Category: Economy

Iowa Senate Races: A Closer Look At The Leaners (SD 44)

((Click for TCR: Iowa’s complete overview of the races that will decide the Iowa Senate))

The Candidates

Tom Courtney (D)  vs.  Bradley Bourn (R)

Tom Courtney is the incumbent in the race and currently serves as the Senate Majority Whip and as the Democrat Chair of the Government Oversight Committee.  Bradley Bourn retired from the military in 2009 after 24 years, and in that same year unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Burlington City Council.  He has started a small business called Voil Fuel & Services, which produces biofuel from used cooking oil.

The District

Senate District 44 sits in the Southeastern corner of Iowa and is composed of Des Moines and Louisa Counties, and the Western half of Muscatine County.  The registered voter …


Completely Pointless and Utterly Absurd

First, some chemistry; iodine turns black when exposed to starch. So, a lighter ink which contains iodine will turn black when it comes into contact with starch, which is included in the manufacturing process of standard copy paper. When the ink is used on paper that doesn’t contain starch (such as most paper made with cotton fiber instead of wood pulp) the ink will maintain a sort of brownish-yellow color.

If you pay for gasoline with a fifty dollar bill, chances are the cashier will make a mark on it with a counterfeit detector pen. American currency, made of cotton fiber and not including starch, will leave the ink that lighter color. Counterfeit currency printed on regular paper will make the ink turn black.

Interestingly …


Latino Heritage Festival: A Time of Celebration & Time to Consider Who Best Serves Latinos

(The following piece is a guest writer contribution from Chad Brown)

Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has grown into the largest cultural event in our state.  This is a family event that offers something for everyone.  It is a time of celebration.  I also feel it is time to engage in an honest conversation.  I want to present my argument for why the Republican Party is the best Party to advance the best interests of Latinos in our city, state and country.

We are witnessing the progressive growth of Latino businesses in Iowa. They generate millions in sales every year and create thousands of jobs for Iowans.  Latino businesses are among the fastest growing   segments of the small-business-community …


3 Questions With Iowa House Candidate Jim Givant

After talking to a number of Des Moines based candidates in the last few weeks, we head out to Northeastern Iowa to touch base with the Republican candidate for Iowa House District 64, Jim Givant.

The republican side of the ledger in this district was pretty chaotic leading up to the filing deadline, as incumbent Republican Dan Rasmussen opted not to run at the last minute.  Oelwein Republican Jim Givant stepped up to the plate and set up a showdown with Democrat Oelwein City Council member Bruce Bearinger.  After getting a late start, Givant now has the campaign on schedule and already has sent 4,000 mailers and has signs and banners on the way.  For further info on his campaign and positions head to his …


3 Questions With Iowa Senate Candidate Dave Edwards

Dave Edwards is the Republican candidate for Iowa Senate District 16, the vast majority of which covers Des Moines and then swings Southeast to include Pleasant Hill.

While there is no getting around the fact that this is a Democrat stronghold (they have double the number of registered voters), if any Republican can win this district it is most certainly Dave Edwards.  What makes this race one of the most fascinating in the state this year is that Mr. Edwards is a blue collar, union member who is bringing the fight to Democrats on their turf.  He is challenging an incumbent who has already been in the Iowa Senate for 18 years (and was in the Iowa House before that), and few would argue …


Policy Study Reveals Problems with Teen Unemployment in Iowa

The following is an interesting study released recently, and the reaction by the GOP (written up by Jill J.).

In a policy study released by the Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College, author Amy Frantz analyzed Iowa’s teen unemployment situation. The report notes Iowa’s unemployment rate for teens has remained consistently high over recent history. Two subgroups are analyzed within the data: teens ages 16-19 and high school graduates 18-20 years old.

The report notes that the unemployment rate for the 16-19 year old group was at a very high 12.3 % in 2002 and over the course of the last decade has remained at the high level, with the most recent report for 2011 showing that the unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds …


Iowa’s Expensive Wind Addiction

I recently heard a radio commercial urging me to contact various members of Congress to voice my support for tax credits connected to the wind energy industry. On a lark, I went to the Iowa Legislature website and searched active bills for the word “wind,” and received several dozen hits, many of which seemed to be focused on state tax credits for manufacturing and installing wind turbines. Both state and federal politicians seem to be tripping over themselves to get into the wind energy craze.

Back in 2010 Alliant Energy was petitioning to be allowed to increase the rates they charged for electricity, and one of the supporting reasons they put forward was the $150 million project called the Whispering Willow-East wind farm in Franklin …


Has The Tea Party Wave In Iowa Crested?

The year was 2010.  In Iowa, like in the rest of the Country, a reaction to the obscene growth in size and spending at all levels of government boiled into a loud and visible public movement.  The internet was a buzz, local Tea Party chapters were springing up, and the Iowa Capitol was the site of several well attended rallies expressing the sentiment of less government and lower taxes.  Two years later, it is time to ask the question—what results have come of this?

The short answer at the state level here in Iowa is—not too much so far.

Most will argue that more patience is required—and they are right.  Many will cite a variety of reasons that explain the lack of great action—some valid …


A First Time Candidate For A First Time District: An Interview With John Landon (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second installment of a two-part interview, to read part one click here.

Education

Governor Branstad’s legacy-minded education reform proposal has struggled to draw support since its release on October 3rd, and you can count Mr. Landon as one of those lacking in enthusiasm.

A core tenet of Landon’s philosophy is local control. The benefit he sees in applying this principle to education is that the parents of each child, and the teachers in the actual class room, will have their voices better heard and their concerns more directly dealt with,

“My first reaction (to the governor’s plan) is that it drives us towards more state control and more mandates on levels of performance. I think that we are going to


Ankeny Resident Landon To Run For Iowa House

Thursday morning John Landon put fellow Republicans and House District 37 residents on notice that he plans to run for the newly created seat in the Iowa legislature.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as The Conservative Reader:Iowa will follow this developing primary and have a sit down interview with Mr. Landon as he embarks on this campaign.

The following is the press release sent out by the Landon camp:

For immediate release

October 5, 2011

ANKENY, Iowa — Pledging to be an aggressive leader for a balanced state budget, economic development, education reform, and agriculture, Ankeny resident John Landon today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Iowa’s State House District 37.

A lifelong Iowan with a background in business, Landon (525 NE …


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