Awkward: All GOP State Senate Candidates Have Same Kids In Ads

It seems all the targeted Republican state senate candidates had a big TV shoot recently, as they’ve all posted their first ads online in the past few weeks. The ads themselves are so-so at best, but you rarely see very creative TV spots at the statehouse level. Each starts with the candidate talking directly to the camera in front of a plain white background, explaining their biographical background before explaining all the terrible problems in Iowa that they’ll go to Des Moines to fix (see links to all at the end of this post). However, one thing does stand out: each […]

Clinton’s 103-Year-Old Iowa Supporter, Ruline Steininger, In New Video

The Clinton campaign released a video today featuring Iowa’s Ruline Steininger, a 103-year-old Hillary Clinton supporter born before women achieved the right to vote. In it, Ruline explains what Clinton’s candidacy means to her and women around the country. The Pleasant Hill resident garnered considerable media attention back during the Iowa Caucus and was even followed on caucus night by a CNN crew. In the video she reads off part of her letter that she sent to Clinton before the caucus, in which she describes the many world events she saw during her life. She tells Clinton in her second century she hopes to […]

Actually, The Clinton Foundation Does A Lot Of Good

The Republican Party leadership has become obsessed with inventing Democratic scandals by ignoring or twisting the facts. Reality is based on provable facts, which Republicans seem to abhor when it inconveniently conflicts with their beliefs. Their latest tall tale is to fabricate numerous scandals out of one of the most effective and respected global charities in the world, the Clinton Foundation. The established facts rate the Clinton Foundation higher than the average of other similar charities. CharityWatch, one of the most respected organizations that rate charities gave the Clinton Foundation an “A” rating. That grade in part is based on […]

Chuck Grassley Just Did A Big About-Face On SCOTUS

“Let The People Decide.” That’s been Senator Chuck Grassley’s campaign slogan recently, in reference to his refusal to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. They’ve even printed signs and t-shirts with it. For months now Grassley has insisted that the next president should choose the nominee, not Obama. He’s argued Obama is essentially a lame-duck, especially because voters backed Republicans in such overwhelming numbers in 2014. He’s said the people must have a voice. Not anymore. In an interview in a Mason City Globe Gazette article, Grassley left open the door for pursuing a lame-duck […]

Can Democrats Ever Hope To Defeat Joni Ernst?

People love Joni Ernst. A lot happened at Ernst’s 2nd annual Roast and Ride this weekend, where Donald Trump headlined with an immigration-heavy speech. What stood out to me, however, was Ernst herself and how she gives off a sort of effortless charm at these events. She really has an unmatched charisma that no other Iowa politician can claim. Democrats in Iowa like to tell themselves that Ernst is a nutty, unserious extremist who will be a welcome target for defeat in 2020. They should spend some time around her. They’d find a much more complex and compelling politician than the […]

Rise Of The Alt-Right: Trump’s Bannon “Most Dangerous Political Operative in America”

This headline came from a 2015 article in Bloomberg News that featured an expose on Steve Bannon, the new CEO for the Trump campaign. Bannon has been the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, one of the far-right’s most vicious media tabloids. Bannon’s choice to run the Trump campaign should scare both Republicans and Democrats since Bloomberg names Bannon as the leader of the “new vast right-wing conspiracy.” Brietbart targets both Democrats and establishment Republicans with similar hate and anger. Bannon has made it his mission to take down both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Recall, Jeb Bush was the presumed […]

Free Speech Incidents In Waterloo, Calhoun County Teachable Moments

We Americans like to wrap ourselves in the U.S. Constitution as if it were a parchment blanket. We like this – except when someone else wraps themselves in it for reasons we dislike. At the heart of the United States and our democracy is this: Our Constitution protects ideas we gladly support, as well as those ideas we may find reprehensible. Two people in the news in Iowa this month illustrate this legal fact of life. One is a 63-year-old Vietnam War veteran from Calhoun County. The other is a 13-year-old girl from Waterloo. Both ran afoul of the law […]

Labor Unions Endorse Patty Judge Despite Past Misgivings

The AFL-CIO officially gave an endorsement nod to U.S. Senate candidate Patty Judge this week at their state convention in Altoona. That followed AFSCME’s formal backing last week. It’s a notable change in labor’s disposition to the former Lt. Governor, and a sign of continuing unity around Judge in a race Democrats see as a potential pick-up opportunity. It didn’t always use to be this way. Iowa’s labor community has never forgotten – nor quite forgiven – Judge’s involvement in former Governor Chet Culver’s veto of the collective bargaining bill in 2008. Both AFSCME and the AFL-CIO endorsed and actively […]

Youth Wage Gets Pushback In Polk County Minimum Wage Proposal

“I’m disappointed.” That was the most common refrain from community members during the public comments section of yesterday’s Polk County minimum wage task force meeting in Des Moines. This gathering of the group focused on a separate youth wage to be implemented along with a new minimum wage in Iowa’s largest county. Many community members were unhappy with that decision. The task force has already decided to recommend to the full county supervisor board a incremental increase in the minimum wage to $10.75/hour by 2019. Now they’re proposing a lower increased wage for workers under 18. At yesterday’s meeting they […]

The 2016 Election and the Economic War on Women – Part 5

Part 5 of the series. View Part 1, 2, 3, 4 on IDD’s website Reprinted with permission by People for the American Way Major players working to stop women’s economic freedom measures American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) As People For the American Way wrote in a report on ALEC, the organization “is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced.” Corporations pay dues to the organization and earn the privilege of meeting with state legislatures and presenting them with corporate-friendly model legislation. ALEC bills that have spread across […]