Republicans Break Their Promise To Local Governments On Property Tax

Republicans made a pledge in their massive 2013 commercial and corporate property tax cuts that they would protect cities, counties and schools that lost revenue. They promised these local governments that they would replace or “backfill” the 10 percent lost property tax revenue. They promised to backfill this amount with state funds. Now, Republican legislators are about to break their word and rob schools and local governments of $150 million in backfill per year. Cities, counties and schools are warning that they will be forced to cut services or raise property taxes to make up for the loss. The Reynolds’ […]

What A Week In Iowa

After reading the paper and listening to the local news regarding the end of Bill Dix’s political career, I am reminded of a quote by John Dalberg-Acton, who wrote a letter to an Anglican Bishop. In it he said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” As we move closer to the 2018 elections, I would urge Democrats to be humble and keep that in mind. For those of you old enough to remember, the Democrats in the mid ‘80s had to live down a similar (and probably worse incident) which made the front page of the Des […]

Iowa Law Enforcement Condemns GOP “Sanctuary Cities” Bill

Why do Iowa law enforcement leaders oppose the Iowa Republicans’ anti-immigrant bill? The bill, SF481 (the so-called sanctuary bill), threatens to withhold state funds from cities and counties that they claim do not cooperate with federal immigration agents in holding undocumented immigrants for potential deportation. This bill has passed the Senate and may be up for debate in the full house today. The Republicans pushing this bill (Senator Julian Garrett, R-Indianola and Representative Steve Holt, R-Denison) claim that local Iowa law enforcement isn’t fulfilling their duties in enforcing federal immigration laws. “I believe most Iowa law enforcement agencies do fully […]

Will The Congressional Blue Wave Begin Today?

Today’s special congressional election in Pennsylvania is incredibly important to both Democrats and Republicans. It gives Democrats another early test of their future success in the 2018 midterms. This congressional district’s voters chose Trump by 20 points in 2016, which makes a Democratic win a real game changer. This was such a safe red district that the former Republican Congressman Tim Murphy didn’t even have a Democratic challenger in 2014 or 2016. This special election isn’t just a test about a Democrat’s ability to move a red district to blue. It’s a test of whether a Democrat can win back […]

Senate Democrats Offer Bold Counter-Proposal To Trump Tax Scam

Democrats have received criticism that they don’t have a message and aren’t offering bold alternatives to the Republicans’ agenda. With the Republicans in complete control of the Presidency, the House and the Senate, much of the Democrats’ efforts have been devoted to blocking the worst of the damage from GOP legislation. With literally no power to pass any progressive legislation, their focus has been on resistance rather than advancing an agenda. However, this week Senate Democrats introduced a $1 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan funded by repealing many of the tax giveaways Republicans rammed through Congress in December. The Democratic […]

Iowa GOP Absent As Trump Threatens Trade War On Iowa Agriculture

Trump carelessly tweeted last week that “trade wars could be good for the U.S. and easy to win!” Business leaders, agricultural leaders and our trading partners all agree that Trump is absolutely wrong. They are warning of catastrophic consequences of an all-out world trade war. Our trading partners have made it crystal clear, they will retaliate if Trump imposes any more tariffs. Why do all these leaders understand the seriousness of Trump’s trade war threat to Iowa, yet Iowa Republicans are afraid to speak out? Both Governor Reynolds and Senator Ernst have timidly warned of negative consequences but take no […]

VP Pence Tries To Fool Iowans On GOP Tax Scam

Vice President Mike Pence came to Council Bluffs yesterday, trying to convince Iowans that they should be happy with the Trump/Republican tax scam. He wants Iowans to believe a tax cut that is going primarily to the richest companies and the wealthiest Americans is good for them. In addition, he wants Iowans to celebrate a massive budget busting $1.5 trillion tax cut that can’t be paid for. The Republicans’ reckless raid on the national treasury in order to give a giant gift to the rich is incredibly irresponsible. They claim to be conservatives yet their tax cut will blow-up the […]

For Grassley, 1st Amendment Doesn’t Apply To Black Athletes

Following an Iowa vs. Wisconsin women’s basketball game in mid-February, Senator Grassley asked in a tweet why a black female Badger player was not patriotic “enuf” (sic) to stand for the national anthem. Grassley’s tweet directed his twitter followers to ask the Wisconsin Coach and “exprress (sic) outrage” to the University of Wisconsin. Iowa constituents asked me why a starter for Wisconsin women Bb wld not be patriotic enuf to stand for natl anthem song today /ASK THE WISCONSIN COACH/ Exprress outrage to university — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) February 19, 2018 Senator Grassley was directing his twitter rage against Marsha Howard, […]

Iowa Republicans Reversing 25 Years Of Clean Energy Leadership

Republicans’ SF 2311 legislation would reverse Iowa’s long commitment to energy efficiency (energy conservation) programs, taking Iowa backwards. It would make energy efficiency programs optional and could eliminate them altogether. According to the Iowa Environment Council’s analysis, “The bill allows utilities to discriminate against solar customers and charge them separate and higher rates. The bill could lead to massive increases in rates to solar customers effectively shutting down the solar industry in Iowa. This bill will increase energy costs, threaten nearly 21,000 solar and energy efficiency jobs, reduce consumer choice, and increase reliance on fossil fuels.” The bill is scheduled for […]

A Far Better Way To Honor The Troops Than Trump’s Parade

Mr. President, may I have a few minutes of your time? I would like to suggest an alternative to the big Veterans Day parade in Washington, D.C. that you asked the Pentagon to plan. I certainly appreciate your desire to honor the men and women in our armed forces who are serving our nation around the globe. I understand you want to show off the equipment our military has at the ready. The last big military parade was 26 years ago after the end of the first Gulf War. That was the war that made a no-nonsense general named Norman […]