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.





Is it OK to coddle, or not?

Few things are as frustrating as legislative hypocrisy.

Remember a few months ago, just after the presidential election, when Iowa Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, floated the possibility of a bill to strip funding from state universities that offe ... »

Cedar Rapids women discuss why they’ll march

Calling these three Cedar Rapids women who will be part of the Women's March on Washington #x201c;precious snowflakes#x201d; is a waste of time.

The #x201c;snowflake#x201d; moniker, derived from the 1996 novel #x201c;Fight Club#x201d; and typical ... »

Just about abortion? Not hardly

Has contraception use or pictures of babies on social media contributed more to Iowa's declining abortion rate?

Jennifer Bowen, executive director of Iowa Right to Life, thinks it's baby pictures.

When the Iowa Department of Public Health ... »

‘Sanctuary’ label or not, Iowa City right to listen to its own

Members of the Iowa City Council deserve praise for weathering a barrage of politically-motivated ugly comments and threats from people in surrounding areas as they explore policy questions raised by local residents.

Shortly after Mayor Jim Throg ... »

State funding too tight for unnecessary Voter ID

Secretary of State Paul Pate says a slate of expensive proposals will clinch the future integrity of Iowa elections. Now he needs to prove it.

As ... »

Offerings to the New Year pyre, 2016

Next week, six months, a year or five years from now, will it matter?

When I took my first journalism job and had difficulty deciding what to write about or lead with, my mother asked me that question. Even bedridden with bone cancer, she had a w ... »

In 2016, rural areas roared

While it's possible to look back on 2016 as a single year, doing so doesn't provide clarity. The past year was a culmination of a decades-long and ever widening urban-rural chasm.

To hear the national media tell it, the big news was the presidenti ... »

Under the watchful eye of the ‘misfits’

Replicas of the residents of the mythical Island of the Misfit Toys have graced a windowsill my home office for more than a decade. This year I feel especially aware of what they represent.

I discovered the tiny statues shortly after moving to Iow ... »

Wishing for less fear, more words

Before your turkey leftovers can be turned into sandwiches and soup, the war of words begins.

The cashier that wishes you a hearty #x201c;Happy holidays!#x201d; is a front-line soldier, as much in need of a fox hole as the bell ringer shouting #x ... »

Chuck Grassley sets stage for AG Sessions

As the nation prepares for its next transition of power, it appears everything old and discredited is new again.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is ... »