Discover more from Iowa politics with Laura Belin
A few announcements and May 22 "Capitol Week"
Iowa caucus and Congressional news
Before I get to this week’s show, a few programming notes:
Dennis and I and our wonderful KHOI producer Mike Murphy will not record “Capitol Week” on Memorial Day. We’ll be back on June 5 with a new show and plenty of Iowa political happenings to discuss, including policy changes Republicans slipped into budget bills, and legislative actions that will affect disabled Iowans.
Also because of the holiday weekend, the Iowa Writers Collaborative will not have a lunchtime Zoom call on the last Friday of this month.
Heads up to readers in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor: I'll be in town soon for Bleeding Heartland fundraisers. The Cedar Rapids event is set for Thursday, June 8, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Harborview Pavilion at Ellis Park. We'll be at the Sanctuary Pub in Iowa City on Friday, June 9, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.
I'll talk about my work and take any questions about Iowa politics. All are welcome to attend these events, but I don't accept contributions from Iowa elected officials, candidates, or paid campaign staff or consultants. Please let me know if you plan to be there, and feel free to bring a friend. No one has to donate if they want to come and listen.
If you can't come to an event but would like to support my work financially, you can make a one-time or recurring gift by credit card, or a one-time gift through Venmo or PayPal, or a recurring gift through Substack. For “old school” types who prefer to write a check, please contact me for the mailing address.
All subscribers to Iowa politics with Laura Belin receive a recap of every edition of KHOI Radio’s “Capitol Week.”
Dennis and I talked about federal politics more than state-level happenings this week.
In Iowa caucus news, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy for president any day now. We talked about why Iowa is important for him;
Former Arkansas Asa Hutchinson was back in Iowa last week. We talked about the niche he’s trying to create in the Republican field;
Former Vice President Mike Pence is coming back to Iowa this week, with events in the Des Moines area and Ottumwa. We talked about how much has changed politically in Ottumwa and communities like it;
Senator Joni Ernst is assembling quite a line-up of candidates and potential candidates for her “Roast and Ride” in early June. Confirmed attendees now include former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, Pence, Hutchinson, Perry Johnson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Larry Elder. Dennis and I talked about the difficult path for any candidate to break through when Trump begins with such a strong base of support;
DeSantis is likely to spend a lot of money in Iowa, and the super-PAC Never Back Down is also investing heavily in organizing here. Tom Beaumont of the Associated Press reported on that over the weekend;
The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel recently reported on the big questions surrounding the timing of the 2024 Iowa caucuses. We talked about some of those issues, and another angle John Deeth flagged for me: the Iowa GOP seems to be leaning toward a mid-January date, but a January 15 caucus (conflicting with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) would be a nightmare for the Iowa Democratic Party;
We talked about the stalemate over the debt ceiling and prospects for a deal between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy or other outcomes;
All four Iowans in the U.S. House voted last week to allow Representative George Santos to continue to serve (they referred a motion to expel him to the House Ethics Committee);
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has vowed to reintroduce legislation to block California’s Prop 12, which imposes standards on pork producers wishing to sell in California;
The Republican-aligned PAC Winning for Women endorsed U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01) and Ashley Hinson (IA-02); Democrats have said they will target the districts held by Miller-Meeks and Nunn, but not Hinson’s;
We spent a few minutes discussing my original reporting on the earmarks requested this year by Miller-Meeks, Hinson, and Nunn, and Feenstra’s decision not to participate in the earmarks process. You can read more of those details at Bleeding Heartland;
The U.S. Department of Labor responded last week to a letter from Democratic State Senator Nate Boulton. The letter from the feds confirmed that some aspects of Iowa’s recently-approved child labor bill (Senate File 542) contradict the federal Fair Labor Standards Act;
What I’m watching for this week: a pre-holiday news dump for anything the Reynolds administration doesn’t want Iowans to notice.
Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend!
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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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