Snubbing Pat Grassley Would Be Dumb Politics

Governor Kim Reynolds has a decision to make: who to appoint as outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s replacement. Northey, after a very long wait, was finally appointed to be the Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation in Donald Trump’s USDA. He’ll still have to wait a while more, however, until the Senate acts on the nomination, which Chuck Grassley indicated could be as soon as October or as late as next year. Northey won’t resign his current job until his confirmation is finished, so Reynolds has some time to mull over her choice. For years Iowa political insiders and […]

Iowa Republicans Should Boot John Thompson From SCC

It was not a good summer for the credibility of Iowa Republicans’ stances on moral values. The lurid details from the Senate Republican sexual harassment trial, along with Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix’s continued refusal to take responsibility for the matter, confirmed what many critics think Republicans actually feel about women in the workplace. That the Senate Republicans continued to keep on payroll the staffer most responsible for reprehensible comments and a hostile work environment was troubling. To be able to put up with people like that is beyond the reasoning of most decent Iowans. And the $2.2 million verdict […]

Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

Just as reliably as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, not a week goes by in Iowa politics without a new candidate running for this or that major office. Iowa Democrats have about 22 declared or strongly-considering candidates for governor and the three Republican-held congressional districts. The field for every race has continued to grow this summer, though we may be finally nearing the end of the announcement phase. It’s an interesting parallel to the huge, 17-candidate Republican presidential primary field in 2016. Out of power for a while now, there’s fewer influential power-brokers or […]

More Iowa GOP Leaders Want Ben Sasse Banned From Iowa

If Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse plans on coming back to Iowa, he may want to plan a detour on a different route than the usual I-80 one. Republican Pottawattamie County chair Jeff Jorgensen declared today that the neighbor-state senator should stay far away from his county, home to Council Bluffs. “LET ME MAKE THIS AS CLEAR AS I CAN,” Jorgensen wrote in all-caps on his personal Facebook page this morning. “NEBRASKA SENATOR BEN SASSE IS NOT WELCOME IN POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY, NOR WILL HE EVER BE INVITED TO SPEAK TO POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY REPUBLICANS!” In the Facebook post, Jorgensen also shared a […]

The Real Reason Why Iowa Republicans Keep Winning

Time and again this legislative session, Republicans passed legislation that supposedly polls very poorly with Iowa voters. And yet most political pundits predict that Kim Reynolds and the GOP ticket holds the upper hand heading into the 2018 election. A victory then by the new Reynolds and Adam Gregg team would solidify Republicans’ electoral stranglehold on the Hawkeye state where they control both U.S. Senate seats, three of four congressional districts and five of seven statewide offices. So why have Republicans been so successful here the last four campaign cycles, despite Iowa’s swing state reputation (former reputation after 2016, perhaps)? The answer is obviously many […]

Joni Ernst: “No Regrets” On VP Chance. Ah, But What If?

Under a blazing hot sun yesterday, Senator Joni Ernst drove into her annual Roast And Ride fundraiser with Vice President Mike Pence at her side. Both were on motorcycles. But had just a few political calculations gone differently last year, it might have been Ernst who wore an official vice presidential riding jacket. Last June and July, during the speculation over who Donald Trump would pick as his running mate, Ernst’s name came up often as being on Trump’s short list. There was chatter in some Republican circles that she was actually the favorite, so long as she wanted it. It’s […]

Maybe He’s Tired: Trump Postpones Cedar Rapids Rally

In very sad(!) news today, Donald Trump announced he will be cancelling his planned Thursday rally in Cedar Rapids, due to an “unforeseen change in President Trump’s schedule.” It will be rescheduled at a later date, possibly as soon as early in the following week. Some people were a little surprised when Trump scheduled a campaign rally in Iowa, just five months into his presidency. He’s held political events like these in a few other states since taking office, as it seems to rejuvenate the president, who loves events where he’s cheered on by thousands of supporters. Their purpose beyond that, however, […]

Where Are They Now: Recent Iowa Political Hires Round-Up

In the world of Iowa politics, people move around from job to job a lot. This is especially so in the months after an election, as former campaign staffers figure out their next move. It hasn’t been an easy transition for many Democratic operatives, as when all your candidates lose in an election, there’s not that many landing spots in government to go to. But plenty of talented, experienced political staffers and former candidates find new opportunities all the time. Here’s an update on some Iowa politicos that you might know, and where they’ve moved to in the last month […]

Ron Corbett Looks To Challenge Kim Reynolds For Iowa Governor

In a radio interview this morning with Simon Conway on WMT Radio, Republican Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett announced he will not seek reelection for mayor. Instead he is taking a very serious look at challenging Kim Reynolds for Iowa Governor in 2018. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey declined to primary eventual-Governor Kim Reynolds for the Republican nomination shortly after the announcement that Terry Branstad would be nominated as President-Elect Donald Trump’s ambassador to China. That would make Reynolds the incumbent running for reelection in 2018, rather than a Lt. Governor seeking the office on her own. That situation makes a potential primary challenge […]

Bye Bye Branstad. Hello Governor Reynolds.

It’s official: Terry Branstad will be the next ambassador to China. Donald Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the President Elect announced Branstad’s appointment at a fundraiser this morning. An official statement is expected later today, and there will likely be some sort of announcement or celebration of the move at Trump’s rally in Des Moines tomorrow. Branstad leaving the governorship for China will cause a massive sea change in Iowa politics. The longest-serving governor in American history, Branstad and his team wielded huge influence behind the scenes for Iowa Republicans for decades. His lasting popularity among Iowa voters allowed him […]