Rural Iowans Give Urban Iowans Some Tough Advice

The Iowa Democratic Party has been conducting a 2016 post-election postmortem on why they lost rural Iowa so badly.  One recommendation resurfaces in every one of these autopsies conducted over these losses.  The suggestion is that urban Democrats must listen to the needs of rural Iowans if they ever expect to gain their votes. However, one rural Iowan warns Democrats it will take more than fake listening and feigned concern to reconnect with rural Iowa. Doug Burns, co-owner of the Carroll Daily Times Herald writes a column, “Taking Note,” for the Herald’s editorial page. Burns also writes the “Political Mercury” […]

Iowans March For Science This Saturday

Science and fact-based scientific research is under attack by Republicans at all levels of government. The national scientific community is asking the public for support. There will be national Science Marches in cities all across the country tomorrow. Here’s the stated mission of the Science March: “The March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” You can show that […]

DREAMer Deportation Increases Fear Among Iowa Immigrants

Yesterday’s shocking news on the deportation of Californian Juan Manuel Montes has increased the anxiety in the immigrant community. Montes, 23, came to the United States at age 9 and believed he was protected from deportation under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). This is the first reported deportation of a DREAMer covered by the DACA program and it’s causing panic. Montes lawyer is suing the Trump administration over his deportation. “Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how,” stated Nora A. Preciado, a staff […]

Protests Put Trump’s Tax Returns Back In The Spotlight

National tax day protests this past weekend focused on President Trump’s stubborn refusal to reveal his tax returns. His unsupported claim that he can’t reveal his returns because he’s under audit has been thoroughly debunked. The IRS is on the record confirming that Trump can make his returns public while under audit. Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer was peppered with questions about Trump’s tax returns on Monday. Following the massive tax-day protests the questions about Trump’s tax returns have resurfaced with even greater intensity than ever. Until now, Trump supporters haven’t seemed bothered by Trump’s refusal to show his tax history. […]

Vote Smart Opens Fact HQ At Drake University

If you love and value facts, you should be excited about this announcement. Vote Smart, one of the nation’s premier non-partisan political research organizations, opened their new headquarters at Drake University on Monday. Vote Smart President Richard Kimball said they had looked at 17 schools before selecting Drake University as their new national headquarters. This is a significant boost to Drake University’s growing reputation as a center for political research. Drake currently houses the political archives of both former Governor Robert Ray and Senator Tom Harkin. Bringing Vote Smart to Drake enhances central Iowa’s pivotal role in political relevance and […]

Demand Answers At Upcoming Forums, Tax Day Rallies

Iowa’s Congressional delegation are on their Easter recess until April 21. This is an opportunity for you to demand answers on the Trump agenda.  We know the activists that attended the first set of Town Halls were very effective. These activists changed public opinion on Obamacare and stopped Republicans from passing their Trumpcare alternative. However, the fight over Obamacare isn’t over. Congressman Ryan is promising to continue the repeal effort. In addition, we must hold Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst, Congressman Blum, King and Young accountable and demand answers. Below is the Town Hall locator by state. As of this posting […]

What Trump’s Public Broadcasting Cuts Could Mean For Iowa

President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would totally eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS). Cutting PBS funding would be a significant blow to more than a thousand public stations across the country. Both Iowa Public Television and Iowa Public Radio would suffer severe cuts to their programing. Local public radio and television broadcasters are predicting Trump’s cutting off of federal funds will be devastating for some affiliates. PBS explained that the cost to individual taxpayers is only $1.35 per year. PBS President Patricia Harrison warned these cuts could cause “the collapse of the public media system itself.” Neal Shapiro, […]

“Put It In “D” To Go Forward, Put It In “R” To Go Backwards.”

Many of you may recognize this as former Senator Tom Harkin’s comparison of the two political parties.  He often used this comic line as a simple and easy-to-understand description of the difference between Democrats and Republicans. “Just remember one thing,” Harkin said at the Democratic Convention in 2000. “All you ever needed to know about this election, you’ve learned from driving. If you want to go backward, you put it in R. But if you want to go forward, you put it in D.” In addition to Harkin, many other Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have used […]

In Fake News Era, Citizens Need To Be Better Fact-Checkers

The information age has created a totally new landscape of news sources. The shift from traditional print journalism to radio, TV and digital is dramatic and concerning. A decade ago consumers relied on newspapers as their main news source. Today according to Pew Research Center on Journalism and the Media, newspapers now rank last behind digital, radio and TV as the publics’ favorite choices as their news sources. As newspapers have been losing revenue, downsizing and experiencing falling circulation, they have been forced to cut their staffs. Between 1994 and 2014 newsroom employment dropped by 39%. The number of daily […]

Trump Presidency Already Threatening Freedom Of Press

President-elect Donald Trump is continuing his war on the media. Throughout his campaign he would call out the press at nearly every event. He directed taunts at the press covering the events and called them out as disgusting and biased. He encouraged his rally supporters to boo and condemn the dishonest media covering those events. He vilified individual journalists by name and used his Twitter account as a megaphone to condemn their organizations. In an unprecedented “blacklisting”, he banned a number of media outlets from covering his events. He has threatened news organizations by demanding a change in libel laws […]