuing momentum. [Update] Mandelbaum’s campaign informs Starting Line that Mandelbaum has raised over $110,000 in the three weeks he’s been a candidate. They’ve recruited […]

Mark Chelgren Compares Abortion To Time Shares

The Iowa Senate engaged in a passionate debate last night over the 20-week abortion ban and 72-hour waiting period legislation. Republicans sent the bill to the governor’s desk after a 30-20 party-line vote, but not before a few senators made some interesting comments during debate. Senator Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa expressed his dismay that the bill didn’t go further, and then made a curious comparison when defending the 72-hour waiting period provision, which he called the “time share” clause. When the bill is signed into law, Iowa will become the sixth state in the nation to impose the three-day waiting […]