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Welcome to my website!

My name is Natalie Dunlap and I am the Politics Editor at The Daily Iowan and a contributor to PolitiFact Iowa. Before becoming the Politics Editor I worked as a news reporter, digital producer, politics reporter, and news editor at the DI. In high school I was the online editor-in-chief of the West Side Story. I’ve also published stories as an intern with Little Village.

Former Rep. Dave Loebsack reflects on career in Congress in conversation on future of Democratic Party

Loebsack spoke as part of a University of Iowa series on policy challenges. He discussed the messaging of the Democratic Party with current elected Democratic officials.

This article was originally published on The Daily Iowan’s website.

Former Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, said America’s diverse population and variety of backgrounds makes it impossible for all Democrats or all Republicans to be on board with the same political strategies. 

The different approaches to governing and campaigning as Democrats was on display in a conversation at the Levitt Center on Thursday night. 

Loebsack said his heart is with a large infrastructure package, but that he is concerned about the impacts of policies moving left in a way that could hurt Democrats in upcoming elections. 

“We have so many different parts of this country, ethnically, racially and otherwise, and congressional districts are not all the same,” Loebsack said. 

Continue reading “Former Rep. Dave Loebsack reflects on career in Congress in conversation on future of Democratic Party”

UIHC breaks ground on North Liberty facility

The facility will serve the healthcare needs of the state and contribute to the University of Iowa’s mission of research and education, said UI President Barbara Wilson.

This article was originally published on The Daily Iowan’s website.

University of Iowa officials, Board of Regents members, and Gov. Kim Reynolds celebrated breaking ground on a new UIHC facility in North Liberty on Thursday. 

“The campus will be providing significant economic development for eastern Iowa in the form of new high paying jobs, but it’s the entire state that will benefit from the University of Iowa’s expanded presence here,” Reynolds said, standing at the property off the intersection of Forevergreen Road and Coral Ridge Avenue in North Liberty. 

Reynolds praised the mission of the facility and said it was particularly important as Iowa faces a shortage of health care providers. She said the campus will strengthen Iowa’s infrastructure and entice new providers to the state. 

Continue reading “UIHC breaks ground on North Liberty facility”

Iowa Democrats file ethics complaint against Rep. Miller-Meeks

A spokesperson for Miller-Meeks said her office is working with the House Ethics Committee and House Clerk’s office to resolve the discrepancies of her most recent personal financial report.

Iowa Democrats filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Monday, alleging that Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, didn’t compile with requirements to disclose information on her personal finances. 

A press release from Iowa Democrats stated the following: 

  • Miller-Meeks didn’t disclose $34,646 she earned in 2020 from her state pension and Great River Health Systems in her 2020 Annual Report. 
  • The only earned income Miller-Meeks disclosed in her 2020 Annual report was her congressional salary, which she didn’t earn in 2020. 
  • Miller-Meeks did not disclose her salary as an Iowa State Senator in her annual salary in 2019 and 2020. 
  • In her 2019 and 2020 reports she failed to identify underlying assets in her retirement account. 
  • Miller-Meeks also did not disclose assets on her 2020 report that she had previously reported owning. 
Continue reading “Iowa Democrats file ethics complaint against Rep. Miller-Meeks”

Trump supporters on 2024, policy concerns

Republicans from around Iowa and out of state share why they came to Des Moines to see the 45th President.

This article was originally published on The Daily Iowan’s website.

Thousands of people from Iowa and surrounding states came to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines to see former President Donald Trump speak on Saturday.

Karla Wright, 54, came to Iowa from Princeton, Minnesota to hear Trump speak with her sister and nephew. She said she was interested in hearing Trump’s thoughts on the economy under President Joe Biden, and Biden’s vaccine mandates for federal workers, federal contractors, and health care workers.

Wright’s husband is an airline pilot. Most airlines are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for their employees.

“He can’t risk losing his job, and he’s not against vaccines necessarily but he’s against the mandate,” Wright said. “So I don’t know if things could move quickly where the Supreme Court would handle the mandate and if it’s constitutional or not, that would be helpful, but everything’s a process.”

Although Trump’s speech was often divisive and threatened the downfall of the U.S., Wright said she hoped the speech would be unifying and help bring people together.

“I just hope different rallies like this can start to unify the nation on important matters and that it’s not so Republican against Democrat,” she said. “We can just go back to working to make America what it was founded on or what we would like to see it, not going off into these other far ideologies and that is trying to move forward as Americans together.”

Continue reading “Trump supporters on 2024, policy concerns”

In Des Moines rally, Trump pushes election misinformation

Former President Donald Trump dedicated much of his 95-minute speech on Saturday to discredited claims that he won the 2020 presidential election.

I co-wrote this story with Lauren White. This article was originally published on The Daily Iowan’s website and in the Oct. 11, 2021 print edition.

Former President Donald Trump continued to spread discredited and false claims about the 2020 presidential election at a rally in Des Moines on Saturday while deriding the Biden administration and hinting that he may seek the presidency again in 2024. 

Thousands of Trump supporters gathered on Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night. The fairgrounds have hosted politicians in the summer during the Iowa State Fair, and on this October evening it was the site of a Republican political organization. 

Continue reading “In Des Moines rally, Trump pushes election misinformation”

Former Iowa Representative enters U.S. Senate race

Bob Krause served three terms in the Iowa House as a Democrat, and unsuccessfully tried to secure the party’s nomination during the 2010 and 2016 Senate races.

This article was originally published on The Daily Iowan’s website.

Another Democrat has joined the race for Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate seat. 

Bob Krause, a Democrat who represented portions of the Palo Alto and Humboldt counties in the Iowa House for three terms, from 1973 to 1979, said that Grassley’s time in the Senate hasn’t been good for the state and the country. 

Krause, born in 1950, was eight years old when Grassley was first elected in the Iowa House, and served alongside him for Grassley’s last two years in the Legislature before Grassley went on to the U.S. House and then the U.S. Senate. 

“Now, self-serving greed and power lust have destroyed the idea of the greater good for many people,” he said. “In short, we need to restore ‘Iowa nice’ to our political fabric.” 

Continue reading “Former Iowa Representative enters U.S. Senate race”

Iowa Senate rejects first legislative plan

Republicans in the Iowa Senate said the maps could be improved, but Democrats said they satisfied Iowa Code.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Iowan’s website and in the Oct. 6 print edition.

Republicans in the Iowa Senate voted down the first set of congressional and legislative maps proposed by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency, requiring the nonpartisan agency to return to the drawing board for another set of maps.

The Senate failed to approve the maps in a 18-32 party-line vote.

Lawmakers gathered at the Statehouse on Tuesday for a special session on redistricting.

The redistricting bill, SSB 1277, was brought before the Senate State Government Committee at 11:05 a.m., where the committee chair Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport, moved the bill be approved without recommendation to the full Senate.

In the Senate, Smith argued that the plan can be improved in terms of compactness and population.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, echoed those comments in a written statement.

“Iowa has a good redistricting process and by requesting a second map, the Senate has continued to follow that process today,” he wrote. “Senate Republicans believe LSA can improve the compactness and population deviation of several districts by developing a second redistricting plan.”

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, said in a press call that not all members of his caucus thought the plan was good for them, but that they voted for the maps because they met the redistricting requirements.

“We’re not supposed to be voting on this plan based on whether or not it’s good or bad for incumbent legislators,” Wahls said. “We’re supposed to be voting on whether or not this plan met the statutory and constitutional requirements of population variance, compactness, etc.”

Continue reading “Iowa Senate rejects first legislative plan”

Special redistricting session approaches, elected officials tout Iowa’s process

Iowa lawmakers head to the Statehouse on Tuesday for a special session to consider and approve a redistricting plan.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Iowan’s website and in the Oct. 4, 2021 print edition.

As Iowa legislators prepare to return to the state capitol on Tuesday, leaders from both parties have indicated their willingness to pass the first set of maps that have been drawn for Iowa’s national and state districts, but uncertainty still looms over the process.

Iowa’s nonpartisan congressional and legislative redistricting process exists to keep politics out of redistricting, Secretary of State Paul Pate said. The maps are drawn by the nonpartisan Iowa Legislative Services Agency, which is forbidden from using political data to draw the maps.

Redistricting is done in every U.S. state every decade following the census, and Iowa’s elected officials tout its nonpartisan process as a model for the nation.

“The politicians take hands off and allow the professional experts in mapping and districting to do it,” Pate said. “That takes the temptation away for people looking at, ‘Well, make sure we’ve got to take care of Bob or Susan’s district, or let’s not put our political party in a bad position.’ It’s much more objective.”

Continue reading “Special redistricting session approaches, elected officials tout Iowa’s process”

Sen. Chuck Grassley will seek an eighth term

Grassley has represented Iowa in the U.S. Congress as a representative and senator since 1975. He said, “I’m running for reelection, it’s the right thing to do for Iowa.”

This article was originally published on The Daily Iowan’s website.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, 88, is running for an eighth term in the U.S. Senate.

Grassley, a Republican, made his announcement Friday in a Tweet posted at 4 a.m., which is when he wakes up to run six days out of the week

A few hours later, Grassley shared a statement, which said Iowans encouraged Grassley to seek reelection when he was visiting the 99 counties. He said he is working to lower the cost of prescription drugs, give independent cattle producers a fair market, secure the border, protect the renewable fuel standard, and hold the government accountable to the people. 

“I’m working as hard as ever for the people of Iowa and there’s more work to do. In a time of crisis and polarization, Iowa needs strong, effective leadership,” he said. 

At 7 a.m. Grassley followed up with a short video, where he stood in front of a field during sunrise and said, “I’m running for reelection, it’s the right thing to do for Iowa.” 

Continue reading “Sen. Chuck Grassley will seek an eighth term”