Look at the recent Daily Bits on the website. Monthly update.  More from Mike.

2020               General Election

Iowa nice.  No one criticizes how she treats her staff.

Iowa famous. She was the 2018 Lt. Governor candidate. The ticket lost, but she didn’t.

Iowa small. Rita Hart https://www.ritahart.com/ lives in Wheatland. Population 764. Not quite double the population of the US House of Representatives.

Iowa moderate. Three-term Senator from IA SD 49, Rita Hart has won her swing district with 52% of the vote, 54% of the vote. She was replaced by a Republican who won by 10 points. She replaced a Republican who replaced a Democrat. Go back further. You get Democrat Tom Vilsack. He was elected governor in 1998, was Barack Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture, and is still a force in Iowa politics.

Iowa special. English teacher. Calamus-Wheatland. Grades 9-12. 120 students. Bennett is bigger — 1100 K-12.  The English teacher in schools that size is a carrier of civilization.   Rita Hart taught in those two districts for more than 20 years.

Iowa natural. The farm may be in Wheatland, but the crop is soybeans. Iowa’s second crop after corn. Like all Iowa soybean farmers, Rita Hart has an interest in Donald Trump’s tariff wars.

A voice for Iowa. For over thirty years, even longer than she was a teacher, Rita Hart sang at Iowa events. Weddings. Funerals. No Bar Mitzvahs I am aware of.

Iowa restless. Rita Hart left teaching. She didn’t leave her teaching goals. She looked for positive treatment and meaningful work for kids. The organizations that kept her busy were the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission, the Clinton County Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Clinton County Economic Development Coordinating Council. She founded the last of those three.

Iowa maturity    Rita Hart is in her early sixties. She has kept on growing and learning. Teaching and farming. Community leadership. The state legislature. Now Congress.

Iowa ratings. State legislators get rated. Some of Rita Hart’s ratings: 98% by the AFL-CIO. 75% by the Association of Business and Industry. 88% by the American Civil Liberties Union. 17% by the American Conservative Union. 100% by an organization supporting companion animals. 13% by the NRA.

Iowa reformer. Rita Hart promised to get dark money out of politics, to reduce the influence of special interests. She opposed a bill to prohibit abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat. She opposed reducing funding for Planned Parenthood. She opposed requiring local law enforcement to comply with ICE.

On hot button issues, Rita Hart is well within the Democratic Party mainstream. He opponent is something else. Bobby Schilling is a self-proclaimed Reagan Democrat turned Tea Party Republican. Elected to Congress on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities area, he proclaimed his commitment to term limits. He promised to limit himself to four terms in Congress saying he would “not make a career of this.”

Cheri Bustos, now the Chair of the DCCC, limited him to one term. She ousted him as an incumbent and defeated him when he ran again. He returned to his career running a pizza parlor. Adding a couple of locations.

He moved across the border in 2017, presumably, thinking about running for Congress in Iowa. He says he was a refugee from Illinois’ high taxes. The only Republican running he has been critical of Rita Hart on social issues, especially abortion.

Schilling describes himself as a “regular guy.” Would he ever be described as “nice?” This campaign is Iowa nice is competing against a “regular guy” who says he can win in a district Trump carried in 2016. He says Rita Hart is a left-winger who would join the Squad.

Rita Hart is a white woman in her early sixties with a history of election to an Iowa state Senate swing district. Now she is running for election to an Iowa Congressional swing district. Having focused on economic development, she would be an unlikely Democratic Socialist. It is a stretch to describe her as a potential member of a squad of non-white insurgent women the oldest of whom is 45.

Help Rita Hart https://www.ritahart.com/ keep this district Democratic. It is not an easy task. Pundits see the district as a toss up. Rita Hart is a candidate of the rural western part of a district dominated by Davenport, one of the Quad Cities, a city with almost 400,000 people.

Expand the House majority. Win the Senate. Succeed in the Midwest. Look at my Notes about these candidates. Google them. Think about who to give some money to.

MiDWEST Notes so far this year:


IA 02         Rita Hart to win an open Democratic seat.

IA 03         Cynthia Axne for reelection, 13th closest D win in 2018

IA 04         J.D. Scholten to defeat Incumbent Steve King        


IL 13          Betsy Dirksen Londrigan to defeat incumbent Rod Davis

IL 14          Lauren Underwood for reelection, 18th closest D win


Senate       Gary Peters for reelection

MI 08         Elisa Slotkin for reelection, 17th closest D win in 2018


Senate       Tina Smith for reelection