Search Iowa's political blogs

Google Custom Search

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: 10 ways for smokers to stop whining about the smoking ban

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Over at Iowa Independent, Douglas Burns has put up another post
complaining about the tough bill on public smoking that the
legislature adopted earlier this month. Burns offers 10 ways to deal
with the smoking ban which, in his words, will introduce "a radical
cultural change in many shot-and-a-beer, small-town taverns that dot
the Iowa landscape." One of his suggestions is: "2. Take your anger
out on Gov. Chet Culver, Big Brother Democrats and Turncoat
Republicans…" I've got 10 suggestions for the smokers like Burns who
feel oppressed by "effete urban Iowans" (which isn't even accurate, if
you look at the list of legislators who voted for this bill): 1. Quit
using that "what will they ban next, fast food?" analogy.

Labels:

Iowa Progress: Ed Fallon displays agricultural expertise

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Despite being a city slicker from Sherman Hill, Ed Fallon displayed
his agricultural expertise last week when he reaped what he sowed with
Al Gore's endorsement of Leonard Boswell. To paraphrase what Fallon
said about the former Vice President, Gore can't support Fallon, won't
support Fallon and thinks Democratic primary voters in the 3rd
District shouldn't support Fallon either. Fallon notoriously betrayed
the Democratic Party and stabbed Gore in the back and is now facing
the consequences of his actions. This endorsement came the same day as
a KCCI poll came out that showed Boswell thumping Fallon by nearly 25
points. Even if every undecided voter broke for Fallon, Boswell would
still win 52-48. In addition, national publications such as the
Hotline and Real Clear Politics are counting Fallon out.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 28, 2008

Century of the Common Iowan: 4th District Democratic Convention: Obama Gains A National Delegate

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

The big news out of the 4th District Democratic Convention was that
Barack Obama picked up a national delegate. The 4th District had 507
seats to fill. At first count 425 of the seats were filled with
delegates and the first count was Obama 231, Clinton 147, Edwards 42,
Uncommitted 5. The remaining seats were filled with alternates. I was
one of the alternates that were seated for Obama. After the alternates
were seated the count was Obama 274, Clinton 175, Edwards 52,
Uncommitted 6. The number for viability was 76. The Edwards group (and
the uncommitteds) weren't viabile. The national delegate count at this
time was Obama 3, Clinton 2, with one delegate up for grabs. We then
broke into preference groups for an hour where both the Clinton and
Obama groups could persuade the non-viable groups to come to their
side.

Labels: ,

John Deeth Blog: National Press Doesn't Get Iowa -- Again

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"The headline out of Iowa is going to be 'Obama gains one,'" I told my
fellow delegates during casual conversations in the hours of down time
at Saturday's 2nd Congressional District Democratic convention. So
when I finally got home, and could access the national political blogs
that for some reason the Mount Vernon School District's wireless
network had blocked, what did I read? "Obama loses one." It's the
latest example of national political writers just not understanding
Iowa's caucus and convention process. On Thursday, I published a
comprehensive look at the math that showed Obama taking 15 delegates,
Clinton winning nine, and Edwards definitely getting two, with three
delegates still in play, and one more delegate possibly shifting
pending deals between candidates.

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 25, 2008

Iowa Independent: Caucus Rematch: Clinton, Obama Camps Duel for Delegates at District Conventions

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Attendance, Tactics Will Shape Results… They say half the game is just
showing up, and that's true for Iowa's Democratic congressional
district conventions. The other half may be tactical politics, as
supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama try to deny the other
campaign any advantage. The most important factors in determining how
many national delegates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and, yes,
former candidate John Edwards get on Saturday will be which campaign
does the best job of getting its share of the 2,500 delegates to
travel to the conventions, and who can quietly cut the best deals. A
district-by-district review of the delegate totals shows that three of
the 29 national delegate seats to be elected Saturday are up for
grabs.

Labels: , ,

The Yin Blog: Who's the real "4 more years of George Bush"?

Excerpted from this post at The Yin Blog

I hear the constant refrain from the Clinton and Obama campaigns that
John McCain can't be allowed to win, because that will be just 4 more
years of the Bush Administration. It's not an implausible argument,
given that McCain has started to repudiate some of his past views on
taxes, for example. However … this is focusing purely on political
issues. Now, I'm not downplaying the importance of issues, since for
many people, such things as Supreme Court appointments, tax policy,
Iraq, and so on are key points. But I can't escape feeling that on a
procedural level, the candidate who would represent 4 more years of
the Bush Administration is ... Hillary Clinton. How can I say that?
Let me explain.

Labels: , ,

Essential Estrogen: Harkin: 'Enact Fair Pay, End Discrimination in the Workplace'

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, joined Lilly Ledbetter Wednesday in
calling for an end to the pay discrimination American women endure
with every paycheck. The Supreme Court ruled last year that Ledbetter,
a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire plant, could not sue for pay
discrimination because she did not file her claim within 180 days of
her pay being set. Her visit to Capitol Hill came as the Senate plans
to take up the Fair Pay Restoration Act, a legislative fix for the
ruling that narrowed an employee's right to sue over employment
discrimination. Harkin is an original co-sponsor of the bill.

Labels:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Attendance, tactics to shape Democratic district conventions

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

They say half the game is just showing up, and that's true for Iowa's
Democratic congressional district conventions. The other half may be
tactical politics, as supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
try to deny the other campaign any advantage. The most important
factors in determining how many national delegates Hillary Clinton,
Barack Obama, and, yes, former candidate John Edwards get on Saturday
will be which campaign does the best job of getting its share of the
2,500 delegates to travel to the conventions, and who can quietly cut
the best deals. A district-by-district review of the delegate totals
shows that three of the 29 national delegate seats to be elected
Saturday are up for grabs.

Labels:

Iowa Progress: Fallon can't take what he dishes out

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Ed Fallon attacked a mailing by Leonard Boswell today that criticized
Fallon for his support of Ralph Nader as "very cynical [and] very
deceptive" today. While Iowa Progress has previously addressed
Fallon's support for Nader, including stating "I can't, I won't and
you shouldn't [vote for Al Gore] either" in a speech that was
reproduced nationally. As a result of the strong Nader organizing in
Iowa, in which Ed Fallon was actively involved, the Gore campaign had
to devote a disproportionate amount of resources to a state that
Michael Dukakis won handily in 1988 and that Bill Clinton won twice.
Gore even was in Iowa the day before the election in 2000. If Al Gore
instead could have paid an extra visit to Florida or was able to run a
few more ads there, it certainly would have shifted 500 votes and
changed history.

Labels: ,

Essential Estrogen: Family planning funds removed by House, appropriation bill heads to conference

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowa lawmakers are meeting today in an effort to reconcile the 2008
health and human services appropriations bill, a necessary and
traditional piece of legislation considered controversial this year
due to the implementation of a new fund that would address family
planning. The fund, allocated up to $750,000 before House lawmakers
stripped it from the bill and re-allocated the funds to county mental
health services on Tuesday, is a focused effort of Planned Parenthood
of Greater Iowa, through the Healthy Families project. The monies
would be used to aid low-income and under-served women in Iowa in
obtaining contraceptives and accessing family planning programs that
seek to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Labels:

The Real Sporer: CIETC Reorganization Lemmo Connolly style

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Readers of this morning's Des Moines Register will have open their
newspapers (and web pages) to discover that Polk County Supervisor
Angela Lemmo Connolly believes that there is no need for state
oversight of the program. Never mind the dissolution of CIETC itself
and its replacement by DMACC. DMACC is now doing the real job training
that the Democrat scam pretended to do prior to Auditor Dave Vaudt's
exposure of the massive corruption at CIETC. Never mind the almost
complete elimination of unemployment in central Iowa. Never mind the
almost complete loss of public confidence in government that arose
from the cronyism and corruption of Lemmo-Connolly's friends and
allies.

Labels:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FromDC2Iowa: "It's the Electoral College, Stupid!"

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Shell and Pea Game Takes Eyes Off Prize... Here are some thoughts to
ponder as we await this evening's results from Pennsylvania where the
polls will close at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. Up to now the focus has
been on whether Senator Obama or Senator Clinton has the most "pledged
delegates" -- plus those "super-delegates" leaning in their favor (or
publicly committed to them). Some talk about the popular vote totals
of each. Occasionally there's mention of how many states each has won.
(These numbers change from day to day, but so far Obama wins the
trifecta. He has about 150 more delegates, 700,000 more popular votes,
and roughly 27 to her 14 states.)

Labels: ,

Century of the Common Iowan: Did Steve King Kick off his run for Governor over the weekend?

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

In cased you missed it, Rep. Steve King, who represents western Iowa,
spoke at the 2nd District Convention in Iowa City on Saturday. This
just might have been the kickoff to King's run for Governor in 2010.
Some were surprised that King decided against running for Senate
against Tom Harkin, but I have heard rumors that King has his eyes
sight on the Governor job. This trip to eastern Iowa might be the
beginning of King attempting to get his name out there in the eastern
part of the state.

Labels:

Politically Speaking: House candidate won't accept PAC $$

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Jeremy Taylor, the Sioux City Republican who wants to unseat Democrat
Wes Whitead in Iowa House District 1, this morning announced he will
not accept campaign donations from political action committees or
lobbyists. So Taylor, a political newcomer, will be filling out
finance disclosure forms that only include donations from individuals.
He said he's taking the step to reduce the influence of special
interests in the Iowa Legislature. Taylor acknowledges this will put
him at a competitive disadvantage with Whitead, who's received PAC
money frequently in winning four terms. "Although my opponent may
outspend me 10-to1, I hope to make up for the lack of money with 10
times the door knocking and visiting with voters," Taylor said.

Labels:

Bleeding Heartland: Another day, another Nader mailing from Boswell

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

My husband dumped this in the recycling bin today, thinking it was the
same mailing we got from Congressman Leonard Boswell's campaign
yesterday. But no, although it uses the same color scheme and the same
"scary font," this is indeed a separate mailing emphasizing Ed
Fallon's support for Ralph Nader in 2000. I've transcribed the piece
that arrived today after the jump. This is one 8 1/2 by 11 piece,
front and back with a flap that folds out from the front side. On the
front, there are large black and white photos of George W. Bush and
Ralph Nader. Below that, in black "scary font" on a Hawkeye gold
background, it says "Which Iowa candidate helped Ralph Nader elect
George Bush..."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Boswell mailer plays the Nader card

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I still don't have any information about Congressman Leonard Boswell's
internal polling, and six weeks before the June 3 primary, there are
still no public polls on this race. However, it's notable that the
Boswell campaign has sent out a negative direct-mail piece focusing on
Ed Fallon's support for Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign. My
husband and I received the latest mailing today. Most of the text is
in a bizarre font, in which the letters are not aligned properly and
each letter looks as if a tiny piece has been broken off or torn away.
The effect is to make the text look unstable, somewhat like a ransom
note.

Labels: ,

John Deeth Blog: Obama Leads Iowa Electronic Markets on Pennsylvania Primary Eve

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Barack Obama is maintaining his lead over Hillary Clinton in Iowa
Electronic Market (IEM) trading on the eve of the Pennsylvania
Democratic primary. As of 9:00 Monday morning, Obama shares were
trading at 75 cents, meaning traders give the Illinois senator a 75
percent chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. Clinton shares were
going for 21 cents. Obama has held the lead since Super Tuesday on
Feb. 5. In the University of Iowa business school project, traders buy
and sell contracts on political candidates using their own, real
money. Nomination markets are winner-take-all; winning shares pay a
dollar and losing shares are worthless.

Labels:

Essential Estrogen: McKibben: 'Bipartisan Effort' Is 'Bipartisan Tax'

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Sen. Larry McKibben was one of several Republican legislators who took
"points of privilege" this morning to voice distain with the current
direction of legislation that aims to revise the School Infrastructure
Local Option sales tax, commonly known as SILO. The plan now being
considered by the Iowa Senate passed the House last week with 17
Republicans crossing the aisle to support it. "We aren't here just to
put a rubber stamp on what's passed by the House," McKibben told those
in chamber this morning. "We don't have to pass this just because it
has been a bipartisan effort. It's a bipartisan tax." The plan calls
for SILO, now optional by county, to become mandatory and no longer
limited to 10 years.

Labels: ,

Radio Iowa: So long. Farewell

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

As the 2008 Iowa legislative session runs nears its conclusion,
lawmakers who are "retiring" (not seeking re-election) are given a
chance to give speeches. In the House, those making such voluntary
exits are given an opportunity to stand at their desk on the House
floor and speak to their colleagues. Representative Clarence Hoffman,
a Republican from Denison, was the first to speak last week and
Hoffman concluded by telling his colleagues he was a glass half full
kind of guy and he was leaving it to those who'll serve in the 2009
legislature to tackle getting that glass full. In the Senate, other
senators get up to say (almost always) nice things about the
soon-to-be-ex senator and then the senator gets to speak. Senator Mary
Lundby, a Republican from Marion, is not seeking re-election after 22
years in the Iowa House & Senate.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Hoover-Wallace Dinner Honors Leach, Ponseti, Sen. Culver

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Iowa's highest and mightiest gathered Saturday night in Coralville to
honor a groundbreaking physician and two political leaders who have
continued their public service despite their rejection by Iowa voters.
The annual Hoover-Wallace dinner raised over $57,000 for the
Borlaug-Ruan International Internship Program and honored former
congressman Jim Leach and former Senator John Culver for their public
service, and Dr. Ignacio Ponseti for his pioneering method of treating
children born with clubfoot, a congenital bone defect. The guest list
was a who's who of Iowa politics, including Governor Chet Culver, son
of the former senator.

Labels: ,

The Real Sporer: Vox Populi

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

We Republicans convened on a District wide basis today. Perhaps the
most interesting occurrence was the passage of the following platform
amendment in every one of the five Districts: "Resolved: We oppose any
efforts to take away Iowans' right to vote on our local option sales
tax (SILO) that eliminate local control of SILO and replace it with a
permanent 20% statewide sales tax increase which puts school
infrastructure funds at great risk of being raided by state government
and expands taxation of Iowa small businesses." Obviously the SILO
debate in the House was somewhat contentious over the last few weeks
and our Caucus was certainly not unified at the end. The issue now
goes to the Senate.

Labels:

Friday, April 18, 2008

John Deeth Blog: 2nd District GOP candidates to highlight convention

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The only contested Republican U.S. House primary in Iowa will take
center stage Saturday at the 2nd Congressional District convention in
Iowa City. Lee Harder, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Peter Teahen will
face off in the June 3 primary for the right to face first term
Democrat Dave Loebsack in November. Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa
ophthalmologist, is emphasizing health care in her bid. Teahen, owner
of a Cedar Rapids funeral home, has made a name as a Red Cross
spokesperson in disaster areas. Miller-Meeks and Teahen are portraying
relatively moderate profiles, in the image of the district's 30-year
representative, Jim Leach, who lost to Loebsack in one of 2006's
biggest surprises. Still, both have their conservative backers.
Teahen's campaign manager is Wes Enos, who managed Mike Huckabee's
winning Iowa caucus effort.

Labels: ,

Iowa Progress: Why the Fallon loophole needs to be closed

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Ed Fallon has attacked the attempt to close the "Fallon Loophole," the
practice of professional politicians paying themselves salaries with
campaign funds, as "status quo politics at its worst." As laughable as
this statement may be, Fallon's own reprehensible actions show why the
legislature must take action. While Fallon defend paying himself from
campaign funds by stating "Most candidates aren't as fiscally
responsible as I am. They finish in the red. I managed to finish in
the black," Fallon was lying at the time. According to an amended
campaign finance report filed by his gubernatorial campaign the very
same day his quote appeared in the Des Moines Register, Fallon for
Governor was $21,225.51 in debt.

Labels: ,

Iowa Independent: Iowa Democrats challenge ethics of anti-Obama statements on King's congressional Web site

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The Iowa Democratic Party is challenging U.S. Rep. Steve King's use of
his congressional Web site to promote controversial views on
presidential candidate Barack Obama, a story Iowa Independent broke
last month. King received publicity in mid-March for comments he made
about Obama to a radio reporter in Spencer. "The radical Islamists,
the al-Qaida ... would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers
than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this
war on terror," King said in the interview. Democrats, who at this
point have just raised the matter in a news release, are considering a
formal challenge to King's posting. "Steve King is using his
taxpayer-funded website to promote his hateful comments toward a
Democratic Presidential candidate," said Iowa Democratic Party Chair
Scott Brennan. "King needs to stop doing his politicking from his
government office and get back to the work he was elected to do."

Labels: , ,

Essential Estrogen: Election verification funding 'redundant,' says Latham spokesman

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

A spokesman in Congressman Tom Latham's office says the lawmaker voted
against incentives for election verification because the bill would be
a "costly redundant federal program." The Emergency Assistance for
Secure Elections Act of 2008 (HR 5036) encourages states to conduct
verifiable elections by converting to a paper ballot system, offering
emergency paper ballots, and conducting hand-counted audits. Two weeks
ago, the legislation passed the House Administration Committee with
unanimous and bipartisan support. "Congressman Latham believes it is
important to ensure the integrity and accuracy of our nation's
election process," said spokesman Fritz Chaleff.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Politically Speaking: King has five times the coin of Hubler

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

The latest reporting period for federal office seekers has arrived,
and through the quarter ended March 31, the incumbent in the Iowa 5th
District congressional race is sitting on five times the money as his
challenger. In a filing with the Federal Election Commission,
Republican Congressman Steve King reported $145,422 in receipts for
the quarter, he spent $109K and had $243,387 left as cash on hand.
Democrat Rob Hubler, by comparison, had quarterly receipts of $11,950,
spent virtually that same amount and had $46,633 cash on hand. Those
totals don't include the fundraiser King had in Sergeant Bluff on
April 12, which had plump attendance. Hubler was in Sioux City the
following day, campaigning at Briar Cliff University.

Labels: ,

Iowa Progress: 4th District Fundraising Less Than Promising For Dems

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

While most of the attention paid to Iowa fundraising numbers in the
first quarter of this year went to the 3rd District primary, it's
worth noting that there is a Democratic primary in the 4th District
too. However, the haul for Democrats there was much less promising.
Two of the candidates, William Meyers and Kevin Miskell have not even
filed reports with the FEC. This is a sign that they have either not
raised enough money to need to file reports or they are too
incompetent to get their information in on time. One suspects that the
former is the case but no matter what the scenario, it does not mark
them as promising candidates in the primary (let alone in a general
election against a well-funded long-time incumbent).

Labels: ,

Essential Estrogen: House Challenger VanZante Brings Diversity, Strong Iowa Ties to Race

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Service to community is nothing new for Pat VanZante, Democratic
candidate for Iowa House District 71. Throughout her life she has
volunteered and worked for the betterment of both her immediate
community and the state at large. Being elected to serve in the state
legislature, she said, is a way she can continue what she's already
started and make a difference on a larger scale. Pride in the state
and a want for it to be the best it can be is ingrained in both her
and her husband, Arvin VanZante -- descendants of families that have
long made Iowa their home. "[Running for the Iowa House of
Representatives] is very exciting, but also a little scary," she
admitted.

Labels:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Iowa Progress: Fallon Sleaze Hurts Fundraising

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

While the top of Ed Fallon's balance sheet shows a very solid
fundraising quarter, the details hide a sad truth. Fallon's ethics
woes have hurt him badly among potential donors. Fallon's credibility
gap over issues related to I'M for Iowa has led to fewer and fewer
donors trusting him. While Fallon claimed 2,082 total donors for the
quarter, almost 80% of them wrote their checks before mid-February. In
the last six weeks of the quarter, Fallon's fundraising slowed to a
trickle. The result is that Fallon has already spent nine out of every
ten dollars that he has raised and, after counting for outstanding
debts, he has less than $3000 available to spend on the last 90 days
of his campaign. If Fallon's fundraising continues to dry up, he won't
have enough money to meet his payroll, let alone pay himself through
"the Fallon loophole."

Labels: ,

Essential Estrogen: Iowa Supreme Court opinion on sex offender residency 'moot point'

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Was the opinion issued Friday by the Iowa Supreme Court an expansion
or a clarification of the state's existing residency requirements for
sex offenders? At the end of the day, according to some members of law
enforcement, it doesn't matter one way or another. "The law does
little to protect children and young adults," said a veteran Iowa Sex
Crimes Task Force leader who requested a name not be used. "It was a
'warm fuzzy' law that made lawmakers look good, and let parents
breathe easier. All it really does is provide a false sense of
security. It's a farce that's difficult to enforce and probably has
the end result of making the general public less safe."

Labels:

Blog for Iowa: Transportation alert

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

Two identical bills in the House and Senate would increase
transportation revenue, such as vehicle registration and license fees,
and are likely to be voted on by the full legislature any day now. The
new money would be up to $126 million dollars more each year for
roads, in addition to the one BILLION of state funding that already
goes to roads. These bills just received new numbers - House File 2691
and Senate File 2420. Ask your legislators to vote no because: 1.
There is no fix-it-first policy to assure us that maintenance will
come first, and in this legislation, the new money could be wasted on
expensive new roads. 2. Public transit does not receive additional,
annual funding with the new money. Additional, reliable state funding
for transit would help us avoid high gas prices and reduce our carbon
footprint.

Labels:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Politically Speaking: City PAC churning out funds

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Yesterday's Journal devoted considerable space to the story of
Cornerstone World Outreach and the second generation pastor, Rev. Cary
Gordon. My pieces dealt with the political pursuits of Gordon, who in
2007 formed PeaceMakers Political Action Committee, which stirred some
controversy with a strong presence in the fall 2007 Sioux City
elections. A sidebar article laid out how Gordon decides which
candidates get campaign contributions, depending upon how they score
on a world view test. Show that you're a social conservative, and
you'll likely get some PeaceMakers dough.

Labels:

Essential Estrogen: House Challenger Thede Responds to Bite of the Political Bug

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Phyllis Thede, a Democratic candidate for Iowa House District 81, is
just two years away from a close but disappointing bid for the Iowa
Senate, which she lost by just 436 votes. She says, however, it's that
campaign, despite its unfortunate ending, that has given her the drive
to try again. "When I lost the last time, it was a bit of a blow,"
Thede said. "But I think once you get bitten by this political bug,
you say to yourself, 'Hey, you know what? I know I can do well as a
representative of Iowa.' "I developed lots of ideas when I ran last
time -- ideas on how I could serve the people of Iowa. I don't want to
let those ideas go. They need to happen because there are too many
things that Iowans and our state need."

Labels:

Iowa Independent: Study Will Investigate Housing Discrimination in Waterloo

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

A study this month in Waterloo will determine whether families with
children are discriminated against when they rent property. People
posing as prospective tenants, married couples without children and
parents with children, will inquire about 20 properties advertised for
rent. They won't disclose their family status to landlords and
property owners unless asked. The study, by the Iowa Civil Rights
Commission and Waterloo Human Rights Commission, will determine
whether people with children are being discriminated against in their
housing search. Potential problems will be reviewed by the
commission's staff for possible corrective action.

Labels:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Popular Progressive: Iowa House and Senate Pass E-Bill

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

Despite being voted against by our two area Representatives (Mary
Mascher and Vicki Lensing), the Iowa House has followed the lead of
the Senate and approved a proposed constitutional amendment to
dedicate a portion of future sales tax increases to the environment.
If the constitutional amendment is approved, the Legislature could
create a 3/8-cent sales tax to fund those efforts. The tax would go to
such efforts as protecting natural areas of the state, cleaning up
Iowa waterways and funding parks, trails, fish and wildlife habitats
and soil conservation.

Labels: ,

JCR Blog: $32 million tax increase

Excerpted from this post at JCR Blog

Newspapers across the state blared the above headline Thursday
morning, as taxes will again be raised in Iowa. That's right -- over
$400 million in total tax increases, and counting, so far. The latest
measure would eliminate the local option sales tax for schools, and
replace it with a statewide penny sales tax that, for now, is devoted
to schools. Two aspects of this bill are troubling. As we have seen
time and time and time again, all too often when the governor and
Legislature get their hands on funding, it gets "scooped" for other
pet projects, especially in times of economic slowdown. Second, this
tax increase now raises the state's use tax as well. The use tax is
applied when businesses purchase goods from out of the state to use
here in Iowa.

Labels:

Essential Estrogen: House challenger Baresel ready to battle Iowa namesake

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Cayla Baresel is the first to admit that a successful campaign against
Republican incumbent Pat Grassley in Iowa House District 17 is going
to take a lot of work, but she says that she has the energy and
dedication to get the job done. At age 23, Baresel is the youngest
woman currently seeking a legislative seat. She's also an Iowa native
and a 2007 graduate of Wartburg College where she obtained her
bachelor of arts degree in political science. Most recently, she's put
shoe leather to asphalt in Butler and Bremer counties as a field
organizer for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.

Labels:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Iowa Independent: Smoking ban veto would send winning message to rural Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Gov. Chet Culver won't veto the ill-conceived, anti-rural and
laughably hypocritical imposition of Prohibition-era busy-busybodying
ban on smoking in Iowa's taverns. bIn fact, two of Culver's top
spokespeople already are on record heralding this week`s passage of
the strict smoke ban that, of course, exempts the money-minting
casinos, but tells owners of bars in Audubon and Carroll and Storm
Lake and Denison, places often peopled with a majority of smokers, to
get health-club, celery stalk-sucking religion by July 1. Culver's
surrogates tell us to expect Iowa's Democratic governor to sign House
File 2212 next Tuesday amid much fanfare and here-heres.

Labels: ,

Radio Iowa: A chat with the "father" of the "super delegates"

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

This afternoon I had a conversation with Charles Manatt, the
"godfather" of the Democratic Party's "super delegates." ... Manatt is a
native of Audubon, Iowa, and a 1958 graduate of Iowa State University.
He got a law degree from George Washington University in 1962. He's
back on the Ames campus today and tomorrow he'll be given one of the
university's "Distinguished Alumni" awards. From 1981 to '85, Manatt
was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In 1983 he founded
the system of "unpledged delegates" (he does not call them "super"
delegates). Manatt was co-chair of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and
in 1999 President Clinton appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the
Dominican Republic.

What Happened to My Country?: Iowa: Gateway to the White House

Excerpted from this post at What Happened to My Country?

Where did Hillary's inevitable coronation become a donnybrook? Her
stately campaign-march to Denver an anything-goes Mad Max
fender-bender? Her unquestioned entitlement an increasingly impossible
slog through Obama lands? It's Iowa.... Iowa.... as in "Where did the
tables turn?" where Roger Simon of Politico autopsies Hillary
Clinton's presidential campaign. As Simon dissects the remains of
Hillary's once unassailable nomination, he names the main cause of the
demise of her White House hopes, "Iowa is where Clinton needed to
strangle the Barack Obama campaign in its crib."

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Four year school board terms go to Governor

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The school election this September 9 may be the last one in a general
election year, if Governor Culver signs the election bill that passed
the Iowa Senate this week. House File 2620, which passed the House
March 24, would lengthen school board terms from three years to four,
and includes several other election items. The four year terms would
begin with the 2009 school election. Each school district must adopt a
transition plan by August 1 of this year. Districts vary between
electing members at large and by districts, and the dates of term
expiration must be settled. The bill faced some opposition from school
officials, who were concerned that a board majority could turn over at
one election.

Labels: ,

The Real Sporer: Back to the future -- trains provide investment opportunities for Iowa

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Many years ago TRS spent summers gandy dancing on the old Burlington
Northern Railroad. Yes, even as a lowly spiker I drank the railroad
kool-aid and have been a committed proponent of more use of railroads
for passenger use since TRS was a mere freshman Hawkeye. Today's DM
Register had a short story about a planned passenger route between
Chicago, a city with a great train station, and Iowa City. Since the
traffic is far greater between Des Moines and Chicago one has to
believe that it might be an even busier. Des Moines is also in the
middle of a geographic area that encompasses four major cities
(Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha, Chicago and Kansas City) that are
already connected by a large rail network.

Labels:

Blog for Iowa: Coverage for Iowa's children within reach

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

We're almost there!! With your support, Iowa will pass monumental
health care reform this legislative session that will cover all of
Iowa's uninsured children and expand coverage to adults. Monday, the
Iowa Senate passed a health care bill that provides the needed
resources to cover Iowa's 45,000 uninsured children. The bill would
also improve our state's overall health care by offering more options
for adults to purchase coverage, encouraging the use of electronic
medical records, focusing on chronic disease prevention, and allowing
young adults to stay on their family's health insurance plans until
they are 25.

Labels:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Radio Iowa: Potty mouth senate

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Senator Larry McKibben, a Republican from Marshalltown, is not seeking
re-election, so perhaps that's why he felt free enough to call the
anti-smoking bill being debated this afternoon in the Iowa Senate
"crap." He also uttered the phrase "to hell with" on a few occasions.
I don't think there's a connection, but McKibben also admitted he
enjoyed "adult beverages" earlier in his remarks. UPDATE: The Senate
started this debate at 3:47 p.m. and it's now 5:30 p.m. Senator Joe
Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, had pushed the button on his desk,
indicating he wanted to speak during the debate and his request was
put in the cue. When Senate President Jack Kibbie called upon Bolkcom,
however, he wasn't at his desk.

Labels: ,

Essential Estrogen: Iowans to gain greater understanding of human trafficking

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowa's two U.S. Attorneys kicked off a new effort this afternoon that
is aimed at raising public awareness of human trafficking. "Human
trafficking -- the use of force, fraud or coercion to compel the labor
or services of another person -- is a terrible crime," said Matt M.
Dumermuth, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. "The
criminals prey on some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
They often target children and foreign nationals, including illegal
immigrants, who think they have no place to turn for help." Dummermuth
stood with Matt G. Whitaker, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District
of Iowa, to announce a plan that will impact Johnson, Linn, Black Hawk
and Dubuque counties.

God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll: Obama getting ready to put the game away

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Barack Obama pulling with six points
of Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania with Clinton losing support among
women. A surprise win puts the race away from Obama. There are those
that argue that it is already impossible for Hillary to win the race.
I believe she is staying in because either 1) she has an internal
strategy to win that her people are NOT sharing with the press. 2) she
believes that there are unreported controversies still out there that
will derail Obama. What internal strategy? The Clinton campaign won't
say and they certainly are not telling the press.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Radio Iowa: Another flare-up over labor bill

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

There was a terse exchange today at the statehouse as the Senate's
Republican leader tried to force action on a controversial labor bill.
The legislation would expand the subjects public employees can explore
during union contract negotiations. The bill has passed the Iowa House
and Senate, but Governor Culver raised concerns just before it was
approved by the Senate, so the top Democrat in the Senate used a
parliamentary procedure to essentially table the legislation. Senate
Republican Leader Ron Wieck of Sioux City tried today to lift that
hold and questioned Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council
Bluffs.

Labels: , , ,

The Real Sporer: Paleolithic demands for greater gas taxes from the Big Lug

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Today, Governor Culver bravely endorsed higher gas taxes. Apparently
the steady escalation of gasoline and diesel prices have finally
produced what we free market advocates always knew it would, reduced
consumption of gasoline and diesel. That's what conservatives call
conservation-less consumption without any government action at all,
how existential to be sure. It seems that three bucks a gallon
triggered Iowans collective gag reflex and we are actually driving
fewer miles. One consequence of conservation is a reduction of fuel
tax revenue. It, of course, makes sense; as we purchase fewer gallons
of gas the State's per gallon based tax revenue diminishes in a linear
relationship to the decline in gallons purchased.

Labels: ,

Bleeding Heartland: Something I never thought I'd see

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Republican presidential candidate is at a big financial
disadvantage compared to the likely Democratic nominee. John Kerry
raised over $40 million in March 2004 after clinching the Democratic
nomination. He was still far behind George W. Bush in the money race,
because the president had not had to compete in the primaries and
could devote a lot of time to big-ticket fundraisers. John McCain
clinched the Republican nomination on February 5 and formally won
enough delegates to be the nominee on March 4. But he only managed to
raise $15 million in March.

Labels:

Cyclone Conservatives: Cyclone Conservatives "going dark"

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

As I approach the last few weeks of my time as an undergraduate at
Iowa State University and because I will soon be embarking on a new
and very exciting adventure, I wanted to inform you, the readers of
this blog, that it will be "going dark". "Going dark" in blog
terminology means that it will no longer be updated and will likely be
removed altogether. After I started this blog in December of 2006, I
never dreamt that it would afford me some of the opportunities that it
has. They are too numerous to mention. Nor would I be able to thank
all the people who have stopped me on the street, called me or sent me
an e-mail about this blog. 726 posts later and all of time and effort
thrown in, it was all worth it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Ed Fallon's ironic campaign finance issues

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Ed Fallon has always cut a Not Just Another Politician image, from his
refusal to wear neckties during his legislative tenure to his
deliberately modest earthy-crunchy lifestyle. Leonard Boswell, on the
other hand, even looks like he could have been sent from central
casting to play the part of good old boy politician. And his campaign
finance course has been traditional, too. He hauled in over $540,000
in PAC contributions during 2007. So how come Fallon is losing ground
on, of all issues, campaign finance? Campaign finance was supposed to
be one of Fallon's signature issues in his primary challenge to
incumbent Boswell in the 3rd Congressional District. Fallon has long
refused PAC and lobbyist donations, and during his legislative
campaigns turned down donations of over $100.

Labels: ,

Cyclone Conservatives: Miller-Meeks: Loebsack's "change" is just more of the same

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks called on Rep. David
Loebsack to serve his constituents and reform the congressional
practice of behind-closed-doors budget earmarks that continue to drive
the cost of government higher. On Thursday, the nonprofit, nonpartisan
Citizens Against Government Waste reported that Congress approved more
than 11,000 earmarks that added $17.2 billion to this year's federal
budget. Those projects were deemed "pork barrel projects" by the group
if they met one of seven criteria: a request by just one member of
Congress; no specific authorization; no competitive award; no
presidential request; a greatly increased budget amount compared with
the previous year; serving only a local or special interest; or no
congressional hearing.

Labels:

Bleeding Heartland: Report on earmarks is a treasure trove of information

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

A few days ago, Des Moines Register reporter Jane Norman wrote a story
about earmarks Iowa's members of Congress obtained for projects in
2007. The article was based on the 2008 "Congressional Pig Book,"
published by Citizens against Government Waste. The Register notes:
"Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group
that takes aim at waste and fraud in government. To qualify as pork,
projects must meet one of seven criteria: a request by just one member
of Congress"... Norman noted that since Democrats took control of
Congress in he 2006 elections, Senator Tom Harkin now chairs a "key
appropriations subcommittee."

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cyclone Conservatives: Big Win for Steve King, Big Loss For Chet Culver/Mike Mauro

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Congressman Steve King scored a major legal battle and, if I might
add, also a political battle today over Lug and his Secretary of State
replacement Mike Mauro. Mr. King has clearly made it a priority to
protect this very important law that he passed as a State Senator.
English only in Iowa survives and Chet Culver's obsession with
multilingual government documents, which were against the law, was
slapped down. I hope our Republican nominee in 2010 is ready to use
this against Culver. Chet Culver violated the law. I would love to see
that on big letters on my TV screen in the fall of 2010. King had been
fighting this battle tooth and nail for over a year and it was just
delightful to see a judge uphold the legislature's law, which is the
elected will of the people.

Labels: , ,

Iowa Independent: Polk Co. Judge: 'White People Are Responsible'

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Jurist Sees Racial Injustice in Iowa Courts... Lady Justice wears a
blindfold to signify that justice is supposed to be blind. But in
Iowa, her blindfold is askew, and that's a bad thing for people of
color. Unequal treatment for minorities -- especially blacks -- can be
found at nearly every decision-making point within Iowa's criminal
justice and child welfare systems. Decisions that if tainted with
prejudice can mean jail or prison, foster care and termination of
parental rights. It's not happening by accident. Polk County District
Associate Court Judge Joe Smith says he knows why it's happening and
he recognizes the culprits. It's a rather surprising answer.

Iowa Progress: Fallon Credibility Gap Grows

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Although we find it a bit repetitive and dull writing about Ed Fallon,
one would think that the Fallon campaign would feel the same way about
lying. Unfortunately, Fallon's now endemic dishonesty was exposed
again. A Fallon press release that claimed the FEC had given Fallon a
clean bill of ethical health after mounting evidence of Fallon
committing campaign finance violations. Unfortunately, the FEC didn't.
According to FEC spokesman George Smaragdis, "no Commission employee
made any determination relative to the specific circumstances of any
campaign. Only the Commission can make such a determination." Even
prior to the FEC disavowing Fallon's claims, suspicions were raised
due to the fact Fallon never used a direct quote or cited a specific
FEC employee by name in his press release.

Labels:

Politically Speaking: Gas tax supported by Farm Bureau

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

The issue of increasing gas taxes to pay for highway improvements is
being weighed in Siouxland this year. The Nebraska Unicameral passed a
bill to raise the gas tax by a penny, but yesterday Gov. Dave Heineman
vetoed it. He said "now is not the time to raise the gas tax," since
"gasoline and diesel prices are hitting record highs almost every
week, the cost of food is increasing and health care costs are
soaring." Meanwhile, a gas tax increase of a few cents per gallon is
under consideration by Iowa legislators. A one-cent increase would
direct $22 million to the highway coffers, two cents would bring in
$44 million annually, etc. Iowa Farm Bureau, which has considerable
clout in Iowa, is backing a gas increase of a few pennies.

Labels:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Top November Iowa Legislative Matchups

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

November may seem like a long way off, but many of the top races that
will decide control of the Iowa Legislature have already taken shape.
Some fall matchups will be settled in the June 3 primary. But in other
seats, the picture is already clear. Here's our top five Senate races
and top ten House contests. Senate District 16: Tom Hancock,
D-Epworth: Hancock knocked off short-term GOP incumbent Julie Hosch
narrowly in 2004. Hosch took the seat narrowly in 2002 after incumbent
Tom Flynn got burned in redistricting. Cascade car dealer Dave
McLaughlin and Gary Lee Culver of Wyoming will face off in a
Republican primary.

Labels:

Cyclone Conservatives: RNC Respecting Iowa's Early Caucus Positioning

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Stewart Iverson today praised the
Republican National Committee's rules committee for passing what's
called the "Ohio Plan," which would keep Iowa first in the
presidential nominating process. The plan, passed this morning in
Albuquerque at a meeting of the Republican Rules Committee, would
retain the lead-off roles for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and
Nevada, and rotate remaining states on a quadrennial basis. Iverson
says this is the first significant step for Iowa's effort to keep its
first-in-the-nation role in the presidential nominating process.

Labels: , ,

Bleeding Heartland: Boswell campaign questions Fallon's ethics (part 1)

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

As I've noted recently, the primary to represent Iowa's third
Congressional district has taken a strange turn, whereby the incumbent
seems to be trying to make the race primarily about the challenger's
faults rather than the incumbent's record of service. I've been too
busy in non-blog life to write up the day to day sparring following a
recent e-mail from Leonard Boswell's campaign, which attacked Ed
Fallon on several fronts. The criticism of Fallon by Boswell's
surrogates and supporters has focused on four issues in particular: 1.
alleged ethical questions related to Fallon's work for the
Independence Movement for Iowa (I'M for Iowa).

Labels: ,

Iowa Insider: Culvers stay at Knapp's Florida property on vacation, but paid for their stay, an aide says

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver and his family stayed at Iowa real estate mogul
and major Democratic donor Bill Knapp's property during a trip to the
Sunshine State last month. But the Culvers didn't stay there for free,
spokesman Brad Anderson said. The governor paid to stay there
beforehand, according to Anderson, although he did not know the
amount. Anderson points out the families are close friends. "Bill
Knapp has been friends to his family for 40 years now," Anderson said.
Knapp co-chaired Culver's 2006 gubernatorial campaign and co-chaired
Culver's inaugural committee with his wife, Susan Knapp.

Labels:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Iowa Independent: Prisons Boss: Death Penalty Unlikely To Be Reinstated in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Iowa likely will never reinstate the death penalty because of
long-standing political sensibilities and confidence in a "life means
life" sentencing system, the state's top prisons official said Monday.
Iowa has not had the death penalty for more than 40 years. In a
wide-ranging speech and question-and-answer session with the Carroll
Rotary Club, John Baldwin, director of the Iowa Department of
Corrections, pointed out Iowa's strict life sentencing policy, one
that differs from other states. "In this state life means what it says
it does," Baldwin said. "When you get sentenced to life you are
eligible for parole a day after you're dead."

Labels:

John Deeth Blog: 2012 GOP Calendar May Protect Iowa

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Republican National Committee's Rules Committee is meeting this
week in Albuquerque, and the agenda includes the 2012 primary
calendar. The leading plan on the table protect Iowa's first in the
nation role, but as usual, Michigan is out to end that. Under
Republican rules, only the national convention can set the nomination
calendar, so the decision on Iowa's fate needs to be made before the
Sept. 1-4 convention in Minneapolis. The rules committee must give a
proposal to the full RNC, which is expected to endorse whatever the
rules committee approves and send it on to the convention.

Labels:

Iowa Insider: More money for "paper trail" voting system in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Gov. Chet Culver signed legislation Tuesday that provides nearly $5
million to Iowa counties to upgrade their voting systems to ensure
they are using machines that leave a paper trail. Touch-screen voting
machines that had been acquired by some counties have come under
scrutiny by critics who fear they wouldn't provide an accurate voting
record that could be verified in the event of a recount. Proponents of
a system that provides a paper trail point to the presidential
election in 2000, with its lengthy recount and legal battle. Culver
said the bill he signed would ensure voters in all 1,784 Iowa
precincts have a paper trail when they cast their ballot in the
November general election and future elections.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Finally, an Iowa Caucus Raw Vote Total?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

With the latest solutions to the Democratic Party's Michigan-Florida
dilemma hinging on the national popular vote totals, here's an
intriguing possibility: Will we finally see the top-secret raw vote
totals from the Iowa caucuses? The most recent plans to divvy up the
delegations from the calendar-violating states factor in the national
popular vote, mostly to make up for Obama not being on the Michigan
ballot. Rep. Bart Stupak, the congressman from the Upper Peninsula,
has one such plan. He's got no horse in the race; as a former John
Edwards supporter, Stupak is an uncommitted superdelegate. He proposes
seating 83 Michigan delegates on a split roughly mirroring the Jan. 15
primary results, assuming that the bulk of the uncommitted vote was
from Obama backers.

Labels:

Iowa Progress: Fallon Continues To Defend Unethical Practices

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

Ed Fallon today attacked a bill that would ban politicians paying
themselves with campaign funds as "status quo politics at its worst."
The bill was introduced because Fallon had paid himself nearly $14,000
with campaign funds after the end of his 2006 gubernatorial bid,
making Fallon one of the most notable politicians to line his own
pockets with campaign funds since Alan Keyes paid himself $8500 a
month to run for Senate in 1992. Although Fallon claimed there was
leftover money in his campaign account because "most candidates aren't
as fiscally responsible as I am," Fallon had nearly $40,000 still in
the bank at the end of his gubernatorial campaign. In a close
three-race where you being outspent, saving that much money isn't
exactly fiscally responsible.

Labels:

Bleeding Heartland: Unions line up behind Boswell

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I didn't see this last week, because despite my requests, the Boswell
campaign is still not sending their press releases to me. But on
Friday the United Auto Workers came out for Boswell in the Democratic
primary to represent Iowa's third Congressional district. Via Iowa
True Blue, here is the release from the campaign: "Des Moines, IA -
Congressman Leonard Boswell received the support of the Iowa United
Auto Workers State Community Action League (CAP) today."... It's not
clear how many UAW members in Iowa live in the third district. There
used to be a sizable number in Jasper County, but that was before
Maytag closed.

Labels: , ,

Cyclone Conservatives: Rep. McKinley Bailey: Write One Thing, Act The Opposite

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Century of the Common Iowan, a liberal blogger here in Iowa, has a
post up begging readers to contribute money to far left Democratic
Representatives McKinley Bailey, Elesha Gayman and Eric Palmer since
today is the last day to raise money for the first quarter fundraising
report. All three of them narrowly defeated Republican incumbents in
2006 and therefore have bullseyes for this year. With a very small
margin determining who controls the Iowa House, these three seats are
must wins for the Grand Ol' Party. So, I decided I'd click on McKinley
Bailey's website and check it out. I started laughing immediately at
the blatant hypocrisy. Here's what it says on Bailey's re-election
website under the obviously bogus claim of "Your Vote, My Pledge."

Labels:

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

Contact staff@iowapolitics.com with tips or news items for the blog.

An IowaPolitics.com round-up of excerpts from political blogs around the state.

See samples of IowaPolitics.com subscriber products

Take a no-obligation two-week free trial.

Contact Mike Schramm with questions about subscribing

Powered by Blogger

Site Meter