Time To Reverse Iowa’s Extreme Stance On Voting Rights Restoration

We Iowans like to think of ourselves as the true occupants of middle America, the geographic and societal equivalent of Baby Bear’s porridge. We are not as conservative as some sections of our country, nor as liberal as other sections. We don’t have the wealth that some regions do. We don’t have the poverty that is found elsewhere. But clearly, Iowa is out of step with other states when it comes to a basic right — the right to vote in our elections. This was brought home in dramatic fashion on Election Day when voters in Florida, by a staggering […]

Trump’s “Make America Rake Again” Ignites Climate Change Debate

The devastating California wildfires should completely erase any skepticism about the crisis of climate change. However, President Trumps suggested that the fires resulted because America isn’t raking its forests and dismissed climate change as a major cause. It seems incomprehensible America could have a Commander-in-Chief so ignorant of science or the basic facts about forest management and climate change. While visiting fire devastated areas in California last week, Trump suggested he got the raking idea after talking to the President of Finland. “I was with the President of Finland and he said we have — much different — we are […]

Planning A Run For President? First Protect New Medicare Part D Plan

A guest post from Ro Foege, former state representative and AARP executive council member. The Iowa Caucuses are just around the corner, and presidential candidates will be flocking to the Hawkeye State in droves over the coming months, touting their voting record and stances on the issues, including healthcare. When it comes to prescription drug costs, opinions are abundantly clear across the U.S. – everyday Americans are being charged outrageous prices. Nobody should have to choose between buying food for their loved ones and paying for prescription drugs they need to keep themselves well. However, it is the reality that […]

Iowa Needs More Than Just The Big Regents Schools

Iowa is speeding toward a dangerous crossroads this week, and there has been too little discussion about what might occur and zero discussion about what the state should do. Trustees of Iowa Wesleyan University, the second-oldest college in Iowa, meet on Thursday to decide whether the institution will close next spring. The Mount Pleasant school has been educating young men and women since 1842. It was established four years before Iowa became a state and five years before the University of Iowa opened its doors. Only Loras College in Dubuque is older, having been founded in 1839. But Iowa Wesleyan’s […]

GOP Tax Plan Hurt Farmers, Small Businesses

One year ago today the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was introduced. Far from buoying small businesses, the new tax law Republicans passed late in 2017 is already proving to be more problematic than positive for Main Street. In fact, Republicans thought their massive tax overhaul would be the centerpiece of their midterm strategy. But it turns out they were wrong. Representatives Blum, Young and King have praised the passage of this tax plan. But a year later, the promises they made ring hollow. In fact, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is such a bust, that the President is […]

Let’s Talk Iowa Rankings, Governor. Our Universities Are In Free-Fall

Guest post by Allison Engel, an Iowa State University graduate, has worked in higher education for the past 12 years. Yes, Gov. Reynolds, let’s talk about U.S. News & World Report rankings. But not the livability rankings, which do not include data from all 50 states in all categories. In this blinkered competition, Iowa snagged the No. 1 spot, including the top ranking for infrastructure. This must have come as a surprise to those who read the recent Federal Highway Administration report that Iowa has the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation, as well as one of the country’s largest […]

NextGen Launches Major Digital Effort To Turn Out Young Iowans

NextGen Iowa is launching a major digital advertising campaign that goes through the final weeks of the election, targeting young Iowans to encourage them to vote on November 6. The $162,000 online expenditure in Iowa is part of a national $4 million effort from the progressive organization that is focusing on youth turnout this year. The ad blitz kicks off on October 15 and is targeted at over 170,000 Iowans between the ages of 18 and 35. They will run on a wide array of websites, social media sites and video services, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Hulu, Vevo, […]

How Bad Is Iowa’s Mistaken Felon Disenfranchisement Problem?

Guest post from Adam Kenworthy, chair of Iowa Voting Rights Project KCCI reported on an important story last week regarding a man who was told he could not vote because he was classified as a felon. However, what the reporting revealed was that in fact the man was not a felon and that the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office had classified him as one incorrectly [update: the Secretary of State’s office clarifies that is was the federal courts that erroneously classified the man as a felon; the Secretary of State’s office fixed it within an hour of hearing about it]. […]

Follow The Money On Reynolds, Wellmark And Pre-Existing Health Conditions

After years of state and national progress on healthcare access, Governor Kim Reynolds brought back one of the worst features of pre-ACA healthcare: denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. And the company that was chosen to offer up the new plans just so happens to have been a major contributor to the Brandstad/Reynolds ticket for years. That’s what happened earlier this year when Reynolds signed a bill allowing Wellmark and the Iowa Farm Bureau to sell healthcare plans that don’t actually qualify as “healthcare.” The move was made to offer a cheaper alternative to Iowans who simply couldn’t afford the rising […]

Federal Funding For Cedar Rapids Flood Wall Is Not As Advertised

The $117 million in federal funding for the Cedar Rapids flood wall is not as was originally publicly promised, Starting Line has confirmed from multiple sources. Last month, city leaders were informed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that $41 million of the federal funding that was announced in July will instead be a low-interest loan that the city must repay over 30 years. That would present a significant increase in costs to the city to build the wall needed to prevent against future catastrophic floods. Mayor Brad Hart and City Manager Jeff Pomeranz wrote to Congressman Rod Blum […]