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Presidential Hopefuls Court Native American Forum, Union Leaders

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye
Indian Country Today
Senator Kamala Harris video-called into the Native American Forum in Sioux City.

Fifteen presidential candidates expressed their support for organized labor at a union leader conference this past week in Altoona. Iowa Public Radio state government reporter Katrina Sostaric says the Democratic presidential hopefuls are trying to regain ground with union member voters after Hillary Clinton won union households in 2016 by the smallest margin in the past three decades.

Sostaric says many of the candidates started out by describing their personal connections to unions before declaring a current attack on labor and workers.  

"Some of the people like [former] Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Warren, Sen. Sanders, they were all like we have a history of being on the picket lines, we have a history of voting for labor - look at my record," Sostaric says. "Some of the newer candidates saying things like how if we don't bolster unions and therefore the middle class, we're going to lose the American dream."

On this "news buzz" edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer and a range of guests dive into the latest news across Iowa this week. Nine presidential candidates attended a forum in Sioux City organized by activists to discuss issues facing Native American populations. A report from the Iowa City Press Citizen shows that contracts with U.S. border enforcement are stimulating Iowa's economy.  A man was ejected for life from the Iowa State Fair for accusing a pig owner of animal cruelty. Lost Island Waterpark in Waterloo is breaking ground on a $100 millon expansion, which will likely open in spring 2022.

Guests include:

  • Katarina Sostaric, IPR state government reporter
  • Zachary Oren Smith, reporter for the Iowa City Press Citizen
  • Lee Rood, a reader watchdog columnist for the Des Moines Register
  • Mark Trahant, the editor of Indian Country Today 
  • Eric Bertch, the general manager of Lost Island 
  • Studio One Host Tony Dehner