What Drives Fred Hubbell In Life, Gubernatorial Campaign

Around Des Moines, the Hubbell name is known for many things. Thousands of people live in Hubbell Realty-managed apartments and homes. Parents drop their kids off to school at Hubbell Elementary. Hubbell Avenue is a major artery that cuts through Des Moines’ East Side. For Drake University students, the name relates to fun-filled snow days – “Hubbell-ing” is the term they use for sledding down the hills by the freshman dorms on food trays taken from Hubbell Dining Hall. And to Iowa activists who care deeply about the environment, Planned Parenthood and affordable healthcare, Fred and Charlotte Hubbell are known […]

Iowa Dems FOIA Reynolds/Trump Communication On ACA Stopgap Plan

Did President Donald Trump really personally kill off Iowa’s request for a stopgap measure, risking tens of thousands of Iowans’ health insurance just to make a political point? Has the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) actually made a decision yet? What did Governor Kim Reynolds know about the federal government’s position in the process? Was her administration caught flat-footed over reports that Trump opposes the waiver approval, and why hasn’t she been able to get a call returned from the president yet? The answers to those questions are crucial to the 72,000 Iowans on the ACA exchange who […]

Matt McCoy Makes His Pick In Gubernatorial Primary

Des Moines State Senator Matt McCoy is endorsing Fred Hubbell in the Democratic gubernatorial primary today, praising the Des Moines businessman’s knowledge of the Iowa economy and lifetime of support for progressive causes. McCoy’s backing gives Hubbell his first endorser in the Iowa Senate, adding to a list of six Iowa House members and many former elected officials, including Sally Pederson and Patty Judge. “Fred has always been very socially progressive, he and Charlotte, and when it comes to the environment, reproductive health and the issues we care about, he’s always been there,” McCoy told Starting Line. “He’s got an […]

How Cathy Glasson Stared Down Intimidation Efforts To Form Her Union

When the ballots were being counted to determine whether or not University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics healthcare workers would unionize, Cathy Glasson – the person who had led the effort for months – wasn’t in the room. Glasson was instead working a 12-hour shift in the intensive care unit where she served as a nurse while the Labor Relations board met. It was in September of 1997, before text messaging was widespread (Glasson didn’t have a cell phone, anyway), so all Glasson could do was wait to get a call in the break room. The stakes were high, both […]

Like Father, Like Son: Nate Boulton’s Campaign Is A Union Family Affair

When State Senator Nate Boulton received the endorsement of Steelworkers Local 310 at their union hall earlier this year, he was in a familiar place. Boulton and his family travelled from their home in Columbus Junction to the Des Moines labor headquarters for Christmas parties a few times when he was in elementary school. But growing up in a union family, he also saw first-hand the tough fights that organized labor went through, attending strikes and rallies. Those experiences shaped his life and his current bid to be Iowa’s next governor. Much of what Nate learned came from his father, […]

In Tough Days With Patients, Andy McGuire Saw Real Cost Of Insurance Crisis

It wasn’t long into Dr. Andy McGuire’s medical career when she came face-to-face with the impossible choices parents face in a country with a broken healthcare system. When a younger patient came in for an exam over a bad form of Thyroid disease, the parents stood nervously in the back of the room. Both farmers, they didn’t have insurance through their job and couldn’t afford it on their own. “I still remember the guy writing a check, and I said, ‘No, that’s taken care of somewhere else,’” McGuire told Starting Line. “But he was so concerned about the money. Most […]

Will Auditor Mary Mosiman Do Her Job On Funny Budget Numbers?

Something doesn’t add up with Governor Kim Reynolds’ budget numbers. After an entire year of state revenue coming in under predictions time and again, with Republicans making painful cuts to essential services and borrowing from the rainy day fund, Iowa’s fiscal situation suddenly drastically improved – just in time to avoid a special session. Despite Iowa looking at an $104 million shortfall when Fiscal Year 2017 ended this summer, the state found enough money through various accruals that it only needed $14.6 million more to finish off the year, easily under the $50 million that Reynolds had the authority to […]

Kim Reynolds Signals Willingness To Push Ugly Racial Issues In 2018

Beset by nonstop stories about Iowa’s worsening budget crisis, Governor Kim Reynolds has been looking for a way to change the discussion in local political news. So on Monday she took a page out of her favorite racist president’s playbook and criticized the players who were participating in kneeling protests at NFL games. “While I respect the First Amendment, I just think it is so disrespectful to the men and women who have served,” Reynolds said. “And I would encourage them to get out there and do something. Don’t take a knee, get out there and make a difference. Engage. […]

Can An Old Economic Justice Fighter Win Over The New Progressives?

Just about everyone who’s been involved in Iowa politics for more than a decade knows who John Norris is. But if you are a younger Democrat, a progressive who got inspired by Bernie Sanders’ campaign or just someone who became involved after the Vilsack years, you might not. And those folks might look at Norris’ resume through the lens of the 2016 presidential primary and see an old guard, establishment insider: former chief of staff to the governor, former IDP chair, a USDA official and utilities board chair. That, however, wouldn’t be an accurate read of the man who has […]

Outside Des Moines Bubble, Governor Race Opinions Still Mostly Unformed

Around the Des Moines metro, over tallboys at Carl’s and coffee mugs at Scenic Route, in the hallways of East Village consulting firms and in nonprofit board rooms, the Democratic gubernatorial race is the talk of the town. Outside of there? Eh, not so much. It’s been nearly nine months since the first Democratic candidate jumped in the race (Rich Leopold, who, along with several others, have since jumped out), with countless announcements, speeches and candidate cattle-calls since. We’re at seven candidates now, five of which are running full campaigns with staff and infrastructure and backing. They’ve filled Facebook feeds […]