Iowa Is Abandoning Nursing Home Safety For Apple Handout

Where are our priorities, Iowa? Two news stories that grabbed the headlines in Iowa last week leave me shaking my head and asking, is this really what we want from our state government? The first was news that the Iowa Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman has eliminated virtually all travel by its employees to nursing homes and assisted living centers across the state. The reason given was deep budget cuts forced on the agency by the Iowa Legislature this year. The agency operates on a state budget of $1.3 million, plus $400,000 from the federal government. Lawmakers cut the […]

Iowa Republicans Should Boot John Thompson From SCC

It was not a good summer for the credibility of Iowa Republicans’ stances on moral values. The lurid details from the Senate Republican sexual harassment trial, along with Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix’s continued refusal to take responsibility for the matter, confirmed what many critics think Republicans actually feel about women in the workplace. That the Senate Republicans continued to keep on payroll the staffer most responsible for reprehensible comments and a hostile work environment was troubling. To be able to put up with people like that is beyond the reasoning of most decent Iowans. And the $2.2 million verdict […]

Army Veteran George Ramsey Sees 1st District Race As Patriotic Pursuit

To Cedar Rapid’s George Ramsey III, running for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is an extension of the service to country he pursued in his recently-ended military career. Ramsey spent 31 years in military service before retiring in 2016, and for much of this summer he’s been traveling around Northeast Iowa in preparation for a congressional campaign, which he plans to kick off in early September. During those trips, he’s encountered a lot of Iowans frustrated not with a single issue, but with the entire political system. “I’m tired of all the rhetoric,” Ramsey recalled one man telling him during a […]

Will Hurricane Harvey Finally Convince GOP On Climate Change?

Some of the adjectives used to describe Hurricane Harvey: unprecedented disaster, catastrophic losses, all-time record breaking rainfall, economic calamity, biblical flooding, unparalleled devastation. When rainfall totals reach 50 inches and meteorologists talk about 500 and 1,000 year floods, it’s clear this isn’t what most of us think of as normal weather conditions. This storm isn’t normal. It’s growing proof that the climate warning alarm is ringing loudly, and we can’t allow ignorant and foolish Republican politicians to deny reality any longer. Hurricanes and rain events aren’t new weather conditions, but the increasing frequency and destructive power of storms is a […]

Turned Down By Rod Blum, 1st District Voters Meet With Democratic Challengers

Constituents in Iowa’s 1st District couldn’t get an in-person meeting scheduled with their two-term Republican Congressman Rod Blum this summer despite repeated attempts for months. So they set up meetings with the next best thing: the four Democrats running to replace Blum in 2018. The candidates in the 1st District Democratic primary – Abby Finkenauer, Thomas Heckroth, George Ramsey and Courtney Rowe – have all set up “office hours” to sit down with Indivisible members to let voters’ concerns be heard. From now through the end of September, each will meet at the Blue Strawberry coffee shop in downtown Cedar […]

Open Letter To Rod Blum: Divest Your Fossil Fuel Investments

An open letter to Congressman Rod Blum from a 1st District constituent:  Congressman Blum, at your Cedar Rapids town hall in May you told the crowd politicians’ financial disclosure forms reveal more than their tax returns. On that advice, I scrutinized your financial disclosure forms and my jaw dropped. How many of your constituents know that are worth over $15 million? Some rich people – Warren Buffett, Bill Gates – invest in good causes and give away lots of money. So what are you investing your money in? According to your financial disclosure forms, since elected to Congress you purchased between […]

Kyrstin Delagardelle Shelley Pushes For More Inclusive DSM Schools In Campaign

The elections for school board in Iowa are fast approaching, the first big round of races that are seeing new leaders step up in the wake of the 2016 outcome. One candidate that’s drawing a lot of attention in Central Iowa is Kyrstin Delagardelle Shelley, who was recently endorsed by the Des Moines Education Association and a host of other labor unions. She’s one of three contenders on the September 12 ballot competing for two at-large Des Moines school board seats. A teacher/librarian at Northview Middle School in Ankeny, this is Shelley’s first bid for public office. The election results […]

Trump’s Pardon Of Racist Buddy Arpaio Is Clear Abuse Of Power

It should come as no surprise that Trump would reward ex-Sheriff Arpaio with the get-out-of-jail-free pardon. They have been attached at the hip since their partnership in their looney birther crusade about President Obama’s birth place. President Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have both used the same hateful, racist and anti-immigrant bombast for years. The difference is that Trump has inflamed anti-immigrant rhetoric while Sheriff Arpaio put into practice the abusive and discriminatory racial profiling that Trump has lauded. Arpaio once boasted that his “Tent City” prison was operated as his personal “concentration camp.” Arpaio was convicted of using abusive […]

Senate Must Reject Unqualified Conspiracy Theorist Sam Clovis

President Trump has nominated the right-wing radio host, Sam Clovis as the top scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Clovis, who is from Sioux City, served as Trump’s co-chairman and adviser on agricultural issues. He’s a former college economics professor and conservative talk radio host. Senators’ Grassley and Ernst serve on the Senate Agricultural Committee that will hold confirmation hearings on Clovis. The primary qualification for the Chief Scientist at the USDA is a science background. The 2008 Farm Bill established the Under Secretary Chief Scientist position. The Bill specifically calls for the appointee to have an […]

Campaign Updates: Olson In, Hubbell Endorsers, Boulton Education Push

It’s been a busy couple of days for Iowa campaigns. Here’s a quick look at many of the new developments. Tyler Olson Is Back On The Ballot Former state representative and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Tyler Olson is running for an at-large Cedar Rapids City Council seat. He announced on Tuesday that he would seek the seat that incumbent Ralph Russell just decided to retire from. No one else is in the race yet, though candidates still have until late September to file for the November 7 election date. Many who had seen Olson as a promising rising star in the […]