Make Iowa great again: Yes, we can

Paul W. Johnson wrote this piece in 2017, when Republicans in the state legislature passed a budget bill that defunded Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and eliminated it from the Iowa Code. Governor Terry Branstad signed the bill and left in place the sections redirecting funding away from the Leopold Center to the newer, corporate-friendly Nutrient Reduction Center at ISU. But he item-vetoed the section that would have removed all code references to the Leopold Center. Consequently, the center still exists but with no funding for research and education on sustainable agriculture. -promoted by Laura Belin

Aldo Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1887. He died in 1948 while fighting a grass fire on his neighbor’s farm. He and his wife, Estella, are buried in a cemetery in Burlington. Aldo Leopold is known today as the father of the wilderness idea, the father of wildlife management in the U.S., and the father of the land ethic. The land ethic encourages us humans to understand that we belong to the community of all life on earth and that we need to learn to love and respect it.

“Conservation means harmony between men and land. When land does well for its owner and the owner does well by his land: when both end up better by reason of their partnership, we have conservation. When one or the other grows poorer, we do not.” -Aldo Leopold  

That is why we established the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in 1987.

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Interview: Ed Mezvinsky contrasts Nixon, Trump impeachment hearings

Republican members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee used most of their speaking time during recent impeachment hearings to run interference for President Donald Trump. They attacked the credibility of fact witnesses, pushed alternate narratives about foreign interference in U.S. politics, and tried to shift the focus to the whistleblower despite extensive corroborating evidence.

The Iowan who served on the House Judiciary Committee when Congress considered impeaching President Richard Nixon recalls GOP colleagues who were open to discovering and considering facts about the president’s possible high crimes and misdemeanors.

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Throwback Thursday: Chuck Grassley on Bill Clinton's impeachment trial

“We are here because the President did wrongful acts, and he admits that,” U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said in February 1999, when explaining his votes to remove President Bill Clinton from office.

It’s a far cry from the statements he released in September, accusing U.S. House Democrats of “searching for any reason to impeach President Trump since his inauguration because they couldn’t accept the results of the 2016 election.”

With prospects growing that the Democratic-controlled House will vote out articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, it’s worth revisiting in detail how Grassley approached the Senate’s last impeachment trial.

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Exclusive: Iowa Democrats recall first Congressional vote on Hyde amendment

Forty-three years ago this week, Congress overrode a presidential veto to enact an appropriations bill containing the first ban on federal funding for abortion. Republican U.S. Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois had proposed language prohibiting Medicaid coverage of abortion during House debate on what was then called the Health, Education, and Welfare budget. Ever since, the policy has been known as the “Hyde amendment.”

Four Iowans who served in Congress at the time spoke to Bleeding Heartland this summer about their decisions to oppose the Hyde amendment and the political context surrounding a vote that had long-lasting consequences.

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When Ruth Corwin Grassley voted a day after the 19th Amendment took effect

Ninety-nine years ago this week, U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified that the required three-quarters of states had ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote nationwide. The date of his pronouncement, August 26, is now celebrated as Women’s Equality Day, even though suffrage was limited to white women in parts of the country for many years after 1920.

One day after the Nineteenth Amendment took effect, 77 women were among 214 residents of Black Hawk and Grundy counties who cast ballots in a local referendum on school consolidation. One of the first women to exercise their right to vote in that election was Ruth Corwin Grassley, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley’s mother.

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How the Iowa House passed the civil rights bill in 2007

Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy shares his memories of an important legislative victory twelve years ago. -promoted by Laura Belin

Last month Iowans celebrated ten years of marriage equality. Two years prior, the legislature added protections for LGBTQ people to Iowa’s civil rights law. One of my children asked me to share that experience in writing. What you are about to read is an excerpt.

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