Exact Change

Lynda Waddington

At The Gazette I serve as a columnist, blogger, community engagement co-leader and member of the editorial board. I've been both an insider and observer of Iowa politics and, shockingly enough, I still enjoy it. While I write on a variety of topics, I enjoy telling the stories of everyday people most of all. My house is home to two cats, two dogs, two children, a few hundred dust bunnies, at least a couple of MIA hamsters and, of course, my spouse. Our oldest daughter was released into the wild a few years ago, and should phone her mother more often.

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Gun reforms show how close lawmakers can get to no rules

Let's say that during the course of your day you are approached by two people. One has a pipe with marijuana residue, the other is carrying a firearm without a permit. Which do you perceive as a greater threat to public safety?

Lawmakers, accordi ... »

Trump puts the ‘bully’ in bully pulpit

The Trump administration has rescinded Obama-era guidance for public schools that promoted use of bathrooms based on student gender identity.

In a joint letter, officials within the justice and education departments rejected the previous administ ... »

First in a series: Weighing the benefit of a ‘Fresh Start’

Hundreds of people quietly working behind the scenes on behalf of Fresh Start Ministries can't be easily labeled. Then again, neither can those who serve as the face of the organization, or those who rely on its services.

To be sure volunteers in ... »

Lawmakers are wrong to rely on bubble

Raise your hand if you've been blocked on social media by an elected official.

If my feed is any indication, quite a few Iowa hands just flew into the air.

#x201c;My friend, so I thought, Rep. (Name Removed), deleted me as a friend on Face ... »

Last-minute public schedules benefit no one

Are we witnessing the final throes of the #x201c;full Grassley#x201d; era?

Some readers may remember the Congressional recess in the summer of 2009. As a reporter, I covered then Congressman Bruce Braley's town hall forums, which were overrun wit ... »

GOP bills give ‘Big Gov’ a hug

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice John Forrest Dillon is looking down - perhaps from atop the pillar of his namesake fountain in Davenport - reading proposals by the Republican-controlled Le ... »

In turbulent times, Des Moines’ Roosevelt gets it right again

Fairness isn't owned by any political party, which sometimes trips up adults who aim to keep their political footing firmly on the side of justice. Those who often find themselves straddling divergent political views could learn a lot from Roosevelt Hig ... »

Extreme measures rarely last

In politics, there's at least one thing you can always count on: Power exists on a pendulum. Public sentiment is always shifting.

For years this inconvenient fact kept most politicians, and especially the dominant political parties, tilting towar ... »

Vaccine bill risks health for freedom

A bill working its way through the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature casts public safety concerns aside, and relies on #x201c;freedom#x201d; as justification for putting children's health at risk.

On Thursday, a three-member House subcommit ... »

Little, if any, local impact from Trump immigration orders

Immigration reforms as outlined in two of President Donald Trump's executive orders don't change much for American cities and counties - yet.

I took a deep dive into two executive orders signed this week. The first, ... »