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. […]

Senator Mark Chelgren Aims To Purge Democrats From Iowa Universities

The party affiliation on your voter registration card could block you from employment at Iowa’s state universities were a newly proposed bill by Senator Mark Chelgren to become law. Senate File 288, proposed by the Ottumwa legislator, could bring about a Soviet-style purge of liberal-leaning college staff in Iowa. Chelgren wants to impose an ideological litmus test in order to create a “partisan balance,” based on how Iowa has voted in past elections. The legislation proposes that a “person shall not be hired as a professor or instructor member of the faculty at such an institution if the person’s political party affiliation […]

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. […]