Outliers

Stacey Walker has chaired the Linn County Board of Supervisors since January. He delivered this State of the County Address on May 8. -promoted by Laura Belin

It is with great pride that I stand before you today, with the awesome task of presenting the state of the county address: an occasion I’m sure everyone here has been looking forward to since the date was announced. I know in my heart that you’re all here because you want to be, and not because your employer bought a table and needed it to be filled.

My sincere thanks to the women and men of the League of Women Voters for doing the hard work of organizing this event – and many others – designed to keep the general public informed of and engaged in the happenings of our democracy. You all are heroes.

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Medicaid and pineapple on pizza

This commentary was a collective effort by four people on the advocacy committee of the United Spinal Association’s Iowa chapter. -promoted by Laura Belin

Is pineapple on pizza acceptable?

This irrationally controversial question has divided households since the advent of Hawaiian pizza. Gordon Ramsay decisively says that pineapple has no place on pizza while Alton Brown is a staunch defender. How do we decide which reality cooking show host is the expert?

Odds are, you will choose an expert based on your pizza preference. This is called “confirmation bias.” We are all quick to ignore information that doesn’t confirm our bias and latch on to information that does.

This is exactly what happened last week when a Republican legislator took the words of disability advocates out of context on the Iowa Senate floor.

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Recognizing Bleeding Heartland's talented 2018 guest authors

The Bleeding Heartland community lost a valued voice this year when Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese passed away in October. As Mike Carberry noted in his obituary for his good friend, Kurt had a tremendous amount on his plate, and I was grateful whenever he found time to share his commentaries in this space. His final post here was a thought-provoking look at his own upbringing and past intimate relationships in light of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Friese was among more than 100 guest authors who produced 202 Bleeding Heartland posts during 2018, shattering the previous record of 164 posts by 83 writers in 2017. I’m thankful for every piece and have linked to them all below.

You will find scoops grounded in original research, commentary about major news events, personal reflections on events from many years ago, and stories in photographs or cartoons. Some posts were short, while others developed an argument over thousands of words. Pieces by Allison Engel, Randy Richardson, Tyler Higgs, and Matt Chapman were among the most-viewed at the site this year. In the full list, I’ve noted other posts that were especially popular.

Please get in touch if you would like to write about any political topic of local, statewide, or national importance during 2019. If you do not already have a Bleeding Heartland account, I can set one up for you and explain the process. There is no standard format or word limit. I copy-edit for clarity but don’t micromanage how authors express themselves. Although most authors write under their real names, pseudonyms are allowed here and may be advisable for those writing about sensitive topics or whose day job does not permit expressing political views. I ask authors to disclose potential conflicts of interest, such as being are a paid staffer, consultant, or lobbyist promoting any candidate or policy they discuss here.

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Rob Sand: If I'm elected, Medicaid MCOs will get subpoenas

Iowa’s disastrous Medicaid privatization is becoming an important theme of Rob Sand’s campaign for state auditor. While Republican incumbent Mary Mosiman was slow to embark on a review of the program and won’t promise to release her office’s findings before the November election, Sand has pledged to thoroughly investigate the operations of managed-care organizations (MCOs), which now make health care decisions affecting more than 600,000 Iowans.

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Reynolds dumped Medicaid adviser who asked tough questions

“It’s not certain to me that [my son] Matthew is safe with a Republican governor and a Republican legislature,” David Hudson told the Des Moines Register’s Tony Leys after Governor Kim Reynolds declined to reappoint him as co-chair of Iowa’s Medical Assistance Advisory Council. “And I say that as a lifelong Republican! Because I just don’t see the governor asking the right questions and doing the right thing for my son.”

By dumping Hudson and another council member who spoke out about problems related to Medicaid privatization, Reynolds has once again shown she is unwilling or unable to engage with facts on the ground related to Iowans’ health care.

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The dignity of work

Jackie Norris is president and CEO of Goodwill of Central Iowa and a longtime political organizer who previously served as chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Yesterday, Eric Donat shared with us his thoughts about employment for individuals with disabilities. I have to say, when I saw his post I was sad and mad. Sad at hearing about his personal experience and mad that someone did not feel dignity in their workplace.

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