Statehouse and Politics

Politics
6:59 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Legislative Preview: 03/04/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss the latest news from the Iowa Statehouse.

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Statehouse
9:21 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Environmentalists Seek More Inspectors

It was  Environmental Lobby Day at the statehouse.   The Iowa Environmental Council is  pushing for more  inspectors to make sure Iowa’s large animal confinement facilities are following clean water rules.    At the same time the  Iowa Department of Natural Resources is locked in a battle with the federal environmental protection agency over how much inspection is enough.

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Politics
6:58 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Property Tax and the Democrats

Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Democrats in the Iowa Senate and Governor Branstad’s office are exchanging barbs  as the two sides promote competing plans to reduce commercial and industrial property taxes.  Both sides agree the taxes are disproportionately  high, but the rhetoric Monday made compromise look elusive. 

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Politics
7:23 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Legislative Preview: 02/25/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly preview of Iowa legislative politics.

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Statehouse
4:54 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Starts Moving in the Senate

Senators Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) and Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) advanced a bill out of subcomittee to expand Medicaid in Iowa.
Clay Masters IPR

A plan to add 150,000 Iowans to Medicaid, the joint federal-state healthcare program for the poor is advanced today in the Democratic-controlled Senate. That comes the day before Republican Governor Terry Branstad meets with President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services to talk about healthcare options. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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Statehouse
5:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Reining in the Regents

Sen. Danielson (D-Cedar Falls) talks with IPR's Clay Masters on "River to River" February 11, 2013. Danielson is the sponsor of the bill that intends to make the Iowa Board of Regents more accountable.
John Pemble IPR

A bill intended to rein in the power of members of the Iowa Board of Regents drew various degrees of support from Iowans Wednesday at the statehouse. The proposal follows controversy over Regent Bruce Rastetter. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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Politics
6:44 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Legislative Preview: 02/18/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell for a look at the week ahead at the Iowa Legislature.

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Politics
6:29 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Democrats Answer Back on Commercial Property Taxes

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Democrats in the Iowa Senate are upping the ante for property tax cuts, but agreement with Republicans still appears elusive.   Both parties say commercial property tax relief is a high priority this year.

There’s consensus that commercial property taxes are disproportionately high.   The latest Democratic plan, again  helps small main street  businesses  more than large out of state corporations.  

Des Moines Democrat Matt McCoy says a business in his own family   is a good example:

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Politics
10:41 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Ethics Complaint Against Iowa Sen. Sorenson Dismissed, At Least For Now

Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Milo)
Credit Facebook

An Iowa Senate committee has dismissed an ethics complaint for now against State Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Milo), who was accused of taking money from Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) presidential campaign.

Sorenson was the state chairman of Bachmann’s campaign in Iowa.  State Sen. Sandra Greiner (R-Washington) says the committee needs more information. 

“We cannot cite anybody for an ethics violation unless we have clear cut proof. So it’s on the complainant’s shoulders to provide us with the proof," Greiner says. "Sen. Sorenson is innocent until proven guilty.”

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Politics
9:50 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Lawmaker Pushes to Keep Gun Permits Private

Credit Flickr Creative Commons

The names of Iowans who obtain permits to carry a weapon would not be public record under a proposal introduced to a committee in the Iowa House.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Matt Windschitl (R - Missouri Valley), is a leading gun rights advocate. He sees keeping private the names of Iowans who get permits to carry or acquire weapons as a matter of public safety.

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Medicaid Expansion Spat
4:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Politics Charged over Medicaid Expansion

Tempers flared at the statehouse over whether Iowa should extend government health care to more low-income families.  Governor Branstad  and some  Democrats are at odds over whether to expand Medicaid as part of the federal health care program known as Obamacare.  But a key  Republican lawmaker says Democrats are politicizing the issue.

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Politics
8:06 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Legislative Preview: 02/04/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Morning Edition  Host Sarah McCammon for a look at the upcoming week in Iowa legislative politics.

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Politics
8:06 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Former Romney Advisor Says GOP Should Accept Same-Sex Marriage

Some high-profile Republicans are saying it’s time to “let go” of one battle in the culture wars — the fight against same-sex marriage.

David Kochel was an advisor to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Kochel says he wants to begin a conversation about changing the Republican Party’s idea of family values.

“I like to think of it as my Republican values, and my conservative values—being pro-marriage, pro-family, and believing in intact families as the best place to give children a hope for the future,” he says.

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Politics
6:43 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/28/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR


IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell catch up on the week's news from the Iowa General Assembly.

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Politics
5:44 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Right to Work Amendment Debated

Flickr Image

Dozens of union members  crowded  a committee room at the statehouse, objecting to a resolution  to enshrine Iowa’s right to work law  in the Iowa constitution.   All 53 Republicans in the House have signed on to the measure they say is needed to ensure that Iowa workers are never forced to join a union.

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Politics
11:30 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/21/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers have completed the first week of the 2013 legislative session. They’ll return for the second week beginning Tuesday; they’re off Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Junior holiday.

IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about how the session is shaping up so far.

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Politics
11:30 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/21/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers have completed the first week of the 2013 legislative session. They’ll return for the second week beginning Tuesday. IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about how the session is shaping up so far.

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Governor Speech
5:33 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Governor's Agenda Unveiled

Governor Terry Branstad delivers his Condition of the State
John Pemble

  

Governor Branstad highlighted tax cuts, education, and health care in his condition of the state speech.    Earlier he  unveiled the outlines of a six point five  billion dollar budget for next year.  Now begins the hard work of getting his agenda through the divided legislature.

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Legislature Returns
6:15 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Opening Day at the Legislature

Credit John Pemble

150 state legislators were sworn into office at the capitol  as the 85th Iowa general assembly convened for their 2013 session.    Governor Branstad stole a little thunder on opening day by unveiling his plans to pay teachers more and improve Iowa schools.

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Statehouse
11:00 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Begins

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

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Statehouse
11:00 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Begins

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

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Politics
3:05 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Non-Citizen Voter Purge Debated at Public Hearing

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz hosted a hearing in Des Moines Thursday to discuss his proposal to remove voters from state registration lists if they can't prove citizenship.
Credit 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.

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Politics, election, voting
6:57 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Secretary of State Matt Schultz talks voter rights in Washington

Iowa’s Secretary of State Matt Schultz was in Washington today to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports the committee was tackling the contentious issue of voters rights.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Branstad: Presidential Candidates will Determine Straw Poll's Fate

Credit Office of Governor Branstad / Facebook

Governor Branstad continues to say the Iowa Straw poll is losing its importance in the presidential race. Branstad says the candidates will ultimately decide whether or not it stays.

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Politics
4:10 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Republicans Regroup

Republicans in the Iowa House re-elected their top leadership in a closed-door meeting  at the statehouse.     They’ll return to the capitol on January 14th with a far slimmer majority following the 2012

elections.

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Statehouse
2:01 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange in Iowa Unclear

Credit Office of Governor Branstad / Facebook

The Affordable Care Act calls on states to let federal officials know by Friday if they plan to launch their own healthcare exchanges. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, Governor Branstad’s office says meeting the deadline will be challenging.

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Politics
4:11 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Wiggins Stays on Court

Credit Facebook

An effort by religious conservatives to oust  another Iowa Supreme Court Justice has failed.  Iowans voted yesterday to retain Justice David Wiggins on the court. Iowa Public Radio's Joyce Russell reports.

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Politics
3:55 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Latham Stays, Boswell's Out

Congressman Tom Latham makes his acceptance speech at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

With two elder statesmen going head to head in Iowa’s third Congressional district, it was a given that Iowa would lose an incumbent. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports that democratic Congressmen Leonard Boswell’s concession to Republican opponent Tom Latham was also a retirement speech.

It may have been a night of disappointment at Republican headquarters in Des Moines… but there was a bright spot. Tom Latham will be returning to Congress for a tenth term…

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Politics
4:05 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Photos: The Iowa Campaign Trail

President Barack Obama makes a campaign stop in Dubuque on November, 3 2012.

Iowa's importance in the 2012 election was arguably more important than ever. IPR's news staff traveled the state and reported on the candidates' messages long before the Iowa caucuses. Here are some of the photos IPR reporters took along the campaign trail. 

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Politics
10:13 am
Tue November 6, 2012

President Obama, Paul Ryan, make final pleas to Iowa Voters

20,000 people lined Locust street on Des Moines Monday night to hear President Obama's final speech in his campaign.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

After a long and contentious presidential election season, the candidates made their closing arguments Monday. Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan made his last visit to Iowa on behalf of Mitt Romney. And President Barack Obama held the final campaign event  of his political career in Des Moines.

While both men were still trying to drum up every last vote in a close election, they were also here to thank the voters who by now, have grown used to their constant visits.

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