The Republican Messiah Complex And Destruction Of Democracy

Among the many lies conservatives told or bought into about President Barack Obama, two come especially to mind in light of the new president’s proclivities. The first is that Obama had a messiah complex: He saw himself as the savior of America – or at least of the Democratic Party. The second is that he was purposely out to destroy America. For now, let’s set aside the inherent, irrational conflict in these two viewpoints. Instead, let’s compare intent, whatever it may be, with outcome. Obama “ought to get over his messiah complex. He’s not going to slow the rise of […]

Brad Zaun Gets Grilled By Overflow Crowd Of Angry Constituents

The regular monthly Urbandale Chamber of Commerce meeting on Saturday morning was far from normal. The meeting scheduled to begin at 10:30 had exceeded room capacity before 10:00. By 10:30 the massive overflow crowd filled the hallways and the line extended outside the building. The normal turnout barely fills the room. However, Senator Brad Zaun’s recent introduction of numerous bizarre and dangerous bills have the public motivated to speak up. There were five speakers on the panel, but every question was directed at Zaun. The other panelists were Representative John Forbes, Urbandale Mayor Robert Andeweg, Supervisor Bob Brownell and Urbandale […]

Chuck Grassley Hated Obama’s Executive Orders. But Now…?

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has long prided himself on providing a strong check on the executive branch. At campaign events and town halls during his reelection effort last year, he often touted how he’s stood up to both Republican and Democratic presidents, noting he once particularly ran afoul of Ronald Reagan’s supporters. And yet he’s been noticeably silent so far on Donald Trump’s far-reaching, unilateral ban on entrance to the U.S. for people from many majority-Muslim nations, which has thrown worldwide travel into chaos and has been quickly challenged by the courts. That’s a change in demeanor from when Barack Obama […]

Outside Iowa Mosque, O’Malley Blasts Muslim Ban As “Emperor-Like Edict”

Martin O’Malley was in Iowa this weekend as the full effects of President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from Muslim countries rippled across the nation. He added a stop between his two campaign events for Iowa House Democrats to address the ban, standing outside the Mother Mosque in Cedar Rapids, the longest-standing mosque in North America. Calling Trump’s executive order an “emperor-like edict,” O’Malley cautioned where it might lead the country. “This is appalling conduct,” O’Malley said of the President’s actions. “It is unbecoming of the presidency and the people of the United States. Good people everywhere need to stand […]

Republicans Repay Union Voters With Anti-Union Agenda

President Trump campaigned on a theme of bringing back good paying jobs. He promised he would be the “greatest job producer God has ever created.” Both Trump and Iowa Republicans’ election successes resulted in part by convincing traditional Democratic labor voters to vote for Republicans in 2016. Trump sold labor and union voters on a phony claim that he would be a champion for blue collar Americans. Both Trump and Iowa Republican Legislators were able to win nationally and in Iowa because labor voters believed Republicans’ bogus claims that they would support and champion labor. Now that Trump is President, […]

Republicans Aim Biggest Cuts For At-Risk Iowans, Rainy Day Fund Unused

Republican legislators are moving quickly today on their revised budget cuts proposal, which totals $88 million in cuts, along with $25 million in tax credit transfers to cover the recent budget shortfall. Going unused once again this year is Iowa’s Rainy Day fund, which has $738 million in it for FY 2017, and is expected to have $727 million for FY 2018. The Senate is debating the matter this morning with a vote likely to come soon afterward. The cuts in the de-appropriations bill hits many agencies and institutions hard, including the regent universities ($8 million in cuts to the U […]

Planned Parenthood Warns GOP: You Own This

It was quickly evident that Republican Senators Amy Sinclair and Jason Schultz wanted the public hearing on defunding Planned Parenthood short and sweet. Although it was one of the few points in the legislative process where public comments could be taken on the issue, Sinclair limited the the public portion to under 25 minutes. The whole hearing wrapped up in less than a half hour with Sinclair and Shultz indicating their support for Senate File 2. Although around 500 Planned Parenthood supporters packed the hearing room and the hallway outside, Sinclair rotated through an equal amount of public speakers both […]

Petersen: GOP Making It “Easier To Get A Machine Gun Than A Pap Smear”

Iowa activists and legislators gathered on Monday at the Statehouse to prepare for the upcoming battle over defunding Planned Parenthood. Tomorrow is the first step in the legislative process for Senate File 2, the legislation co-sponsored by every Republican senator that restricts any state funds from family planning services at Planned Parenthood. A subcommittee hearing is being held tomorrow at 11:30 in Room 22 at the Capitol. Senator Amy Sinclair, the only female Republican senator, is expected to take the lead on the matter. Members of Planned Parenthood and supportive activists held a press conference and training today on lobbying […]

Early Signs Encouraging For Democratic Takeback In 2018

For Democrats still shellshocked by their sweeping defeat in the 2016 election and depressed by Donald Trump’s inauguration, any positive sign for the future was been very welcome. A sense of optimism is necessary not just for grassroots activism to fight the new Republican agenda, but also to recruit Democratic candidates to run for key offices in 2018. Many Democrats in Iowa are concerned that 2016 wasn’t simply an aberration, but the start of a shift in voting trends. Pointing out that Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by three million is cold comfort to Iowans who saw their state go from […]

Iowa Democrats Vote In Raft Of Younger Leaders

Iowa Democrats will move forward after the 2016 election disaster with a lot of younger, diverse and fresh faces heading up their efforts. At the party’s State Central Committee meeting on Saturday, voting members selected younger leaders for the top four slots of party chair and the vice chairs. Derek Eadon, 33, was voted in as chair. Andrea Phillips, 42, won the 1st Vice Chair spot, which is also a DNC voting member. Jordan Pope, 19, beat out a state representative to become 2nd Vice Chair. And June Owens, 45, became the 3rd Vice Chair. Jean Pardee, who has served on the […]