Maybe He’s Tired: Trump Postpones Cedar Rapids Rally

In very sad(!) news today, Donald Trump announced he will be cancelling his planned Thursday rally in Cedar Rapids, due to an “unforeseen change in President Trump’s schedule.” It will be rescheduled at a later date, possibly as soon as early in the following week. Some people were a little surprised when Trump scheduled a campaign rally in Iowa, just five months into his presidency. He’s held political events like these in a few other states since taking office, as it seems to rejuvenate the president, who loves events where he’s cheered on by thousands of supporters. Their purpose beyond that, however, […]

Republicans Make Same Mistake They Mocked Hatch Campaign For

Iowa politics can be fun when you have a long memory. Take today, for instance. Kim Reynolds announced Adam Gregg as her “acting” lt. governor (due to Attorney General Tom Miller’s ruling, he will be essentially a staff role for the time being). In doing so, Reynolds effectively announced the Republican ticket for 2018. As such, they did what campaigns often do: set up websites and campaign committees and twitter accounts and Facebook pages. Reynolds’ new gubernatorial campaign website is, which as I noted earlier today, might confuse some people as to what exactly is Reynolds’ political side and which […]

One Day On The Job, Kim Reynolds Running For Reelection Already

Kim Reynolds was sworn in as Iowa’s 43rd governor yesterday, but it certainly didn’t take her long to kick off her reelection campaign. On the same day that she laid out her policy agenda for the state, her staff amended her former lt. governor campaign committee to a full gubernatorial one named “Kim Reynolds for Iowa.” She already has at least a million dollars in that from fundraising last year. On a more substantive front, Reynolds launched a campaign website and also unveiled a five-minute video introducing herself to Iowa voters. It plays out like an introductory campaign video you’d release when […]

Dems Skeptical Kim Reynolds’ Administration Will Be Different

While Iowa’s Democratic leaders congratulated Kim Reynolds on her swearing in as Iowa’s newest governor, they also offered up deeply skeptical and critical concerns. Only a handful of well-known Democrats attended Reynolds’ ceremony, including legislative leaders Rob Hogg and Mark Smith, as well as Senators Nate Boulton and Rita Hart. Boulton, who hopes to take on Reynolds as the Democratic nominee in 2018, did a full day of counter-messaging around the event. After leaving the Capitol, Boulton travelled to Cedar Rapids to hold a press conference, attracting most of the Eastern Iowa media contingent. “Governor Reynolds campaigned on the promise of […]

Three Big Things Missing From Kim Reynolds’ Inaugural Speech

Iowa has a new governor. Kim Reynolds was officially sworn in this morning at a large ceremony in the rotunda of the Capitol, with many of the state’s top officials, Republican legislators and major conservative activists in attendance. Terry Branstad resigned the office and was immediately installed as America’s next ambassador to China. All those things have been in the work for months now, but the big question was what vision Reynolds would lay out for her administration. Would she set a separate path from Branstad or stay the course in both substance and style? Would she lay out key, […]

How Many More Young Girls Must Die Before Iowa Acts?

I have seen a lot of political inaction in my time here in Iowa, but nothing that has perplexed and infuriated me as much as the state’s inability to respond to the starvation deaths of two adopted girls. You would have thought something may have changed after 16-year-old Natalie Finn died from starvation and torture last October in her West Des Moines home. Police found Finn on a floor wearing an adult diaper, laying in filth from herself and the many animals that roamed the house. Her adopted siblings apparently faced similar physical and mental abuse from Nicole and Joseph Finn. […]

Women In Southeast Iowa Left Behind After Planned Parenthood Closures

The options for women’s healthcare services are being dramatically reduced in Southeast Iowa thanks to the actions of local Republican lawmakers like Mark Lofgren, Tom Greene and Gary Carlson. Planned Parenthood announced today that they will close four clinics by the end of June, including their Eastern Iowa locations of Bettendorf, Burlington and Keokuk. Sioux City’s clinic will close as well. There are no Planned Parenthood clinics on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, nor are there any in Missouri or Illinois near the border of the Southeast Iowa corner. Keokuk residents now face a nearly 100-mile drive to the […]

Candidate Updates: Kiernan In, Carberry & Blake Out, Glasson Maybe

While the Donald Trump presidency disintegrates before the nation’s eyes in non-stop breaking news stories, local politics marches on in Iowa. Let’s do a quick round-up of recent news. Des Moines City Council The race for Des Moines City Council Ward 3 originally promised to be a closely-watched battle between longtime Republican incumbent Christine Hensley and Democratic environmental attorney Josh Mandelbaum. Hensley decided to retire from the seat instead a few weeks ago, and now the matchup will be between two well-known Des Moines Democrats (for now, anyway). Former IDP Chair Michael Kiernan officially entered the race yesterday, focusing his […]

Todd Prichard Launches Gubernatorial Bid For “Forgotten Iowans”

Speaking in a legislative conference room at the Statehouse just down the hallway from the office he hopes to soon occupy, Todd Prichard told supporters and the media he would campaign for “forgotten Iowans” as he launched his official gubernatorial bid. He kicked off his announcement tour Tuesday morning in a Charles City coffee shop packed with dozens of local backers. He later held press conferences in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, and has ten more events across the state planned for over the next week (see full list below). “For years we have watched as the Branstad and Reynolds […]

Starting Line Doing Great – Help Keep Us Going

I wanted to take a brief moment to update Starting Line readers on how we’re doing: we’re doing great! Thanks to your help in sharing our articles, Starting Line has seen very high traffic in the past several weeks. As you may have noticed, I’ve also been on the road a lot recently for the various campaign events and town hall forums. It’s produced a lot of great stories, and I enjoy getting out of Des Moines to hear more voices. It also starts to cost some money. My travel budget is pretty low and could use some re-filling. If you haven’t […]