I know both candidates in House district 16. Jen Pellant is the correct choice

Ann Wilson is the publisher of the Carroll Times Herald. -promoted by Laura Belin

I’m in the fortunate position of knowing two good people running for Iowa House District 16 in Council Bluffs. You are fortunate to have public-minded and bright people in your city willing to serve in these troubling times.

I like and respect both Jen Pellant and Brent Siegrist, but considering the issues and responsibilities and needs of our state, I humbly submit that Jen Pellant is the correct choice in this race — and, for the record, I filled my ballot out in this election with votes for both Republicans and Democrats. This is not partisan. It is about skill set.

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Iowa Democrats split on latest COVID-19 relief bill

The U.S. House on October 1 approved a new version of a coronavirus relief package. The 214 to 207 vote split mostly along party lines, but Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03) was among eighteen Democrats to oppose the bill, along with all Republicans (roll call).

When the previous version of the so-called Heroes Act came before the House in May, Representative Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) joined Axne in voting no, while Representative Dave Loebsack (IA-02) supported the bill, as did most House Democrats. Today Finkenauer and Loebsack both voted with the majority of their caucus.

Statements from all three Iowa Democrats in Congress are after the jump. Republican Representative Steve King (IA-04) voted against the bill but didn’t post about it on his social media. His office has not put out a news release since a few days before King lost the June primary to State Senator Randy Feenstra.

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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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Deep dive on Iowa's record-setting 2020 primary turnout

More Iowans than ever participated in the 2020 primary, and the event changed some features of the Iowa electorate. For the first time in at least 20 years, people who choose not to affiliate with any party don’t comprise a plurality of registered voters. Democrats and Republicans both outnumber no-party voters now.

In other ways, the 529,586 Iowans who cast ballots in the June 2 election resembled past primary voters. For instance, nearly three-quarters of them were at least 50 years old, while about 13 percent were under age 35. Those proportions by age group are remarkably close to corresponding figures from the 2018 primary, when only 288,749 Iowans voted.

Follow me after the jump for a closer look at this year’s expanded voter universe by party, gender, and age.

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Trump and King in the GOP — Shakespeare had a word for it

An essay by Herb Strentz inspired by Caliban, “the original strange bedfellow.” -promoted by Laura Belin

As we approach Iowa’s primary election on June 2, here and elsewhere, Republican and Democratic Party slates often reflect the observation “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”

The “bedfellows” adage goes back more than 400 years, attributed to Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which premiered in 161l, probably in The Globe Theatre.

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