Here are some of the topics our panel discussed on 4 The Record this week.
- Heat intensifies surrounding the impeachment inquiry of the president.
- Health becomes a big issue in the Democratic presidential race.
- The financial picture for Iowa’s state government turns in a positive direction.
We get to all of these in a discussion with Democratic political consultant Porter McNeil and former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom on 4 The Record.
The Iowa state government finished the fiscal year with a surplus of almost $290 million.
That’s more than double last year’s surplus.
It’s a big turnaround for the state that once saw a billion-dollar surplus disappear in recent years.
Republicans in control the last two years cut taxes and spending.
McNeil and Bloom discuss how much this strengthens the Republican argument that this is the approach to growing the economy.
A judge this week made a significant ruling regarding Iowa’s Voter ID law.
He largely upheld the provisions of the law, but tossed out some of them.
The law requires voters to show one of six forms of identification considered acceptable to be able to go into the voting booth with a ballot.
That stays in place.
The judge struck down the provision that gave election officials the authority to turn away a voter who’s signature on record didn’t match one on an application for an absentee ballot.
Challengers to the law argued it paves the way for voter suppression.
Both sides claim some victory.
Bloom and McNeil plot where we are after this decision and if the Voter ID question is settled.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wound up in the hospital this week because of a blocked artery.
He’s off the campaign trail after surgery until further notice.
The procedure itself to insert two stents isn’t considered major.
However, it could make health and age issues in this campaign.
Senator Sanders is 78. Joe Biden is 76. Donald Trump is 73 and the oldest president in history.
McNeil and Bloom discussed how much they think health and age will matter in the presidential election.
You can’t turn on cable news without seeing coverage on the whistleblower scandal surrounding President Trump and his call with Ukraine’s president.
A call the whistleblower with the CIA claims Trump tried to get Ukraine’s leader to investigate Joe Biden and essentially interfere with the 2020 election.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry.
Something they were reluctant to do in the past.
Republicans have been stalwart in their support of the president.
A sign that changed at least a little came when Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the whistleblower should be heard.
Bloom and McNeil talked about how much cover Grassley provides other Republicans who might want to distance themselves from the president — and if any others will.
Watch the video above for the full conversation.
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.