2016 Contenders Looking to Build Iowa Connections

Feb 18, 2015

Political action committees (PACs) for presidential hopefuls are focusing on Iowa and New Hampshire - with some groups channeling up to 95% of their political donations to local politicians in the two states.

"In the last two years, during 2013 and 2014, we saw about $150,000 being funneled to politicians and political groups in Iowa," says Michael Beckel, reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.

"Not only are you talking about a thousand dollars here, or five thousand dollars there, but for some of these high profile Republicans that are considering presidential runs, an outsized portion of their money was really focused on Iowa and New Hampshire."

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Beckel to get an update on how big money is changing our politics.

Also, a judge in Texas has temporarily blocked President Obama's orders to shield millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally. The White House says it will appeal the decision.

Ben Kieffer discusses this latest chapter in the battle over immigration with political analysts, Steffen Schimdt of Iowa State University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa.