Major Water Polluter Funding Pro-Mike Naig Effort

A major hog confinement company that’s notorious for their record on water and air pollution is putting $25,000 into the dark money agribusiness group that’s trying to swing the Secretary of Agriculture race to Mike Naig. As Starting Line reported last week, the Iowa Farm Bureau organized a 527 organization named Iowans For Agriculture to raise and spend money from corporate entities to back Naig over Democrat Tim Gannon. The Farm Bureau solicited funds, promising that “a one-time investment of corporate funds for this cause will return dividends for a decade or more to come.” Iowa Select Farms, the state’s largest […]

“It’s Game On.” Can Late Surge Topple Steve King?

J.D. Scholten couldn’t sleep Monday night. A new poll came out around 11 p.m. that showed Scholten down only a single point to Steve King. It sent him and his team into a flurry of late-night activity, readying a new fundraising push and spreading the news. The next day didn’t slow down any. Tuesday saw more donors publicly abandon King, and Congressman Steve Stivers, the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, admonishing King on Twitter for promoting “white supremacy.” The NRCC later confirmed they would not help in any way in King’s race. The controversy spread to the governor’s […]

Let’s Talk Iowa Rankings, Governor. Our Universities Are In Free-Fall

Guest post by Allison Engel, an Iowa State University graduate, has worked in higher education for the past 12 years. Yes, Gov. Reynolds, let’s talk about U.S. News & World Report rankings. But not the livability rankings, which do not include data from all 50 states in all categories. In this blinkered competition, Iowa snagged the No. 1 spot, including the top ranking for infrastructure. This must have come as a surprise to those who read the recent Federal Highway Administration report that Iowa has the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation, as well as one of the country’s largest […]

Iowa Gets A Two-For-One Team If They Elect Hubbell

Iowa voters get a bonus this year when they elect Fred Hubbell as Iowa’s next Governor: Charlotte Hubbell, Fred’s wife and life partner, comes along as part of the deal. The role of political spouses of elected officials vary greatly. Some play no role at all, while others play pivotal roles in successful administrations. Many spouses become important advocates for issues they wish to elevate in importance. Others play a key role in communicating as proxies for the candidate. Charlotte Hubbell has already proven to be a valuable campaign spokesperson for her husband in articulating his policy positions. In addition, […]

Far-Right Media Spreads The Real “Fake News” After Bomb Scare

After a very harried week of pipe bombs being sent to current and former high-ranking government officials, it looks like a suspect has been apprehended. Law enforcement agencies, including the Secret Service Protective Detail, the ATF, the US Postal Inspection Service, the FBI and many other state and local law enforcement departments were working full time to stop this home grown terrorism. On Friday morning, October 26, Cesar Sayoc was arrested in south Florida as the prime suspect. At the time, he was driving a van covered in political statements supporting the President and other posters in opposition to various […]

Ep67: IPERS, Mike Fitzgerald, Amy Klobuchar & Martin O’Malley

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks about all the recent IPERS controversy with State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald. And we interview Senator Amy Klobuchar and Governor Martin O’Malley during their visits to Iowa.

Amy Klobuchar: Midwest Dems Won’t Be Left Behind Again

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar made a swing through Iowa this weekend to help boost some of her fellow Midwestern Democrats in important races. She noted at a canvass kick-off event with Cindy Axne that the party needed to refocus their attention to the region. “The other lesson we learned over the past two years is we’re not going to leave the Midwest behind,” Klobuchar said of Democrats’ past efforts. “This is the moment for the Midwest, and we don’t want to be forgotten again in a national election.” She ticked off a number of U.S. Senate races, like Joe Donnelly in […]

Trump, Iowa Republicans Finish With Immigrant Fear-Mongering

It’s less than two weeks until the election and Donald Trump has been searching for a new message. In an act of blatant racial opportunism, he targeted the Central American immigrant caravan traveling toward the United States. The videos of thousands of poor and desperate immigrants heading for the southern border provided the perfect victims to stoke up anger and fear within his base. With no proof, Trump immediately suggested that the caravan was made up of people of Middle Eastern descent, MS-13 gang members and other criminal elements. He again provided no proof but said “Democrats had something to […]

Meet The 29-Year-Old Farm Girl Who Could Flip The Iowa House

As Democrats look to rebound in Iowa in 2018, one of their toughest tasks is winning back the rural voters that abandoned them for Donald Trump two years ago. Taking back the Iowa Legislature all but requires it, as several key swing districts are mostly rural. To accomplish that on the local level, the party needed legislative candidates that came off as small-town authentic and knowledgable about agriculture. Kayla Koether, the Democratic nominee in the Decorah-based House District 55, has all those attributes and more, and is running one of the more interesting campaigns in the state at age 29. […]

Kim Reynolds Took $50,000 From Top Public Pension Enemy

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds received $50,000 in a campaign contribution from Rex Sinquefield, a wealthy Missouri Republican who has waged an all-out war against that state’s public pension system. The Reynolds donation was the only contribution to an Iowa candidate Sinquefield has ever made, and only six individuals in total have given more than $50,000 to Reynolds. That large donation could take on extra scrutiny as Reynolds tries to fight back against growing concerns that she would drastically restructure Iowa’s IPERS system. In recent days, she and other state Republicans have insisted they will not make any changes for the […]