2020 Candidates Weigh In On Church and State

While there are strong protections for religious freedom in America, arguments about how religious freedom mixes with legislation has been a contentious topic for as long as the country has existed. When candidates make it to office, striking a balance between the two is a must, and an issue that has Constitutional connections. After all, the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” So how do the candidates view that separation? How will they uphold it? How would they navigate a conflict between their religious beliefs and their […]

Ep112: New Rural Messaging Ideas, Sanders College Tour

Pat Rynard sits down to discuss this week’s Iowa Caucus happenings, and Josh Cook joins to talk about Congressman Ro Khanna’s help with a new tech jobs in Jefferson, Iowa, and how it could provide a new rural America messaging and policy approach for Democrats.

Health Care Industry Spending Millions in Iowa to Preserve Profits

While Democratic candidates pitch their plans on improving America’s health care system to Iowans, three dark-money groups are blanketing the Iowa airwaves with attacks ads on those reforms and similar issues. Aligned with the health care industry, they are airing ads against Medicare for All and other progressive health care legislation, spending over $1 million in the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids media market alone in just the month of August. Despite having different particular goals, the ads of each group have a similar tone — changing the health care system will hurt patients. This flies in the face of […]

Bernie Sanders: Medicare For All Must Cover Abortion Services

Medicare for All has been a central part of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns since he launched his first national bid in 2015. Since then, the health care conversation in the United States has focused increasingly on reproductive services, as Republican-controlled state governments across the country limit abortion access and Supreme Court justices are appointed to help overturn Roe v. Wade. On Saturday in Des Moines, Sanders took part in a town hall hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America, a national organization that opposes restrictions on abortion. There, Sanders said, “We are here today to say as loudly and clearly as […]

5 Character-Defining Moments From AARP Candidate Forums

Watching eight hours of forums is a lot to process. Unless you’re going to sit down and watch all of them, like I did, it’s hard to get a feel for how the candidates truly feel about some of these issues. Even then, it can all get sort of jumbled into one big discussion. If you’re relying on news coverage, which we recommend, that will provide adequate analysis, but it can still fall short of providing the full picture of the candidates’ character. Throughout the week, there was a handful of moments where this shined through. So, while these are […]

The Policy Pushback On Medicare For All Begins In Earnest

Health care discussions have proven to be a major flashpoint for the 2020 Democratic candidates, leading to unsure endorsements on the debate stage, redacting debate answers and nuanced hesitancy on Medicare for All. A majority of the candidates are now offering health care plans other than an immediate Medicare for All system, most choosing instead to support the position of developing a public option as sort of a test run at a larger single-payer care system. On Monday, AARP and the Des Moines Register kicked off a week full of candidate forums to discuss health care plans, combatting rising pharmaceutical […]

27,110 Steps With Bernie Sanders In Iowa

Who are you calling old? Bernie Sanders showed off both his organizational strength and personal stamina during a marathon of parades over the 4th of July holiday in Iowa. While nine other candidates criss-crossed the state this week, the 77-year-old Sanders certainly had them beat on distance traveled – by foot, that is. Sanders spent three days in Iowa this week, hosting an immigration roundtable discussion, opening three new campaign offices and walking in five parades – four of them on the 4th of July alone. The immigration roundtable saw a max-capacity crowd, and Sanders’ crew at each of the […]

Immigrants Tell Sanders Of Their Stories, Struggles In America

An immigration roundtable this afternoon gave immigrants the platform to tell their story and explain their struggles to Senator Bernie Sanders during his three-day Iowa visit. About 100 people turned out in Des Moines to see Sanders, who opened with remarks about his own family and how they came to America from Poland. “What demagogues do, instead of paying attention to the real issues, is looking at immigrants and saying, ‘it’s their fault’ when discussing issues facing the country,” Sanders said, to kick of the discussion. “That’s called demagoguery, and it has no place in American society.” Sanders had four […]

How Iowa Sanders Supporters Are Slowly Moving To Clinton

“That’s Clinton’s position, that’s my position, that’s not Donald Trump’s position.” Bernie Sanders repeated that line often during his visit to Drake University’s campus yesterday in an effort to win back his disaffected former supporters. He continually implored the crowd of students and activists to support Hillary Clinton, who he insisted supported many of the same progressive policies that fueled his own revolutionary campaign. “We need to take an objective look at reality,” Sanders said. “Not personality, it is policy. Old fashioned, boring policy, which will impact your lives.” Sanders listed off issue after issue that he and Clinton line […]

Jill Stein Supporters Doubt Sanders Loss, Rally For Green Party In Des Moines

At times during Jill Stein’s Des Moines rally yesterday, you could have closed your eyes and imagined you were right back at a Bernie Sanders caucus event. All the old hallmarks were there: income inequality, marijuana laws and oil pipelines were the big themes of the day, old Sanders t-shirts adorned many in the crowd and the attendees were the same mix of young and old progressives, many with colorful hair, that flocked to the Vermont Senator’s campaign. But giving the speech at the end of the rally this time was Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, the new voice of the […]