In this "News Buzz" show, hear about a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the resignation of Senator Kent Sorenson, a passionate response to a football official's decision, and Iowa’s first Globally Important Bird Area.

Tim Hipps / IMCOM Public Affairs

Wrestling is back in the Olympics after being removed earlier this year.  Hear from University of Iowa Head Coach Kevin Jackson, University of Iowa Associate Coach of Wrestling Terry Brands, and the Manager of Communication at USA Wresting Craig Sesker.  Hear their reactions and hear what will change about wrestling in the future.

Also in this program, Iowa's First District Congressman Bruce Braley talks about whether he would support a resolution authorizing limited action in Syria, and other issues looming as Congress resumes its work.  

Official Portrait 83rd General Assembly

The U.S. evacuated non-essential personnel from 19 embassies in response to a heightened threat of terrorist attack this week.  And, back in Iowa, debate is renewed over the future of the Ames Straw Poll, and the Iowa Precinct Caucuses as new allegations emerge about Senator Kent Sorenson's endorsement of 2012 Presidential hopefuls.  Host Dean Borg discusses these and other issues with ISU Political Science Professor Jim McCormick and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama spoke in Galesburg, Illinois Wednesday as part of a swing through the Midwest to talk about the economy.  Host Dean Borg gets an update from that appearance, and talks with Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa about the other speeches the President has been making in recent weeks.  Then, Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa explains why the political geography of Iowa heavily favors Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

A Listen Back to Politics and Religion

Jul 18, 2013
Baylor University Press

A listen back to a riveting River to River from the 2012 election season. 

The U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and the true meaning of those words can evoke discord still today.

The U.S. Senate reached a deal to avoid the so-called "nuclear option," which would've changed Senate rules and prohibited filibuster on nominees.  The new deal will allow nominations to face an up or down vote.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College and Tim Hagle of University of Iowa about the deal and what it means.  They also discuss calls to repeal "stand your ground" laws in the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal.

Chris Larimer, UNI / http://diymaps.net/ia.htm

Think you know which of Iowa's counties is most democratic, or most republican?  University of Northern Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Chris Larimer crunched the numbers. 


U.S. Government

President Obama has chosen U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor.  Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's replacement after drawing criticism from Republicans for statements made about the attack on the U.S.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire for a wide-ranging subpoena of phone records at the Associated Press, as part of investigating a national security leak. That, along with continuing investigations of the IRS and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, has sucked all the air out of Washington for several days. Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Wayne Moyer from Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa about the scandals and how they're impacting President Obama's second-term agenda.

Recent polls indicate freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a favorite among GOP hopefuls for the White House in 2016.  Paul is coming to Iowa later this week to speak at the Republican Party of Iowa's "Lincoln Dinner."  Host Ben Kieffer gets his views on immigration reform, drones, and bridging the warring factions within the GOP.  Then, he gets analysis from Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa.

John Pemble / IPR

Friday is the last day lawmakers are scheduled to be at the Iowa Statehouse, but adjournment seems unlikely.  Host Ben Kieffer talks about the issues and the sticking points dragging out the 2013 session with Chris Larimer, University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, University of Iowa.  They also discuss the President's renewed push to close the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay and the likely Republican candidates for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin's seat.

Legislative Preview: 04/22/13

Apr 22, 2013
John Pemble

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins 'Morning Edition' Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly conversation about legislative news.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

The last time politicians had an open race for a Senate seat in Iowa, Paul McCartney & Wings were topping the charts with "Band on the Run" in 1974. On today's River to River we talk about the likely contenders for retiring Senator Tom Harkin's seat.

Senator Chuck Grassley Official Website

Newly re-elected chair of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus says his party will have to adapt to “an era of permanent politics.” Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Senator Charles Grassley and Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s 4th District.We ask about their stance on the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform as well as their goals as Republicans and as our elected representatives, at the start of President Obama's second presidential term. 

John Pemble

Governor Terry Branstad gives his condition of the state address which is analyzed by IPR's Joyce Russell, live from the law library at the capitol in Des Moines, and Iowa State University's David Peterson, who is also the head of the Harkin Institute of Public Policy and professor of political science.

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

Citizens throughout Iowa gathered  by video-conference Thursday for a Des Moines-based public hearing to voice their opinion on Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s proposed voter purge rule. The proposal would allow the removal of voters from registration rolls if citizenship can’t be proven. The rule has drawn fire from civil rights and immigrants’-rights groups who say it would intimidate new citizens from voting.

Capitol Steps: Politics Takes A Holiday

Jan 1, 2013

Though 2012 is gone, relive the most memorable political moments with comedy group Capitol Steps. In their one-hour year-in-review special, awards will be distributed to the great political gaffes and mishaps of the past year.

Des Moines Register

We talk about blue and red states during elections… but what about blue and red counties?  Chris Larimer of the University of Northern Iowa analyzed some of Iowa’s most democratic and republican counties, and tells us what might influence those voting patterns. Wayne Moyer from Grinnell College and Bruce Nesmith from Coe College join in our conversation about the political news of the day.

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.

Sandhya Dirks

The first presidential debate is this week, and the presidential candidates are a little busy. So are the Vice Presidential Candidates. Paul Ryan just concluded a two day tour stumping up and down the Mississippi River, talking about the economy. To find out whether his message hit home, Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks talked to voters.

Politics Day

Jul 18, 2012

Recent political ads from both presidential parties have caused hand-wringing on both sides of the isle. This Politics Day we talk with political experts Chris Larimer, associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa, and Dennis Goldford, professor of politics at Drake University, about the latest developments on the political stage.

On Politics Day, IPR’s Dean Borg talks with two political scientists, Bruce Nesmith from Coe College and Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa, about the current strategies of President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney including the recent political gaffes and how the incidents may impact the candidates. Later on, Dean talks about the potential influence Ron Paul could have in Iowa’s Republican party in light of the coming GOP state convention.

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.

Romney visits Iowa

May 16, 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.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls Syria one of the “most serious and gravest concerns of the international community.”  Greece still hasn’t formed a government, which has caused a slump on Wall Street.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Jim McCormick, Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University and David Skidmore, Professor of Politics and International Relations at Drake University about these stories.  They also discuss an honor for former Iowa Supreme Court Justices and the Obama administration's evolving stance on same sex marriage.

At a time in our politics when every debate seems to be dominated by rancor and partisanship… retiring Representative Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield got up on the floor of the Iowa House last month and proclaimed his love for his colleagues, their staffs and the political system.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Rep. Swaim and Representative Lance Horbach as they prepare to leave lawmaking behind.  He also speaks to Mike Glover, who recently retired as Senior Legislative and Political Correspondent for the Associated Press in Des Moines, about his long career covering Iowa politics.

Approval ratings for Congress are holding steady in the teens, but as bad as you think partisanship is – the authors of a new book say “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.” Host Jonathan Ahl talks with some of Iowa’s former Congressmen to get their impressions of partisanship today, as compared to when they were serving in office. What’s your solution for getting our dysfunctional Congress back on track?

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.

President Obama makes another stop in our fair swing state of Iowa. Mitt Romney pivots toward the general election... campaigning with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, as the Veepstakes heat up. And the trial of John Edwards on federal campaign finance charges in North Carolina. Host Ben Kieffer talks with analysts Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa and Dennis Goldford of Drake University about these and other issues in our weekly political discussion.

Funding for Iowa’s public universities is still up for debate at the statehouse. Join guest host Jonathan Ahl as we discuss a multi-million dollar budget gap between what Senate Democrats and House Republicans have proposed for higher education. Later in the conversation we’ll talk about government transparency and about the pros and cons of a longtime effort to create an Iowa Public Information Board.