Abby Finkenauer Nabs Important Laborers Endorsement

State Representative Abby Finkenauer added another key group to her list of supporters in Democrats’ 1st District primary this week. The Great Plains Laborers have endorsed Finkenauer, making them the seventh labor union to support her in her bid to take on Republican Congressman Rod Blum. “Having grown up in a union home, Abby knows that building a fair and thriving economy means defending the rights of workers,” said Danny Hemminger, business manager and secretary-treasurer of LIUNA Local 43. “From day one in the state house, Abby has stood up to corporate special interests and fought for hard-working Iowa families. […]

Equifax, Tell Us About Burdensome Regulations

The biggest under-reported news event from the past two weeks involves a crime of gigantic proportions that directly affects about half of the people living in the United States. Of course, Melania Trump’s choice of footwear for a trip to hurricane-ravaged Texas a few days earlier attracted as much, or more, media coverage. But I digress. Equifax Inc. announced on Sept. 7 that hackers had busted into its computer system. This isn’t just some random corporation, even though most people probably do not recognize its name. The company is the second largest consumer credit reporting business in the United States. […]

Kim Reynolds Backs ACA Repeal Plan That Would Hurt Iowans

Republicans love to brag that they don’t believe in choosing winners and losers. The latest Obamacare repeal bill picks winners and losers and Iowa would be a major loser. The Graham-Cassidy repeal plan will specifically penalize Iowa. Yet, Governor Reynolds endorsed Graham-Cassidy, saying, “[It] can work for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.” The Senate must bring it to a vote by September 30, so they are expected to bring it to a vote next week. Once again we must organize and call both Senator Ernst and Grassley and demand they vote against this bill. We killed the last bill […]

Republican Legislators’ Union-Busting Election Scheme

The 2017 Republican-controlled legislature’s destruction of the bargaining rights of public union workers should leave no question about the motives of the Iowa Republican Party. Their 2016 Iowa Republican Platform specifically calls for the “elimination of all public sector unions” in Iowa. Republicans’ successful passage of the most devastating union-busting bills in Iowa history in 2017 is the first step in fulfilling their platform pledge. The consequences of that anti-worker legislation are about to be realized as unions struggle to re-certify in the next few months. The future ability of unions to represent their members will be decided as union […]

Snubbing Pat Grassley Would Be Dumb Politics

Governor Kim Reynolds has a decision to make: who to appoint as outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s replacement. Northey, after a very long wait, was finally appointed to be the Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation in Donald Trump’s USDA. He’ll still have to wait a while more, however, until the Senate acts on the nomination, which Chuck Grassley indicated could be as soon as October or as late as next year. Northey won’t resign his current job until his confirmation is finished, so Reynolds has some time to mull over her choice. For years Iowa political insiders and […]

Here Comes Another Special Election (For Bill Anderson’s Seat)

Republican State Senator Bill Anderson announced today he will be resigning from the Legislature to take a job as the executive director for the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation. He told the Sioux City Journal that he’s working with Governor Kim Reynold’s office on when exactly that resignation would take place so that his replacement would be ready for next year’s legislative session. Anderson represents Senate District 3, which basically wraps around Sioux City. It covers nearly all of Plymouth County, the Morningside area of Sioux City, Sergeant Bluff and most of rural Woodbury County. He was first elected in 2010 […]

Austin Frerick Proposes Farm Bill Plan To Save Leopold Center

Governor Terry Branstad’s line-item veto earlier this year of a provision that would have eliminated Iowa’s Leopold Center was little comfort to conservation advocates considering Republicans slashed nearly all the program’s funding. The Leopold Center focuses on sustainable agriculture research, and its defunding was seen as part of a continuing Republican effort to undermine clean water projects. So 3rd Congressional District candidate Austin Frerick is proposing going around state government actors entirely to keep the center operating. Frerick is rolling out a new policy idea today that would establish a reliable source of federal funding for the Leopold Center and […]

Apple Chose Iowa. So Why The Handout, Governor?

Why would Governor Reynolds and the Iowa GOP think they need to bribe Apple to come to Iowa? Apple was likely coming to Iowa anyway because of Iowa’s combination of cheap and green energy. Iowa is one of the few states that offers these two essential resources Apple demands. Iowa leads the nation in developing the cheap, renewable wind energy that Apple and most of the major high tech companies require. Iowa is not only the current leader in providing clean wind energy, it is on track to be the national leader for years to come. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook […]

Fear Fails Again In Fairfield

One more chapter came to a close in Fairfield, Iowa’s long-running controversy over transgender bathrooms, this one perhaps the last. A large number of conservative candidates running for the Fairfield School Board in response to the district following state and national policy on transgender bathroom use were routed on Tuesday night. Four candidates who defended the town’s LGBTQ community and the policy won the four at-large seats, aided by unprecedented voter turnout for the local race. Debate over the issue has roiled the Southeast Iowa town of 10,200 people since early last year. A May 2016 bullying incident where a […]

Iowa’s Problem With Openness And Public Records Law

When is Iowa going to catch up with the rest of the nation? Every week or two, another case makes headlines around the United States when a police officer acts in a way that many people find troubling. Typically, within a few weeks, police video of the incident is released so the public can evaluate the officer’s actions. The latest example occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah, when a police officer manhandled and arrested a nurse in a hospital emergency department. The incident was recorded on two police officers’ body cameras, and the video has triggered outrage across the nation. […]