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U.S. Senate candidate Franken addresses assault allegations, abortion rights and inflation weeks before election

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

The 2022 Midterm Election is less than a month away, and retired Navy Admiral Democrat Mike Franken is opposing seven-time incumbent Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. Allegations recently surfaced that Franken kissed a former staffer without her consent, adding more challenges to an already uphill campaign.

Franken speaks with River to River host Ben Kieffer about the allegations, as well as his stances on abortion, the conflict in Ukraine and immigration.

Grassley, spoke with Kieffer onRiver to Riverlast month.

Later, as the Supreme Court of the United States begins its new term, we listen back to an archive episode with presidential historian Tim Walch looking back at other historic firsts for the U.S. Supreme Court and its evolution in recent decades from a court made up exclusively of white males.

Part of this episode was originally produced Feb. 9, 2022.


  • Mike Franken, retired admiral, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate
  • Tim Walch, presidential historian
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.