Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. They have experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald.

GOP calls for Democrat Mike Franken to release accuser from NDA

By: - September 20, 2022

Iowa Republicans on Tuesday called on Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michael Franken to release from a non-disparagement agreement a former staffer who has accused him of sexual improprieties. Kimberley Strope-Boggus, who worked on Franken’s 2020 and 2022 U.S. Senate campaigns, filed a report in April with the Des Moines Police Department alleging Franken had kissed […]

D.C. Dispatch: Ernst calls for audit of IRS; veteran-assistance legislation passes

By: - September 16, 2022

As Congress reconvenes, Iowa Republicans are supporting measures they say will keep the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act in check. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst announced this week that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, agreed to her request to audit Internal Revenue Service employees. Hundreds of IRS employees, including tax collectors […]

Iowa Board of Regents to request more funding in upcoming session

By: - September 15, 2022

The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously approved plans to ask the Iowa Legislature for a budget increase of more than $34 million. Board members also unanimously passed a $1 million amendment to the total appropriations request of over $630 million, which would provide added funding for mental health services at the state’s public […]

As election security doubts mount, Iowa election officials reassure voters of process

By: - September 15, 2022

This story is part of a project called Democracy Day, in which newsrooms across the country are shining a light on threats to democracy.  With some political activists saying the nation’s election security is at risk, Iowa’s election officials are taking steps ahead of the November midterms to reassure voters that elections in the state are […]

Iowa Democrats back abortion access, legalized marijuana, more school funding

By: - September 14, 2022

Iowa House Democrats named increasing public school funding, protecting abortion and legalizing marijuana as goals for the upcoming legislative session Wednesday. The legislative leaders of Iowa’s minority party unveiled their “people over politics” agenda at the Iowa State Capitol. The plan has four components: lowering costs of living, legalizing adult use of marijuana, protecting access […]

Reynolds calls for Biden to withdraw student loan forgiveness program

By: - September 12, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds joined a group of 22 Republican governors Monday opposing President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt. In a letter sent to Biden, the governors called for the administration to withdraw the program announced Aug. 24, which cancels $10,000 in student loan debt for people with an income of less than […]

Some Republican candidates shy from specifics of federal abortion law positions

By: - September 9, 2022

On the campaign trail, Iowa Democratic congressional candidates say their Republican opponents want to fully ban abortion in Iowa and nationwide – but many GOP candidates competing in the November election shy away from outlining specific policies. U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne’s campaign released a video advertisement of her opponent, state Sen. Zach Nunn, raising his […]

Nunn, Ernst say U.S.-Mexico border crossings are fueling drug crisis

By: - September 9, 2022

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and congressional candidate Zach Nunn said Friday the best way to address Iowa’s rising problems with fentanyl and meth is better security along the U.S.-Mexico border. Nunn, a Republican state senator who is running against U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne in the 3rd Congressional District, visited the border at the end of […]

As enrollment recovers, Iowa Board of Regents eyes a request for more state aid

By: - September 8, 2022

As Iowa’s college enrollment numbers improve following a dip due to the pandemic, the Iowa Board of Regents is considering raising its budget request to match inflation and increased costs at the state’s public universities. The Board of Regents will discuss plans next week to request $630.46 million in 2024 fiscal year appropriations during the […]

3rd Congressional District candidates to debate Oct. 6

By: - September 8, 2022

KCCI-TV will host the first general election debate between the candidates for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on Thursday, Oct. 6. Zach Nunn, a Republican state senator, is challenging Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa’s only incumbent Democrat in national office, in the Nov. 8 midterm election. At the debate, the two candidates will answer questions and compare […]

Axne says Inflation Reduction Act will help Iowa green energy businesses

By: - September 8, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act will help Iowa fight climate change, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne said Thursday at an event with advocates and green energy companies in Ankeny. The congresswoman met with 1 Source Solar, an Ankeny company that installs solar panels at homes, farms and businesses in central Iowa, to talk about how the act […]

Campaign ads ramp up in final months ahead of 2022 midterms

By: - September 6, 2022

With two months left until the midterms, Iowa’s congressional candidates are ramping up their ad campaigns. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and former Navy Adm. Mike Franken both released political ads in the past week, the first for both candidates in the general election cycle. Franken, who aims to stop Grassley from winning an eighth term […]