Is Iowa’s Water Quality Nearing A Public Health Emergency?

This week Greenfield, Iowa’s municipal water utility announced a ban on the city’s drinking water after initial tests indicated microcystin — a toxin produced by blue-green algae. The city is conducting further testing to confirm the source of the contamination. Drinking water containing microcystin can result in abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness or dizziness. It can be toxic to animals as well. Recall that in 2014 a blue-green algae outbreak in Lake Erie shut down Toledo, Ohio’s municipal water supply to a half million residents. The Greenfield incident is the latest warning that the integrity of Iowa’s water sources […]

Statewide Democratic Candidates Smash Republicans’ Fundraising Totals

It may be time for Iowa Republicans to sound the alarm bells. Fundraising totals just posted today for Iowa’s latest reporting period show Democrats destroying their GOP counterparts in every single competitive statewide race. All told, Democrats’ statewide candidates raised a combined $2,866,382 to Republicans’ $1,250,516. However, largely thanks to Governor Kim Reynolds’ war chest, Republicans still have a combined cash-on-hand advantage in those same races: $4,015,141 to Democrats’ $2,700,608. This latest report covered the six weeks after the June 5 primary. Fred Hubbell led the way with an eye-popping $2.6 million raised. Unlike in some past finance reports, all […]

Ep44: Under-The-Radar Stories To Watch & Peter Leo Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard and producer Chance Dorland discuss some stories to keep an eye on where another shoe may drop, as well as Nate Boulton’s decision to stay in the Iowa Senate. And we interview Peter Leo about his campaign for the Iowa House in the Carroll-based district.

CCI Brings In Nina Turner For Weekend Convention

The Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund (ICCI Action Fund) is holding their annual convention in Des Moines this weekend. The original organization Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) was founded in 1975 by ministers in Waterloo committed to fighting for social justice. They worked at grassroots organizing and gradually evolved by adding their sister organization the ICCI Action Fund. ICCI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the sister organization ICCI Action Fund is a 501(c)(4).  The ICCI Action Fund expanded their actions into political activity. That has grown their political power by allowing them to endorse candidates. ICCI Action Fund endorsed Cathy […]

University Of Iowa Should Include Public On Closure Decisions

The University of Iowa announced last week that it will close seven academic centers, shrink three others and eliminate 33 jobs. The reductions will save $3.5 million, officials said. The announcement should come as no surprise if you have been paying attention to events in our state. The university has been caught in a vice — squeezed between public pressure to hold down the size of tuition increases and the Legislature’s desire to hold down government spending. University officials have been telegraphing for months that cutbacks would be coming if the Legislature reduced state appropriations for the three state universities. […]

Rob Sand Breaks Half Million Mark In Fundraising For State Auditor Race

Democratic state auditor candidate Rob Sand will report raising just over $100,000 in the latest July finance report, bringing his total raised for his campaign past the half million dollar mark. State candidates have a July 19 filing deadline for the reporting period that covers May 29 to July 14. As we’ve seen with Sand’s campaign since the beginning, this will be the best-funded auditor campaign in quite some time. Incumbent Republican Auditor Mary Mosiman raised $178,166 for the entirety of her first election in 2014, $50,000 of which came from the state party. The auditor’s race can often be an […]

Ep43: Ag 101 With Tim Gannon & Trump Trade War Fallout

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard digs into the impacts and timeline of tariffs on Iowa agriculture with Tim Gannon, Democrats’ Secretary of Agriculture candidate. Plus, a little bit of Ag 101 with Gannon so you can better understand how farming works in Iowa.

Joni Ernst Failing To Defend Democracy She Once Fought To Protect

Yesterday was not a good day for America, to put it lightly. After President Donald Trump’s disastrous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the country’s attention shifted to Republican lawmakers and leaders, wondering if this was finally the bridge too far. In Iowa, the reaction was either silence or light criticism. None suggested any follow-up measures that might actually hold the President accountable on Russia or change his behavior in any way. Senator Chuck Grassley grabbed some headlines by saying Trump “missed an opportunity to publicly press President Putin” on extraditions of the twelve Russians charged with hacking emails […]

Iowa Public Universities Collapsing Under Kim Reynolds

The announcement last week that the University of Iowa must slash seven vital education programs, including the Labor Center, is further evidence of Governor Kim Reynolds’ failed leadership on public education. University officials said declining state aid was responsible for the cuts. Since 2008, state aid for Iowa’s public universities has fallen by 34 percent while tuition has increased by 40 percent. Last year the University of Iowa predicted tuition will rise another 41 percent over the next 5 years without increases in state aid. The University of Iowa president placed blame for these changes on Reynolds and her GOP […]

Nate Boulton Vows To Stay In Senate, Cites Past Drinking Issues

Nate Boulton released a statement late this afternoon saying that he planned to remain in the Iowa Senate. It’s been an open question whether the Des Moines senator would opt to stay in the Legislature following the accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior that drove him out of the gubernatorial race in late May. This announcement made clear that Boulton has no intentions of leaving his elected office. “I cannot apologize enough for the heartache caused by the stories of those who came forward in May,” Boulton said in his statement. “To those individuals, my supporters, my constituents, and my friends and […]