IA-Gov: Ron Corbett responds to critics of his labor record

As Ron Corbett seeks the GOP nomination for governor, his support of project labor agreements in Cedar Rapids will be a leading point of attack by Republicans supporting Governor Kim Reynolds. Corbett’s stance put him on a collision course with Governor Terry Branstad in 2011. The mayor explained his reasoning in chapter 25 of his memoir Beyond Promises and in an interview with Bleeding Heartland last week.

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Democrats and Republicans start 2018 race for Iowa governor in a dead heat

Kent R. Kroeger is a writer and statistical consultant who has measured and analyzed public opinion for public and private sector clients for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at kkroeger@nuqum.com

A poll conducted exclusively for Bleeding Heartland by The Olson Kroeger Company shows the Democrats and the Republicans are in a dead heat for the Iowa governor’s race in 2018. In a generic ballot, 43 percent of respondents say they will support the Democratic nominee for Iowa governor, compared to 40 percent indicating support for the Republican nominee. About 17 percent of registered voters are undecided.

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IA-Gov: Ron Corbett faults Iowa officials' failure to address health insurance crisis

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett finds it “disappointing” and “short-sighted” that neither the Iowa legislature nor the Branstad/Reynolds administration developed a plan earlier this year to address the collapse in Iowa’s individual health insurance market. By his account, state lawmakers and executive branch officials knew insurers were likely to stop selling individual policies for 2018 and should have developed “some type of backstop” instead of waiting for Congress to act.

Corbett plans to launch a Republican campaign for governor later today. He commented on Iowa’s potential health coverage crisis during a telephone interview with Bleeding Heartland last week.

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IA-Gov: Ron Corbett says "exclusively Republican" push for tax reform would be "big mistake"

When Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett kicks off his Republican campaign for governor on June 20, tax reform will be a major part of his “new game plan for Iowa.”

Iowa has no shortage of Republican politicians seeking to lower taxes for those with high incomes or replace a progressive income tax structure with a flatter tax. State House and Senate leaders have promised to push for income tax cuts next year, and in her first speech as governor last month, Kim Reynolds identified “reforming Iowa’s tax structure” as her “first priority.”

But Corbett frames the case for tax reform differently from the usual GOP rhetoric about spurring investment or putting money back in people’s pockets. In a wide-ranging interview last week, the mayor repeatedly called for addressing inequities in the tax code, which now favor the wealthiest Iowans over middle-class taxpayers. He also warned it would be “a big mistake” for Reynolds to lead an “exclusively Republican” push for tax changes next year.

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IA-Gov: Eight Democratic candidates are in but Rich Leopold is out

The first Democrat to launch a campaign for governor became the first to leave the race today. Rich Leopold cited “difficulties in fundraising and talking about myself” and coming to learn “first-hand that electoral politics in Iowa is largely controlled by a small group [of] people.” Ultimately, he concluded “the reality of an outsider mounting a winning campaign in Iowa is slim.” I enclose the full text of his Facebook post below.

Leopold’s departure was not unexpected. Until this morning, his campaign’s Facebook page hadn’t been updated since April. He had missed some recent Democratic events, including the Boone County Democrats’ “Picnic for the People” on June 3, at which most of the other candidates spoke. He pledged today to keep working for “cleaner water, equal and fair treatment of all people, resilience to climate change, strong and sustainable rural economies, compassion in our mental and physical health systems, and CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!”

In alphabetical order, the remaining declared Democratic candidates for governor are:

Nate Boulton (website, Twitter, Facebook)
Andy McGuire (website, Twitter, Facebook)
Jon Neiderbach (website, Twitter, Facebook)
John Norris (website, Twitter, Facebook)
Todd Prichard (website, Twitter, Facebook)

Three others are exploring gubernatorial campaigns and likely to announce in the coming months:

Cathy Glasson (website, Twitter, Facebook)
Fred Hubbell (website, Twitter, Facebook)
Mike Matson (Twitter, Facebook)

Mike Carberry, who had considered this race, confirmed a few weeks ago that he will run for re-election as Johnson County supervisor next year instead. Scroll to the end of this post to read his statement.

Film-maker Brent Roske had floated the idea of running for governor as an independent while contesting both major-party primaries. The Secretary of State’s Office says he will have to choose one path and can’t pursue them all simultaneously.

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Who's Ready to Run?

Heather Ryan continues the series of posts by Iowa women who helped make 2017 a record-breaking year for political training programs. Ryan is the chair of the East Des Moines Area Democrats and a host of the Facebook Political Series “Fight Like a Girl.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

It’s fair to say that I was most likely not the target demographic for the “Ready to Run” program hosted in Ames, Iowa on April 28. While I am indeed female, I am far from a political novice. In fact, I consume politics almost as voraciously as I consume a bag of Taki’s. I majored in Political Science at Drake, worked in Washington DC and have participated in countless campaigns. That being said, I constantly seek out knowledge, and the Ready to Run program was an excellent means for such.

As of late, I have attended Precinct Leader Training, Wellstone University, Ready to Run and even teamed up with Representative Ruth Ann Gaines to teach Politics in a Reality TV world. Each of these courses offered their own unique educational experience. The Precinct Leader Training, run by the Iowa Democratic Party, expands on grassroots, neighborhood activism. Wellstone University is a three day intensive where we worked on our stump speeches, fundraising technique and internet presence (among a slew of other things). Representative Gaines and I teach public speaking and presentation skills in a time when the populous is more interested in seeing a rumble than a debate. But unlike any of those training seminars, Ready to Run focuses solely on encouraging and preparing women to run for office. This is the primary strength of this day-long crash course.

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