Representative Bobby Kaufmann lives in a glass House

A GOP lawmaker’s outrage rings hollow when we’ve repeatedly seen Iowa Republicans push policies they never campaigned on. -promoted by Laura Belin

On the Iowa House State Government Committee’s agenda for January 22, a presentation by Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) CEO Donna Mueller and a special announcement by the committee’s Republican chair Bobby Kaufmann was scheduled for 11:00 am.

Kaufmann had stated at a forum in December, “There will be zero IPERS bills, period. End of story. End of discussion. No tweaks, no changes.” James Q. Lynch from the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that Kaufmann also plainly stated in his newsletter, “I said it before the election and I will say it again: There will unequivocally not be changes to IPERS.”

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"The most important election of a lifetime"

Bruce Lear on the stakes in this midterm: “Public education as we know it hangs in the balance,” which has never been the case before in Iowa. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In January 1976, I trudged through the Pella, Iowa snow to go to my very first presidential caucus because it was the “most important election of our lifetime.” I caucused with about eleven over-eager college students in the basement of the student union. We were a small but determined group. After all, it was a Democratic caucus in Pella, in January.

By the way, I caucused for Fred Harris, a little-known and soon-forgotten senator from Oklahoma. His only claim to fame was he drove around in a recreational vehicle and never used hotels. Instead, he stayed at supporters’ houses and in exchange, gave them a card good for one night in the White House. None were redeemed.

That’s how my involvement with the “most important election of our lifetime” began. For the next 30-plus years, every two years that phrase roared to life on radio, TV, and in countless mailings soon deposited in the circular file to be forgotten until the next most important election of our lifetime.

It got old. It got cliché–until now.

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IA-Gov: Notes on the final Hubbell-Reynolds debate

Governor Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell debated for the third and last time today in Davenport. Too bad not many viewers are likely to tune in at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, because the discussion was yet another study in contrasts. For those who prefer a written recap, I enclose below my detailed notes. Click here and here for Bleeding Heartland’s analysis of the first two Hubbell-Reynolds debates.

As during the second debate, journalists kept the candidates on topic and within the time limit, so kudos to moderator David Nelson of KWQC-TV6 and panelists Erin Murphy of Lee Enterprises, Forrest Saunders of KCRG-TV9, and Jenna Jackson of KWQC-TV6.

Both candidates recycled many talking points from their first two meetings. My impression was that Reynolds performed about equally well in all three debates, while Hubbell improved each time. For instance, after Reynolds noted that Iowa had moved up in mental health rankings three years in a row and was now rated sixth in the country for mental health, Hubbell pointed out that the study the governor cited covered the years 2013 through 2015. That was before the Branstad/Reynolds administration closed some mental health institutions and privatized Medicaid, which has led to worse care for thousands of Iowans.

For those who prefer to watch the replay, KCRG-TV posted the video in a single file, which is the most user-friendly option. You can also find the debate on KWQC-TV (with closed captioning) and WOWT-TV’s websites, but you will have to watch a series of clips, with advertisements before each segment.

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Back to school with the family

Bruce Lear calls on members of the “public education family” to “unite to defend what we love.” -promoted by desmoinesdems

The back to school ads have started. Even with heat indexes of 100, those ads send chills down the spine of educators. Those chills are a cocktail of optimism, excitement, worry, and dread, with a garnish of hope and a twist of anger.

As the new school year begins, it’s important to have the public education family around the kitchen table for a meeting. That family includes teachers, professional support staff, administrators, school board members, and parents. Like all families, there is always the weird uncle or cousin you want to hide in the attic, but with November looming, the public education family needs all its members to be speaking in one voice.

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