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Iowa Governor Terry Branstad continues to block Medicaid expansion, while making fun of Iowans living without health insurance.

On March 12, State Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm of Cresco called him out for his dismissive attitude towards working Iowans.

 Here's where she starts her personal story in video shot during Senate debate:

Let me tell you the story of one of these people.

This is someone I know very, very well.

As a young woman in her mid-twenties, she was going through a difficult time. She was getting divorced, and she didn’t have much money.

She lived in a small Iowa town. No matter how hard she tried, the only job she could find was a part time job.

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On Monday, March 4, Iowa GOP Governor Terry Branstad, a dead-ender when comes to health care, today at a press conference compared expanding Medicaid to 150,000 uninsured Iowans to getting drunk at an open bar at a wedding:

“If it’s somebody else is paying the whole cost of it…it’s like former Governor Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota said.  It’s like going to a wedding where you have an open bar versus a cash bar.  There’s going to be a lot more liquor consumed than with a cash bar.”  Progress Iowa video  Entire event video (Comment is at  29:30)
Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm responded the same day in a personal point before the Iowa Senate(video):
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U.S. Senator Chuck "Deather" Grassley's approach to health reform is contrasted with Iowa's progress at the state level today in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.  From the "Take cue from Iowa" op-ed by Senator Joe Bolkcom:

...Compare that to the nonsense coming from Washington. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is giving us a taste of as he travels around Iowa accusing President Obama of favoring government "death panels."

Does Grassley know that similar legislation supporting living wills and patient control of end-of-life care became Iowa law in 2008? Does he know that his grandson, Republican state Rep. Pat Grassley of New Hartford, voted for the bill?

I don’t think Grassley really believes a majority of the U.S. House wants to "pull the plug on grandma." That’s just the way Washington politics is played. And the senator is showing us that his priorities are playing politics and collecting more campaign contributions from drug and insurance industries.

If you want an example of a bipartisan success at health reform, look at how Iowans made our health care for children the best of all 50 states...

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"U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley today disappointed the vast majority of Iowans when he engaged in the lowest form of political mudslinging by repeating the vicious slur that health reform may ‘pull the plug on grandma.’...

"Senator Grassley should understand the value of this legislation. If he has sincere concerns, he could ask his grandson about the issue. Pat Grassley, who now holds Senator Grassley’s former seat in the Iowa House of Representatives, voted in 2008 for the same legislation that Senator Grassley now calls pulling the plug on grandma.

Iowa State Senator Joe Bolkcom

http://iowasenatenews.com/...

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Iowa's senior Republican, Senator Chuck Grassley, didn't get the talking points on how gay marriage is the end of the world for Iowa.

Now, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has declined to take a stand on gay marriage in an interview with the Des Moines Register:

"You better ask me in a month, after I've had a chance to think," Grassley, the state's senior Republican official, said after a health care forum in Mason City.

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On Monday night, April 6, the Iowa Senate discussed the unanimous decision by the Iowa Supreme Court to allow same sex couples to marry.

Minority Leader Paul McKinley-R challenged Majority Leader Mike Gronstal-R to cosponsor a leadership bill to bring up a vote on a constitutional amendment.  Gronstal said no.  Video below.

That ends efforts to amend the Iowa Constitution for this year and next year, if Gronstal remains leader.  That would mean the earliest an amendment could go before the public is 2013, giving Iowans plenty of time to see through the scare tactics of the right.  

Gronstal and Iowa legislators are now fighting for all of us.  You can reward courage by sending a contribution.

YouTube of Senate Debate.

Text below:

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Iowa Democrats have long argued that making the state more tolerant will help the local economy.  Today the Des Moines Register has two articles on the possible new economic benefits coming to the only gay marriage state without a residency requirement.

Unlike Connecticut and Massachusetts - the other states that permit gay marriage - Iowa has no nearby competitors for same-sex couples who want to marry.

Businesses could see $160 million in new wedding and tourism spending over the next three years, according to a study from researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles.

...The study predicts that 2,917 same-sex Iowa couples will wed in the three years after the marriages are allowed to proceed. In addition, nearly 55,000 out-of-state couples could come to Iowa to get married, the study found.

Iowa: Housing is cheap, schools are great, and Democrats run the show.

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State Senator Matt McCoy of Iowa, the first openly gay member of the Iowa Legislature, explains why the Iowa Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage is unlikely to be reversed.

   1) Iowa's history of civil rights leadership

   2) Iowans familiarity with and rejection of extreme social conservatism

   3) Lengthy process for constitutional amendments

The statement is available as text below and in a five minute YouTube video.

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There are 32 Democrats in the Iowa Senate.  The 32 to 18 majority is the largest in state history.  

Why has Iowa turned blue?

Watch Senator Leader Mike Gronstal take two minutes and 30 seconds to demolish Republican opposition to bonding for the state veterans home, for prisons and community corrections, and for 5,000 Iowa jobs.

http://www.youtube.com/...

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A new Iowa Poll has Obama at his biggest lead yet.

The poll of 814 likely voters, taken Tuesday through Friday by Selzer & Co., came at the close of a key stretch of the fall campaign. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Gatekeeper David Yepsen talks landside:

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