CCI Brings In Nina Turner For Weekend Convention

The Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund (ICCI Action Fund) is holding their annual convention in Des Moines this weekend. The original organization Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) was founded in 1975 by ministers in Waterloo committed to fighting for social justice. They worked at grassroots organizing and gradually evolved by adding their sister organization the ICCI Action Fund. ICCI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the sister organization ICCI Action Fund is a 501(c)(4).  The ICCI Action Fund expanded their actions into political activity. That has grown their political power by allowing them to endorse candidates. ICCI Action Fund endorsed Cathy […]

University Of Iowa Should Include Public On Closure Decisions

The University of Iowa announced last week that it will close seven academic centers, shrink three others and eliminate 33 jobs. The reductions will save $3.5 million, officials said. The announcement should come as no surprise if you have been paying attention to events in our state. The university has been caught in a vice — squeezed between public pressure to hold down the size of tuition increases and the Legislature’s desire to hold down government spending. University officials have been telegraphing for months that cutbacks would be coming if the Legislature reduced state appropriations for the three state universities. […]

Iowa Public Universities Collapsing Under Kim Reynolds

The announcement last week that the University of Iowa must slash seven vital education programs, including the Labor Center, is further evidence of Governor Kim Reynolds’ failed leadership on public education. University officials said declining state aid was responsible for the cuts. Since 2008, state aid for Iowa’s public universities has fallen by 34 percent while tuition has increased by 40 percent. Last year the University of Iowa predicted tuition will rise another 41 percent over the next 5 years without increases in state aid. The University of Iowa president placed blame for these changes on Reynolds and her GOP […]

Five Groups Democrats Need To Win Over And Turn Out For 2018

When looking at the 2018 election, the first obvious statement that needs to be made is that “all politics is local.” Another one I like from the Clinton years by James Carville is “it’s the economy, stupid.” I believe five different constituent groups exist, each requiring a slightly different approach. The first is the loyal Democratic base. The Democratic Party already has them philosophically, so it’s all about enthusiasm and turnout. Efforts need to be directed at turning out every single registered Democrat and getting the non-registered Democrats signed up. They will not all vote for you but 90 percent […]

Five Messages Iowa Democrats Can Rally Around In 2018 Races

Does it seem like Republicans send out an email every morning with their key talking points? All their spokespeople immediately begin to repeat these points and they have their message for the day. It’s obviously not that simple, but most would probably agree that Democrats aren’t nearly as adept at uniting on messaging either nationally or locally. In presidential years, the Democratic candidate is expected to provide the overriding message and slogan that other Democratic candidates down ticket can simply repeat and follow. Remember the effective 2008 Obama slogan? “Hope and Change we can believe in.” Preparing for November 2018 […]

Is This How Iowa Wants To Save Money?

Don’t be surprised if a guy named Jamie Campbell turns out to be one of the key players in the 2018 race for Iowa governor. Campbell’s name will not be on the ballot in November. He will not be crisscrossing the state, appearing at one campaign event after another. But don’t let anyone kid you. Campbell will be talked about, either by name or indirectly. His experience with state government will be an important factor as Iowans decide whether they want Gov. Kim Reynolds or retired Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell to lead our state for the next four years. […]

What Happened To Robert Ray’s Republican Party?

As the accolades to former Republican Governor Robert Ray pour in, we must ask what has become of his political party? What happened to Ray’s Republican Party that welcomed immigrants, believed in protecting the environment, supported and respected union worker rights, reached across the political aisle and, perhaps most of all, championed ethical leadership and civility. The last few days we have heard countless Iowa Republicans heaping praise on Governor Ray’s humanitarian legacy, yet they remain loyal to a President that belittles and denigrates immigrants and refugees. How can Republicans justify support for a president that makes a mockery of […]

Fred Hubbell Promises New Path Forward On Medicaid

Governor Reynolds’ Medicaid privatization crisis deepened in the last few weeks as more revelations emerged of her failed for-profit healthcare program. A July 6th article in the Des Moines Register exposed Medicaid private managers’ repeated attempts to deny care to Jamie Campbell, a paralyzed Iowan from Fontanelle. Gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell reacted immediately to this Iowan’s continued suffering while Reynolds stubbornly refuses to accept responsibility. “We cannot stand for this. On Day One as governor, I will work to bring Medicaid back under state control, for Mr. Campbell and the thousands of Iowans like him that are trapped in an […]

Three Words To Get Us Through These Trying Times

As everyone who lives in the U.S. plus many folks abroad also know, this country is going through a trying time. Some believe we are in great shape, the economy is good (for some–not all), and according to the President we are rearranging our relationships with our friends and our enemies to our benefit. According to many other Americans we are destroying our relationships with our allies and creating strange and sometimes irrational relationships with our enemies. We are also going through what many call our tribal era as we divide up into various social and political camps. We have […]

First Amendment And Reporters Deserve Our Respect, Too

Sunday morning, government officials gathered in Des Moines to brief journalists about the storm that swamped the city and surrounding area with between 5 and 10 inches of rain Saturday night. Among the reporters there was William Petroski, who has covered state government for the Des Moines Register for 37 years. Even on a weekend, a normal day off for him, Bill was wearing his uniform — a coat and tie. The no-nonsense former Marine dresses the same way as he works: like a professional. Although I was his supervisor for years, I could not tell you whether he is a liberal, a […]