Politics

History
4:54 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Encore Edition: Watergate's Lessons, 40 Years Later

Nixon, pictured with Leonid Brezhnev.
That Hartford Guy Flickr

Nixon resigned the office of president 40 years ago this month. But the question remains: What were the lessons of Watergate? And has our country learned them?

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River to River
12:51 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Between Now and 2016: A Conversation with Political Analyst Charlie Cook

The White House
Wikimedia Commons

Over the course of the next two years, political analyst Charlie Cook says we could see some infighting in Congress.

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Politics Day
4:53 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

President Obama Makes Historic Deal with China on Carbon Emissions

A historic deal regarding carbon emissions has been reached between China and the U.S.  Is it realistic?

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Newsbuzz
1:10 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

NPR Correspondent Mara Liasson Weighs in on Iowa Politics

Why do female candidates often go by their first names? Liasson weighs in on gender issues in politics.
Gage Skidmore Flickr

Senator-Elect Joni Ernst's 'Squeal' ad made waves this election cycle. NPR political correspondent Mara Liassion believes Ernst's gender was crucial to that appeal.

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2014 Elections
11:41 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Iowa's Non-Major Party Candidates in the 2014 Elections

Ulises Jorge / flickr

The Republican and Democratic parties dominate politics in our state and our country.

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River to River
1:54 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

What Does Don Gonyea Know About Ioway, Anyway?

Don Gonyea and Ben Kieffer at "Politics and a Pint" in downtown Des Moines
John Pemble

NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea has spent many years in Iowa, covering political races and the Iowa caucuses; but can he reach the status of "honorary Iowan?"

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

President Obama as a "War President"

Screen shot from the White House’s official video of President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2014.

This week, Great Britain joined the United States and France in air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. 

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Politics
5:22 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Loebsack: Use of Force in Syria Requires Congressional Approval

Dave Loebsack's Official Portrait
U.S. House of Representatives

Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack says the most recent military campaign ordered by President Obama in Syria requires congressional approval. 

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Politics
4:52 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

King: Mowrer Campaign Owes Me an Apology

Steve King at an event in Ames, Iowa in August 2011.
Gage Skidmore Wikimedia Commons

Republican Congressman Steve King says Jim Mowrer, a Democrat and Iraq war veteran who is running against him to represent Iowa’s Fourth District, owes him an apology.

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Unexpected Iowa
4:35 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Iowa: First In the Nation for 42 Years

Iowa Caucus

Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first significant hurdle for presidential hopefuls from both parties.

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Politics Day
3:48 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

AG Eric Holder Goes to Ferguson

President Barack Obama talks with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the situation in Ferguson, Mo.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Ongoing violence in Ferguson, Missouri is being viewed through a different lens overseas.  Much of the coverage reflects pre-existing views of the U.S. 

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Politics Day
3:14 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

2016 Hopefuls Parading Through Iowa

United States Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky at a book signing at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
Gage Skidmore Wikimedia

Seven potential GOP Presidential candidates are making their way to Iowa this week and next.  Host Ben Kieffer sizes up the hopefuls for the 2016 Iowa caucuses with University of Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Hagle, and Donna Hoffman, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Northern Iowa.  We know, the caucuses are still far away, but likely contenders are already here.  And like the holiday shopping season, it seems the Presidential vetting season is coming earlier and earlier.

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River to River
5:03 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Regretted Wars: Veterans of Vietnam and Iraq Compare Experiences

Protest sign at United for Peace rally and march on Washington, DC
Jonathon Colman

A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans (71%) now say the war in Iraq “wasn’t worth it.” That’s similar to sentiments from the Vietnam era about that conflict.

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Politics
5:06 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Politicians Weigh In On Immigrant Children

Governor Terry Branstad raised eyebrows and questions last week when he said immigrant children crossing the United States-Mexico border illegally shouldn't be sent to Iowa.
Gage Skidmore Wikimedia Commons

More than 52,000 have crossed the southern border since October and US politicians are having trouble finding solutions and the right rhetoric. 

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Politics
5:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

4th District Congressional Candidate Jim Mowrer on Immigration, Iraq and Health Care

Jim Mowrer

After serving two tours of duty in Iraq with the Iowa National Guard, Jim Mowrer says he's ready to serve his country in a slightly different manner. 

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News Buzz
4:02 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Former State Official Says Branstad Aides Involved in Secret Settlements

John Pemble IPR

Des Moines Register political columnist, Kathie Obradovich, joins River to River to discuss the ongoing investigation into settlement agreements given to former state employees for their silence upon termination.

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Politics Day
5:34 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Analysis on Iowa's Primary Results

Newfrontiers https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Three open congressional seats from Iowa are up for grabs in this November’s midterm elections – a very rare occurrence in Iowa politics!

Today on River to River, an analysis of last night's primary results for those races. Joining host Ben Kieffer are guests Kathie Obradovich, of the Des Moines Register, and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa.

Ben asks them about the candidates’ strengths, possible weaknesses, and he has them ponder campaign strategies each camp is likely to employ leading up to November.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

When Politics and Religion Meet

The phrase, separation of church and state, "doesn't clarify as much as it obscures," says Dennis Goldford of Drake University
Wyoming_Jackrabbit / flickr

State money is helping to build a new Christian park in Sioux City. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a Satanic statue will be erected outside a courthouse, next to the Ten Commandments.

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River to River
1:41 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Legislators, State Employees Bypass Metal Detectors at Statehouse

Watch the video: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/iowa-politics/2014/05/07/brad-zaun-carries-gun-iowa-statehouse/8832319/

State Senator Brad Zaun (R) of Urbandale told the Des Moines Register Editorial Board earlier this week that he has carried a 9 millimeter hand gun into the state capitol when the legislature has been in session. "I think that there are too many doors that can be easily accessed without going through security. There are crazy people out there." 

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Politics Day
3:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Action Urged on Nigeria, Ukraine and Climate Change

Parents of some of the Chibok kidnapping victims
Voice of America

International outrage has been sparked by the kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian girls.  Boko Haram, an Al Qaeda affiliated group, has taken credit for the kidnappings.  The U.S. this week pledged military and law enforcement personnel to aid in the search for the girls.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Jim McCormick, Professsor of Political Science at Iowa State University about likely U.S. involvement in Nigeria.  They also discuss the unraveling situation in Ukraine with William Reisinger, Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

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Politics Day
2:36 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Iowa Midterm Races Heating Up

USA.gov

Iowa's June primary election is heating up.  Republican senatorial candidates have been debating, buying ads, and collecting big name endorsements.  But, only one will be campaigning to take incumbent Democrat Tom Harkin's seat.  Host Dean Borg talks with Kathie Obradovich, Political Columnist for the Des Moines Register and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about Iowa's primary races for Congress and U.S.

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Politics Day
4:19 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action Confusing

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday that upholds Michigan's right to bar racial preference in college admissions.  Or, at least we think so.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Hagle from University of Iowa, and Joan and Abbott Lipsky Professor of Political Science Bruce Nesmith of Coe College about the ruling and what it means.  The opinions are confusing at best.  They also discuss the conflict in Ukraine, and the grassroots mobilization around a 2016 presidential run for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Politics Day
3:59 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Deepens

A Ukrainian protest, February 2014
blu-news.org Flickr Creative Commons

As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman of University of Northern Iowa about U.S. response.  Other topics include, the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Washington Post and the Guardian for their coverage of the NSA, a new climate change study, and Stephen Colbert's new Late Night gig.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Political Gap: Campaigning and Serving as a Woman

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering her victory speech at the Manhattan Center Studios, following the New York 2008 primary
Angela Radulescu https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

Women currently make up 18.5 percent of the U.S. Congress. Yet Iowa is one of only two states that has never elected a woman to Congress nor had a female governor.

This hour, a look at the gender gap in politics – Why do women run for office less than their male counterparts? When they are in office, how do they govern?

Some highlights from today's guests:

Three reasons for the gender gap in political ambition: from Jennifer Lawless, Director of the Women & Politics Institute and Professor of Government at American University

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Politics Day
4:26 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Putin's Motives in Ukraine Hard to Decode

U.S. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a bilateral meeting in 2012
Pete Souza Official White House photo

As protests continue in Eastern Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry says it's clear the chaos is being orchestrated by Russia.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College and Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University about Russian President Valdimir Putin's motivations.  They also discuss the politics of equal pay, and the recent firing of Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll.

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Politics Day
3:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Farmer from Iowa Comment and Castration Ad Focus National Attention on Iowa's Senate Race

State Senator and GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Joni Ernst
Squeal JoniforIowa.com

Video has surfaced of Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley at a private Texas fundraiser with trial lawyers drawing a stark contrast between a future with him serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a future with GOP Senator Charles Grassley Chairing that committee.  In the video, Braley describes Grassley as an "Iowa farmer" who "never went to law school."  Slate has called it the

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News
9:52 am
Thu March 20, 2014

State Senator Calls for Federal Investigation Into Iowa Workforce Development

Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Statehouse.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

After speaking with at least half of the administrative law judges who rule cases for unemployment disputes, State Senator Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo) says he’s gathered evidence that the head of Iowa Workforce Development has pressured judges to rule against employees hoping to receive unemployment insurance benefits.  

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Statehouse and Politics
8:37 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Lawmakers Funnel More Bills Forward with Primary Election Looming

Credit John Pemble / IPR

  Last week was another deadline at the Iowa statehouse for lawmakers to get more laws through committee so they can be debated on the floor.   

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River to River
4:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

President Obama Sits Between Two Ferns

Politics Day
3:51 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Putin Puts Military on Alert While Kerry Urges Caution

Ukrainians sing the national anthem during a pro-European Union rally in Kiev
Voice of America

Russian President Vladimir Putin put 150,000 Russian combat troops on high alert, rattling nerves in an already unstable Ukraine.  The move along Ukraine's border caused U.S.

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