A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Tuesday, June 11, 2019:
$1,000 PER MONTH FOR IOWA FAMILY: The top --- or most unique, at the very least --- policy priority of businessman Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign is the universal basic income, a $1,000-per-month government-funded stipend for every U.S. adult.
Yang previously chose a New Hampshire family to serve as a test subject for the program, which he calls a “freedom dividend.” On Tuesday, Yang announced he has selected a test subject, from Iowa.
Kyle Christensen, a 41-year-old from Iowa Falls, will receive the stipend for a year starting July 1, the Yang campaign announced. Yang is personally funding the test runs, the campaign said.
Christensen shares his home with his 62-year-old mother, who is two years into cancer remission. Christensen said he helps to pay his mother’s $200-per-month insurance copay for maintenance chemotherapy.
“We have plenty of resources in this country, but the benefits of living in the wealthiest and most advanced nation in the history of Earth are not being shared with most Americans. We must build a new economy that puts people first,” Yang said. “If there’s one policy that would transform American lives for the better on day one, it’s the freedom dividend.”
BIDEN ANNOUNCES IOWA ENDORSEMENTS: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden announced his first round of Iowa endorsements, and the list includes a pair of state legislators and multiple local officials.
Iowa Sen. Jim Lykam, of Davenport, and Iowa Rep. Bruce Hunter, of Des Moines, endorsed the former vice president. So did Teri Goodman, a Dubuque city official and longtime friend of Biden, and former Dubuque Co. Sheriff Ken Runde.
The endorsements also include former labor leader Betty Brim-Hunter, Polk Co. treasurer Mary Maloney, Goodwill of Central Iowa president and CEO Jackie Norris, and Waterloo council member Tom Powers.
BETO O'ROURKE'S VOTER TOOLKIT: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke published his campaign’s voter registration toolkit, an extension of the voting rights plan he announced last week.
The toolkit includes information and resources on local voter registration laws and best practices for talking to voters or potential voters. It also includes information on voter registration efforts at O’Rourke’s campaign events.
“Solving the greatest challenges of our lifetimes won’t be possible with half-measures or only half our people --- it’s going to take all of us,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “The only way to make progress is if every single American is empowered to vote, and we can start that work right away.”
FINKENAUER, AXNE ENDORSE HART: The field-clearing in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary continues as U.S. Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne endorsed Rita Hart.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack has announced he will retire at the end of this term, creating an open-seat race.
Loebsack has already endorsed Hart, a former state legislator and lieutenant governor candidate. Now Hart also has the support of the other Democrats in Iowa’s Congressional delegation.
“I’m proud to call Sen. Hart a colleague and friend after serving together in the Iowa Legislature, and I know firsthand that Iowa working families can trust that she will stand up for them,” Finkenauer said in a statement. “Whether it’s working in a classroom or on her farm, Rita’s proven to be tough enough to stand up to Washington special interests and I know she’ll work tirelessly to be a voice for Iowa families.”
Iowa City transportation engineer Newman Abuissa is the only other Democrat in the primary, and thus far Osceola mayor Thomas Kedley is the lone Republican running.
Lee-Gazette Des Moines Bureau