The First Amendment Is Dead In Muscatine

It was quite a week last week with the buzz about impeachment. Relax. I’m not referring to President Donald Trump. I’m talking about the mayor of Muscatine. Diana Broderson was removed from office by a 7-0 vote of the city council on Thursday. The meeting lasted 3 minutes. There was no discussion by the council members, and they offered no explanation of their votes. Earlier this year, the council directed the city attorney to prepare a statement of impeachment charges against the mayor. Then the council heard two days of testimony during a “trial” this spring. The charges involved an […]

Women In Southeast Iowa Left Behind After Planned Parenthood Closures

The options for women’s healthcare services are being dramatically reduced in Southeast Iowa thanks to the actions of local Republican lawmakers like Mark Lofgren, Tom Greene and Gary Carlson. Planned Parenthood announced today that they will close four clinics by the end of June, including their Eastern Iowa locations of Bettendorf, Burlington and Keokuk. Sioux City’s clinic will close as well. There are no Planned Parenthood clinics on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, nor are there any in Missouri or Illinois near the border of the Southeast Iowa corner. Keokuk residents now face a nearly 100-mile drive to the […]

Candidate Updates: Kiernan In, Carberry & Blake Out, Glasson Maybe

While the Donald Trump presidency disintegrates before the nation’s eyes in non-stop breaking news stories, local politics marches on in Iowa. Let’s do a quick round-up of recent news. Des Moines City Council The race for Des Moines City Council Ward 3 originally promised to be a closely-watched battle between longtime Republican incumbent Christine Hensley and Democratic environmental attorney Josh Mandelbaum. Hensley decided to retire from the seat instead a few weeks ago, and now the matchup will be between two well-known Des Moines Democrats (for now, anyway). Former IDP Chair Michael Kiernan officially entered the race yesterday, focusing his […]

Pottawattamie County Democrats Rebounding After Tough Losses

Council Bluffs Democrats have reorganized and reenergized following the devastating loss of the long-serving Senator Mike Gronstal. The former Iowa Senate majority leader’s loss combined with losses by other Senate Democrats resulted in Republicans taking complete control of the Legislature. For Iowa Democrats the incredible legislative damage done by Republicans has only compounded the loss of Gronstal’s leadership. Linda Nelson, the Pottawattamie (affectionately known as Pott County) Democratic County Chair didn’t give up, and she is working even harder to rebuild the county party. She launched a number of new initiatives following the November election and was recently reelected as […]

Todd Prichard Launches Gubernatorial Bid For “Forgotten Iowans”

Speaking in a legislative conference room at the Statehouse just down the hallway from the office he hopes to soon occupy, Todd Prichard told supporters and the media he would campaign for “forgotten Iowans” as he launched his official gubernatorial bid. He kicked off his announcement tour Tuesday morning in a Charles City coffee shop packed with dozens of local backers. He later held press conferences in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, and has ten more events across the state planned for over the next week (see full list below). “For years we have watched as the Branstad and Reynolds […]

Starting Line Doing Great – Help Keep Us Going

I wanted to take a brief moment to update Starting Line readers on how we’re doing: we’re doing great! Thanks to your help in sharing our articles, Starting Line has seen very high traffic in the past several weeks. As you may have noticed, I’ve also been on the road a lot recently for the various campaign events and town hall forums. It’s produced a lot of great stories, and I enjoy getting out of Des Moines to hear more voices. It also starts to cost some money. My travel budget is pretty low and could use some re-filling. If you haven’t […]

Iowa Students Suffering At Expense Of GOP Tax Giveaways

Education reviews of the Republicans’ mismanagement of the Iowa state budget has focused on the inadequate funding of K-12 schools.  They actually brag about increasing K-12 funding by 1.1% or $40 million even though most independent analysis suggest 4-6% is needed to keep pace. In addition, they cut state funding of Iowa’s public universities for both 2017 and 2018 significantly below the 2016 levels. Republican legislators totally ignored the public universities request for a 2% increase and cut their funding. That inadequate funding of our Iowa public universities has resulted in a 5% tuition increase for Iowa college students. Republicans […]

The Early Messages From Democrats’ Gubernatorial Candidates

The Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign kicked off in Indianola, Iowa this past week when six of the candidates made their pitch to Democrats at Summerset Winery. Well, that’s what Representative Scott Ourth, who hosted them at his fundraiser, wanted his event to be known as, anyway. It was a nice evening put on by Ourth, so let’s just go ahead and say that it all began there. Before a crowd of about 100 Warren County Democrats, the gubernatorial hopefuls tested out their early stump speeches. In attendance were John Norris, Nate Boulton, Andy Mcguire, Todd Prichard, Rich Leopold and Jonathan […]

Nate Boulton Nabs Early Endorsements From 10 Labor Unions

Nate Boulton’s lead role in defending workers’ rights and wages at the Statehouse this session has not been forgotten: ten Iowa labor unions endorsed the Des Moines state senator this morning. Speaking at the Steelworkers Local 310 hall with over 50 union members in attendance, Boulton welcomed their support. “You guys are on the front lines,” Boulton said. “You are the ones negotiating those contracts to make sure that people get fair pay and fair benefits for the work they do to advance our economy.” The list of unions are: United Steelworkers of Iowa Central Iowa Building Trades Des Moines […]

Over 70,000 Iowans Face Healthcare Crisis And Republicans Own It

Over 70,000 Iowans will lose their access to health care on January 1st, 2018. For all these thousands of Iowans this is an urgent emergency. It is a catastrophic blow to these Iowa families’ ability to have access to quality healthcare. Lacking the opportunity to buy health insurance coverage for themselves and their families puts them into a healthcare crisis. The three principle insurance companies offering coverage: Wellmark, Aetna and Medica have announced that they plan to leave Iowa’s Obamacare exchange effective 2018. The future of Gunderson, a small carrier handling a few counties in NE Iowa, is unknown. These […]