Commentary

Let’s clarify the role of U.S. ambassadors

BY: - January 27, 2020

It is also disappointing when a presidential candidate equates the long standing practice of Presidents appointing private citizens as ambassadors as an example of government corruption

Women work on a factory line.

Retirement is a luxury – and a right, older Iowa women say

BY: - January 27, 2020

Iowa women age 50-plus talk about retirement

Joni Ernst

Impeachment could play a role in Iowa’s congressional races

BY: - January 22, 2020

The 2020 elections will be a historic event in so many ways. President Donald Trump is one of the most unusual and controversial incumbents in U.S. history. The Democratic Party spawned the largest and most diverse field of candidates ever seen in an American race, outdoing even the 2016 GOP caucuses and primaries. The world […]

Nixon impeachment hearings

Impeachment then and now:  One Iowan’s view

BY: - January 20, 2020

When former U.S. Rep. Ed Mezvinsky was making his first run for Congress during the Watergate scandal in 1972, the question of whether President Richard Nixon should be impeached was not on voters’ minds. “As far as when we campaigned, the issue was what were the right hours for the liquor stores,” Mezvinsky said.  Is […]

King - Selma March

What are we doing to bring Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream to life?

BY: - January 20, 2020

As we enter 2020, Americans should reflect on the vision conveyed by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech given August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. More importantly, we should assess whether that vision is possible and still desirable. If so, then what are we doing to […]

Legislature needs to fix the cost barrier for public records

BY: - January 16, 2020

There is a retired businessman in western Iowa who bristles every time he reads a newspaper article from somewhere in our state about government officials who have misused their government credit cards for unauthorized purchases. This man is worried such abuses could be happening at the local county hospital since top administrators were given credit […]

Presidential candidates should address felon voting rights in Iowa

BY: - January 14, 2020

It used to be that Florida, Kentucky and Iowa were the last states to strip people of their voting rights permanently but that changed in 2019. Amendment 4 went into effect after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in November 2018 to restore voting rights to people with felony records. Last month, newly-elected Kentucky […]

he State Capital of Iowa is reflected by the Henry A Wallace Building

Iowa Legislature 2020: IWILL or IWON’T?

BY: - January 13, 2020

IWILL or IWON’T?  That’s a dilemma for Iowa Republican legislators as they open their new session in an election year that could challenge their majority. Will they raise the state sales tax a penny to pay for expensive water quality and mental-health programs? Or won’t they? Here are a few factors lawmakers may consider as […]

The Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines serves as a water supply and a growing recreational draw.

Don’t let special interests hijack natural resources fund

BY: - January 10, 2020

I have lived and worked on a small Sac County farm for the past 41 years. During our time on the farm, my family has restored wetlands and used sustainable farming methods. We have planted native trees and shrubs and worked to restore native fish habitats for endangered species. We have planted native grasses in […]

Welcome to Iowa Capital Dispatch: Community journalism for democracy

BY: - January 7, 2020

We are bringing over 100 years of combined Iowa journalism experience to coverage of state and federal government policy and politics.

Declaration of Independence

We have a constitutional right to pursue happiness but many don’t know how

BY: - January 7, 2020

Happiness is a distinct American virtue. It is one of three natural rights along with life and liberty in the Declaration of Independence whose author, Thomas Jefferson, never explained what he meant by pursuing it. 

Governor signs mental health legislation

Iowa needs money for mental health care. Here’s one place to get it.

BY: - January 7, 2020

Over the last two legislative sessions, many have worked to improve the treatment of adults and children who suffer from mental illnesses in Iowa.  The recommendations of workgroups yielded bills that legislators overwhelmingly passed, and Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law. These laws call for enhancing the continuum of care for adults with complex mental […]