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 contributed to Starting Line this year, or are ready to give again (thanks to all who helped with our big March fundraiser), please chip in some money to keep me on the road and reporting on Iowa politics.

Getting out around the state is important – for one, obviously because being in-person at these political events makes for a better story. But most importantly because good photos are vital for getting stories shared on social media, so I’m always trying to add to my file of candidate photos. Unlike all these actual news agencies that have budgets to purchase photos from AP and Reuters, I have to use all my own (or use “creative commons” pictures, of which there are not many).

Also, a reminder for Iowa campaigns – with the website redesign, I have lots of space now for advertising. There’s no better site to promote your campaign or issue directly to the most politically engaged Iowans, so it’s a great investment for you and helps keep Starting Line running.

I also wanted to give our loyal readers a sense of where our coverage is heading for the remainder of 2017.

We’ve been doing a lot of gubernatorial race coverage, in part because there’s so many candidates running and they’ve all been announcing recently. However, after I do posts on their kick-offs, profiles of them, their initial messaging, and some horserace analysis, there’s only so much “news” that will happen in that race over the next 13 months. The candidates will travel the state, give their same stump speech, and maybe roll out some policy proposals from time to time.

So while the percentage of gubernatorial coverage will go down over the summer, I’m still looking for unique stories to write about each candidate. My current plan is to start with personal interest pieces on the candidates. Like, for example, a closer look at what Todd Prichard’s life growing up poor in Davenport was like, how Mike Matson met his biological family after adoption, and what impact Nate Boulton’s father has on his campaign. Then, as the candidates develop their policies, I’ll do closer examinations of how those would affect Iowa.

Outside of the governor’s race, we’ll start taking a closer look at 2017 municipal and school board races. I have often said that all this new Democratic activism needs campaigns to go get involved with now, so I want to highlight some races to get people excited about. There’s also some longer, in-depth stories I want to do about Iowa political culture, the Democratic Party’s longterm prospects here, and Kim Reynolds’ new governorship. Some of those will take a couple days to research, interview people, and write, so there’ll be some weeks with lighter posting.

As always, thank you for your continued support!


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/16/17

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