Scenes From Iowa’s Student-Led Anti-Gun Violence Rally

Several hundred middle and high school students from around Central Iowa gathered in front of the Capitol today to rally for stricter gun control measures. It was part of a nationwide walkout effort building upon the increased anti-gun violence activism since the Parkland school shooting. The event was organized by local students and assisted by organizations like Progress Iowa. Young people spoke to the crowd, a short forum was held with Democratic candidates and students who were old enough got registered to vote. “I think this is a problem that is going to define our generation,” said Raj Ojberoi, an […]

Iowans Having To Sue For Basic Care; Mathis Proposes Medicaid Fix

After Senator Charles Schneider was sworn in as Senate President on March 15, Senator Liz Mathis took to the floor for a point of personal privilege. You can view her comments here at 9:15.10. It’s about five minutes. “Why should a man on Medicaid have to go to court to receive bowel care?” she asked. “I repeat, why should a man on Medicaid have to go to court to receive bowel care?” Senator Mathis then explained that a recent lawsuit was brought by a man who needed help with his bowel habits. Managed Care lowered his caretaker from seven days […]

GOP’s Campus “Free Speech” Bill Actually Targets LGBTQ Students And More

Guest post via Keenan Crow of One Iowa “There’s something insidious about this bill,” warned Independent Senator David Johnson during the Senate floor debate on SF 2344, a bill which purports to be about free speech on Iowa’s college and university campuses. “I can read the lobbyist declarations for myself,” Johnson continued. “The Family Leader and Americans for Prosperity are for this bill. Those against it include the ACLU and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund. Think about this ladies and gentlemen, what is this really?” Iowa’s only independent Senator is unfortunately correct. While protecting free speech on campus is […]

Missouri’s Gun Obsession Got Them A Scumbag Governor

Having grown up in Missouri, I occasionally keep an eye to the campaigns and political developments of the Show-Me State. My home state holds a sentimental place in my heart, but it’s certainly not a place I would ever want to live in again for a number of reasons, not the least of them being the state’s extremely caustic political climate. It’s not so much that Missouri is a conservative state, it’s that it embraces a nasty, angry, hateful version of conservatism. It wasn’t always that way, but accelerated toward that path just as I was leaving the state for […]

Iowans Start Planning Gun Safety Rallies For March 24

Rallies planned by Iowa organizations to speak out on gun violence are quickly attracting attention and interest. A “March For Our Lives” rally will be held in conjunction with national marches on March 24 in Des Moines at the Capitol, organized by Progress Iowa (the Facebook event page is here). Well over 2,000 have expressed interest in attending after just one day of the event’s creation. A similar rally and march is also planned in Waterloo on that day by Americans for Democratic Action (Facebook event here). Junior high and high school students in Iowa City yesterday held an impromptu […]

Iowa Republicans’ Copy-And-Paste ALEC Constitutional Convention Bill

Iowa Republicans are pushing a sneakily dangerous resolution through the Iowa Legislature that could upend the nation’s constitution in unpredictable ways if successful. A Senate subcommittee recently moved forward Senate Joint Resolution 8 to full committee, which would add Iowa to a national movement calling for a convention of all 50 states to amend the U.S. Constitution. It’s part of an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Iowa’s bill is literally word-for-word the same as their proposed legislation, as Progress Iowa discovered recently. Compare the introduction of both documents for yourself. Here’s the text of Iowa’s Senate […]

The Death Penalty Bill Is Dead. It Should Stay That Way

Yesterday a piece of legislation that would have reinstated the death penalty in Iowa advance after an initial hearing, but it appears to be dead for this session with a lack of support from key Republican committee members. Des Moines attorney John McCormally passed along to Starting Line the statement he had planned on making at the hearing (photo is from him at a different committee last year): House Study Bill 569 would restore Capital Punishment for the first time since the 1960s. Its one of two bills working their way through the legislature aimed at bringing back executions. I […]

New Year, Same Threat To Healthcare

Each time there is another threat to health care, Iowans have spoken out. Today in Iowa and across the country, small business owners, farmers, seniors, young people, veterans and other constituents are contacting  Congressional offices to hold them, including Iowa Representatives Blum, Young and King accountable for these cruel and careless threats on our health and financial security. “As a retired educator, veteran and small business owner, I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I receive my healthcare through Medicare and the VA and have always had exceptional results. Other self-employed Iowans aren’t so lucky. Instead of […]

Be Angry Over Shutdown – GOP Played Games With Kids And Immigrants

This guest piece from Robert Lyons posted literally just as the deal to keep the government became known. The sentiments still stand for how we got into the shutdown and for any future one in the next few weeks. There is no choice to be made between Children and Dreamers. There is no choice to be made between two vulnerable populations in need of our help whose only differences are the geographic locations of their births. But there is a choice to be made between doing the morally right thing and doing the opportunistically wrong thing. Republicans chose to present […]

Iowa Women Defiant At Women’s March: The Speeches, Sights And Signs

On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, one year to the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, close to 10,000 people gathered outside the Iowa State Capitol building for this year’s Women’s March. Thousands of activists, voters and concerned citizens came out sporting pink clothing and hats, homemade signs and a passion for fighting back in 2018. Angered by both the Trump presidency and Iowa Republican legislators who rolled back rights and healthcare access for women last year, the crowd was once again one of the largest demonstrations in recent Iowa history (though smaller than the 2017 gathering). Beyond the issues […]