Legal Bribery? Reynolds’ Latest Ethics Issue Sets Bad Precedent

Perhaps Governor Kim Reynolds should just stay off planes. The AP’s Ryan Foley reported this afternoon that Reynolds had once again taken a questionable plane ride paid for by a donor that has business with the state of Iowa. Dave North, the CEO of Sedgwick, a company that is contracted by the state to handle workers compensation claims, reimbursed his company for the use of the corporate jet to fly Reynolds and her family to an ISU bowl game. It happened on December 30, 2017 for the Liberty Bowl. Reynolds drew scrutiny for another free trip in May of last […]

Hubbell Points Out Big Hypocrisy In Latest Reynolds Ad

Governor Kim Reynolds is desperately trying to use distorted and negative ads to damage Fred Hubbell. Reynolds’ latest charge is that Hubbell, while head of the Iowa Power Fund, wasted taxpayer money and didn’t create any jobs. Yet, Reynolds is on record praising the very investments made by the Power Fund under Hubbell’s leadership. Reynolds’ Director of Economic Development, Debi Durham, described the Power Fund board and staff in glowing terms. “They did what they were asked to do,” she says of the board and the staff. “It accomplished a great deal.” The Power Fund began in 2007 as a […]

Follow The Money On Reynolds, Wellmark And Pre-Existing Health Conditions

After years of state and national progress on healthcare access, Governor Kim Reynolds brought back one of the worst features of pre-ACA healthcare: denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. And the company that was chosen to offer up the new plans just so happens to have been a major contributor to the Brandstad/Reynolds ticket for years. That’s what happened earlier this year when Reynolds signed a bill allowing Wellmark and the Iowa Farm Bureau to sell healthcare plans that don’t actually qualify as “healthcare.” The move was made to offer a cheaper alternative to Iowans who simply couldn’t afford the rising […]

Will Governor’s Race Come Down To Medicaid Or Younkers?

When Iowans enter the voting booth in November, which will weigh more heavily on their mind: Younkers or Medicaid? That seems to be what the race for governor is boiling down to at this point as Governor Kim Reynolds and Fred Hubbell are now months into their TV ad campaigns. Reynolds hopes to turn Hubbell’s business executive experience from the 1980s into a liability. Hubbell wants voters to focus on the broken privatized Medicaid system that many see Reynolds mismanaging. This week, Hubbell rolled out his hardest-hitting ad to date, one that features a quadriplegic man whose in-home care was cut […]

Reynolds’ Team Helped Man Wanting To Run On Mollie Tibbetts’ Murder, He Says

A man with a long history of bizarre, racist social media posts, including those which claimed Barack Obama was a secret Muslim, thanked Governor Kim Reynolds today for her team’s assistance in trying to get him on the ballot for Attorney General. [Update: Starting Line hears that while Republicans initially helped Anderson with signatures, around noon on Saturday the party and Reynolds pulled their support from his effort.] West Des Moines Republican and attorney Patrick Anderson waged a last-minute effort this week to collect enough signatures to oppose Attorney General Tom Miller on the November ballot. No Republican had yet […]

Get Ready For The Ugliest Iowa Election Ever

You may as well get used to the above image. You’ll be seeing it hundreds of thousands of times between now and November in countless Republican ads, both in Iowa and around the country. The disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts in Brooklyn, Iowa came to a sad and tragic end today when it was announced that investigators found a body they believed to be the young college student in a Poweshiek County corn field. This afternoon, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation released the name of the person they had taken into custody: Cristhian Bahena Rivera, originally of Mexico. The man apparently […]

I Actually Worked For Fred Hubbell. He’s The Governor We Need

Guest post from Mark Holub, who worked at Younkers 1986 to 1996. In 1986, I was hired as the Director of Visual Merchandising for Younkers and I worked with Fred Hubbell regularly. I remember a conversation I had with Fred early on in my tenure when we were touring one of the branch stores. His observation was simple: for thousands of Iowans, Younkers was often their “first job.” He said it was our obligation to keep the stores strong and growing to maintain that tradition of helping Iowans throughout the state start their professional lives. He took that as a very serious […]

Former GOP Senator David Johnson Endorses Fred Hubbell

Republican-turned-independent Senator David Johnson is endorsing Fred Hubbell for governor over Kim Reynolds today, the Hubbell campaign informed Starting Line this afternoon. Johnson left the Republican Party in June of 2016 over his disgust of Donald Trump’s nomination. His backing of Hubbell over Governor Reynolds adds a new talking point for Hubbell in his attempt to win over independents and former Republicans who are frustrated with the direction of that party under Trump. “Fred Hubbell and Senator Rita Hart are the leaders Iowans need to turn the page on the Reynolds Administration’s record of failure, and restore the services and […]

The State Of Iowa Races Three Months Out

Iowans will head to the voting booth three months from today on November 6 to vote in one of the most consequential elections in the state’s history. How are each of the major contests shaping up at this stage, two months after the primary and following a relatively quiet summer? Democrats have been optimistic about the chances of a “blue wave” this year, but many still held on to a good deal of skepticism given Republicans’ dominance of recent Iowa elections. Donald Trump won counties in 2016 that Republicans hadn’t carried in decades. Would things really flip back to blue […]

Even Grassley Thinks GOP’s Attacks On Hubbell Are Dumb

The Republican Party’s efforts to define Fred Hubbell early on have not had much success in the past month and a half. Now even Senator Chuck Grassley is critical of his party’s line of attack. “I always stick to policy when I’m campaigning, and I would advise other people to stick to policy,” Grassley told reporters yesterday when responding to questions about the “Sir Frederick” nickname that the Republican Party of Iowa has given Hubbell. It was the largest indication yet that Republicans are growing concerned about their own strategy to frame Hubbell as an out-of-touch rich guy. The goal […]