Statehouse and Politics

Politics
6:54 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The vice presidential race takes the reigns in Iowa

This week the race for Iowa’s six electoral votes is in the hands of the Vice Presidential candidates. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks attended rallies by both Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.

Although they were in different parts of the state you would have thought the two vice presidential candidates were debating in the same room. Vice President Joe Biden welcomed his opponent, "the good thing about Romney picking Ryan, is that Romney’s vague promises have now been given definition."
 

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Politics
3:28 am
Tue September 18, 2012

King, Vilsack Square off in Hampton Debate Over Voter ID Laws

The Windsor Theater hosted the Vilsack/King debate.
Clay Masters IPR

Republican Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack met in Hampton Monday night for another debate. It was the first time the incumbent met his opponent on ground that wasn’t part of his old district.  The two differed on just about every issue including controversial Iowa voter ID laws.

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Politics
7:00 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Former President Carter Disputes Obama's Egypt Remarks

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, spoke to students at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday.
Drake University Facebook

Former President Jimmy Carter says he disagrees with President Obama’s assessment this week of Egypt’s relationship to the United States.

The Democrat addressed students and faculty at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday. During a forum focused primarily on social justice issues, Carter was asked if he agrees with President Obama’s statement that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.

"No, I think Egypt is an ally of the United States," Carter says. "We know Egypt well."

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Politics
6:41 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Libertarian Gary Johnson Aims to Lure Voters from Both Major Parties

A campaign vehicle for Libertarian Gary Johnson was parked outside the Iowa State Capitol. Johnson will be on the Iowa ballot after surviving a challenge to his candidacy by supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Sandhya Dirks Iowa Public Radio

Most of the attention in the presidential race is focusing on the Democratic and Republican parties.  But there are, of course, third-party candidates … including former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who is running as a Libertarian.

Johnson’s name will appear on the November ballot in Iowa after he survived a challenge from supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. He’s faced similar challenges in several other states including Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Statehouse
10:48 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Some Iowa Voters Could Be Intimidated by New Voting Laws

Controversial voter ID laws across the country are getting a lot of attention. Here in Iowa, voter rules approved by Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz are also falling under scrutiny. The new rules could keep some of Iowa’s Latinos home on Election Day. That concern was brought up before a state rulemaking panel at the capitol Tuesday. 

Politics
11:40 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama, Romney Push Job Numbers in Iowa

President Obama addresses a crowd of 8,000 on the University of Iowa Campus on September, 7 2012.
Clay Masters IPR

Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over. And both presidential candidates were in Iowa yesterday.  Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were using new jobs numbers to sway voters.

More than 8,000 people crowded outside Jessup Hall at the University of Iowa. A late afternoon rain soaked the crowd… many dressed in Hawkeye yellow and black as well as ponchos.  But the sky cleared up for Vice President Joe Biden to introduce the president.

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Politics
7:08 am
Fri September 7, 2012

King, Vilsack Meet for First Debate

The Democratic challenger in Iowa’s new Fourth Congressional District, Iowa's former first lady Christie Vilsack, came out swinging in the first face-to-face debate of the campaign.   Incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King was caught a little off guard.   

Politics
6:20 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Romney rallies the base and the youth vote in Northwestern Iowa

Mitt Romney speaks at Northwestern College in Orange City Iowa on Friday September 7.
AP Photos

It’s the day after the conventions—do you know where you candidate is? If you guessed Iowa, you would be right. While President Obama stops at the University of Iowa, Republican Nominee Mitt Romney stumped at Northwestern College – a private Christian school. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, Romney rallied the Republican base and tried to woo the youth vote.  

Politics
7:05 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Iowa's Democratic Party Chairwoman from Charlotte

Sue Dvorsky is chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party and the delegation in Charlotte.
Courtesy Iowa Democratic Party

Sue Dvorsky is chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party as well as of the delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this year.   Speaking by phone from Charlotte, she says she's pleased with how President Obama is presenting his record to the public, and says Democrats are also concerned about the nation's deficit.

Politics
7:32 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

With Convention Just Ahead, Obama Asks Iowans to Vote, Volunteer

President Obama addressed an open-air crowd of about 10,000 people at Living History Farms near Des Moines.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

On a muggy afternoon, President Obama addressed an open-air crowd of an about 10,000 people at Living History Farms near Des Moines. He says the GOP convention involved "a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but nobody told you what they were."

Politics
10:13 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Iowa Panel Says Gary Johnson Can Be on November Ballot

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson - a former Republican - will appear on the November ballot in Iowa as a Libertarian presidential candidate.
Gary Johnson campaign

Libertarian-minded voters will have a presidential candidate on the ballot in Iowa this November—but it won’t be Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who galvanized so many Iowa voters when he ran for the Republican nomination. Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson will have his name in the running, after a unanimous decision by a  three-person bipartisan panel.

Politics
8:14 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Former Ron Paul Campaign Chairman Says Iowa Supporters Will Get Behind Romney

Drew Ivers is the former chairman of Rep. Ron Paul's Iowa presidential campaign. He's now the chairman of Iowa's delegation to the national GOP convention.
Republican Party of Iowa

The Republican National Convention is underway in Florida, and while Iowa may not have the largest delegation, it’s still getting a lot of attention because of Iowa’s swing-state status.

The delegation also has been the source of controversy within the party, because most of its members have supported Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon speaks with delegation chairman Drew Ivers, who's also the former chairman of Paul’s Iowa campaign.

Politics
8:36 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Romney, Obama Differ on Wind Tax Credit in Iowa

Workers at Acciona Wind Power in West Branch, Iowa assemble a casing around the nacelle of a wind turbine.
Clay Masters IPR

President Barack Obama will be in Ames Tuesday. He’s likely to bring up the wind energy tax credit. That federal tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year. And the president’s opponent Mitt Romney opposes extending that credit. It's put Iowa’s top Republicans at odds with Governor Romney.

Iowa’s top Republicans--from Senator Chuck Grassley to Governor Terry Branstad-- want Romney to reconsider and give the tax credit a little more time.

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Politics
7:43 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Romney Pushes Small-Government Solutions in Eastern Iowa

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been calling for fewer regulations as a solution to economic troubles.
Romney campaign

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a campaign stop at a manufacturing plant in Bettendorf Wednesday - not far from where President Obama wrapped up his three-day campaign swing through Iowa a week earlier.

Politics
7:07 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Is the Political Fringe Moving Into the Mainstream?

Randi Shannon dropped out of the race to represent Iowa State Senate District 34 to join a movement supporters call the Republic for the United States.

One of the wackier sideshows in Iowa’s political theater happened earlier this summer  - when the Republican State Senate candidate in the 34th district declared the United States Government illegitimate, and dropped out of the race.

Randi Shannon then announced she was becoming a State Senator in something called the Republic for the United States of America.  Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks took a closer look at the political fringe.

Election 2012
5:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

King, Vilsack Take House Battle To The Fairground

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County. He can't vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Clay Masters Iowa Public Radio

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 1:14 pm

One of the country's toughest congressional races is in Iowa between Republican Rep. Steve King and the state's former first lady, Christie Vilsack.

Iowa is losing a seat in the House after the election, due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District against a political newcomer.

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Politics
7:51 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

At State Fair, Candidates Fight for 4th District

Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County, he can’t vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Clay Masters IPR

One of the country’s toughest congressional races is here in Iowa. It’s between Steve King, a Republican incumbent and the state’s former First Lady Christie Vilsack - a political newcomer. Iowa’s losing a seat in the House after the election due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly drawn 4th district. 

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Politics
6:02 am
Thu August 16, 2012

President Obama, First Lady, Wrap Up Iowa Swing

President Obama closed out his three-day bus trip across Iowa with an assist— from First Lady Michelle Obama. Her visit helped to highlight the president’s softer side—and remind Iowa why it holds such a special place for the first family.

Politics
8:02 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Ryan and Obama Woo Voters at State Fair

President Obama made stops in Council Bluffs, Boone, and the Iowa State Fair Monday. GOP Vice Presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan was also at the fair.
Obama campaign Facebook page

The state of Iowa – and the Iowa State Fair— once again became the center of the political Universe this week.  Two skinny politicians from bordering Midwestern states stopped by the fair to try and drum up support for their respective campaigns—and along the way they threw a few punches. In the ring for the Republicans was the newly announced pick for vice president — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Stopping by in the evening for a beer and a pork chop? President Barack Obama.

Romney in Des Moines
5:51 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Romney blasts Obama in Des Moines

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a two-day campaign trip to Iowa Wednesday.   At a rally in downtown Des Moines, he did not back off a controversial claim that President Obama wants to end work requirements for welfare recipients.   Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell reports:

Statehouse
5:05 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Public and Private Sector Wage Gap Back in Spotlight

Gov. Terry Branstad (with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, right) is asking state workers to help pay for their health insurance premiums.
Office of Governor Branstad Facebook

Starting Wednesday, Governor Terry Branstad starts paying 20 percent of his healthcare premium costs. He signed an executive order last month allowing other state workers to do the same. It has pushing the difference between private and public sector compensation back into the spotlight.

Right now Iowa is among only a handful of states where public workers don’t pay any of those costs.

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Politics
6:27 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Iowa Secretary of State Checking Voter Rolls for Non-Citizen Immigrants

League of Women Voters of California Flickr

Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz  hopes to match  Iowa voter registration lists  against a federal database to purge non-citizens from the rolls.   Critics  call it  a solution in search of a problem.   

Politics
5:54 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Who are Iowa's Swing Voters, and What are They Saying?

Anna Sale is a politics reporter for WNYC. She's visiting Iowa this week talking to swing-state voters.
WNYC

If you were hoping the political ads would go away after the Iowa caucuses…well, no luck. As you’re probably well aware, Iowa is a swing state in this presidential election.  Both President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are fighting hard for our six electoral votes in what's looking like a very tight race.

Reporter Anna Sale of WNYC (http://www.wnyc.org/) in New York is also a writer for the political blog, “It’s a Free Country.”  She's been spending the week in Iowa as part of a tour of key swing states.

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Politics
12:00 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Obama focuses on economy in Cedar Rapids

President Barack Obama campaigns at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids on July 10, 2012.
Clay Masters IPR

President Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids Tuesday. He spent a lot of time discussing his call this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to the middle class. He also addressed the economy… something his presumptive GOP opponent, Mitt Romney has attacked him on. And as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, how he addresses the lagging economy could be what makes or breaks his reelection.  

Politics
12:53 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Political Road Trip

If you avoid discussing politics in mixed company, imagine road-tripping across the country with someone from the opposing party.  Republican Meghan McCain and Democrat Michael Ian Black join Ben Kieffer to discuss their travels across the country in their new book, "America You Sexy Bitch".  They traveled through red and blue parts of the country talking with voters and each other.  

 

 

Politics
11:51 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Nuns on the Bus in Iowa

If you were driving across Iowa Monday you might have seen something unique—a big bus emblazoned with the slogan: Nuns on the Bus. It’s a nine state bus tour by Catholic Sisters who are pushing back against the republican budget —at the same time they are feeling heat from the Vatican. Iowa public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks joined the sisters on the road. 

 

Politics
11:15 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Romney rallies the base in Iowa

The Romneys in Dubuque.
(Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

 

Mitt Romney’s bus tour through small towns in swing states stopped in Davenport on Monday. 

It was, for the most part, your typical campaign event: lots of flag waving, patriotic music, even a boy scout troop in the audience.

But these days Governor Romney seems a lot more relaxed, and has a lot more momentum, than the candidate Iowans remember from the caucuses.

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Presidential Race
4:41 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Raucous Iowa Convention May Signal What's To Come

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 12:10 pm

You know things are going badly when the person at the front of the room has to say, "This is not going well." The fireworks at Iowa's Republican State Convention began even before lunchtime Saturday. At one point during the day, the parliamentarian threatened to kick out the next person who tried to speak out of order.

If Saturday's convention is any indication, Mitt Romney may not be in for smooth sailing at this summer's national convention in Florida.

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Election 2012
2:35 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Romney Backers Brace For Paul 'Circus' In Iowa

The crowd reacts as Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks at the University of California, Berkeley, on April 5.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 4:39 pm

While Mitt Romney has a virtual lock on the Republican presidential nomination, fans of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas aren't quite giving up.

While they know he won't be president, they're still working to promote Paul's ideas. And they've started with state conventions, like the one in Iowa this weekend, where political observers are anticipating some fireworks.

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Politics
8:21 am
Wed June 6, 2012

State Races in Iowa Primary

Most incumbents in the Iowa legislature have held on to their jobs for now  following yesterday’s primary voting.   Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell reports .

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