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, […]

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, […]

Kim Reynolds’ Failure Will Cost Thousands of Iowans’ Their Health Insurance

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced this afternoon that Iowa had failed to obtain a waiver on Iowa’s stopgap health insurance plan yet from the Trump Administration and was withdrawing their proposal. About 70,000 Iowans are on the state’s individual market healthcare exchange, which will feature only one provider in 2018, and that provider plans on increasing their premiums 57%. The state estimated today that between 18,000 and 22,000 Iowans could leave the market in 2018. They predicted that the healthiest Iowans would leave first, leading to a “death spiral” in the market. Reynolds’ stopgap plan certainly wasn’t a perfect one, […]

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 […]