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.


For-profit colleges ramp up resistence to Harkin-led oversight

By Adam B Sullivan | 12.30.10 | 8:30 am

The for-profit college industry boosted its lobbying efforts this year in response to moves by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, to increase regulation on the institutions.

Bloomberg reports:

Ten education companies and their trade association spent $3.8 million on lobbying in the first nine months of 2010, up from $1.5 million in the comparable period last year, according to reports filed with Congress.

Harkin initiated the debate over private sector higher education earlier this year when the Senate committee he leads issued a report detailing risky lending to for-profit college students. Students at schools like Iowa-based Kaplan University rack up huge federal debt loads, but their degrees often don’t earn them big enough paychecks to pay that debt down. As many as 40 percent of for-profit college students will eventually default on their federal debt, one report suggests.

The industry is launching a lobbying burst to resist the gainful employment standard proposed by the U.S. Department of Education. Under that plan, students at schools where grads don’t land good jobs wouldn’t be eligible for federal loans. Losing federal loan eligibility would likely be damning to most for-profit schools because they often aim to attract low-income students.

Still, $3.8 million for lobbying over nine months is relatively meager in an industry where corporations often spend more on marketing than on education. For example, Bridgepoint Education Inc., which owns Ashford University in Clinton, spent almost $150 million on marketing in 2009. Meanwhile, the company spent only $120 million on “instructional costs.”

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