Ep85: 2020’s Leftward Tilt, Joe Biden, And An Iowa Win On Education

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by State Representative Lindsay James of Dubuque to talk about the success of the progressive movement in pushing 2020 Democrats to the left, Joe Biden’s possible presidential run, and a nice victory at the Statehouse for Democrats on education.

Marianne Williamson Recruits “Virtual Captains” For Virtual Caucus

If you participate in the Iowa Democratic Party’s new “virtual” caucus option next February, do you need “virtual” precinct captains to help organize everything? Marianne Williamson’s campaign is planning on figuring out just that with their new plan to organize in Iowa. Williamson announced the placement of 99 “Virtual Iowa Caucus Captains,” one covering each Iowa county. They’ll be tasked with both recruiting virtual and in-person caucus attendees to turn out for the best-selling author’s presidential bid. The campaign says about 40% of their captains are from Iowa. The rest are volunteers from around the country who will be in […]

How The 2020 Candidates Are Staffing Up In Iowa

It’s Iowa Caucus season, which means all of the top political staffers in the country have begun their migration from D.C. and battleground campaigns out to the Hawkeye state. Presidential candidates have aggressively courted campaign operatives with Iowa ties for months, and most of the top talent has already been snatched up. Which Democratic contenders are putting together the largest operations? What networks are they pulling from? Who has the most people with key Iowa relationships? Starting Line has been tracking the staffing scene for a while now, and we have finally put together a comprehensive look at how it’s […]

Iowan To Lead John Delaney Campaign, Adds Stacey Abrams’ Media Firm

John Delaney has selected a well-known national political operative with deep Iowa ties to lead his campaign. John Davis, who had been advising Delaney in his presidential run, will now serve as national campaign manager, the campaign told Starting Line. The campaign has also hired AL Media of Chicago, a media firm that produced Stacey Abrams’ ads in last year’s Georgia governor’s race. Delaney just went back up on TV in Iowa last week after running ads early on in last year’s midterms. And Delaney is adding Harrison Hickman of Hickman Analytics, Inc. as his pollster. Hickman has several decades worth […]

Is Reynolds’ Voting Rights Proposal A Sham?

Democratic legislators and the public should be very suspicious of Governor Reynolds’ proposed constitutional amendment to restore former felons’ voting rights. There are several glaring reasons to distrust her proposal as simply a public relations stunt. She can claim she supports restoring former felons’ voting rights knowing that it’s likely to run into a buzz saw from Republican lawmakers. The public must ask Reynolds why she publicly claims to believe in redemption but refuses to exercise her executive authority as Governor to automatically restore former felons’ voting rights. “Let’s begin that process now. I believe Iowans recognize the power of […]

Ep84: Huge 2020 Crowds and IA-Senate Candidates

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by former Lt. Governor Patty Judge to talk about the huge crowds we’re seeing out at 2020 events, as well as the potential Democratic candidates to take on Joni Ernst. And we answer your questions in our Mail Bag segment.

America Needs A Leader Who Can Bring Us Together

Guest post from State Representative Amy Nielsen of North Liberty on why she’s endorsing Cory Booker in the Iowa Caucus. This is the first state legislator endorsement in Iowa of the cycle. It’s been hard to watch the news over the last few years. It seems like every time the President speaks, it opens deeper and deeper wounds in our communities. Headline after headline underscores the hateful and divisive rhetoric that sadly seems to define our current political climate. Meanwhile, many of our friends and neighbors are getting left behind or caught up in a system that is set up […]

An Open Letter To The Senate President

Dear Senate President and my senator, Charles Schneider, I heard from a friend that an Americans For Prosperity (AFP) lobbyist was at the recent Waukee forum and shared something along these lines of their recent messaging: We believe that public assistance programs should be narrowly tailored to those who need them and for those who don’t, we should be encouraging those folks to get back into the workforce. I went to four subcommittees on the model legislation AFP’s sister organization “Opportunity Solutions Project” introduced. OSP, AFP, and Iowans for tax relief were the only organizations supporting these bills. There was […]

Two German Policy Ideas For The 2020 Field

As of almost the end of February, it looks like over 30 Democrats are in the presidential race or are at least considering it. As the candidates put together their platforms, every one is in some fashion or another talking about health care, climate change, income inequality, and of course terrible management and crazy positions of the current White House resident. As the race proceeds, Democratic candidates will be honing their positions to put more “meat on the bones.” Over the next few weeks/months, I hope to give some suggestions as to what I think might be a few good […]

Who’s Gearing Up To Challenge Joni Ernst?

Who’s brave enough to run against Joni Ernst? The first-term senator should be a top target for Democrats nationally, but she begins the 2020 cycle with an all-time high approval rating. The Des Moines Register found Ernst had a 57% job approval last week, a noticeable jump from the 43% to 51% rating she’s hovered around for most of her time in office. Democrats worry that if she survives her first reelection, the 48-year-old Ernst could settle into a very long tenure in the Senate, especially in a state that historically likes its incumbents. Former Governor Tom Vilsack, her best-known potential […]