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 […]

Iowa Reaction To DACA: The Good, The Bad And The Cowardly

President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for children of immigrants roiled the national and Iowa political scene Tuesday. Children brought to the country by their parents who have lived most of their lives in America worried what their futures held, with a final decision on how DACA may or may not end now resting with Congress. Close to 6,000 Iowans fall under DACA protection and could face deportation depending on the outcome. The six-month delay in enacting the change gives supporters of DACA time to organize and pressure their members of Congress to […]

Indivisible Iowa Responds To Simon Conway’s Bizarre Attack

Yesterday Simon Conway of I Heart Radio’s WHO AM 1040 irresponsibly posted screenshots from an Indivisible closed Facebook group.  The post contained member names and profile pictures and had to be edited to contain the disclaimer, “UPDATE: Any threats of violence will be removed and the poster banned from the page. Period” after Conway’s supporters posted death threats on the post to members of Indivisible.     Indivisible Iowa and Action Iowa issue the following statement: In the days following the events in Charlottesville, our non-partisan groups began productive discussions on the removal of Confederate memorials in the state of Iowa. […]

Radio Host Simon Conway’s Attempt To Smear Democrats Backfires Immediately

Conservative WHO Radio host Simon Conway thought he had a big scoop today, “exposing” Iowa Democratic activists’ conversations in a private Facebook group about a Confederate monument in the state. His attempt to demonize Iowa citizens quickly backfired. Calling it a “MUST READ,” Conway posted a story on WHO Radio’s website that predicted that liberal activists were about to cause trouble, calling up visions for his rightwing audience of violent vandals. “It looks like some people want to bring trouble to Iowa,” Conway wrote. “We have very little in the form of Confederate monuments, but the one put up in […]

One Iowa Calls For Iowa GOP To Pull Anti-Transgender Ad And Apologize

The use of an inflammatory TV ad in the special election for House District 82 is drawing criticism from LGBTQ advocacy groups in Iowa. As Starting Line reported earlier today, candidate Travis Harris and the Republican Party of Iowa are running ads in the Ottumwa media market that attack Democrat Phil Miller over his votes on a transgender bathroom policy. It’s particularly upsetting to some local residents considering a recent tragedy of a transgender teen taking his own life in mid-June. One Iowa Action, the Iowa LGBTQ advocacy group, put out a statement this afternoon condemning the Republican ad and […]