Ethics board: Iowa candidates can't use campaign funds for child care

Iowa candidates seeking to use campaign funds to cover child care expenses are out of luck unless the state legislature and governor expressly allow the practice. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted 5-1 at a July 13 meeting for an opinion stating, “We do not believe Iowa law clearly allows campaign funds to be used for a candidate’s childcare expenses related [to] campaigning. We believe this issue is a policy decision best left to the legislature.”

The Federal Election Commission determined in May that Congressional candidates “may use campaign funds” to pay for child care expenses that “would not exist irrespective” of the campaign. Soon after, state House candidate Reyma McCoy McDeid, a single mother of a three-year-old, requested an advisory opinion on the matter from Iowa’s campaign regulator.

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Interview: Ann Selzer stands by sampling method for primary polls

J. Ann Selzer has earned a reputation as “the best pollster in politics” through “old-school rigor” and not adjusting her data to fit guesses about the structure of the electorate. Des Moines-based Selzer & Co. is one of only five polling firms in the country currently rated A+ by FiveThirtyEight. Like many media pollsters, the firm uses a random digit dial method to find respondents for surveys about a primary or Iowa caucus. Most internal polls commissioned by campaigns draw the sample from a registered voter list, with an emphasis on past participants in either a Democratic or Republican nominating contest.

I sought comment from Selzer on her methodology because of Fred Hubbell’s and Cindy Axne’s unexpectedly large margins of victory in this year’s Iowa Democratic primary. In a telephone interview with Bleeding Heartland last week, Selzer explained why she will stick with her sampling method for future primary elections.

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How you can fight Trump's cruel treatment of immigrant children

A concerned Iowan sees a chance to stop President Donald Trump’s abhorrent immigration policy by pressuring large corporate donors of influential Republican politicians. -promoted by desmoinesdem

By now, you’ve probably heard that the United States government is ripping children away from their families at the border. As expected, the gut-wrenching truth generated significant public outcry. The Department of Justice’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration has separated almost 2,000 children from their parents. That is 46 children a day for six weeks straight.

At issue here is not immigration policy, but our basic decency as a country. The politicians in charge of our country think it is in their best interest to stop desperate and downtrodden immigrants at the border, snatch up their children, and then send parents back to the place they were so desperate to flee.

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