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.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Joyce Russell and Sarah McCammon discuss the week ahead in the Iowa Legislature.

The scheduled date of adjournment has come and gone, at the Iowa legislature, along with lawmakers’ per diem expenses.  But are the extended hours at the Statehouse unusual?  Host Ben Kieffer looks back on memorable moments from past legislative sessions, with longtime political reporters.  They also discuss the work of the Iowa Caucus Review Commission, and the state’s looming Congressional races.  Guests include the Associated Press' Mike Glover, the Des Moines Register's Kathie Obradovich, and Iowa Public Radio's Joyce Russell.

As we enter the waning days of the legislative session, behind-the-scenes negotiations on the big issues remaining to be resolved begin in earnest.  Lawmakers have yet to agree on budget targets, education reform or commercial property tax relief.  But, how will upcoming elections impact those negotiations?  Host Joyce Russell  talks with Democratic and Republican leaders about the issues lawmakers want to take on the campaign trail this fall… and how that may impact debate over issues yet to be decided. 

Politics Day

Apr 10, 2012

A recall election of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is set for June 5th.  That comes a year after Walker signed a bill removing collective bargaining rights from some public sector unions.  Join host Ben Kieffer as we take a look at our neighbors to the northeast in what some political analysts are calling a microcosm of what might occur on a national level.  Plus former Pennsylvania senator and winner of the Iowa caucuses Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign and U.S.

2012 Gender Gap

Apr 4, 2012

The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll shows President Obama with an 18-point lead among women in 12 possible battleground states. That’s prompted Republican Mitt Romney to start talking more about his wife Anne on the campaign trail. We'll explore the growing gender gap among voters and how it could impact the 2012 election. Ben's guests are Dianne Bystrom of the Carrie Chapman Center for Women and Politics, Chris Larimer of the University of Northern Iowa's Political Science Department, former Iowa Senate Republican Mary Kramer and former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge.

Politics Day

Apr 3, 2012

Oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act don’t seem to have done anything to garner support for the law, or the court.  A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows an increasing number of people view the law more negatively, and view the court less favorably.  Host Jonathan Ahl talks with guests Dave Peterson and Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University about these shifting perceptions.  They also analyze results from the three latest primary contests including Wisconsin.

Not since Bush v Gore in 2000 has the Supreme Court considered such a politically charged issue. Join us as Ben talks about the constitutionality of the health care law with University of Iowa political scientist Tim Hagle and Coe College political scientist Bruce Nesmith.  They'll also look at the return visit to Iowa by Vice-President Joe Biden to talk manufacturing jobs.

Is this fact or fiction? On the surface the question seems to be easy enough to answer, but truth comes in a number of different shades. On this Talk of Iowa Charity speaks with author and essayist John D’Agata of the University of Iowa and fact checker Jim Fingal about their book, “The Lifespan of a Fact” (W.W. Norton) and the definition of truth.

The hunt for the GOP nomination continues with the Illinois primary. We'll analyze the latest election results and focus on the money race in the election, as President Obama's campaign raised 45-million dollars in February. We'll also look at politics closer to home, with the official review of the 2012 Iowa caucuses. Ben's guests are Grinnell College Political Science Professor Wayne Moyer and New Hampshire political analyst Arnie Arnesen.

Politics Day

Mar 13, 2012

Earlier this week a U.S. soldier allegedly shot and killed sixteen Afghan civilians. President Barack Obama has called the killings tragic while questions re-emerge about the U.S. strategy. Join guest host Jonathan Ahl as we talk about the way forward in Afghanistan.  Plus we’ll discuss the effect Alabama and Mississippi primaries will have on the race for the GOP Presidential nomination. Our guests are Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Jim McCormick of Iowa State University.

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with A.J.