Tag Archives: Iowa

California Bans State-Sponsored Travel to Iowa over Refusal to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Reassignment Surgeries

California Bans State-Sponsored Travel to Iowa over Refusal to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Reassignment SurgeriesCalifornia added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program.California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime.In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures. Gender identity is a protected characteristic under Iowa's Civil Rights Act."The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming healthcare," Becerra said in a statement. "California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it."California's travel blacklist stems from a 2016 law allowing the Golden State to ban state travel to other U.S. states that roll back protections for LGBT citizens. Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Kentucky are also on the list.



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Iowa National Guard members stayed at Trump Turnberry, Scotland, resort now part of congressional investigation

Iowa National Guard members stayed at Trump Turnberry, Scotland, resort now part of congressional investigationThe Iowa National Guard's stay at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort in Scotland is one of multiple trips under congressional investigation



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Iowa National Guard members stayed at Trump Turnberry, Scotland, resort now part of congressional investigation

Iowa National Guard members stayed at Trump Turnberry, Scotland, resort now part of congressional investigationThe Iowa National Guard's stay at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort in Scotland is one of multiple trips under congressional investigation



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Here's what the Democratic National Committee doesn't understand about the Iowa caucuses

Here's what the Democratic National Committee doesn't understand about the Iowa caucusesThe DNC should reconsider its blanket prohibition on telephone caucuses or rethink its requirement for an absentee caucus process.



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Iowa Dems Furious With DNC for Killing Virtual Caucus Plan

Iowa Dems Furious With DNC for Killing Virtual Caucus PlanPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyFive months before the first caucus meets, the different factions of the Iowa Democratic Party have come together and it’s all thanks to the Democratic National Committee. “All of Iowa is angry today,” Sean Bagniewski, the chair of the Polk County Democrats, told The Daily Beast. “This is one time the entire Iowa Democratic Party has been united on anything. And it’s in anger at the DNC.”An influential Democrat in Des Moines, Bagniewski’s comments come after the DNC rejected proposed delegate selection plans from the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties that would allow virtual caucusing, a way to expand participation in the process. Bagniewski and other Iowa Democrats have had conversations for months with 2020 presidential campaigns about their caucusing plans. As soon as talk about virtual caucusing became public, campaigns began building their strategies around how to best use them to get voters to support their candidates, he said. The DNC’s decision now creates an additional hurdle for party activists and leaders who now must go back to the drawing board with just months to prepare for the Feb. 3 event. “I’m really disappointed about it and a lot of Iowans are disappointed about it,” he said. “It was nice to have the national party on board. To raise concerns this far in the game is really unfortunate.”In announcing his decision, DNC Chairman Tom Perez said virtual caucusing does not meet their security requirements. “We concur with the advice of the DNC’s security experts that there is no tele-caucus system available that meets our standard of security and reliability,” Perez wrote. A DNC official added that the process has been transparent from the start. At the end of 2017, the Unity Reform Commission released a list of requirements for caucus states’ delegate selection plans, which included absentee voting, recount provisions, and other mechanisms to create more accessibility and transparency in the process.Dems Are Starting to Freak Out That Their 2020 Field Isn’t ShrinkingThe DNC’s Rules and By-Laws committee approved it in August 2018 and state parties received the guidance in December. State parties had until May 1, 2019 to submit their plans to the DNC for analysis. In June, the Rules and By-Laws committee asked technical experts for guidance on the proposals. Still, multiple Iowa Democrats familiar with the virtual caucusing plans said the DNC did not provide enough time before their Friday decision.“Our frustration is that an opportunity to increase participation has been lost by the DNC’s unwillingness to help,” former Rep. Dave Nagle (D-IA), who pushed for a non-traditional caucus structure, told The Daily Beast.  Nagle, who has been deeply involved in the virtual caucus process since its inception, said he flagged concerns to the DNC in January and that he did not hear until July that officials concluded the system was not secure. “A lot of us here are tearing our hair out,” Nagle said. “It’s a good system, it’s served us well. But their benign neglect may force us to not enhance it.”Mary McAdams, the chair of the Ankeny Democrats, said she applauds the DNC’s efforts to keep elections safe, but what she described as last-minute timing only created further confusion.“Give us a chance to get this right,” she said. McAdams, who is in constant contact with 2020 candidates, said she found out about the DNC’s decision by reading about it in the New York Times.The way the Iowa system is structured, voters are required to lumber to designated locations in the dead of winter to caucus for their preferred candidate, sometimes for hours at a time. Multiple party officials in the state said this can lead to a decrease in turnout, particularly for voters who do not have flexible work schedules.Dems Sound Alarm: Trump Is ‘Carpet-Bombing’ Us in Key Battlegrounds“I think it is fair to do a virtual caucus to allow folks who are working the night shift and folks who don’t have the luxury of a two-parent household to be able to caucus,” McAdams said.In addition to county party officials, some presidential candidates started to express concerns about the decision.“The DNC has disallowed plans to increase participation in the first-in-the-nation caucus state,” former HUD Secretary Julián Castro wrote. “I strongly urge the DNC to embrace our party's values and allow absentee voting, either through a virtual caucus, mail-in, or early voting process.”Two candidates who didn’t qualify for the next Democratic debate in September–mega-donor Tom Steyer and spiritual author Marianne Williamson–also criticized the party’s decision.“I am extremely disappointed in the DNC’s decision to reject plans to hold virtual caucuses,” Steyer said, adding that he’s urging party officials to reconsider their position. Williamson, for her part, said “accessibility to the polls or caucuses are paramount to a free and fair elections,” adding that “we also trust Iowa’s Democratic Party, along with the DNC to do just that to make the Virtual Caucuses meet the high standards of a regular caucus.”In Des Moines, Bagniewski said he expects to hear from other presidential campaigns about the issue, particularly those who have spent a significant amount of focus on Iowa so far. In addressing the decision, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price sought to reassure Iowans that the state’s first-in-the-nation status would not be thrown into limbo.“Just know this: On Feb. 3, 2020 caucuses will take place in this state,” Price said at a news conference. “Iowa will be first.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Al Haynes, pilot of United Flight 232 and reluctant hero, dies 30 years after deadly crash in Iowa

Al Haynes, pilot of United Flight 232 and reluctant hero, dies 30 years after deadly crash in IowaFlight 232 pilot Al Haynes deflected the title "hero" and focused attention on the crew and unprecedented rescue coordination after the 1989 crash.



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Woman calls cops to say her car is stolen — as she speeds away from them, Iowa cops say

Woman calls cops to say her car is stolen — as she speeds away from them, Iowa cops sayA woman called 911 to report her car was stolen – while she was leading cops on a chase in the same car, police say.



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'I am absolutely committed': Kamala Harris fighting notion that she's overlooking Iowa voters

'I am absolutely committed': Kamala Harris fighting notion that she's overlooking Iowa votersIn recent months, some Iowa party organizers haven’t always felt sure about Kamala Harris’ strategy in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.



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Low-Polling Democrats Seek Breakout Moments at Iowa State Fair

Low-Polling Democrats Seek Breakout Moments at Iowa State Fair(Bloomberg) — Andrew Yang waved around a half-eaten turkey leg as he calculated how many such treats one could buy with the $ 1,000 a month he’s proposed giving to Americans. Tim Ryan jokingly joined the hordes asking Kamala Harris for a photo before handing his small son over for a photo with her. Kirsten Gillibrand brought her son, Henry, and his new stuffed sloth, Blueberry, onto the soapbox stage.The Iowa State Fair is a rite of passage for presidential contenders, but for the lowest polling candidates in the record-size field, the event took on an extra level of urgency.It was perhaps their final attempt to gin up extra attention and support as they seek to qualify for the September Democratic debate in Houston. If candidates fail to qualify — and only nine have so far– they might start heading off the field.So even though the State Fair itinerary for politicians is steeped in traditional routines — speaking from the Des Moines Register Soapbox, flipping burgers with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, visiting the famed 600-pound butter cow, and biting into some fried food on a stick — candidates were looking for any way to stand out.‘Best Week’Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if his campaign was faltering, Ryan, a Representative from Ohio, said, “We’ve literally had the best week of our campaign,” citing the state fair.Others struggled to rise above the crowd.“I’m standing out by enjoying myself and having fun eating all the delicious food and watching my 11-year-old having a total blast,” said Gillibrand, a New York senator, who’s yet to hit either the fundraising or polling qualification threshold for the Houston debate, as she walked down the main concourse of the fair in sun hat and flowery dress.But it was the frontrunners who clearly stood out.Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the two poll leaders in Iowa, drew the largest crowds at the soapbox and could barely make their way through the crowds as voters muscled in to get a selfie and cameras hovered in front of their faces.Wealth TaxWarren, who operatives say has the strongest Iowa field operation, was greeted with rapturous applause when she spoke about her proposed 2% household tax on wealth over $ 50 million and 3% on wealth over $ 1 billion. Dozens of Warren organizers — most wearing “I’m a Warren Democrat” T-shirts– also dotted the crowd, seeking to connect with voters and gather their information.Meanwhile, candidates like Ryan and Gillibrand mostly made their way through the crowd unnoticed. When one fair-goer walked by the soapbox and was told Gillibrand was speaking, she asked, “Senator Jill Brown?”Ryan similarly faced name recognition problems: “You might not know who I am,” he said on the soapbox. “I’m Tim Ryan.”The Iowa State Fair rarely vaults an unknown candidate into the top tier or dooms a front-runner. But with hundreds of reporters in attendance and the chance for candidates to speak from the soapbox and exhibit their retail politicking skills in the crowds, it’s one of the only marquee candidate events in sleepy August. About one million people typically come through the gates each year.‘Reaching Out’“If you don’t come to the Iowa State Fair and participate then there’s a perception that you’re not reaching out to everyday Iowans,” said Scott Brennan, a former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. “It’s an opportunity to get your face in front of a lot of people.”Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke, the once-rising star of Democratic politics who hasn’t yet broken out of single-digits in national polls, skipped the fair to stay in his home town of El Paso, the site of one of last weekend’s deadly shootings. He paused his campaign but indicated he will return to the trail.The latest Iowa poll released on Thursday by Monmouth University showed Biden maintaining his lead with 28%, but Warren has steadily closed the gap, earning 19% support. They are followed by Harris, the California senator, with 11% and Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, with 9%.But, as voters baked under the hot sun and listened to candidate after candidate on the soapbox, they shared a resounding message: the field is full of good candidates, but there are too many in the race.Candidate Overload“After this, there’s a lot of them that should be going,” said Arlee Brunsvold, a 77-year-old from Moingona. “Half of them should be going because they haven’t hit their niche yet.”Longtime Democratic operatives agreed, saying they’ve heard complaints about the field being too unwieldy. The two candidates debates so far, in Miami and Detroit, were each held over two nights to accommodate the many Democratic hopefuls.“Just talking to traditional Iowans who attend the caucuses, they are just sort of waiting because the field is so large they can’t really differentiate between the candidates,” Brennan said.However, Democratic voters also said they appreciate the role some low-polling candidates have played in bringing new ideas into the fold. Many said they hope some of those policy proposals would make it into the Democratic Party’s platform next summer, whoever the nominee is.Ultimately, though, it was clear to fair-goers who would be in the race for the long haul.“You can tell the staying power of her versus the staying power of Tim Ryan,” said Sharon Teale, 62, of Altoona, after Harris and Ryan spoke at the soapbox. “There were hardly any people here. You know right away unfortunately. Tim Ryan has good suggestions. Tim Ryan will be dropped.”\–With assistance from Jennifer A. Dlouhy.To contact the reporter on this story: Tyler Pager in Des Moines at tpager1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Biden's 'gaffe machine' revs up in Iowa

Biden's 'gaffe machine' revs up in IowaMonths before launching his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden acknowledged that he is a “gaffe machine,” prone to misstatements and unforced errors that could undercut his electability. Such blunders were on display this weekend.



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