Ernst Plans Visit With Trump On SREs, Hopes For USMCA Resolution

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said she and Senator Chuck Grassley were able to slip messages about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proliferation of the Small Refinery Exemptions to Ambassador to China Terry Branstad before he met with President Donald Trump on Monday. Ernst said at a town hall meeting in Rockwell City Thursday morning that Branstad and Trump were supposed to talk about negotiating a trade deal with China, but that it ultimately “evolved into an SRE discussion.” “[Branstad] took my comments and comments from Senator Grassley and presented those to the President,” Ernst said. “I am expecting to have a […]

Key 2020 Quotes And Messages From Major IFL Labor Convention

More than 200 union members showed up to the Iowa Federation of Labor Conference in Des Moines Wednesday to hear from over half the crowded Democratic presidential field. Before any of the candidates took the stage, union leaders welcomed the crowd to the conference and warned the Republican Party is trying to strip unions of their rights. Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa AFL-CIO, said there is a wholesale attack on the working people happening in the United States and it needs to be stopped. “When our membership was around 30 percent, our ability to raise the wages of working […]

Gillibrand Plans School-Based Health Centers For Rural Children

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand rolled out a new plan today to create School-Based Health Centers that will provide children in rural Iowa and across the nation with mental health care services that are currently lacking. A few Iowa schools have already tried to launch similar programs, but they aren’t fully funded and they don’t necessarily meet every child’s needs. Indianola brought in licensed therapists as early as 2017, but the district had some issues with keeping their providers early on. The district has since become one of more than 50 Iowa schools to begin working with Integrative Counseling Services, which is […]

One Size Doesn’t Fit All Health Care Needs, Union President Says

Union workers who have spent decades bargaining for their health care plans might see all that negotiating go out the window under several Democratic proposals being discussed in the presidential race. Several candidates are backing versions of Medicare for All that would eliminate most private health care options. Members of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council have been putting portions of their paychecks into their group health and welfare fund for years. “If we negotiate a dollar an hour raise for our guys and our health and welfare fund doesn’t meet the dime or 20 cents that year, […]

Steve King Confronted With Incestuous Rape Example After Comments

Just hours after Congressman Steve King made offensive comments about rape and incest this morning, he was confronted by a constituent over a real-life example of incestuous rape in his district. Katie Koehler, a retired Mason City public school teacher, told King that one of her 10-year-old students became pregnant after she was raped by her uncle, and asked King whether he would make that child carry a baby to term. “As a fourth grade teacher, I had a student that was raped by their uncle and became pregnant,” Koehler said at King’s Rockwell town hall forum Wednesday afternoon. “It […]

How Iowa State Fair-Goers Narrowed Their Candidate Options

The list of Democratic presidential candidates who attended the Iowa State Fair was so long this weekend it forced undecided voters to choose which of the 20 candidates they wanted to see speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox the most. Tom Steyer made Wes Boldt’s list. Boldt, of Des Moines, said he likes that Steyer is a business man and said he has a good way of getting his message out to everyone. It was the first time Boldt watched Steyer speak in person, and he thought he was “excellent.” “This guy versus Biden would be a great […]

Gillibrand, Harkin Team Up For Disability Rights Discussion

An important moment for disability rights advocates happened in West Des Moines Sunday morning; a presidential candidate hosted a first-of-its-kind disability rights panel in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who wrote the Americans with Disabilities Act 29 years ago, joined presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand on stage to hear the stories of Iowans who are living with disabilities.  “I believe God puts us in places for a reason. He gives us ideas in our hearts that we just can’t let go,” Gillibrand said. “This is an idea that certainly Senator Harkin has had and has fought for, for […]

Castro: Trump’s Attack On Brother Is Attack On Transparency Laws

Julian Castro said Donald Trump’s attack on his brother, Joaquin Castro, amounts to an attack on campaign finance transparency laws. Joaquin Castro drew criticism from Republicans after he tweeted out the names of Trump donors following the El Paso terrorist attack, data that is publicly available. Castro made the comments to reporters while he was walking through the Iowa State Fairgrounds Friday afternoon. “I mean, what happened was that the President went after my brother for pointing to publicly available information about big businesses that are supporting the President’s campaign and putting money into his pocket,” Castro said. “They are […]

Bullock Kicks Off State Fair Festivities With Electability Pitch

Iowans flocked to the Des Moines Register Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair for the first time this election cycle Thursday afternoon. While the soapbox is a popular place for Iowa Democrats to gather, they said it’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all for the 20-some field of candidates. “I’m not going to make a final decision off this unless lightning strikes,” said Don Ruby of St. Marys. “It’s just part of the vetting process.” Montana Governor Steve Bullock was the first 2020 Democratic candidate to appear on the soapbox. He appealed to the crowd by telling them of his […]

Largest Labor Cattle Call In the Nation Coming To Des Moines

The AFL-CIO in Des Moines has scheduled at least 21 Democratic presidential candidates will speak at the largest labor cattle call in the nation Aug. 21 at Prairie Meadows. The event is open to union members and the media, though not the general public. Charlie Wishman, secretary and treasurer of the Iowa Federation of Labor, said the candidates will each have 10 minutes to speak.  This is the best chance for presidential candidates to address union leadership in the state, many of whom have pull at the national level, he said. “They are the decision makers,” Wishman said, of Iowa’s […]