That Was The Weirdest Thing I’ve Seen In Iowa Politics

I've watched as Donald Trump buzzed his helicopter directly over Hillary Clinton at the Iowa State Fair, then come back for a second pass. I've attended a Ben Carson event that turned a downtown bridge into a lavishly expensive family fun concert complete with Disney princesses and a gigantic American flag. I've seen protesters rush stages, candidates fall off of them and voters get in fist fight...
More

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...
More

Todd Prichard Promises A Fight To Win Back Blue Collar Voters

A packed room of nearly 100 Democratic activists in Des Moines' Beaverdale neighborhood gave Todd Prichard a positive reception Tuesday night as chatter increases over his likely run for the governor's office. Prichard, a state representative from Charles City, previewed a very early version of a stump speech, focusing on several stories from his blue collar upbringing in Davenport and his servic...
More

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...
More

The Special Interest Fix Was In For Iowa Workers

Guest post from House Leader Mark Smith The last two weeks have been the most contentious in my 17 years in the Legislature. In just 10 days, Republican lawmakers and Governor Branstad unraveled Iowa’s successful, bipartisan collective bargaining law. After watching the events unfold the last week and a half, what we’ve learned is that the fix was in long before Iowans ever saw the bill....
More

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...
More

Senator Mark Chelgren Aims To Purge Democrats From Iowa Universities

The party affiliation on your voter registration card could block you from employment at Iowa's state universities were a newly proposed bill by Senator Mark Chelgren to become law. Senate File 288, proposed by the Ottumwa legislator, could bring about a Soviet-style purge of liberal-leaning college staff in Iowa. Chelgren wants to impose an ideological litmus test in order to create a "partisan ...
More

Grassley And Ernst Host Town Hall Forums This Week

With a roiling national debate over healthcare, immigration and Donald Trump's presidency, Congressional town hall forums in recent weeks have seen massive turnouts of angry constituents. In a reversal from the 2009 forums that sparked the creation of the Tea Party, this year it's Republicans who have found themselves on the defensive. Both Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst will host t...
More