Democrats

Democrats in the Iowa Senate failed to stop a new rule at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services that   they say will  chip away at Iowa’s merit system of employment.    The rule would let state agencies lay off some permanent employees ahead of temporary workers in the event of a reduction in force.   

The new rule survived a challenge before the legislature’s administrative rules review committee.   DAS Human Resource Officer Michell Minnehan said sometimes it makes sense to keep temporary workers on.

A compromise budget bill  means the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo will not reopen next year.    Democrats say the  home will remain closed for the time being, regardless of the outcome of their lawsuit against the governor.  

Statehouse Democrats say the legislature's oversight committee will be very busy in the coming weeks, as they look into recent allegations against  the Terry Branstad  administration.    They say the panel will first look into reports of secret settlements to fired state workers.  

Vaguely Artistic

In this off, off-year election local issues and races were the only things on ballots across Iowa. But, a few of those local races drew a lot of outside money and attention.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about whether outside interest groups influenced local races. We also look beyond Iowa’s borders at what gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey may tell us about the current state of our politics and parties.

Vice-president Joe Biden and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro were the featured speakers in Indianola for Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry.    

Politics Day

Nov 14, 2012
League of Women Voters of California / Flickr

After many in the GOP forecast a big win for Mitt Romney, it turns out he received fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008. Ben Kieffer talks with political experts, using  a week of hindsight to tackle some of the biggest questions in the aftermath of the 2012 election.

It's the final weeks of election season. And,  as Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports democrats are calling on a familiar face to rally the base-- former President Bill Clinton.

Basically, they brought out the big gun. Clinton was stumping for Congressional candidate Christie Vilsack, She's in a close race with Republican incumbent Steve King. At a rally in Sioux City, the crowd showed the former President a lot of love.