What Kanye West's candidacy says about Iowa's process and Iowa Republicans

When Iowans begin voting on October 5, they will see nine tickets for president and vice president at the top of the ballot.

The most controversial campaign may be that of Kanye West, widely seen as a stalking horse for President Donald Trump and a gravy train for Republican campaign consultants. He has been knocked off the ballot in some states but survived two objections to his candidacy in Iowa last week.

West’s inclusion reflects well on Iowa’s ballot access policies but poorly on the Republican operatives who got his name in front of voters.

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To see the racism of Kenosha, look beyond the videos

Jeff Walberg: The diagnosis begins by attending to where the pain is and listening to the part of our collective body crying out “I can’t breathe.” -promoted by Laura Belin

If you find yourself dissecting fractured images of chaos to find the proof of racism (or its absence) in Kenosha or similar scenes, let me suggest taking your eye from the microscope and widening your view.

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Rural Iowa schools must proactively promote racial equity

Preethi Reddi highlights efforts to change the Shenandoah school district’s curriculum and policies in order to address a “culture of non-inclusion.” -promoted by Laura Belin

From my experience growing up in rural Iowa, I know the appeals of a small town. From the moment my family moved to Shenandoah, I knew we would become a part of an extended family. However, as a predominantly white community, Shenandoah can also be exclusionary to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

To address this concern, Shenandoah schools alumni, including myself, have recently developed a petition with more than 600 signatures, urging school administrators to make the commitment to racial justice numerous other school districts have made.

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Iowa's first Black woman presidential candidate doesn't want your vote

At least six minor party or unaffiliated presidential candidates have qualified for Iowa’s general election ballot, according to the official list published on August 14. (Petitions for a seventh, Kanye West, are still under review in the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.)

One of the little-known presidential contenders, Ricki Sue King, set out to make history with her candidacy and succeeded. But she doesn’t want Iowans to vote for her.

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What the voting rights order revealed about Kim Reynolds

“Quite simply, when someone serves their sentence and pays the price our justice system has set for their crimes, they should have their right to vote restored automatically, plain and simple,” Governor Kim Reynolds said on August 5, shortly before signing a critically important document.

Executive Order 7 automatically restores voting rights to most Iowans who have completed prison sentences or terms of probation or parole associated with felony convictions. The Iowa-Nebraska NAACP estimated that the order paves the way for more than 40,000 people to vote this year. Going forward, approximately 4,700 Iowans who complete felony sentences each year will regain the same rights.

Reynolds had publicly promised to sign such an order seven weeks ago, after Republican senators declined to advance the state constitutional amendment that was her preferred way of addressing the problem.

Both the substance of the measure and the way the governor announced it revealed aspects of her leadership style.

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No Justice No Peace: Elections, actions, and activism

Rob Johnson, Al Womble, and Eddie Mauro of the New Frontier Fund jointly authored this commentary. The No Justice No Peace PAC is online at www.njnppac.com. -promoted by Laura Belin

History is a curious thing. Our understanding of our past changes with time – moving through phases where our perception shifts, evolves and deepens. This examination of our history is constant, and it happens in the public sphere through discussions via social media, the news, commentary, and politics.

We are in the midst of a significant reorganization and shift in how we see, hear, and experience the history of race in America. It’s colliding with a time when Americans fundamentally re-evaluate how we relate to our institutions of government, our neighbors, and our local communities.

This confrontation is messy. It’s fraught with conflict. And it’s necessary.

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