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.


Why is the GOP demonizing teachers as ‘sinister’ and pushing pedophilia?

By: - January 17, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds took time in her Condition of the State message to accuse Iowa teachers and school administrators of “pushing their world view” on students by allowing certain books in the school library or classroom. The address came a day after Senate President Jake Chapman, an Adel Republican, accused both teachers and journalists of […]


Senate Republicans’ ejection of media from chamber hurts all Iowans

By: - January 10, 2022

The 2022 session of the Iowa Legislature will begin today, much as lawmakers have convened for most of the past 175 years: with speeches and ceremony, the reuniting of friends and the renewal of partisan enmity. One significant difference: The Iowa Senate will exclude the Statehouse media from access to the floor of the chamber. […]


Here’s why I’m still hopeful about Iowa’s future

By: - January 3, 2022

A friend sent me an email recently, remarking on a recent column, and said he wasn’t sensing “defeatism” from my view of recent events in Iowa. He said that was “laudable” — but he wasn’t feeling optimistic, to say the least. He said he was thinking about leaving the state before it turns into “Arkansas […]


Here’s why Iowa Capital Dispatch is suing the governor

By: - December 20, 2021

Iowa Capital Dispatch and our deputy editor, Clark Kauffman, joined other media organizations in a lawsuit filed last week by ACLU of Iowa seeking enforcement of the Iowa Open Meetings and Records Act. The lawsuit names Gov. Kim Reynolds, her office, a staff attorney and the office’s current and former communications directors as plaintiffs. As […]


Book banning isn’t about protecting children; it’s adult political posturing

By: - December 13, 2021

I was an early reader as a child, and we always had a lot of books in our home. Even so, it was a big day when I got to bring home my very own library card. We visited the Ames Public Library often, and my brother and I would later ride our bikes to […]


With or without omicron, Iowa lacks the will to overcome COVID

By: - December 6, 2021

News of the omicron variant of COVID-19 was like a bucket of ice water in the face after a refreshingly normal Thanksgiving weekend marked by in-person gatherings with family and friends. The variant, first identified in South Africa, had already been confirmed as close as Minnesota by middle of last week. Chances are, it’ll show […]

Reynolds celebrates ‘getting back to normal’ with traditional turkey pardoning

By: - November 23, 2021

Squash and Stuffing, two turkeys raised near Ellsworth, will not be on the menu for Thanksgiving Day. Gov. Kim Reynolds “pardoned” the two birds Tuesday as part of an annual tradition that also recognizes Iowa’s role as a major turkey producer. Iowa ranks seventh in U.S. turkey production with about 12 million birds raised a […]

Reynolds ‘confident’ U.S. Treasury will approve her use of COVID-19 aid for staff salaries

By: - November 23, 2021

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she is “very, very confident” her use of nearly $450,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds for staff salaries will be approved by the U.S. Treasury. A state audit released Nov. 15 found that the governor’s office had not provided documentation necessary to show the employees were “substantially dedicated” to […]


Dispute over Reynolds’ use of COVID cash highlights budget shell game

By: - November 22, 2021

Republicans work hard to sell the idea their party is the one that stands for fiscal responsibility. They are leaning heavily on that message on the federal level as Democrats approach a vote on the second of two multitrillion-dollar spending bills. Here in Iowa, Republicans in the Legislature have for decades espoused the principle of […]

Clark Kauffman honored as a press freedom champion

By: - November 12, 2021

Iowa Capital Dispatch Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has been named the 2021 Stephen Berry Press Freedom Champion by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism. The award was announced Friday at virtual storytelling event sponsored by the center, which publishes the website The Berry award is named for the center’s co-founder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning […]


High turnout does not mean there’s no voter suppression

By: - November 8, 2021

Iowans turned out in better-than-usual numbers for last week’s city and school board elections. It’s always encouraging to see improvements in voter participation. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican, attributed the higher turnout to increased voter engagement in local issues. “People are much more engaged and I don’t know if that’s just COVID […]


GOP says unemployment benefits hurt Iowa, except when they’re for the unvaccinated

By: - November 1, 2021

Remember way back in June, when unemployment benefits were killing Iowa’s economy? Gov. Kim Reynolds couldn’t wait until extended federal benefits expired in September, so she ended them three months early. She blamed unemployment benefits for the fact that employers were having trouble filling open positions. “Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans […]