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 […]

Candidates Show Real Progress, Concern In Mental Health Forum

The Des Moines Register held a mental healthcare forum this week, where 12 gubernatorial candidates discussed their ideas on the critical matter. All seven Democratic candidates were there, as well as two Republican challengers, two Libertarian contenders and a left-leaning independent. Governor Kim Reynolds was on vacation that week, but she recorded a video address that was played at the beginning of the event. Starting Line asked National Alliance for Mental Health Iowa’s executive director, Peggy Huppert, to weigh in on her thoughts from the event. You can watch the entire event from this Register live stream.  — The most […]

“Go Back Where They Came From.” Iowa Sportscasters Direct Racist Comments At High Schoolers

Racist attacks directed at high school students happened at an Iowa sporting event yet again, with the video of the comments quickly spreading through social media. This time, at least, people were fired over it. The KIOW radio station based out of Forest City, Iowa has fired two of its employees after they made blatantly racist comments toward high school basketball players at a local game played against Eagle Grove on November 28. Orrin Harris, a longtime announcer, was let go after outrage quickly built over the viral video. KIOW noted that the commentary did not run on their actual […]

John Kerry In Iowa: State Dept. Cuts “Decimating” Foreign Outreach

Former Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Iowa yesterday for a brief visit to help out an old friend. The 2004 presidential nominee headlined a fundraiser for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who backed Kerry in the Iowa Caucus. Kerry held a quick press conference with local reporters beforehand to discuss some of the news of the day. “I found that very disturbing,” he said of the confirmation of Michael Flynn’s policy negotiations with Russian officials while President Barack Obama was still in office. “President Obama said very clearly that he was going to live by the notion that […]

Reynolds Admin Officials Lobbied Against 9/11 Victims For Saudi Arabia

There was an overwhelming amount of national and Iowa news this past week, from the Trump campaign indictments to Sam Clovis’ withdrawal from the USDA position to AmeriHealth Caritas leaving Iowa’s Medicaid system to the Texas church shooting. And then there was one story that surfaced this past Thursday from the Associated Press’ Ryan Foley that could easily get lost in the chaos of all the other breaking news. It shouldn’t, however, as it involves one of the more outrageous acts of hubris in Iowa politics we’ve seen: well-known Iowa Republicans, some of whom are serving in Kim Reynolds’ administration, […]