Politics Notebook | Iowa Republicans advance bill to prevent Democrat’s mail-in caucus plan

Also, the Iowa Attorney General audited victim assistance programs including emergency contraceptives for survivors of sexual assault, and Mike Pence, Donald Trump will soon speak at an Iowa Christian event.


Jerod Ringwald

The Iowa State Capitol is seen during the first day of the 90th Iowa legislative session at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.

Liam Halawith, Politics Editor

Iowa lawmakers advanced a bill that would bar the Iowa Democratic Party’s plan to use mail-in ballots for its 2024 presidential caucus and require pre-registered, in-person caucuses in the state if passed. 

House File 716 proposed by Iowa House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Bobby Kauffmann, R-Wilton would require participants in caucus events to be registered party members for the 70 days immediately before the event and to be physically present at the event. 

Iowa to stop paying for emergency contraceptives for sexual assault survivors 

The Iowa Attorney General’s office halted the payment for emergency contraceptives for the survivors of sexual assault from the Iowa Victims Fund as part of a more extensive review of victim services provided by the office, the Des Moines Register reported

Iowa and Federal law requires the office to pay for many of the medical services for survivors of sexual abuse including forensic exams and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. 

“While not required by Iowa law, the victim compensation fund has previously paid for Plan B and abortions. As a part of her top-down, bottom-up audit of victim assistance, Attorney General Bird is carefully evaluating whether this is an appropriate use of public funds,” Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird’s Press Secretary Alyssa Brouillet said in a statement to the Des Moines Register.

Under the previous attorney general Tom Miller, a Democrat who served in the office for over four decades, the Iowa Attorney General’s office paid for emergency contraceptives and sometimes abortions for rape survivors. 

Bird campaigned on a “100 percent pro-life” platform and recently signed onto Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ legal fight to reinstate Iowa’s 2018 abortion ban. 

The funds for victim assistance are from fines paid by perpetrators and receive no taxpayer funding. 

Pence, Trump to attend Iowa Conservative Christian rally in Clive 

Among other high-level conservative figures, former President Trump and former Vice-President Mike Pence announced that they would attend a Conservative Christian rally at the Horizons Event Center in Clive, Iowa on April 22

Trump announced on Wednesday that he would be addressing the conference remotely. Trump is one of nine conservative figures and several 2024 presidential prospects addressing the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 23rd annual spring kick-off. 

Among other confirmed guests are former Vice-President Mike Pence, Larry Elder, Texas Congressman Will Hurd, former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Perry Johnson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.