Iowa Republicans stand firm against “clean” DHS bill

March 3, 2015 0 Comments

On Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a “clean” appropriations bill funding the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. This had become a serious point of contention within the Republican Party, with some Republicans arguing that funding should be contingent upon defunding immigration provisions backed […]

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Ernst quickly establishing conservative vote record

February 27, 2015 0 Comments

Iowa’s junior Senator Joni Ernst joined 30 other Republican Senators, including Charles Grassley, in voting against a “clean” funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday. The bill would fund the DHS through September 30, and allow for a separate vote on the controversial provisions on immigration that stalled the same funding […]

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The “gas tax” session or something else?

February 25, 2015 0 Comments

Big news from the State Capitol on Wednesday. Governor Branstad signed into law a bill raising the state’s gasoline tax by 10 cents, the first increase in 26 years.  Like commercial property tax reform before it, this change took years of advocacy and finally passed only after leaders from both parties were firmly committed to […]

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Caucus time!

February 24, 2015 0 Comments

Who will win in Iowa and New Hampshire? Politico has started a weekly blog based on a poll of insiders from each state. Findings from the first and second weeks can be found here: February 14: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/iowa-new-hampshire-the-politico-caucus-115170.html?hp=t1_r February 21: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/the-poltico-caucus-christie-slips-from-first-tier-115344.html Thus far, few question the inevitability of Hillary Clinton’s path to the Democratic nomination. But […]

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Hillary Clinton’s dilemma in Iowa

February 3, 2015 0 Comments

Hillary Clinton’s prospects in Iowa in 2016 hinge on which set of voters she is facing: caucus-goers or November voters. Among likely Democratic caucus-goers, Hillary Clinton is in prime position should she decide to run.  The latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll showed Clinton with a commanding lead with 56 percent support, compared to just 16 […]

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Should we expect an active legislative session?

January 22, 2015 0 Comments

The fundamentals of the state have not changed. Economic factors, particularly the state’s unemployment rate, is relatively stable (and low) and continues to remain well below the federal unemployment rate. The political atmosphere has also remained relatively stagnant. Yes, the 2014 elections produced some big national changes, but the effects were relatively mild in Iowa. […]

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Does the State of the Union matter?

January 20, 2015 0 Comments

Will President Obama’s’ words tonight matter in terms of public policy?  To find out, see the links below for research conducted by UNI political professor and department head, Donna Hoffman.  New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/02/12/us/politics/state-of-the-union-success.html?_r=0  Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/20/obama-has-worst-state-union-record-ford-study-show/ (NOTE: Professor Hoffman’s research actually shows that Obama’s record is similar to President Reagan, not just President Ford.) […]

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“Governor proposes, legislature disposes”

January 13, 2015 0 Comments

Governor Branstad delivered his 20th Condition of the State address this morning ahead of his formal inauguration this Friday.   And, in this case, the structure and content of the speech was largely predictable. Condition of the State addresses, like State of the Union speeches, provide governors a pulpit from which to espouse policy as well […]

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Key numbers for the U.S. Senate race

November 6, 2014 0 Comments

Turnout: Turnout on Tuesday was 70 percent of the turnout in 2012. If it had been 80 percent of the turnout in 2012, and Braley had won 75 percent of the additional votes, he still would have lost by over 18,800 votes, or about 1.6 percentage points.  Consider also that a Pew Research Center study […]

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Ridiculous

October 23, 2014 0 Comments

Election 2014 pop quiz: 1.) The Iowa General Assembly passed the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” (FALSE) 2.) Candidates for the Iowa legislature voted to increase the national debt. (FALSE) 3.) All members of Congress are selfish and wasteful. (FALSE) You decide which is worse: That campaign ads are implying the above statements […]

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