The Bleeding Heartland community lost a valued voice this year when Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese passed away in October. As Mike Carberry noted in his obituary for his good friend, Kurt had a tremendous amount on his plate, and I was grateful whenever he found time to share his commentaries in this space. His final post here was a thought-provoking look at his own upbringing and past intimate relationships in light of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Friese was among more than 100 guest authors who produced 202 Bleeding Heartland posts during 2018, shattering the previous record of 164 posts by 83 writers in 2017. I'm thankful for every piece and have linked to them all below.
You will find scoops grounded in original research, commentary about major news events, personal reflections on events from many years ago, and stories in photographs or cartoons. Some posts were short, while others developed an argument over thousands of words. Pieces by Allison Engel, Randy Richardson, Tyler Higgs, and Matt Chapman were among the most-viewed at the site this year. In the full list, I've noted other posts that were especially popular.
Please get in touch if you would like to write about any political topic of local, statewide, or national importance during 2019. If you do not already have a Bleeding Heartland account, I can set one up for you and explain the process. There is no standard format or word limit. I copy-edit for clarity but don't micromanage how authors express themselves. Although most authors write under their real names, pseudonyms are allowed here and may be advisable for those writing about sensitive topics or whose day job does not permit expressing political views. I ask authors to disclose potential conflicts of interest, such as being are a paid staffer, consultant, or lobbyist promoting any candidate or policy they discuss here.
The most prolific Bleeding Heartland author in 2018 was Ira Lacher, who wrote fifteen commentaries under the handle BronxinIowa.
Bruce Lear wrote thirteen commentaries, mostly related to public education.
A perfect Iowa storm (among 25 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
Matt Chapman wrote eleven posts, mostly related to Iowa legislature's work.
Waukee School Board to approve wrongful termination settlement (twelfth most-viewed Bleeding Heartland post of 2018)
Randy Richardson's nine posts mostly focused on public education and collective bargaining.
Iowa teachers are feeling the burn(out) (third most-viewed Bleeding Heartland post of 2018)
Change to Iowa's bargaining law has real impact on these teachers (among 20 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
Tyler Higgs covered a wide range of topics in his eight posts.
Part 1: How to corrupt a school district (among 50 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
Part 2: How to corrupt the Iowa House (sixth most-viewed at the site in 2018)
Waukee School District audit exposes more shenanigans (among 40 most-viewed posts at the site in 2018)
Dan Guild wrote seven posts, mostly about the battle for control of the U.S. House.
Ed Fallon's activism inspired five commentaries this year.
Three authors contributed four posts each. In alphabetical order, they are Kurt Friese:
Josh Hughes concentrated on Iowa campaigns and elections.
Race ratings: Battle for the Iowa House (among 25 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
Majority makers: 15 districts that will determine control of the Iowa House (among 40 most-viewed posts at the site in 2018)
An open letter to Deidre DeJear (co-authored with Olivia Habinck)
Jon Muller shared thoughts about the economy and public policy.
The following eleven writers (listed in alphabetical order) contributed three posts each. Randy Bauer drew on his expertise about taxes and ways to measure economic performance.
Katie Byerly wrote three posts for the wildflowers series.
Writing under the handle "Prairie Progressive," Jeff Cox offered advice to readers.
Randy Evans, the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, drew attention to the public's right to know.
Amber Gustafson drew on her perspective as an Iowa Senate candidate.
Tanya Keith shared personal experiences in these political posts.
A Jew, a German, and 2 Ames residents meet outside a Steve King event (among 25 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
Josh Mandelbaum's work on the Des Moines City Council and for the Environmental Law & Policy Center informed these posts.
John Morrissey produced three scoops by diving deep into little-read official reports.
John Norwood wrote three pieces related to his campaign for public office.
Why I'm running for Polk County Soil and Water Commission (among 40 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
Carl Olsen is one of Iowa's leading experts on medical cannabis policy.
Julie Stauch drew on her vast experience working on campaigns.
Thirteen authors contributed two posts each. In alphabetical order:
An open letter to Deidre DeJear (co-authored with Josh Hughes)
Sixty-four Bleeding Heartland user accounts contributed one post each. Several of those posts involved more than one author. In alphabetical order:
Ako Abdul-Samad: Jonathan Narcisse, Remembered
Tiffany Allison: Marsy's Law would provide better protections for victims
Charles Bruner: Remembering Senator Tom Slater
Laural Clinton: Historic meetings seek to end racial profiling in Des Moines
Lora Conrad: Wahoo
"Ann Crane" (not her real name): Why do I have to choose between opioids and medical cannabis for chronic pain?
Concerned Iowan: How you can fight Trump's cruel treatment of immigrant children
Sue Dinsdale: Iowans are health care voters
Eric Donat: The "dignity of work" and one's worth
Andrew Duffelmeyer: A misguided, irresponsible attempt to legalize discrimination
Morgan Edwards: A new podcast: Filibustered!
Emily at Activate: Which candidates for governor are organizing statewide?
Allison Engel: A house divided (second most-viewed Bleeding Heartland post of 2018)
Flip It Iowa: Flip the Iowa House
Tracy Freese: An open letter of thanks from Tracy Freese
Shawn Harmsen: Why I'm supporting Nate Boulton for Iowa governor
Greg Hauenstein: Iowa's Congressional delegation reacts to #TreasonSummit
Dirk Hillard, Carly Armour, Robert Vizzini, and Vania Kassouf: Urgent: Deaf/Hard of hearing language acquisition bill
Gwen Hope: Trans health care islands are tenuous
UPDATE: Gwen wrote another piece in late December 2018: Racism evident in Iowa justice system
Peggy Huppert: Why the mental health bills that just passed are a big deal
Iowa Coalition for Sexual Assault staff: Why we oppose "Marsy's Law" legislation in Iowa
Iowa Student Action: Iowa students lead in nationwide fight for free college for all
Tom Jochum: Farewell to an altar boy
Barb Kalbach: Clean water and the governor's race
Adam Kenworthy: It is time to go for broke
Sherry Kiskunas: What has Rod Blum done for Iowa's first district?
Sable Knapp: Outgrow the status quo (endorsement of Cathy Glasson)
Latrice Lacey: Urgent: Civil rights commission threatened in Davenport
Ryan Marquardt: A crop whose time has come
Mark Masterson: Introducing Jason Moats, Democrat for Iowa House district 84
Pete McRoberts: Nate Boulton must resign now
Kurt Meyer: Our shared future is at stake
Nate Monson: Post-modern queer youth experience
Ben Muller: Like riding a bike
Jackie Norris: The dignity of work
Susie Olesen: Report from Senator Joni Ernst's town hall in Shenandoah (among 20 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018)
One Iowa staff: Reflecting on Donna Red Wing's legacy
Kyla Paterson: Vote for Jodi Clemens in Iowa House district 73
James Pierce: John Norris in a league of his own
Heather Ryan: I'm voting no March 6 (twice if I don't get caught)
Alex Sekora: Why I am supporting John Norris for governor
Dennis Smith: Angels falling from the sky
Joe Stutler: Democrats have a patriotism perception problem
Ruth Thompson: Adventures in "pro-life"
Scott Thompson: Voter fluidity and my outreach to new Democratic voters
Lauren Whitehead: John Norris for Iowa's future
Cody Woodruff: Choose hope: Vote Nate Boulton for governor
Phyllis Womble: Andy McGuire supporter urges unity, hopes for positivity
ReShonda Young: We need representatives who vote for us!