Time For A Change In Democratic Campaigns

After months of abated breath, we can add two more moral victories to our trophy case. Archie Parnell ended with a closer margin than did Jon Ossoff, despite the millions and millions of dollars difference in their campaign expenditures. Disappointing, to say the least. If you haven’t already, go and read this article by Pat. His piece is the right mix of hopeful and analytical, and was also the material which inspired me to write this article. Again, I encourage you to read the writing in full, but there was one statement in particular on which I’d like to elaborate […]

Iowa Democratic Leaders Embracing Progressive Healthcare Ideas

As debate in the country has raged on over Republicans’ terribly unpopular ACA repeal bill, those on the Democratic Party’s left have argued that now is the time to push for ideas like universal healthcare, single payer and/or a public option. They charge that the lack of a public option in Barack Obama’s ACA was a serious mistake, gave the health insurance companies too much power and helped lead to the situation in Iowa where the three major insurers are pulling out in 2018. They should be encouraged then by what Democratic leaders in Iowa are proposing. Last week Senator […]

Who Might Run For IDP Chair Now?

With the unexpected departure of Derek Eadon from the Iowa Democratic Party’s top job due to health reasons, Democrats face another big, uncertain election. Last January’s election for IDP chair was the first time in a very long time where an actual competition for the position took place. Typically the top Democratic incumbent, like Tom Harkin or Tom Vilsack, hand-picked the chair. It’s very likely the party will be in for another crowded free-for-all on July 22, when the State Central Committee meets to choose Eadon’s replacement. So who might run? The progressive wing of the party is tossing around […]

Derek Eadon Resigns As Iowa Democrats Chair

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Derek Eadon will step down as the head of the state party today, Starting Line has learned from multiple sources. IDP 1st Vice Chair Andrea Phillips will serve as the temporary chair and an election to fill the position permanently will be held at the State Central Committee meeting on July 22. An email explaining the situation was sent out to members of the SCC late this morning in which Eadon announced he was resigning. He said he had been dealing with serious health issues in recent months that had been keeping him out of the […]

Will Reynolds, Grassley and Ernst Abandon Iowa’s Most Vulnerable?

The Senate Republicans’ Trumpcare bill is predicted to devastate rural Iowa hospitals and nursing homes. The proposed 25% cut in Medicaid spending will put these Iowa facilities at risk of severe cuts in services or outright closure. Will Senators Grassley and Ernst vote for a healthcare plan that these healthcare stakeholders warn will destroy rural Iowa communities? Iowa’s senators failed to raise their voices while their Republican senate colleagues arrogantly crafted a plan in secrecy, without public input and without hearings. Grassley and Ernst have betrayed their responsibility to represent their constituents by remaining silent. Governor Reynolds was asked about […]

On “Midwest Nice” And Our Not-Nice Politics

A guest post from a fellow campaigner and native Wisconsinite, who’s officially retired from politics but unofficially comments on political news and more at explainher.com. A few years ago, over some now-forgotten holiday, a younger cousin still in college mentioned the homeless people near her apartment building in Milwaukee. “Gross,” she said. “I wish they’d go away.” After a beat or two of uncomfortable silence, my uncle shushed her: “That’s not nice; don’t say that.” He didn’t say it was wrong of her to say that, or note that the people she so clearly disregarded were suffering, too, and over a […]

Democrats Missed Two Opportunities In Pottawattamie Special Election

Pottawattamie County voters elected Republican Jon Jacobsen to fill the remainder of recently-passed Representative Greg Forristall last night. But the surprising part here was just how close the independent bid of Forristall’s widow, Carol, got to victory. Jacobsen received 1,069 votes (43.9%) to Forristall’s 803 (33.0%), with another 465 write-in votes (19.1%). The vast majority of those write-ins were presumably for Ray Stevens, the Democratic nominee who failed to turn in his nominating papers in time to get on the ballot. Voter turnout in the special election was only 10.3%. The entire ordeal was a mess for Democrats following their […]

Medicaid Cuts Could Bring Back Scenes From Bygone Era

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, that’s a sure sign summer is here. And summer traditionally means vacation season. A summer vacation that is riveted in my memory was in August 1962 when my parents, my two brothers and I piled into our Dodge and headed for Washington, D.C. There were no water parks, thrill rides or giant ball of twine to tempt us. This vacation was all about history — the U.S. Capitol, the White House, monuments and memorials, Arlington National Cemetery and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. For an 11-year-old kid who had memorized the names […]

How Ron Corbett Is Making His Case Against Kim Reynolds

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett kicked off his campaign for governor last week in front of a crowd of about 250 well-wishers in the city’s NewBo Market. There was no singing this time. But will Corbett’s candidacy grow to anything more than a sideshow in the many 2018 contests? Corbett faces extremely long odds in upsetting Governor Kim Reynolds in next June’s Republican primary. So what I wanted to see was whether he would really make the case to why the party faithful should abandon the current governor for him. Sometimes in long-shot bids like this one, the challenger will play […]

Democrats’ Gubernatorial Contenders Stake Out Their Issues In Forums

Though two of the candidates have yet to officially declare their campaigns, Iowa Democrats’ eight-person gubernatorial field is nearing the end of the introductory phase. Now we’re into the never-ending forum stage, also known as the “fun” stage for people who have no concept of what that word means. Now primary-going Democrats start to see how well their Terrace Hill hopefuls can think on their feet and how they choose to differentiate themselves with their opponents sitting next to them. Last week seven of the eight Democratic gubernatorial contenders gathered for a lively forum in Des Moines sponsored by the […]