Ivanka Trump’s Blatant Hypocrisy On Private Emails Can’t Be Explained Away

During the 2016 campaign, Trump and his supporters crucified Hillary Clinton over her use of private emails while she served as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Trump’s campaign rallies regularly featured chants of “lock her up” based on Clinton’s use of emails. Trump called Clinton’s email usage a scandal “bigger than Watergate” and regularly called his rival “crooked Hillary.” That’s why the revelation that Ivanka Trump used a private email after she joined his administration is such a bombshell. Ivanka is defending her use of a private account by saying there is no comparison with what Clinton did. […]

Ep74: The Suburbs Election Results & Trends

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard discusses the changing voter trends in the Iowa suburbs with Ankeny Area Democrats Chair Zaak Barnes and Representative-Elect Jennifer Konfrst, who flipped a red Iowa House seat to blue to in the Des Moines suburbs.

Democrats Elevate Midwest’s Cheri Bustos To Run DCCC

The woman in charge of Democrats’ campaign efforts in the House next year will be Cheri Bustos, one of the party’s leading strategist on winning difficult Midwestern seats. The Illinois congresswoman was selected today by her House colleagues to chair the DCCC, the party’s campaign arm that oversees most House races. She beat out two Democrats from Washington State, winning with 117 votes to Suzan DelBene’s 83 votes and Denny Heck’s 32 votes. Another contender for the job from New York dropped out for health reasons. In selecting Bustos, Democrats now have someone who’s extremely skilled at getting elected in […]

On Saudi Arabia, Money Isn’t Everything

I’ve learned a lot of lessons about money, some easier than others, in the years since I pushed a lawnmower back and forth across Mrs. Carroll’s and Mrs. Greiner’s yards in Bloomfield long ago. My start as a gainfully employed contributor to the U.S. economy was inauspicious in the grand scheme of things. But I felt like a regular John D. Rockefeller — in blue jeans and a ball cap, instead of a suit and top hat — when the ladies settled up by handing over a couple of dollar bills each week. In those early years, my attitude toward […]

An Open Letter To Joni Ernst On Tax Cuts And Deficits

We spoke at a town hall in Boone this past January after the Republican tax cut passed, and agreed that the proof of its value would be whether it would produce increased revenue – whether it “pays” for itself. The figures are in for fiscal year 2018: the deficit was up by 17 percent to $779 billion over the previous fiscal year. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax receipts rose by only  $14 billion dollars or just four tenths of a percent. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports that that is the eighth lowest growth rate in […]

Ep73: Starting Line Updates & National Trends

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard updates you on where Starting Line is headed for the rest of 2018, and we recount a recent forum with national reporters at ISU, discussing their takes on identity politics voting, the new Democratic Party and the future of the Iowa Caucus.

The Whitaker/Clovis Connection Demands A Recusal

There has been a chorus of criticism demanding that acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. It’s primarily based on Whitaker’s previous statements referring to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt and his loyal support for President Trump’s push-back on the probe. That combined with Whitaker’s previous statements on ways to starve the Mueller investigation of funding has been cited as evidence that demands he recuse himself. However, Whitaker’s close friendship with Sam Clovis, a key witness in the Mueller probe, strongly suggests Whitaker can’t be impartial. Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the […]

Joni Ernst Puts National Ambitions Ahead Of Iowa Once Again

Senator Joni Ernst had a busy Thanksgiving break, forwarding her national political ambitions at the expense of Iowa’s reputation. Ernst spent part of Sunday in Mississippi, campaigning with Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith in the runoff race against Democrat Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith has come under significant scrutiny in the final weeks of her campaign over recent comments where she said she’d attend a “public hanging” if one of her political supporters asked her to. Considering her opponent is African American and that Mississippi has a long history with racism, including public hangings of black people, the remarks drew widespread outrage and […]

What Many Democrats Still Don’t Get About Rural Campaigning

Fred Hubbell campaigned extensively throughout rural Iowa during the 2018 election. Voters may just not have noticed it. As Iowa Democrats pick up the pieces from another stinging statewide loss, a lot of focus has been paid to the party’s continued lopsided defeats throughout rural Iowa. Carrying only 11 counties statewide, as Hubbell did against Governor Kim Reynolds, simply doesn’t cut it no matter how huge the vote margins are out of the state’s urban centers. It’s a trend that’s clearly been evident in the decade after Chet Culver’s 62-county win in the 2006 governor’s race, and one that’s deepened […]

Time To Reverse Iowa’s Extreme Stance On Voting Rights Restoration

We Iowans like to think of ourselves as the true occupants of middle America, the geographic and societal equivalent of Baby Bear’s porridge. We are not as conservative as some sections of our country, nor as liberal as other sections. We don’t have the wealth that some regions do. We don’t have the poverty that is found elsewhere. But clearly, Iowa is out of step with other states when it comes to a basic right — the right to vote in our elections. This was brought home in dramatic fashion on Election Day when voters in Florida, by a staggering […]