Iowa Farmers To Trump: “You’re Stabbing Us In The Back”

Iowa farmers are furious over a recent major decision from Donald Trump’s EPA that is undercutting corn growers in favor of oil companies. Robb Ewoldt, a farmer from Northeast Iowa, expressed his frustrations to Starting Line in a conversation this week. “We got to get somebody in the White House to hear, ‘you know, we were with you, we voted for you, we understand the trade-war issue, but we don’t understand why you’re stabbing us in the back with this EPA and these exemptions,’” Ewoldt said. “We’re tired of just falling in line, we need to voice our opinions a […]

“The ACA Saved My Life.” Ernst Called Out On Health Care Votes

“About two years ago, I walked into a doctor’s office with a nagging cough and walked out with a stage-four cancer diagnosis,” said Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and health care activist. “But I’m still here today because the Affordable Care Act saved my life.” Packard is now in remission, but says she couldn’t have afforded her six months of chemotherapy and month of radiation treatments without the Affordable Care Act – the one thing keeping her insurable. “If my cancer returns, I will be bankrupt or dead without good health insurance,” explained Packard. “That’s why we’re going around, state […]

Trump’s ‘Assembly Line’ Of Right-Wing Judges Rolls On In Senate

The Senate adjourned for the August recess last week on the heels of another prolific week for judicial nominations. The Republican-controlled chamber confirmed 12 new judges in a two-day period to lifetime appointments on district courts, including Illinois, Texas and Oregon. The previous week, two other judges were confirmed for district court seats. According to Daniel Goldberg, legal director for the Alliance for Justice, a progressive judicial advocacy group, the volume of confirmations was concerning. “Obviously it’s a lot, particularly when you consider that Mitch McConnell completely shut down confirmations for Barack Obama,” said Goldberg. “So, Merrick Garland is the […]

Without Rural Improvement, Dems Will Never Retake U.S. Senate

As everyone digests the first round of Democratic debates and discusses the bold policy agendas of the candidates, it can be easy to over-nationalize politics. But winning the presidency is just a step, and certainly doesn’t guarantee that any of those policies will successfully be implemented. Legislation runs through the Senate, where if Mitch McConnell remains the majority leader, Democratic proposals will go to die. And connecting with rural voters to regain control of the U.S. Senate is getting overlooked by many Democrats, says Jeff Link of Link Strategies. “Until we figure this out, we will never have a majority […]

Trump Rethinks Refinery Waivers After Pushback From Farmers, Democrats

Several reports late this week revealed that Donald Trump has ordered EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to reconsider their approach to small refinery ethanol waivers. President Trump was in Iowa earlier this month to celebrate the year-round sales of E15 and to fundraise for his reelection campaign, but received blowback from farmers about the high number of small refinery waivers being granted. His administration has continually allowed oil companies, even ones operating sizable refineries, to not mix ethanol into their fuel production, thus limiting demand for ethanol. While many corn farmers were excited about the […]

Explainer: How Trump’s Small Refinery Waivers Are Undercutting Farmers

Donald Trump will be in Iowa today, touring an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, to celebrate the Environmental Protection Agency’s lift of a seasonal ban on E15, allowing for year-round sale of the gasoline mixture containing 15% ethanol. The ethanol tour was recently announced with Trump set to come to the state for a Republican Party fundraising event. The move to enforce year-round production and consumption of certain ethanol blends comes at a convenient time for Trump, but hasn’t gone without criticism. Farming advocates and Democratic presidential candidates call it an empty gesture, considering what else the White House is […]

Iowa Republicans Have Gone Trump

A guest post from House Leader Mark Smith As a lifetime resident of Iowa, I am proud of our state’s progressive history. We were vehemently opposed to slavery from our beginning days and we were one of the first states to call for public education for all children.  We were one of the first states to allow people of color to purchase land and Arabella Manfield’s admission to the Iowa Bar in 1869 made her the first female attorney in the United States. That’s why our motto – “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain” – has […]

Critical Next Two Weeks In Iowa For Trump And Clinton

For the next week and a half, Iowa is back in the center of the political universe, as is only right. But will we be after that? The presidential campaigns are barnstorming through Iowa over the next 10 days. Tim Kaine speaks today in Cedar Rapids. Jennifer Jacobs reported that Mike Pence will tour the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, while Donald Trump has promised to attend Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride the following Saturday. That’s a particularly big push for the Hawkeye State’s six electoral votes from the Republican nominee. Part of it might be a little bit of appreciation […]

Iowa GOP Courtship Of Trump Pays Off, But At What Long-Term Cost?

It seems the effort of many top Iowa Republican elected officials and leaders to ingratiate themselves with Donald Trump has succeeded. At the rally in Des Moines yesterday, Trump pledge to keep the Iowa Caucus first in the nation, even if he has some reservations about the caucus process. “Now, you know that Iowa, they’re talking about putting you at the back of the pack, you know that, right?” Trump told the crowd of about 2,000. “Not going to happen if I win, believe me. You’re going to stay right where you are. Because there’s a great history to it, […]

Iowa Republicans: The Most Pro-Trump Party In The Country?

“We need to support Donald Trump and his choice for vice president because he will make America great again!” boomed Governor Terry Branstad at the Republican Party of Iowa’s state convention this May. “We have an opportunity once again to make America great again,” Senator Chuck Grassley said in a warm introduction of Trump in Pella way back in January, one of the first Republican U.S. Senators to stand with him on a stage. “If you vote for him, Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, the Republican Party of Iowa and this Republican chair will be behind him one thousand […]