# Taxes



Democrats, start talking about families

Charles Bruner served in the Iowa legislature from 1978 to 1990 and was founding director of the Child and Family Policy Center from 1989 through 2016. For the last six years, he headed a Health Equity and Young Children initiative focusing on primary child health care for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is working with other child policy advocacy leaders and experts in the field to raise these issues in Congressional midterm election campaigns. Find more information about their fund: www.votekids2022.com.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus adopted a resolution that calls for Democrats and the state party to “reclaim” the label “pro-family.”

That resolution (enclosed in full below) is in direct response to Governor Kim Reynolds’ rhetoric implying that only the Republican Party believes “parents matter” and that Republicans are leading a “pro-family” agenda.

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Republicans spending big on Des Moines area legislative races

The Republican Party of Iowa has reserved more than $1.1 million in television air time for six candidates seeking Iowa legislative seats in the Des Moines metro area, and will likely spend hundreds of thousands more to promote them on television during the final stretch of the campaign.

Documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission show the GOP plans to spend more than $650,000 on broadcast tv supporting Jake Chapman and Mike Bousselot, who are running in the party’s top two central Iowa Senate targets.

The party also will spend six-figure sums on tv ads for four Iowa House candidates in Polk or Dallas counties, whose commercials began airing last week.

Those numbers do not include any funds the GOP will spend on direct mail, radio, or digital advertising for the same candidates.

This post focuses on early tv spending on legislative races in the Des Moines market. Forthcoming Bleeding Heartland posts will survey other battleground Iowa House or Senate districts.

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Iowa's U.S. Senate race in 3-D

Herb Strentz examines Chuck Grassley’s recent political messaging and low points from his record in the Senate.

The home stretch of this midterm election campaign is unfolding in in 3-D format — Dire, Divisive, and Despairing. That’s particularly true of the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley, seeking his eighth term at age 89, and Democrat Michael Franken, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, who will be 65 on election day, November 8.

That 3-D nature of our Iowa politics was illustrated well in one of the Grassley campaign’s recent television commercials.

In a backhanded way, Grassley acknowledged why it is time for Iowans to vote him out of office.

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Iowa House Democrats endorse legal weed

One of these things is not like the others.

Three parts of the Iowa House Democrats’ “People over Politics” agenda will sound familiar to anyone who has followed legislative debates over the past decade. The minority party, which now holds 40 of the 100 House seats, will fight to raise wages and lower costs for essentials like housing and child care, protect reproductive freedom, and invest more resources in public schools.

The fourth part of the Democrats’ campaign platform is new: for the first time, an Iowa legislative caucus advocates legalizing adult use of marijuana.

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Book Review: The Hidden History Of Neoliberalism

Paul Deaton is a lifelong Democrat living in Johnson County whose first political work was for Lyndon Johnson’s presidential campaign.

Thom Hartmann’s latest in the Hidden History Series, The Hidden History of Neoliberalism: How Reaganism Gutted America and How to Restore Its Greatness, is scheduled for release on September 13. Well-written and timely, it takes a deep dive into neoliberalism with direct application to life in Iowa.

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Much to celebrate this Labor Day, but more work to do

Chris Schwartz is state director for Americans for Democratic Action and a Black Hawk County supervisor.

As we celebrate workers this Labor Day, it’s important to acknowledge it’s been a rough couple of years for American workers. Working families were battered by a pandemic that caused massive unemployment, loss of health coverage and financial hardship for tens of millions of working people.

But thanks to swift bipartisan action in 2020, Congress passed historic relief packages that helped workers, extended health coverage and protected the majority of Americans from COVID-19’s worst harms.

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