Here are some of the topics our panel discussed on 4 The Record this week.
- A big win this week for the president in court.
- Congress is stalled on legislation to improve security for elections.
- Next year’s race for a congressional seat in Iowa already features some big names.
They’re all things we talked about with former AFSCME Local 46 President Gregg Johnson and former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom.
Let’s start with Iowa and look ahead to next year’s race to replace Dave Loebsack in Congress.
Democrat Rita Hart launched her campaign a while ago.
Republican Bobby Schilling made it official this week after considering it for quite some time.
Schilling already served in Congress in Illinois.
Hart’s been in Iowa’s state legislature and Fred Hubbell’s choice for lieutenant governor last year in that statewide race.
Both candidates have strong resumes.
Johnson and Bloom discussed how much this race is going to be a policy debate or a national referendum on the president.
Free and fair elections is a tenet of American democracy.
But we know that foreign governments like Russia intend to interfere with the process and did in the last presidential election.
Legislation intended to make elections more secure include provisions for backup paper ballots and money to fight cyber attacks.
Illinois’ Board of Elections has been targeted.
Democrats complain Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking the debate.
Bloom and Johnson explain why this is a political issue.
President Trump got a legal victory this week.
An appeals court struck down a challenge that tried to keep him from maintaining his business interests while in office.
Democrats argue it violates the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
The decision prevents states from being able to collect financial information about Donald Trump’s business dealings.
However, Democrats in Congress are still pursuing it.
Johnson and Bloom addressed how much of a setback this is for Democrats who’ve been making this argument since the president’s inauguration.
Iowa’s role in 2020
We are 204 days away from the Iowa Caucuses, a date that will narrow the field of Democrats who want to be president.
But a huge date will be exactly a month later on March 3.
That’s Super Tuesday, when 13 states will hold their primaries.
California, Texas and Colorado are among them. They have huge implications.
California has never been this early.
Bloom and Johnson talked about how much does this schedule change reduces Iowa’s significance in the process.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.
Question of the week
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.