Ernst, Grassley Warn Trump He’s Losing Iowa Support On Waivers

In the wake of 31 Renewable Fuel Standard waivers being granted to refineries last week, Republican senators from Iowa are warning President Donald Trump about the political fallout he’s causing, noting that “our farmers are angry.” The waivers allow oil refineries to avoid blending ethanol into their final product, benefiting oil companies’ bottom lines at the expense of corn farmers. “Mr. President, you should have done more,” Sen. Joni Ernst said on Saturday. “So, what I’m hearing from our farmers is extreme disappointment, and I’m disappointed, because there is a promise that needs to to be kept for our farmers.” […]

“The ACA Saved My Life.” Ernst Called Out On Health Care Votes

“About two years ago, I walked into a doctor’s office with a nagging cough and walked out with a stage-four cancer diagnosis,” said Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and health care activist. “But I’m still here today because the Affordable Care Act saved my life.” Packard is now in remission, but says she couldn’t have afforded her six months of chemotherapy and month of radiation treatments without the Affordable Care Act – the one thing keeping her insurable. “If my cancer returns, I will be bankrupt or dead without good health insurance,” explained Packard. “That’s why we’re going around, state […]

Environmentalists Send Airborne Message To Joni Ernst On Climate

Climate change and environmental advocates flew a banner over the Iowa State Fairgrounds today, calling on Sen. Joni Ernst to acknowledge climate change and to act on policy. “We’re out here today because Iowans are feeling the impacts of climate change more than ever and seeing it first hand,” explained Jennessa Agnew, Deputy Field Director from the League of Conservation Voters. “Iowa Senators in D.C. aren’t even willing to acknowledge that this is something that’s happening,” Agnew said. “This year, we’ve seen record flooding across the state hurting families, farmers, the economy and the quality of life here in Iowa.” […]

Iowa Republicans Need To Stop Immigrant Fear-Mongering

Enough already. In yet another weekend where it seems like the country is coming apart, terrorist gunmen in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio massacred innocent people. Details are just starting to emerge about the Dayton murderer, but we already have a disturbing — and all too familiar — profile of the El Paso killer. A 21-year-old white male, Patrick Crusius drove nine hours from his Dallas metro home to intentionally seek out and murder Hispanic people. Authorities believe a manifesto posted online before the massacre is, in fact, his, one in which he makes clear his racist intentions. “This […]

What Joni Ernst’s Health Care Votes Mean To Iowan Laura Wright

As Republican-led efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act [ACA] continue, living with a chronic illness has become increasingly difficult. While some may still have a solid health insurance plan through their employer, that plan is tied to employment and still includes deductibles. What happens when an employment contract ends or a job is lost? That is the situation Laura Wright faced, and what has inspired her to become an activist on the health care scene, pushing back on members of Congress who continue to vote to limit coverage and tear down the ACA. “My job ended,” said Wright. “The […]

Poll: Iowans Want Medicare Negotiation; Grassley Opposes

A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 86% of Iowans, including 83% of Iowa Republicans and 81% of Iowans who voted for President Trump, would support legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription prices with drug companies. This poll is being released ahead of a Senate Finance Committee hearing, where Chairman Chuck Grassley is leading a bill to reduce pharmaceutical costs. However, Grassley has gone on the record this year to oppose Medicare negotiations, instead looking for other ways to reduce costs. In January, Grassley told The Hill that he doesn’t want to “mess with the government […]

County GOP Party In Iowa Calls Dem Congresswomen “Terrorists”

The Washington County Republican Party in Iowa took the lead of President Donald Trump’s racist smears on four Democratic congresswomen and ran with it last week, going a little further than their party leader. A Starting Line reader directed our attention to the post made on July 15. “It certainly is time somebody called out The four Democratic terrorists for who they are,” the GOP county party from Southeast Iowa wrote on their Facebook page. “Very simply They hate America!” [UPDATE: About half a day after Starting Line’s story, the Washington County Republicans edited their post to call them “incompetent […]

Reynolds’ DNR Concealing Real Extent Of Iowa Water Contamination At Lakes

Each week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) takes water samples from Iowa public park beaches. They test for dangerous bacterial contaminants and post those beaches that are unsafe for recreational swimming. However, there are serious concerns that the standard the IDNR is using to test the water fails to adequately alert the public to the dangerous bacterial contamination. Governor Reynolds and her IDNR are putting Iowa family‚Äôs health at risk by refusing to follow the EPA health standards for Iowa recreational waters. E. Coli and Microcystins This is the third week we […]

Big Donor To Grassley, Iowa GOP Busted In Florida Prostitution Sting

A major national Republican donor was charged with soliciting prostitution in the Florida sting that also nabbed New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. John Childs, a billionaire who’s given $20,000 to the Republican Party of Iowa and $2,700 to Chuck Grassley, is one of hundreds of people ensnared in a sweeping bust of a sex trafficking network in Florida. The founder of J.W. Childs equity firm (a company from which he quickly resigned after the charges), Childs has poured money into Republican and conservative efforts over the years. The Washington Post reported that he’s donated over $17 million to Republican […]

It’s Time For Iowa Republicans To Start Panicking

The 2018 election may still be a long ways off in a political climate that can change rapidly on a daily basis, but all the data points for a good Democratic year in Iowa are starting to stack up. A string of special elections for state legislative seats have consistently seen massive margin swings to Democrats, culminating in last night’s Northwest Iowa race where a Democrat pulled within ten points in a district Donald Trump won by 41 points. Add that to the national political mood with a deeply unpopular president, a stunning victory by a Democrat in Alabama and […]