Statehouse and Politics

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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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 .

Politics
3:12 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Ben Lange and Rod Blum both hope to represent GOP in 1st District Congressional race

Yard signs for both Rod Blum and Ben Lange are common sights in the new first district
Dean Borg/IPR

In next Tuesday’s primary election, two Republicans are seeking the party’s First District Congressional nomination. Independence attorney Ben Lange and Dubuque businessman Rod Blum are campaigning for a chance at denying incumbent  Democrat Bruce Braley a fourth term representing the newly-configured northeast Iowa district.

Read more
Politics
5:03 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Archer and Dolan seek GOP Nomination in 2nd District

John Archer (left), University of Iowa Political Science Professor Tim Hagle (center) and Dan Dolan at a recent debate.
IA02RawFootage

There are going to be a lot of political fireworks in Iowa between now and November: President Obama and Governor Romney, Congressman Steve King and challenger Christie Vilsack to name a couple examples. But one race that’s flying mostly under the radar so far is in Eastern Iowa, where Republicans are hoping they have a shot at Democratic congressman Dave Loebsack. Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells has the story.

Politics
6:54 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Obama takes on Romney's private-sector record, rallies supporters, in Des Moines

President Obama spoke to a crowd of about 2,500 supporters at the Iowa State Fair grounds in Des Moines.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio


President Obama is becoming a familiar face in Iowa again. Yesterday, he made his third visit to the state this year, which he won in 2008.
Mr. Obama discussed renewable energy at a manufacturing plant in Newton before rallying about 2500 supporters at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

If Mr. Obama’s job four years ago was to woo voters, this time the message is more like “I Still Need You.”

"This election’s gonna be even closer than the last one. And by the way the last one was close. People don’t remember, it was close," he says.

Read more
Politics
6:00 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Romney visits Iowa

Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to voters in Des Moines on May 15, 2012
Clay Masters/IPR

Iowa supporters of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney showed up at a hotel in downtown Des Moines to get a firsthand look at the presidential candidate. Romney spent the majority of his speech talking economic issues.

Politics
7:00 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Ron Paul still in the race for delegates

Ron Paul isn't expecting to get the GOP nomination. He says he'll no longer campaign in states that haven't held primaries. But he and his supporters are pushing for delegates in states like Iowa - who've already voted but have yet to award delegates at the state convention.

Statehouse
6:04 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Legislature Adjourns

Several weeks behind schedule, the Iowa General Assembly brought its 2012 legislative session to a close with promises to return next year to complete their unfinished business.   Lawmakers say they helped put unemployed Iowans back to work.   But the Republicans signature job creation effort…tax cuts for business and industry….failed in spite of eleventh hour talks at the capitol.  

Statehouse
8:02 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Property Tax Debate

It was another day of partisan debate at the statehouse.  Advocates with  competing plans for tax cuts for business and industry appear to be dug in on their positions.  That’s throwing into question whether the legislature will meet its goal of lowering commercial property taxes to attract more jobs to the state.  

Statehouse
7:41 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Legislative Preview 5/7/12

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Sarah McCammon for a look at what's happening in the Iowa Legislature, as lawmakers begin their third week of overtime.

Politics
4:37 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Candidates Gear up in Iowa

In critical swing states like Iowa, President Obama’s re-election campaign is already in full gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground. Meanwhile Governor Romney’s had to focus on one primary race after another, as he sews up the nomination. As Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports, the President’s campaign hopes their head start will make the difference in November.

Statehouse
5:30 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Legislative Preview 4/23/12

A sunny day at the Statehouse
John Pemble IPR

IPR's Joyce Russell and Sarah McCammon discuss the week ahead in the Iowa Legislature.

Statehouse
4:00 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Sex offenders living next to Grandma?

Rachel Groves

A sex offender next door at the nursing home? It could pose a very real problem as Iowa’s population ages. After a 95-year-old woman was attacked by a fellow resident at her nursing home, the legislature stepped forward to act. But there's been some heated debate in the Iowa Senate.

Statehouse
5:30 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Legislative Preview 4/16/12

The 2012 session was scheduled to end this week. But lawmakers still have a lot of work to do. IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss what's left.

Statehouse
8:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

School Start Debate

John Pemble

After a long debate, the Iowa House today voted to put a limit on how early Iowa schools can start classes in the fall.   The tourism industry is behind the bill, including advocates for the Iowa State Fair, who say it’s hard to participate in the annual August event when kids are back in school.  But some education advocates resent talking about the school start date when weightier education issues remain unresolved.    

Pages