Statehouse and Politics

Politics
3:00 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Watching the debate in Iowa

Women for Mitt Romney gather to watch the final debate in Des Moines.
Sandhya Dirks

Both Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama took the stage for their final debate in Florida last night. In Iowa, the campaigns staged watch parties. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports that both camps believe their candidate went home with the win.  

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Politics
1:03 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Presidential Campaigns Focus on Iowa Suburbs

Ali and Caleb Harrelson canvass a neighborhood in the Des Moines suburb Clive in support of reelecting President Obama.
Clay Masters IPR

Both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will make campaign stops Wednesday in eastern Iowa. Recent polls show the race is still up in the air. Romney has a solid hold on rural counties here. But in a state that’s population is shifting from rural to urban, the candidates will have to take the suburbs to win. Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters reports.

Politics
1:23 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Fact Check Friday: Obama on Campus

Clay Masters IPR

Last week in our Friday Fact Check, we reviewed some of the statements Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made while he was campaigning in Iowa. This week, President Barack Obama was here on the heels of the second presidential debate. Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon caught up with IPR Reporter Clay Masters who covered the president's campaign stop at Cornell College in Mount Vernon on Wednesday. 

Politics
6:14 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Obama Reflects on 2nd Debate

President Obama made his first stop after Tuesday night's debate in Mount Vernon, Iowa on the campus of Cornell.
Clay Masters IPR

President Barack Obama made his first campaign stop after Tuesday's presidential debate. It was here in Iowa on the campus of Cornell in Mount Vernon. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, the president took the opportunity to continue his fiery critique of his opponent Mitt Romney.

Politics
3:16 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Bosnian Embassy Official Visits Iowa

Tamir Waser is Political Section Chief of the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo
Pat Blank IPR

The trial for a former Bosnian Serb leader began today in The Hague with him defending against allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian war in 1992-1995.  At the same time an American,  Tamir Waser who serves at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, is traveling in Iowa stopping in Waterloo and Des Moines. Both cities have large Bosnian populations.   He talks with Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank

Politics
6:58 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Most Campaign Spending Doesn't Trickle Down to Small Businesses

Catherine Fields is the owner of Coffee Cat in Mason City. She says her coffee shop gets a little more traffic during campaign season, but nothing substantial.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

Living in a swing state means never-ending TV ads, lots of attention from the candidates, and dozens of campaign offices spread all over your state. 

But all that spending isn’t exactly trickling down to small businesses in local communities.

Instead, most of the spending goes to TV ads.

Politics
3:06 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Bill Clinton tries to rally the Democratic base in Iowa

It's the final weeks of election season. And,  as Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports democrats are calling on a familiar face to rally the base-- former President Bill Clinton.

Basically, they brought out the big gun. Clinton was stumping for Congressional candidate Christie Vilsack, She's in a close race with Republican incumbent Steve King. At a rally in Sioux City, the crowd showed the former President a lot of love.

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Politics
10:34 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell square off in Council Bluffs

Leonard Boswell and Tom Latham debate on Iowa Public Television.
Iowa Public Television

Redistricting has pitted long term congressmen Republican Tom Latham and Democrat Leonard Boswell against each other in a tight race for Iowa’s 3rd district. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, the Congressmen are trying to convince Iowan’s to send them back to Washington.   

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Politics
11:42 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Fact Check Friday: Romney On the Farm

Romney supporters gathered at a farm near Van Meter, Iowa on Tuesday to hear the GOP Presidential candidate.
Clay Masters IPR

With the presidential election campaign wrapping up in less than a month, Iowa continues to get lots of attention. IPR's Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon talks with IPR Correspondent Clay Masters about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's  visit to Van Meter, Iowa on Tuesday. 

Politics
5:26 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Bruce Braley and Ben Lange debate on IPR

GOP candidate Ben Lange and First District Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley shake hands before the first debate of the campaign
Pat Blank IPR

The candidates in the race for Iowa’s first congressional district met for their first debate of the campaign Wednesday afternoon. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports the two are far apart on most issues..

Politics
11:21 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Romney Focuses on Farm Policy in Van Meter

GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney focused on agriculture policy at his Tuesday campaign visit to Van Meter, Iowa but he also told some personal stories.
Clay Masters IPR

Still riding high off as many saw it, his first presidential debate win, Governor Mitt Romney focused on agriculture policy in a campaign stop at a farm near Van Meter Tuesday. While Romney focused primarily on farm policy, Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports the Republican presidential candidate also got a little personal.

Flanked by a John Deere tractor sporting the Romney/Ryan campaign’s trademark red, white and blue “R,” Mitt Romney addressed 1200 people on a corn field in windy northern Madison County. 

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Politics
3:16 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Eastern Iowans meets their neighbor, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan

Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan with his family at a town hall in Clinton, Iowa.
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
7:16 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Paul Ryan Talks Faith, Family in Eastern Iowa

Rep. Paul Ryan rallied voters at Loras College in Dubuque.
Dean Borg Iowa Public Radio

The Republican vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin Congressman emphasized his Catholic faith and brought his wife and three children on stage with him at Loras College in Dubuque.

Politics
7:39 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Iowa First Swing State to Allow Early In-Person Voting

Iowans are the first swing-state voters to cast ballots in person.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

Early in-person voting has begun in Iowa, the first swing state to open polling sites.

Residents of the battleground state can now vote in person at their local county auditors' offices or turn them in by mail. Some areas will offer additional satellite locations.

At the Polk County Auditor's office in downtown Des Moines Thursday morning, a line of voters stretched down the block as the door opened.

Peter Clay, 62, was among the many supporters of President Obama. He says he's volunteered for the campaign on his days off from his job as a zookeeper.

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Politics
10:29 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Satellite Voting Petitions

Iowa law enables anyone obtaining one-hundred voter signatures to get a satellite voting at a site of their choosing.  Election officials must hold balloting at that location for at least one day before the November 6th general election.

Politics
12:15 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Two buses and two takes on keeping a Justice on the bench

Bob Vander Plaats rallying to vote "no" on Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins.
Sandhya Dirks

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins is at the center of two bus tours making their way across the state this week.  Wiggins is part of the court that paved the way for same sex marriage here, and he is facing the same opposition that pushed three justices off the court in 2010. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, this time the Iowa Bar Association is stepping up their involvement in the election.

Politics
2:38 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Iowa Town Celebrates The U.S. Constitution With "Libertyfest"

Host of "Libertyfest", Hampton, IA
J. Stephen Conn / flickr

The town of Hampton is recognizing the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution with a week long "Libertyfest" celebration. Shawn Dietz, mayor of Hampton, wants to emphasize the historical document's impact on the nation. Though the event falls during election season, Dietz says the festivities honor patriotism and not partisanship.

Dietz joined "River to River" host Ben Kieffer in a discussion on the festivities.

Politics
6:54 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The vice presidential race takes the reigns in Iowa

This week the race for Iowa’s six electoral votes is in the hands of the Vice Presidential candidates. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks attended rallies by both Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.

Although they were in different parts of the state you would have thought the two vice presidential candidates were debating in the same room. Vice President Joe Biden welcomed his opponent, "the good thing about Romney picking Ryan, is that Romney’s vague promises have now been given definition."
 

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Politics
3:28 am
Tue September 18, 2012

King, Vilsack Square off in Hampton Debate Over Voter ID Laws

The Windsor Theater hosted the Vilsack/King debate.
Clay Masters IPR

Republican Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack met in Hampton Monday night for another debate. It was the first time the incumbent met his opponent on ground that wasn’t part of his old district.  The two differed on just about every issue including controversial Iowa voter ID laws.

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Politics
7:00 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Former President Carter Disputes Obama's Egypt Remarks

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, spoke to students at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday.
Drake University Facebook

Former President Jimmy Carter says he disagrees with President Obama’s assessment this week of Egypt’s relationship to the United States.

The Democrat addressed students and faculty at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday. During a forum focused primarily on social justice issues, Carter was asked if he agrees with President Obama’s statement that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.

"No, I think Egypt is an ally of the United States," Carter says. "We know Egypt well."

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Politics
6:41 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Libertarian Gary Johnson Aims to Lure Voters from Both Major Parties

A campaign vehicle for Libertarian Gary Johnson was parked outside the Iowa State Capitol. Johnson will be on the Iowa ballot after surviving a challenge to his candidacy by supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Sandhya Dirks Iowa Public Radio

Most of the attention in the presidential race is focusing on the Democratic and Republican parties.  But there are, of course, third-party candidates … including former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who is running as a Libertarian.

Johnson’s name will appear on the November ballot in Iowa after he survived a challenge from supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. He’s faced similar challenges in several other states including Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Statehouse
10:48 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Some Iowa Voters Could Be Intimidated by New Voting Laws

Controversial voter ID laws across the country are getting a lot of attention. Here in Iowa, voter rules approved by Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz are also falling under scrutiny. The new rules could keep some of Iowa’s Latinos home on Election Day. That concern was brought up before a state rulemaking panel at the capitol Tuesday. 

Politics
11:40 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama, Romney Push Job Numbers in Iowa

President Obama addresses a crowd of 8,000 on the University of Iowa Campus on September, 7 2012.
Clay Masters IPR

Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over. And both presidential candidates were in Iowa yesterday.  Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were using new jobs numbers to sway voters.

More than 8,000 people crowded outside Jessup Hall at the University of Iowa. A late afternoon rain soaked the crowd… many dressed in Hawkeye yellow and black as well as ponchos.  But the sky cleared up for Vice President Joe Biden to introduce the president.

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Politics
7:08 am
Fri September 7, 2012

King, Vilsack Meet for First Debate

The Democratic challenger in Iowa’s new Fourth Congressional District, Iowa's former first lady Christie Vilsack, came out swinging in the first face-to-face debate of the campaign.   Incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King was caught a little off guard.   

Politics
6:20 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Romney rallies the base and the youth vote in Northwestern Iowa

Mitt Romney speaks at Northwestern College in Orange City Iowa on Friday September 7.
AP Photos

It’s the day after the conventions—do you know where you candidate is? If you guessed Iowa, you would be right. While President Obama stops at the University of Iowa, Republican Nominee Mitt Romney stumped at Northwestern College – a private Christian school. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, Romney rallied the Republican base and tried to woo the youth vote.  

Politics
7:05 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Iowa's Democratic Party Chairwoman from Charlotte

Sue Dvorsky is chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party and the delegation in Charlotte.
Courtesy Iowa Democratic Party

Sue Dvorsky is chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party as well as of the delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this year.   Speaking by phone from Charlotte, she says she's pleased with how President Obama is presenting his record to the public, and says Democrats are also concerned about the nation's deficit.

Politics
7:32 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

With Convention Just Ahead, Obama Asks Iowans to Vote, Volunteer

President Obama addressed an open-air crowd of about 10,000 people at Living History Farms near Des Moines.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

On a muggy afternoon, President Obama addressed an open-air crowd of an about 10,000 people at Living History Farms near Des Moines. He says the GOP convention involved "a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but nobody told you what they were."

Politics
10:13 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Iowa Panel Says Gary Johnson Can Be on November Ballot

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson - a former Republican - will appear on the November ballot in Iowa as a Libertarian presidential candidate.
Gary Johnson campaign

Libertarian-minded voters will have a presidential candidate on the ballot in Iowa this November—but it won’t be Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who galvanized so many Iowa voters when he ran for the Republican nomination. Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson will have his name in the running, after a unanimous decision by a  three-person bipartisan panel.

Politics
8:14 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Former Ron Paul Campaign Chairman Says Iowa Supporters Will Get Behind Romney

Drew Ivers is the former chairman of Rep. Ron Paul's Iowa presidential campaign. He's now the chairman of Iowa's delegation to the national GOP convention.
Republican Party of Iowa

The Republican National Convention is underway in Florida, and while Iowa may not have the largest delegation, it’s still getting a lot of attention because of Iowa’s swing-state status.

The delegation also has been the source of controversy within the party, because most of its members have supported Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon speaks with delegation chairman Drew Ivers, who's also the former chairman of Paul’s Iowa campaign.

Politics
8:36 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Romney, Obama Differ on Wind Tax Credit in Iowa

Workers at Acciona Wind Power in West Branch, Iowa assemble a casing around the nacelle of a wind turbine.
Clay Masters IPR

President Barack Obama will be in Ames Tuesday. He’s likely to bring up the wind energy tax credit. That federal tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year. And the president’s opponent Mitt Romney opposes extending that credit. It's put Iowa’s top Republicans at odds with Governor Romney.

Iowa’s top Republicans--from Senator Chuck Grassley to Governor Terry Branstad-- want Romney to reconsider and give the tax credit a little more time.

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