Republicans Look To Upend Home Rule On County Supervisor Districts

Guest post via Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Freise. The Iowa Senate is considering a bill that would force Iowa’s 10 most populous counties (and only those 10) to use districts to elect Supervisors.  Not only that, but supervisors would be elected only by the people in those districts, not by everyone in the county.  It’s called HF2372, and it’s a bad idea.  And I say this not just because I have a dog in this hunt. The numbers say I’d stand a pretty good chance if I were to run for re-election, with or without the districts (no decisions on […]

GOP’s Campus “Free Speech” Bill Actually Targets LGBTQ Students And More

Guest post via Keenan Crow of One Iowa “There’s something insidious about this bill,” warned Independent Senator David Johnson during the Senate floor debate on SF 2344, a bill which purports to be about free speech on Iowa’s college and university campuses. “I can read the lobbyist declarations for myself,” Johnson continued. “The Family Leader and Americans for Prosperity are for this bill. Those against it include the ACLU and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund. Think about this ladies and gentlemen, what is this really?” Iowa’s only independent Senator is unfortunately correct. While protecting free speech on campus is […]

Why This Former Republican Attended His First Democratic Caucus

A guest post from Mark Masterson (pictured on the right) I would like to introduce myself.  I’m Mark Masterson, and Monday was my first caucus experience as a Democrat. I work as a state employee (a correctional officer) at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, and after I saw what the Republicans at the Capitol did to public employees last session, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. With that said, I’m new to being involved in politics at any level, but was excited to get the Governor’s race started and wanted to get involved so my voice was […]

The Death Penalty Bill Is Dead. It Should Stay That Way

Yesterday a piece of legislation that would have reinstated the death penalty in Iowa advance after an initial hearing, but it appears to be dead for this session with a lack of support from key Republican committee members. Des Moines attorney John McCormally passed along to Starting Line the statement he had planned on making at the hearing (photo is from him at a different committee last year): House Study Bill 569 would restore Capital Punishment for the first time since the 1960s. Its one of two bills working their way through the legislature aimed at bringing back executions. I […]

Be Angry Over Shutdown – GOP Played Games With Kids And Immigrants

This guest piece from Robert Lyons posted literally just as the deal to keep the government became known. The sentiments still stand for how we got into the shutdown and for any future one in the next few weeks. There is no choice to be made between Children and Dreamers. There is no choice to be made between two vulnerable populations in need of our help whose only differences are the geographic locations of their births. But there is a choice to be made between doing the morally right thing and doing the opportunistically wrong thing. Republicans chose to present […]

How A GOP Legislator Distracts, Inflames In A Year Of Facebook Posts

A guest post from Matt Chapman, an activist from Dallas County, with an in-depth look at one Iowa Republican senator’s Facebook posts. It’s a long but interesting consideration of how legislators use their social media during the legislative session. Some politicians are embracing Facebook to reach out to constituents and some are not. Some home pages seem benign, and some manipulate and divide the electorate. While his district is to the west of mine, Jake Chapman’s Facebook page is ground zero for this kind of divisive politicking. Most of these posts were during the 2017 session and most of them […]

What The Iowa Senate Map Looks Like In 2018

The following is a memo written up last year by Nick Conway of the Austin Frerick (IA-3) campaign. It’s an interesting look at how the Iowa Senate map is set up for the 2018 elections, and which districts will be the most competitive. This was written in mid-2017, so there’s obviously been a lot of developments in the time since with special elections and more, but it’s a good starting place to consider the past election data. Part 1: Overview The 2016 election was a disaster for Democrats in Iowa. Not only did Trump win the state by over 9 […]

Iowa Can’t Waste Another Year On GOP’s Water Quality Facade

These are not normal times, with real concerns about interference in our elections by a hostile foreign power, powerful voices seeking to legitimize sexist, racist and other discriminatory actions at a level not seen in decades, and what at least feels like wholesale attacks on working families and the middle class. Yet, other serious challenges persist. Such as the growing impairment of our waters and the growing risk of drought and flood fueled by a heating planet. More than 50% of Iowa’s waterways that have been tested have been found to be impaired, more than 750 impaired waterways. Iowa is […]

Eddie Mauro: Need True And Fair Tax Reform, Not David Young’s Handouts To The Rich

A guest post from 3rd Congressional District Democratic candidate Eddie Mauro. It appears that David Young has come down with Trump’s disease — the inability to tell fact from fiction. In a newsletter titled “Myth vs. Fact on the Tax Plan” sent out a week ago, the Third District congressman said the Republican-authored tax bill was good for Iowans. For one thing, he said, it gets rid of the estate tax, which he said prevents Iowa farmers from bequeathing their farms to their heirs. But as The Des Moines Register reported, the estate tax affected only 32 out of nearly […]

Candidates Show Real Progress, Concern In Mental Health Forum

The Des Moines Register held a mental healthcare forum this week, where 12 gubernatorial candidates discussed their ideas on the critical matter. All seven Democratic candidates were there, as well as two Republican challengers, two Libertarian contenders and a left-leaning independent. Governor Kim Reynolds was on vacation that week, but she recorded a video address that was played at the beginning of the event. Starting Line asked National Alliance for Mental Health Iowa’s executive director, Peggy Huppert, to weigh in on her thoughts from the event. You can watch the entire event from this Register live stream.  — The most […]