US ambassador in China makes rare visit to Tibet
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to China is making a rare visit to Tibet to meet local officials and raise concerns about restrictions on Buddhist practices and the preservation of the...
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has been dropped from a lawsuit alleging that her predecessor and others in his administration singled out a former state official for a pay cut...
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge says jurors will decide whether former Gov. Terry Branstad singled out a former state official for a pay cut because of his political party or sexual...
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The loss of a second major health care insurer in the Iowa Medicaid program raised serious concern Monday about the stability of the program that serves about 600,000 poor...
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on a trade mission Monday to persuade Iowa farmers struggling to survive low commodity prices and tariffs that have hurt sales to...
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to attend events in the Des Moines area next week.
The State Department announced Friday that Pompeo would be in the Des...
Iowa labor commissioner to retire after firings, inquiries
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro says he will retire amid controversy, after a long career in public service.
Friday's announcement comes amid allegations that...
State’s costs in gay discrimination lawsuit reaches $1.2M
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state's bill for defending a lawsuit against a former official who claims he was discriminated against because he's gay has surpassed $1.27 million.
Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson updated the Iowa Executive Council on Monday in response to a request by Auditor Rob Sand. The council, which includes the governor and other state elected officials, approves state litigation expenses.
Kim Reynolds takes oath as governor, hosts inaugural events
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has taken the oath of office as the state's 43rd governor and the first woman to be elected to the job.
After the formal swearing in ceremony Friday morning, Reynolds hosted an open house at Terrace Hill, the governor's official residence, and a similar event at the Iowa State Capitol.
Friday evening, two inaugural balls are planned in Des Moines.
Reynolds seeks felon voting rights constitutional amendment
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa would no longer bar former felons from voting after they complete their sentences and would ensure that crime victims be told of major status changes involving prisoners who wronged them under constitutional amendments proposed Tuesday by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Reynolds used her first Condition of the State speech since being elected to a full term to outline some major policy goals, including several that would affect current and former prisoners.
Reynolds names former DOT Director Paul Trombino to staff
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has hired former Iowa Department of Transportation director Paul Trombino III as her chief operations officer to provide leadership of state government agencies.
Trombino was Iowa DOT director for Reynolds' predecessor Terry Branstad from 2011 to 2016 and briefly considered serving as President Donald Trump's nominee to run the Federal Highway Administration in 2017 before withdrawing his name two months after he was nominated citing family reasons.
Iowa governor names consultant Sara Gongol chief of staff
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has named a new chief of staff as she assembles an administrative team to run the office after winning election in November.
A statement released from the governor's office on Tuesday says Sara Craig Gongol will begin work on Saturday.
Craig Gongol, a political consultant and fundraiser, has worked with Reynolds since 2014 and was a general consultant to Reynolds' successful campaign to win the governor's office in November.
Iowa prisons chief says he’ll retire after 36-year career
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The director of the Iowa Department of Corrections is retiring after a 36-year career with the agency.
Jerry Bartruff said Monday that his last day with the department will be Dec. 27. He served more than three years as director following his appointment by then-Gov. Terry Branstad.
Gov. Kim Reynolds thanked Bartruff for his leadership, saying he has helped "redefine the agency" as one that focuses on incarceration but also evidence-based rehabilitation.
China summons US envoy to protest detention of Huawei exec
BEIJING (AP) — China summoned the U.S. ambassador to Beijing to protest Canada's detention of a senior executive of Chinese electronics giant Huawei at Washington's behest, demanding the U.S. cancel the order for her arrest.
China summons US envoy to protest detention of Huawei exec
BEIJING (AP) — China summoned the U.S. ambassador to Beijing on Sunday to protest Canada's detention of a senior executive of Chinese electronics giant Huawei at Washington's behest and demand the U.S. cancel an order for her arrest.
Iowa official with 3 public jobs rips ‘goofy’ disclosure law
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A political appointee who works for three Iowa government agencies blasted an ethics law Friday that requires him and others with multiple state jobs to disclose them on a specific form.
Employment Appeal Board member James Strohman called the law "kind of a dumb thing" in an interview, saying no one knows about the requirement, it's not enforced and it gives the public little information.
Iowa public safety commissioner will step down next month
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's top public safety official says she's informed Gov. Kim Reynolds that she will be leaving her job next month.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan told employees in an email Friday that she'll step down Jan. 2 after leading the department for four years.
She says she's proud of progress that's been made in the department, which includes the Iowa State Patrol, the Division of Criminal Investigation and other public safety units.
- Norfolk Daily NewsIowa Gov. Kim Reynolds offers her plans for the state, advice for Rep. Steve KingJanuary 27, 2019
- Sioux City JournalDebi Durham to remain Iowa economic development head; also lead troubled IFAJanuary 8, 2019
- Sioux City JournalERIN MURPHY: What were the biggest Iowa political stories for 2018?December 29, 2018
- Sioux City JournalERIN MURPHY: With two more years of GOP control in Iowa, what's next?November 24, 2018
- The Washington TimesTerry Branstad says China 'bullying' American farmers with media 'propaganda'September 30, 2018
Audit: Iowa Medicaid savings barely half what was projected
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa saved $126 million this year from privatizing its Medicaid system, barely half what former Gov. Terry Branstad projected when he forced the change in 2016, according to an audit released Monday.
The report by Auditor Mary Mosiman also found officials and lawmakers have failed to file quarterly financial reports as required by state law.
Iowa governor replaces legal counsel in post-election change
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is replacing her legal counsel days after winning a four-year term in office.
Reynolds' press secretary Brenna Smith confirmed late Monday that attorney Colin Smith has left the office as of Nov. 14.
Brenna Smith says that Windsor Heights attorney Michael Boal will replace Colin Smith beginning Nov. 28.
Reynolds points to economy but Hubbell notes continued needs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Kim Reynolds won her first full term as governor Tuesday, beating Democratic businessman Fred Hubbell to become the first woman elected governor in Iowa.
Reynolds became governor in 2017 after Terry Branstad was named ambassador to China. She had previously won two terms as lieutenant governor.
Iowa governor candidates begin bus tours with 2 weeks left
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and her challenger Democrat Fred Hubbell are taking to the road in the closing two weeks of the campaign.
Both candidates have announced bus tours.
Hubbell is rallying supporters Tuesday near the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines before departing on a first-day swing to Nevada, Ames, Cedar Rapids and DeWitt.
China summons US envoys over sanctions linked to Russia deal
BEIJING (AP) — China summoned the American ambassador and the defense attache and recalled its navy commander from a U.S. trip to deliver a strong protest against economic sanctions Washington lodged over the purchase of Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missile equipment.
The Defense Ministry said the U.S. had no right to interfere in Chinese military cooperation with Russia.
Lawyer for Iowa officials in gay discrimination case quits
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer who has billed Iowa taxpayers nearly $1 million to fight a long-running discrimination lawsuit over former Gov. Terry Branstad's treatment of a gay former state official has withdrawn from the case, court documents filed Wednesday show.
Iowa boosts Medicaid payout by $344 million in new contracts
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say they're giving a $344 million raise to two companies that manage the state's Medicaid program.
The state's share is nearly $103 million, or a 7.5 percent increase. The federal government will cover the remainder.
The Iowa Department of Human Services, which oversees the health care program for 680,000 poor and disabled Iowans, said Friday the additional funding is "a manageable increase."
AP FACT CHECK: 3 Iowa stores closed under Fred Hubbell
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds campaign launched an ad critical of Democratic opponent Fred Hubbell's management of a once-popular Iowa department store chain called Younkers.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic governor nominee Fred Hubbell has chosen eastern Iowa farmer and legislator Rita Hart as his running mate.
Hubbell announced Saturday morning that Hart, a state senator representing Clinton and part of Scott counties, as his pick for lieutenant governor.
Hart is expected to join Hubbell at a Democratic state convention later Saturday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After nearly a decade of disappointing elections, Iowa Democrats hope the primary will begin what they acknowledge could be a slow return to relevance in what has historically been swing state dominated lately by Republicans.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced the departure of her chief of staff, along with the hiring of a new one.
Reynolds' office announced Friday in a news release that Jake Ketzner is departing on June 8 as chief of staff "to pursue opportunities outside state government."
Within minutes of that statement, Reynolds' office announced that her current chief policy adviser and senior legal counsel, Ryan Koopmans, will assume the chief of staff post on June 9.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As the Democratic primary race for Iowa governor heads into its final week before the June 5 election, there's plenty of uncertainty and scrambling following state Sen. Nate Boulton's abrupt departure from the contest.
The eventual nominee will attempt to unseat Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is facing her first bid to be governor after serving the remaining term of former Gov. Terry Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A popular Democrat's exit from the Iowa governor's race Thursday amid sexual misconduct allegations could impact the party's efforts to coalesce behind the eventual nominee and regain power in a state that has moved sharply to the right in recent years.
Nate Boulton, a Des Moines attorney and state senator, suspended his campaign less than 24 hours after The Des Moines Register reported three women alleged he touched them inappropriately several years ago.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Early voting is underway for Iowa's June 5 primary.
Monday is the first day Iowans can vote in-person at their county auditor's office. Absentee ballots can also be requested via mail by May 25. They must be returned by Election Day or postmarked by June 4.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says he encourages Iowans to vote early. Detailed instructions on how to vote can be found online at www.VoterReadyIowa.org.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Supreme Court Justice Bruce Zager has announced his plans to retire later this year.
Zager has served on the state's high court since 2011, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Terry Branstad. Zager was one of three appointments made to fill vacancies created when three other justices were voted off the bench for their role in a unanimous 2009 decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.
BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing (all times local):
U.S.-China trade talks have concluded for the day with no public statements from either side.
Talks resume with more meetings Friday before the U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin departs in the evening.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are also attending. The Chinese delegation is led by Liu He, President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser.
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ approval rating slipping, but still 42 percent approve
DES MOINES -- The good news for Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds six months before the 2018 general election is that she has a plus-7-point approval rating with Iowa voters.
The bad news is that’s down from a plus-15-point approval rating in February.
While teachers in many states are striking to have some voice in their future, some are wondering why Sioux City teachers don’t take the cue from West Virginia, Oklahoma or Arizona. After all, 30 percent of teachers will take a direct pay cut and the rest of the educators may lose salary because the raise negotiated won’t cover an insurance increase that no longer can be bargained. Why not walk out?
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A high-ranking Iowa investigator who was fired after blowing the whistle on speeding by Gov. Terry Branstad's security detail will not have his day in court, a judge ruled Friday.
Discrimination lawsuit against Branstad set for January 2019
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has set a trial date for a lawsuit filed by a former state official who alleges he was pressured by former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to resign because of his sexual orientation.
A judge on Wednesday set aside four weeks beginning Jan. 14 for the lawsuit filed by Chris Godfrey. He accuses the state of discrimination based on sexual orientation and retaliation, and of violating his constitutional due process guarantees.
Campaign manager departs Iowa governor’s staff amid primary
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The campaign manager for Gov. Kim Reynolds has left her staff months before the contested Republican primary election.
Reynolds confirmed Thursday that Phil Valenziano, one of the state's top GOP organizers, has moved on and that she would name his replacement in coming weeks.
Reynolds had kept Valenziano despite an incident last summer, when he was arrested for public intoxication after being seen urinating outside a West Des Moines bar.
Few Medicaid bills at play in Iowa Capitol this session
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers' concerns about the state's privatized Medicaid program amid reports of problems haven't translated into much legislation so far.
Report: Privatized Medicaid saving Iowa less than predicted
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's shift to privately-managed Medicaid will save the state 80 percent less money this year than originally predicted, according to a new state estimate.
A quarterly report prepared by Iowa Department of Human Services staff members says the state now stands to save $47.1 million this fiscal year by having private companies manage the $4 billion program, the Des Moines Register reported Saturday.
DES MOINES | Kevin Reynolds, husband of Gov. Kim Reynolds, was encased in Iowa history on Wednesday.
Reynolds -- known as Iowa's first spouse, first gentleman or as the Governor sometimes calls him "the first dude" -- was on hand for an unveiling ceremony of his doll likeness that joined 44 other figurines in the First Doll display case in the first-floor south rotunda at the Iowa Capitol Building.
Monte Branstad, brother of former Iowa governor, dead at 67
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The funeral for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's brother has been held in northern Iowa.
Monroe "Monte" Branstad, who was 67, died Wednesday at a Mason City hospital after a recent illness.
The younger brother of Iowa's former governor, who is now the U.S. ambassador to China, remained on the family's century farm at Forest City to operate it while Terry Branstad pursued a political career.
AMES, Iowa — The office space is smaller. The staff is nearly non-existent. There are no contracts going out for new research projects. But despite all that, the work continues at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
Judge: Iowa doesn’t have to honor contract with UIHC union
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge says the state doesn't have to honor a contract negotiated with a union representing University of Iowa nurses before the new anti-collective bargaining law was signed.
District Judge Jeffrey Farrell ruled Thursday that the contract with Service Employees International Union isn't binding because the Board of Regents never voted to ratify it.
Discrimination lawsuit narrows against Branstad
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former state official who alleges he was pressured by then-Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to resign because of his sexual orientation plans to take his discrimination lawsuit to trial next year in a case closely watched by government agencies that fear it could open the door to more litigation.
Iowa asks to delay ex-agent’s lawsuit until Branstad returns
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State lawyers say a lawsuit brought by a fired Iowa criminal investigator should be delayed until former Gov. Terry Branstad completes his service as ambassador to China.
The Iowa attorney general's office filed a motion Wednesday asking a judge to suspend proceedings in Larry Hedlund's lawsuit indefinitely or to alternatively delay the trial scheduled for Dec. 4.
Gov. Kim Reynolds adds new staff to gubernatorial campaign
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has added new staff to her gubernatorial campaign.
The Kim Reynolds for Iowa Committee announced Thursday that Pat Garrett has been named communications director. He recently served as a press secretary for Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada.
Madi Homes will serve as deputy finance director. She previously worked for GOP Sen. Charles Grassley. Six field directors have also been added.
Iowa treasurer: State should borrow to ensure bills are paid
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's long-time treasurer said Thursday the state should borrow money to make sure it can pay its bills on time amid a potential budget shortfall, but the Republican governor and a top legislative leader rejected the request and argued the Democrat was only trying to score political points.
Head of Iowa cultural affairs department to leave job
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of the agency that oversees Iowa's flagship history museum is leaving the job.
Mary Cownie announced Monday her last day as director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will be Aug. 17. Deputy Director Chris Kramer will serve as acting director in the interim.