GOP Plan On Water Quality All About Revenge, Not Solutions

Here’s a prediction --- and I hope I’m wrong. The Iowa Legislature will deal with the state’s lousy water quality in lakes, rivers and streams about the same time that Congress decides to deal with climate change. Which is to say, neither the Legislature nor Congress show any inclination to confront the two problems. And as further evidence of this head-in-the-sand attitude toward w...
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Indivisible’s Iowa Numbers Explode As They Reinvent Grassroots Organizing

The national group Indivisible has surged across America like a progressive tsunami. Beginning in mid-December with the circulation of the “Indivisible Guide: A Practical Guide to Resist the Trump Agenda,” the progressive movement’s membership has skyrocketed. Iowa Starting Line first wrote about this new group bursting into the Iowa political scene in mid-January. Since that initial repo...
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Iowa GOP Targeting Everything Except Fetuses And The NRA

Guest post from Ruth Thompson The “Running with Scissors Administration” is striking fear in the hearts of everyone but fetuses and the NRA. In Iowa, so far this session we’ve seen our Republican friends introducing a bill that if passed would force people who file suit and lose to pay the legal fees of the party they filed suit against. The same week they dropped a bill that would al...
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Understanding, Talking With The Other Side In The Time Of Trump

Guest post from Tim Urban In an Op-ed in the New York Times titled “Trump Voters Are Not the Enemy,” Nicholas Kristof cites three reasons why “it’s shortsighted to direct liberal fury at the entire mass of Trump voters, a complicated (and, yes, diverse) group of 63 million people.”  First, he asks, “many are Black, Latino or Muslim. Are they all bigots?” Second, he suggests that ...
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The Dirty Dozen GOP Bills And How To Stop Them

Guest post from Senate Leader Rob Hogg Today, I am writing to ask you to help us stop a dozen bad bills from advancing out of committee this week. Friday marks the “first funnel” under legislative rules, which is a first procedural hurdle that will stop some legislative proposals for the year. If we can stop these bills this week, it will reduce the damage that could be done later. The n...
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Camp Wellstone Activist Training For 2017 Launches in Iowa

Guest post from Chelsea Lepley Progressives in Iowa and around the country have taken note of the energy and enthusiasm of citizen gatherings, the size of which has not been seen in the lifetimes of many of the people who have come together to march, protest and speak out for an America at risk. Iowans are calling members of Congress and state legislators, packing town halls, crowding the ro...
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Republicans Have Brought Authoritarian Rule To Iowa Statehouse

Guest post from former Senator Dennis Black I served 12 years in the Iowa House and 20 in the Iowa Senate, basically parts of Jasper and Polk Counties.  I retired in 2015, with Senator Chaz Allen seeking and winning the seat. I thought I'd observed and experienced just about everything until watching the deliberations and actions of legislators on Senate File 213 and House File 291, bills that...
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Republicans’ Toddler Militia Gun Bill Is Back

The Republican-controlled Legislature is on track to reward gun-fanatics with their dream agenda!  Perhaps the most senseless piece of this legislation is the gun extremists' goal of giving handguns to kids. This nutty and dangerous expansion would allow toddlers to use handguns with parental supervision. Current law allows children over age 14 to handle a handgun with parental supervision. The p...
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Branstad Celebrates Behind Closed Doors With Koch Lobbyist

Governor Terry Branstad’s bill signing ceremony for the most anti-labor bill in recent Iowa history was reserved for a very special guest. Drew Klein, the state director and lobbyist for the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) got an extraordinary front row seat at the private closed door signing. Branstad demanded a secret signing ceremony, shutting out both the press and the public as h...
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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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