A roundup of campaign news items of interest:
Inslee billboards: Jay Inslee, the Democratic governor of Washington who has made climate change the central focus of his presidential campaign, posted three billboards near MidAmerican Energy’s Des Moines headquarters over the weekend, demanding the company stop burning coal as a means of energy production.
Fifty-nine percent of MidAmerican’s energy generation capacity comes from wind and 24 percent from coal, according to the company.
The billboards are near MidAmerican’s downtown Des Moines offices, and feature pictures of flood damage with messages imploring the company to stop burning coal and employ only clean energy.
The company has a “100 percent renewable energy vision” to deliver 100 percent renewable energy to Iowa customers by 2021.
“As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, there is no excuse for companies like MidAmerican to continue harming Iowan families by burning coal,” Inslee said in a statement. “From flooded homes to devastating drought, Iowans are seeing the impact of our changing climate firsthand. It has never been more important to elect a president who will take bold steps to transition the U.S. to 100 percent clean energy. You’re not serious about defeating the climate crisis unless you are willing to confront the fossil fuel industry. I am up to the task.”
Legislator endorses Klobuchar: Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar picked up a second endorsement from an Iowa state lawmaker: Rep. Marti Anderson, a Democrat who represents a portion of Des Moines in the Iowa House.
Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines, another Des Moines Democrat, previously endorsed Klobuchar.
“As a social worker and founding director of the Iowa Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division, I am encouraged by Klobuchar’s unwavering determination to stand for fairness to offenders, victims, and community in our criminal justice system. I am inspired by her efforts to prioritize mental health care,” Anderson said in a statement.
Iowa Sen. Jim Lykam endorses Biden for president: Iowa Sen. Jim Lykam is throwing his support behind former Vice President Joe Biden to be the nation’s next president.
Lykam, a Davenport Democrat with a long history in state politics, has been in the Iowa Senate since 2016. The longest-serving statehouse Democrat of the region, he previously was an area state representative from 2003 through 2016.
"Watching the polling, voters know Joe Biden," Lykam said via phone call Monday night. "We have a lot of trouble in the current administration with some of our allies. We can’t be on an island. We’re a global economy. He can look any leader in the eye on a global stage and command respect."
Biden is the presumed frontrunner in a presidential candidate field that’s grown to nearly two dozen. As he faces a large field with varied policy agendas on his left, the former vice president made headlines recently by saying he no longer supports a 1976 measure that bans federal funding for most abortions, reversing a long held stance he has attributed in part to his Roman Catholic faith.
Lykam’s support was announced by Biden’s presidential campaign along with that of seven other prominent Iowa Democrats, including Iowa Rep. Bruce Hunter and former Dubuque County Sheriff Ken Runde.
The endorsements come as Biden is beginning a two-day tour through the southeastern part of Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state.