Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Posted May 11, 2016in Civic Skinny

How some ‘Give Local’ money ended up in Texas.

  As schools lower standards, more flunk the Iowa bar. The generous people of Des Moines last week gave $272,344 to around 140 local charities as part of the “Give Local” campaign sponsored by The Des Moines Register and the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation. Sort of. More than $16,000

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Posted May 04, 2016in Civic Skinny

Polk GOP likes God and guns — but not public radio or TV.  Andringa quits. Hensley collects. LaMarca bills top $900,000.

  Not much has been happening of late in Chris Godfrey’s lawsuit against Gov. Terry Branstad and five other state officials named in the retaliation, defamation, extortion and discrimination proceeding. But that doesn’t mean the state officials’ lawyers haven’t been busy — busy billing, at least. The LaMarca Law Group,

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Posted April 13, 2016in Civic Skinny

Bubu Palo sues Iowa State. ISU keeps pursuing NORML.

  No foes for Polk Supervisors. Some plans for MacRae Park.   Bubu Palo, the former Iowa State basketball player, has sued the university and the Board of Regents in Story County District Court. Palo had been accused of raping a classmate, sometime lover and longtime friend in the fall

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Posted April 06, 2016in Civic Skinny, Featured Story

Four good men: Ward Reynoldson, Dick Jacobson, Joe Garagiola and Bob Hudson

  Ward Reynoldson For the past 40 years or so, I have kept a small picture of Ward Reynoldson on my desk at home. It was taken at a picnic at his home outside Osceola when he was Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. In the picture, he is

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Posted March 23, 2016in Civic Skinny

Court set to hear arguments on felons’ voting rights.

What is an “infamous crime?” And who should decide that question? And who cares? The first two questions will be argued before the Iowa Supreme Court next week in an expanded session — each side has been given twice the time normally allotted to argue a case that has attracted

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Posted March 16, 2016in Civic Skinny

Hensley’s housing vote pays off for her employer.

Maybe Councilwoman Chris Hensley didn’t have a conflict of interest last December when she cast a critical “yes” vote that allowed local developers to apply to the Iowa Finance Authority for low-income-housing tax credits. But it sure worked out well for her employer last week. Hensley is a director and

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Posted March 09, 2016in Civic Skinny

Another big claim is filed against Blunck estate.

A bank in Atlantic has filed a large claim against the estate of Kirk Blunck. The Rolling Hills Bank & Trust says the estate owes it $557,214.64, plus interest at 4.75 percent, on borrowings Blunck made from the bank and didn’t repay. It said the notes are guaranteed by both

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Posted March 02, 2016in Civic Skinny

Divorce terms give Tom Miller an incentive to run again.

Attorney General Tom Miller apparently is about to hire Mari Culver for a top job in the AG’s office. Culver, the wife of former governor Chet Culver, has long been with the Duncan Green firm in Des Moines. Though she has been a trial lawyer, the job she is likely

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Posted February 24, 2016in Civic Skinny

Ahlers law firm sues the estate of Kirk Blunck.

Kirk Blunck, the respected and embattled Des Moines architect who died mysteriously in the stairwell of his Teachout Building in the East Village on Jan. 24, left an estate valued at about $500,000, according to a document filed the other day in Polk County District Court. But debts and judgments

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Posted February 10, 2016in Civic Skinny

Cruz crows as caucuses hurt the Dems and Branstad.

The Iowa Democratic Party and the Iowa governor were the biggest losers in the caucus. The party lost because the Democratic caucuses were a mess. With a week to go, the party still was searching for chairpersons at some of the 1,681 sites, and it still was moving around locations.

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