Laura Belin

Laura Belin

Laura Belin is the publisher, editor, and primary reporter for Bleeding Heartland, a community website focused on Iowa politics. She is also the Statehouse reporter for KHOI Radio in Ames and co-host of the station's "Capitol Week" program, as well as a member of the Iowa Writers' Collaborative. You can receive her original reporting and commentary through the Evening Heartland newsletter and links to her radio programs and what she's been reading at her Substack, Iowa politics with Laura Belin.


Data show which Iowa counties have (or don’t have) representative juries

By: - November 8, 2023

Five of the eight Iowa counties with the largest Black populations “had trial juries that were fully representative of their jury-eligible Black population” during 2022 and the first half of 2023, according to data analyzed by the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP. However, trial juries in Polk County and Scott County failed to hit that benchmark, and Dubuque […]


Why Iowa Republicans may struggle to agree on new abortion ban

By: - June 22, 2023

Top Iowa Republicans reacted quickly on June 16 after the Iowa Supreme Court’s split decision kept abortion legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks. In a joint news release, Gov. Kim Reynolds, Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, and House Speaker Pat Grassley promised to work together on what they called “pro-life policies to protect the unborn.” But they […]


New Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart has her work cut out for her

By: - January 30, 2023

The Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee elected Rita Hart as the next party chair on Jan. 28 by 34 votes to 14 for Brittany Ruland and one for Bob Krause. Hart promised to focus “squarely on helping our party begin winning elections again,” and had submitted a detailed plan (enclosed in full below) to make that happen. She touted her experience […]

Iowa Capitol Dome

Elections bring more diversity to Iowa Legislature

By: - November 17, 2022

People of color, Iowans who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, and those adhering to a non-Christian faith tradition will hold a record number of seats in the Iowa Legislature next year. Just four years ago, four Black representatives in the 100-member House were the only people of color serving in the Iowa Legislature. […]


Gov. Kim Reynolds race-baits in campaign’s new TV ad

By: - September 26, 2022

Nothing happens in a campaign commercial by accident. Strategists plan every word and image, with the candidate’s approval. Directors may film many takes to get the perfect cadence for every line. So Iowans should understand: The racist tropes in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ latest TV ad are deliberate. Here’s “Still Works,” which the governor’s campaign launched on Sept. […]


Coaches, please don’t lead team prayers

By: - August 25, 2022

To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities: As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his […]