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Posted April 02, 2014in Guest Commentary

Branstad and Iowa, a sequel to film ‘Ground Hog Day’

The Iowa film industry — beset by tax-credit scandals a few years ago — can regroup and recoup in producing a sequel to the 1993 film, “Ground Hog Day.” Remember that flick? Bill Murray is the TV weatherman stuck in a loop of Ground Hog Days. The film was directed

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Posted March 19, 2014in Guest Commentary

42 reflections

The coming baseball season — it can’t come soon enough after such a long and terrible winter — reminds me of the summer day in 1947 when three aspiring young journalists from the University of Iowa visited Chicago’s Wrigley Field to interview Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson, of

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Posted March 05, 2014in Guest Commentary

Iowa governor: a job description

Charles Ruhl is a member of one of Iowa ‘s multi-generational aristocracies. His habitual crimes added up to stealing $1.3 million of his partners’ money. A federal judge in Scott County agonized over his “harsh” one year sentence in order to teach him a lesson. He walked out of the

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Posted February 05, 2014in Guest Commentary

Stop the presses! Des Moines Register column makes sense!

The Des Moines Register had quite a scary headline for Iowa Republicans the other day — over a Rekha Basu column: GOP’s lack of diversity could make it obsolete. But if you want an even scarier headline, consider this one: GOP’s lack of diversity won’t make it obsolete. As a

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Posted December 18, 2013in Guest Commentary

Corn stars

There are 30,000 cars packed in the parking lot, and cars are lined up for miles to get in. The weather is dicey, but the people have still dressed up for the event. They have arrived from all over the country to watch, and there are live broadcasts for those

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Posted December 04, 2013in Guest Commentary

Forget John 3:16; It’s all about Bob 7:14!

Say your prayers! According to a Des Moines Register news report, Robert Vander Plaats is soon into another resurrection as a religious right candidate for public office, rallying his troops around scripture, Chapter 7, Verse 14. The Register didn’t say which 7:14 — so it might have been the Book

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Posted November 27, 2013in Guest Commentary

A lesson and legacy left behind

Omega Ranch sits in Dallas County alongside County Road F-90, not more than a half-hour drive from downtown Des Moines. Acreages may dot the surrounding landscape, but Omega Ranch is still rural Iowa. Indeed, a red-and-white metal sign nailed to a post near the homestead’s back door warns: Redneck Parking

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Posted November 06, 2013in Guest Commentary

A ‘Monty Python’ approach to governing Iowa

“The Buck Stops Here” — so said the sign that famously graced the Oval Office desk of President Harry S. Truman. If Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad had a similar placard in his office, it might say, “Bucks Passed or Evaded.” Whenever opportunity or accountability rears its head in his office

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Posted October 16, 2013in Guest Commentary

AG Miller ‘sets the record straight’

I am responding to the editorial from the Storm Lake Times reprinted in Cityview (Guest View, Sept. 26). The editorial misrepresents a number of situations. Let me set the record straight in two of them. The editorial criticizes circumstances surrounding the University of Iowa’s settlement with a physician following an

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Posted October 09, 2013in Guest Commentary

Oh where, oh where has my watchdog gone?

Jubilation and consternation went hand-in-hand with the news of the settlement of Michael Gartner’s lawsuits against the Iowa Public Radio Board. He successfully sued the Board for two blatant violations of the state open meetings law when it fired the IPR executive director. While the case ended without a trial,

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