The 17 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2017

I had mixed feelings about compiling last year’s review of highest-traffic posts. Being hyper-aware of clicks and views can be demoralizing, because the most labor-intensive stories rarely attract the most attention.

On the other hand, it’s fascinating to see what strikes a chord with readers. A preview of stores coming to an outlet mall in Altoona was the fourth most-read Des Moines Register article of 2017. The second most popular New York Times story contained highlights from a boxing match. And this year’s highest-traffic piece at USA Today was about the “kiss cam” at the NFL Pro Bowl.

During an unusually eventful year in Iowa politics, some hot topics at Bleeding Heartland were predictable. But surprises were lurking in the traffic numbers on posts published during 2017 (418 written by me, 164 by other authors).

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Recognizing Bleeding Heartland's talented 2017 guest authors

Bleeding Heartland published 140 guest posts by 81 authors in 2016, a record since the blog’s creation in 2007.

I’m happy to report that the bar has been raised: 83 authors contributed 164 guest posts to this website during 2017. Their work covered an incredible range of local, statewide, and national topics.

Some contributors drew on their professional expertise and research, writing in a detached and analytical style. Others produced passionate and intensely personal commentaries, sometimes drawing on painful memories or family history.

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"We have to wake the watchdog up": Why Rob Sand's running for state auditor

The state auditor of Iowa is not a “sexy office,” former Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand told me earlier this fall. “But it’s a huge opportunity for public service, because I think that the way that it’s run right now, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit for improvement.”

Sand kicked off his candidacy this morning with a website and Facebook page. He’s been tweeting for some time at @RobSandIA. His opening video is here. At the end of this post I’ve enclosed Sand’s campaign committee, including activists and elected officials from many parts of the state as well as Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and former Attorney General Bonnie Campbell.

Sand discussed with Bleeding Heartland how he would approach the job and why he is running against Republican incumbent Mary Mosiman, a certified public accountant who has served as state auditor since 2013. Although this office is not the obvious choice for an attorney, Sand considers his experience prosecuting white-collar crime “my biggest qualification” and a key reason he could improve on Mosiman’s work. Moreover, he’s not afraid to call out a “historically irresponsible” state budget.

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Hey Democrats: Where’s our leadership?

Democratic volunteer Jonathan Wilder feels Iowa party leaders haven’t been welcoming enough to young activists who could help change our state’s political direction. -promoted by desmoinesdem

“I don’t think people want a new direction, our values unify us and our values are about supporting America’s working families.”

Those are the words of Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi speaking on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’ Pelosi’s words seem to ring of confidence, but how can she be filled with so much confidence, when, while under her watch, Democrats have lost over 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts since 2008; including major governorships, Congressional, and state legislative seats?

The question that should be on everybody’s mind… Especially in the minds of party leaders like Nancy Pelosi, is why? Why have people stopped turning out and voting for Democrats? What has allowed the Republicans to gain so many positions in so little time? Why are the people of this country, who when polled issue by issue, are shockingly more in line with leftist thought; are choosing to vote against their own interests and giving their support to the Republicans?

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We are not the ones we were waiting for

Laura Hubka explains why she recently stepped back from local and state leadership roles in the Iowa Democratic Party, after months of trying to bridge the gap between opposing factions. A longtime dedicated volunteer, she also attended listening posts around the state this year as a member of the committee formed to analyze what went wrong for Iowa Democrats in 2016. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I sent an e-mail late last week resigning my positions on the Iowa Democratic State Central Committee, the first Congressional district, and my chair position in Howard County. Now that I have taken care of my duties within the party, I would like to be more specific on why I left. I will concede that these are my opinions, but I know through the time I spent talking to the people of Iowa in many different locations throughout the state that I am not alone in my opinions or feelings.

We say “the truth is on our side,” but what if we are part of the lie?

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Bernie v. Hillary

Laura Hubka wants Democrats who are still fighting about the 2016 primaries to “act like adults and stop name calling and berating each other.” She is an Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee member and chairs the Howard County Democrats. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I find myself shaking my head most days over the whole Bernie v. Hillary debate. I want people to get over the primary, but they just want to drag it out. Maybe they are thinking one side is going to quit and suddenly realize that they were wrong and the other side was right?

We are all adults here, and there are a lot bigger problems than Bernie being invited to CCI Action to speak, or him appearing on TV to talk about health care or inequality. There are bigger issues than Hillary tweeting about health care.

Bernie is calling out Trump and making a case against the Republican Party. Are those not issues that we ALL support? Does Bernie not have the ear of millions around the nation? Does Hillary have millions of people who voted for her in the general election? I do not CARE who you supported. Move on.

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