Ron Corbett Emerges From Floods Ready For 2018 Governor’s Race

Few words of politics were uttered as Cedar Rapids prepared for and experienced the floods of 2016. But the makings of Iowa’s next governor may have been forged in the tense week as the city battled back the second-highest ever crest of the Cedar River. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett was a constant, public presence for the city as sandbags were filled, plans were detailed and temporary flood barriers were erected. In just a few days, the city constructed nine miles of tall, impenetrable barriers to hold back the water. Many of the areas ravaged and destroyed from the 2008 flood evacuated. When […]

No Vote Or Third Party Vote Is A Vote For Trump

New polling results suggest many millennials are shunning both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and embracing third party candidates. Bernie Sanders joined Clinton this week appealing to millennials to come back home to the Democratic Party. However, maybe former Sanders strategic advisor Tad Devine should go on the road to speak to Sanders supporters. Sanders supporters know Devine and he understands how third party candidates can elect Republicans. He was chief strategist for Al Gore in the 2000 race running against George Bush. The election came down to Florida where Bush was ahead by 537 votes when the Supreme Court […]

The State Of Iowa’s Early Vote And How It All Works

Hillary Clinton visits Iowa today, the day that early voting begins in the state. Her rally is at a plaza in downtown Des Moines that’s just a stone’s throw away from the Polk County Auditor’s office, where in-person early voting is held from now to the election. The Clinton campaign hasn’t announced more details yet, but it’s a safe bet to make that she will lead a march of Democrats two blocks down the street to vote, or at least send them on their way. Why is this stop in Des Moines so important for Clinton? Because Democrats only win […]

The “Art Of The Deal” Puts Lipstick On A Pig

The book “Art of the Deal,” co-authored by Tony Schwartz, made Donald Trump a household name and launched his presidential ambitions. It has been presented as a business memoir written by Trump. However, Trump’s claim to have written the book is now in doubt following two July articles in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer. In those articles, Tony Schwartz says Trump’s only contributions to the book were a few minor edits in the final manuscript. If the book that Trump celebrates as his creation and claims honestly portrays his business skills is now based on a big lie, it […]

Politics Pause As Flood Waters Hit Cedar Rapids, Eastern Iowa

As the Cedar River slowly raised foot-by-foot to flood levels these past few days, political campaigns in Eastern Iowa slowed to a halt. Iowa’s largest river winds its way through many of this year’s biggest electoral battlegrounds in the state, from Charles City to Waverly to Cedar Falls to Vinton to Cedar Rapids. When the historic flood in 2008 hit in a previous presidential election year, it came in June, well before the intense final months of the campaign. Early voting starts on Thursday, so the flooding in Cedar Rapids will likely impact campaigns’ plans for their initial early vote push. Elected officials in […]

It’s Time for Hillary Supporters to Come Out of the Closet

Guest post from Ruth Thompson, a very active Clinton volunteer I’ve observed something during this election cycle that I’ve never seen before.  We have an amazing candidate for president, arguably the smartest, most experienced and qualified candidate in my lifetime, and many Democrats are afraid to express that sentiment out loud. It’s complicated, I get it. We’ve just come through a caucus/primary/ lead-up to the Democratic National Convention that was extremely contentious from the minute the candidates declared until the minute the DNC was officially closed. Supporters of Bernie Sanders are going through a grieving period and many of them […]

What Down-Ballot Democrats Hope To See In The Debate

I watched the first 2012 debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the basement of a fellow campaign staffer’s supporter housing in Cedar Rapids. Everyone was disappointed in Obama’s widely-criticized first outing. Before that night we knew we had a competitive race, but were feeling very good about the November result, with the potential for a Democratic wave. This was the first time the Democrats’ chances for 2012 seemed in real doubt, which was particularly concerning since the group of us huddled around the TV were all staffers for down-ballot candidates. “Obama will probably recover from this, but we just […]

The Key 2016 Iowa House Races That Will Determine The Majority

While only a small handful of Iowa Senate races seem like pure toss-ups at this point, there’s nearly a dozen Iowa House campaigns that could easily go either way. An unusually large number of incumbent Republican retirements, suburban swing districts possibly trending Democratic and voters everywhere frustrated with their top-of-ticket options has created a lot of uncertainty. Republicans outnumber Democrats 57 to 43 in the Iowa House. Capturing eight seats to retake the majority would typically be a tall order, but thanks to strong recruiting and open seats, Democrats are optimistic about their chances. They’re practically certain to pick up at least […]

Terry Branstad’s War On Workers

Terry Branstad joined the Tea Party with his reelection. It is apparent that his relentless effort to scale back government has a hidden agenda—not to keep public spending under control, but to move state dollars from the pockets of state workers to big business. A recent Des Moines Editorial, “Corporate Welfare Run Amok,” cited a litany of egregious examples of state tax giveaways to companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 186 Iowa companies received Research Activities Credits totaling over $42 million in 2015. “The vast majority of this money isn’t going to small start-ups but to larger, highly profitable […]

Tom Vilsack Pitches His Solutions To Millennial Vote Engagement

The best way to activate young voters is through a bigger focus on issues rather than candidates, believes Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who returned to Iowa this week to speak at a millennial voters event in Des Moines. The former Iowa governor specifically pointed to water quality topics as a key motivator, and said the Democratic Party must adjust their outreach tactics for young people. “I think it’s important for us to talk about the significant progressive agenda that could be advanced by young people, by millennials,” Vilsack told Starting Line at the “Political Party” event in Des Moines […]