The Cavalry Arrives For Democrats’ Special Election Candidate

No matter what happens on the March 19 special election in Cedar Falls, you certainly can’t say the Democratic Party didn’t do what they could to hold Senate District 30. Presidential candidate after presidential candidate has visited Black Hawk County over the past month to rally volunteers and voters, mobilize students to vote, and knock on doors. The party has been working overtime to hold on to a key suburban swing district in Cedar Falls and Waterloo. Democratic State Senator Jeff Danielson abruptly resigned in mid-February over a dispute with his firefighting job and the city. The seat has trended […]

Ep89: Beto’s In, Eastern Iowa Visits, Joni Ernst’s “Paid” Family Leave

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by State Representative Lindsay James to talk about candidates’ visits to Eastern Iowa, Elizabeth Warren’s ability to stay in the news, some Statehouse topics like the Ag Gag law, and Joni Ernst’s new “paid” family leave program.

Forget The “Socialism” Labels, Let’s Stick To Policies

If you had your ear cupped just right and were listening closely Sunday afternoon, you might have heard my head explode. The pressure inside the old noggin has been building for months, thanks to what can be called politics as usual in Washington, D.C., and Des Moines. So, my friends and relatives were not surprised by what occurred about 2 o’clock Sunday. My cranium could not contain the buildup any longer when I read that U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California was fuming about his visit to a restaurant in that state. The waitress asked the congressman if he wanted […]

John Delaney Can Unite Us Against Trump

A guest post from Joan Amos, recent chair of the Lucas County Democrats According to a Monmouth University poll from February 4, 2019, most Americans want to elect a new president who will put Donald Trump’s era of scandal and division behind us. That should be nothing new to most of us. But the poll also found that among Democrats, we want candidates who can defeat Donald Trump most of all – even if we don’t agree on all the issues. To defeat Donald Trump, we need a candidate who can unite the majority of us — Democrats, independents and […]

Gillibrand Plans Mississippi River Trip Through Counties That Flipped Iowa

Kirsten Gillibrand will take a tour next week through the Eastern Iowa counties that gave her predecessor in the Senate so many difficulties in the 2016 presidential campaign. The planned trip for next Tuesday and Wednesday takes Gillibrand along the Mississippi River, hitting Dubuque, Davenport, Muscatine, and Burlington. She makes a stop in Ottumwa before coming back to Des Moines for a town hall forum. Gillibrand will be the first Democratic candidate to visit the cities of Muscatine and Burlington this year (a few others visited them in 2018). The 2020 field has spent significant time in Western Iowa’s Steve […]

Ep88: Sanders’ Return, His New Rural Pitch, Iowa Poll Results

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by Patty Judge to contrast Bernie Sanders and John Hickenlooper’s appeal and message. We also discuss Sanders’ new approach to rural America messaging, and we look at the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll.

Ankeny 8th Grader Organizes Des Moines Youth Climate Strike

This Friday, March 15, tens of thousands of the world’s students will strike for climate in 80 different countries. This is predicted to be the largest global environmental protest in history. It was all ignited by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish student, last summer. Thunberg has become a world-renown climate activist after speaking at the United Nations Climate Conference in Poland and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She has shamed the world’s leaders by calling out their lack of action on the climate crisis. Her brutal honesty about the catastrophic threat of climate change has inspired climate activists […]

Iowa Should Not Go Back To Its Death Penalty Days

Currently under consideration by the Iowa Republican-controlled legislature is the reinstatement of the death penalty. The General Assembly abolished the death penalty in 1965 under the leadership of Governor Harold Hughes. Across the nation, there are currently 30 states which still allow for it and 20 who do not. In my view, there are many reasons to not reinstate it, but one of the most compelling reasons is statistics put out by the Death Penalty Information Center. Due to the increasing use of DNA, since 1992 more then 20 death row inmates have been exonerated and released who could have […]

Beto O’Rourke Recruits Top Iowa Consultant, Plans Trip

Beto O’Rourke is moving ever closer to an official presidential campaign launch, and he now has a top Iowa political operative to steer his efforts here. CNN reported that Norm Sterzenbach has been assisting O’Rourke’s initial Iowa outreach here, something Starting Line’s sources also confirmed. It’s a major pickup for O’Rourke, a likely 2020 candidate who doesn’t have many Iowa connections or any previous trips to the state racked up (he was obviously busy with his senate race in 2018). Sterzenbach is a top Iowa campaign consultant and past executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party. Few others in the […]

Sanders Returns To Iowa In New Role: Front-Runner

In many ways, it felt like Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign never ended. At his stops in Iowa this week following his official 2020 launch, Sanders rallied the faithful in packed rooms to get on board with his second run for the White House. In speeches that clocked in at just over an hour’s length, all the old progressive issue mainstays of his last campaign made their appearances. So too did the enthusiastic chants and cheers of his motivated, diverse supporter base. And as Sanders himself pointed out often in his speeches, the 2016 campaign was less a campaign than it […]