What a year. When Iowa Field Report launched in January, we, like countless others, could have never have imagined the events that lay ahead. Looking back at 2020, a lot happened.
First, remember the Iowa Caucus? Yeah, that was this year. So was the battle between Miller-Meeks and Schilling in the second. What about the primary in the Fourth District to boot Steve King? Wild. The U.S. Senate Race was a doozy we won’t soon forget (even if we’ve already forgotten about the Democrat nominee, Theresa Greenvest, no that’s not right, Braley? no, that was before….it will come to me).
Anyway, here they are, in no particular order – Iowa Field Report’s most read articles of 2020!
After working in politics for over a dozen years, at every level of government and across fourteen states, I have never seen anything as outrageous as Rita Hart’s attempt to rob the voters of the second congressional district of their right to send Miller-Meeks to represent them in congress. As if that wasn’t enough, Jamie Rasin, the same guy who Congresswoman Cindy Axne gave her vote away to, rears his head again to “oversee” Nancy Pelosi’s panel to review the results of the race. It was Iowa Field Report that highlighted what was largely unknown: Raskin had spent a considerable amount of time and effort raising money for Hart in her quest to win the very seat he would now be reviewing.
The headline says it all. We were the first news outlet in the state to cover this. After the article went live, we heard from ISU alumni from all over the country on how bad this was. Hopefully, the scrutiny will help these instances of student oppression to become less common.
The story that started it all. The swampy truth article was one of our very first posts back in January. It was the most read page on the site for most of 2020 by a long shot (even after we control for how many times it looks like Sand clicked on it). That was until we began reporting on the situation with Rita Hart in #IA02 and her effort to get Pelosi and company to hand over a seat in congress. Eventually, the Radical Raskin article above edged it out with just a few thousand more clicks. Shortly after we published the swampy truth piece, I had the pleasure of running into Rob at an event in downtown Des Moines. He told me he read it. Surprised but also flattered that he had, I asked him what he thought of it. His response was equal parts predictable and stunning,
“I liked that you called me endearing,” Sand replied.
No, I’m not kidding.
I’m thrilled that so many of you read and shared this article. Scott and I first connected on the phone. It was clear that his situation was unique, and we needed to sit down and talk one on one. Scott opened up early when I drove down to Winterset to meet up and tell me what was going on. When I left, I knew that this was a big deal. The “Cancel” Culture embraced by the left was not only destroying this small town business (on the square no less), it was also causing threats of violence against his family, staff, and the cafe itself. . This story took off in a way I had hoped. Hundreds of readers reached out to support the cafe, and many went their way to visit them. I was also delighted to see so many folks who were long time fans and patrons of the Northside Cafe take some time out of their day to write a review about why they keep coming and how much they enjoy the food and service.
“Ugh, Sand again?” – Literally everyone.
Rob Sand loves attention but probably not the kind that resulted after this post dropped. Iowans were livid about when he was trying to do, and many of those folks told us they reached out to his office, the Governor’s, and IDPH to protest his stunt.