More Politics Is Not What Iowa Courts Need

Harold Hill, that smooth-talking con artist in “The Music Man,” persuaded gullible Iowans that “ya got trouble, my friend, right here in River City.” He arrived in town to sell band instruments and band uniforms to parents who didn’t know they wanted or needed them. But his first task was to sell parents on the notion that a band was the way to keep their kids from hanging out at the pool hall. Today, the Harold Hills working our state are not concerned about pool halls or bands. But they are again trying to gin up public anxiety about a […]

Nancy Pelosi Vanquishes Donald Trump Over Wall Debate

If anyone doubted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ability to challenge and crush Donald Trump, the wall debate should leave little question. Pelosi dominated the debate and it ended with Trump folding after holding government employees hostage for a record 35 days. She repeatedly demonstrated her leadership by vanquishing Trump as few other politicians of either party has been able to accomplish. Pelosi confirmed her reputation in Washington as an unparalleled negotiator. Throughout the wall debate, Pelosi out-maneuvered and beat Trump at his own game as the supposed master of the “art of the deal.” Pelosi began the first White House […]

John Hickenlooper Serves Up Beer And A Pragmatic Persona

Former Colorado Governor and craft beer aficionado John Hickenlooper made the most of his stop at Court Avenue Brewing Co. on Sunday. He kissed a baby, poured a craft beer for a voter (and then himself) and got to introductions. Inevitably, one of the first questions Hickenlooper received from a voter was regarding how the state, under his watch, rolled out one of the nation’s first recreational marijuana policies. Polling in recent years shows increasing support in Iowa for both recreational and medical marijuana. This topic strayed from the standard 2020 campaign issues Democrats have addressed on their stops in […]

Grassley And Ernst Let Russian Gangster Off The Hook

Both Senator Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley voted to lift sanctions against three Russian companies linked to oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Why did Iowa’s senators vote to assist Deripaska, once Russia’s wealthiest man with an estimated worth of $28 billon? Critics describe Deripaska as a thug with direct links to Russian organized crime. In the 1990s he was one of the Russian billionaires that competed in a vicious battle to take over the state owned assets of the failed Soviet Union. Allegedly, a former manager of a Russian metal smelter that Deripaska seized […]

This Must Be The Health Care Congress

A guest post from State Representative Liz Bennett of Cedar Rapids. Just days after the new 116th Congress began, Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been on full view for all once again. House Democrats introduced a resolution authorizing the House Counsel to intervene in a Texas lawsuit filed by Republican state officials and backed by the Trump Administration. The suit, which won in December and will likely face a number of appeals, would dissolve the ACA in its entirety, which would be worse than any repeal bill that has come before Congress. Every Democrat voted […]

Making Laws Shouldn’t Be About Legislators’ Convenience

One of the biggest contrasts in public access to state and local governments in Iowa came into focus last week, and Iowans should be concerned by what occurred. A bit of context: Iowans have long had the right to sit in on almost every meeting of state government policy-making and governing boards and on meetings of their local school board, city council and county board of supervisors. That law requires a board or council to post the agenda for its meeting at least 24 hours before the meeting. This notice requirement exists to give the public time to offer their […]

The Iowa Labor Center Is Irreplaceable. Time To Fund It.

The future of the University of Labor Center remains in doubt after the University cut off funding last summer. For Iowans not involved in labor unions, they may not realize the value of the Labor Center at the University of Iowa. They may have the impression that the purpose of the Labor Center is limited to labor issues. It’s true the Labor Center provides direct education to over 2,500 workers per year. But in addition, they reach thousands more Iowans with continuing education programs. These continuing education students equipped with the knowledge of basic labor practices enrich each of our […]

What Kirsten Gillibrand Thought Of Her First Iowa Trip

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made her inaugural visit to Iowa this weekend, forging through a snowstorm to meet local Democratic activists here for the first time. She delivered an impassioned speech at the Iowa Women’s March, shared a beer with Des Moines caucus-goers at a brewery, and hosted meet-and-greets in coffee shops in Sioux City, Boone and Ames. Starting Line sat down with Senator Gillibrand this afternoon for an interview. The following is the highlights of what we spoke about, along with a couple photos from today’s events.   You’ve only been in Iowa a day and a half, […]

IA-04 Poll: Steve King’s Support Sinking Back Home, Dem Leads Matchup

Congressman Steve King faces worsening reelection prospects in Iowa’s very conservative 4th District, trailing a generic Democratic candidate by eight points. A new poll of the Northwest Iowa district shows King garnering just 37% of likely voters, while 45% say they’d vote for “whatever Democrat runs.” A hypothetical rematch with his 2018 opponent J.D. Scholten has King at 39% and Scholten at 44%. A sizable portion of the electorate would also like to see King resign outright from Congress. 43% of respondents said King should resign; 44% believed he should not. The poll was commissioned by the Majority Rules PAC […]

Public Workers Demand GOP Keeps Their IPERS Promise

Current and former public employees rallied in support of the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System (IPERS) at the Iowa State Capitol on Monday. The speakers expressed fear that Republicans may attempt to move IPERS, the defined benefit program to a 401(k) type retirement plan. The press conference was organized by Progress Iowa. They have many reasons to be concerned as both Governor Kim Reynolds and Republican House Speaker Linda Upmeyer have expressed contradictory positions on IPERS. During the recent campaign they both promised IPERS is safe in the current form. “As governor, I am reiterating that this promise will be […]