Democrat chair on abortion and education laws. Condemns vitriol from own party.

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Invitations to both parties have been extended. Governor Kim Reynolds team has declined. Iowa GOP Chair confirmed but no-showed.
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The legislative session ended on April 22nd. How did both parties believe they performed? The Iowa Podcast is doing a political roundup, and asking party leaders what their priorities are for 2023 and beyond. Rita Hart, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party reacts to new Republican-led abortion and education laws, and condemns vitriol she sees coming from her own party in the Iowa Senate. Is it time for a new era of healing?

Rita Hart. Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party

It’s no surprise Iowa Democrats have not been successful with their agenda in 2022-2023. Hart explains her concerns that the Republican agenda on education and abortion are too extreme, but is asked if her party’s views, opposed by 80% of the country, may also be considered extreme.

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Iowa Democrats Up-Hill Battle

There may be no more polarizing issue in 2023 than abortion and education. With party setbacks has the Iowa Democratic party lost its way and become out of touch with Democrat voters?

Hart addressed the year of setbacks Iowa Democrats have faced and their priorities moving into 2023-2024. Democrats are very passionate about these issues, but after a large election loss, many Democrats are wondering if the party has lost touch with voters. Can Hart excite Democrat voters and achieve her plan of bringing more political balance to the State of Iowa?

Iowa Democrats on Abortion

As of this interview Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has signed HF 732, labeled the Heartbeat Law. The law bans abortion in Iowa at the time a heartbeat is detected, usually about 6 weeks. As of this recording the new law is facing a temporary injunction. (

Abortion has been a polarizing and emotionally powerful topic long before Roe v. Wade, a landmark legal decision, was issued on January 22, 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then Republicans and Democrats have fought passionately to completely end abortion or maintain abortion rights up to conception. The all-or-nothing approach has been criticized by some conservatives as preventing progress, but does this apply to Democrats as well? When asked about the party’s position on restrictions of any kind, Hart declined to endorse any line.

Iowa Democrats on Education

Hart also addressed education in Iowa. As of writing this 29,000 students have applied for the education savings plan to enroll in private schools. Hart believes this new law is a mistake and not good for Iowans and explains she is concerned the same rules don’t apply to private schools, as they do public schools.

Hart is asked if public education is working when Des Moines Public School’s reading proficiency rate is 47% and the state of Iowa is at 68%. As a former educator herself, Hart believes we have neglected our public schools and worries this decision will remove more funding from an already struggling education system.

Political anger and vitriol

It’s not surprising that political vitriol is out-of-hand. In fact, Harvard Professor Arthur Brooks’ research shows that 93% of the country hates how divided we have become. When asked if Hart condemns the negative behavior exhibited by Iowa Senators in her own party, she didn’t hesitate to condemn it. She explains the negative attitudes she sees are one reason she wanted to lead the Iowa Democratic Party to bring kindness back to politics. Hart wants to lead by example, showing kindness and understanding to those she politically disagrees with.


7/19/23: Invitations to both parties have been extended to maintain our mission of objectivity. Both Governor Reynolds’ team and Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufman have not accepted. They are welcome any time.

8/9/23: We confirmed an interview with GOP Chair, Jeff Kaufman for August 8th at 2pm. After repeated texts to his comms team and replies he would make it, at 2:20pm he hadn’t called in. His team has yet to reschedule.