Year in review: Iowa politics in 2009 (part 1)

I expected 2009 to be a relatively quiet year in Iowa politics, but was I ever wrong.

The governor’s race heated up, state revenues melted down, key bills lived and died during the legislative session, and the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Varnum v Brien became one of this state’s major events of the decade.

After the jump I’ve posted links to Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of Iowa politics from January through June 2009. Any comments about the year that passed are welcome in this thread.

Although I wrote a lot of posts last year, there were many important stories I didn’t manage to cover. I recommend reading Iowa Independent’s compilation of “Iowa’s most overlooked and under reported stories of 2009,” as well as that blog’s review of “stories that will continue to impact Iowa in 2010.”

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Events coming up this week (late edition)

Post a comment or shoot me an e-mail if I left out anything important.

Political events are slowing down for the summer, it seems.

The Indianola Balloon Classic starts this weekend and runs through the first weekend in August. We’ve found it’s most enjoyable to take our young children on Monday evening, when the crowds are lighter. Bring a camera so you can show the kids photos of the balloons later! Our kids love watching a slideshow of the balloons that my husband put together on his computer. Details on the balloon classic schedule and directions to the field are here.

Wednesday, July 23:

From the Sierra Club, Iowa chapter:

Here’s an opportunity for you to speak up in support of clean water.  After passage of the Clean Water Act 36 years ago and passage of a law requiring antidegradation review 21 years ago, Iowa still has no effective antidegradation implementation.  However, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be presenting a draft rule package to the Environmental Protection Commission in September.  The department has set up informational meetings across the state in July and August to share information with the public.

These meetings are an opportunity for the public to give the DNR input when making decisions about allowing pollution into our water.  It’s very important that Iowans take advantage of this opportunity and future regulatory processes, including decisions about issuing permits. The dates and sites for this first round of informational meetings are:

July 23, 2008 – Clear Lake, IA – Clear Lake Public Library – 10 AM

From ICCI:

Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections (VOICE) meeting this Wed in Iowa City

The VOICE bill has been endorsed by many organizations including: Democracy for America (DFA) , The Sierra Club and I-Renew.

Event Info Host: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A


123 S. Linn


Iowa City, IA

                    Contact Info Phone:





Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections (VOICE) would provide public funding for state elections, something that has already shown success in Arizona, Maine, Connecticut, and other places.

Come discuss the issues you care about and how the influence of big money creates obstacles to change. With VOICE we can shape a government where people matter more and money matters less.

This meeting is sponsored by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Iowa Citizen Action Network.

Friday, July 25:

The DNR will be holding an informational meeting about water quality rules at 10 am in the Wallace Building 5th floor conference room in Des Moines. For background, see details above about similar event in Clear Lake on July 23.

Tuesday, July 29:



Candidate for Polk County Sheriff

Next Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Open House – 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.

At the home of Jim & Roxanne Conlin

2900 Southern Hills Circle

Des Moines, IA

(Just head west on Park Ave. about a mile and a half west of Fleur Drive; turn north off of Park Ave. on Southern Hills Drive; drive north until you reach Southern Hills Circle.)

Contributions Appreciated:  Checks may be made payable to:

McCarthy for Sheriff

Or mail contribution to:

Bill McCarthy for Sheriff,

5201 SE 32nd St., Des Moines, IA 50320

* For questions or to RSVP, contact Linda at 205-4351

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Local control and VOICE activists, swarm the Capitol tomorrow

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) is holding its lobby day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, January 29.

The main issues on the agenda are local control over siting of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections bill, which would create a voluntary public-financing option for state elections.

Here is the agenda for the day:

10:30-11:15 – Rally and Legislators addressing crowd

11:15-12:30 – Lunch and individual lobbying

12:30-1 – Head over to Wallace Building

1-1:30 – Meeting w/ DNR Director Rich Leopold

1:30-2:30 – Other meetings/events

2:230-3 – Meeting w/ Gov. Culver’s Chief Policy Adviser, Jim Larew

“People Matter More, Money Matters Less”

If you attend this event, please put up a diary afterwards to let us know how it went.

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