2020 Dems’ First Big Iowa Cattle Call Is All About Rural America

Busloads of farmers and other rural advocates from across the Midwest are rallying in Iowa to put their concerns at the front and center of the 2020 presidential race. The Heartland Forum is happening March 30 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, and it’s going to be epic. In the first and likely only forum dedicated to rural issues in the 2020 presidential race, The Storm Lake Times, the Iowa Farmer’s Union, the Open Markets Action Fund, and the Huffington Post will welcome the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President. Organizers tell me that so far, candidates Elizabeth […]

Steve King Insults Our War Heroes With Confederate And Neo-Nazi Praise

I think I was in third grade in my rural Iowa classroom in 1962 or 1963 when my teacher Mrs. Schneckloth gave our class an assignment that probably changed my life forever. She asked us to find a magazine with a photo, or an image of an historical event, paste it to construction paper (remember that?), and on the back, do some research and write about that historic event. The image I found was a reproduction of a painting, an idealized representation of a battle in the Civil War. I think the image was from either Life or Look magazine. […]

An Idea For NFL Players To Counter Trump Attacks With Pledge

The NFL preseason starts Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio, where the Chicago Bears will face the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL Hall of Fame Game. Unfortunately the most anticipated moment won’t be the kickoff to the new season. Instead, fans will be wondering if the teams are going to stay in the locker room during the national anthem, or if anyone is going to take a knee in protest on the sidelines as it plays. President Donald Trump probably can’t wait. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will continue to unravel threads of collusion and conspiracy. Trump will still be facing […]

A Rural Radio Reporter’s Tips For Messaging To Small Town Voters

Robert Leonard recently spoke with the Polk County Democrats about his experience with reporting about rural Iowa. An occasional New York Times contributor, Leonard explains how candidates of either party should better reach out to local press. Now that the Iowa state party conventions are over, the next stage of campaigning for elective office begins. Congratulations to all successful candidates of both parties as you seek to communicate to your existing or potential constituencies why you and your party offer the best vision to help move Iowa and our nation forward. To those of you who tried and fell short, thank […]

How Voters In Rural Iowa Still See Trump In A Much Different Light

From Robert Leonard of Marion County I’m a political junkie. Every day I read The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other media giants, with great interest and appreciation. I understand and value the great writing, thoughtful analysis, logic and reasoning. And the fact checking. Especially the fact checking. Given that I live in Iowa, The Des Moines Register, The Chicago Tribune and The Kansas City Star are among my favorites as well. I also try to catch a variety of broadcast news organizations over the course of the evening. Being ADD, Twitter presents an endless buffet of […]

How Prosperity Gospel Delivered Rural Iowa To Republicans

Editor’s note: Following the 2016 losses in rural America, Democrats are struggling to find the magic sauce that will bring these voters back to the Democratic Party. This article by a rural Iowan provides a snapshot at why Trump and the Republicans were so successful at appealing to rural voters. He also provides some answers on how they can be reached and who can assist in reaching them in the future. Robert Leonard is a reporter that works in Knoxville, Iowa. The article below, “Soul Wars,” first appeared in the Kansas City Star. He wrote an earlier piece, “Why rural […]