Alternate Process. Alternate Facts. Alternate Democracy.

Tyler Higgs is an activist, concerned constituent, and candidate for school board in Waukee. Click here for background on the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) and here for more on the conservative group a GOP senator brought in to “study” the pension fund. -promoted by desmoinesdem

It was standing room only on July 25 in the cramped Senate hearing room, where State Senator Charles Schneider of West Des Moines (Senate district 22) bucked Iowa law to schedule a last-minute mock hearing to discuss the fate of Iowa’s teachers and public employees. Will they have a respectable hard-earned retirement, or will they subsist on cat food?

You would think a question of this importance would be discussed in a non-partisan committee meeting, open to input — pro and con — from the public. Not in this scenario.

Continue Reading...

Six hints Iowa Senate Republicans didn't fire Kirsten Anderson over work product

Iowa taxpayers are on the hook for $2.2 million dollars after former Senate Republican communications director Kirsten Anderson won a huge sexual harassment lawsuit last week.

If Senate Republican leaders had any sense of accountability, they would resign, or at least offer to raise money to cover the cost of the verdict, so the general fund doesn’t take another hit while the state budget is in terrible shape.

But Majority Leader Bill Dix refuses to admit any wrongdoing by his colleagues or his staff. He is sticking to his story: “Kirsten Anderson was terminated for her work product and for no other reason.” Dix’s top aide Ed Failor, Jr. has been saying the same thing for years.

The jury didn’t buy the official line, and you shouldn’t either.

Continue Reading...

Air war fully engaged in key Iowa House special election

Both major parties are on the air in Iowa House district 82, where voters will choose a new state lawmaker three weeks from today. Whereas the last two special House elections happened in heavily Republican or Democratic districts, the late Curt Hanson represented a politically balanced area. The outcome on August 8 could shape the media narrative about political trends in Iowa and affect candidate recruitment for other competitive statehouse races.

Republicans were first to run negative advertising in most of the 2016 Iowa House and Senate campaigns, but Democrats defending House district 82 have already launched a brutal spot about the Republican candidate’s “tax problem.”

Continue Reading...

Reynolds staff won't provide Branstad administration records to Democratic lawmaker

Governor Kim Reynolds has said many times that she was a “full partner” in former Governor Terry Branstad’s administration. Other well-placed Iowa Republicans likewise have attested to Reynolds’ role as a “full partner” or “active partner” in running state government during nearly six and a half years as lieutenant governor.

But when Democratic State Representative Chuck Isenhart recently requested communications with the governor’s office pertaining to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, staff for Reynolds informed him that “our office cannot reach back and review and release records from the previous administration.”

Continue Reading...

Major battle shaping up for Iowa House district 82 (updated)

Curt Hanson won the most important Iowa legislative special election of the last decade. So it’s fitting that the election to replace the Iowa House Democrat, who passed away last month after a long battle with cancer, is shaping up to be our state’s most consequential special legislative race in years.

What happens here on August 8 won’t determine the outcome of Iowa’s 2018 elections but could have political repercussions beyond the three counties in House district 82.

Continue Reading...
View More...