Steve King Compares Himself To Jesus Christ

Congressman Steve King is going through a trying time in the U.S. House right now, but he said today it’s given him special insight into someone who he feels faced a similar trial. That person is Jesus Christ. As the Sioux City Journal reported, while at one of his town hall forums in Cherokee County today, King referred to his fellow members of Congress as “accusers” who are putting him through a kind of test that Christ once faced. King was stripped of his committee assignments this year after making racist comments about white nationalism late in the 2018 campaign. […]

Party Switch: State Rep. Andy McKean Flips From R To D

State Representative Andy McKean is switching sides. The Republican legislator from Jones County has decided to leave his party and join Democrats in the Iowa House. He will re-register as a Democrat later this week back at home, and currently plans on running for reelection as a Democrat. “I found myself increasingly uncomfortable with the stance of my party on the vast majority of high profiles issues and often sympathetic with concerns raised by the minority caucus,” McKean said in a press conference this morning. But another major factor in his decision was President Donald Trump. “With the 2020 presidential […]

Ep97: Tom Vilsack On 2020 Dems’ Rural Iowa Message

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard interviews former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on how 2020 Democrats are talking about rural America, how the Trump Administration is undermining the renewable fuels industry, and why he decided to take a pass on a U.S. Senate run.

Bernie Sanders Adds Top Iowa Operative To Team

Bernie Sanders is bringing on Jessica Vanden Berg, a well-known veteran of Iowa and national campaigns, to his caucus team. She will serve as a senior advisor for their Iowa operation. As the AP reported last month, Vanden Berg was approached by Joe Biden’s team for a top role in his eventual campaign in Iowa. Biden is expected to announce his presidential bid this week or next. There is a quickly-shrinking pool of experienced Iowa talent that could steer a major caucus campaign. Vanden Berg ran Christie Vilsack’s 2012 congressional campaign, worked for former Congressman Leonard Boswell, and served as […]

Cory Booker Lands Second Iowa Legislative Endorsement

The second public legislative endorsement of the Iowa Caucus goes to the same candidate who received the first: Senator Cory Booker. State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights made her choice of Booker known today in a short video message. “Cory is exactly what our country needs right now,” Konfrst said. “He has the perfect mix of heart and fight, and he has policy positions that will lift our country up and unite us as a nation.” I’m thrilled to endorse @CoryBooker for President of the United States because he has the heart, fight, and plans to unite our country and […]

Want To Do An Iowa Caucus Sight-Seeing Trip? Plan It Now.

Iowa is heaven on earth for political junkies, especially so for the Democratic activists who are closely following this year’s historically large field of candidates. But if you live outside our great state, do you ever watch the TV clips of presidential contenders stumping in coffee shops and diners across Iowa with just a little bit of envy, wishing you too could experience this all up close? Well, Iowa does typically get its fair share of political tourists. The problem is that so many of them wait right up until the media hype around Iowa hits its peak, making an […]

In Rural Iowa, “Socialism” Skepticism May Boost John Delaney

Places like Iowa Falls feel a long way away from the national discussion on the Democratic primary. An Iowa town of 5,000 people, it’s a long drive away from any county that even used to vote regularly for Democrats, and the kind of place where Fox News is the default channel running on the TV in every local small business. Situated in the middle of Central Iowa’s farm country, Iowa Falls’ Hardin County was one of many rural counties to vote lopsidedly for Donald Trump in 2016. Hillary Clinton received only 33% of the vote here. That’s where presidential candidate […]

Ep96: IA-02 Opening, Buttigieg Visit, NARAL Interview

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with State Representative Jennifer Konfrst about Dave Loebsack’s retirement plans and the 2nd District race, Pete Buttigieg’s momentum, and the Noah Wasserman’s arrest. And we talk with two leaders for NARAL, the pro-choice organization, about what they’re seeing candidates talk about on the caucus campaign trail.

2020 Campaigns Build Out Their Iowa Teams

As presidential candidates fan out across Iowa to woo caucus-goers, their campaigns are staffing up to build the organizing infrastructure to bring home a win on caucus night. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most recent top staff hires for the Iowa campaigns. You can see Starting Line’s full tracking list of all the campaign organizations here. John Hickenlooper The former Colorado governor has brought on Des Moines activist Kimberley Strope-Boggus as their state political director. She’s been heavily involved in nearly every major Democratic event and campaign in the Polk County area for several cycles now. Strope-Boggus […]

Terry Branstad Donates To Steve King Primary Opponent Randy Feenstra

Current Ambassador to China and former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad donated $1,000 to the campaign of Randy Feenstra, the Republican primary opponent of Steve King, newly-released fundraising numbers show this afternoon. It’s the latest sign that key Iowa Republican leaders have had enough with the behavior and controversies of King, hoping to see him ousted in a primary rather than the general election. Finance records put out today show Branstad making the donation on March 14. Branstad is the highest-profile Iowa Republican leader yet to publicly show their support for King’s challenger, though he has not publicly endorsed yet. Feenstra, […]