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U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst hugs a constituent at an event in Jefferson in 2015. Ernst said she is hitting the pause button on hugging in the current climate in which allegations of unwanted and inappropriate touching regularly arise with public figures. Ernst said she doesn’t want a warm, friendly embrace to be misinterpreted, meaning handshakes and simple “hellos” are safer for someone with a national profile and reputation to protect.
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst hugs a constituent at an event in Jefferson in 2015. Ernst said she is hitting the pause button on hugging in the current climate in which allegations of unwanted and inappropriate touching regularly arise with public figures. Ernst said she doesn’t want a warm, friendly embrace to be misinterpreted, meaning handshakes and simple “hellos” are safer for someone with a national profile and reputation to protect.

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an old-school rural populist with a folksy approach to retail politics, says she’s suspended the practice of giving hugs — gestures that have been primary features of her small-town way of greeting constituents and others in professional settings — for fear the embraces will be misinterpreted in the #MeToo era, the modern climate of evolving protocol on personal interaction.

  • Carroll County leaders hit halls of Congress, the White House grounds

    Carroll County economic-development leaders took their case for a raft of initiatives from expanding natural gas service in Manning to digital job opportunities in the county to improvements at the Carroll Recreation Center to the halls of Congress and the White House last week.

  • Republican King challenger to hold Carroll event

    Carroll-area student Dausin Olberding will host Bret Richards, Primary candidate for United States Congress and challenger to incumbent Steve King, in Carroll next month.

  • Bullock makes case for 2020

    Oh, the things you overhear at the coffee shop.

  • In Jefferson, governor spotlights DMACC tech scholarships

    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds heralded a growing collaboration of Silicon Valley, major American corporations and local development leaders aimed at using a rural tech-jobs hub in Jefferson as a model for the nation during an event in Jefferson June 5.

  • Ro Khanna’s aim for America: Extend to mend

    U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, the California Democrat who represents Silicon Valley, says extending digital job growth from wealthy technology enclaves on the coasts to challenged rural regions is the way to bridge a seam-ripping rural-urban divide and restore desperately needed harmony in the nation.

  • Republicans rebuke Mauro’s ‘offensive’ comments on Ernst’s military service

    Republicans forcefully pushed back Monday night on just-announced Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Eddie Mauro’s contention that Iowans deserve a “different kind of courage” than Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, showed in the military — a hierarchical environment Mauro suggests restricts independent thinking and forces veterans to “fall in line,” an experience he says Ernst can’t shake in her current role.

  • ‘Two homosexuals and a Jew’

    Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, defended himself Saturday against claims of racism and bigotry with a story that ended with him sitting at a table with two gay men and a Jewish man.

  • Booker says he can replicate Newark rebound in rural America

    Developers who point to a modern skyline and business growth in Newark, New Jersey, say Cory Booker played a pivotal role in turning that city from a forlorn punch line — a dismissed patch of the nation — into a rebounding or even robust city.

  • Gillibrand’s America: red, purple and blue

    Carroll County Democratic Party Chairman Peter Leo quickly made one thing clear about the White House candidate he introduced in Carroll Friday afternoon.

  • Booker: ‘This is a moral moment’

    Sen. Cory Booker blended personal reflection and Bible references in a call-to-arms speech in Carroll in which the Democratic presidential aspirant called for a national healing built on the sorts of values he believes most Americans share.

  • 1 week, 3 U.S. senators in Carroll

    Two Democratic presidential candidates and Iowa’s senior U.S. senator have planned public forums in Carroll next week.

  • ‘Approachable’ Beto makes Carroll pitch

    Onica Ulveling of Carroll stumped a stumping White House aspirant. If but for a moment.

  • Jefferson revival emerges as topic at presidential candidate forum

    Pulitzer Prize-winning Iowa journalist Art Cullen used the developing Pillar Technology software company in Jefferson — and its ties to Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna — as an example of what can bridge the rural-urban divide in a line of questioning at a high-profile presidential candidate forum in Storm Lake Saturday afternoon.

  • Beam him to the White House

    One of the more idea-rich presidential candidates of the modern era plans to marry science fiction with prairie populism in an innovative campaign strategy that will allow him to stretch the boundaries of time and place to go where no West Wing aspirant has gone before.

  • Audubon pastor announces for State Senate seat

    An Audubon pastor who was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa and is running on a strong anti-abortion and pro-gun- rights platform has announced his campaign as a Republican for Iowa Senate District 6.

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