Governor “Everything’s Fine” Is Whistling Past The Graveyard

Governor Kim Reynolds wants you to know that Iowa is “Number One.” Like, she really, really wants you to know that. Ever since U.S. News & World Report labeled Iowa the best state in the country to live in yesterday, Reynolds’ official office, her campaign and the state Republican Party has blasted out the praise of the award non-stop. Reynolds appeared on CBS News to tout the top state distinction. One imagines we’ll see that Iowa ranking in countless TV commercials, mail pieces and digital ads from now until the November election from the governor’s campaign. And there’s no doubt […]

You May Soon Be A Felon If You Lose An Injury Claim Against Your Employer

If you sue your employer after getting injured on the job and fail to win your case, you might end up as a felon under a fraud case thanks to the bill Senate Republicans passed last night. Senate File 2305, floor managed by Senator Jake Chapman of Adel, would create a new unit within the Iowa Insurance Division to prosecute workers compensation fraud. It also makes committing such fraud a felony – a Class C felony if its for a claim more than $10,000 and a Class D felony if its for a claim under $10,000. Workers would also have […]

Something Different With This Gun Safety Movement

I think that the movement to get control of the issue of so many Americans dying of gun violence has now found its voice, just as the # MeToo movement has for woman’s harassment issues. The catalyst here is the recent shooting at the Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I believe that the key difference in Parkland is that students, adolescent kids, are taking up the cause. In my view this is the first time that the lobbying efforts of the NRA has even a chance of being equaled and that is what it will take. Yes, money is […]

House GOP Blocks Mental Health Gun Safety Amendment

Republicans in the Iowa House threatened to pull the entire mental health omnibus bill from the floor today to kill debate and a vote on a Democratic amendment on “extreme risk protective orders” that could keep guns out of the hands of potential mass shooters or suicidal individuals. Representative Art Staed of Cedar Rapids offered up H-8117 as an amendment to HF 2456, a wide-ranging mental health omnibus bill. It would have implemented a process in which a court could have considered removing weapons from the possession of someone deemed a “significant danger” to themselves or others in the “near future.” The amendment […]

Major Supreme Court Case On Public Unions Looms

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard a case challenging public unions ability to collect the funds necessary to bargain for their members and non-members alike. Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31″ (known as Janus v. AFSCME) could permanently curb the power of public unions. If the court rules in favor of Janus and against AFSCME, unions will no longer be allowed to collect “fair share” fees from non-union members. Currently 22 states allow public unions to collect fair share fees from non-members. The concept is based on the fact that non-union members benefit […]

Ep14: Youth Movement For Iowa Democratic Candidates In 2018

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard has packed three interviews into today’s episode focusing on the increasing involvement of younger Democrats in Iowa, speaking first with Iowa Representative Chris Hall, followed by House District 9 candidate Megan Srinivas & finally Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear.

Iowa Candidate Filing Begins – Who’s First And What They Need

The three-week filing period for Iowa candidates to appear on the ballot for the June 5 primary date began today. It runs through March 16, and you can check online each day which new candidates running for the state legislature, Congress and statewide offices filed their paperwork at this link: Primary Candidate List. Of note: everyone files for and appears on the primary ballot even if they don’t face a competitive primary. Most candidates wait until the final week to turn in their papers, but the first day always sees a group of people eager to be the first ones […]

Climate Crisis: One Third Of Bering Sea Ice Vanishes In 8 Days

Unprecedented record breaking high temperatures and rapidly disappearing sea ice have the climate science community concerned. In February, Arctic temperatures soared more than 45 degrees above normal. Temperature stations closest to the North Pole measured temperatures at the highest on record for the month of February. February also saw the greatest loss of Arctic sea ice in the past 1,500 years. Record low levels of sea ice in the Bering Sea and the Arctic is shattering all known records. A shocking one-third of the ice covering the Bering Sea off Alaska’s West Coast vanished in just eight days during the […]

Missouri’s Gun Obsession Got Them A Scumbag Governor

Having grown up in Missouri, I occasionally keep an eye to the campaigns and political developments of the Show-Me State. My home state holds a sentimental place in my heart, but it’s certainly not a place I would ever want to live in again for a number of reasons, not the least of them being the state’s extremely caustic political climate. It’s not so much that Missouri is a conservative state, it’s that it embraces a nasty, angry, hateful version of conservatism. It wasn’t always that way, but accelerated toward that path just as I was leaving the state for […]

In Iowa Return, Bernie Sanders Previews What Could Be A 2020 Message

The “political revolution” returned to Iowa on Friday with Senator Bernie Sanders holding two rallies in the state, but the Vermont senator would argue it never left. Stumping for his former adviser Pete D’Alessandro’s congressional campaign in Des Moines, Sanders touted the ongoing success of his brand of progressive politics and its hopes for the future. “The political revolution is sweeping this country, winning victory after victory after victory,” Sanders told a crowd of over 200 at the noontime rally in the East Village. Those victories, as Sanders explained, were a mix of electoral, policy and opinion accomplishments. “We came […]