Author

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.

National Democrats meet this week to decide fate of Iowa caucuses

By: - November 29, 2022

Iowa Democrats are staying tight-lipped about their plans moving forward from this week’s Democratic National Committee rules meeting, where some predict national leadership will displace the Iowa Caucuses from their first-in-the-nation position. Iowa Democrats could move forward with presidential caucuses with or without the national party’s blessing, as it has in the past. But state […]

Iowa Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott to serve as Democratic whip

By: - November 18, 2022

Iowa Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott will take over from retiring Sen. Amanda Ragan as Democratic whip in the Iowa Senate, Democrats announced Friday. Trone Garriott of West Des Moines won reelection against former Senate President Jake Chapman, representing Senate District 14. While Democrats lost ground and remain the minority in both chambers, Trone Garriott’s race […]

Medical marijuana board recommends tax changes for dispensaries

By: - November 18, 2022

Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board will ask the state Legislature to exempt medical marijuana products from Iowa’s sales tax and change its business licensing procedure for dispensaries. Iowa could follow other states’ lead in reducing costs for business owners and patients through changing state taxing systems for medical marijuana, board members said Friday. That includes exempting […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa delegation makes ag trade push

By: - November 18, 2022

Iowa’s federal legislators are calling for more support for Iowa farmers amid rising costs and potential cuts to international trade. U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley called for the U.S. trade representative to intervene against the country’s plan to ban the importation of American genetically modified corn. The proposal would effectively stop the importation […]

Auditor candidate Todd Halbur concedes race to Rob Sand

By: - November 18, 2022

Republican candidate for state auditor Todd Halbur conceded Friday, saying his campaign lacks the resources to conduct a recount of the tight statewide race. Democratic incumbent Rob Sand declared victory in the race the week of the election. Sand leads with 600,719 votes to Halbur’s 597,826 with all 99 counties reporting, according to the Iowa Secretary […]

What to expect as Iowa’s attorney general, treasurer leave office after four decades

By: - November 17, 2022

Change is coming to Iowa’s attorney general and treasurer’s offices as voters chose to elect challengers who promised to work toward GOP goals over the Democratic incumbents who argued their tenure brought nonpartisan successes. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and state Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, both the nation’s longest-serving officials in their positions, were defeated in […]

Reynolds elected 2023 Republican Governors Association chair

By: - November 17, 2022

Members of the Republican Governors Association unanimously elected Gov. Kim Reynolds as chair for the 2023 cycle during the organization’s annual conference this week. Reynolds will take over for current co-chairs Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, with whom she worked as vice chair during the last cycle. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee […]

House Republicans form new ‘education reform’ committee

By: - November 16, 2022

The Iowa House of Representatives will have a new committee for the upcoming session to take up bills on major changes to the state education system. House Speaker Pat Grassley will chair the new Education Reform Committee for the 2023 session, according to a news release. Rep. Skyler Wheeler, R-Hull, will head the existing Education […]

Reynolds announces new chief of staff

By: - November 15, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that Taryn Frideres, her current chief operating officer, will take over as chief of staff starting Dec. 1. The change in leadership comes as current Chief of Staff Sara Craig Gongol leaves to become the Republican Governors Association’s executive director. Frideres has served in multiple policy adviser roles, including as […]

Iowa wins over $6 million in multistate Google settlement

By: - November 14, 2022

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and 39 other attorneys general reached a $391.5 million settlement with Google over its location tracking practices, the office announced Monday. Iowa will receive nearly $6.2 million from the settlement, according to a news release. Additionally, the agreement requires Google to provide more transparency measures for location tracking services, including […]

State Auditor Rob Sand declares victory; more recounts are expected

By: and - November 10, 2022

State Auditor Rob Sand declared victory Thursday after recounts in two counties failed to erase his narrow lead in the 2022 midterm election, but more recounts are expected. All 99 of Iowa’s counties are now reporting results from Tuesday’s election after recounts in Warren County and Des Moines County. The Iowa Secretary of State’s office […]

Sen. Amy Sinclair takes over as Iowa Senate president

By: - November 10, 2022

State Sen. Amy Sinclair will serve as the Iowa Senate president in the 2023-24 General Assembly following former Senate President Jake Chapman’s defeat in Tuesday’s election. Republican lawmakers held elections for legislative leadership Thursday after the party won a supermajority in the state Senate and added seats in the House. While Republicans won many top […]