IA-04: Cash-poor Steve King banks on Donald Trump

U.S. Representative Steve King has raised a shockingly small amount of money for his re-election and could be outspent by multiple Republican challengers before next year’s primary to represent Iowa’s fourth district.

But while King lacks the fundraising ability of many Congressional colleagues, he has invested his political capital wisely, aligning closely with Donald Trump in the president’s hour of need.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Lesser fringed gentian

Katie Byerly has a knack for finding rare native plants. She’s also on YouTube at Iowa Prairie Girl. -promoted by Laura Belin

Serious birders compile a “Life List.” A list of all the bird species they have ever encountered.

When I seriously started studying Iowa wildflowers three years ago, I soon realized that finding a fall gentian is considered a bonus during a wildflower search. I remember being thrilled finding my first bottle gentian. As I added more gentian to my “life list”–cream, stiff, and downy–it began to seem as if the elusive fringed gentian, which inspired so many, was eluding me.

Finally this August, I was so pleased when I stumbled upon a fringed gentian in a wonderful little fen located in the southeast corner of Cerro Gordo County. It turned out to be Lesser fringed gentian (Gentianopsis virgata), sometimes known as smaller fringed gentian.

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How Linda Upmeyer could use her unspent campaign funds

Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer raised more than $1.5 million during the 2018 election cycle and donated most of the money to the Republican Party of Iowa, for use in competitive state legislative races. Upmeyer surely raised significant funds during the first nine months of this year, before she confirmed plans to step down as speaker. (We won’t know how much until Iowa lawmakers file their next campaign finance disclosures in January.)

What’s going to happen to the money in Upmeyer’s campaign account, given that the soon-to-be-former caucus leader won’t run for re-election in 2020?

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Iowa remains among worst states for racial disparities

Midwestern states continue to have greater “racial disparities in economic opportunity and economic outcomes” than do other regions of the U.S., while “policy interventions designed to close those gaps are meager,” concludes a new report by Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa and the Iowa Policy Project.

Gordon’s findings are consistent with past research showing that African Americans in Iowa face pervasive barriers in many areas of life. By some measures, our state’s racial disparities are among the worst in the Midwest region and the country.

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Warm, yet fierce: Why I am supporting Kamala Harris

Norene Kelly is State Representative Karin Derry’s volunteer campaign manager. Derry flipped Iowa House district 39 in 2018 and is running for re-election in 2020.

“Be sure about your answer, sir.”

Senator Kamala Harris first got my attention at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. She was focused and prosecutorial. Her legal background was an obvious advantage. She can be simultaneously steely and smiling. Pressure doesn’t faze her—it empowers her. Wow, I thought, I hope she runs for president.

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Why Mayor Pete will make LGBTQ youth safe

Nate Monson: “When Pete talks about his plans and vision for our country, I see four years of hope for a more united country where everyone can be part of the solution to our nation’s most urgent challenges.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Since 2007, I have served as the Executive Director for Iowa Safe Schools, one of the largest statewide LGBTQ organizations in the country. Our job is to create safe and supportive schools and communities for LGBTQ youth through education, advocacy, outreach, and direct services.

I believe every single candidate running on the Democratic side supports equality without question. But when I look at the 2020 field, only one candidate is working to build a culture of belonging in this country and that is Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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