Demand Answers At Upcoming Forums, Tax Day Rallies

Iowa’s Congressional delegation are on their Easter recess until April 21. This is an opportunity for you to demand answers on the Trump agenda.  We know the activists that attended the first set of Town Halls were very effective. These activists changed public opinion on Obamacare and stopped Republicans from passing their Trumpcare alternative. However, the fight over Obamacare isn’t over. Congressman Ryan is promising to continue the repeal effort. In addition, we must hold Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst, Congressman Blum, King and Young accountable and demand answers. Below is the Town Hall locator by state. As of this posting […]

Insurance And Government Are Like Pickled Beets

The Republican health care plan was unraveling in front of our eyes when an Illinois congressman opened his mouth without first putting his brain in gear. Rep. John Shimkus objected to men having to pay for prenatal care in their health insurance policies. The reaction rained down like a spring thunderstorm. Shimkus was criticized for his insensitivity and for neglecting to see the role of men in the need for women’s prenatal care. Some women asked why they should have to pay higher premiums in their policies for coverage that includes men’s prostate cancer screenings or treatment of erectile dysfunction. […]

What Trump’s Public Broadcasting Cuts Could Mean For Iowa

President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would totally eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS). Cutting PBS funding would be a significant blow to more than a thousand public stations across the country. Both Iowa Public Television and Iowa Public Radio would suffer severe cuts to their programing. Local public radio and television broadcasters are predicting Trump’s cutting off of federal funds will be devastating for some affiliates. PBS explained that the cost to individual taxpayers is only $1.35 per year. PBS President Patricia Harrison warned these cuts could cause “the collapse of the public media system itself.” Neal Shapiro, […]

“Put It In “D” To Go Forward, Put It In “R” To Go Backwards.”

Many of you may recognize this as former Senator Tom Harkin’s comparison of the two political parties.  He often used this comic line as a simple and easy-to-understand description of the difference between Democrats and Republicans. “Just remember one thing,” Harkin said at the Democratic Convention in 2000. “All you ever needed to know about this election, you’ve learned from driving. If you want to go backward, you put it in R. But if you want to go forward, you put it in D.” In addition to Harkin, many other Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have used […]

Forbes: Iowa GOP Has Mismanaged The Store, Led Us To Deficit

Guest post from Representative John Forbes As a small businessman in Urbandale for 35 years, I know numbers don’t lie and you must pay close attention. To be successful, you need to keep an eye on your income and expenses, and watch the bottom line. At the Legislature, someone hasn’t been minding the store. As the Iowa General Assembly heads into its final few weeks, lawmakers will turn more attention to the state budget. It is disturbing to know that a $927 million state surplus in 2013 has now turned into a $130 million deficit. The Republicans in control have […]

Climate Justice Unity March Coming In April

The People’s Climate Movement is gaining momentum for what should be a landmark day of action on April 29, marking the 100th day of the Trump Presidency. The major event is in Washington, DC — a march for climate, justice and jobs. Hundreds of related marches, rallies and events are planned in cities across the U.S. and around the globe. In Iowa, the People’s Climate Movement will rally at the Iowa State Capitol from 1:00-3:00 on Saturday, April 29. A broad coalition of groups is working to make this rally a statewide event involving thousands of Iowans concerned about a […]

What Mike Carberry Could Bring To A Gubernatorial Race

Mike Carberry, a Johnson County Supervisor, said in a recent interview he was considering beginning an exploratory committee in a run for Governor. That admission sounds like he could be persuaded to run if he received sufficient encouragement. He said his interest in running is growing as a result of the prodding by others, most notably by former Bernie Sanders campaign leaders. Carberry was an active leader in the Iowa Sanders’ movement, serving as a member of the Sanders’ Iowa Environmental Leadership Committee. “Bernie Sanders believes that fossil fuel billionaires’ money in our political system poses the greatest threat to […]

An Iowa Lesson On Diplomacy For President Trump

A few years ago, I was having lunch with Kenneth Quinn, who is president of the World Food Prize in Des Moines. We weren’t talking about food production, at least not directly. Quinn had me on the edge of my seat with his riveting description of an evening back in 1997 when he and his wife and three children were watching a movie in their home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The family’s relaxing evening ended abruptly when an explosion outside their living room blew out the windows. Then automatic gunfire outside added to the tension. Quinn threw his children to […]

Round 2: Kim Weaver’s Fundraising Against King A Game-Changer?

It’s hard to imagine anything positive resulting from Congressman Steve King’s latest anti-immigrant rants and tweets. However, there may be one silver lining to the dark and ugly racist cloud surrounding King: donations are pouring in to Kim Weaver, encouraging her to run against King again in 2018. Weaver challenged King in 2016, but failed to take out Iowa’s most embarrassing Republican Congressman. Iowans and many Americans are repulsed by Congressman King’s latest tweet attacks on immigrants, and are expressing their support for Weaver with their donations. Weaver raised over $100,000, mainly in small donations, in the four days following King’s […]

The Real Story Behind Iowa’s Budget Problems

Iowans can be forgiven for not recognizing the dramatic change occurring in how our state operates. After all, no one stood up and announced officials were embarking on this change. But it is time for the people of Iowa speak up and make their views known about the direction we are headed. Otherwise, we may not like the destination that awaits us. During this year’s session of the Legislature — and during recent sessions, too — there have been signs showing the route Iowa is following. Two signs this session involved the Legislature’s decision to grant a puny 1.1 percent […]