AFSCME Council 61 Endorses Theresa Greenfield In IA-Sen Race

U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield added another endorsement to her ledger late last week with the support of AFSCME Council 61. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is the nation’s largest trade union representing public employees, including those working for the state, county, city, school and private sector. “Theresa understands firsthand the importance of strong unions, and Iowa’s public service workers can count on her to protect our right to organize for dignity and respect on the job,” said Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Council 61, in a statement. Greenfield, a small business owner from Des Moines, […]

See You Again In June!

Hey everyone – Starting Line will be going dark for the next week and a half as we prepare to bring on new staff to help cover the Iowa Caucus. We are opening a new office, getting all the paperwork sorted out, shoring up our finances, and getting story ideas ready. To get all this administrative stuff done, we need to take a break from writing and reporting for several days. So, you won’t see stories back on Starting Line until June 3 or 4 (our new email newsletter will still be sent out during this time). The new Starting […]

GOP Senators Push Poverty Bill That Hurts Their Constituents

In an earlier post titled “Five senate bills target Iowans on public assistance,” we took a deep dive into legislation that was designed to kick Iowans off the roles in various programs. They are the working poor, disabled, children, and the elderly. Many would be destitute if not for this assistance. The messaging is that those on public assistance are somehow taking advantage of the system, a wedge issue that is propagated to create conflict among constituents. That distracts them from who the legislators who drive these wedges are working for, and it isn’t the voters. Senate Study Bill 1131 […]

Roske On Politics: What 2020 Contenders Have Learned About Iowa

Starting Line is happy to introduce a new partnership we’ve started up for the 2020 Iowa Caucus. We’ll be working with Brent Roske and his Roske on Politics program to bring you exclusive video interviews from the campaign trail. The videos will typically be about six minutes long (this first one is a bit longer) and feature guests ranging from presidential candidates to your everyday Iowa activists. These will get going on a weekly basis once Starting Line is back to a full schedule in February, but we wanted to let you see this initial video to get a sense […]

Starting Line Is Taking A Break

Iowa Starting Line is taking a break. Finally. Back when we launched this whole operation in January 2015, I wasn’t sure just how long we’d be around or what kind of success we’d end up seeing. After four long years, I think we can confidently say that we’ve accomplished a great deal during our time on the Iowa politics news coverage scene, and I’ve been very grateful for everyone who’s been a part of it. Now we’re headed into the most important year of Iowa politics we’ve seen in a long time: the 2020 Democratic caucus. Democrats are about to […]

Taking A Two-Week Break From Writing

I’m going to be taking a break from writing on Iowa Starting Line for the next two weeks now that the primary is over and most of my post-election wrap-up pieces are done. That’s not a break from work, though (and I still have two or three stories that I’ll probably get pulled into writing). The business side of Starting Line was badly neglected during the primary, with simply too many candidates, too much breaking news and too few hours in the day to get everything done. I prioritized getting our readers as much news as possible this year, figuring […]

The Latest GOP Suppression Effort: The 2020 Census

The Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is their latest attempt to punish Democratic states. It’s another tactic in their broader efforts to suppress the vote. The same Republicans that have pushed strict voter ID laws are behind this attack to alter an accurate census count. The Kansas Secretary of State, Republican Kris Kobach, is the national architect of these voter ID laws. He implemented the most extreme Kansas voter ID requiring proof of citizenship. He has been defending the 2013 law in court this month. He wrote an opinion piece for Brietbart in […]

Thanks For A Great Year – The Plan Ahead For 2018

Starting Line is back from a much needed week-and-a-half break from writing over the holidays, though we were still plenty busy during that time. We’ve got a lot of great stories in the pipe for this week and next, but let’s first take a quick look back at our accomplishments in 2017. Let’s start with the most impressive factor: our readership. Starting Line ended 2017 with just under 2 million total views for the year. That’s easily double our previous two years. A good chunk of that was an explosion in views during the legislative session, each month of which […]

Iowa Now Dead Last In GDP Growth Under All-Republican Control

Very bad news this week for both Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported the second quarter economic growth by state (GDP). Iowa’s economic growth was a negative .7%, dead last among all 50 states. Of the 50 states, 48 had positive growth in this period. Only Iowa (-.7%) and South Dakota (-.3%) had a negative growth rate. While one quarter’s performance doesn’t predict future growth, it’s a huge embarrassment for the Iowa Republican Party. The Republican Governor and the GOP control majorities in both branches of the Legislature and have […]

Rod Blum’s Votes Have Put Veterans’ Healthcare At Risk

On May 4th, Congressman Rod Blum voted to repeal the ACA. On May 9th, he stood in front of a packed gym at a town hall and admitted voting for it even though, in his words, he knew “it was a bad bill.” Had this vote passed, 2,700 Iowa veterans would have lost their health care. Contrary to what many believe, not all veterans receive their health care from the VA. 20 million veterans rely on other forms of insurance to help cover medical expenses. Of that number, 1.8 million veterans are covered by Medicaid. As a veteran, this concerns me. The […]