National Dems Rally Base Over Kavanaugh At Iowa Steak Fry

The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was the talk of the afternoon among the Democratic activists who braved the rain for this weekend’s Polk County Democrats Steak Fry. Party volunteers discussed their reactions to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony as they intermingled with the Iowa and national politicians who gathered to speak. The Iowa candidates barely mentioned the hearing when they addressed the crowd, preferring to stick to their usual stump speeches that focused on state issues. But the four national speakers who came in – Senator Jeff Merkley, Congressman John Delaney, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and former Obama adviser Alyssa […]

Scenes From This Year’s Rainy Steak Fry

The steaks might have been warm at today’s second annual Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, but not much else was. A steady rain began falling on the field at Des Moines’ Water Works Park shortly into the second speaker’s turn on stage. A crowd of over 500 cold and wet souls had dwindled to about 100 by the time the event ended, but overall the Democratic activists seemed to enjoy a day of meeting the party’s statewide ticket and some national names. Starting Line will do a quick write-up of some of the speeches later today or tomorrow, but for […]

The Laugh Heard Around The World

One of President Trump’s favorite lines is to claim the world is laughing at the United States. As candidate and now President, Trump has often criticized long-established U.S. policies, saying they make America the “laughing stock” of the world. For instance, he has said our trade policies, the Iran deal and the Paris Climate Accords were so bad that the world was laughing at the United States. America was getting taken advantage of by all these bad agreements. But the real laugh came this week and it was on Trump. In Trump’s United Nations speech this week he discovered that […]

Ep61: DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake & House Dem Laura Liegois

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard sits down with DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake to talk about what the national party is doing for Iowa. Plus, we interview Muscatine state legislative candidate Laura Liegois about her run for the Iowa House.

Republican Men Don’t Have Time To Listen To Sexual Assault Victims

It’s likely only Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford know if the sexual allegations about his behavior are true. Before we can evaluate the validity of Dr. Ford’s allegations (and other victims coming forward), we must all agree that her description is of an unacceptable physical sexual assault. Instead, Republicans are attempting to whitewash this alleged violent criminal behavior. They are calling it “rough horse play,” “just teenage behavior” and “boys will be boys.” This alleged behavior must be condemned in the most powerful terms. Holding a woman down, climbing on top of her, using his hand to hold her mouth […]

Democrats’ Digital Ad Strategy Lagging Behind Republicans’ In Iowa

Earlier this year, Facebook began making public every political ad that is run on their platform as part of their effort to create a more transparent process following criticism of Russian influence in the 2016 election. You can now easily find every ad deemed “political” in their Ad Archive, including those currently running, by searching for any candidate’s name. Starting Line pored over every ad run by or about Iowa’s statewide, congressional and state legislative candidates. One consistent theme stuck out: Republicans are running far more creative and comprehensive ad campaigns designed at both persuasion and rallying their base; Democrats […]

Republicans Attack Cindy Axne For Defending… Puppies (Yes, Really)

We have an early frontrunner for this year’s dumbest and most dishonest Iowa political ad. It comes to us courtesy of the Republican Party of Iowa, who have a 30-second ad up attacking Democratic 3rd Congressional District candidate Cindy Axne for being a “lobbyist.” Now, this is one of those political hit jobs that can be “technically” true while it’s also wildly misleading. Yes, Axne registered as a lobbyist at the Iowa Statehouse for a single day-of-action event where she talked with legislators. For whom did she register with? The Iowa Voters For Companion Animals. She was at the Capitol […]

Ep60: IA-Gov Race 6 Weeks Out, Pramila Jayapal Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson about the latest poll in the Iowa governor’s race. And we interview Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State; she will be a headline speaker at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry this weekend.

Will The 2018 Election Be Decided By… The Issues?

In a year of non-stop political twists and turn, the most bizarre development of all may yet come in the Iowa governor’s race: actual policy issues are determining who wins the race. That’s what appears to be the case, anyway, with just six weeks remaining before the November election. The latest Des Moines Register poll shows Fred Hubbell with a narrow lead over Governor Kim Reynolds, but it’s the breakdown of voter attitudes on Medicaid and personal attacks on Hubbell that tell the larger story. The Register polled how voters felt about the biggest lines of attack being used in […]

As Always, It’s The Coverup And Lies That Will Sink You

Many years ago, I believe it was Marv Selden, the comptroller under Governor Bob Ray, who said it first (although many others have said it since), the cover up of a bad event is always worse than the event itself. A woman has come forward toward the end of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is accusing Judge Kavnaugh, who is seeking a seat on United States Supreme Court, of improper sexual conduct while attending a private high school. Let’s assume for a minute that the circumstances described by Dr. Ford, 30 plus years ago, was […]