Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 12:10 pm
You know things are going badly when the person at the front of the room has to say, "This is not going well." The fireworks at Iowa's Republican State Convention began even before lunchtime Saturday. At one point during the day, the parliamentarian threatened to kick out the next person who tried to speak out of order.
If Saturday's convention is any indication, Mitt Romney may not be in for smooth sailing at this summer's national convention in Florida.
While Mitt Romney has a virtual lock on the Republican presidential nomination, fans of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas aren't quite giving up.
While they know he won't be president, they're still working to promote Paul's ideas. And they've started with state conventions, like the one in Iowa this weekend, where political observers are anticipating some fireworks.
In next Tuesday’s primary election, two Republicans are seeking the party’s First District Congressional nomination. Independence attorney Ben Lange and Dubuque businessman Rod Blum are campaigning for a chance at denying incumbent Democrat Bruce Braley a fourth term representing the newly-configured northeast Iowa district.
There are going to be a lot of political fireworks in Iowa between now and November: President Obama and Governor Romney, Congressman Steve King and challenger Christie Vilsack to name a couple examples. But one race that’s flying mostly under the radar so far is in Eastern Iowa, where Republicans are hoping they have a shot at Democratic congressman Dave Loebsack. Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells has the story.
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.
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.
Ron Paul isn't expecting to get the GOP nomination. He says he'll no longer campaign in states that haven't held primaries. But he and his supporters are pushing for delegates in states like Iowa - who've already voted but have yet to award delegates at the state convention.
Several weeks behind schedule, the Iowa General Assembly brought its 2012 legislative session to a close with promises to return next year to complete their unfinished business. Lawmakers say they helped put unemployed Iowans back to work. But the Republicans signature job creation effort…tax cuts for business and industry….failed in spite of eleventh hour talks at the capitol.
It was another day of partisan debate at the statehouse. Advocates with competing plans for tax cuts for business and industry appear to be dug in on their positions. That’s throwing into question whether the legislature will meet its goal of lowering commercial property taxes to attract more jobs to the state.
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.
A sex offender next door at the nursing home? It could pose a very real problem as Iowa’s population ages. After a 95-year-old woman was attacked by a fellow resident at her nursing home, the legislature stepped forward to act. But there's been some heated debate in the Iowa Senate.
After a long debate, the Iowa House today voted to put a limit on how early Iowa schools can start classes in the fall. The tourism industry is behind the bill, including advocates for the Iowa State Fair, who say it’s hard to participate in the annual August event when kids are back in school. But some education advocates resent talking about the school start date when weightier education issues remain unresolved.
Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is facing reform in the legislature. The House Ways and Means committee approved a bill that would limit what cities and counties could use TIF to do. Supporters say TIF has become a way to reel in businesses at the tax payer’s expense. Opponents of the legislation says it undermines cities and counties ability to fix blighted and underdeveloped areas. Iowa Public Radio's Sandhya Dirks reports.
Some smokers have always saved money by buying loose tobacco and rolling their own cigarettes. Now a number of smoke shops around the state are making it not just cheap but very easy. But the state’s tax police are on the case.
Iowa’s tourism industry has mounted a last minute effort in the Iowa House to stop schools from starting earlier in the fall. Representatives from the lodging and travel sectors pleaded with lawmakers to let them ply their trade from June to late August without interference from schools. But there was bitter division within the Republican majority.
As candidates for President continue to criss-cross Iowa, they are often delivering stump speeches that are very carefully crafted to use just the right words. But how those words are delivered can be just as important as the words they include.
Emily Woodbury, a talk show producer for Iowa Public Radio, worked with communication experts and political operatives to analyze the speech patterns of some of the candidates for the G-O-P nomination for president.
One of the drawbacks to living in the first-voting state is those automated phone messages known as “robocalls", and it’s not just pollsters and presidential contenders on the other line. Robocalls are now a staple of local elections too – and they’re not always civil. Iowa’s Attorney General is investigating one particularly nasty example from this month’s special election. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports, robocall regulations are all too easy to subvert.
Today, Iowa Public Radio continues its look at African-Americans living in Iowa. So far, reporter Rob Dillard has examined some of the educational and economic challenges they face. Now he turns to the political scene. There have been very few black politicians elected to public office in Iowa – none to statewide office. Rob met with some of these African-American leaders to find out what their time in office has meant to the state.
Republicans flexing new majority muscle were in a triumphant mood as the 84th general assembly convened at the statehouse. But Democrats promised to protect their priorities including health care and education for young children.
Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon talks with Drake University Professor of Politics Dennis Goldford about what to expect from Iowa's primary election. Goldford says candidates tend to run when they think the tide may turn in their favor.
Planned Parenthood of Eastern Iowa observed its 30th anniversary in Cedar Rapids. Protesters from several states showed up. Anti-abortion activists are unhappy about a new program expanding abortion services to small rural communities.