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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

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.


Loebsack makes re-election hopes in new 2nd District official

Proposed redistricting map is approved by Iowa General Assembly
By Lynda Waddington | 04.14.11 | 10:26 am

Dave Loebsack

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) made clear Thursday that his intentions are to move the few miles necessary to seek re-election in the proposed new 2nd District. The announcement came only moments after state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the first redistricting proposal offered by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.

Due to 2010 Census figures, Iowa’s federal fortunes have waned from five congressional districts to four. The map provided by the LSA places Loebsack’s current home county of Linn into the 1st Congressional District where U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Black Hawk County Democrat, is the incumbent.

Republican U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham have also seen their home counties combined in the newly proposed 4th District. There is no word yet on if the two plan a primary face-off, if one will not seek re-election or if one will move into one of the other proposed congressional districts. Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell is the only incumbent that resides in the newly drawn 3rd District.

The Iowa House approved the new map on a 90-to-7 vote, sending it to the Senate, where it was also approved on a 48-to-1 vote. Gov. Terry Branstad has not yet gone on record with his intentions toward the the redistricting proposal, but is not anticipated to veto the legislative approval.

Loebsack said that he and his wife, Terry, will move to Johnson County, and that he will seek re-election in the congressional district that includes 14 of the 15 counties he has represented since 2006. The Loebsacks currently reside in Mount Vernon, which is only a few miles from line that separates Linn and Johnson counties and the new boundary between the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts.

“Now more than ever, we must stand together — fighting against a Republican Congress that seeks to undermine all the progress we have made in recent years,” Loebsack said in a prepared statement about his candidacy. “If they had their way, they’d jeopardize seniors’ hard-earned health care and privatize Medicare, while giving special tax breaks to oil and insurance companies. I’ll never stop fighting for what’s right — putting Iowa’s interests ahead of the special interests.”

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn said the new map “lays the groundwork for a Republican majority in both the Iowa House and Senate for the next decade.”

“Ultimately, it is not arbitrary geographic lines, but rather a consistent message of policies focused on limited government, personal responsibility and individual freedom that will be central to the continued Republican resurgence in Iowa,” Strawn said.

“With respect to the congressional districts, I am confident that more Iowans will be represented in Congress by a Republican under this map than are today. Congressman Boswell’s district becomes more Republican and conservative at a time when his voting record is increasingly liberal. I am also confident that Iowa Republicans will continue building on the broad gains seen in Eastern Iowa over the last two years and will be on offense in waging aggressive challenges in those two districts.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky, not surprisingly, saw advantages for Democrats under the new map also also praised the nonpartisan process for redistricting in Iowa.

“With these new district boundaries, Democrats are ready to run aggressive campaigns in the coming election cycles to maintain our majority in the Iowa Senate, retake the Iowa House, and maintain a Democratic majority in our congressional delegation,” she said. “We will work to field qualified candidates in every district who will work to focus the legislature on job creation and economic growth, not a divisive agenda as Republicans have during this session.”

(Editor’s Note: Updated at 11 a.m. to include Dvorsky’s comments.)

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  • egc52556

    [QUOTE]Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn said the new map “lays the groundwork for a Republican majority in both the Iowa House and Senate for the next decade.”[/QUOTE]

    Strawn is smokin’ something not legal. The majority of Rep’s and Sen’s facing another Rep or Sen in their new district are Republican. The GOP has found its high-water mark in Iowa and will now decline again. Especially since the high-water has made conservative Vander Plaats and his sickly ilk all the more visible.

    BTW, Mr. Strawn, how’s that jobs agenda going?

    • Anonymous

      I’m just going to quietly contemplate things which float unpleasantly.

      I think you’re quite correct; the co-opting of the Tea Party by social conservatives, the focus on rights-restricting agendas instead of economic growth by politicians who ran on an economic platform, and the sheer vindictiveness of so many of the more visible republicans is going to drive some of the centrist/right leaners towards more centrist candidates…including possibly the Dems.

      Now would be the time for a true centrist party, if one could be assembled.

      • egc52556

        I’ve often wondered what a centrist party would look like. Would it support only those policies that everybody can agree with? Would it not engage in controversial issues? Can such a group of people govern?

        • Anonymous

          I like to think it would be driven to create working, collaborative government, as opposed to pushing a fringe agenda at all times. I think a lot of what we have that works indicates centrist governance (for example, the thing where public employees can unionize and negotiate, but if an agreement can’t be reached, it goes to a neutral mediator), but increasingly, there seems to be an effort to increase partisanship and tear down the things we have which work.

          I think the so-called social issues would fall by the wayside, because repeatedly, polls have indicated that these issues are relatively unimportant to Iowans, until they’re flogged into the limelight by campaigns that haven’t got anything better to stand on. The issue of rights belongs in the hands of the Supreme Court, which seems to properly assume all of us have equal rights….the only way the legislature seems to get involved is when it comes to depriving people of rights, and we just don’t need that in Iowa, thank you. Maybe we’d see a return to the live-and-let-live mentality that gave so many of us pride in our state.

          Instead, we’d see a focus on long term economic growth, balanced against long-term ecological sustainability, and promotion of well-being of the population. So incentives to locate in Iowa might be coupled with long term commitments, agreements to buy locally when possible, limits on tax relief for businesses (because that money is needed to help successfully raise the next generation of contributors, and to keep the state a draw for excellent employees and business owners), etc.

          We waste so much energy, money, and time yanking the pendulum back and forth. There has to be a better way.

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