Round 2: Konfrst To Hold Hagenow Accountable For Broken Promises

House Republican Majority Leader Chris Hagenow campaigned for reelection last year on a platform that bore no resemblance to his voting record in the Legislature just a few months after. So Jennifer Konfrst has decided to give Hagenow a rematch in 2018, announcing today she’d run for House District 43 again. “I love this community, and I’m running to fight for all families in our district,” Konfrst said in a press release. “As a mom and an educator, I’m deeply troubled by politicians at the Capitol who put special interests ahead of Iowans. The residents of our district deserve a representative whose policies […]

The Three Months That Changed Iowa

When Iowa became the third state in the nation to legalize gay marriage eight years ago, I was working in Washington, D.C. My coworkers were taken aback by what they thought was a conservative, red, rural Midwestern state taking such an important leap forward in equal rights. They were even more surprised when I informed them that, actually, Iowa often has a progressive streak on social policies and we’re a very purple state politically. That was true then. It’s not anymore. Just over three months ago the Iowa Legislature gaveled in with a fully Republican-controlled Statehouse. For the first time in 20 years, […]

After McGuire Launch, Prichard Unveils Endorsements From McGuire’s County

It didn’t take long today for two of the major Democratic gubernatorial candidates to engage in a bit of fun shadow-boxing on endorsements. This morning in Andy McGuire’s announcement, she laid out ten big-name endorsers, including some past candidates and major donors. This afternoon – certainly be mere coincidence – Todd Prichard rolled out a list of 14 backers he has in Polk County, McGuire’s home. Rather than a list of well-known former elected officials, however, Prichard’s endorsements focused on local activists in the Des Moines metro area (including at least one that used to support McGuire). Many of the folks listed […]

Democrats’ Gubernatorial Hopefuls Make Their Pitch In Rural Iowa

The Democrats’ quest to retake Terrace Hill kicked off in Quasqueton this weekend, a tiny, picturesque town in Buchanan County. Local Democrats held a county party fundraiser that five gubernatorial hopefuls attended. The contenders chatted with Northeast Iowa activists over a barbeque dinner before delivering their pitches in front of the room. With a loaded speaker lineup – 13 in all – the event stretched on for nearly four hours, but the 100 attendees – angered by recent Republican-passed legislation – stayed and listened intently long after the sun had set. The five gubernatorial candidates (or potential candidates) on hand […]

Andy McGuire Kicks Off Gubernatorial Bid – Here’s Who Backs Her

Andy McGuire made official today what most Iowa Democrats have known for three years: she’s running for governor. Launching her candidacy with a well-produced announcement video and a slate of early endorsers, McGuire enters the Democrats’ primary race by highlighting her large family, her medical profession and a promise to “fix it.” Her video begins with her waking up early, getting her children up and heading to the breakfast table while her voiceover emphasizes Iowa values of hard work. “Believe me, when you have seven kids, that’s the only way anything gets done,” McGuire says to the camera. “But for too […]

New Ranking Report Push Iowa Congressional Seats To The Right

The Cook Political Report unveiled its new Partisan Voting Index scores for the nation’s congressional seats, and it’s all bad news for Iowa Democrats. Typically, Cook’s ratings change little year-to-year, but the shifting voter loyalties resulting from Donald Trump’s campaign upended the formula. Three of Iowa’s four congressional districts have moved significantly to the right in the new report. Here’s the updated numbers: Incumbent 2017 Previous CD 1 Blum D+1 D+5 CD 2 Loebsack D+1 D+4 CD 3 Young R+1 Even CD 4 King R+11 R+5 The two Eastern Iowa districts that were once Democratic-leaning (even with Rod Blum carrying the 1st […]

Iowa Passing Abortion Restrictions Worse Than Deep South

Just a few short years ago, Iowa was leading the way in safe and legal abortion access with the new telemedicine process that provided options to women living in rural areas. Now, after this year’s legislative session at the Statehouse, Iowa will join just a handful of states in enacting some of the most stringent restrictions on abortion rights in the entire country. This week the Iowa House passed a 20-week abortion ban, supported by all but one Republican in the chamber. The Iowa Senate approved their version of the bill a week prior, but will have to vote on it […]

John Norris Weighing Run For Iowa Governor

As Democrats look to their developing gubernatorial primary field, one new name would bring an experience as close as you can get to being a former governor: John Norris. Tom Vilsack’s chief of staff for two years, few other Iowans have as long a resume in Iowa Democratic politics and governance than Norris. He’s been IDP chair, ran for Congress, managed John Kerry’s successful 2004 Iowa Caucus operation, worked for Tom Harkin and Vilsack, served as the commissioner of the Iowa Utilities Board and later on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and did a stint for the USDA in Rome. Now he’s back in […]

Iowa Legislator Proposes “Masturbatory Emissions” Fine

Iowa State Representative Lisa Heddens of Ames is simply looking to achieve “equality” in Iowa’s laws on men and women’s health procedures with a new amendment she proposed to Republicans’ 20-week abortion ban. Heddens is encouraging her colleagues to pass her “Men’s Right to Know Act,” which would allow doctors to refuse prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs on moral grounds, require rectal exams for men seeking such medication, and impose an $100 fine on every “masturbatory emission.” It’s all in response to a series of Republican bills this session designed to vastly restrict women’s healthcare options, abortion rights and funding for Planned […]

Why Former Army Ranger Mike Matson May Run For Iowa Governor

If Mike Matson pulls the trigger on a gubernatorial run and wins, it will be the revenge of the local official on Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds’ legacy. A member of the Davenport City Council for the past ten years, Matson is fed up with the unfunded mandates coming out of Des Moines, as well as state Republicans’ constant restrictions on local control. To slingshot from alderman to governor may seem like an impossible task, but Matson’s impressive military background has Democrats in Eastern Iowa promoting him as a serious contender that could reach out to rural and Republican voters. […]