Rene Gadelha’s Attacks On Liz Mathis Blow Up In Her Face

Rene Gadelha’s campaign to unseat popular Democratic State Senator Liz Mathis is not going so well. In the span of just one week Gadelha’s attack ads have gotten two negative fact checks from two of the district’s biggest media outlets. First came a column from Todd Dorman in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, criticizing the similar mailers he got from Gadelha and a conservative group, Priorities for Iowa. The mailers called out Mathis for voting for so-called wasteful spending, citing votes on bills that included some funds for a baseball stadium parking lot and improvements for the Blank Park Zoo. But Dorman pointed out that […]

World Dismayed As Trump Lies His Way Through Campaign

Guest post from Tim Delong How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB? This was the November 4, 2004 headline in the British newspaper the “Mirror.” Of course this referred to the second election of George W. Bush, a real “head scratcher” for much of the world as they seemed willing to forgive us for electing him the first time but the second time was more than they could stand. (The outcomes of W’s second term strongly suggest that the rest of the world was correct.) From the standpoint of most of our best allies, President Obama represented a return to […]

Branstad Tries To Disenfranchise Voters To Snag Joe Seng’s Seat In Special

Voters in Davenport will be stepping over unwrapped Christmas presents on their way out the door to vote for State Senator Joe Seng’s successor, thanks to Governor Terry Branstad’s scheduling of the special election. In an official proclamation yesterday, Branstad set December 27 as the date to choose the replacement for Seng, who passed away late last week. As one could imagine, holding an election two days after Christmas is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Many voters will be out of town. They’re not going to want to think about politics around the holidays. The County Auditor’s […]

Lifelong Republican, Reagan Staffer: “Hillary Is Last, Best Hope For America”

Doug Elmets, a native Iowan, lifelong Republican and former spokesman for President Ronald Reagan, came back to Iowa recently to speak in support of Hillary Clinton. Having grown up in Des Moines, graduating from the University of Iowa and maintaining his Iowa roots provides him a unique perspective on Iowa politics. He cast his first vote for president 40 years ago in Iowa and it was for Ronald Reagan. “I’ve been voting for Republicans in every election since, until now,” Elmets said. “I have never voted for a Democrat in my entire life. On November 8, I’m going to cast […]

Is This The Greatest Iowa Ad Of 2016? Or The Craziest?

A new Iowa legislative ad spread like wildfire through the Iowa political community today. An online ad posted by Justin Knight, Democratic candidate in House District 25, may go down as one of the more unique spots produced by any Iowa campaign this year, complete with a 1964 “Daisy” ad callback, ear-piercing sirens and fire. The tornado alarms that kick off the ad are clearly meant to signal warnings about Republican incumbent Stan Gustafson, which the ad blasts for his past electoral history in California. It hits him for being recalled from a local service district board in Los Osos, California in 2005, […]

Coping Is Easier When The Glass Is Half-Full

I’ve long been a glass-half-full guy, rather than someone who dwells on the glass being half empty. It’s just a matter of perspective, I guess. I credit this outlook to my parents. But regardless of its origins, it’s comforting when you focus on the good that is out there rather than the evil – especially these days when it might appear our world is ready to spin out of control. My parents grew up during the Great Depression – not having a lot to start with and then having even less during those tough times – and that reality colored […]

Iowa Absentee Ballot Requests Lag Behind 2012 Numbers

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office released the number of absentee ballots requested by voters so far today, and the overall absentee request numbers are down from 2012. The timing of absentee mailers, however, may have impacted that and the numbers could soon significantly increase. 43,443 registered Democrats have requested absentee ballots, nearly three times as many as the 15,272 registered Republicans who have done so. However, that’s much less than the 97,001 Democratic requests and slightly above the 14,909 Republican ones from this point in the last presidential election. Neither party has sent out many rounds of absentee ballot request mailers yet, a […]

How Iowa Can Build A Bold, Progressive Tax System

Guest post from Jack Hatch on his upcoming book Iowa’s economic priorities are going in the wrong direction and Iowa Democrats and progressives will need to engage our leaders in a new and different dialogue, and advocate bold strategies for future economic and social security. We do have big city problems and small town challenges. Iowa has one of the highest graduation rates in the nation but too many of our students are not prepared for college. Iowa is the only state bordered by two navigable rivers, but our water is more contaminated every year. We have incredible colleges and […]

Disillusioned Young Conservatives Search For Identity In 2016

A lot of attention has focused on the Democrats’ difficulties with young voters – typically their best voting bloc – this year, but Republicans are dealing with a similar – if smaller – rebellion among their youthful backers. Donald Trump’s candidacy has many young Republicans and conservatives questioning their loyalty to the party and searching for different options. Some of those young ex-Republicans showed up at an event for Evan McMullin in Des Moines this past week. McMullin, an independent candidate drafted to give frustrated rank-and-file Republicans a conservative choice, drew a notably young crowd to his Des Moines event […]

“The Political Party” Launches Millennial Vote Events Aimed At Progressive Issues

This year has been a whirlwind for politics. We started out the year with stories of an impassioned movement, often described as a “revolution” among young people participating in politics. Unfortunately, much of that talk fizzled following the presidential primary season, leaving many young people feeling powerless, disheartened, and skeptical of candidates and the elections process at large. We have an opportunity to change that narrative of politics. We have to empower young people and show them how to use their voice. By focusing on issues rather than on candidates, perhaps we can reignite that same passion again in young […]