Kate Payne

Reporter

Kate Payne is an Iowa City-based reporter and a co-host of Iowa Public Radio's podcast Caucus Land. Kate has won Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her feature reporting and her sound editing. Her political reporting has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and The NPR Politics Podcast. She's been a guest on MSNBC, CBS, KQED, WGBH, WYPR and New Hampshire Public Radio.

She is a proud North Florida native and a dyed-in-the-wool hand talker.

Send tips, recipes and road trip ideas to kpayne@iowapublicradio.org.

Kate's favorite public radio program is Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he defined marriage as “between a man and a woman." A decade later, that position would be almost unimaginable in this cycle’s Democratic presidential race. On the sixteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about how the candidates are approaching LGBTQ policy. Plus, we’ll wade into the debate over whether Iowa is diverse enough to be first in the nation.


Reid Rosenberg / Flickr

The Iowa Democratic Party released a list of 99 satellite caucus locations Wednesday, paving the way for Iowans to participate in the state’s first in the nation caucuses in such faraway locations as Scotland and France. The expansion of sites inside and outside of Iowa is an unprecedented move as the state party works to make its notoriously complicated process more accessible.

John Pemble/ IPR file

Entrepreneur and presidential candidate Andrew Yang is touting his status as the only person of color to qualify for the upcoming Democratic debate. Seven leading candidates will take to the stage in Los Angeles this Thursday for the sixth televised debate

John Pemble / IPR file

Iowans will likely have to wait until the New Year for the U.S. Senate to sign off on the new NAFTA trade deal, due to the timeline of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Kate Payne / IPR

Longtime Democratic Congressman Dave Loesbsack says he believes President Donald Trump has committed serious abuses of power. Still, the seven term Representative and retired political science professor says he’ll wait to see the articles of impeachment before deciding how he would vote.

Kate Payne/IPR

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is leaning on his foreign policy experience in his pitch to likely Iowa caucusgoers. This week he won the endorsement of former Secretary of State John Kerry, who joined him in Iowa to magnify that message.

Thomas Hawk via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/14471621099/

The prospect of an all-white Democratic presidential debate later this month is concerning for some candidates and party activists. Following California Sen. Kamala Harris’ exit from the race, still other critics have larger issues with the overall nomination process.

One of the surest ways to fire up Iowa Democrats at a campaign event? Bring up U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. On the fifteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll hear how that outrage over K-12 policy is spilling over into presidential candidates’ plans. Plus, a conversation with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.


Courtsey of Lindsey Ellickson

California Sen. Kamala Harris’ exit from the presidential contest Tuesday is a loss for some Iowa Democrats who hope to see more diversity in the field. And for some, her departure from the race is also renewing larger debates about the nomination process.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been doing relatively well in Iowa polls and has been talking about her Medicare for All proposal. She says she would phase it in during her first three years as president. Sen. Warren talks about insulating her healthcare plan from partisan whims of Congress, and the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, with IPR Caucus Land co-hosts Clay Masters and Kate Payne in early December.

Clay Masters/IPR

Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is continuing to defend her phased-in Medicare For All plan on the campaign trail. After surging to the front of the crowded presidential field earlier this fall, Warren has been slipping in national and early state polls in recent weeks, as she’s faced increased scrutiny for her healthcare plan and her status as a frontrunner.

Glen Scott / Flickr

Consumers may encounter higher prices for clothes and home goods this holiday shopping season, as the trade dispute with China is expected to increase costs and slow economic growth in the Midwest.

Laura / Flickr

This Thanksgiving holiday comes in the midst of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Iowans may find themselves spending time with friends and family with very different political views, but there are some ways to keep conversations civil.

Kate Payne/IPR file

Environmental advocates are calling attention to the state of the Upper Mississippi River levee system, which was under pressure this past spring as communities saw record flooding.

President Trump built his 2016 campaign on stoking fears around immigration. Leading up to 2020, Democrats are running against his policies. On the fourteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll hear more about their immigration proposals. Plus, a look at a candidate who’s been campaigning in Iowa longer than anyone else this cycle.


Kate Payne/IPR

Seven Iowa cities are more welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people than the national average, according to a recent analysis by the Human Rights Campaign. The organization rated 506 cities across the country and nine cities in Iowa for its annual municipal equality index.

Kate Payne/IPR

Likely Democratic caucusgoers say climate change is increasingly among their top issues. In response, presidential candidates are rolling out ambitious policy goals to drastically cut emissions and retool the economy. But there are real questions about if the country can transition as quickly as Democrats are proposing.

Kate Payne/IPR

Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Deval Patrick says he will be competing in the Iowa caucuses. His late entrance to the race puts him at a distinct disadvantage in the state, where many of his competitors have been building grassroots organizations for months, and some of them for years.

The scientific community says the world must zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In response, Democratic presidential candidates are rolling out aggressive climate plans. On the thirteenth episode of Caucus Land, we'll talk about what it would take to meet those goals. And later, a conversation with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.


Kate Payne / IPR

New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rallied voters in Iowa this weekend with Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, hoping to win over supporters for their Green New Deal.

RWDSU Local 110

More than 500 workers at Cedar Rapids’ General Mills plant have reached a tentative contract agreement. The deal comes after union members had been warning they might go on strike.

Clay Masters/IPR

This weekend saw one of the largest events on the state’s political calendar: the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration. Thirteen presidential candidates took the stage in Des Moines Friday, but the campaigning didn’t end there: two dozen more events followed as candidates criss-crossed the state.

All the Democratic candidates have plans to tighten gun laws. Mass shootings have put the debate front and center. On the twelfth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about the Democratic proposals with proponents, critics and experts. And later, a conversation with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

John Pemble / IPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders nearly defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Iowa caucuses. He’s running again in a much more crowded field in 2020. Sen. Sanders talks about his health, his Medicare For All healthcare plan and climate change with IPR Caucus Land co-hosts Clay Masters and Kate Payne before his first event back on the Iowa trail since his heart attack in early October.

Douglas Palmer/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

This story contains language that may be offensive.

A powerful businessman in an eastern Iowa community called on three female councilmembers to resign in an expletive-filled rant. But the officials are holding on to their posts. 

John Pemble/IPR file

Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says he would direct his Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies for corruption stemming from their role in exacerbating climate change. 

Running a presidential campaign isn’t cheap and one of the first places candidates spend their money is Iowa. On the eleventh episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about recent fundraising numbers and what they tell us about the state of the race. Plus, a conversation with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.


John Pemble / IPR

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and regularly stresses the importance of working in a bipartisan fashion. Sen. Klobuchar talks about the importance of working across party lines and her background as a prosecutor with IPR Caucus Land co-hosts Clay Masters and Kate Payne on her campaign bus in Davenport.

Clay Masters / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says in the coming weeks she will start unveiling her plan for paying for Medicare for All. Critics have said she has been avoiding saying whether or not her healthcare plan would raise taxes on the middle class. 

Healthcare commonly polls as one of voters' top issues and political candidates have been running campaigns on it for years. This cycle, Democrats are having a very different conversation about how to fundamentally transform the way Americans get care. On the tenth episode of Caucus Land we talk about where candidates stand on healthcare and what their plans could mean for patients and providers.


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