Elected Officials

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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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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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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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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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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Possible Primary for Steve King
2:02 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

King's Role in Shutdown Criticized

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Some Iowa Republicans in the business world  are criticizing their party’s 4th district Congressman Steve King for his role in the federal government shutdown.   But  even before the showdown  in Washington, there was talk of mounting a primary challenge against the six-term incumbent.    

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River to River
3:44 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Politics Day

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers delivering a Canada 2020 lecture in Ottawa, CA on Nov. 6, 2012. Summers withdrew his name for consideration as chair of the Federal Reserve on Sept. 16, 2013.
Canada 2010 Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer discusses the possible fiscal showdown on the debt ceiling with Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern University and Dennis Goldford of Drake University.

Also, a worrying new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and what to make of Larry Summers withdrawing from consideration to chair the Federal Reserve.

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River to River
3:02 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and the Digital Divide

Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Representative Mazie Hirono (D-HI) share a comment while listening to debate on the America's Affordable Health Choices Act.
House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Congressman Dave Loebsack from Iowa’s 2nd District to discuss his thoughts on a potential a military strike on Syria, the stalled Farm Bill, immigration reform, and the next debt ceiling.

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Arts and Culture
7:33 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Madeleine Albright visits Cedar Rapids

Madeleine Albright tells the story of her swearing-in ceremony to become the first female secretary of state.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

As she led reporters around displays of the pins she wore during her career, it was as if Madeleine Albright were introducing old friends at a family reunion.

With each pin came a memory for the former Secretary of State; crucial diplomatic decisions, casual moments in the White House, and tense meetings with international heads of state… including Kim Jong-Il. 

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River to River
1:34 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Impacts of Terrorism

Copley Square after the Boston Marathon bombings, April 15, 2013.
Flickr / Vjeran Pavic

Three out of four Americans see occasional terrorism as a part of life in the future. That percentage is up in the wake of last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.  "River to River" examines changing public attitudes toward terrorism and how the Boston bombing is affecting debate over immigration.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:10 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Senate Democrats Unveil Plan to Expand Medicaid with Opt-Out Option

Flanked by Senator Jack Hatch (left D-Des Moines) Senate Majority leader Mike Gronstal (right D-Council Bluffs) talks with reporters about the Democrats' Medicaid expansion plan on March 14, 2013.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Democrats in the Iowa senate say they’re extending an olive branch to Republican Governor Terry Branstad regarding their proposal to expand Medicaid in the state. The governor is opposed to expanding the joint federal state healthcare program for the poor mainly because he doesn’t believe the feds can continue to pay for it. Democrats are offering an opt-out provision in case federal funding levels would change.

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