Which Iowa Counties Are (And Aren’t) Turning Out Big For 2018

Thousands of Iowans are casting their ballots every single day as we enter the final 20 days of the campaign. Democrats started out with a big lead, but it’s recently narrowed to what the party has typically seen in the past. We’re now at a pretty decent place to start digging into the numbers more (also see our previous post on legislative districts’ early vote). Republicans’ absentee request mailer caused big daily jumps for their totals over the past week, but that’s largely stabilized now. Looking back at the 2014 midterm early vote numbers is still comparing apples and oranges […]

New Report Shows Climate Change Raising Iowa Temps, Rainfall

You’ve probably heard the story of the frog in boiling water. If you drop a frog in boiling water he will jump out. But, if you place a frog in cool water and slowly bring it to a boil, by the time the frog realizes the danger he’s cooked. Most of the world (with the exception of Trump and most of the Republican Party) understands the globe is slowly warming and realizes that we must turn down the heat immediately if we want to avoid boiling like a frog. The world’s scientific community is warning that the continued burning of […]

Ep65: 2nd Governor Debate, Northern Iowa Politics With Kurt Meyer

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard recaps what moments stood out to him in last night’s gubernatorial debate between Fred Hubbell and Kim Reynolds. And we interview Mitchell County Democrats Chair Kurt Meyer about what he’s seeing on the ground in Northern Iowa.

How John Delaney Is Directing His Iowa Efforts To Down-Ballot Dems

If Democrats learned anything from the past decade, it’s that holding the presidency while losing statehouses, governor’s mansions and Congress greatly limits your ability to accomplish anything. So, it’s been a delicate balance for 2020 hopefuls as they visit early states like Iowa. You want to introduce and promote yourself, while still helping out the candidates running in tough races this year. As one of just two declared Democratic candidates for president, Congressman John Delaney of Maryland has been in an unique position as he’s traveled Iowa. He doesn’t need to be coy about his intentions of why he’s in […]

Rod Blum Closes Ugly With Race-Baiting Ad

Rod Blum isn’t very subtle with his closing message for his reelection campaign. A new TV ad that appears to have started running today repeatedly hits challenger Abby Finkenauer for saying, “I legislate with my heart too much.” But it’s the first few seconds that will grab people’s attention and could cause backlash. Right after the ad shows Finkenauer saying the line on the floor of the Iowa House, an image of three heavily-tattooed Hispanic men pop up on screen over her: Blum claims that Finkenauer “put criminal illegal aliens back on Iowa streets” while the image of MS-13 gang […]

Trump’s Immigration Plan Is The Wrong Fix In The Wrong Place

The Trump Administration would have you believe that the folks that slip over the boarder are murders, rapists and generally bad people. What statistics really show is that only a vey few meet that criteria, and by percentage, dramatically less then our own citizenry. A very large number are families with children who are looking for a better life and are afraid of the violent gangs in their home countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, known as the Northern Triangle.  A program started under President Obama called the Alliance for Prosperity was designed to improve the economy of the […]

Jack Whitver Is In Trouble

Republicans may yet lose two senate majority leaders in the same year. That’s seems to be the goal of the Senate Democrats as the party launched a massive ad blitz today to take down Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver in his Ankeny district. Amber Gustafson, a gun safety leader and community volunteer, debuted her first TV ad with a significant amount of funds behind it. Data in the public record shows her spending a combined $113,030 on KCCI and WHO-TV, accounting for 279 spots, for the final three weeks of the campaign. That will keep first-time candidate Gustafson competing nearly neck-and-neck […]

Ep64: Record-Breaking Fundraising & Joan Marttila Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard breaks down the massive fundraising numbers from Iowa’s Democratic congressional candidates. And we interview Joan Marttila about her campaign for House District 94.

Billboards Target Cownie, Carlson For Votes On Injured Workers

Iowa GOP Representatives Peter Cownie and Gary Carlson engineered passage of a drastic change to Iowa’s workers’ compensation law in 2017. Their major revisions make it much more difficult for injured workers to obtain benefits and severely restricts the total amount of benefits injured workers can receive. Progress Iowa, an Iowa worker advocacy group, has reserved “You’re out of luck” billboards exposing the two Republican representatives for their 2017 amendments to the Iowa worker compensation law. Their amendments stripped injured workers of many of their historically established benefits. Peter Cownie of West Des Moines and Gary Carlson of Muscatine worked […]

Rick Bertrand Denounced Bill Dix, But Bertrand Was Part Of The Problem

Sioux City Senator Rick Bertrand talked a big game in criticizing former Majority Leader Bill Dix’s handling of sexual harassment in the Iowa Senate, but it turns out Bertrand was part of the problem. That’s what was revealed in yesterday’s in-depth Des Moines Register article about the culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol. The investigation unearthed new details about Bertrand’s personal behavior in the Senate, most notably that he made a sexual overture about the top Republican staffer’s wife. “He one night said it was bath night at his apartment, was it okay if he invited my wife?” Ed […]