Josh Mandelbaum Wins Big In DSM With Water Quality-Focused Campaign

In one of Iowa’s most-watched municipal races on Tuesday, environmental attorney Josh Mandelbaum won the Des Moines City Council Ward 3 seat in convincing fashion, taking 56% in a three-way race. Former council member Mike Kiernan received 34%, while Democratic Socialist and Somali refugee contender Abshir Omar Mahamed got a respectable 9%. Mandelbaum (who announced his candidacy at a Starting Line event) replaces longtime council member Christine Hensley, a Republican who held onto the deeply-Democratic Des Moines district for over two decades. The race between Mandelbaum and Kiernan was the most expensive municipal race in the state. Mandelbaum raised an […]

Draft Dodger Trump Doesn’t Mind Sending Others To War

Why are Republicans so unwilling to speak up as this President with no military, no diplomatic and no elective office experience is recklessly making threats of imminent war with North Korea? His record shouldn’t give anyone confidence that he has a clue as to the appropriate or traditional diplomatic methods to avoid war. This President chose to avoid military service during the Vietnam war with a questionable draft-deferment based on note from his doctor. Then he lied and claimed to have been given a high draft number rather than a medical deferment. President Trump played football, tennis, squash and golf […]

Congressional, Sec. of State Dems Make Pitches At Wing Ding

Democratic activists from across Northern Iowa and beyond gathered in Clear Lake Friday night to hear Democratic candidates and leaders speak… and speak… and speak some more. 22 candidates, elected officials and leaders in all took the stage to address the crowd of about 400 attendees in the historic Surf Ballroom, interspersed with award presentations to local activists and various skits. The event moved along at a decent pace, however – many of the candidates in the crowded primary fields have gotten accustomed to giving short stump speeches. Seven gubernatorial candidates, six congressional contenders and both secretary of state candidates […]

Stop Republican Repeal Efforts At “Our Lives Are On The Line” Events

The Senate is moving ahead with the repeal of Obamacare with their vote on Tuesday to begin floor debate. However, hours after the first vote they failed to pass the repeal-and-replace proposal. That failed vote signaled the desperate straits the Republicans find themselves. They voted over and over for seven years to repeal Obamacare, but when they finally gained complete control of the House, Senate and Presidency they are at a stalemate. They are paralyzed to act, not because of the Democrats, but because they can’t reach a consensus among their own members. Republicans have violated every recognized rule for […]

Sioux City Baseball Player J.D. Scholten Takes On Steve King – Our Profile

Democrats have a new challenger in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District to take on Steve King: J.D. Scholten, a professional baseball player and paralegal from Sioux City. He’s returning to Iowa after playing professional baseball around the country and world, launching his campaign today against the controversial congressman. Kim Weaver withdrew from the race in early June after running against King in 2016 – Weaver endorsed Scholten upon his announcement. Spencer businesswoman Leann Jacobsen is also considering a run. Scholten’s campaign will be a homecoming of sorts. A 5th generation Iowan, Scholten was born in Ames and his family moved from Nevada, […]

Starting Line Doing Great – Help Keep Us Going

I wanted to take a brief moment to update Starting Line readers on how we’re doing: we’re doing great! Thanks to your help in sharing our articles, Starting Line has seen very high traffic in the past several weeks. As you may have noticed, I’ve also been on the road a lot recently for the various campaign events and town hall forums. It’s produced a lot of great stories, and I enjoy getting out of Des Moines to hear more voices. It also starts to cost some money. My travel budget is pretty low and could use some re-filling. If you haven’t […]

Why Former Army Ranger Mike Matson May Run For Iowa Governor

If Mike Matson pulls the trigger on a gubernatorial run and wins, it will be the revenge of the local official on Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds’ legacy. A member of the Davenport City Council for the past ten years, Matson is fed up with the unfunded mandates coming out of Des Moines, as well as state Republicans’ constant restrictions on local control. To slingshot from alderman to governor may seem like an impossible task, but Matson’s impressive military background has Democrats in Eastern Iowa promoting him as a serious contender that could reach out to rural and Republican voters. […]

You Did This: Democrats Pumped After Big Win On Obamacare

Democrats and their grassroots supporters’ victory at blocking the Republicans’ Obamacare repeal provides a much-needed boost to morale. Since the election, national Republicans have been riding a wave of enthusiasm as they anticipated turning back the clock on everything Obama. Democrats needed a win and this is a giant one. The odds of saving Obama’s signature health care legislation against a massive Republican majority seemed slim to none. But Republicans didn’t anticipate that the Democrats’ supporters would ignite an immense and enthusiastic resistance to the Trump agenda. This passionate grassroots support for Obamacare exploded across the country following Trump’s election. […]

What Starting Line Has Accomplished – And Why You Should Help

In the age of Donald Trump, an independent media that holds our elected officials accountable is more important than ever. This is especially true in Iowa, where the new Republican majorities have rammed through an extreme right-wing agenda that brings something new and disastrous seemingly every single day to the Statehouse. Fortunately for those of us on the left in Iowa, we have a rather robust online news presence from several independent sites and blogs. But it wasn’t always like that, and it didn’t spring up over night. Now it needs your help to keep it going [donate to Starting Line […]

Iowa Republicans’ Hypocritical Flip-Flop On Local Control

The Republicans in the lowa legislature must be suffering from whiplash as they have suddenly slammed their party into reverse by opposing “local control.” The Republican mantra for years has been to repeat the quote credited to Thomas Jefferson: “The government closest to the people serves them best.” Republicans have long sung in unison that “local control” symbolizes that government closest to the people. For years they sang that tune as if it was a sacred verse taken directly from the Republican hymnal. Republicans embraced local control as one of their signature qualifying identities in order to be a Republican. […]