Top Stories

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

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

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.

Poll shows strength of tea party in Iowa

By Jason Hancock | 02.08.10 | 5:00 am

The Des Moines Register released its latest Iowa Poll Sunday, and though it clearly shows the growing influence of the tea party movement in the Hawkeye State, it is still unclear what sort of impact it will have in 2010.

Thirty-three percent of those polled said they consider themselves “a supporter of the tea party movement,” with 49 percent of supporters defining themselves as independents, 34 percent Republicans and 17 percent Democrats.

Forty-nine percent of those polled said they do not support the tea party movement.

Iowans are evenly split on whether they are inclined to “keep or replace” incumbents who represent them, with a slight majority favoring to oust incumbents at the state level. Most observers say the 2010 elections will be dominated by anti-incumbent sentiment, but in a state that hasn’t voted out an incumbent governor since the 1960s, the even split does give some slight comfort to Gov. Chet Culver, who has seen his job approval ratings drop steadily since 2008.

At the local level, the poll found 59 percent favored keeping their incumbent in office.

The Register correctly points out that this anti-incumbent mood benefits Republicans, since Democrats control both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s mansion. But tea party leaders are quick to dismiss the idea that the GOP is entitled to their votes. Ryan Rhodes, chairman of the Iowa Tea Party Patriots and campaign manager for 3rd District Republican Congressional candidate Dave Funk, told The Iowa Independent in December that the movement gained momentum based on frustration with both Democrats and Republicans.

Another point of note is that nearly all those polled who do support the tea party movement live in rural Iowa, small towns or the suburbs, each already considered Republican strongholds. Only 7 percent said they live in a large city. Forty-six percent consider themselves “born-again” Christians.

The GOP’s 2010 success could also hinge on its ability to mend fences after what’s shaping up to be a contentious primary season. A divide between grassroots conservatives and the party’s “establishment” is popping up in races up and down the primary ballot. The most high profile example can be found in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, with supporters of Bob Vander Plaats vowing to sit out the fall campaign if the party nominates four-term former Gov. Terry Branstad. For his part, Vander Plaats has refused to rule out running as an independent if he does lose the primary.

In Iowa House District 8, a former GOP county chair who originally entered the race as an independent has returned to the party to run against a candidate viewed by many as an “establishment” Republican. The winner will try to win a district held by a conservative Democrat for 20 years.

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