Iowa GOP Women’s Group President Resigns Over Trump

Iowa Republicans suffered another important defection from the party line on Donald Trump. Melissa Gesing, the president of the Iowa Federation of Women, announced she was resigning as the head of the organization in a lengthy article in which she compared her wavering on Trump to being in a “bad and unhealthy relationship.” The Iowa Federation of Women is one of the state party’s most active and influential organizations. Their members are often seen at Republican events in Iowa in matching t-shirts, and they provide groups of volunteers to many campaigns. Gesing has been a member of the organization since 1999 […]

Big News: Starting Line Expands With Daily Democrat Merger

I’m excited to announce today that the Iowa Daily Democrat will be merging with Iowa Starting Line to create the largest progressive/Democratic-leaning news site in the state. This is a big step forward for everyone involved and will help us further the cause of spreading the progressive message in Iowa, along with providing unique insight and analysis of Iowa politics. Here’s the details: Iowa Daily Democrat’s new content will be moved to Starting Line’s website. Right now when you view the website on desktop there’s a section on the right that will fill with Daily Democrat stories. We’re still working […]

Iowa Democrats Offices Point To State Legislative Strategy

The Iowa Democratic Party announced several new field offices around the state this week, bringing their total number of offices to 24 in the state. The party began opening local offices for the 2016 election back in early May. Taking a look through the list, most of the obvious cities are there, whether by size or regional geographic location. However, several offices in smaller towns stand out. Their choice by the Democratic Party gives you a good sense of which legislative districts are at the top of their priority list. I’ve put the full list at the end of this post. […]

Young Progressive Group In Des Moines Grows, Hosts Fundraiser Today

Guest post from our friends at New Leaders Council – Join their fundraiser in Des Moines later today Progressive leadership has been developing in Des Moines as the 2016 New Leaders Council (NLC) class of fellows prepares for their final institute weekend and fundraising event. In January, this year’s class started their NLC journey toward personal growth and professional development. NLC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to recruit, train and promote progressive leaders of tomorrow. The program gives fellows an exciting opportunity to be a part of a supportive network of diverse alumni and mentors, highly skilled in working together […]

A Day On The Trail With Mike Sherzan

“Hi, I’m Mike Sherzan. I grew up near the Fairgrounds and I’m running for Congress.” Former businessman Mike Sherzan repeated that line close to a hundred times this past Saturday, working his way through festivals and picnics as he campaigned for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. One of three Democrats running for the chance to take on first-term Republican David Young, Sherzan has the least electoral experience of the group, but not by much. Despite his relative obscurity on the political scene prior to 2016, he’s quickly become known to Democratic voters thanks to some smart TV ads and the retail […]

Why Iowa Democrats’ First 2016 Office Openings Are In These 2 Rural Counties

Iowa Democrats opened their first two coordinated campaign field offices of the 2016 cycle on Wednesday and Thursday. But it wasn’t in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids or Davenport. Instead, it was much farther north, and in the considerably smaller counties of Mitchell and Floyd, where Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire traveled to christen their new offices in Osage and Charles City. Why start there? Several reasons. The biggest is that this northern Iowa region is ground zero in the battle for control of the Iowa Legislature. Mary Jo Wilhelm, who was Democrats’ 26th Senator in 2012, maintaining the majority by […]

Starting Line Partners With Progress Iowa

Starting Line has some exciting news to share with our readers today: we will be partnering with Progress Iowa throughout 2016! I (Pat) will also be joining the Progress Iowa team as their communications director, while still also running Starting Line. I’m really excited about this new venture that I think will benefit both organizations greatly, but more importantly do even more to advance the progressive message in Iowa. When I started Iowa Starting Line back in January of 2015, my goals were to provide a unique look on Iowa politics from a former campaign staffer’s perspective and use the site […]

Progressive Group’s Provocative Ad Targets Grassley On SCOTUS

The progressive group Agenda Project Action Fund released a new ad this week targeting Senator Chuck Grassley over his refusal to hold a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. The group says they’re running it in Iowa, though didn’t mention specifics of the size of the ad buy. The ad is, uh… interesting (see video below). In addition to hitting Grassley on the Supreme Court issue, they also bring up Republicans’ failure to pass a budget and not sending aid to help lead poisoning victims in Flint, Michigan. The head of the organization that produced the video notes that […]

Grassley’s Reelection Gets Downgraded From “Safe Republican”

  The pressure continues to build on Chuck Grassley over the Supreme Court hearings, and national political analysts now see it as having an impact in his reelection bid. Grassley faces blowback both at home and nationally on his refusal to hold a hearing for nominee Merrick Garland. That led Larry Sabato to move Grassley’s race from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican” in his Crystal Ball ratings today. Sabato cited the influence of national politics with the Supreme Court hearing and Patty Judge’s entrance into the race on the Democratic side as indications that Grassley may not have a cakewalk […]

Taking A Writing Break, Check Back On Monday

Hey readers, I’m going to be taking a break from writing for the rest of this week and weekend, but I’ll be back on Monday. I never really took a rest after the Iowa Caucus and my home and business to-do list has been piling up for months and months. I’m going to focus on that for a bit to get caught up so I can do better writing with that stuff off my mind. See you next week!   Pat