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 Iowa keep its proud tradition of fair, nonpartisan redistricting?

By: - September 20, 2021

Iowa’s nonpartisan redistricting process has long been held up as a model for the country, even though most other states have shown little interest in adopting it. This year, Iowa’s much-heralded but little-emulated process is proceeding under two sets of unusual circumstances. The first, as has been widely reported, is the late arrival of census […]

Regents vote to ask lawmakers for $15M increase for state universities

By: - September 16, 2021

The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday approved a request to increase state aid by $15 million for the three state universities. The proposal would provide a $7 million increase for general education to Iowa State University and $4 million each to University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. The proposal would take […]


What the hail: It’s time to pay attention to climate policy

By: - August 30, 2021

At my house, 2021 has been the summer of the insurance claim. An ice dam on the roof that leaked into a spare bedroom started the ball rolling in February. We ended up replacing the roof, which was finished less than a week before a July storm pelted us with golf-ball-sized hail. The new roof […]


It takes leadership get people to choose the common good

By: - August 23, 2021

During Mass on Sunday morning at the Iowa State Fair, Father Ed Hurley paused in his homily to issue a warning: He said he usually tried not to talk about politics. That’s often a sign that what comes next is going to make some people mad. “I think we’ve gone overboard with this personal freedom […]


Where’s the parental choice for fully masked classrooms?

By: - August 16, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds likes to talk about respecting Iowans’ choices, especially when it comes to schools. The concept was the driving force behind much of her education agenda this year. She did provide more choices for parents this year, including measures to force all districts to offer 100% in-person classes, create new paths to open […]


The Reynolds administration is the least transparent in 30 years

By: - August 9, 2021

A journalist is arrested and put on trial for doing her job. The governor’s office and state agencies defy the law without consequence by ignoring or refusing requests for public records. A veteran state employee claims she was fired for complying with the law and providing a public record to a reporter. It sounds like […]


GOP officials urge vaccinations but is Iowa prepared for delta variant?

By: - July 26, 2021

 U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley took to Twitter last week to encourage all eligible Iowans and Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “The Delta variant scares me so I hope those that haven’t been vaccinated will reconsider,” he wrote. Ive said this to several Iowa reporters again this wk but I’ll amplify it here: I encourage […]


Experts sidelined so Reynolds gets ‘credit’ for mental health program

By: - July 19, 2021

If a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, as journalist Michael Kinsley famously wrote, what do you call it when a bureaucrat blurts out the real story about a politician? That may be what happened last week, when an official from the Iowa Department of Education was apparently trying to mollify members of […]


Green water is costing Iowans millions of greenbacks

By: - July 12, 2021

When I think of Iowa, I think green. Driving across the state a few weeks ago, I was struck all over again by how, even as drought threatened, the landscape rushing by the car windows was a sea of verdant crops, grassy hills, prairie plants and leafy pockets of forest. What’s not as apparent from […]


Judge calls out lawmakers on ‘tricks’ and ‘mischiefs’ in legislative process

By: - June 28, 2021

Last week’s district court ruling that struck down a 2020 Iowa law was notable not only as the latest skirmish in the war over abortion rights but also for the way the judge took Iowa lawmakers to task for the shortcuts they have been taking with the legislative process. District Judge Mitchell Turner dispensed fairly […]


Reynolds turns her back on criminal justice reform

By: - June 21, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds turned her back on criminal justice reform last week. What brought it home wasn’t just her decision to sign a knee-jerk “Back the Blue” bill that overreacts to last summer’s racial justice protests and makes it even more difficult to hold bad cops accountable by granting qualified immunity from lawsuits. We knew […]


If the game is pandemic politics, Reynolds wins the first round

By: - June 7, 2021

The story played like the opening bell of the campaign for 2022 gubernatorial election: State Auditor Rob Sand, potential Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, accused her of improperly using federal coronavirus aid dollars for “self-promotion.” Reynolds denied the claim and defended the spending nearly $150,000 on a public awareness advertising campaign related to […]