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 Trump’s Iowa visit help or hurt Chuck Grassley? Do you think Trump cares?

By: - October 31, 2022

The news that former President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Iowa amid a list of battleground states in the week before the midterm elections inspired puzzled concern from some and glee from others. The gleeful weren’t all Republicans, and those expressing anxiety weren’t all Democrats. There have been a lot of questions: Trump […]


Candidates are trying to scare you. Don’t fall for it.

By: - October 24, 2022

It’s the spooky season. We love to be scared. Halloween decorations dot lawns across Des Moines. Over the weekend, I spotted a giant, inflatable baby on a north-side lawn with a mouth full of blood-smeared fangs. Magazines are full of directions for making cheese-cloth ghosts and punch-bowl ice in the shape of severed hands. Horror […]


Putting polls in perspective: They offer insight, not predictions

By: - October 17, 2022

Polls are not predictions. Say it with me:  Polls are not predictions. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but whenever there’s a significant poll with a surprising result, I feel like it needs to be said again. If we say it enough, maybe RAYGUN will print it on a T-shirt. The Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa […]


Gov. Kim Reynolds is campaigning — against Joe Biden

By: - October 3, 2022

One of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ biggest applause lines at her Harvest fundraiser over the weekend was her announcement that she’s suing the Biden administration over its decision to forgive student loan debt for more than 408,000 Iowans. There was a time when it would have been considered political malpractice to gloat about actively working to […]


Five years after Sergei’s suicide, the mental health services he needed most are still not available in Iowa

By: - September 12, 2022

Some of us in the front row gasped at the documentary’s opening image: A handsome, sandy-haired teenager, eyes closed, tightly hugging his brightly grinning mom at the top of the State Capitol, the city skyline in the distance. We gasped, tears already starting, because five years ago this month, that young man, Sergei Neubauer, died […]


Iowa’s chief justice on family, diversity, and the price of public opinion

By: - August 29, 2022

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen has a “boy robe” and a “girl robe,” which she wears on the bench as the mood strikes her. The “boy robe” belonged to her father, former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Jerry Larson, and it has his initials inside. He served from 1978 to 2008, and is the […]


GOP candidates who snub mainstream media are turning their backs on voters

By: - August 22, 2022

Out of 15 candidates for statewide and federal office who spoke at the Iowa State Fair, the one remark from a politician that I agreed with most came from a surprising source: perennial third-party candidate Bryan Jack Holder. Holder, who has lost his last five runs for office, is running for Congress on the Liberty […]


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, […]