Katie Akin

Katie Akin

Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.

D.C. Dispatch: Democrats shift focus to voting rights

By: - January 7, 2022

It’s the first week of 2022 and national politics are off to a (relatively) quiet start. Iowa’s D.C. delegation reflected on the events on Jan. 6, 2021 and everything that’s happened since. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in D.C. shifted their focus from the spending bill to other priorities. Congress ended 2021 in a stalemate. The “Build […]

Democratic candidates for governor, Senate address Iowa mental health

By: - January 6, 2022

Democratic challengers to Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley advocated Thursday for increased funding and access to mental health care. The National Association of Social Workers of Iowa, an organization of thousands of Iowa social workers, hosted the Des Moines candidate forum. Moderators focused questions on workforce shortages for social workers and the impact […]

Iowa governor’s race: Party chair responds to Smith fundraising concerns

By: - January 6, 2022

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn expects a “strong slate” of Democratic candidates this year, he said, despite the departure of Rep. Ras Smith from the gubernatorial race due to fundraising challenges. “I was the first Black Democratic candidate for governor to get on the ballot in Iowa,” Wilburn said. “I understand the challenges that […]

One year later: Iowa delegation reflects on Jan. 6 insurrection, violence

By: - January 6, 2022

One year after insurrectionists swarmed the U.S. Capitol, members of Iowa’s D.C. delegation thanked Capitol police officers and condemned the violent participants in the riot. Rep. Cindy Axne began a Wednesday event with a moment of silence for Capitol police officers who were injured or killed on Jan. 6, 2021, when thousands of people attempted […]

Axne: Build Back Better is ‘alive and well’ as Senate prioritizes voting rights

By: - January 5, 2022

The U.S. Senate has tabled discussion of President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending proposal, but Rep. Cindy Axne said Wednesday the bill was still “alive and well” in D.C. “It’s not stalled,” she said, “It’s a little bit behind because they’re heavily working on voting rights issues, and that’s the key priority right now.” Democrats […]

Democrat Ras Smith withdraws from 2022 governor race

By: - January 5, 2022

Rep. Ras Smith has suspended his campaign for Iowa governor. The Waterloo Democrat announced Wednesday that his seven-month campaign had revealed “a drastic disconnect between the current political system and the people.” “I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome, no matter how hard we work or […]

Tax cuts, workforce shortage and parent choice to drive 2022 legislative session

By: - January 4, 2022

Lawmakers return to Des Moines on Monday for the 2022 legislative session, and Republicans – who hold the House, Senate and the governor’s office – have their to-do list in order. GOP leadership on Tuesday highlighted solving workforce shortages, cutting income taxes and prioritizing parents in education as major goals for the upcoming session. “We […]

Proposed bill would prohibit employer vaccine or mask mandates

By: - January 4, 2022

State Rep. Jon Jacobsen paced, microphone in hand, around a table of anti-mandate organizers, as he unveiled a proposal to prohibit Iowa businesses from requiring employees to be vaccinated or wear masks. “I can’t think of a greater civil rights issue than this,” Jacobsen said, comparing mandatory employer vaccinations to “an indentured servant-slash-slave relationship.” If […]

Biden debuts $1 billion meatpacking competition plan

By: - January 3, 2022

President Joe Biden unveiled plans Monday to allocate $1 billion in federal money to increasing competition in the meatpacking industry.  “Without meaningful competition, farmers and ranchers don’t get to choose who they sell to,” Biden said. “Put another way, our farmers and ranchers have to pay whatever these four big companies say they have to […]

Hy-Vee to employ armed ‘retail security officers’

By: - December 30, 2021

Hy-Vee will employ armed “retail security officers” in stores, the company announced Wednesday. In a news release, the West Des Moines-based grocer said the officers will be “specially trained to defuse situations and equipped to protect the safety of both Hy-Vee customers and employees.”  Officers have started work in several stores, according to the release. […]

Longtime Iowa senators remember Nevada Sen. Harry Reid

By: - December 29, 2021

Former Sen. Harry Reid died Tuesday evening, leaving a 30-year Senate career as his legacy. Reid was elected to represent Nevada in the U.S. House in 1982, and then to the U.S. Senate in 1987. The Democrat served as the Senate majority leader from 2005 to 2015, shepherding the Affordable Care Act and other Democratic […]

Omicron variant of COVID-19 identified in 12 Iowa counties

By: - December 29, 2021

Iowa has identified 41 cases of the omicron variant in 12 of the state’s most populous counties, the Iowa Department of Public Health said Wednesday. The omicron variant of COVID-19 appears to be more contagious than the initial strain of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It can spread between vaccinated and […]