Ep51: State Fair Controversy & Karin Derry Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with Chance Dorland about controversies at the Iowa State Fair and what it’s like to cover politics at the Fairgrounds. And we interview Karin Derry about her run for the Iowa House against Jake Highfill.

Van De Krol Drops Out Of Senate Race

Democrats are back to the drawing board in Senate District 15. Taylor Van De Krol, nominated at a special convention two weeks ago to replace Senator Chaz Allen, withdrew his candidacy with the Secretary of State’s office earlier today, that office confirmed. UPDATE: A special nominating convention will be held next Wednesday at 7:00. UPDATE: Van De Krol released the following statement late this afternoon: “I am announcing today that I have withdrawn my name as the Democratic candidate in Senate District 15 for personal reasons. “I encourage the Democrats in Jasper County and eastern Polk County to move swiftly […]

Trump’s Immigration Policies Target Military Spouses, Preschoolers

Once again, our government has demonstrated that common sense really isn’t so common. I understand that Americans are not of one mind on the issue of immigration. I understand that people who break the law ought to face punishment. What I don’t understand are two cases involving foreign-born women — one a 39-year-old mother of two in Florida, the other a 4-year-old preschooler in Colorado. Their dealings with the U.S. government, and the inability of our government to apply even a modicum of common sense, have me shaking my head at their predicament. Set aside your political views as you […]

EP50: Wing Ding Analysis & Andrew Yang Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with Lee Newspapers’ Erin Murphy about Michael Avenatti’s intriguing trip to Iowa, as well as an overall analysis of the Wing Ding Dinner. Plus we interview 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a New York entrepreneur, about his unique plans for the country.

Rick Bertrand Changes Mind, Runs For Reelection In Sioux City Seat

State Senator Rick Bertrand kicks off his third campaign for the Sioux City Iowa Senate seat by breaking a promise from his first: to not seek a third term. That old pledge went out the window today as Bertrand reversed course from earlier in the year and was confirmed as the party’s nominee at a special convention this evening. Bertrand passed on another run earlier in the year, holding out on a decision until just before the filing deadline to make things more difficult for the Republican leadership he had repeatedly clashed with. Republican Steven Stokes filed his paperwork to […]

What Unions’ Win In Missouri Means For Iowa Campaigns

The defeat of Missouri’s anti-union “right-to-work” law is likely to carry national repercussions. These unions’ huge success in a largely red state that Trump won with 54% suggests that voters support and believe in the value of unions. The right-to-work law was repealed by an overwhelming 67% to 33% margin. Since only 7.5% of Missourians are represented by unions, it’s clear the general population of the state sees the benefit of them. It mirrors the increasing favorability of unions in national polling. This sudden burst of public opinion in favor certainly offers hope that Iowa Democrats’ pro-union agenda will appeal […]

Democratic Veterans Group Booted From State Fair Veterans Parade

The Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus says they’ve been marching in the State Fair Veterans Parade for the past ten years, yet were denied participation at the last minute this year from an official in Kim Reynolds’ administration. The group says they were already approved this year to join the parade, but were called on Friday by Chair of the Iowa Veterans Commission Dan Gannon, a Reynolds appointee, and told they could not participate because they were political. They were apparently not given a specific rule as to why the change was made. “We were informed Friday, after we followed the instructions […]

Abby Finkenauer’s First TV Ad Recalls Days When Politics Didn’t Divide

Abby Finkenauer will launch the first TV ads of the general election in Iowa’s nationally-watched 1st Congressional District race this Tuesday. Her first spot on the airwaves is called “Dinner Table” and focuses on a spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation. The ad begins with Finkenauer describing a typical Saturday night with her family while growing up: talking politics around the dinner table after getting back from church. “We didn’t all agree,” Finkenauer says. “But nobody walked away angry, or not family anymore. That’s how it should be – at home, and in Congress.” She goes on to explain that she’ll […]

Kim Reynolds Sold Iowans A Sham Health Plan

How valuable is a health benefit plan that can’t be called an insurance policy? The law that Republican legislators passed and Reynolds signed allows Iowa Farm Bureau, in collaboration with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, to sell Iowans “health benefit plans.” The law states that the health plan, “sponsored by a nonprofit agricultural organization . . . shall be deemed not to be insurance.” So Governor Reynolds and her GOP co-conspirators are promoting a so-called health plan that can’t be labeled as insurance. Their plan can’t be regulated by either federal or state insurance regulators. Reynolds is trumpeting a return to […]

Ep49: Reynolds Avoids Press, Election Results & Yard Signs

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with producer Chance Dorland about Kim Reynolds’ decision to avoid press conferences, what the election results in Tuesday’s Ohio special election and Democratic primaries in Michigan and Kansas mean for Iowa, and we dig into everyone’s favorite subject: yard signs.