# Rural

Vote early in Iowa—but not by mail, if possible

Early voting for Iowa’s June 7 primary began on May 18. Voting before election day has many advantages. You don’t have to worry about illness, work obligations, or a family emergency keeping you from casting a ballot. Once officials have recorded that you voted, you should stop receiving unsolicited phone calls and knocks at the door.

However, I now discourage Iowans from voting by mail unless there is no alternative. Recent changes to state law have greatly increased the risk of a mailed ballot never being counted.

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Iowa CCI Action endorses Glenn Hurst for U.S. Senate

The Hurst for Iowa campaign just received an overwhelming endorsement from Iowa’s leading progressive organization, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund. In the announcement, they stated, “We’re endorsing Glenn because he’s with us on the issues and on challenging business-as-usual politics and the status quo. He shares our belief that real change comes from the ground up, and he has a plan to win and can excite a grassroots base to turn out to the polls on June 7.”

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A contract with public schools

Bruce Lear: Iowa Democratic candidates at all levels need to put public schools at the center of their campaigns.

Whenever my dad saw someone doing things the hard way, he’d say, “That guy’s working with a short-handled shovel.” I know I did my share of short-handled shovel work.

My dad wasn’t being mean. He was just observing there was a better way to do the work. His long-ago quip now applies to Democrats as they try to win over voters for the midterm elections.

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On the road with Mike Franken

Julie Gammack reports from the campaign trail. She published a version of this piece on her Substack, Julie Gammack’s Potluck.

I tagged along with retired Vice Admiral Mike Franken last weekend as he campaigned in the northwest Iowa towns of Pocahontas, Storm Lake, Le Mars, and Sioux Center. This part of the state is as red as blood in political jargon. Or barn. It’s so red a dead GOP candidate would likely beat a live Democrat. According to recent filings, D’s aren’t even bothering to field candidates in multiple legislative districts in this corner of the state. 

So I was curious to see if anyone would show up for this scheduled trip. They did. 

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Violence Against Women Act reauthorized in big spending bill

President Joe Biden has signed into law a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill, which funds the federal government through September 30. The president’s action on March 15 ends a cycle of short-term continuing spending resolutions that kept the government operating on spending levels approved during Donald Trump’s administration.

The enormous package combines twelve appropriations bills covering portions of the federal government, as well as an additional $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and several unrelated pieces of legislation. One of those reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act through 2027, a task that had remained unfinished for years. Congress last reauthorized the 1994 legislation addressing violence against women in 2013, and that authorization expired in 2019.

Iowa’s Senator Joni Ernst was a key negotiator of the final deal on the Violence Against Women Act and celebrated its passage this week.

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Progressive Caucus passes resolution condemning carbon pipelines

Brian McClain chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus.

For decades now, corporate interests have had their way in Iowa and both parties have been complicit. It is time for the Iowa Democratic Party, the Party of the People, to say “enough is enough.” It is time to ask our elected officials, our candidates, our leaders which side they are on. Are they on the side of the oligarchs and corporations that seek to profit off the backs of all Iowans, or are they on the side of the people?

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