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. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs. She has led national-award-winning coverage of the Iowa Caucuses and the Register’s Iowa Poll.


Don’t claim to support law enforcement if you demonize the FBI and IRS

By: - August 15, 2022

This may come as news to Sen. Chuck Grassley and many of his fellow Republicans:  The Federal Bureau of Investigation is a law enforcement agency. So is the Internal Revenue Service. Most people already think of the FBI as an elite policing agency. But the IRS also investigates crime beyond tax evasion and fraud. Organized […]


Senate GOP takes shameful vote to block cap on insulin costs

By: - August 8, 2022

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, including more than 230,000 Iowans. That means if you don’t have it yourself, someone close to you almost certainly does. I have loved ones and friends with the disease. One particularly special person in my life was diagnosed with Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes when she was a toddler. […]


Iowa’s elderly deserve better protection from state regulators

By: - July 18, 2022

My mom turns 80 in a couple of weeks. (Happy birthday, Mom!) Dad’s 80th birthday was in January. I am beyond grateful they both are active and relatively healthy. They’re still living independently in their own home in Ames. Obviously, not everyone is so fortunate. I have an aunt and uncle – my dad’s older […]


What can we do about internet outrages?

By: - July 11, 2022

While more than 210,000 Iowans were angrily waiting out a massive Mediacom internet outage last week, my home office was in the throes of a three-week outrage with that other provider. You know which one it is, of course, because there are only two choices in most of Des Moines. When CenturyLink said we had […]

Nunn noncommittal on bill expanding health care for veterans exposed to toxins

By: - July 6, 2022

Republican congressional candidate Zach Nunn, a U.S. Air Force commander, took no position Wednesday when asked at a campaign event about legislation pending in Congress to expand health care for military veterans exposed to toxic “burn pits” in the Middle East and to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. “I haven’t seen the bill,” Nunn, […]


Frankenstein legislation and midnight shell games thrive under Iowa Supreme Court

By: - June 27, 2022

Iowans’ ability to stay informed about what’s happening in the state Legislature took another body blow recently – and lawmakers aren’t even in session. The latest smackdown on open government came in the Iowa Supreme Court’s recent ruling that also eliminated the right to abortion in the state constitution. Most people, understandably, overlooked the part […]


Iowans launch marijuana reform campaign aimed at showing public support

By: - June 20, 2022

Robert “Lewy” Lewis of Windsor Heights has been in pain since 1974, when he had spinal surgery at the age of 21. To repair a blockage in his spine, surgeons removed eight inches of his vertebrae and then sewed them back on, using about 300 steel stitches. “I’m a perfect barometer for the weather,” he […]


This is what political courage looks like

By: - June 13, 2022

We all know what courage looks like. It’s at the core of our favorite stories. It’s central to the plots in most movies and television shows. It’s the backbone of the legends we cherish from history and from daily life. Political courage is not so familiar. It’s an oxymoron these days, or one of those […]


Legal loophole creates confusion over prosecution of teens with guns

By: - June 6, 2022

President Biden, in a prime-time address last week, called on Congress to ban semiautomatic “assault style” rifles – or at least raise the age for legal purchase from 18 to 21. He was reacting to the spate of horrific and heartbreaking mass shootings that killed 22 people, most of them children, on May 24 at […]

Iowa GOP touts legislative victories; Democrats decry ‘culture wars’

By: and - May 25, 2022

Republican legislative leaders cheered the accomplishments of the 2022 legislative session, which ended early Wednesday and included major tax cuts and the culmination of years of work on issues ranging from the bottle bill to biofuels. Gov. Kim Reynolds, in a statement early Wednesday, applauded the approval of many of her priorities. “This legislative session, […]

Iowa Capitol Dome

Lawmakers eliminate open-enrollment deadline before session adjournment

By: and - May 25, 2022

Iowa lawmakers ended the 2022 legislative session early Wednesday with action on some familiar topics: school choice and election law. The Iowa Senate adjourned for the year at 12:11 a.m. and the House followed at 12:17 a.m. Before they went home, Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate voted Tuesday night  to eliminate a deadline […]

Senate Democrats defeat four governor’s appointees to the judicial nominating commission

By: - May 24, 2022

Democrats in the Iowa Senate on Tuesday defeated four appointees by Gov. Kim Reynolds to the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission. Meanwhile, Republicans approved legislation aimed at giving the governor more control over the state’s judicial nominations. A shouting match erupted on the Senate floor during debate of the commission nominations as lawmakers accused each other […]