Iowa’s Sexual Harassment Problem Starts At The Top, Too

Iowa Senate Republicans’ disgusting sexual harassment behavior cost you as an Iowa taxpayer $1.75 million. That was the settlement reached to end a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Kirsten Anderson, the former Communication Director for the Iowa Senate Republicans. That payment ended the lawsuit but it shouldn’t end the investigation of Senator Bill Dix. Dix is the Senate Republican Majority Leader responsible for providing a safe and harassment-free work environment in the Senate offices. Anderson sued claiming she was fired because she complained about continuing sexual harassment and the toxic work environment in the Republican senate offices. Dix has never […]

State Of The Race In Iowa’s 3rd District (October 2017)

Starting Line’s analysis of Iowa’ four congressional races continues today with the most intriguing primary of all: the Des Moines-based 3rd District. Four, possibly five Democrats have a real shot at winning the party’s nomination to take on incumbent Republican Congressman David Young. It’s also more likely than not that the nomination goes to a convention if no candidate gets to 35%, the amount required by Iowa law to avoid doing so. Young himself prevailed in a nominating convention in 2014 after coming in 5th place in the primary. Could the Democrat who finally defeats him come out of a […]

How Many Iowans Must Die Before Reynolds Reverses Medicaid Privatization?

This week the Des Moines Register reported another Iowan on Medicaid died following refusal of Medicaid providers to pay for adequate care. Her nursing home’s decision to refuse accepting Medicaid patients on ventilators would require her to move 90 miles from Des Moines. The Register reported, “the Fleur Heights nursing home blames insufficient and untimely payments from Iowa’s Medicaid program” for their inability to afford to take patients on ventilators in the future. There are only six of Iowa’s 417 nursing homes remaining that will accept ventilator patients. The family had moved their loved one into a temporary facility at […]

State Of The Race In Iowa’s 2nd District (October 2017)

With the 3rd quarter financial filings all getting posted on Monday, Starting Line continues its series of reports on where the field stands in each Iowa congressional district. Up today: Iowa’s 2nd District, where incumbent Democrat Dave Loebsack, the last elected Democrat on the federal level in the state, is looking to secure a seventh term in 2018. Incumbent: Six-term Democrat Dave Loebsack 2016 Result: Dave Loebsack 53.7%, Christopher Peters 46.2% 2016 Presidential: Trump 49.1%, Clinton 45.0% Location: Southeast Iowa, Davenport, Iowa City, Ottumwa, Clinton Iowa City physician Dr. Christopher Peters is looking for a rematch with Loebsack in 2018, and so far he’s […]

Host Of Elected Officials, Key Activists Back Thomas Heckroth In 1st District

Thomas Heckroth’s campaign rolled out a long list of endorsers for his candidacy in Iowa’s 1st District Democratic primary today. State Representative Art Staed of Cedar Rapids joins Iowa House colleague Bruce Bearinger (who announced his support earlier) in backing the Waverly native. And he added a large host of activists and former elected officials from Black Hawk and Linn counties, including former congressional and state legislative candidate Gary Kroeger and Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers. “Thomas understands the challenges facing the 1st District, but he also knows there’s tremendous potential to grow these communities and create new opportunity,” said […]

Reasons To Raise The Minimum Wage, From Both The Right And Left

For some time, both across the nation and recently in Iowa, the issue of raising the minimum wage has been hotly debated. Although the Iowa General Assembly has failed to ac – and working to stop it all together – it looks like Polk County and other parts of the state believe differently. Traditionally the debate has pitted the political left, in favor, vs. the political right, opposed.  That is actually a misnomer, and although almost all on the left are in favor, there are few on the right who also think it is a good idea for possibly different […]

State Of The Race In Iowa’s 1st District (October 2017)

Democrats face large primary fields for the 1st, 3rd and 4th congressional districts in Iowa, making it a little tough at times to figure out how things could shake out. But after months of candidate announcements, the races are starting to come into focus. At this point it seems like everyone who is going to get in is in, and yesterday’s 3rd quarter campaign finance filings gave the first full picture of where the candidates stack up money-wise. Starting Line will be taking a look at each congressional district this week for the Democrats and Republicans running, analyzing the finance […]

In Iowa, Tulsi Gabbard Urges End To Party Infighting

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard keynoted Democratic barbecues this Sunday in Ames and Iowa City, hitting themes of party unity, love and anti-war in well-received speeches. Gabbard has visited Iowa before for local party events in 2015 and 2016, but has not come to the caucus state nearly as often as other well-known Democrats and rising stars have. She noted that her trip this weekend was thanks to a “very patient and persistent” former Bernie Sanders activist that invited her to the Ames event. Gabbard began her speech with describing the “Aloha spirit” and how its idea of interconnectedness applies to […]

What Drives Fred Hubbell In Life, Gubernatorial Campaign

Around Des Moines, the Hubbell name is known for many things. Thousands of people live in Hubbell Realty-managed apartments and homes. Parents drop their kids off to school at Hubbell Elementary. Hubbell Avenue is a major artery that cuts through Des Moines’ East Side. For Drake University students, the name relates to fun-filled snow days – “Hubbell-ing” is the term they use for sledding down the hills by the freshman dorms on food trays taken from Hubbell Dining Hall. And to Iowa activists who care deeply about the environment, Planned Parenthood and affordable healthcare, Fred and Charlotte Hubbell are known […]

A One-Word Concept That Can Help The Democrats Win Again

There are times in a person’s life when an epiphany occurs that changes the way one thinks about events or even life itself. I had such an occurrence in the summer of 2015, which revamped my thinking on all sorts of issues. It occurred over dinner with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, currently head of the George Bush School of Government at Texas A&M. The Ambassador was in Des Moines to speak to the Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations of which I was chairman at the time (now Emeritus). The Ambassador’s Foreign Service career stretched over 37 years. During that period […]