The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

August 19, 2013

New Iowa House minority leader has big job ahead

(Continued)

He works at a nonprofit substance abuse clinic in Marshalltown.

With the new position, Smith said he’ll be reducing his professional schedule to focus on the leadership duties. The leadership job is essentially a full-time position, managing the caucus during the spring legislative session, but also leading the political operation. McCarthy, who served as both speaker and minority leader during his seven years as leader, said the minority role was tougher.

“In the majority you split the political duties (between the majority leader and the speaker,” McCarthy said.

“When you’re the minority leader, you’re it.”

McCarthy declined to specify how much money the leader needed to raise to be competitive, putting it at “a few million.”

Iowa lawmakers are coming off a productive session in which the minority House Democrats played a key role. During the complex negotiations leading up to a budget deal that included education policy changes, an expansion of low-income health care and property tax reductions, the House Democratic votes were needed to pass the human services budget that included the health care expansion. Some conservative Republicans would not vote for the plan because they wanted to block state dollars from reimbursing rare Medicaid funded abortions.

Most expect that next year will be a lighter year from a policy perspective, both because 2013 was so busy and also because members like to wrap up and start campaigning as quickly as possible in an election year.

The Iowa House has flipped back and forth between the parties over the years. Republicans won the House majority in the 2010 election, emerging with a massive 20 seat margin. Democrats regained some ground in 2012, during the presidential election year, winning 47 seats to the 53 Republican seats.

Some said Smith had reason to be optimistic. Michael Sargeant, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said they felt Iowa was in a strong position to flip the House back to Democratic control.

Text Only
National News
  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 22, 2014

  • Obama gives protection to gay, transgender workers WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the “irrefutable rightness of yo

    July 22, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hopkins to pay $190M after doc taped pelvic exams

    Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women whose bodies may have been videotaped or photographed by a gynecologist using a pen-like camera during pelvic exams.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lawmaker: Texas to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Gov. Rick Perry, a vocal critic of the White House's response to the surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally, plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • Second chance? Perry in Iowa again courting voters

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry is visiting Iowa for the fourth time in eight months, hoping for a second chance to win over Republican voters who delivered him a stinging caucus loss when he ran for president two years ago.

    July 21, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 21, 2014

AP Video
Facebook