It’s Time For Iowa Republicans To Start Panicking

The 2018 election may still be a long ways off in a political climate that can change rapidly on a daily basis, but all the data points for a good Democratic year in Iowa are starting to stack up. A string of special elections for state legislative seats have consistently seen massive margin swings to Democrats, culminating in last night’s Northwest Iowa race where a Democrat pulled within ten points in a district Donald Trump won by 41 points. Add that to the national political mood with a deeply unpopular president, a stunning victory by a Democrat in Alabama and […]

Democrat Nearly Pulls Off Upset In Trump +41 Senate District In NW Iowa

Iowa Democrats nearly pulled off the upset to end all upsets by coming surprisingly close in a Northwest Iowa special election for Senate District 3 tonight. In a district where Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 68% to 27%, Democrat Todd Wendt fell to Republican Representative Jim Carlin by just 55% to 45%. Where Trump won the district by a +41 margin in November 2016, Democrats closed that gap to a Republican +10 tonight, a swing of 31 points for the Democrats. Carlin – who currently represents half the Senate district in the Iowa House – was expected to win handily […]

It Seems Bill Dix Lied About Senate’s Sexual Harassment Report

It’s no surprise that Senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Dix decided to wait until Black Friday morning to release their internal report on sexual harassment. Because it does not look good at all for Dix, who just last week insisted in interviews with the press that sexual harassment issues were not an ongoing issue within their office. “I can tell you, Simon, with complete and utter openness and confidence, that there is nothing that has come to me as a result of that investigation or any other conversations with our employees that indicates this is an ongoing problem within the […]

Bill Dix Is A Very Dumb Man

It is not often in Iowa news cycles you see a politician completely melt down in such a way that Republican Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix did this past week. The sexual harassment scandal, trial and settlement in the Senate had already dominated Iowa headlines for months, but Dix found inventive new ways this week to make himself and Senate Republicans look unimaginably worse on the issue. First, Dix announced their internal investigation into sexual harassment in their office was over, but that no information would be made public. Governor Kim Reynolds and Speaker Linda Upmeyer publicly disagreed with […]

Iowa Unions Defy GOP’s Effort To Kill Them – A Look At The Numbers

Iowa public employee unions voted overwhelmingly in favor to maintain their existence this week, despite Iowa Republican politicians’ best efforts to destroy them. Earlier this year, legislative Republicans and then-Governor Terry Branstad passed a wide-ranging collective bargaining bill that limited what Iowa public workers could bargain for. It also instituted re-certification votes with extremely cumbersome rules – local bargaining units needed a majority of all their members to vote in favor, not simply a majority of those voting. Iowa’s unions pointed out that if the same standards were applied to Iowa’s elected officials, no one would win election. By not voting, […]

Iowa Senate Democrats Oust Rob Hogg As Leader, Elect Janet Petersen

That didn’t last long. Iowa Senate Democrats met today to take the rare step of electing a new minority leader not even halfway through a campaign cycle. Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids was replaced by Janet Petersen of Des Moines, who will now lead the Senate Democrats in the upcoming legislative session and head up their political efforts for the 2018 election. Hogg only held his leadership position for a little less than a year, elected last November after Democrats lost six incumbents, including Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, and their majority. Campaign finance reports for state races don’t […]

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 […]

Here Comes Another Special Election (For Bill Anderson’s Seat)

Republican State Senator Bill Anderson announced today he will be resigning from the Legislature to take a job as the executive director for the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation. He told the Sioux City Journal that he’s working with Governor Kim Reynold’s office on when exactly that resignation would take place so that his replacement would be ready for next year’s legislative session. Anderson represents Senate District 3, which basically wraps around Sioux City. It covers nearly all of Plymouth County, the Morningside area of Sioux City, Sergeant Bluff and most of rural Woodbury County. He was first elected in 2010 […]

GOP And Trump’s Transgender Attacks Backfire In Iowa Special Election

In the midst of a new national debate on transgender soldiers serving in the military, voters in Southeast Iowa were seeing their TVs inundated with campaign ads about transgender bathrooms. Their target was Phil Miller, the Democratic candidate in the House District 82 special election, who had voted on the school board to keep in place a policy on transgender students using the bathroom of their gender identity. But the local issue took on a national feel following President Donald Trump’s tweets indicating that he would enact a ban on transgender soldiers serving in the military. At the time, Trump’s […]

Iowa Democrats Win Special Election In Trump +22 District

Iowa Democrats pulled off an impressive and important victory in a Southeast Iowa special election this evening, boosting the party’s hopes that 2018 could be a bounce-back year. Democratic veterinarian Phil Miller of Fairfield comfortably defeated Republican farmer Travis Harris of Davis County, 4,021 to 3,324 (about 55% to 45%), thanks largely to a massive victory in his hometown of Jefferson County. That means Democrats will hold on to a key rural swing district that Donald Trump won in November by 22 points. Miller will fill out the remainder of Curt Hanson’s term in the Iowa House for District 82, […]