Kurt Meyer Responds To Expanding IDP Topics Questions

The Iowa Starting Line post of December 23 – “Many Important Topics Missing From IDP Chair Discussion” – prompted the following thoughts from this Chair candidate. Paragraphs from the original blog appear in italics, with my responses posted below. I don’t believe I heard anyone, not a candidate nor a SCC member in the audience last Saturday, talk about the importance of retaking the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House. … While it’s true they take the lead on the targeted districts, the state party should also be a close partner in advocating for and highlighting the state’s most crucial legislative […]

Trump Can’t Have It Both Ways On Election Results

I’ve been shaking my head so much lately that friends probably think it is loose. The reason? There’s been so much irony since the election. It’s a miracle we haven’t strained our necks as our heads snap around when we hear some of the comments. Consider these. Moment 1: A regular part of Donald Trump’s campaign rallies was his claims the election was being rigged by Hillary Clinton and Democrats. But Trump won the election fair and square with 306 electoral votes, 36 more than required. Instead of basking in his upset victory, Trump began claiming, with absolutely no evidence to […]

Democrats Lose Iowa Senate, GOP Controls All Of Iowa Statehouse

Governor Terry Branstad and legislative Republicans will wield full control over the executive and legislative branches of Iowa government come next January. Democrats lost their majority in the Iowa Senate, which they’ve held since 2006, as early returns showed Senators Mike Gronstal, Chris Brase and Brian Schoenjahn losing their reelection efforts. That bumps Democrats down to 23 seats, and Republicans up to 26, with one independent (and this is assuming Democrats win the Joe Seng Davenport seat in the December special election, which is very likely). However, early indications show that Democrats are losing in seats even thought to be […]

Steve King, Donald Trump And The Far-Right European Nationalists

What’s the connection between Trump, Congressman Steve King and the rise of the far-right political parties in Europe? Congressman Steve King tweeted back on September 18th a photo posing with German and Dutch far-right party members. These are two European leaders associated with white supremacy and vicious anti-Muslim rhetoric. Geert Wilders, the man shown in the photo with King, is a leader in the Dutch Party for Freedom, another European far-right party. Wilders is an outspoken opponent of Muslim immigration. Wilders is quoted as saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam … there is no such thing as ‘moderate […]

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 […]