Don't blow clear shot at victory

Former state lawmaker and 2006 gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon warns Iowa Democrats against nominating the front-runner in this year’s race. -promoted by desmoinesdem

“This whole election is so volatile, and so many people dislike Clinton that it could go that way. I mean, Trump could win.” — Ed Fallon on August 25, 2016

That’s my quote in a Bleeding Heartland story published nearly two years ago, when almost no one thought Donald Trump could prevail against Hillary Clinton’s juggernaut. Sadly, many Iowa Democrats learned nothing from that election. Now many Democrats are lining up behind Fred Hubbell — the one candidate who could lose to Kim Reynolds in November, despite Reynolds’ extreme vulnerability.

Democrats must have missed 2016’s most teachable moment: failing to notice that the candidate tagged as “status quo” (whether true or false) loses.

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We must do better

John Grieder is a Democratic activist in Waterloo. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Like so many Iowa Democrats, I have watched this gubernatorial primary with a keen eye. With Terry Branstad leaving Terrace Hill for China and Governor Kim Reynolds continuing the same failed policies, 2018 seemed like the year of hope for turning the governor’s mansion back to blue. I’ve watched and heard and hoped with most of the candidates, flitting from one to another. I fully admit that I have been fickle and changed my mind more than once.

Even now, my absentee ballot sits upon our counter unfilled. So many thoughts, hopes, and fears play out when I look upon that ballot that I have to leave it blank for now, because I do not as yet know the path forward.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Sweet William (Wild blue phlox)

If you venture into the woods or along a wooded trail over the Memorial Day weekend, you will have a good chance of spotting the blue-violet or reddish-purple flowers on this native plant. Sweet William usually begins blooming in April, but I didn’t see any flowers this year until May. Also known as wild blue phlox or woodland phlox, this species is native to most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

What appear to be five petals on each flower are actually lobes. I believe all of the enclosed photographs show the subspecies Phlox divaricata laphamii, which “has a more western range,” according to the Illinois Wildflowers website. A subspecies called Phlox divaricata divaricata has lobes with notched tips and is generally found in Indiana or to the east.

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Boulton's conduct was unacceptable. His response is not credible

Three women have described in detail incidents of non-consensual touching by State Senator Nate Boulton, Brianne Pfannenstiel reported today for the Des Moines Register. Boulton did not deny the women’s accounts but said they did not match his recollection. He also asserted his alleged behavior “in social settings” was not comparable to harassment or assault in the workplace.

Boulton’s alleged conduct was unacceptable. His distinction is not credible. His political career is no longer tenable.

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Don’t hide government officials from the public

Iowa Freedom of Information Council executive director Randy Evans reflects on the flawed draft advisory opinion the Iowa Public Information Board’s staff proposed in response to my inquiry. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I sometimes think government officials overlook the important role the public plays in our system of government.

That was my takeaway last week from the monthly meeting of the Iowa Public Information Board.

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