Soup, Spaghetti, And Lots Of Democrats

Iowa Democrats get their first taste of some multi-candidate caucus events during the next two weeks, served up with sides of soup and spaghetti. Three Democratic county parties will host at least two to three presidential candidates at their local fundraisers in Central and Southern Iowa. The Monroe County Democrats will hear from Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, and Eric Swalwell this Sunday in Albia at their annual Spaghetti Supper fundraiser. It’s one of the Minnesota senator’s first events in Iowa since her campaign announcement last weekend. Swalwell is expected to kick off his presidential bid sometime soon. Just up the […]

State Help Shouldn’t Overlook Our Small Towns

Community leaders always prefer to see the glass as half full instead of dwelling on trends and policies beyond their control that could easily produce anxiety — or ulcers. I had a friend for many years who fit that description. I would call him an optimistic realist. I’m sure he had opportunities to follow a career path that would have taken him to a large city, just as I did. Instead, he chose to work and expend his leadership energy in a smaller town with fewer people than some neighborhoods in Des Moines have. He never wore blinders, however. He closely […]

GOP Court Scheme Is “Largest Judicial Power Grab Ever Attempted”

Republican legislators have introduced bills in the Iowa House (HSB 110) and the Iowa Senate (SSB 1101) that are a direct attack on Iowa’s merit-based judicial selection process. The Iowa group Justice Not Politics describes the proposed changes as the largest judicial power grab ever attempted in Iowa. Iowa’s current merit-based judicial selection process significantly removes politics from the choice of judges. The intent of the Republican changes is to overturn Iowa’s impartial selection system and replace it with handpicked political appointees of the governor’s party. Currently 8 of the 16 members of the nominating commission for Iowa Supreme Court […]

How Iowa’s Caucus Reform Will Change Campaign Strategies

The Iowa Democratic Party unveiled their long-discussed plan to reform the Iowa Caucus process yesterday, laying out what would be the most significant changes to the caucus since its creation. They included a new virtual caucus option, an important tweak to viability procedures, a new reporting system for the raw vote, and a recount option. A 30-day comment period will now commence before a final vote is taken by the state party on implementing the new plan. All together, the IDP’s proposal greatly expands access and options for Iowans who can’t or don’t want to attend their local precinct caucus […]

Ep80: Caucus Changes, Midwest Field, And Cory Booker Interview

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by former Lt. Governor Patty Judge to talk about proposed changes to the Iowa Caucus, the recent candidates visits, and how the field of Midwest candidates is shaping up. And we interview Senator Cory Booker during his first trip to Iowa.

Why This Iowan Is Caucusing For John Delaney

A guest post from Paula Meyer of St. Ansgar, Iowa. She’s one of John Delaney’s Iowa campaign co-chairs. I first heard John Delaney speak in Washington, D.C. in 2013 about his ideas to create and fund an infrastructure bank that would pay for over $1 trillion of infrastructure without raising taxes. I came home and told my husband I had heard a leader with practical, innovative ideas to solve the intractable problems we face in American. I became a fan of John Delaney. In 2017 and again in 2018, we had the opportunity to host John Delaney in our home […]

Comparing The Democrats’ Iowa Caucus Event Styles

It’s a little under a year out from the Iowa Caucus, and presidential candidates are already inundating the state to make their pitch to local activists. What’s particularly fascinating from these initial visits is that the Democrats’ campaigning and event styles are just as diverse as the field itself. You can already start to see hints of how each candidate’s strategy in the caucus will play out by how they structure their first trips. Starting Line thought it would be helpful to compile all our brief observations on the candidates’ approaches into one piece. With a field this large, unless […]

Cory Booker’s Unity Message Will Test Whether Twitter Is Wrong

For a man who drew national fame in part because of his clever use of social media while mayor of Newark, Cory Booker’s message for his 2020 bid most certainly does not match the mood of today’s political Twitter. In his first journey to Iowa after his presidential campaign announcement, Booker stuck to an optimistic and aspirational homily, inviting the audience to join him in a fight to make America a more loving and caring place again. It’s the philosophy of public service that has driven Booker’s entire life, from his years trying to mentor gang members while living in […]

The Other Way That Pete Buttigieg Stood Out In Iowa

Even in an incredibly crowded 2020 field, there’s plenty of ways that Pete Buttigieg, mayor of a mid-sized Midwestern city, stands out: he’s young, gay, and an Afghanistan War veteran. But his first appearances in Iowa after his presidential campaign announcement were noteworthy in a much more simple way: how bluntly and honestly he answered questions. The South Bend, Indiana mayor kicked off his well-attended events in Ames and Grinnell on Friday with a very short stump speech (possibly too short, actually, for this early in the race for a little-known contender) before diving right into questions. The party activist […]

Ep79: Early Relationship Building In The Iowa Caucus

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by Representative Jennifer Konfrst to talk early relationship building and outreach from the presidential candidates, as well what’s happening at the Statehouse this week.