Democrats have a solid recruit in one of the Iowa House seats on the second tier of the party’s target list for 2020. Muscatine City Council member Kelcey Brackett announced on December 13 that he will run for House district 91, now represented by three-term Republican Gary Carlson.Continue Reading...
On the same day Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear restored voting rights to some 140,000 constituents who previously committed nonviolent crimes, Governor Kim Reynolds rolled out an incremental step to make it easier for Iowans to regain their voting rights after completing a felony sentence.
It was the fourth time the application process has been simplified in nearly nine years since Governor Terry Branstad restored Iowa’s lifetime ban on voting after a felony conviction.
Although the new policy may marginally increase the number of Iowans who can cast a ballot in 2020, it will leave tens of thousands of Iowans unable to vote for years. It’s not clear the governor’s office will be able to process all of the new applications in time for next year’s general election.
Reynolds could mostly solve this problem in a day. She clings to an unconvincing rationale for not doing so.Continue Reading...
Residents of low-income communities are more likely to suffer property damage from floods but less likely to be fully compensated for losses and also less likely to benefit from flood mitigation efforts, according to a report the Iowa Policy Project published on December 12.
University of Iowa graduate student Joseph Wilensky wrote “Flooding and Inequity: Policy Responses on the Front Line” (click here for the summary and here for the full text). His focus was on “frontline communities”:Continue Reading...
Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson: Of three possible approaches to health policy, only Medicare for All “reduces the damage that the existing system causes and remedies the cumulative policy failures of the past 70 years.” -promoted by Laura Belin
Health care delivery in the U.S. is a market failure and a governmental failure.
The private sector cannot adequately supply all that is demanded because many of those seeking health care cannot pay for what they need. Government systems, while attentive to the needs of the elderly, disabled, poor, and many veterans, nonetheless fail to cover all who require health care, because policies and funding are inadequate.
As a consequence, too little health care is delivered. And too little health care is socially destructive.
Ira Lacher reflects on the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. -promoted by Laura Belin
It was jarring but not surprising: The Washington Post reported this week that politicians and the military lied to Americans about the prospects of success for the war in Afghanistan and that actually, we had no idea of what we were doing there, militarily or politically.
With virtually no public discussion and no opportunity for independent analysis of the complicated financials, the Iowa Board of Regents on December 10 approved a plan to lease the University of Iowa’s utilities for 50 years in exchange for an up-front payment of $1.165 billion.
Governor Kim Reynolds hailed the “historic day for higher education in Iowa.” In an official news release, Regents President Michael Richards praised what he called an “open, inclusive process leading to this agreement.”
Orwellian spin won’t fool anyone. A government board charged with managing public institutions should not have committed the university to such a far-reaching and costly deal without a full airing of the risks and benefits.