Disparity In Funding For Rural Schools Getting Worse

We all want to believe that our children have an equal shot at opportunity and success. And we all want to believe that Iowa will deliver that equal shot. Who doesn’t remember Iowa sitting atop the national rankings year after year in college entrance exam scores? Who doesn’t remember Terry Branstad’s promises during the 2010 campaign for governor that he would make Iowa’s K-12 schools world class? But a report last week shows that Iowa lawmakers have repeatedly dropped the ball when it comes to providing funding equity for the state’s public schools. Because of disparities in the way the […]

Republicans Make Same Mistake They Mocked Hatch Campaign For

Iowa politics can be fun when you have a long memory. Take today, for instance. Kim Reynolds announced Adam Gregg as her “acting” lt. governor (due to Attorney General Tom Miller’s ruling, he will be essentially a staff role for the time being). In doing so, Reynolds effectively announced the Republican ticket for 2018. As such, they did what campaigns often do: set up websites and campaign committees and twitter accounts and Facebook pages. Reynolds’ new gubernatorial campaign website is GovernorReynolds.com, which as I noted earlier today, might confuse some people as to what exactly is Reynolds’ political side and which […]

One Day On The Job, Kim Reynolds Running For Reelection Already

Kim Reynolds was sworn in as Iowa’s 43rd governor yesterday, but it certainly didn’t take her long to kick off her reelection campaign. On the same day that she laid out her policy agenda for the state, her staff amended her former lt. governor campaign committee to a full gubernatorial one named “Kim Reynolds for Iowa.” She already has at least a million dollars in that from fundraising last year. On a more substantive front, Reynolds launched a campaign website and also unveiled a five-minute video introducing herself to Iowa voters. It plays out like an introductory campaign video you’d release when […]

Right-Wing Media Giant Acquires Key Iowa TV Stations

Local Iowa television stations WHO in Des Moines and WQAD in Davenport could become considerably more politically conservative as a result of their acquisition by Sinclair Broadcasting. WHO is the NBC affiliate in Des Moines and WQAD the ABC affiliate serving Davenport, Iowa and Moline, Illinois. In addition, they will have a direct connection to the Trump Administration thanks to a deal struck by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Another concern is the Sinclair acquisition violates the previous size limit on the number of stations one broadcaster can own. Conservative media giant Sinclair Broadcasting announced May 8th it is acquiring […]

Dems Skeptical Kim Reynolds’ Administration Will Be Different

While Iowa’s Democratic leaders congratulated Kim Reynolds on her swearing in as Iowa’s newest governor, they also offered up deeply skeptical and critical concerns. Only a handful of well-known Democrats attended Reynolds’ ceremony, including legislative leaders Rob Hogg and Mark Smith, as well as Senators Nate Boulton and Rita Hart. Boulton, who hopes to take on Reynolds as the Democratic nominee in 2018, did a full day of counter-messaging around the event. After leaving the Capitol, Boulton travelled to Cedar Rapids to hold a press conference, attracting most of the Eastern Iowa media contingent. “Governor Reynolds campaigned on the promise of […]

Three Big Things Missing From Kim Reynolds’ Inaugural Speech

Iowa has a new governor. Kim Reynolds was officially sworn in this morning at a large ceremony in the rotunda of the Capitol, with many of the state’s top officials, Republican legislators and major conservative activists in attendance. Terry Branstad resigned the office and was immediately installed as America’s next ambassador to China. All those things have been in the work for months now, but the big question was what vision Reynolds would lay out for her administration. Would she set a separate path from Branstad or stay the course in both substance and style? Would she lay out key, […]

Iowa Can Do Better Than Washington In Providing Health Care

Reality had a message for the Republicans when it came to their oath to “Repeal & Replace Obamacare.” For the past seven years, Republicans all promised to repeal it, then they promised to repeal and replace it, and by the end of 2016 they promised to “rip it out by its roots.”  This was, of course, bluster and nonsense designed for a campaign audience.  In reality, the Republicans had no sustainable plan and wasted their time rushing a terrible piece of legislation through several committees in President Trump’s first 65 days. Good legislation takes time, hard work and compromise before […]

Congressman David Young’s Bogus 60 Second Surveys

Each week Congressman David Young sends out a “60 Second Survey” seeking the opinion of those who read his weekly newsletters. He should be commended for seeking feedback from constituents, but virtually all of his surveys are bogus or – at best – disingenuous. Last week he stated, “If people – as many have wished – get their way and the ACA continues to remain the exact same as it was signed into law by President Obama, the health care access for tens of thousands of Iowans begins to dry up. If President Obama’s law is not changed by a single word, every single one of the […]

How Many More Young Girls Must Die Before Iowa Acts?

I have seen a lot of political inaction in my time here in Iowa, but nothing that has perplexed and infuriated me as much as the state’s inability to respond to the starvation deaths of two adopted girls. You would have thought something may have changed after 16-year-old Natalie Finn died from starvation and torture last October in her West Des Moines home. Police found Finn on a floor wearing an adult diaper, laying in filth from herself and the many animals that roamed the house. Her adopted siblings apparently faced similar physical and mental abuse from Nicole and Joseph Finn. […]

Activists Put Up Billboard To Call Out David Young On AHCA

A Beaverdale mom decided it was time to act when Congressman David Young flip-flopped and voted for the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement. Young had vowed he would vote no on the previous version, but switched his vote at the last moment. As a member of the Northwest Des Moines Democrats, Vanessa Phelan had been brainstorming with the group about possible actions to counter Young. One of the options they discussed was renting billboards to express their disagreement with Young’s vote. NW Des Moines Democrats is one of 15 Polk County Democrats neighborhood groups. Following Young’s Obamacare flip-flop vote, Phelan began […]