Extreme 16: Reynolds Overtakes Steve King As Number 1 Seed

Governor Kim Reynolds claimed the number one seed in Progress Iowa’s ‘Extreme 16’ overtaking Congressman Steve King, last year’s top seed. Reynolds has earned that spot at the top of the most extreme in the state by attacking working families, undercutting public education, and emboldening the racist elements of her party by employing dog-whistle politics in her campaign messages and retaining King as her campaign chair.

“There were a lot of strong contenders for this year’s Extreme 16,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “But Governor Reynolds showed a commitment to governing outside the mainstream that was nearly unprecedented. Last year Congressman King earned the top spot with his blatant racism. This year, Reynolds one-upped the Congressman with her failed priorities, and put herself over the top, showing every Republican that King’s racism is acceptable by keeping him on the leadership of her campaign. It was a truly remarkable effort on her part  to leapfrog perennial Extreme 16 favorite and take the spot as her own.”

Iowa Senator Amy Sinclair, Congressman Rod Blum, and Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver round out the top four seeds for attacks on women, refusing to hold a public town hall meeting, and for enabling a culture of harassment, respectively.



2018 Extreme 16 – Tournament Resumes

1. Kim Reynolds – the Governor overtakes the top seed this year for breaking the law to cover up the Reynolds Budget Crisis, pursuing an anti-working families agenda, and for empowering the racism of the Congressman King wing of the Republican party by keeping him as her campaign chair.

2. Amy Sinclair – moving up to number two for her lead role in the attacks on women’s rights this year, as well as efforts to undermine health care for women and families. In addition to leading the war on women in Iowa, Senator Sinclair incredulously claimed what she does cannot be anti-woman, simply because she is a woman.

3. Rod Blum – Congressman Blum has not held a public town hall meeting in more than 310 days, refusing to hear criticism from constituents about his votes to take away health care and tilt the scale in favor of the extremely wealthy. Tin Moon scandal, no town halls in 300+ days, stormed out on kids, terrible votes

4. Jack Whitver – the new Senate Majority Leader, Whitver takes over for Leader Dix after his abrupt resignation. Whitver’s promotion comes despite his presence on the Senate Republican leadership team that fired an employee after she reported harassment, caused a $1.75 million judgment that Iowa taxpayers have to cover, and did as little as possible to change the culture of harassment at the capitol.

5. Linda Upmeyer – leading the House Republicans means Speaker Upmeyer bears more responsibility than most for the attacks on working families taking place this year, and now wants to break her promise to local governments to backfill property tax revenue.

6. Chris Hagenow – the Majority Leader in the Iowa House, his constituents would likely expect that he could deliver strong leadership for their district. But… which district? Hagenow is tucking his tail and fleeing to run in the seat of retiring Republican Ralph Watts, to avoid a competitive race in a difficult election year.

7. Steve King – Congressman King’s most notable achievement during his many years in office is being named America’s most ineffective Congressman. And being known for making one blatantly racist claim after another.

8. David Young – Congressman Young sometimes gets overlooked because he doesn’t make as many outlandish statements as his colleague Steve King. But don’t be fooled – he actually votes in agreement with President Trump more regularly (98.6% of the time) than King (93.9% of the time).

9. Chuck Grassley – Senator Grassley has effectively tarnished his record by injecting politics into the federal courts at every turn, from his obstruction of Merrick Garland to this year rubber-stamping nearly every nominee put forward by President Trump.

10. Paul Pate – Pate is the only Secretary of State in the country who introduced his state’s restrictive Voter ID/voter suppression law. Most Secretaries of State want to increase voter turnout. Pate seems determined to disenfranchise voters.

11. Joni Ernst – The National Rifle Association spend $3 million to elect Senator Ernst, and their investment is paying off. She is doing all she can to shoot down common sense gun reform, and won’t condemn the NRA despite their ratcheting up the rhetoric in the wake of mass shooting tragedies.

12. Skyler Wheeler – Representative Wheeler used a speech on the floor of the Iowa House to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing (in his words) a “pale, white Brit.” That’s not how Black History Month works…

13. Matt Windschitl – Every child in Iowa armed with a gun. Every citizen allowed to carry a gun without a permit. Those are some of Representative Winschitl’s plans for the state, and if he thought he could push further, he likely would.

14. Randy Feenstra – Senator Feenstra is the primary author of a plan that would create a $1 billion annual hole in the state budget, at a time when we already can’t pay our bills because of corporate tax breaks and the Reynolds Budget Crisis.

15. Mary Mosiman – the state auditor has failed to conduct even the most basic oversight of state government, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for her ineffectual leadership.

16. Republican Runaways – there are thirteen open seats in the legislature this year due to Republican retirements from the legislature, those who governed in an extreme way but can’t bear to face the voters this fall and explain their votes. After attacking workers, undercutting education, and leaving our state budget in tatters, they don’t want to be held accountable, but their cowardice earns them the final spot in this year’s Extreme 16.

First Four Out

Bill Dix – Senator Dix was on pace for a much higher seed for his complete failure of leadership and for his creation of a culture of harassment at the Iowa capitol, until last week’s video surfaced and he resigned from office.

Chuck Hurley – Vice President of the Family Leader, the anti-equality organization that works in association with the Family Research Council, a hate group recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He asked in subcommittee this year whether anyone in the room wished they’d been aborted.

Julian Garrett – Senator Garrett pushed a proposal that would make a majority not a majority in the Iowa Supreme Court (requiring a two thirds vote for a ruling). We expect he would not want the same rule applied to his own election campaigns.

Terry Branstad – Governor (now Ambassador) Branstad led one of the most regressive, extremist legislative sessions in Iowa history last year, then left a budget in crisis and public services under attack as he abandoned the state to work for President Trump.