Derek Eadon Elected Iowa Democrats Chair As Party Begins To Unify

Longtime Iowa political operative Derek Eadon prevailed in a seven-candidate field to become the new chair of the Iowa Democratic Party on Saturday. After months of intense campaigning for the votes of the 50 SCC members, Eadon emerged as a consensus choice from portions of both the Clinton and Sanders factions. Andy McGuire opened the meeting with words of thanks to the party activists and urged them to unify as they moved forward. That might be a much easier task now that Eadon is chair. Throughout the campaigning process, former Bernie Sanders activists coalesced behind political staffer Blair Lawton, who […]

“Down the Rabbit Hole” – How Will We Democrats Define Ourselves?

An open letter from an Iowa political staffer (who couldn’t use their name) Dear Iowa Democrats, The paradigm has shifted and we have stepped through the looking glass into a new reality. No longer are we just fighting over tax cuts and how much should the government spend on X, Y and Z. No, we have entered the Trump Presidency. An administration that will be dominated by far right, nationalistic, self interested tendencies that will be wrapped in safe sounding slogans of “America First” and policies that will leave large swaths of the country and the world in ruin. Acolytes […]

Complex Voting System To Be Used In IDP Chair Race Saturday

A consensus has formed in Iowa political circles on how the Iowa Democratic Party’s chair race will go down on Saturday: No one has any idea. Of course, if you speak to the die-hard supporters of each major candidate, they’ll tell you they easily have the votes needed to win. But add up all the votes everyone claims and you get more than double the number of actual state central committee members. So, no one’s really sure how it will turn out. A group of 49 SCC members (and possibly 50 depending on whether the SCC determines one other position […]

Storytelling Can Win Hearts And Voters

Democrats love to quote facts in defending their positions or countering Republicans’ claims. They’re convinced that building a persuasive argument depends on assembling the greatest number of facts to support their case. Democrats come to the public debate armed with piles of statistics and are shocked when Republican voters reject them. It drives Democrats crazy that Republicans are not only unconvinced by facts, but will use unproven or faulty data and fake news to defend their positions. Perhaps the most obvious example of faulty or partisan logic is the Republicans’ rejection of President Obama’s citizenship. According to an August 2016 […]

Martin O’Malley To Campaign With Monica Kurth In House Special

Democratic Iowa House candidate Monica Kurth will get some GOTV assistance next weekend from former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley on January 28. The past Iowa Caucus contender plans on rallying local activists for the final stretch of Kurth’s special election, and he will also host another Eastern Iowa event still being set up. This is O’Malley’s second visit to Davenport for a special election in just over a month. He flew out in December to assist now-Senator Jim Lykam in his special election to replace Joe Seng, who passed away last September. When Lykam won that seat, his House seat […]

Veterans Warn Legislators About Collective Bargaining Changes

If you weaken collective bargaining laws, you hurt Iowa veterans. That was the message from a group of labor union members who are veterans that met at the Statehouse this week to lobby legislators. Although they have yet to unveil their plans, many fear the new Republican majorities will make sweeping changes to weaken Iowa’s Chapter 20, the collective bargaining law. That would deny public workers – many of whom are veterans – a voice in the process. “Politicians love to talk about how much they care about veterans,” said Will Fischer, the executive director of the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council. […]

Liz Mathis Passes On Gubernatorial Run

State Senator Liz Mathis has decided against running for governor, she announced at a meeting of the Northwest Des Moines Democrats tonight. Her decision ends months of speculation of whether the popular Eastern Iowa legislator would look to lead Democrats at the top of the ticket in 2018. Mathis was widely considered the likely front-runner in a Democratic primary and one of the strongest potential statewide candidates in the general election. A TV reporter and anchor for 25 years, she is extremely well-known and trusted in the Cedar Rapids media market, which covers most of the Democratic and swing counties in the state. […]

Tom Vilsack’s New Gig: President Of U.S. Dairy Export Council

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will be leading the U.S. Dairy Export Council starting next month, the organization announced today. It had been rumored for a few weeks that this would serve as Vilsack’s landing spot after President Obama’s administration came to an end. Vilsack resigned from his post as Secretary of Agriculture one week early last Friday. Many in Iowa politics had wondered what Vilsack might plan for his post-Obama administration life, including whether he might come back to Iowa to run for office again. A few Democratic activists and donors hoped he’d consider running for governor in 2018. In […]

Uniting Progressives Into An “Indivisible” Force

Democrats facing a Republican majority both in Iowa and nationally must return to the basics. Without the votes in Congress or in the Iowa Legislature to pass legislation, Democrats must utilize the power of grassroots organizing to rally the troops of opposition. Last week, the Iowa Daily Democrat wrote an article suggesting Democrats should take a page from the Tea Party playbook. A new group called Indivisible recently published a guide suggesting how Democrats can and should utilize many of those “Tea Party” tactics. The guide is entitled, “A Practical Guide to resisting the Trump Agenda.” The new organization was formed by […]

Iowa Faces Caregiving Crisis – Here’s How To Fix It

The Iowa Legislature is back in session. Its job is to make Iowa a better place to live. One of the ways legislators can do so is by addressing the growing crisis in the paid caregiving workforce. I’ve written about the problem: that we don’t have enough qualified direct care workers — home health and home care aides, certified nurse aides, personal support attendants, etc. — to meet the demand from a burgeoning number of aging Iowans and those with disabilities. Why? Because direct care is tough work that isn’t rewarded with the pay, benefits and training deserved. And the […]