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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Voter ID and the 2018 election

Adam Kenworthy chairs the Iowa lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This post was originally supposed to be about Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s new FAQ page on the changes to Iowa’s voting law.

However, the Secretary of State’s Office just released a statement regarding its first round of mailings for Voter ID cards, and the more pressing issue is for all of us to be clear about what we need to do in 2018.

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How Iowa could have lost three Supreme Court justices in 2016

Remember how awful you felt on November 9, 2016, as you started to grasp what we were up against following the most devastating Iowa election in decades?

Would you believe the results could have been even worse?

Imagine Governor Terry Branstad appointing three right-wingers to the Iowa Supreme Court. It could have happened if conservative groups had targeted Chief Justice Mark Cady, Justice Brent Appel, and Justice Daryl Hecht with the resources and fervor they had applied against three justices in 2010.

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13 questions to ask at the public hearing on voter ID rules

This afternoon’s public hearing at the Iowa Secretary of State’s office probably will not lead to any substantial revisions in the administrative rules proposed to implement Iowa’s new election law. While the bill was working its way through the legislature, neither Secretary of State Paul Pate nor Republican lawmakers acknowledged research from other states, indicating voter ID and signature verification requirements would suppress voting by some eligible citizens, especially in certain groups.

Nevertheless, the record from today’s hearing could become important in potential future court rulings on the law.

Gerry Hebert, one of the country’s top experts on voting rights law, told an audience in Des Moines last week that testimony at public hearings has sometimes been useful in litigation on other states’ voting restrictions. Speaking to Bleeding Heartland after that event, Hebert offered more specific suggestions on questions that would be helpful for citizens to ask today.

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Voter suppression is the issue

Adam Kenworthy shines a spotlight on two upcoming events focused on the threat to voting rights. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The Washington Post editorial board on August 19 declared voter suppression the civil rights issue of this era. The Post’s article directly relates to the violence and hatred that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia and to President Donald Trump’s repeated statements and actions to excuse and empower white supremacists. One key aspect of those efforts is the president’s phony “election integrity” commission, headed by Kris Kobach.

In order to understand the magnitude of the current drive to suppress votes, we must recognize that such policies, while still heavily relying on and drawing from the tactics of racial oppression, are now motivated by one distinguishing factor: party.

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