Grassley spins plot to overturn election as "robust discussion"

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley asserted on August 9 that Democratic senators may “do lasting damage to our political system” by investigating former President Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.

In a 12-minute speech on the Senate floor, Grassley downplayed the latest revelations about Trump’s attempts to use the Justice Department to reverse Biden wins in some states.

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Seven Iowa lawmakers who had crossover appeal in 2020

The Daily Kos Elections team performs an incredible public service every two years, calculating top-ticket results for every state legislative district in the country. Last week the staff published raw vote totals and vote shares for Joe Biden and Donald Trump in all 100 Iowa House districts and 50 Iowa Senate districts.

Take my advice and bookmark that spreadsheet, as well as an updated Daily Kos Elections spreadsheet showing how residents of each Iowa legislative district voted for president in 2012 and 2016, for governor in 2014 and 2018, and for U.S. Senate in 2014. Even though Iowa’s state legislative boundaries will soon change, the data will remain useful as evidence of changing voting patterns.

For today I want to dive into crossover voting in Iowa, which was the focus of a Daily Kos Elections post on July 26. Ticket-splitting is rarer now than it used to be, but six current House members won last November, even though their constituents preferred the other party’s presidential candidate. Four sitting state senators represent districts that voted for the other party’s presidential candidate in 2020. However, only one of them was up for re-election last year. We can’t know how the other three would have performed compared to Trump or Biden.

This post covers the legislators whose districts went the other way for president, with thoughts about how each House or Senate district might change on Iowa’s next political map.

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How we got here?

Bleeding Heartland user dbmarin is a a fourth-generation artist-educator and former Des Moines Register beat reporter with roots in Buxton, Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

The last five years have been a real education for me moving back to my home state of Iowa after living in Northern California for the last 30 years. As Robert Ray-sensibility gave way to Terry Branstad and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), I wondered, what were the national and state Democrats doing about all of this? Surely, they could prevent Iowa from moving way too far away from its sensible-progressive heritage.

Apparently I misjudged something along the way because around 1988 or 1989, Rush Limbaugh arrived to stay on Des Moines radio. (During the late 1980s, I thought most Iowans would be too smart to allow caustic BS from a Cape Giradeau, Missouri loudmouth to take hold.)

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On Grassley: What's the sideshow? What's the center ring?

Herb Strentz: The real story is not whether Chuck Grassley will seek re-election, but his refusal to denounce Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election. -promoted by Laura Belin

A chronic condition of the press is a tendency to focus on the sideshow instead of the main attraction—to report “what’s going on” without acknowledging “what is really going on.”

That critique comes to mind in reflecting on recent media coverage and commentary regarding U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

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Celebrating democracy in an age of backsliding

“What would you say if you saw it in another country?”

Dartmouth political science professor Brendan Nyhan used that catch phrase throughout Donald Trump’s presidency (up to its very last day) to highlight the president’s public comments or official acts that in any other country would be seen as warning signs of a slide toward authoritarian rule.

The thought experiment always resonated with me, because I saw it in another country.

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Democrats keep majority on Johnston city council

Bryan Burkhardt won the June 22 special election for a Johnston City Council seat despite a strong write-in campaign by local Republicans on behalf of Jim Gorsche. Unofficial results posted by the Polk County auditor’s office showed 1,032 votes for Burkhardt (51.1 percent), 783 write-in votes (38.8 percent), all but six of which were for Gorsche, and 203 votes for Adam Haar (10.1 percent).

Turnout was just under 14 percent, not bad for a summer local election, which received little media coverage.

Burkhardt, a Des Moines Area Community College professor and small business owner, will serve the remainder of Scott Syroka’s term, which runs through 2023. Elected to the council in 2019, Syroka resigned early this year to serve as deputy director of communications in the Biden-Harris administration’s Office of Personnel Management. John Temple has been filling the vacancy on the council since February; he didn’t compete in the special election.

Local elections are nonpartisan in Iowa, but Burkhardt and Haar, the top two vote-getters in the city’s May 25 primary, both had support from area Democrats. Gorsche finished third in the four-way primary.

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