Save Iowa Families From Falling Off Childcare Cliff

Many Iowa Democrats have embraced raising the minimum wage as a major theme in their 2018 election campaigns. However, there hasn’t been sufficient discussions about linking raising wages of low income Iowans with the child care “cliff.” The child care cliff is the point where rising income triggers a cut-off of child care assistance (CCA). Raising wages alone for families with children can result in them suddenly getting pushed over the child care cliff. That can cost these families several thousand dollars in paying for their child care. These families can end up with a small raise in wages but […]

Pelosi Visit A Big Win For Polk County Democrats Fundraiser

The Polk County Democrats featured speaker for their spring fundraiser is a legend in the Democratic Party. Democratic Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s amazing record speaks for itself. She is the longest serving political leader of either party in the past 40 years. Pelosi is the first and only female Speaker of the U.S. House in American history. She has been described as one of the two most effective House Speakers in history. The other is former Speaker Tip O’Neil. While House Minority Leader Pelosi has her critics, the benefits of bringing her to Iowa outweigh any downside. It appears […]

My Granddaughter, The March And The Beginning Of Change

At 4:15 am on Friday, March 23, my wife and I drove over and picked up my granddaughter Zoe, 22, and got her to the Des Moines airport for a 6:00 am direct flight to Washington DC to attend the March For Our Lives scheduled for that day. She was accompanied by her friend Madeline, 19. They went in on Friday to talk to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Leadership and to the staff of both Senator’s Grassley and Ernst. I set up the ATF meeting because they are the regulator, and if Congress is to […]

As Millions March, Iowa GOP Passes “Super Second Amendment” Bill

Late last Wednesday, just three days before millions of Americans marched to end gun violence, the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature gave a dangerous gun gift to the NRA. While youth across America are demanding legislators pass greater gun safety measures, Iowa Republicans are passing dangerous bills that create additional barriers to prevent future gun safety legislation. With all the other horrible Republican sponsored legislation last week, this extreme gun promotion amendment flew under the radar. Under the management of Senator Brad Zaun, the Iowa Senate quietly approved the first step in amending the Iowa Constitution by adding NRA-endorsed wording to expand […]

Will Automation Technology Bring About Universal Basic Income?

The rate of technological advance in automation is likely to cause businesses to jettison huge numbers of jobs in the near future. Robots are getting programmed to flip burgers, drive cars and trucks and act as self-serve cashiers. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that as many as one-third of U.S. workers could be displaced by automation by 2030. McKinsey suggests one solution to assist workers that lose their jobs due to automation is to provides a wage supplement or replacement, universal basic income (UBI). UBI likely could take many variations. It could be a wage supplement for low income workers. […]

Public Service Not Always About Winning – Thoughts On Wally Horn’s Career

There was noteworthy news coming out of the Iowa Legislature last week. This may surprise you, but I am not referring to the headlines about Bill Dix, the Iowa Senate’s majority leader, although that news certainly created a buzz from border to border. The Shell Rock Republican resigned a few hours after photos and video were made public that showed him at a Des Moines bar kissing a lobbyist employed by the Iowa League of Cities. The embarrassing embrace was too much for Senate Republicans. They were still smarting from the $1.75 million settlement inflicted on taxpayers last fall in […]

Iowa Consumers Pick Up The Tab For Gift To Iowa Utilities

Yuletide greetings to all. What, you ask? Christmas is long since over! Not for Iowa’s investor owned utilities. They are getting an armful of belated holiday gifts from the Iowa General Assembly, and if you pay a gas or power bill, you will eventually be picking up a big tab. The Commerce Committee, on which I serve, has passed a Senate bill on energy. It now goes on to the full House for debate. Under SF 2311, home energy audits, rebates for fuel efficient appliances and other incentives leading to less energy use will be greatly scaled back. The utilities’ own […]

Fellow Republican Ron Corbett Slams Kim Reynolds’ Leadership

When Iowa Democrats criticize Governor Reynolds’ leadership, the public might assume it’s simply political bias. However, when an experienced and respected Iowa Republican criticizes Reynolds’ leadership, it certainly should get the attention of Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. Reynolds’ gubernatorial primary challenger, Ron Corbett, specifically points to Reynolds’ lack of leadership on a number of issues Democrats have raised as well. In Corbett’s radio ads he says, “Iowans can’t afford the status quo,” and the state needs “a bold new leader in the governor’s office.” That’s a direct slam at Governor Reynolds’ leadership. Corbett doesn’t mention Reynolds by name in […]

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 […]