Matt McCoy Running For Supervisor; Who Will Seek His Senate Seat?

Senator Matt McCoy set off a Polk County political earthquake today, one whose aftershocks will impact other major races up and down the ballot. McCoy made official this afternoon what many had speculated for most of the past year: he’s challenging incumbent Johnny Mauro for a Polk County supervisor seat. The Des Moines legislator made the announcement at Sellers Hardware on Des Moines’ South Side, which was once owned by his family. It sets up a epic battle of the titans for 2018 and could draw huge turnout for the primary, which will impact the gubernatorial and congressional campaigns. McCoy […]

Iowa’s Tax Dollars Being Frittered Away

It’s nothing short of a miracle that the people of Iowa have not taken up pitchforks and marched on Des Moines demanding the attention of government officials. As things now stand, don’t be surprised if the folks in charge simply wait for the dust to settle and then get back to business. But Iowans should not let that happen. They should vent their frustrations to their elected officials with this business-as-usual attitude — this very expensive business-as-usual attitude that is frittering away our tax money. Consider the recent news out of our state and you can understand why some of […]

Rep. Skyler Wheeler Pushes Bible Electives In Schools, But Not Koran Ones

Should Iowa public school students have social study elective courses for Bible literacy? Northwest Iowa Representative Skyler Wheeler hopes so, and his bill to require local school boards to consider offering it passed a subcommittee today of the Iowa House. House File 2031 would direct the State Board of Education to create course standards for Bible literacy classes that would be offered as elective courses. Local school boards would have the option of whether or not to implement that, and it would require a majority vote of those school boards to create them. As an elective, no student would be […]

Budget Woes Underlie Reynolds’ Education Executive Order

For the first time since taking the state’s highest office last May, Governor Kim Reynolds has issued an executive order. Executive Order No. 1 establishes the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning, an attempt to connect Iowa schools and students with real-world business opportunities, experience and networking. By incorporating internships, job shadows and professional speakers in K-12 curriculums, the governor hopes to illustrate a necessity for students to acquire practical trade skills and experience while still in school. The governor’s budget, which has not been passed at time of publication, includes $250,000 for the Clearinghouse. This move is an extension of […]

Trump’s “America First” Will Actually Put America Last On World Stage

Throughout American history, the President of the United States has been recognized as the leader of the free world. Amazingly, in less than a year, President Trump’s “America first” policy has destroyed America’s leadership position among the nations of the world. A recent Gallup survey of 134 nations showed an approval of America’s role in the world dropped from 48% under President Obama to 30% after one year of President Trump. Trump’s world approval rating is at the lowest level Gallup has ever recorded since beginning its global leadership poll. Germany has now replaced the United States as the top-rated […]

Paul Pate Hides Weakness With Loan Trickery; Tom Miller In Good Spot

Secretary of State Paul Pate has been using a shell game to hide how little money he’s raised for his reelection, and it’s not clear if he’ll even use the money he has in the bank. Pate reported that his 2017 fundraising numbers ended with $238,791 cash-on-hand. But he also had $283,500 in outstanding loans. He raised just under $26,000 last year. Oddly, his report showed both a loan of $200,000 and a loan repayment of $200,000. That’s where Pate gets into some intentional fudging of his numbers. Pate loaned his campaign $200,000 back on December 29, 2016. He loaned another $20,000 […]

Is Marsy’s Law Coming To Iowa?

Unable to run on their record of breaking Iowa’s budget, cutting working families’ paychecks or hiking college students’ tuition, legislative Republicans may have a new messaging tactic for 2018 – pulling voters’ heartstrings over a pretty, blonde white woman killed in the 1980s. At least that appears to be what’s in store for Iowa politics with a poll being conducted over the past two or three days testing Iowa voters’ thoughts on a potential state constitutional amendment for Marsy’s Law. Starting Line received the poll last night, which asked specific questions about people’s opinion of the Iowa Legislature and whether […]

Legislative Democrats Roll Out Main Themes For 2018 Agenda

Iowa Democrats rolled out a four-part plan this week called “Putting Iowans First,” outlining what they want for the future of the state. Democrats hope to focus on what Iowans have said are their biggest concerns. The plan to improve “lives for everyday Iowans” includes bringing higher-paying jobs to the state, rejuvenating rural towns across Iowa, prioritizing better education and making Iowa the No. 1 place to live. Representative Liz Bennett, who is up for re-election this year in Cedar Rapids, says these priorities were discovered through face-to-face discussions with constituents and through polling. “People are getting really sick of […]

Who Raised The Most Money In The Iowa Legislature

The 2018 elections could see Democrats retake a chamber in the Iowa Legislature. But which candidates are best prepared financially to defend their seats? Starting Line compiled the fundraising totals of every incumbent and legislative candidate to find out. You can download the spreadsheet I made here if you want to play around with the data yourself. Dig deeper into each candidate’s filing here. We took a look at some of the best non-incumbent fundraisers in Wednesday’s story. The first thing to remember with these kind of reports is that, unlike the gubernatorial primary where an impressive total in the […]