Elected Officials

Politics Day
2:51 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Implications of the Senate Committee Torture Report

U.S. Senate Committee hearing in 2013
John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

During his administration, George W. Bush said the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects was humane and legal.

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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
8:30 am
Fri October 31, 2014

2014 Races: From Lopsided to Razor Thin

Creative Commons

With Election Day on Tuesday, IPR’s Clay Masters spoke with Associated Press political reporter Catherine Lucey, to discuss what to expect.

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Politics Day
4:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

America's Love-Hate Relationship with Political Polling

DonkeyHotey / flickr

Two weeks to go until Election Day. Polls continue to show the Braley-Ernst Senate race is one of the closest in the nation – a contest that could decide party control in the Senate.

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2014 Elections
4:44 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

First Lady Corrects Gaffe, Urges Iowans to Vote Early

First Lady Michelle Obama urging students to vote early at a campaign event in Iowa City Tuesday
Lindsey Moon Iowa Public Radio

At a campaign rally on the University of Iowa campus, First Lady Michelle Obama joked about a gaffe she made earlier this month when she called Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley, Bruce “Bailey.” 

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2014 Elections
10:10 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Final Debate: Ernst, Braley Differ over Abortion and Social Security

Ernst/Braley Campaign Facebook Pages

Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley and Republican State Senator Joni Ernst squared off in their final debate for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat at Morningside College in Sioux City Thursday night. 

Braley and Ernst were asked to clarify their stances on fixing social security. Social Security's trust fund is projected to run out in about two decades, potentially reducing Social Security benefits by as much as 25%.

Congressman Braley wants millionaires and billionaires to pay the same portion of earned income into social security as less wealthy Americans.

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2014 Elections
4:01 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Mowrer to King: Pay Up for the Government Shutdown

Jim Mowrer outside Steve King's Ames office
Photo by Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa Fourth District Democratic congressional candidate Jim Mowrer is calling out incumbent Republican Steve King for his role in the federal government shutdown last year.   

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2014 Elections
5:35 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Braley, Ernst Differ in First U.S. Senate Debate

Joni Ernst, republican candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks during a debate with democratic candidate Bruce Braley.
Credit Charlie Litchfield / The Des Moines Register

The two major party candidates for Iowa’s open U.S. senate seat debated last night at Simpson College in Indianola. The debate came a day after the first Des Moines Register Iowa Poll of the general election. It shows Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley trailing his Republican opponent State Senator Joni Ernst by 6 points. Braley had the first opening statement and after a quick introduction says there are big differences between him and Ernst.

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2014 Elections
5:53 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Early Voting Begins in Iowa

Secretary of State Matt Schultz
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Early voting for the 2014 midterm elections begins Thursday in Iowa.

A record number of absentee ballots for a midterm election have gone out to Iowa voters according to Secretary of State Matt Schultz. 2014 requests for absentee ballots are about double, compared with 2010.

"We've got about 60,000 Democrats who have asked for absentee ballots," Schultz said. "We've got more than 30,000 Republicans and about 25,000 no-party voters. So you do the math and we're getting close to 100,000."

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2014 Elections
6:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

The Low Profile Battle for State Senate Majority

Crystal Bruntz, the Republican running for the open Senate District 15 seat, talked to the crowd of the Des Moines Conservative Breakfast Club.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

  Most of the attention during this mid-term election season in Iowa has been on the races for U.S. Senate and Governor. However, further down the ballot, Iowa voters will determine who controls the Iowa Senate. Right now, Democrats hold a 26 to 24 majority. Democrats must hold all of their current seats, or pick up others to maintain control and are defending six seats in this mid-term election.

Democratic Senate majority leader Mike Gronstal said he’s cautiously optimistic and sees a handful of seats Democrats can pick up.

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Statehouse and Politics
4:03 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Vice President Biden Kicks off Nuns on a Bus Tour

Vice President Joe Biden speaking on the steps of the Iowa Capitol during the kick off for the “Nuns on the Bus” tour that will focus on voter registration.
Credit Photo by John Pemble

 

The social activist group Nuns on the Bus got a boost today for their 36 city tour to encourage voter registration.  They are launching the trip from Des Moines accompanied by Vice-President Joe Biden.  Speaking from the terrace of the State Capitol, Biden calls for the raising of the minimum wage.  “The middle class is in real trouble.  It was devastated by this recession.  It was already losing ground the previous ten years.” says Biden.

 

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2014 Elections
12:31 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Ernst Says It's Up to Braley to Refute VA Attacks

Joni Ernst, The Republican Nominee seeking Tom Harkin's U.S. Senate Seat, greets guests at a campaign event in Urbandale, Iowa on July, 28 2014.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Joni Ernst, who’s running as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, held her first campaign event after returning from active duty with the Iowa National Guard.

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Politics Day
3:11 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Politics Day: From the Gaza Strip to the U.S. Border

Nick Knupffer

Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today’s that’s changed.

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Statehouse and Politics
3:58 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

What Quinnipiac Reveals About Gender

Jan Egil Kristiansen

Today’s Quinnipiac University poll shows if the election for U.S. Senate were held today, 44 percent favor Democrat Bruce Braley and 40 percent favor Republican Joni Ernst.

Additionally, Quinnipiac finds Braley polling stronger with women by 11 percentage points, and Ernst holding a 4 percent lead with men.*

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2014 Voter Guide
12:19 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Candidate Profile: Joni Ernst

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst
Credit Joni Ernst for Iowa

Read this candidate profile of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst. She was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

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2014 Elections
7:40 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Hopes of Breaking up the Political Boys Club in Iowa

Appel Women for Change make phone calls on May 21, 2014.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Iowa will hold its primary on Tuesday, June 3. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring and that’s set off a domino effect of politicians vying for higher office and this midterm election could make history if voters send a woman to Washington. It’s just one of two states that have never done so or elected a woman as governor; the other is Mississippi.

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Science and Technology
8:33 am
Fri May 16, 2014

White House Climate Change Task Force Meets in Des Moines

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie seated at a table at Cownie Furs, a Des Moines business he owns that's been in his family for generations.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

  National leaders, governors, mayors and tribal leaders met in Des Moines this week for a task force meeting that will make recommendations to the White House this fall. IPR's Clay Masters talked with Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie about what those recommendations might look like.   

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River to River
5:35 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Iowa Ranked Fourth Worst in U.S. Humane Society Puppy Mill Report

The U.S. Humane Society ranked Iowa as fourth worst in the nation for the number of USDA non-compliant large-scale breeders, commonly known as puppy mills
Mehul Gala

Iowa has the second largest number of large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities in the country. This hour, concerns about what are commonly known as puppy mills.

The U.S. Humane Society's 2014 report includes six problem puppy breeders in Iowa. Today, we talk about concerns over large-scale dog breeders with Mary LaHay, President of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals. She says that Iowa has "over 15,000 adult dogs in Iowa puppy mills, and we can do better than this."

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Talk of Iowa
1:31 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

News Buzz: Cyber Security and the GOP Senate Candidate Debate

Martin Terber

This week, Iowa State University discovered a security breach affecting computer servers that contained Social Security numbers of thousands of students.  Host Ben Kieffer speaks with Provost Jonathan Wickert about how ISU is protecting their data against hackers.

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Talk of Iowa
2:40 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Remembering the Greatest Theft in History

Walker Hancock, Lamont Moore, George Stout and two unidentified soldiers in Marburg, Germany, 1945 June.
Archives of American Art

While the Nazis were murdering millions of people, they also perpetrated the greatest mass theft in history.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with former Congressman and Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Jim Leach and Director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Sean O'Harrow about that theft, efforts to understand it decades after the fact and efforts to protect priceless artifacts during the war.
 

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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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Statehouse and Politics
7:56 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Sen. John Culver Reflects on Bipartisanship of Congress

Former Sen. John Culver (center) with students at Simpson College.
Credit John C. Culver Public Policy Center

Former Democratic U.S. Senator John Culver served 16 years in Congress. He now lives in Washington D.C., but he’ll be back in Iowa later this week to visit the Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College in Indianola.  

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News Buzz
2:18 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Fireworks, Finding Exo-Planets, and More

Daniel R. Blume http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.

Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:

ACLU lawsuit:

Same-sex marriage opinions:

Finding exoplanets:

Studying abroad:

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River to River
1:25 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Former Senate Majority Lead George Mitchell

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Envoy Sen. George Mitchell on 01/04/2010.
U.S. State Department

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell has made a career out of crafting compromise. First in the U.S. Senate, then later brokering peace in Northern Ireland, and finally tackling peace in the Middle East.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Mitchell about Syria and Iran. He’ll also share his views on what is driving the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington.

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News Buzz
4:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A Rush of Home Invasions and Shootings in Des Moines

Daniel Hoherd

So far this year, Des Moines has reported eight home invasions; the number coming very close to the eleven home invasions reported over the course of the entire previous year (2013).

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Statehouse and Politics
5:52 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Will the 2014 Legislative Session Be as Productive as Last Year?

The Iowa State Capitol on the last day of the 2013 legislative session.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Today is the first day of the 2014 Iowa legislative session. It’s an election year, which usually means the time lawmakers meet will be short so people can go run for re-election. IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell talks with Clay Masters about the 2014 legislative session. 

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River to River
2:13 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

News Buzz: Ethanol and Harvest Wrap Up

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline.
Stefanie Seskin

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline. As a renewable fuel ethanol reduces the amount of petroleum-based gasoline on the market and many farmers receive subsidies to grow corn for the biofuel. But now the Environmental Protection Agency is considering a reduction in the required amount of ethanol for the country's gasoline supply.  Harvest Public Media's Ames-based reporter Amy Mayer and host Ben Kieffer discuss the future of ethanol in the U.S.

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River to River
3:57 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Politics Day: Phone Tapping OurFriends and ACA

Credit sparktography

Amid allegations that the U.S.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:39 am
Thu October 24, 2013

GOP Candidates Establish Themselves in First Senate Primary Debate

Credit Iowa GOP Facebook

The half dozen Republican candidates in the 2014 primary race for U.S. Senate met Wednesday night in Des Moines for a debate. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports it wasn’t much of a debate… more of a chance for voters to figure out who’s running.

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River to River
1:26 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Politics Day

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D.-Iowa) speaks to Iowa veterans at the National World War II Memorial as part of the Oct. 18, 2013 Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.
Ben Kieffer Iowa Public Radio

President Obama has vowed to fix the Affordable Care Act's online insurance exchanges after an embarrassing launch, but what of the pending political fallout?

Also, will U.S. Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) have a challenger within the Republican Party for his seat next November and what are U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) prospects for a 2016 presidential run?

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