IA-03: Highlights from 3Q campaign filings by Cindy Axne, David Young

The 2018 campaign for Iowa’s third Congressional district was the most expensive U.S. House race in our state’s history. Then-Representative David Young spent more than $2.8 million, his Democratic challenger Cindy Axne spent more than $5.1 million, and outside groups kicked in nearly $9 million to influence the outcome.

The latest Federal Election Commission filings show Axne and Young are both raising plenty for what should be a highly competitive (and expensive) rematch.

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Iowa youth go on strike demanding response to climate crisis

Isabelle Brace of Des Moines is the state press organizer for Iowa Climate Strike. -promoted by Laura Belin

Des Moines area students, community members, and youth organizers banded together at the Iowa Capitol on September 20 to strike from school and work, demanding comprehensive action against climate change. This strike started off a week of action and solidarity around the world.

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Loretta Sieman on the public option and why she's in that ad

Industry-funded groups have recently spent more than a million dollars on television and online advertising in Iowa opposing Democratic plans to expand access to health insurance.

Some ads primarily focus on single-payer plans (often known as Medicare for All), which more than half a dozen presidential candidates are supporting. But Partnership for America’s Health Care Future has used its hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Des Moines market targeting more modest proposals to offer a “public option” on exchanges selling private health insurance policies.

Many central Iowa Democratic activists were surprised and upset to see Loretta Sieman, a longtime West Des Moines city council member, in one of the partnership’s commercials. Sieman spoke to Bleeding Heartland on September 11 about why she opposes the public option and why she agreed to appear in the ad, now in heavy rotation on YouTube as well as Des Moines broadcast and cable stations.

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Where things stand in Iowa's Senate, Congressional races

Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the most intense phase of campaigning in election years. This holiday is also a good time to review the state of play in races for federal offices in odd-numbered years. Though new candidates could emerge at any time before Iowa’s March 2020 filing deadline–Patty Judge was a late arrival to the Democratic U.S. Senate field in 2016–it’s more typical for federal candidates here to kick off their campaigns by the end of summer the year before the election.

Thanks to Iowa’s non-partisan redistricting system, all four U.S. House races here could be competitive in 2020, and our Senate race is on the map–in contrast to 2016, when Senator Chuck Grassley’s re-election was almost a foregone conclusion.

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Axne, Finkenauer join Loebsack on assault weapons ban

All three Democrats representing Iowa in the U.S. House are now among 204 co-sponsors of a bill that would ban numerous forms of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

H.R. 1296 is modeled on the assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004. It would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of a wide range of semiautomatic weapons, including AK, AR, Thompson, and Uzi models, which have been used in various mass shootings. The bill would apply to shotguns with revolving cylinders or grenade launchers, as well as to any “semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.”

The bill would grandfather in any assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to its date of enactment.

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