Some Politics Before Sine Die

Iowa Capitol

Iowa Capitol

LAKE MACBRIDE— The Iowa legislature was still working when I awoke at 3:30 a.m. If they had pulled an all-nighter or two earlier in the session, they would likely have finished up last month. As it is, the house adjourned sine die at 5:54 a.m. this morning, and the senate adjourned until Friday. The 85th Iowa General Assembly is still in session, even if the lower chamber is all high fives and out of there.

When I expected the senate to adjourn sine die, Senate Majority Leader Gronstal called a rules committee meeting and recessed until today, then Friday.

“The shutdown of the split-control legislature’s 2014 session got messy Thursday morning when Senate Democrats attempted to pass a resolution giving a legislative panel broad investigative power to look into alleged mismanagement and secret dealings by Branstad administration officials,” wrote Rod Boshart of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Let the  campaigns begin in earnest, (no, I’m not talking about State Senator Joni Ernst Republican U.S. Senate hopeful who called in about 4 a.m. this morning, asking the chair to be excused). I’m referring to the 2014 general election campaigns.

A couple of notes:

I love it when the Republican U.S. Senate candidates, like Ernst, tie Bruce Braley to the Affordable Care Act. The law is working and its popularity will increase. If that is their campaign issue, please bring it on, because the law is already saving federal dollars on health care. In case you missed it, the escalating cost of health care was one of the drivers behind the law. It was designed to bring health care costs down and it is.

The mail from the TEA people indicates they don’t realize their group’s influence peaked in the rebellion of 2010. The TEA party is over, and that they don’t get it is good for progressives.

Iowa Democrats are fielding excellent candidates in all four congressional districts. The tides are shifting. Signs are everywhere that this could be a great year for Democrats.

The reason I say this is there is no real story for the media to cover outside the weirdness of the Republican debates and events. The more weirdness on display, the more swing voters will be alienated. It seems clear that Iowans don’t want a “true conservative” representing them in the U.S. Congress. Pragmatism would serve them better, but who am I to give advice?

I appreciate the work of our legislators this session. Now let the campaigns begin.

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