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.
Senate votes to allow retailers to quit accepting bottle and can returns
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 29, 2022
Retailers would be allowed to opt out of accepting bottle and can returns starting in 2023, redemption centers would get a raise and beverage wholesalers would continue to keep unredeemed deposits under a bill approved Tuesday by the Iowa Senate. Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, floor manager of Senate File 2378, said it was “an attempt […]
Legislative sausage making: Who cares about the process?
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 21, 2022
State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann recently remarked at a legislative committee meeting: “The people back home …, they don’t give a sh** about the process. They care about results.” Kaufmann, who recently made news for flipping the bird with both hands at a public event in the Statehouse rotunda, is ever classy. But I laughed when […]
Proposed bottle bill overhaul allows retailers to refuse container returns
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 17, 2022
Iowa grocery stores and other retailers would be allowed to opt out of taking back bottle and can returns and repaying deposits in 2023 under the latest version of a bill making its way through the Iowa Senate. Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, and Republicans on the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed the rewrite of […]
Senate panel votes to move Iowa to permanent daylight saving time – if border states also change
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 16, 2022
A state Senate committee voted Wednesday to require bordering states to move permanently to daylight saving time before Iowans could stop changing their clocks twice a year. The move comes after the Iowa House passed a bill last week to move the state permanently to daylight saving time if Congress legalizes the action. The Senate […]
Reynolds says she ‘trusts’ Iowans. Will she trust them with her agenda?
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 14, 2022
Four years ago, I drove down to Osceola to cover the kickoff for Gov. Kim Reynolds’ first campaign at the top of the gubernatorial ticket. She gave a roughly 10-minute speech that was focused almost entirely on her small-town roots and the accomplishments of the Branstad administration. (She served for over seven years as lieutenant […]
Iowa’s tax cut: Who will play now and who will pay later?
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 7, 2022
“There are two paths people can take. They can either play now and pay later, or pay now and play later. Regardless of the choice, one thing is certain. Life will demand a payment.” — John C. Maxwell Play now, pay later. That sums up Iowa’s “historic” income-tax cut, which Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law […]
Parents’ rights? Not this time, GOP says
By: Kathie Obradovich - February 28, 2022
When I was in high school, I agreed to teach a Sunday school class for 3-year-olds at my church with another high-school classmate. The class was only 45 minutes long, and mostly consisted of coloring, simple crafts and reading Bible stories to the children. No big deal – except there were at least 10 kids […]
GOP works to pile on more absentee ballot rules
By: Kathie Obradovich - February 21, 2022
The Republican majority in the Iowa Legislature has approved more than 50 pages of new election laws since the beginning of 2020, with the result of making it more complicated to obtain and return an absentee ballot. They have made changes over the past few years to nearly every aspect of the absentee voting process: […]
Senate panel increases proposed criminal penalties for ‘obscene’ school books
By: Kathie Obradovich - February 16, 2022
A state Senate committee has toughened proposed criminal penalties for educators in legislation aimed at “obscene” material and “hard-core pornography” in classrooms and school libraries. Senate File 2198 was approved Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The move means the bill will meet this week’s committee deadline for policy bills. The bill would create a […]
Silly school litter box rumors front a darker agenda
By: Kathie Obradovich - February 14, 2022
A recent story out of small-town Iowa was getting lots of twitters and titters: The Carroll school superintendent sent out an email to parents to knock down a false rumor that there were litter boxes in school bathrooms to accommodate students who “identify” as cats. Some people laughed at how absurd it is that school […]
Senate panel endorses criminal penalties for educators who distribute ‘hard-core porn’ to students
By: Kathie Obradovich - February 10, 2022
A panel of state senators heard more than an hour of public comment Thursday before advancing a bill that would impose criminal penalties on educators for providing “obscene material” or “hard-core pornography” to students in a classroom or school library. Senate File 2198 would create a criminal penalty for teachers or school officials who provide […]
Will Iowans fight against racism and discrimination?
By: Kathie Obradovich - February 7, 2022
State Rep. Ross Wilburn’s great-great-grandfather fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. He’s justifiably proud of that fact, as he told fellow lawmakers during some brief remarks last week to celebrate Black History Month. Wilburn’s relative, Harrison Tilford Gash, escaped enslavement in Missouri and enlisted on Sept. 23, 1863 in Illinois. He was […]