Kathie Obradovich

Kathie Obradovich

Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine.


Will GOP senators defy Iowa voters to protect unpopular pipelines?

By: - March 27, 2023

We may learn this week who Iowa Senate Republicans fear most: The governor and the ethanol industry or the Farm Bureau and the voters. The pivotal issue is about pipelines. The majority Republicans in the Iowa Senate need to decide this week what to do about legislation to increase landowners’ power over encroachment by liquid […]


GOP principles go up in smoke at the Iowa Statehouse

By: - March 13, 2023

Republicans in the Iowa Legislature like to talk about their bedrock principles. This year, those principles seem to be printed on tissue paper and every new bill lights another match. I wrote a whole column last week about how Statehouse Republicans, despite their repeated declarations of trust for parents, are working to eliminate choices for […]


‘Parental rights’ advocates don’t really trust parents

By: - March 6, 2023

We’ve been hearing often from Iowa Republicans that they “trust” parents. Gov. Kim Reynolds spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic saying she trusted parents (more than school administrators) to decide whether their kids should attend classes in person and wear masks to protect themselves and others. The centerpiece of her agenda this year was giving […]

Expansion of ‘right to try’ law for off-label drug use advances from Iowa House panel

By: - March 1, 2023

A major expansion of Iowa’s so-called “right to try” law, which allows the use of off-label drugs for certain patients, advanced in an Iowa House subcommittee despite the bill sponsor’s acknowledgment that the language needs work. House File 225 would allow patients with a “debilitating” illness to use “off-label” drugs, or those not approved by […]

Proposed school-lunch ban on meat substitutes stalls in Iowa House panel

By: - March 1, 2023

Members of a House subcommittee rejected a bill Wednesday that would have prohibited schools from serving meat and egg substitutes, including insect proteins and lab-grown proteins. Rep. Jeff Shipley, R-Birmingham, said he proposed House File 377 after reading an article about Australian schools serving kids chips made of ground crickets, meal worms and other insects. […]

Is butter better? Bill would ban margarine from school lunches

By: - February 23, 2023

Margarine would be banned from school lunches in Iowa under a bill that advanced Thursday from an Iowa House panel. Rep. Jeff Shipley, R-Birmingham, said he proposed House File 341, which also prohibits hydrogenated vegetable oil as an ingredient in school lunches, because he’s concerned about children’s physical and mental health. The bill requires the […]

Bill would allow loaded guns in parked cars at businesses, schools, prisons

By: - February 21, 2023

Firearm owners would be able to leave loaded weapons in parked cars at businesses, prisons, schools and colleges, and other locations under a bill advancing in the Iowa House. Republicans on a Public Safety subcommittee gave preliminary approval Tuesday to House Study Bill 173, the first major firearms bill under consideration since Iowa voters passed […]


‘Don’t say Kim?’ Governor’s bill would regulate schools’ use of nicknames

By: - February 13, 2023

The Republican Party’s obsession with sex and gender identity has reached a fever pitch in the Iowa Statehouse this year. Gov. Kim Reynolds and her gang of helicopter mothers are clutching their pearls so hard they must be cutting off oxygen to their brains. At this rate, they will end up banning rainbows before the […]


Iowa GOP lawmakers adopt new power-tripping mantra: ‘Because we won.’

By: - February 6, 2023

“Because I said so,” has to be one of the most infuriating responses someone can give to a reasonable question. Republicans in the Iowa Legislature have come up with a similar default answer to any question they can’t – or don’t want to – answer: “Because we won.” We heard it just last week during […]

Governor’s health care bill receives praise, criticism from both sides of abortion debate

By: - February 1, 2023

Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate praised aspects of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ omnibus health care bill and criticized other parts Wednesday during an Iowa House subcommittee meeting. House Study Bill 91, a 44-page bill, rounds up a dozen different policy goals, including expanding support for anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers,” while also allowing over-the-counter […]

Iowa House panel advances liability protection for trucking companies

By: - January 31, 2023

A year after a similar bill died on the floor of the Iowa House, Republican lawmakers are again advancing legislation to expand liability protection for trucking companies whose employees cause injury, death or other damages while on the job. An Iowa House subcommittee on Tuesday advanced House Study Bill 114, which would put a $1 […]


The message from Gov. Reynolds and the GOP: Transparency is for suckers

By: - January 23, 2023

Transparency is for suckers. That’s the message, loud and clear, from Gov. Kim Reynolds and her Republican enablers in the Legislature. I’d suspect that this was another, particularly idiotic manifestation of the trans-phobia that has infected Republican officeholders the past few years. But no, Reynolds and GOP lawmakers are insisting on “transparency” through various priority […]