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

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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

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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.

Christie Vilsack will continue work in Iowa

By Lynda Waddington | 12.19.08 | 9:29 am

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack may be on his way to Washington as President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of Agriculture, but his wife Christie Vilsack plans to continue as the executive director of The Iowa Initiative, a group she founded a year ago with the mission of reducing unplanned pregnancy.

“Gov. Visack’s appointment will not impact Christie’s work as the executive director,” declares an e-mail sent today by Mary Triick, Vilsack’s assistant.

“She loves her job and is looking forward to continuing to work with all of you,” Triick continued. “You all do important work and we are confident that together we will be able to decrease unintended pregnancy here in Iowa.”

The e-mail added that Christie is proud of her husband and that he is excited about the chance to solve problems and “move this country forward.”

The Iowa Initiative, a privately funded program that targets unintended pregnancy among Iowa women between the ages of 18 and 30, was launched in January by Christie Vilsack. The group does not dispense contraceptives but partners with existing groups who do so. Vilsack hopes the partnerships that are being forged with Planned Parenthood, the University of Northern Iowa and other entities will help spark awareness for both the general public and elected officials at all levels of government.

“[Unintended pregnancy] touches an emotional chord,” Christie Vilsack said in an interview with Iowa Independent when the program launched. “I think in every room that I speak in, those listening are going to think of someone they know who’s affected by this issue. I think it is a conversation we need to have, and one that will maybe make some people uncomfortable. But, we need to talk about it because it is impacting individuals, it is impacting communities and it is also impacting taxpayers.”

The Vilsacks are well-versed in the “emotional chord” of unplanned pregnancy. Tom Vilsack was adopted as a child. Shortly after he announced his bid for president in 2006, he received word that nuns from the orphanage that handled his adoption had information about his birth mother, a 23-year-old woman who took the assumed name Gloria when she entered a home for unwed mothers.

“When I held a press conference in January to announce the goals of the [Iowa Initiative] and my association with it, I mentioned Gloria’s story, and said that she would motivate me every day as I travel the state educating people about the high rate of unintended pregnancy among adult women, which most voters and decision-makers know little about.,” Christie Vilsack recalled in a recent blog post.

The organization, nearly a year old, has four more years of funding, primarily from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. The hope is that the research being done here in Iowa — a state where roughly half of all pregnancies are unplanned — will provide a clear path as to what educational and outreach offerings are most effective. When the group’s funding runs out, it plans to present its findings to state and national elected officials.

Another passion for Christie, a former teacher, is literacy. She founded Iowa Stories as first lady of Iowa and then elected to continue her work in that area by launching The Vilsack Foundation. Her decision to stay active in Iowa as her husband moves to Washington will likely strengthen the speculation that she may run for office herself.

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Comments

  • Peggy2

    The Iowa Initiative is a complete waste of money and a great indicator of Christie Vilsack's ignorance.

    The project will exist for five years and come to the following conclusion: women need taxpayer-funded birth control so they can sleep around without fear of getting pregnant and so society doesn't have to support their fatherless, troubled children.

    I'm sure Vilsack could be counted among the legions of imbeciles who wouldn't dare mention abstinence to these supposed 'bright' young Iowa women.

  • Peggy2

    The Iowa Initiative is a complete waste of money and a great indicator of Christie Vilsack's ignorance.

    The project will exist for five years and come to the following conclusion: women need taxpayer-funded birth control so they can sleep around without fear of getting pregnant and so society doesn't have to support their fatherless, troubled children.

    I'm sure Vilsack could be counted among the legions of imbeciles who wouldn't dare mention abstinence to these supposed 'bright' young Iowa women.

  • Peggy2

    The Iowa Initiative is a complete waste of money and a great indicator of Christie Vilsack's ignorance.

    The project will exist for five years and come to the following conclusion: women need taxpayer-funded birth control so they can sleep around without fear of getting pregnant and so society doesn't have to support their fatherless, troubled children.

    I'm sure Vilsack could be counted among the legions of imbeciles who wouldn't dare mention abstinence to these supposed 'bright' young Iowa women.

  • iowavolunteer

    Christie Vilsack is a savior to women in need. Many young women grow up with only half truths about sexual activity and pregnancy. Despite all of society's advances in birth control and awareness that came about in the ' 70's, there are still those who think this should be a taboo subject. These important issues should be discussed openly and often with youngsters by parents, guardians, and role models. Knowledge is power, gather it now.

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