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Posted January 31, 2018in Civic Skinny

McCoy vs Mauro? Hatch vs. Bisignano? Who’s giving what in gubernatorial race.

Matt McCoy isn’t talking, but friends say he almost certainly will leave the Iowa Senate and run against John Mauro for Mauro’s seat on the Polk County Board of Supervisors. Both are popular Democrats with deep followings, especially on the south side of town. A McCoy-Mauro race could complicate South

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Posted January 03, 2018in Civic Skinny

Judges turn down cheeky appeal from Kent Sorenson. Sabbaticals: Streetball, German organs, boxing films.

Resembling the boy who killed his parents and then asked the court for leniency because he was an orphan, former legislator Kent Sorenson had asked the Federal Court of Appeals to reduce his 15-month sentence for political crimes connected to the 2012 presidential political campaign by giving him credit for

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Posted December 06, 2017in Civic Skinny

Mandelbaum-Kiernan city race was costliest ever. Poll favors Fred Hubbell. Godfrey case is narrowed.

The race between Josh Mandelbaum and Mike Kiernan for the Third Ward council seat was the most expensive in the history of Des Moines. Mandelbaum, an environmental lawyer, had raised $188,240 with still nearly a week to go before the Nov. 7 election, which he won with 56 percent of

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Posted November 01, 2017in Civic Skinny

Kirk Blunck’s family sues, says architect was murdered. Is Teachout sale near? Register circulation plummets.

The sad tale of Kirk Blunck drags on. The police have gathered all they could gather about that Sunday afternoon in January of 2016 when the often-praised and often-sued architect and landlord fell or was shoved to his death in a stairwell of the Teachout Building he owned in the

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Posted October 04, 2017in Civic Skinny

Winners (Waukee, Apple) and losers (Iowa) in Apple deal. Massachusetts issues larceny warrant for Tirrell arrest.

That Apple deal with Waukee is a whole lot richer for the town than even its biggest advocates say. Perhaps at least 10 times richer than the biggest figures being bandied about. And it could be a whole lot sweeter for Apple than the papers and blogs and TV stations

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Posted September 06, 2017in Civic Skinny

Why this is the final stand-alone school election (no one votes). Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller split. Steve Leath loses — again.

School-board elections will be held in Iowa on Sept. 12. You probably won’t have to wait in line at the polls. There are 115,103 registered voters in the Des Moines Independent School District. Two years ago, 4,984 of them voted. That’s a turnout rate of 4.3 percent. In West Des

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Posted August 02, 2017in Civic Skinny

The curious cases of Mr. Doe and the former Mr. Doe. Property-tax suits filed. County salaries. Godfrey case.

One-hundred and nine of the 1,121 employees of Polk County will make more than $100,000 in the fiscal year that started July 1, up from 102 employees in the year just ended. Once again, the highest-paid employee will be Gregory Schmunck, the county medical examiner, who will earn $250,767. Next

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Posted July 05, 2017in Civic Skinny

Reynolds’ ‘surprise’ at Miller ruling was phony. Gross kin for U.S. attorney? No payout for Donley.

Attorney General Tom Miller‘s staff indicated to Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds or her staff weeks in advance that he was going to rule she would not have the constitutional authority to appoint her successor after she took over the Governor’s duties from Terry Branstad. So her “surprise” at the May

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Posted May 31, 2017in Civic Skinny

Cady bars guns at courthouses. Corning among last of breed. Reynolds needs some tutoring.

Chief Justice Mark Cady on Monday (June 19) barred all weapons from “courtrooms, court-controlled spaces, and public areas of courthouses and other justice centers occupied by the court system” in Iowa. The exception: peace officers carrying weapons in courthouses while performing law-enforcement duties. Cady cited “increasing concern over the security

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Posted May 03, 2017in Civic Skinny

Tirrell’s lawyer sues him, then changes mind. Register trims arts coverage. McCoy v. Mauro?

Marty Tirrell‘s lawyer sued him the other day — and then withdrew the suit. Steve Hamilton said in the filing in Polk County District Court that he loaned the deadbeat talk-show shouter and serial loan-defaulter $14,750 and was promised repayment by Jan. 16 of this year. “Despite many demands,” Tirrell

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