Discover more from Iowa politics with Laura Belin
A big weekend for Ron DeSantis and several major court rulings
May 15 "Capitol Week" is online
After Dennis and I did the show Monday evening, I wanted to finish a post about the earmarks Iowa’s members of Congress requested this year. I spent much of Tuesday trying (mostly without success) to get answers from various state agencies.
So a bit later than usual, here’s our May 15 edition of “Capitol Week.”
Remember, you can find all past episodes (we’re up to 120 now!) on KHOI Radio’s website.
All subscribers to Iowa politics with Laura Belin receive a recap of every edition of KHOI Radio’s “Capitol Week.”
For the first time in months, Dennis and I didn’t spend most of the program talking about legislative affairs.
Donald Trump canceled a planned rally in Des Moines on Saturday; some questioned whether the tornado watch was the real reason.
We spent a few minutes talking about the civil jury finding Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, and CNN’s journalistically questionable decision to hold a live town hall with an audience full of Trump supporters.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had a very strong weekend in Iowa. At Bleeding Heartland, I wrote a deep dive about the new DeSantis endorsements, which eclipse what any other GOP presidential candidate was able to accomplish here in recent memory. I’m not convinced DeSantis can beat Trump here, but I do think he’s largely succeeded in making this a two-person race for the nomination;
DeSantis even showed up Trump by making an unscheduled trip to Des Moines after the former president canceled;
Vivek Ramaswamy followed a tried-and-true path for long shot presidential candidates last week, floating a gimmicky idea (raising the voting age) to generate some media attention;
For the first time—and possibly the last time—Dennis and discussed a new long shot contender for the GOP nomination, Ryan Binkley;
Nikki Haley and Mike Pence are coming back to Iowa soon as guests at Senator Joni Ernst’s “Roast and Ride” fundraiser; Dennis and I both struggle to see a path for either of them. Of the 98 Republicans currently serving in the Iowa legislature, 55 have already endorsed either DeSantis or Trump;
As talks on raising the debt limit continue to stall, U.S. Representative Zach Nunn has introduced a bill to “allow the federal government to continue on-time payments for Social Security, Medicare, active duty military pay and veteran’s disability benefits if the U.S. were to default”;
Governor Kim Reynolds has a few more weeks to sign or veto the final bills sent to her this year;
The governor praised the legislature’s work last week, but during an appearance on the Iowa PBS show “Iowa Press” she made clear that she wants to revisit a few issues next year, including behind-the-counter birth control;
Two Iowans filed a lawsuit against Reynolds and Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend for the decision two years ago to end Iowa’s participation in special pandemic-related unemployment programs; they are hoping to make it a class action suit;
On Friday the Iowa Supreme Court released its ruling on a case I’ve been following for years, stemming from the 2019 law that discriminates against transgender Iowans on Medicaid. I discussed this decision in more depth at Bleeding Heartland; the court sidestepped the main constitutional issues;
Earlier this month, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed an important precedent known as Godfrey in a case called Burnett; William Morris covered that decision for the Des Moines Register; the upshot is that it just became much harder for Iowans to go to court over violations of their constitutional rights;
A Clay County District Court ruled earlier this month that Iowa’s law giving pipeline companies access to private land for surveys is unconstitutional. Jared Strong covered the case for Iowa Capital Dispatch; no doubt the issue will eventually be decided by the Iowa Supreme Court, because other judges have seen the same issue differently. Here’s more background on the 2021 U.S. Supreme Court decision that influenced the ruling from Clay County;
In a big disappointment for leading Iowa politicians, last week the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed pork producers’ challenge to the California animal welfare law known as Proposition 12.
Here’s a bit of legal news Dennis and I didn’t have time to discuss: last week the Iowa Freedom of Information Council “sued the Centerville school board, challenging the legality of its closed meeting in February that ended a two-month suspension of the Centerville High School guidance counselor and baseball coach.” Randy Evans wrote about that case at Bleeding Heartland. And if you want to receive occasional emails linking to all recent commentary on my main website, subscribe to my other free newsletter.
The Iowa Writers Collaborative continues to grow. All of these authors provide content for free, with paid subscription options. Listed here in alphabetical order:
Laura Belin: Iowa Politics with Laura Belin, Windsor Heights
Doug Burns: The Iowa Mercury, Carroll
Dave Busiek: Dave Busiek on Media, Des Moines
Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Nik Heftman: The Seven Times, Los Angeles and Iowa
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilla
Dana James: New Black Iowa, Des Moines
Pat Kinney: View from Cedar Valley, Waterloo
Fern Kupfer: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Tar Macias: Hola Iowa, Iowa
Kurt Meyer, Showing Up, St. Ansgar
Wini Moranville, Wini’s Food Stories, Des Moines
Kyle Munson, Kyle Munson’s Main Street, Des Moines
Jane Nguyen, The Asian Iowan, West Des Moines
John Naughton: My Life, in Color, Des Moines
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Piatt on Politic Behind the Curtain, Washington, D.C.
Macey Spensley: The Midwest Creative, Iowa
Larry Stone: Listening to the Land, Elkader
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices, Kalona
Cheryl Tevis: Unfinished Business, Boone County
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
Teresa Zilk: Talking Good, Des Moines
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