IA-Sen: Matt Whitaker bolsters Trumpworld credentials

Although Senator Chuck Grassley is in no hurry to announce his future plans, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matt Whitaker continues to lay the groundwork for a possible U.S. Senate bid in 2022.

He speaks at GOP gatherings around Iowa, most recently the Johnson County Republican fundraiser on May 5. And perhaps more important for his future prospects, Whitaker helped create the America First Legal organization, which will regularly engage the Biden administration in fights sure to please the Republican base.

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Mariannette Miller-Meeks refuses interview with masked reporter

U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been on the road and on social media encouraging Iowans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, sometimes even administering the shots herself.

In a video released on May 4, Miller-Meeks highlighted her medical background and advocated for vaccines as a way of “getting our lives back to normal,” while acknowledging that getting a shot “is your decision to make.”

She was less tolerant of personal choices when approached the next day by a journalist seeking an interview.

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As Grassley weighs 2022 plans, either path entails political risks

A new Iowa poll by Selzer & Co for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom contained shocking numbers: 55 percent of respondents, including 35 percent of Republicans surveyed, hope U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley does not run again in 2022. Just 28 percent of respondents (50 percent of Republicans) hope he will run for an eighth Senate term.

The same poll measured Grassley’s job approval at 48 percent, the lowest in this survey since 1982. Selzer polls routinely found Grassley’s approval to be above 70 percent during the 2000s and above 60 percent during the first half of the 2010s, a graph published in the Des Moines Register shows.

Although Grassley would be a prohibitive favorite to win again, the new numbers indicate widespread unease about the senator’s capacity to serve another six-year term.

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The politics of Ashley Hinson's balancing act in IA-01

Eighth in a series interpreting the results of Iowa’s 2020 state and federal elections.

During her first six weeks serving in the U.S. House, Representative Ashley Hinson has been speaking in two distinct voices.

In many public statements, she has positioned herself as a unifier within the House Republican caucus and Congress at large, willing to work with anyone for the benefit of her constituents. Meanwhile, she has regularly demonized Democrats as threats to America, especially when speaking to perceived supporters or on conservative platforms.

The dual messaging reflects Hinson’s dependence on Donald Trump’s base in a swing district where future Republican victories are not assured.

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Matt Whitaker blocked criminal case against Turkish bank

Matt Whitaker’s unfailing loyalty to Donald Trump apparently extended to helping the president quash a criminal investigation of a foreign bank, according to an explosive new story by Eric Lipton and Benjamin Weiser in the New York Times.

While serving (unconstitutionally) as acting U.S. attorney general after the 2018 election, Whitaker blocked a probe of Halkbank, “a state-owned Turkish bank suspected of violating U.S. sanctions law by funneling billions of dollars of gold and cash to Iran.”

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