Republicans’ Unconstitutional Attack On The Attorney General’s Independence

Republican legislators’ attack on Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is an unconstitutional power grab. Not only is this action a betrayal of basic constitutional principles, it will likely cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lost settlements. In addition, this legislation insults the decisions of Iowa voters that have made Miller the nation’s longest serving Attorney General. He was reelected in 2018 with a historic endorsement of 76.5% of Iowa voters. That super majority percentage demonstrates Iowa voters have total confidence in Miller as their chief legal officer. The Republican legislation would require Miller to ask permission from the governor, Executive […]

Democrats Gather This Weekend To Address Rural Issues

Cracking the rural code by finding a successful message is essential to Democrats’ future elections.  It’s not only critical in Iowa, but in much of the so-called red flyover country of the heartland. Iowa Democrats understand that they can’t win majorities in the Iowa House and the Senate or statewide elections without finding a message that appeals to rural voters. They are making serious efforts at rural outreach and that begins with determining the needs of the voters in these areas. Local Democrats will hold a Reaching Rural Voters Forum this Saturday, April 27, 9:00 am to 12:00 in Stuart, […]

Despite Voter Suppression Efforts, Young Voters Turned Out In Iowa

A guest post from Brit Bender, state director for NextGen Iowa, which ran an extensive youth voter turnout project in 2018. The Iowa GOP has a history of student voter suppression. In 2017, then-Governor Terry Branstad signed a law that prohibited student IDs from being used as voter IDs. This legislative session, Republicans tried to ban public universities as early voting locations and force students to sign a form stating their intent to remain in Iowa upon graduating to remain on the voter rolls. Fortunately, these tried-and-true tactics to suppress the youth vote were met with fierce opposition from grassroots […]

Steve King Compares Himself To Jesus Christ

Congressman Steve King is going through a trying time in the U.S. House right now, but he said today it’s given him special insight into someone who he feels faced a similar trial. That person is Jesus Christ. As the Sioux City Journal reported, while at one of his town hall forums in Cherokee County today, King referred to his fellow members of Congress as “accusers” who are putting him through a kind of test that Christ once faced. King was stripped of his committee assignments this year after making racist comments about white nationalism late in the 2018 campaign. […]

Party Switch: State Rep. Andy McKean Flips From R To D

State Representative Andy McKean is switching sides. The Republican legislator from Jones County has decided to leave his party and join Democrats in the Iowa House. He will re-register as a Democrat later this week back at home, and currently plans on running for reelection as a Democrat. “I found myself increasingly uncomfortable with the stance of my party on the vast majority of high profiles issues and often sympathetic with concerns raised by the minority caucus,” McKean said in a press conference this morning. But another major factor in his decision was President Donald Trump. “With the 2020 presidential […]

Ep97: Tom Vilsack On 2020 Dems’ Rural Iowa Message

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard interviews former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on how 2020 Democrats are talking about rural America, how the Trump Administration is undermining the renewable fuels industry, and why he decided to take a pass on a U.S. Senate run.

Bernie Sanders Adds Top Iowa Operative To Team

Bernie Sanders is bringing on Jessica Vanden Berg, a well-known veteran of Iowa and national campaigns, to his caucus team. She will serve as a senior advisor for their Iowa operation. As the AP reported last month, Vanden Berg was approached by Joe Biden’s team for a top role in his eventual campaign in Iowa. Biden is expected to announce his presidential bid this week or next. There is a quickly-shrinking pool of experienced Iowa talent that could steer a major caucus campaign. Vanden Berg ran Christie Vilsack’s 2012 congressional campaign, worked for former Congressman Leonard Boswell, and served as […]

Cory Booker Lands Second Iowa Legislative Endorsement

The second public legislative endorsement of the Iowa Caucus goes to the same candidate who received the first: Senator Cory Booker. State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights made her choice of Booker known today in a short video message. “Cory is exactly what our country needs right now,” Konfrst said. “He has the perfect mix of heart and fight, and he has policy positions that will lift our country up and unite us as a nation.” I’m thrilled to endorse @CoryBooker for President of the United States because he has the heart, fight, and plans to unite our country and […]

Want To Do An Iowa Caucus Sight-Seeing Trip? Plan It Now.

Iowa is heaven on earth for political junkies, especially so for the Democratic activists who are closely following this year’s historically large field of candidates. But if you live outside our great state, do you ever watch the TV clips of presidential contenders stumping in coffee shops and diners across Iowa with just a little bit of envy, wishing you too could experience this all up close? Well, Iowa does typically get its fair share of political tourists. The problem is that so many of them wait right up until the media hype around Iowa hits its peak, making an […]

In Rural Iowa, “Socialism” Skepticism May Boost John Delaney

Places like Iowa Falls feel a long way away from the national discussion on the Democratic primary. An Iowa town of 5,000 people, it’s a long drive away from any county that even used to vote regularly for Democrats, and the kind of place where Fox News is the default channel running on the TV in every local small business. Situated in the middle of Central Iowa’s farm country, Iowa Falls’ Hardin County was one of many rural counties to vote lopsidedly for Donald Trump in 2016. Hillary Clinton received only 33% of the vote here. That’s where presidential candidate […]