Defeating Joni Ernst in November

David Weaver: To win statewide, candidates must demonstrate service, strong critical thinking skills, and the ability to understand rural Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

I have been an Iowan all my life, other than a two-year stint teaching English in Japan. I have lived in small towns like Grinnell, Pella, and Perry. I spent several years living in the city of Davenport, and I have lived in rural towns like Westside and Rippey (my hometown), as well as the farmhouse where my family currently resides.  I have been farming since 2006.   

I have always paid fairly close attention to politics and government, and ran for the Iowa House in 2018. 

Democrats have a (recent?) problem winning statewide elections. Zero for six in the past six races for governor or U.S. Senate. We know Democrats can win, and have won. Barack Obama did it a couple of times, and Rob Sand did it in 2018. Looking at my Iowa House district 47 results from 2018, one thing stood out to me that I believe is important and translates to winning any statewide race in Iowa.

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Where are the freedom fighters? A plea for help from a beleaguered Black man

Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker: “Until a renewed season of action on the hard issues springs forth from the Iowa Democratic Party, my people will continue to freeze in the long winters of apathy, and die during the hot summers of violence.” -promoted by Laura Belin

During a recent Facebook Live conversation with Kimberly Graham where we discussed issues facing the African-American community, I recounted a high-profile officer-involved shooting that happened in my neighborhood shortly after I was elected. It was during this very conversation, in real-time, that I realized this officer-involved shooting fundamentally changed who I was as a public servant.

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State auditor looking at Iowa's no-bid contracts for PPE

State Auditor Rob Sand is examining the no-bid contracts Iowa has signed to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), which has been in short supply across the country during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A one-sentence statement released by the State Auditor’s Office on May 18 quoted Sand as saying, “Prior to last week’s coverage of a vendor whom has never before sold PPE receiving a $7 million no-bid contract for PPE, we had already begun collecting information about both no-bid contracts and the state’s PPE supply.”

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Chet Culver to Kim Reynolds: Have Test Iowa contract independently audited

James C. Larew is an attorney in Iowa City who served as general counsel and chief of staff for former Governor Chet Culver. -promoted by Laura Belin

Former Governor Chet Culver wrote to Governor Kim Reynolds on May 7, urging her to have an immediate and comprehensive performance audit conducted of Nomi Health’s COVID-19 testing services in Iowa. The Utah-based company is providing testing at drive-through sites under a $26 million no-bid contract with the state. 

Culver suggested that Reynolds ask State Auditor Rob Sand to perform such an audit, or order a comparable review by a competent and independent agency. His letter outlined serious problems already known to the public about the Test Iowa program. He warned that if not remedied immediately, by making Nomi Health’s performance fully compliant with all applicable federal and state laws, and with best pandemic practices, those difficulties will place the health of Iowans at great risk. The full text of the letter follows:

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The 19 Bleeding Heartland posts that were most fun to write in 2019

Before the new political year kicks off with the Iowa legislature convening and Governor Kim Reynolds laying out her agenda, I need to take care of some unfinished business from 2019.

When I reflect on my work at the end of each year, I like to take stock of not only the most popular posts published on this website and the ones I worked hardest on, but also the projects that brought me the most joy. I’ve found this exercise helps guide my editorial decisions on the many days when I have time to write up only one of several newsworthy stories.

Among the 348 posts I wrote last year, these were some of my favorites:

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