John Deere strike highlights many U.S. policy deficiencies

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The United Auto Workers strike at John Deere is about fair wages and the value of work, but also about the corruption of our corporate welfare system and the devaluing of American lives. Sadly, the corporate value of workers mirrors the values of our own government.

The shift of the distribution of wealth in this country from the time of Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics clearly demonstrates how that policy failed Americans. Wealth consolidated at the top, and a minuscule portion barely trickled down to just the highest 10 percent of earners.

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Plan 2 shows Iowa Democrats need more than cities, suburbs

Iowa’s nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency released the second redistricting plan on October 21.

Although Republican leaders have not signaled their intentions publicly, I anticipate they will accept this package. Not only does it give the GOP a shot at sweeping all four U.S. House districts, it appears to solidify the party’s majorities in the state House and Senate for some time. Former lawmakers and longtime Iowa politics watchers have uniformly told me that lawmakers are more concerned with the legislative maps than the Congressional plan.

Bleeding Heartland will cover the new maps in more detail if the legislature approves them during the October 28 special session.

For now, a quick review of the big picture: as expected, the House and Senate maps create some opportunities for Democrats in growing urban and suburban areas. But as Evan Burger predicted early this year, that’s not enough to get the party to legislative majorities without winning back some ground in smaller counties or mid-sized cities where Democrats used to perform well.

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Why Miller-Meeks will likely move rather than run in IA-03

There are winners and losers in every redistricting plan. The second set of nonpartisan Iowa maps, which the Legislative Services Agency released on October 21, was much kinder to U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson than the first map, which put Hinson in a Democratic-leaning Congressional district.

Fortunes were reversed for U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks. The first plan put her in a district that Donald Trump carried by more than 10 points in 2020. Today’s proposal puts most of the territory she now represents in a district Trump carried by about 2 points. She was certified the winner last year against Rita Hart by six votes in a district Trump carried by 4 points.

Even worse, Miller-Meeks’ home in Ottumwa (Wapello County) is part of the proposed third Congressional district, where Trump outpolled Joe Biden by just 0.4 points.

On Iowa social media feeds today, I’ve seen some speculation about how Miller-Meeks might fare against Democratic Representative Cindy Axne, or about Democrat Christina Bohannan being able to run for Congress in an open seat covering most of southeast Iowa.

I wouldn’t spend a lot of time pondering those scenarios.

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IA-Sen: A big quarter for Abby Finkenauer

The latest Federal Election Commission filings from Iowa’s U.S. Senate candidates included one big surprise. Former U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer raised more money than seven-term Senator Chuck Grassley during the third quarter of the year.

Follow me after the jump for highlights on fundraising and spending by all the Senate candidates.

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Delayed map didn't hurt Iowa Congressional 3Q fundraising

Candidates running for U.S. House in Iowa raised a surprising amount of money from July through September, given that we have no idea what their districts will look like in 2022.

Follow me after the jump for highlights from the latest quarterly filings to the Federal Election Commission. Notable numbers from Congressional candidates’ fundraising and spending during the first half of 2021 can be found here.

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Why Mike Franken thinks he can beat Chuck Grassley

The Democratic field for U.S. Senate appears to be set at last, with retired Vice Admiral Mike Franken’s campaign launch on October 14. Franken is the fifth Democrat to join the field, following Dave Muhlbauer, Abby Finkenauer, Glenn Hurst, and Bob Krause.

Although he got a later start than his primary competitors, Franken enters the race with a strong base, having received 68,851 votes (nearly 25 percent) in last year’s four-way primary for U.S. Senate. Nominee Theresa Greenfield benefited from massive establishment support and some $7 million in outside spending before the June 2020 primary.

During an October 14 telephone interview, Franken discussed his decision to run and his stance on some major issues of the day.

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