DNC: Debate The Debate On Climate

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is engaged in a peculiar debate. Since April, there has been a growing grassroots crusade by such groups as the Sunrise Movement, 350.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Credo Action demanding the DNC sponsor a presidential debate focused exclusively on climate change. The DNC leadership has pushed back, pointing to the number of critical single issues that could be individually debated. In June, DNC Chair Tom Perez argued that devoting debates to single issues, especially those issues pushed by single candidates, was unfair. “We don’t have enough debates to do that,” Perez said. The […]

It’s Wrong To View Iowa Citizens As Nuisances

There have been plenty of examples that raise questions whether government boards in Iowa truly understand they work for the people, not for government officials and employees — and that they are supposed to be looking out for the best interests of taxpayers. The latest example comes from Polk County, where county officials seemed determined to keep the public in the dark until after they had formally decided to sweeten the severance benefits for a handful of top employees — at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have seen similar examples, both in local government and […]

Can Iowa Democrats Avoid A Family Feud In 2020?

Can the Iowa Democratic family avoid a repeat of the 2016 family feud that seriously fractured party unity?Because the Sanders-Clinton race was so close that year, there was a plethora of hard feelings and theories about unfair or a rigged result in the 2016 caucuses. Some argue that the deep division dampened support for Hillary Clinton and resulted in Trump’s election. The “ugly ghosts of division” of 2016 lasted longer in Iowa than nearly any other state. It took more than two years to mend the bitter divide created by the 2016 fight. The 2018 midterm successes did wonders to […]

Joni Ernst Blames The Corp, Not The Climate, For Iowa Flooding

In a May 5th guest article in the Des Moines Register, Senator Joni Ernst blamed the Army Corps of Engineers for lack of timely warning prior to the epic Missouri River flooding. She claimed we need better communication and warning about potential flood risk. Ernst’s call for more communication is in sharp contrast to her refusal to engage in the debate about the cause of these extreme weather events. Iowa climate scientists have been warning for years about the increasing flood risk to Iowa. Iowa now ranks fourth in the nation in the number of floods since 1988. With record-setting […]

Iowa Student Activists Raise Voices For Climate Action

Certain issues reach a political tipping point when timing, events or actions captures the public’s attention. One of the reasons that action on climate has skyrocketed to the top of the Democrats’ priority list is the actions of the world’s youth. In March, over one million students held climate strikes in over 123 countries calling for urgent climate action. In April, another climate activist group, the Extinction Rebellion, nearly brought London to a standstill with nearly ten days of protests. Student groups are active in promoting the New Green Deal in cities across the country. The Sunrise Movement, a group […]

Cindy Axne Boosts Funding For Iowa Flood Relief

Congresswoman Cindy Axne successfully pushed through Congress an additional $3 billion in disaster relief for Iowa and the Midwest. Both the House ($14.2 billion) and the Senate ($13.5 billion) passed hurricane disaster relief bills in January. However, the bills have been held hostage by Trump due to his objection to money designated for Puerto Rico. The relief package has been on hold for months while the negotiations over Puerto Rico funding have continued. Axne promised in her campaign for Congress that she would use her sharp elbows to aggressively promote Iowa – a reference to her history of playing high […]

Free Speech Is Sometimes Uncomfortable

The First Amendment isn’t long, but it certainly packs a lot of angst into those few words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Most Americans embrace these concepts that are important foundations for democracy in the United States — although there are times when these freedoms make us uncomfortable. One of those times was in 1978 when the American Civil Liberties […]

Hatch: How Democrats Can Message On Medicare For All

In Iowa in 2009, the Democratic legislature and governor created a new system that resulted in Iowa having the highest percentage of children covered by health insurance than any state. It allowed children up to age 25 to stay on their parent’s family policy. It required medical providers to share medical records and we created a “hub” to allow providers to mechanically achieve it. It allowed each patient to declare a “medical home” so preventive care would be better coordinated and medical emergencies would be more available. This was all accomplished before the enactment of the 2010 Affordable Care Act […]

What You Do With Your Money Tells Us Something

When you drive down Columbia Street in Bloomfield, you will roll past two lessons on selfless giving. Both of those “lessons” are wrapped in one important building, the Bloomfield Public Library. More on the library’s lessons in a moment. All of this is pertinent to our discussion today because it seems as if Beto O’Rourke, one of the flood of Democrats who want to be our president, never really grasp the lesson about the importance of giving that many of us have learned. O’Rourke is wealthy, both by Davis County standards and by Washington, D.C., standards. The nonpartisan Center for […]

Republicans’ Unconstitutional Attack On The Attorney General’s Independence

Republican legislators’ attack on Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is an unconstitutional power grab. Not only is this action a betrayal of basic constitutional principles, it will likely cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lost settlements. In addition, this legislation insults the decisions of Iowa voters that have made Miller the nation’s longest serving Attorney General. He was reelected in 2018 with a historic endorsement of 76.5% of Iowa voters. That super majority percentage demonstrates Iowa voters have total confidence in Miller as their chief legal officer. The Republican legislation would require Miller to ask permission from the governor, Executive […]