Labor Expands Influence Within Iowa Democrats With SCC Wins

Iowa Democrats held their district conventions this Saturday, the third step in their caucus-to-convention process. Unlike the precinct caucuses and county conventions, there were no blizzards. The most consequential part of the day was elections for the party’s State Central Committee. That’s the board that nominally governs the Iowa Democratic Party and elects its chair every two years. This year saw a large turnover in members – only 11 of the 32 current district SCC members will return in their position (some simply didn’t run for reelection; others lost out to newcomers). This part in the convention process didn’t have […]

Fired Staffer At Jamison’s IFA Claims Discrimination, Improper Spending

There were even more problems at the Iowa Finance Authority during former director Dave Jamison’s tenure than sexual harassment, claims a former staffer who has filed a discrimination complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Gabrielle Riesterer, who worked as the assistant to the Iowa Title Guarantee director from December of 2015 to September of 2017, alleges she was targeted for her Hispanic heritage. She also detailed questionable financial decisions and lack of professionalism in the office to Starting Line, as well as a fear about crossing Jamison due to his connections. “It was run like a good-old-boy system,” Riesterer […]

Iowa Republicans’ Copycat Tax Scam For The Wealthy

Iowa Republicans’ tax negotiations continue shrouded in secrecy without input from Democrats or major stakeholders. They are ramming their reckless tax changes forward with an Iowa farm economy that is already distressed. If President Trump pushes his agriculture-killing tariffs forward, the Iowa economy could crater. In February the USDA released their annual net farm income forecast. The USDA predicts farm income will decrease by $4.3 billion (6.7%). “That would be the lowest net farm income level in nominal dollars since 2006.” Add some Trump tariffs on and Iowa’s farm economy (and tax revenues) could crash and burn. Iowa could easily […]

Dave Jamison Report Raises All New Questions

The truth comes out… some of it, anyway. Yesterday’s release of the three-page document of sexual harassment claims against fired Iowa Finance Authority director Dave Jamison revealed disgusting new details and raised further questions about Reynolds’ handling of the situation. Chief among those was why Reynolds’ office had denied the existence of the document in the first place and how Jamison got away with his behavior within the agency for so long. And the name of the victim was even inadvertently revealed to reporters and others through a document error in the initial file that the governor’s office sent out. […]

Big Isn’t Bad, But Dumb Certainly Is

The executives at Wells Fargo & Co., nation’s third-largest bank, should send a nice sympathy card and a big bouquet of flowers to former president George H.W. Bush. Were it not for the death last week of Bush’s beloved wife Barbara, the latest installment in the ongoing scandals that have rocked Wells Fargo would have commanded more news coverage. And deservedly so. On Friday, two federal regulatory agencies announced that the company has agreed to pay an eye-popping $1 billion to settle misconduct charges involving the bank’s mortgage lending and auto loan practices. This isn’t a first-time foul-up by the […]

America Has A Simple Choice On Gun Violence

The solution to gun violence in America should be a simple choice, according to high school students. They have eloquently simplified the public debate about guns into just two choices. Students are demanding that the public choose between a society with unlimited guns with few restrictions or a society dedicated to saving the lives of innocent children. It’s obvious we can’t have both. Gun violence is epidemic and it is our high school students calling BS on politicians for failing to choose the lives of children over the spread of guns. Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland, Florida student survivors […]

Report Sees Multiple “Risks” For Steve King’s Reelection

Is Congressman Steve King at risk of losing reelection? Every single cycle, Democrats hope and pray that this will finally be the year that the reviled Republican will go down in electoral defeat. And every cycle, the conservative lean of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District dashes those hopes. But this year at least one major political ranking site is starting to see some danger signs for King. The Cook Political Report saw four risk factors for King, which showed he may not be fully prepared in his reelection campaign “to withstand a hostile political environment.” Cook laid out seven potential risk […]

What’s She Hiding?

Governor Kim Reynolds acted swiftly and decisively in firing Dave Jamison upon being informed of “credible” allegations of sexual harassment. Except, wait, we can’t tell you about what any of those allegations were. Oh, and also, there was no written documentation of the complaint or our decision. No… no, hang on, there actually was documentation, but you can’t see it or FOIA it despite a law saying you can. Huh? The latest twists and turns of the Jamison firing have been confusing, to say the least. Yesterday’s bizarre announcement by the governor’s office that they indeed did have documented complaint […]

Ep28: Thomas Heckroth Interview & China Trade Wars

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard speaks with Tim Gannon, Democrats’ Secretary of Agriculture candidate, about Iowa’s agriculture economy & how it is/will be affected by China. We also do a little bit of Agriculture 101. And then we interview Thomas Heckroth about his campaign for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

Protecting The Environment Used To Be Bipartisan

This past Sunday, April 22, the nation celebrated a day dedicated to the environment. However, the support for this recent Earth Day event has changed dramatically since that first celebration in 1970. The original Earth Day was truly a bipartisan celebration and a commitment by both Democrats and Republicans to protect the environment. Today, the environment and the agency that was established in 1970 to protect the environment are under assault by the Trump Administration. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Scott Pruitt is quickly dismantling much of the work that has been accomplished by the EPA over the last […]