A Word Of Warning From A Rural Democratic County Chair

A guest post from Brian Bruening, chair of the Clayton County Democrats in Northeast Iowa.  It’s easy to get caught up in national Democratic excitement after the November 6th election. We flipped two house districts in Iowa as part of the Democratic wave the crashed over the US House. However, on the state and local levels, November 6 was a bigger Democratic disaster than the Republican wave of 2010. While we flipped several Iowa House seats from Republican control in affluent suburban districts, a voting trend seen nationwide, Democratic representation in the Senate was decimated, and only one statewide office was moved […]

Planning A Run For President? First Protect New Medicare Part D Plan

A guest post from Ro Foege, former state representative and AARP executive council member. The Iowa Caucuses are just around the corner, and presidential candidates will be flocking to the Hawkeye State in droves over the coming months, touting their voting record and stances on the issues, including healthcare. When it comes to prescription drug costs, opinions are abundantly clear across the U.S. – everyday Americans are being charged outrageous prices. Nobody should have to choose between buying food for their loved ones and paying for prescription drugs they need to keep themselves well. However, it is the reality that […]

How Rob Sand Won

A guest post from Andrew Turner, campaign manager for Rob Sand’s State Auditor race. Sand was the only Democrat to defeat a statewide Republican incumbent in Iowa this year. November 6, 2018 will forever be a bittersweet night for many of us. There were great victories and great losses we will remember and learn from. I won’t, nor should any staffer, claim to have a secret formula on how to “Win as a Democrat in Iowa.” I’m simply going to tell you what I saw firsthand over 12 months of working with Rob Sand, and maybe that’ll answer the question of […]

Let’s Talk Iowa Rankings, Governor. Our Universities Are In Free-Fall

Guest post by Allison Engel, an Iowa State University graduate, has worked in higher education for the past 12 years. Yes, Gov. Reynolds, let’s talk about U.S. News & World Report rankings. But not the livability rankings, which do not include data from all 50 states in all categories. In this blinkered competition, Iowa snagged the No. 1 spot, including the top ranking for infrastructure. This must have come as a surprise to those who read the recent Federal Highway Administration report that Iowa has the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation, as well as one of the country’s largest […]

Let America Vote’s Iowa Team Surpasses 80,000 Doors Knocked

A guest post from Zack Davis, the state director for Let America Vote-Iowa. Photo: Let America Vote-Iowa Deputy Field Director Maddy Leahy with candidate Kenan Judge, whom she ran into as she was knocking doors for him in his district on Sunday. On June 9th, Let America Vote launched a boots-on-the-ground campaign in Iowa to elect voting-rights champions from Sioux City to Davenport and from the state House to the governor’s mansion. We assembled a team committed to partnering with campaigns and allies and adding real value to the effort to win back Iowa in 2018. And in the four and […]

How Bad Is Iowa’s Mistaken Felon Disenfranchisement Problem?

Guest post from Adam Kenworthy, chair of Iowa Voting Rights Project KCCI reported on an important story last week regarding a man who was told he could not vote because he was classified as a felon. However, what the reporting revealed was that in fact the man was not a felon and that the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office had classified him as one incorrectly [update: the Secretary of State’s office clarifies that is was the federal courts that erroneously classified the man as a felon; the Secretary of State’s office fixed it within an hour of hearing about it]. […]

I Actually Worked For Fred Hubbell. He’s The Governor We Need

Guest post from Mark Holub, who worked at Younkers 1986 to 1996. In 1986, I was hired as the Director of Visual Merchandising for Younkers and I worked with Fred Hubbell regularly. I remember a conversation I had with Fred early on in my tenure when we were touring one of the branch stores. His observation was simple: for thousands of Iowans, Younkers was often their “first job.” He said it was our obligation to keep the stores strong and growing to maintain that tradition of helping Iowans throughout the state start their professional lives. He took that as a very serious […]

About 100,000 Iowa Households Can’t Meet Basic Needs

From the Iowa Policy Project. Our 6th edition of The Cost of Living in Iowa finds that roughly 100,000 Iowa working households are unable to make basic needs. [1] Put another way, about 17 percent — or 1 in 6 — households cannot get by on their income alone. It is a critical number that should inform countless public policy discussions for the remainder of 2018 and on into the next legislative session. Part One of this report details how much working families must earn in order to meet their basic needs, while Part Two estimates the number and proportion of Iowa working households able to earn enough. […]

Migrant Family Separation and Detention: Violating the Constitution

Guest piece from Caleb Gates, a refugee case manager and advocacy specialist in Cedar Rapids. He read this as a speech at a recent Families Belong Together Rally. We, the people of the United States, immigrants and descendants of immigrants, denounce the separation and detention of immigrant families by our government. President Trump’s policies separate families through ICE workplace raids, the deportation of longtime US residents with citizen children, and the termination of programs such as Temporary Protected Status and DACA. Simple misdemeanors like public intoxication, trespassing, loitering, or possession of marijuana detain and separate immigrants from their families. President […]

Consequences For Voter Suppression Coming To An Iowa District Near You

A guest post from Zack Davis, the state director for Jason Kander’s Let America Vote organization in Iowa. Photo of a Let America Vote intern knocking doors for a state legislative candidate in West Des Moines. On May 5th, 2017, our state — long seen as a leader in voter participation and election integrity — took a big step backward with the passage of House File 516. Instead of lowering barriers and increasing access to the ballot for Iowans, the legislation championed by Secretary of State Paul Pate injected partisan politics into the voting process, instituting an unnecessary and confusing […]