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.

Iowa state treasurer candidates debate office’s role in tax cuts, college savings program

By: - October 7, 2022

In a debate Friday, incumbent Iowa State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald said that his office’s focus is managing the state’s money, while former Republican state Sen. Roby Smith said he would take a more active role supporting tax cuts passed in the Iowa legislature if elected. Smith, who has served in the Iowa Senate for 12 […]

D.C. Dispatch: Legislators call for improved rural health care options

By: - October 7, 2022

As Congress prepares to recess until mid-November, Iowa’s federal legislators are calling for more efforts to help rural health care facilities. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks said this week they are working to re-establish a Keokuk hospital under pending federal guidelines for Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designations. The Iowa Republicans sent […]

Franken and Grassley spar on women’s rights and drug crisis in debate

By: - October 6, 2022

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken criticized each other for being too extreme on issues from abortion to immigration at an Iowa Press debate Thursday. The U.S. Senate candidates answered questions from reporters during the Iowa PBS event as Franken challenges the longtime Republican senator, who is seeking his eighth term. […]

31 conservatives endorse state auditor Rob Sand in re-election bid

By: - October 6, 2022

Iowa Auditor of State Rob Sand, a Democrat, has received endorsements from 31 conservative political figures in his bid for re-election, his campaign announced Thursday. Sand’s supporters include Republican, Libertarian and conservative independent elected officials and candidates, as well as former Republican Party of Iowa staffers and private-sector leaders, according to a campaign news release. […]

Governor candidates focus on future of public education in Iowa

By: - October 5, 2022

Gubernatorial candidates focusing on public schools is far from new. But in the Iowa race for governor, both candidates have spent significant time on the campaign trail discussing their plans for the future of education in Iowa amid rising polarization on issues from vaccine and mask mandates to book bans and state funding. While Gov. […]

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks answers questions on same-sex marriage, energy at forum

By: - October 3, 2022

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks countered previous claims from her opponent that she votes along party lines, speaking at a forum with the Greater Des Moines Partnership Monday. The representative, running for re-election in Iowa’s newly reshaped 1st Congressional District, talked about her votes in support of legislation like the Respect for Marriage Act and the […]

Reynolds to supporters: Democrats would reverse Republican wins

By: - October 1, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds railed against the Biden administration and told the crowd at a fundraiser Saturday that electing Democrats would roll back Republican initiatives of her previous terms. Iowa kept businesses and schools open during the COVID-19 pandemic, supported law enforcement and cut taxes, Reynolds said at her Harvest Festival event. She claimed Democrats in […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa legislators call for action on Russian invasion of Ukraine

By: - September 30, 2022

As tensions mount with Russia, Iowa’s U.S. senators pushed for foreign policy action in Washington this week. Iowa lawmakers also worked to expand disclosure by foreign lobbyists and sought an investigation of land acquisition by a Chinese company near a U.S. military base. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst called for the U.S. to deny recognition of […]

Corporate tax cuts triggered as Iowa announces nearly $2 billion surplus

By: - September 27, 2022

The growth of Iowa’s budget surplus to nearly $2 billion in fiscal year 2022 will trigger corporate tax cuts passed during this year’s legislative session, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday. Iowa is closing the books on fiscal year 2022 with $1.91 billion in the state’s general fund, $1.06 billion in the Taxpayer Relief Fund and […]

Miller-Meeks, Bohannan trade barbs over abortion in 1st District debate

By: - September 26, 2022

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democratic challenger Christina Bohannan exchanged heated comments during a debate Monday about what actions Congress should take on abortion and contraception. The candidates also disagreed about energy policy and its role in inflation. Abortion and inflation have risen to top issues in the national general election campaign. Miller-Meeks, a Republican […]

Iowan Doug Jensen found guilty of all charges related to Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection

By: - September 23, 2022

A federal jury found Doug Jensen of Des Moines guilty Friday of all charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection. The Washington, D.C., jury unanimously found Jensen guilty of all seven charges against him in his trial, which concluded Friday. He was charged with unlawfully entering and for disorderly conduct […]

Out-of-state number called Iowan with election misinformation, secretary of state reports

By: - September 23, 2022

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said voters should be on the lookout for election misinformation after an Iowa voter reportedly received a phone call with incorrect voting instructions. Pate’s office received information this week that a Mahaska County voter received a call from an out-of-state number. The caller told him that he did not […]