Why Local Iowa Democratic Campaign Ads Look So Good This Year

When you’re a candidate running for the state legislature in Iowa, your campaign budget is always tight. There’s only so many places you can raise money from, the districts are relatively small and your official campaign team may mostly be volunteers. If you’re a “targeted” race, you get more help from the state party, but they also have a lot of districts to cover. Fortunately for two dozen Democratic candidates in Iowa this year, a unique national organization helped them even the playing field with their better-funded Republican opponents. The One Vote At A Time organization came to Iowa back […]

Julian Garrett Confirms He’d Make 14-Year-Old Rape Victims Carry Pregnancy

State Senator Julian Garrett doubled down on the most extreme consequences of an abortion bill he voted for last year during a forum in Indianola on Monday night. Answering a question from his Democratic challenger Vicky Brenner, Garrett confirmed he supports a scenario in which a 14-year-old girl who was raped by a family member would have to bring her pregnancy to term. “According to this law, a 14-year-old student of mine could be raped by her uncle and be required to carry that pregnancy to term,” Brenner, a retired teacher, said to Garrett. “I can see that young woman […]

Kamala Harris Helps Take Deidre DeJear To The Finish Line

California Senator Kamala Harris made her big Iowa debut this week, barnstorming Central and Eastern Iowa over two days to boost Democratic candidates up and down the ticket. Among those candidates getting some help were Cindy Axne, Amber Gustafson and Heather Matson, but one Iowa Democrat got a lot of extra attention: Deidre DeJear. Democrats’ Secretary of State nominee was the first Iowa candidate that Harris endorsed back in August. DeJear has started to gain national attention for her historic bid (she would be Iowa’s first black statewide elected official if successful), but Harris and DeJear actually first met much […]

Ep66: National Dem Visits & Gov. John Hickenlooper Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard discusses all the recent visits from Democrats’ top national stars in Iowa and what help it gives to local candidates. And we interview Governor John Hickenlooper about his policy success in Colorado, his 2020 considerations and what he thought of Iowa’s local beer scene.

Memo Details Iowa Farm Bureau’s Plan To Buy Sec Of Ag Race

Starting Line has obtained a memo from the Iowa Farm Bureau that lays out their plan to use corporate donations from the agriculture industry to fund an independent expenditure group created solely to swing the Secretary of Agriculture race to Republican Mike Naig. In the memo from Don Petersen, the Farm Bureau’s Director of Government Relations, the organization describes how “a one-time investment of corporate funds for this cause will return dividends for a decade or more to come.” They explain to potential donors that the race between Naig and Democratic farmer Tim Gannon is “dead even,” and that both candidates’ […]

Iowa Sees Largest Drop In Energy Rating After Gary Carlson’s Bill

Iowa’s national role as a leader in clean energy took a major hit thanks to a Republican-passed bill (SF 2311) in 2018. State Representative Gary Carlson spearheaded the effort, and Governor Reynolds signed it into law this past May. The bill cripples Iowa’s 28-year history of energy efficiency programs with massive cuts. It also allows municipal utilities to penalize solar-generating customers. The new law cuts funds dedicated to rebates for energy efficiency appliances, retrofitting homes and energy efficiency initiatives by as much as two-thirds. The bill caps contributions at 2 percent of a customer’s electric or natural gas bill. The […]