10 Ways Ashton Kutcher Would Be A Better Governor Than Terry Branstad

Governor Terry Branstad sure has gotten unpopular recently. Maybe it’s time for a change. But who should replace him? Hmm, how about…. Iowa native Ashton Kutcher? Sure, why not? Here’s a list of why we think Governor Kutcher would be much, much better than Governor Branstad, in the form of an obvious clickbait article (in reference to Deeth’s most-read post ever): 1. Four words: First Lady Mila Kunis 2. Instead of state tax returns in the form of checks, Iowans are mailed free DVD copies of The Butterfly Effect and Dude, Where’s my Car? 3. Debi Durham is replaced as […]

Would Bernie Sanders Help Rebuild The Democratic Party?

After the shellacking Democrats took in the 2010 and 2014 elections, one phrase is on the lips of many Iowa Caucus activists: “party building.” How would their nominee strengthen the party infrastructure? How committed would they be to help down-ballot Democrats? What type of assistance would they provide to state and local parties beyond campaigning for themselves? The concern isn’t simply a self-interested cry from local activists. Many of President Obama’s top priorities have been stymied by Republican control of Congress. On the state level, Republican governors and legislatures have blocked the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, among other federal […]

Climate Change Proposals Take Center Stage in Iowa

Democratic candidates have brought up climate change often in their Iowa Caucus pitches the past few months, but this week saw the issue front and center with new proposals and visits by candidates and issue groups. Martin O’Malley introduced a climate and clean energy plan several weeks ago, and Hillary Clinton followed up this week with her own. On Sunday night the Hillary Clinton campaign released a video announcing her plan to address climate change through investing in clean and renewable energy. The next day she toured the DART Central Station in downtown Des Moines, a LEED Platinum-certified building (a […]

Turning Point: Have Iowa Republicans Finally Gone Too Far?

Nearly a month after Governor Terry Branstad issued his controversial vetoes, the reviews are in and they’re unanimous: Iowans are pissed off. The vetoes that eliminated $56 million for K-12 education, effectively closed two mental health facilities, and wiped out one-time assistance to several universities have struck an angry chord with Iowa voters like few other issues in recent years. Whatever Branstad hoped to accomplish with his actions may be undermined by the massive backlash brewing. Let’s start off with the polls. Branstad won last November with 59% of the vote, yet is already down to a 48% approval rating […]

Help Keep Starting Line Sustainable – Donate!

Do you enjoy Starting Line? Of course you do! So help us keep this site sustainable by donating to us to help cover costs and keep us running. As you can tell, Starting Line has been a labor of love for me. No other job I’ve worked on has been as fun or has made me as happy as running this site does. And we’ve been successful. After just six months, Starting Line is now the most-read political blog/independent site in Iowa (according to metrics I can see). We are followed by all the state and national journalists. Stories first […]

Walker v. Rubio: One Town, Two Candidates, Twenty Hours Apart

Philanthropist Donald Trump was in Iowa last Saturday, where he gave prepared remarks about America’s post-colonial experience in Southeast Asia, with specific emphasis on the role of naval forces and the impact of a particular soldier’s five year interaction with the indigenous population. In light of the ubiquitous attention focused on Mr. Trump’s well-received speech, you may not realize that several other presidential candidates also spoke in Iowa last weekend. (Ahem, removes tongue from cheek…) Because Patrick has deftly reviewed the Democratic candidates who appeared at the Hall of Fame Dinner last weekend, I want to turn the attention to […]

Former Generals Back Up O’Malley’s Climate And Conflict Connection

Three retired generals, including Wesley Clark, visited Des Moines on Wednesday to make the case for the Renewable Fuel Standard, linking its success to America’s national security. On a trip through Iowa as part of the Vote Vets campaign, the three laid out the real world impacts they’ve seen caused by an over-reliance on foreign oil. “My experience in Iraq has taught me that our addiction to oil is putting our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines at tremendous risk overseas,” said retired Brigadier General Steven Anderson, who coordinated logistical supplies in Iraq. He estimated that at least 1,200 American military […]

Two More Big Iowa Democratic Events Coming In August

For Iowa Democrats still coming down from the exciting high of the Hall of Fame Dinner in Cedar Rapids this Friday, good news: you’ve got two more fun events to go to in August. Coming up on August 14th will be the Wing Ding Dinner in Clear Lake. Then two weeks later, Progress Iowa hosts the inaugural Corn Feed event in Des Moines. For those sad to not have their beloved Harkin Steakfry to attend any more, they can see the former Senator in late August headline and speak at Progress Iowa’s Corn Feed (think he’ll talk about putting the […]

Top 50 LEAST Wanted Republicans In The Iowa Caucus

Back in December the Des Moines Register’s chief political reporter, Jennifer Jacobs, released much talked-about lists of the 50 most wanted Iowa Republican and Democratic activists for the Iowa Caucus. They were good lists, even if people passionately debated over who was on it. But we felt like Jacobs missed out on an important aspect of the rankings by only listing people who would be helpful to a campaign. So, especially in light of recent events, Starting Line is releasing it’s comprehensive list of the TOP 50 LEAST WANTED REPUBLICANS IN THE IOWA CAUCUS: 1. Kent Sorenson 2. Kent Sorenson […]

Republicans Aren’t Just Appealing To Racism, They’re Actively Fostering Its Growth

“We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.” That’s what RNC Chair Reince Priebus said back in 2013 after the party’s second-in-a-row presidential election defeat. They determined their standing among minority communities was badly tarnished and Priebus vowed to address it. We’re only several months into the 2016 primary season and that plan has already been completely derailed. In just a week’s time Donald Trump did more damage to Republicans’ appeal to Hispanic voters than any single person in recent history with his “rapist” and “drug dealer” lines in his […]