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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Grassley faces new committee choice

By Mike Lillis | 04.29.09 | 12:01 am

Among all the reshufflings set to occur in the wake of Sen. Arlen Specter’s (Pa.) surprise switch Tuesday to the Democratic Party, it looks like Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) will be next in line to replace Specter as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Although Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has seniority over Grassley on the panel, GOP term-limit rules prevent Hatch from taking over the ranking member spot.)

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM)

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM)

It’s a position Grassley covets, but there’s also a major complication. Namely, Grassley is currently the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and GOP conference rules forbid him from serving as ranking member of both panels at the same time, a Senate aide said Tuesday. Theoretically, he could get a waiver to serve on both, but that’s unlikely, the aide said.

So very shortly, Grassley has a tough choice to make: Either he can remain the senior Republican on Finance — a powerful spot this year with comprehensive health reforms looming, but also a position he’ll have to give up at the end of 2010 because of GOP term-limit rules — or he can accept the top GOP spot on Judiciary.

It wasn’t supposed to work out like this. Earlier this year, Grassley said he’d be willing to pass up the chance to become ranking member of Judiciary in order to help Specter, who was facing a tough reelection contest next year. Instead, Grassley indicated that he’d take the top GOP spot on the Senate Budget Committee, where Republican term limit rules will force Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) to step down from the senior position at the end of 2010.

“From my heart, I’d rather have Judiciary than Budget,” Grassley told CQ last month. “But out of respect for Specter, I might take Budget.”

Now, with Specter’s exodus from the GOP, the Judiciary spot is suddenly open. Grassley can have it, but it would likely come at the price of his perch on Finance. No word yet what he intends to do.

Mike Lillis covers Congress for the Washington Independent, a Center for Independent Media site.

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