How Bono’s ONE Campaign Is Organizing In Iowa

Foreign aid is often used more in political campaigns as a punching bag than as an applause line, but more Iowans may be pressing their candidates and elected officials on the subject if the ONE campaign is successful here. ONE, a non-partisan advocacy organization co-founded by Bono, works to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa. They’re currently running a grassroots campaign in Iowa to get voters to contact their senators and urge them to support the Global Fund and to maintain America’s leadership in the global AIDS fight. They have volunteers in Des Moines, Iowa City and […]

Trump Rethinks Refinery Waivers After Pushback From Farmers, Democrats

Several reports late this week revealed that Donald Trump has ordered EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to reconsider their approach to small refinery ethanol waivers. President Trump was in Iowa earlier this month to celebrate the year-round sales of E15 and to fundraise for his reelection campaign, but received blowback from farmers about the high number of small refinery waivers being granted. His administration has continually allowed oil companies, even ones operating sizable refineries, to not mix ethanol into their fuel production, thus limiting demand for ethanol. While many corn farmers were excited about the […]

USDA Grants Boost Small Iowa Towns, But Funding Now At Risk

As small towns across the country struggle to attract or retain businesses, the USDA has been awarding a number of rural development grants to help stimulate growth. “I just feel like there’s been a reinvigorated interest in rural issues and communities, and seeing that manifest itself in different ways has been really encouraging,” said Grant Menke, the Iowa State Director of USDA Rural Development. “Iowa is pretty much the best in the nation at the rural economic development program.” Decorah, Iowa, took advantage of one over a decade ago that helped develop their now-lively commerce and arts scene in town. […]

Iowans Appreciate Candidates Like O’Rourke’s New LGBTQ Plans

Health care discussions in the presidential primary have increasingly begun to include specific ideas for the LGBTQ community. Beto O’Rourke recently rolled out his “LGBTQ+ Equality” policy proposal aimed at ensuring everyone can “live openly without fear of discrimination or violence.” “What I appreciated [about the proposal] at first was that we need to address the efforts made by Trump. Looking at the list, it’s sad to me how many executive actions it would take to reverse what he’s done,” said Nate Monson, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools. O’Rourke’s proposal includes three key means for using the presidency to […]

What Medicaid Expansion Accomplished, Who’s Running On Its Success

The health care advocacy group Protect Our Care recently released a report with nationwide, aggregate data showing increases in enrolled coverage and health care outcomes across the country. “It’s undeniable that Medicaid expansion has enabled more Americans to receive coverage and improved access to vital health care services in communities across the country,” said Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care. Health care access and outcomes has already become a top-tier issue of debate amongst 2020 candidates, and this data could better inform policy proposals and opinions on such. “As study after study has shown, expanding Medicaid means better […]

By The Numbers: What An ACA Repeal Would Do To Iowans

The health care advocacy group Protect Our Care released a report on June 11 that documented the benefits of expanding Medicaid, as well as the efforts of the Trump-led Republican Party to derail the Affordable Care Act and roll back the clock on coverage qualifications. “In the last two years alone, we have evidence that clearly shows better health outcomes for people who live in states that expanded Medicaid compared to those who live in states that did not,” the report read. In March, the Trump Administration’s Justice Department filed a legal briefing making the case to a Texas judge […]

Explainer: How Trump’s Small Refinery Waivers Are Undercutting Farmers

Donald Trump will be in Iowa today, touring an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, to celebrate the Environmental Protection Agency’s lift of a seasonal ban on E15, allowing for year-round sale of the gasoline mixture containing 15% ethanol. The ethanol tour was recently announced with Trump set to come to the state for a Republican Party fundraising event. The move to enforce year-round production and consumption of certain ethanol blends comes at a convenient time for Trump, but hasn’t gone without criticism. Farming advocates and Democratic presidential candidates call it an empty gesture, considering what else the White House is […]

Warren Says Trump Is Hurting Farmers On Trade, Production During Ethanol Plant Tour

Elizabeth Warren took a tour of an ethanol production facility today in Dyersville, Iowa. It was the latest in a series of presidential candidate visits to biofuel facilities in the caucus state, and she used the occasion to point out where she felt Donald Trump’s administration was falling short in delivering for Iowa farmers. Led around the sprawling facility by local leaders at the plant, Warren viewed a massive pile of corn feed that had its starch removed in the facility’s process. Warren quipped that “it smells a little like breakfast cereal” before grabbing a handful of it for herself. […]

When Getting Booed Is The Strategy

John Delaney and John Hickenlooper both took an interesting approach to the California Democratic Convention last weekend, receiving boos from the room in response to their stances on Medicare for All and “socialism.” Delaney and Hickenlooper are running on two of the more moderate platforms (for Democrats, anyway), especially in regard to healthcare policy. And while the booing isn’t helpful for their standing among key California activists, both candidates are aiming to convince the rest of the party that their centrist-leaning policies make them the better choice to win the general election. “You know, if we’re not careful, we’re going […]

When A Rural Iowa County’s Only Shoe Store Closes

If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of off-brand Crocs or high-end work boots, look no further than Ringgold County, Iowa. But for the county’s residents who are looking for anything in between, a 45-minute drive to Creston, the next county seat over, or an online shopping-spree are the only purchasing options. As small towns everywhere wrestle with the effects of a struggling farm economy, aging populations, tough housing markets, and the explosion of online shopping, finding places to buy basic goods has become a challenge. Ringgold County, situated on Iowa’s southern border with Missouri, has a population […]