Ed Tibbetts

Ed Tibbetts

Ed Tibbetts, of Davenport, has covered politics, government and trends for more than three decades in the Quad-Cities. A former reporter and editorial page editor for the Quad-City Times, he now is a freelance journalist who publishes the Along the Mississippi newsletter on Substack. He is a member of the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative.


Secrecy over lucrative payout creates a stench at Davenport City Hall

By: - November 29, 2023

A week later, the stink still lingers. Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, when they knew hardly anybody was paying attention, Davenport city officials announced they were giving departing City Administrator Corri Spiegel $1.6 million. The city said $1 million was for the emotional pain and suffering that Spiegel suffered, which the city council said […]


Saying goodbye to a school in Davenport: ‘It’s like an old friend.’

By: - November 12, 2023

Over eight decades, thousands of kids from Davenport’s west side got their first taste of schooling at Monroe Elementary. Opened in 1940, the school was one of six elementaries constructed as part of an ambitious building program in response to a belief that the old elementaries had outlived their usefulness and were no longer strategically […]


Iowans should vote in school board elections, but for the right reasons

By: - November 3, 2023

Next week, Iowans will go to the polls to choose members of their local school boards. In truth, hardly any Iowans will do this. And not just because they’ve already voted by absentee ballot. If history holds, only a fraction of eligible voters will vote in the city and school elections. In Scott County, less […]


Iowa delegation strays from our heritage of political moderation by backing Jim Jordan

By: - October 18, 2023

Every member of Iowa’s congressional delegation, every last one of them, voted Tuesday to make Jim Jordan the Speaker of the House. There may be no better evidence that Iowa’s heritage of political moderation is gone. Oh, I know: Those days have been absent for quite a while now. Neither am I one to rhapsodize the […]


Iowa’s delegation backed a speaker who couldn’t even hold onto his job

By: - October 5, 2023

It’s tempting to lay the blame for Tuesday’s fiasco in the U.S. House of Representatives on Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida. He and a small number of Republican rebels have plunged Congress into chaos by insisting on the removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The House voted 216-210 on Tuesday to vacate the chair. The New York Times reported […]


A new book explores the housing affordability crisis

By: - October 1, 2023

Brendan O’Brien remembers growing up in Davenport in the house where his parents still live. Inside its walls, he raced toy cars and invented games with his brothers; outside, he spent summers playing with friends a short distance from where he went to high school. He says it’s a place he can always call home. […]


Trump opens the door to attacks in Iowa — but will his rivals take advantage?

By: - September 21, 2023

The Republican nomination fight in Iowa is getting a lot more interesting. Ron DeSantis and Tim Scott are ditching the kid gloves and taking on Donald Trump on the issue of abortion. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday, Trump called Florida’s 6-week abortion ban a “terrible mistake.” That opened the door to the Florida governor, […]


I got a letter from the IRS.

By: - September 1, 2023

We’ve been taught to fear the Internal Revenue Service. For most of my adult life, the taxman has been the bogeyman of American politics. Ronald Reagan tried to shrink the agency early in his presidency but apparently reversed course. By the end of his tenure, the IRS had added workers. Large bipartisan majorities in Congress acted to rein in an […]


Will Gov. Kim Reynolds endorse before the Iowa caucuses?

By: - August 22, 2023

One of the most intriguing developments amid the presidential politics at the Iowa State Fair were these words from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “I may change my mind down the road…” The subject: Her neutrality in the 2024 Republican presidential race. Back in February, as reported in the Des Moines Register, Reynolds’ message seemed pretty clear: […]


The truth about Iowa’s book ban

By: - August 8, 2023

The Iowa book-ban law is working exactly as planned. Don’t let them tell you any different. This spring, Iowa Republicans passed a law they want you to believe reasonably outlawed smut in the school library. We heard repeatedly that perverts were trying to groom our children, and somebody had to stop them. Who could argue with […]


Joni Ernst’s calendar confusion

By: - July 28, 2023

Joni Ernst apparently needs help reading a calendar. Twice over the past week, the Iowa senator has complained about an incompetent, overreaching federal government. Both times, she blamed the Biden administration. Both times, she was wrong. I suspect she knows that. In which case, Ernst doesn’t really need help with her calendar but her conscience. […]


Policymakers miss Iowa’s persistently poor neighborhoods

By: - July 17, 2023

In Iowa, when we talk about economic decline these days, it’s mostly about farm country. There’s a good reason for that. The population of rural Iowa is shrinking. Main streets are struggling.  Young people are leaving because they can’t find jobs. Five years ago, Gov. Kim Reynolds created a task force to empower rural parts of the […]