29 EpisodesProduced by Kevin Cooney & Dennis Goldford

“Wonks” - The people who work behind the scenes of the campaigns- gather with reporters and other insiders for a good-natured (and usually humorous) look at candidates, campaigns and each other. WONKS! is recorded in front of a live audience and with journalists thrown into the mix it’s always fille… read more

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WONKS! Episode 9 - Politics at the Fair!

August 13th, 2018


Iowa is known for its first-in-the-nation caucuses, but only WONKS! has the infamous war stories of the political wannabes as they out-huckster the …

WONKS! Exclusive - Michael Avenatti tests the presidential waters in Iowa!

August 9th, 2018


He’s best known for being Stormy Daniels’ attorney, but Michael Avenatti is at the Iowa State Fair, doing what candidates do, hanging with local …

WONKS! Episode 8 - Sports & The Media ...and a Little Politics - Part 2

July 8th, 2018


WONKS! drills deeper into the issue of "Sports & the Media" as we hear about college athletics from the business side. When did athletic …

WONKS! Episode 8 - Sports & The Media ...and a Little Politics - Part 1

June 29th, 2018


The chemistry & conflict of sports goes beyond the teams and events. It's in the media coverage. It's in the administration by owners, coaches and boards. It's even among the athletes themselves. In this WONKS!, the …

Wee WONKS! - Bonnie Campbell on the Future of Women in Iowa Politics

June 21st, 2018


Our May WONKS! looked at "Women & Politics" and we focused on the experiences of our panelists. In this Wee WONKS!, Bonnie Campbell may surprise …

Wee WONKS! - Female Groundbreakers: Journalist O. Kay Henderson and Pollster Ann Selzer

June 14th, 2018


WONKS! Questioners Ann Selzer and Kay Henderson - both successful in their fields - talk of their experience with gender prejudice and whether they …

Wee WONKS! - Mary Kramer's Musical Interpretation of the Iowa Legislature

June 8th, 2018


Mary Kramer was invited to be one of the panelists for the WONKS! "Women & Politics" show in May. You may know we record our podcasts at the Noce …

WONKS! Episode 7 - The Democrats Debate

May 31st, 2018


Five Democrats running for Governor have their say in the final debate before the Iowa Primary. WONKS! Regulars Matt Paul, Matt Strawn and Ann Selzer …

WONKS! Episode 6 - Women & Politics

May 24th, 2018


A former president of the Iowa Senate and former Iowa Attorney General join two experienced political campaign experts to assess the past, present, …

"Pre WONKS!" - Women & Politics

May 14th, 2018


Previewing our Women & Politics WONKS!, some thoughts on women and how they are treated differently in the political world. With Ambassador Mary …

Wee Wonks - Millennials: Is Anyone Listening to Us?

May 7th, 2018


If Millennials are soon to be the “biggest generation,” you would think they’d have some big-time political clout... right? Well, a questioner at …

Wee Wonks - Eric Branstad

April 30th, 2018


We heard a lot about Millennials and their impact in the 2016 election. Mostly the focus has been on the Sanders and Clinton campaigns. But the director of Donald Trump’s Iowa campaigns in the caucuses and general …

Wee Wonks - Do Millennials Lean Left?

April 22nd, 2018


At a recent WONKS! looking at Millennials, a questioner raised the issue of whether the demographic leaned left and that fewer Millennials were …

Wee Wonks - Judy Downs: An Elected Millennial

April 13th, 2018


They're literally the biggest thing since the Baby Boom. Millennials will soon overtake Boomers in numbers on the demographic charts, but is it fair …

WONKS! Episode 5 - Millennials & Politics

April 6th, 2018


They’ll soon outnumber Baby Boomers as the biggest generation. But who are they and how do they feel about issues? Former Branstad & Reynolds …

Wee Wonks - Pollster Ann Selzer: I think, therefore I Ann!

February 22nd, 2018


Ann Selzer knows the best questions to ask and — perhaps more importantly — the best people to ask! But there’s a ton of science that goes into …

WONKS! Episode 4 - The Iowa Caucuses

February 16th, 2018


The Iowa Caucuses attract worldwide attention as America’s first indicator of presidential preference. But these neighborhood meetings are not without controversy, history and humor. In this edition of WONKS! party and …

Wee Wonks - Erin Murphy: 21st Century Journalist

February 8th, 2018


Erin Murphy heads up the Des Moines bureau for Lee Enterprises, reporting for several newspapers across Iowa. His career started in the new …

Wee Wonks - Dave Busiek: TV News in the Digital Age

February 1st, 2018


Live vans and satellite trucks pale in comparison to the changes brought by the internet. Dave Busiek talks with Kevin Cooney about TV news in the digital age.

Wee Wonks - Michael Gartner on Politicians: "They're fun to be with."

January 25th, 2018


They're interesting and tell good stories. Michael Gartner has been listening to - and hearing from - politicians for decades. In our Wee Wonks with …

WONKS! Episode 3 - Politics & the Press

January 19th, 2018


What’s the role of the news media when it comes to covering politics? Is that role different in the eyes of the politicians? Should print reporters …

Wee Wonks: Money & Politics - Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich

January 11th, 2018


Here’s a chance to get inside the mind of the most powerful political columnist in the state. Kathie Obradovich talks about a career that didn’t …

Wee Wonks: Money & Politics - The Reluctant Leader: Sue Dvorsky

January 4th, 2018


Sue Dvorsky spent most of her adult life as a teacher and heading up the Iowa Democratic Party was not in her plans. Yet, here she was - put in …

Wee Wonks: Money & Politics - Panelist Dave Kochel Profile

December 28th, 2017


Dave Kochel has been a republican strategist for decades, helping GOP candidates from Branstad to Bush - Jeb Bush. He’s fought plenty of battles but none like the one he faced in the midst of the Iowa Caucus campaign in …

Wee Wonks: Money & Politics - Big Money! Really BIG!

December 21st, 2017


We've heard there's big money in politics. Here's a brief tale about some really big money being passed around. Republican Dave Kochel and Democrat …

Wee Wonks: Money & Politics - What About the Lobbyists?

December 15th, 2017


At our most recent WONKS! where the topic was Money & Politics, a local lobbyist talks of expectations that they (the lobbyists) donate to …

WONKS! Episode 2 - Money & Politics

December 8th, 2017


Former party chiefs and campaign managers who spearheaded efforts for Barack Obama, Jeb Bush, Al Gore, Mitt Romney and more talk money! Who has it, who spends it and how they get it! As usual, Republicans, Democrats and …

WONKS! Episode 1 - Tales From the Trail

November 10th, 2017


In our first live episode, Democrat and Republican campaign and party executives sit down (together!) with journalists to tell humorous and revealing …

WONKS! Preview Episode

November 3rd, 2017


In this “sample” episode, the theme is food and drink on the road. Dennis Goldford and Kevin Cooney talk to Matt Paul, Iowa State Director for the …

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