If all Iowa candidates had to win under rules Republicans forced on unions

“There’s not one Republican in this state that could win an election under the rules they gave us,” asserted AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan after the first round of public union recertification elections ended this week.

He was only slightly exaggerating.

A review of the last two general election results shows that Iowa’s capitol would be mostly devoid of office-holders if candidates for statewide and legislative races needed a majority vote among all their constituents–rather than a plurality among those who cast ballots–to be declared winners.

Continue Reading...

Iowans really, really don't like the Senate Republican health care bill

Only 27 percent of Iowans support the Senate Republican proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a recent Public Policy Polling survey. By a 20-point margin, respondents said Senator Joni Ernst “should fix and improve our current health care law” rather than “continue trying to pass the Republican plan to repeal and replace it” when Congress goes back to work after the July 4 recess.

Those numbers reflect answers given before respondents had heard any negative messages about specific provisions in the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which Senate leaders hope to bring up for a vote soon.

Continue Reading...

Number 4 of 99: Taylor County

Previous installments in this series can be found here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This week I will review our fourth-smallest county in terms of population, Taylor County. The 2010 census found 6,317 people living in the entire 532 square miles (36th smallest) that are within Taylor County. Taylor County is south and west of Des Moines. It borders on two of the other sparsely populated counties we have already reviewed, Adams and Ringgold.

According to Google Maps, the county seat of Taylor County, Bedford, is 115 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines. Taylor County was founded in 1847 when it was separated from Page County and was named after General (and soon to be president) Zachary Taylor.

Continue Reading...

A year's worth of guest posts, plus tips for guest authors

One of my blogging new year’s resolutions for 2016 was to publish more work by other authors, and I’m grateful to the many talented writers who helped me meet that goal. After the jump I’ve linked to all 140 guest posts published here last year.

I encourage readers to consider writing for this site in 2017. Guest authors can write about any political issue of local, state, or national importance. As you can see from the stories enclosed below, a wide range of topics and perspectives are welcome here.

Pieces can be short or long, funny or sad. You can write in a detached voice or let your emotions show.

Posts can analyze what happened or advocate for what should happen, either in terms of public policy or a political strategy for Democrats. Authors can share first-person accounts of campaign events or more personal reflections about public figures.

Guest authors do not need to e-mail a draft to me or ask permission to pursue a story idea. Just register for an account (using the “sign up” link near the upper right), log in, write a post, edit as needed, and hit “submit for review” when you are ready to publish. The piece will be “pending” until I approve it for publication, to prevent spammers from using the site to sell their wares. You can write under your own name or choose any pseudonym not already claimed by another Bleeding Heartland user. I do not reveal authors’ identity without their permission.

I also want to thank everyone who comments on posts here. If you’ve never participated that way, feel free to register for a user account and share your views. If you used to comment occasionally but have not done so lately, you may need to reset your password. Let me know if you have any problems registering for an account, logging in, or changing a password. My address is near the lower right-hand corner of this page.

Continue Reading...

Our tour of the 99 counties of Iowa starts in Adams County

First in a planned 99-part series by guest author DMNATIVE. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I am starting our tour with our smallest county in terms of population, Adams County. The 2010 census found 4,029 people living in the entire 426 square miles that are within Adams County. Adams county is located south and west of Des Moines. According to Google Maps, the county seat of Adams County, Corning, is 94.7 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines. Adams county was founded in 1853 when it was split from Pottawattamie County, and was further reduced in size when Union and Montgomery County were established.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Democrats will need to fend for ourselves in 2018 and 2020

Since election day, I’ve spoken with many Iowa Democrats and have observed many conversations and debates on social media. People process grief in different ways. Some Democrats are still bogged down in arguments over who is to blame (e.g. centrist or “establishment” Democrats, the FBI director, political journalists). Some are despairing over how Republicans will use total control over state government to destroy safety net programs and erode civil rights. Some have already moved on to pondering how we can create a stronger statewide party, and how Democrats could mitigate the harm Congressional Republicans will be able to inflict on Americans.

I applaud the forward-thinking people who are preparing for the tasks ahead. At the same time, I’m concerned that many Democrats haven’t absorbed the long-term consequences of what happened here on November 8.

For decades, politically-engaged Iowans have enjoyed the attention that comes with being first in the nominating process and a swing state later in the year. Our popular vote tracked closely to the national popular vote margin in six straight presidential elections. Both major-party nominees campaigned here and paid for field networks to get out the vote, with collateral benefits for down-ticket candidates.

We need to recognize that during the next couple of election cycles, we will likely be on our own.

Continue Reading...
View More...