A Look At Thomas Heckroth And His 1st District Run

Thomas Heckroth has a constant reminder of his small-town roots at home: his goldendoodle puppy, “Waverly,” named after the Bremer County town he grew up in. Back in 2006 he knocked doors in that county and nearby ones for his father’s successful run for state senate. Now he’s back in Iowa, following ten years out of the state for school and working in Tom Harkin’s office and in the private sector in New York, to run for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District. “Serving the community and your country has been in my family for a long time,” Heckroth explained to […]

Iowa’s Immigrant Children Face Nightmare Under Trump Deportations

Last week the Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the fate of immigrant children in America is in serious jeopardy. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, is a 2012 executive order signed by former President Barack Obama that stopped deportation for nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrant children. These are the innocent children of immigrants, known as Dreamers, that were brought here by their parents. These kids didn’t intentionally break any laws but now the Trump regime may cruelly punish them simply for accompanying their parents across the border. Kelly told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week that the Trump administration […]

Fred Hubbell Officially Launches Gubernatorial Bid – See The Video

Des Moines businessman and philanthropist Fred Hubbell made it official today: he’s running for governor. He had started up an exploratory committee back in late May, and has been mostly been working behind the scenes the past two months with his campaign team to prepare a launch and flesh out their operation. He’s slowly introduced himself to activists at a handful of Democratic events, but hasn’t participated in any forums yet or embarked on a statewide trip. Hubbell marked his announcement with a kick-off video, which shows him discussing Iowa’s economic opportunities with small business owners and workers, often with […]

Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

Just as reliably as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, not a week goes by in Iowa politics without a new candidate running for this or that major office. Iowa Democrats have about 22 declared or strongly-considering candidates for governor and the three Republican-held congressional districts. The field for every race has continued to grow this summer, though we may be finally nearing the end of the announcement phase. It’s an interesting parallel to the huge, 17-candidate Republican presidential primary field in 2016. Out of power for a while now, there’s fewer influential power-brokers or […]

Will Senators Ernst And Grassley Kick Grandma Out Of Nursing Home?

The Republicans’ latest Senate bill to repeal Obamacare would cut $800 billion dollars from Medicaid, devastating the program that covers 69 million Americans. A great deal of the debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare has focused on people losing coverage on the Obamacare Exchanges. However, the Republican repeal both weakens the protections established under Obamacare and it threatens to rip the basic Medicaid safety net out from under millions of elderly and disabled Americans. Over two-thirds of all nursing home residents are covered by Medicaid. These are elderly Americans that have depleted their savings and are dependent on Medicaid to […]

Senate Vote On E15 Could Be Early Test For 2020 Democrats In Iowa

An upcoming vote on a little-known EPA rule on E15 ethanol could pose an early first test for potential presidential candidates looking to come through Iowa. The U.S. Senate’s Environmental and Public Works committee will soon consider the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which allows E15 fuel to be sold during the summer months. Renewable fuel advocates see it as a key priority for expanding ethanol usage. Currently, you can only sell E15 for eight and a half months out of the year. The issue has to do with Reid vapor pressure restrictions, which sees fuel evaporation rates climb […]

Bernie Sanders’ Progressive Movement Lives On, Grows In Iowa

You could have mistaken the packed hall of Citizens for Community Improvement’s annual gathering yesterday for one of the larger Bernie Sanders rallies during the 2016 Iowa Caucus. Or you might have thought it was the Democratic Party’s state convention (it was held in the same room) – except this might have had more people. Well over 1,000 progressive activists filled the chairs for Bernie Sanders’ afternoon keynote address, but it was nearly just as crowded for the early morning issue advocacy training sessions. Saturday’s event highlighted the exponential growth that progressive advocacy groups like CCI have seen since the […]

Dear Senators Ersnt And Grassley: My Family’s Cancer Story

Dear Senator Ernst and Grassley, I’ve never had cancer, but I have deeply loved someone with cancer and it is terror.  The ability to work, to play, to function – all stops.  There are brief moments of me pretending she isn’t sick and that everything will be fine, but cancer is never more than an arm’s length away.  There are attempts to make her smile, although I know it probably won’t work because cancer is more than terror to her; it is her life.  Sleep becomes a drug, a way to forget as often as possible, but there is never […]

Businesswoman Leann Jacobsen Considers Run Against Steve King

One of the longstanding frustrations of moderate Republicans and some independents in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District isn’t so much the incendiary things Steve King says; it’s instead what local issues he isn’t talking about. While King is complaining on Twitter about immigrants and touting far-right European political movements, small town economies in Western Iowa are struggling. Now Leann Jacobsen, a Spencer city councilwoman whose expertise is building up small business communities in Northwest Iowa, is thinking about challenging King in 2018. “I have 30 years of business experience which provides a lot of passion around seeing business succeed, from start-ups […]

Fireworks, Guns, Tax Credits And The “Speed Limit Phenomenon”

My wife and I were driving down Interstate Highway 80 on Sunday, and we experienced one of the cardinal rules of law-making. You don’t read about this in the textbooks. But it’s as certain as death and taxes. The rule amounts to this: When politicians give us something, it’s not long before we want more of the same. On Sunday, we were humming along at 70 miles per hour. Even at that speed, more cars and trucks were passing us than we were passing. I’m old enough to remember when the nation grudgingly went to “double nickels” — a national […]