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.


Iowa Senate GOP answers Supreme Court’s call for transparency by hiding from questions

By: - April 24, 2023

The Iowa Supreme Court sent a strong message to the Iowa Legislature. The Statehouse majority party heard it and came up with the most idiotic and harmful response imaginable. This should surprise no one. Last Monday, during what turned out to be an all-nighter in the Iowa Senate, Sen. Adrian Dickey, R-Packwood, shocked and angered […]


An open-records victory but still a long way to go

By: - April 17, 2023

The Iowa Supreme Court said it loud and clear: The governor is not above the law. The high court’s ruling issued last week was a significant victory for advocates of open government, including Iowa Capital Dispatch and our deputy editor Clark Kauffman. We were among the plaintiffs in the case because it was the only […]


Supreme Court calls out legislative logrolling but leaves gaping loopholes

By: - April 3, 2023

Last summer, the Iowa Supreme slammed the door on open government by brushing off inconvenient claims of legislative logrolling and late-night shenanigans. The court’s conservative majority was so eager to overturn itself on abortion rights that it fashioned a convoluted justification for the unconstitutional process lawmakers used to pass a 24-hour waiting period for abortions. […]


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 […]