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 […]

Protests Put Trump’s Tax Returns Back In The Spotlight

National tax day protests this past weekend focused on President Trump’s stubborn refusal to reveal his tax returns. His unsupported claim that he can’t reveal his returns because he’s under audit has been thoroughly debunked. The IRS is on the record confirming that Trump can make his returns public while under audit. Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer was peppered with questions about Trump’s tax returns on Monday. Following the massive tax-day protests the questions about Trump’s tax returns have resurfaced with even greater intensity than ever. Until now, Trump supporters haven’t seemed bothered by Trump’s refusal to show his tax history. […]