2020 Presidential Candidates to Attend Native American Issues Forum in Sioux City Next Week

Aug 16, 2019

Frank LeMere Forum

Rep. Steve King's most recent insensitive remarks about rape are the kind that has doomed political candidates elsewhere, but some fellow Iowa Republicans say it's possible they actually could help the embattled congressman's re-election chances by reinforcing his credentials as a social conservative.

King made the comment Tuesday before a conservative group. He was attempting to justify his support for a ban on abortions without exceptions for rape and incest.

The latest monthly survey of bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states indicates a shrinking rural economy, and three-quarters of bankers said President Donald Trump's trade policies are having a negative effect on their local economies.

The Rural Mainstreet survey released Thursday shows its overall index falling from an already anemic 50.2 in July to 46.5 this month. Any score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says trade tensions "are driving growth lower for areas of the region with close ties to agriculture." Goss also noted that despite negative consequences from tariffs, nearly 7 of 10 bank CEOS surveyed support either raising or continuing the Trump administration's current tariffs.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming were surveyed.

A former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature is looking to return to his old seat.

Mike Flood, of Norfolk, announced his candidacy Friday for the District 19 seat, representing all of Madison County and a part of Stanton County.

Flood previously served in the Legislature from 2005 to 2013 and spent six years as legislative speaker. The seat he's seeking is currently held by state Sen. Jim Scheer, who is also from Norfolk and also serves as speaker. Scheer is ineligible to seek re-election in 2020 due to term limits.

During his first two terms in office, Flood helped broker compromises in the Legislature on the Keystone XL pipeline and legislation to overhaul a state labor-relations commission.

South Dakota leaders are considering legislation to prevent the state from bearing the financial responsibility of closing abandoned gas wells.

The state is on the hook for nearly $1 million to plug 40 abandoned wells in northwestern South Dakota. State minerals and mining administrator Mike Lees says the state has never faced this problem before and has no established policy as a result.

State officials and the governor's office have started to consider legislation for the 2020 session to increase accountability in state law, the Argus Leader reported.

The state is suing Spyglass Cedar Creek, of Houston, Texas, for abandoning the wells after a drilling project fell through several years ago. The state is seeking $15.5 million from Spyglass as a penalty for abandoning the wells, but until the state receives that money, it's on the hook for nearly the entire cost of the wells. It has only $10,000 in bond money from Spyglass.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will make return visits to Northwest Iowa communities on Tuesday. 

Sanders will hold a "Storm Lake Breakfast with Bernie" event 10 a.m. Tuesday at Better Day Cafe, in Storm Lake. The event is free and open to the public. 

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sanders will attend an Arnolds Park ice cream social. The event will be held at The Waterfront Event Center - Arnolds Park. 

At 5 p.m., Sanders will take part in the Frank LaMere Native American Forum held at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City.

Tickets are required for the forum, in which candidates will face questions about their positions on Native American issues.  Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar are among the other presidential candidates who will be attending that forum Monday and Tuesday.