Biden On Trump In Iowa: “Easy To Be A Bully” When Others Getting Hit

Around 75 people showed up at Sunset Ridge Farm this afternoon to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak earlier today. Biden framed the 2020 race as “the most important election any of you have ever voted in, regardless of how old, or young, you are.” Biden hit many of his frequent talking points, including the divisiveness of Donald Trump and his rhetoric, increasing racial tension under Trump’s leadership, the energized resurgence of white supremacy, the cost and importance of education, teacher pay and gun violence. “We can overcome four years of Donald Trump, it will be difficult, but if we […]

Ernst, Grassley Warn Trump He’s Losing Iowa Support On Waivers

In the wake of 31 Renewable Fuel Standard waivers being granted to refineries last week, Republican senators from Iowa are warning President Donald Trump about the political fallout he’s causing, noting that “our farmers are angry.” The waivers allow oil refineries to avoid blending ethanol into their final product, benefiting oil companies’ bottom lines at the expense of corn farmers. “Mr. President, you should have done more,” Sen. Joni Ernst said on Saturday. “So, what I’m hearing from our farmers is extreme disappointment, and I’m disappointed, because there is a promise that needs to to be kept for our farmers.” […]

Iowa Farmers To Trump: “You’re Stabbing Us In The Back”

Iowa farmers are furious over a recent major decision from Donald Trump’s EPA that is undercutting corn growers in favor of oil companies. Robb Ewoldt, a farmer from Northeast Iowa, expressed his frustrations to Starting Line in a conversation this week. “We got to get somebody in the White House to hear, ‘you know, we were with you, we voted for you, we understand the trade-war issue, but we don’t understand why you’re stabbing us in the back with this EPA and these exemptions,’” Ewoldt said. “We’re tired of just falling in line, we need to voice our opinions a […]

“The ACA Saved My Life.” Ernst Called Out On Health Care Votes

“About two years ago, I walked into a doctor’s office with a nagging cough and walked out with a stage-four cancer diagnosis,” said Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and health care activist. “But I’m still here today because the Affordable Care Act saved my life.” Packard is now in remission, but says she couldn’t have afforded her six months of chemotherapy and month of radiation treatments without the Affordable Care Act – the one thing keeping her insurable. “If my cancer returns, I will be bankrupt or dead without good health insurance,” explained Packard. “That’s why we’re going around, state […]

Environmentalists Send Airborne Message To Joni Ernst On Climate

Climate change and environmental advocates flew a banner over the Iowa State Fairgrounds today, calling on Sen. Joni Ernst to acknowledge climate change and to act on policy. “We’re out here today because Iowans are feeling the impacts of climate change more than ever and seeing it first hand,” explained Jennessa Agnew, Deputy Field Director from the League of Conservation Voters. “Iowa Senators in D.C. aren’t even willing to acknowledge that this is something that’s happening,” Agnew said. “This year, we’ve seen record flooding across the state hurting families, farmers, the economy and the quality of life here in Iowa.” […]

Amy Klobuchar Plan: Restore “Respect For Rural America”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar released her “Plan from the Heartland” today, kicking off some time in Iowa with a speech at the Griffieon Family Farm in Ankeny, Iowa. Klobuchar refers to the plan as an “optimistic economic agenda” to strengthen and protect the way of life in rural America. “Kids that grow up in rural America should be able to live in rural America,” Klobuchar explained, adding that the goal of her plan is to, “bring back the respect for rural America.” Taking Rural Seriously Klobuchar’s policy plan, the full text of which is available on Medium, has four major pieces: […]

Gov. Steve Bullock Rolls Out Six More Iowa Endorsements

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is rolling out his second round of Iowa endorsements today, which includes six Iowa Democrats, just days before the Iowa State Fair. Several of them hail from rural, Republican-leaning counties, and they include former secretary of agriculture candidate Tim Gannon’s parents. Bill and Kathleen Gannon of Mingo, Iowa are both now supporting Bullock for the caucus. Bill Gannon is a former state legislator and past Democratic candidate for governor. They farm in Jasper County. “Simply put: As president, Governor Bullock will get the job done,” said Bill Gannon in a press release. “I believe that with […]

What Joni Ernst’s Health Care Votes Mean To Iowan Laura Wright

As Republican-led efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act [ACA] continue, living with a chronic illness has become increasingly difficult. While some may still have a solid health insurance plan through their employer, that plan is tied to employment and still includes deductibles. What happens when an employment contract ends or a job is lost? That is the situation Laura Wright faced, and what has inspired her to become an activist on the health care scene, pushing back on members of Congress who continue to vote to limit coverage and tear down the ACA. “My job ended,” said Wright. “The […]

Iowans: Biden Held His Own In Second Debate, But Concerns Linger

Joe Biden was in the cross-hairs on Wednesday night. With the exception of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who instead directed her fire at Sen. Kamala Harris, candidates who wanted to rip on one another largely aimed their sights at the former Vice President. Vice President Biden got in a handful of heated exchanges throughout the night. Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Jay Inslee all went directly at Biden on his record in the Senate and as Vice President, statements he made in the past and his work on issues like racial […]

Trump’s EPA Pulls Another Bait-And-Switch On Farmers

In a whirlwind week for trade and agricultural policy, the EPA’s Andrew Wheeler defended their approach to Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in a closed-door meeting with farm state senators. In other parts of a busy day, President Trump approved $16 billion in trade aid for 2019, but 2018 trade-aid analysis shows that a majority of the payments went to the biggest, most successful farms. SRE Update: EPA to Continue Down Current Path According to four sources, Wheeler said in the private meeting that the program has had no negative impact on ethanol demand. This comes just a day after a […]