Past IDP Chairs Weigh In On What Next Chair Should Focus On

Interviews with past and present Iowa Democratic Party Chairs provides a fascinating inside look at how they see the requirements of the job. Following the crushing Democratic election losses in Iowa, the role of the next IDP Chair will be crucial in rebuilding the Iowa Party. The new Chair will likely need to play a larger role since other Party leadership is gone. Democrats suffered a double blow. First by losing control of the Iowa Senate and then a second punch to the gut with the loss of our Senate leader, Mike Gronstal. Gronstal’s loss means the new Democratic leader, […]

Must Democrats Really Choose: Diversity Or White Working Class?

There is one dominant issue emerging as Democrats sift through the recent election losses and search for answers: the developing debate over the role that “Identity Politics” played in the losses. Identity Politics refers to the way Democrats have divided themselves into their various constituent interest groups. In recent years Democrats have gradually divided into a long list of individual factions, i.e., Women, African-American, Hispanic, College, LGBTQ, Disability and more. The Iowa Democratic Party added five new constituency caucuses this year at their 2016 Convention. They are Progressives, Women, Rural, Senior/retiree and Labor. With these additions, the Iowa Democrats have […]

How Iowan Neal Smith’s 49-Year-Old Legislation Could Trip Up Trump

It was 7:00 p.m. on December 23, 1967 on the floor of the United States Congress. Just two days before Christmas, former Iowa Congressman Neal Smith finally got his anti-nepotism legislation passed. 49 years later Smith’s legislation may prevent President Donald Trump from hiring his children or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Congressman Smith’s late night legislation is cited today as the legal roadblock preventing Trump from appointing his family to government positions. Congressman Smith, now 96, retired and living in Des Moines, agreed last week to recount the passage of his historic legislation with the Iowa Daily Democrat. Congressman Smith […]

Trump’s Election Delays Obama’s Retirement Plans

President Obama and David Plouffe, his 2008 political strategist, joined a national conference call last week with Organizing for Action (OFA) volunteers. OFA is the non-partisan 501(c)4 issue advocacy organization that formed after the 2012 Obama campaign. It is the community organizing group that has been advocating for many of the key issues of President Obama’s agenda. The purpose of the call was to reassure OFA volunteers following the dramatic election losses. The President told the volunteers to take off a week or so, but no more. He urged them to stay involved and re-engage as quickly as possible on the issues […]

Why Democrats Didn’t Show Up To Vote, Again

Democrats are searching for the answers as to why they lost the 2016 election. It’s really pretty simple. Nationally, Democratic voters didn’t show up. Clinton attempted to reassemble the Obama coalition that elected him in 2008 and 2012. Unfortunately, 5 million of those 2012 Obama voters either didn’t vote, or voted for third party candidates in 2016. Hillary received 5 million less votes than Obama did in 2012. However, those 5 million voters didn’t all move from Hillary to Trump. Trump received less votes than Romney received in 2012.  Certainly some working class voters and rural voters that generally vote […]

A Secret Weapon For GOTV: Puppies?

NextGen Climate, the national climate change group, announced this week their new secret weapon to turn out millennial voters: their staff and volunteers will be bringing their pooches to events. They noticed, apparently quite by accident, that when their volunteers brought their puppies with them to events, the group had greater success at getting students to register and commit to vote. NextGen Climate is driving a massive get-out-the-vote effort on college campuses. They have increased their presence on nearly 300 campuses in swing states in the final days of this campaign. Their target is millennial voters, especially college students. Tom […]

Republicans Should Be Worried About Trump’s Russian Ties

The Republican Party should be very concerned about more news stories this week linking Donald Trump to the Russian government. These new allegations reinforce the building narrative that Trump has questionable business relationships and foreign investments with Russian interests closely allied with President Vladimir Putin. Trump’s bizarre bromance with Putin has fueled the impression that Trump’s comments seem to be encouraging Putin’s hostile agenda toward America and the West. Former acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Morrell, said Trump supports “policies that read like a Kremlin wish list.” Trump has violated much of the long established Republican traditions […]

Steve King, Donald Trump And The Far-Right European Nationalists

What’s the connection between Trump, Congressman Steve King and the rise of the far-right political parties in Europe? Congressman Steve King tweeted back on September 18th a photo posing with German and Dutch far-right party members. These are two European leaders associated with white supremacy and vicious anti-Muslim rhetoric. Geert Wilders, the man shown in the photo with King, is a leader in the Dutch Party for Freedom, another European far-right party. Wilders is an outspoken opponent of Muslim immigration. Wilders is quoted as saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam … there is no such thing as ‘moderate […]

The Truth About 2017 Obamacare Costs

Trump and Republicans are fanning Obamacare fears over rising health insurance rates of 25%.  According to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, “thanks to financial assistance, most marketplace consumers this year will find plan options with premiums between $50 and $100 per month.”  What Trump and Republicans aren’t telling you is that with subsidies, many consumers will see no net increase in insurance costs in 2017. Example: In 2017 for a Silver Plan on the Exchange, a 40 year old single male, non-smoker, making $30,000 per year, living in Cedar Rapids, will see no net increase in costs after […]

Climate Change Is Reaching The Political Boiling Point

Advocates of addressing climate change may finally be reaching the political threshold that will force worldwide action. This year has seen the implementation of a number of critical actions, agreements and commitments that suggest we have passed a tipping point for action. The Paris Climate Agreement surpassed the necessary number of ratifying nations last month and will go into force on November 4, 2016. An additional global limit on hydrofluorocarbons, a major contributor to global warming, was signed last month as well. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau announced last month that Canada will implement a national price on carbon, a huge […]