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 […]

Ep76: Rural Iowa Election Results & Trends In 2018

Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard discusses the changing voter trends in Iowa’s rural counties with Marion County Democratic Party Chair Megan Day Suhr.

Ep66: National Dem Visits & Gov. John Hickenlooper Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard discusses all the recent visits from Democrats’ top national stars in Iowa and what help it gives to local candidates. And we interview Governor John Hickenlooper about his policy success in Colorado, his 2020 considerations and what he thought of Iowa’s local beer scene.

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 […]