GOP outspending Democrats in almost every competitive Iowa Senate race

As was the case two years ago, Democratic candidates are at a financial disadvantage in almost all of the Iowa Senate districts both parties are targeting.

The disparity adds another challenge to a party already facing a difficult path to gaining ground in the upper chamber. Republicans currently hold 29 of the 50 Senate seats and are guaranteed to pick up the district independent Senator David Johnson is vacating.

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Clean water and the governor’s race

Barb Kalbach is a fourth-generation family farmer from Adair County and board chair of CCI Action Fund. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In the gubernatorial debate on Wednesday night, lots of issues were discussed, but one got short shrift: Iowa’s clean water crisis.

Iowans across party lines want clean water and air. But pollution from corporate factory farms is making that impossible, as millions of gallons of untreated waste ends up in our waterways.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Royal catchfly

Today’s featured flower doesn’t exactly belong in Iowa. But unlike most of the non-natives Bleeding Heartland has profiled for this series, it isn’t a European transplant. Although royal catchfly (Silene regia) is native to states south and east of us, it became popular in prairie plantings or restorations here because of its brilliant color. You are are unlikely to overlook these bright red, star-shaped flowers or confuse them with anything else blooming on an Iowa landscape during the summer.

Over the years, I’ve tried and mostly failed to take good pictures of red or deep pink flowers. The petals often come out looking flat, like a Matisse painting. I’ve learned that this is a common problem for amateur photographers. Fortunately, several wildflower enthusiasts stepped up to share their images of royal catchfly from different parts of the state.

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