So, Does Paul Pate Even Want His Secretary Of State Job?

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office does not appear to be very good at math. That’s a bit of a problem considering they’re in charge of making sure the votes get counted in this state. And it could have caused problems for candidates running in Iowa’s 2nd and 3rd Congressional districts had they been using the incorrect numbers Pate’s office provided for petition signature amounts up until last week. To get on the ballot in Iowa, candidates must collect a certain number of signatures of eligible voters in their district. The math gets a little complicated for the congressional […]

Iowa GOP Congressmen Put Women In Danger With Abortion Vote

After months of legislative failures and unforced errors, it’s clear that Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are desperate for a win. But last week they sunk to a new low in search of a political win. Last Tuesday, GOP leaders in the House voted to outlaw abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy. As if that weren’t bad enough, Republican leaders now claim this vote was motivated by the Las Vegas massacre. You read that right. The GOP is rationalizing their latest attempt to prohibit women from accessing their constitutional right to abortion by invoking the lives […]

Trump’s EPA Head Vows To Kill Iowa Wind And Solar Energy Credits

Someone should check Chuck Grassley’s pulse. Iowa’s senior senator declared back in August of 2016 that a President Donald Trump would eliminate tax credits for wind energy “over my dead body.” And yet yesterday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt declared that he wanted to do exactly that. “I would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar,” Pruitt said at an event with the Kentucky Farm Bureau. “I’d let them stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources, and let utilities make real-time market decisions on those types of […]

It Will Happen In Iowa

“There will be time for that later,” Governor Kim Reynolds said yesterday when asked if Iowa will pursue any new gun control legislation in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in American history. She was lying. There will never be a real discussion about responsible gun laws in Iowa so long as Kim Reynolds is governor and Republicans control the Legislature. If there is any debate on gun laws in next year’s legislative session, it will revolve around how Iowa can roll back oversight on who purchases guns, what types of weaponry you can purchase and make it legal […]

What A Despicable Week In American Politics

Following the day’s political news in Donald Trump’s America is an exhausting affair. Every week that you think we’ve hit rock bottom as a country, Trump and others find new, inventive ways to disgrace the nation and humanity. The past seven days have been particularly awful, making you wonder where this country is headed. The president’s racist inclinations were on full, divisive display this week, starting with his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. There are times that Trump has stoked white racial animus in order to rally his base or distract […]

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 […]

Iowa Environmental Protection Commission Punts Over New Rules

The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) is a panel of nine citizens who are supposed to provide public policy oversight of Iowa’s environmental protection efforts. At their September 18th meeting they had an opportunity to pass major improvements in the rules governing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Instead, they punted by voting no for any new modifications in the current inadequate guidelines. They chose to kick the can down the road rather than grabbing the initiative to clean-up Iowa’s impaired waters, protect local communities and stand in support of local control. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) and Food & […]

Fear Fails Again In Fairfield

One more chapter came to a close in Fairfield, Iowa’s long-running controversy over transgender bathrooms, this one perhaps the last. A large number of conservative candidates running for the Fairfield School Board in response to the district following state and national policy on transgender bathroom use were routed on Tuesday night. Four candidates who defended the town’s LGBTQ community and the policy won the four at-large seats, aided by unprecedented voter turnout for the local race. Debate over the issue has roiled the Southeast Iowa town of 10,200 people since early last year. A May 2016 bullying incident where a […]

Progressives Get Look At Future Leaders, Medicare-For-All Pitch At Corn Feed

Under a hot September sun, progressive activists, Democrats and issue advocates gathered this weekend for the third annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed. Three prominent out-of-state leaders keynoted the event: Center For American Progress president Neera Tanden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Merkley and Buttigieg’s profiles have been on the rise in Democratic politics recently. Merkley has been a leader on a new Medicare-for-all plan in the Senate, and is rumored to be considering a presidential run. Buttigieg, a 35-year-old mayor, unsuccessfully ran for DNC chair and has traveled the country recently to promote his new […]

Did DMACC Get Too Involved In Trustee Board Race?

What’s the proper role for a school administration in public elections for their governing board, whether it be for a community college board of trustees or a school board? For publicly funded institutions, the law is pretty clear: neutrality. You wouldn’t think to see the superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools out campaigning for specific candidates to sit on the board that oversees him. But supporters of two candidates who are challenging incumbent DMACC trustee board members think the community college went too far this year in indicating their preference. It’s the latest flash point in the ongoing fallout […]