Author

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.

Speaker Grassley: Lawmakers shouldn’t consider redistricting ‘purely on political motives’

By: - September 24, 2021

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley said Friday that lawmakers should not be considering the state’s partisan balance or their own political future as they decide whether to approve a proposed set of redistricting maps next month. “You should not be passing a map based purely on political motives,” Grassley said on Friday’s episode of Iowa […]

D.C. Dispatch: Government shutdown creeps closer; House passes abortion bill

By: - September 24, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your round-up of what went on in Washington, D.C. this week. The focus remains on a few key priorities for the Biden administration: passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a not-bipartisan spending proposal, and avoiding a government shutdown over the debt ceiling. The House passed a bill along party lines […]

Chuck Grassley will seek eighth Senate term in 2022

By: - September 24, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley will run for re-election in 2022, he announced early Friday. It’s 4 a.m. in Iowa so I’m running. I do that 6 days a week. Before I start the day I want you to know what Barbara and I have decided. I’m running for re-election—a lot more to do, for Iowa. […]

Watchdog group: Axne failed to disclose over 40 stock trades

By: - September 23, 2021

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne did not properly disclose over 40 stock trades between 2019 and 2020, according to a report from a watchdog organization. The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit ethics group, filed complaints Wednesday against seven House lawmakers, including Axne. The report says that Axne purchased and sold more than 40 assets over the […]

Rear view of students sitting with hands raised in classroom

Iowa school districts pare back COVID-19 reporting to parents

By: - September 23, 2021

Several central Iowa school districts have changed how they report COVID-19 information this school year, giving parents less detailed information about positive cases as the delta variant spreads. West Des Moines Community Schools, a 9,000-student district with 13 schools, did contact tracing last year. Superintendent Lisa Remy said school administrators would send letters to the […]

What do Iowans think about the proposed redistricting maps?

By: - September 22, 2021

Dozens of Iowans weighed in on the state’s first set of redistricted maps this week, submitting comments, speaking at public meetings – and even writing poetry about the proposal. Overall, most residents spoke in favor of Iowa’s nonpartisan process, with only a handful of people bringing up specific concerns. Wednesday night was the final public […]

Majority of Iowans disapprove of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan

By: - September 21, 2021

Three weeks after the last U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, over two-thirds of Iowans said they disapproved of the way President Joe Biden handled the situation, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll. Iowa’s lawmakers in D.C., many of whom have been critical of Biden’s approach from the onset, are turning their attention toward […]

How to attend Iowa’s final public meeting on redistricting

By: - September 21, 2021

Iowans have just one more opportunity to comment on the state’s first proposed redistricting plan. The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission is a five-member bipartisan panel charged with talking to Iowans about redistricting. State law requires the commission to hold at least three public meetings before lawmakers convene to consider a new set of district maps. […]

Iowa’s daily COVID-19 average surpasses January peak

By: - September 20, 2021

Iowa’s COVID-19 cases continued to rise Monday, with daily average cases surpassing the most recent peak in January 2021, before vaccines were widely available.  Iowa’s daily average of COVID-19 cases was 1,867 on Sunday, according to New York Times data. That number represents the average number of new cases every day over the last week. […]

Reynolds and 25 other governors ask Biden for border security meeting

By: - September 20, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds joined 25 other Republican governors in calling for a meeting with President Joe Biden about immigration and drug trafficking at the southern border. “My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans, and the humanitarian and national security crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states,” Reynolds […]

Iowa attorney general announces re-election bid

By: - September 18, 2021

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced Saturday that he will run for re-election in 2022. Miller has served in the office for nearly 40 years, making him the longest-serving attorney general in the U.S. “We have unfinished business, at least in my view,” Miller said, speaking about plans to use settlement payments from opioid manufacturers […]

Democrats set sights on tough 2022 election at annual Steak Fry

By: - September 18, 2021

With 416 days left before the 2022 midterm elections, Democratic leaders at the Polk County Democrats’ Steak Fry urged Iowans to start organizing now, predicting a challenging road ahead in the Republican-controlled state. Sean Bagniewski, chair of the Polk County Democrats, warned a few hundred Democrats at Saturday’s event against the “anti-vaxx, insurrectionist Republican Party,” […]