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Aug 19 2014

New Joni Ernst Biographical Video: “Duty, Honor, and Iowa”


Campaign Group Goes Positive With Video For Joni Ernst
Des Moines Register
Jason Noble
August 19, 2014

Interviews with Ernst herself as well as friends and family, including Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, are played over family photos of the candidate and soothing background music.

The video tracks her early life in southwest Iowa, her ROTC experience at Iowa State University, her active-duty service during the Iraq War and political ascension from county government to the state Senate.

Click Here To Read The Entire Story

New Web Ad Focuses On Joni Ernst’s Iowa Roots
The Washington Post
Nia-Malika Henderson
August 19, 2014

The National Republican Senate Committee is out with a brand new Web video all about Joni Ernst, who is running for an open seat in a very competitive race in Iowa.  As we’ve written before, Ernst has had some of the most buzzworthy and creative ads of the cycle.

She’s talked about castrating hogs as a girl in one ad and she is riding a Harley in another ad. Ernst is currently a lieutenant in the Iowa Army National Guard, and is one of the GOP’s best chances of picking up a Senate seat.

Click Here To Read The Entire Story


Bruce Braley has been in Washington for 8 years and was recently in Texas for a political fundraiser where he belittled Senator Chuck Grassley for being just a farmer, with no law degree.  Additionally, during the 112th Congress, Braley skipped 75 percent of the full Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings.  

Aug 18 2014

Jack Hatch: Hatch hiding from Iowa voters on taxes, business deals

DES MOINES—Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann blasted liberal state Sen. Jack Hatch for his hypocrisy, utter disregard of facts and talking down to Iowans after the flailing Democrat gubernatorial nominee defended hiding his tax returns from Iowa voters at a press conference today.

“Jack Hatch must have something extremely damaging in his tax returns since he continues to keep Iowans in the dark on his business dealings,” said Kaufmann, a century farmer from Wilton and a former statehouse leader. “First, his campaign said they would release additional tax returns, only to backtrack on that promise a mere three hours later. Then they floated a weak excuse that Gov. Terry Branstad did not release more than one year of tax returns when he first ran for governor. This is simply false. Then Lt. Gov. Branstad released three years of returns prior to his initial run for governor.

“Why is Jack Hatch misleading Iowans and keeping his tax returns secret?” Kaufmann said. “Iowans deserve to know if Hatch, a longtime state Sen. from Des Moines, voted to line his pockets with taxpayer dollars.”

At a today’s press conference, Hatch said he’s avoiding disclosure because he wants to avoid attacks (also known as scrutiny of his record): “Why give a robber the combination to another safe?” he said, according to Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich.

“Apparently, Jack Hatch thinks Iowa journalists and voters are ‘robbers’ underserving of the truth about his business dealings,” said RPI co-chairman Cody Hoefert, a chiropractor from Rock Rapids. “Why does Jack Hatch know he will be attacked? Is he admitting guilt about his business practices?”

Hatch claims he is following Iowa tradition by only releasing one year of tax returns. That’s blatantly false.

“It’s an Iowa tradition to follow through on your promises,” Hoefert said. “When you say you are going to release additional years of returns and backpedal three hours later, that’s not following tradition—it’s disrespecting Iowans’ intelligence.”


The Branstad-Reynolds campaign made a simple request of Jack Hatch months ago: Release your last five years of joint tax returns, just as Gov. Branstad has done. Initially, Hatch’s campaign stated they would release tax returns in a self-proclaimed effort to “run a very open and transparent campaign.”

The public deserves to know about how Jack’s made his money and what his business interests have been over the years,” [Hatch] campaign manager Grant Woodard said. “We’re committed to running a very open and transparent campaign and also the most open and transparent government the state of Iowa has ever seen.” [DMR, 5/9/2014]

In 2013, Hatch reduced his tax liability by $35,000 in federal tax credits. Iowans deserve to know how much money the real estate developer has received from the federal government.

Hatch’s campaign indicated they were “willing” to release more than just one year of tax returns and “did not rule out releasing five years of returns,” according to The Des Moines Register and Sioux City Journal [4/15/2014]. They reversed course less than three hours later.

One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show, the Iowa Democratic Party chair said in 2012. [IDP release, 7/3/2012]

The Hatch campaign claims they are simply following precedent. They are entitled to their own opinions—not their own facts.

In 1982, then Lt. Gov. Branstad released three years of prior tax returns while he ran for governor. As Gov. from 1982-1999, Branstad released his tax returns to the public each and every year. Gov. Branstad released his most recent tax return as he has done the past five years. In total, Gov. Branstad has disclosed 24 years of tax returns to the public—without being required to do so.

Aug 18 2014

Welcome to Iowa, Hillary!

RPI chairman Kaufmann issues statement on Hillary Clinton’s visit to Iowa Sept. 14 for Harkin Steak Fry

“I welcome Hillary Clinton to Iowa after more than six-and-a-half years flying over the Hawkeye State,” said Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann. “In the spirit of bipartisanship, I hope potential presidential candidates from both parties visit Iowa early and often to interact with Iowa voters in a meaningful way.”

The Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton to return to Iowa for Harkin’s steak fry” [8/18/2014]

Aug 18 2014

Braley Voted Against Giving Our Troops A Pay Raise

DES MOINES – While skipping 75 percent of his Veterans’ Affairs hearings, Washington liberal Bruce Braley also voted against giving our troops a pay raise.

Braley was the only Congressman from Iowa, from either party, who voted against the Defense Appropriations bill that funded the troops’ mission in Afghanistan, while giving them a much deserved pay raise.

“During the same time period that he skipped 75 percent of the Veterans’ Affairs hearings, Washington liberal Bruce Braley voted against giving our brave men and women a pay increase,” said Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann. “While Dave Loebsack, Steve King and Tom Latham voted to give our troops a pay increase, Bruce Braley voted against this bipartisan bill and it’s why we can’t depend on him to standup for our active and retired members of the armed forces.  


In 2012, Bruce Braley Voted Against Giving Our Troops A Pay Raise

In July 2012, Braley Voted Against The Defense Appropriations Bill That Funds The Troops In Afghanistan, And Gives Them A Pay Raise. (H.R. 5856, Roll Call Vote #498: Passed 326-90, D 101-79, R 225-11, 7/19/12, King Voted Yea, Latham Voted Yea, Loebsack Voted Yea, Braley Voted Nay)

In 2012, Bruce Braley Skipped 75 Percent Of The VA Hearings

The Des Moines Register Reports That Bruce Braley Skipped 75% Of The Veterans’ Affairs Committee Hearings.  Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley missed 75 percent of meetings for a committee that provides oversight over the Veterans Administration, including one meeting on a day he attended three fundraisers for his 2012 campaign. (Braley under fire for missing VA oversight meetings, Des Moines Register, 07/21/14)

The Washington Examiner Reports That Braley Had The Second Lowest Attendance Record For The Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  This also gives him the second-lowest attendance record for the committee, according to a Washington Examiner analysis of committee minutes.  Only Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., had a worst attendance   (at 16 percent). The average attendance rate for the committee was 60 percent, and just 15 of the 24 members had attendance rates above 50 percent.  (Ashe Schow, Bruce Braley Missed 79 Percent Of Full Veterans’ Affairs Committee Hearings As Scandal Heated Up, The Washington Examiner, 07/22/14)


Bruce Braley has been in Washington for 8 years and was recently in Texas for a political fundraiser where he belittled Senator Chuck Grassley for being just a farmer, with no law degree.  Before leaving for Washington, Braley served as the president of the trial lawyers’ association.

Aug 15 2014

Another Bad Week For Bruce Braley

Between his handlers closely guarding him from folks at the State Fair, video emerging of him berating a female witness over her level of education and saying that the most important place he goes is his exclusive gym for Congressmen, it was another rough week for Washington liberal Bruce Braley.

The News That Drove The Week …

During his lone visit to the State Fair, Braley’s handlers built a wall to separate their boss from Iowans.  As the National Journal reports:  The staffers served as a buffer between Braley and the handful of GOP trackers and hecklers who trailed him—one man dressed as a chicken, another as a pig—but ultimately ended up keeping away regular people as well. It seemed to annoy fairgoers more than endear him to them.  ”Gimme a break,” one man said as he tried to pass by Braley and the group in the Varied Industries Building.

Roll Call reports that Braley moved quickly though the State Fair.  During the fair, Braley moved rapidly, shook few hands, volunteers formed a barrier around him.

Roll Call’s photojournalist Tom Williams captures the moment of Braley’s handlers creating the barrier between him and folks at the fair.  Braley delivered his stump speech on Thursday and then walked the grounds with a motley crew in tow, including: staff, reporters, filmmakers, opposition trackers, hecklers holding signs and random hangers-on. 

The Washington Free Beacon reports that in 2009, Braley went out his way to berate a female witness over her level of education before his colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.  Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) has a long history of making elitist comments in Congress. … Braley’s record of elitism goes back much farther. At a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing in 2009, he questioned the credentials of Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute.  Despite authoring several books and articles as a noted health care expert, Braley repeatedly peppered Pipes with questions about whether she was a “health policy expert,” whether she had an “advanced degree in economics,” and whether she was a “scholar.”

WHO-AM Radio reports that during an interview with a Florida radio station, Braley proudly said that he talks to Iowans “in terms they can understand.”  In a 2011 radio interview in Florida – apparently he still doesn’t have time to keep his promise to come on my show – Congressman Bruce Braley says he overcomes his elitist image by talking to Iowans “in terms they can understand”. Well that should go a long way to getting rid of that whole “elitist” thing!

The Weekly Standard reports that a couple of years ago, Braley went before the Des Moines Register and told them the most important place he visits is his exclusive gym for Congress.  Once considered a leading Democratic recruit, Braley has feverishly been fending off a perception that he’s elitist and out of touch with regular Iowa voters. … In one clip, shot during a 2012 interview with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, Braley says the gym in the House of Representatives is “one of the most important places I go.”

David Kochel reminds Iowans that Braley traded in his work boots for tasseled loafers.  As MSNBC reports:  “He’s out of touch,” David Kochel, an adviser to Ernst, told msnbc. “He may have grown up in a small town but he traded in the work boots for the tasseled loafers as a lawyer.”

The Washington Examiner reports that Braley is a deeply flawed candidate.  Rep. Bruce Braley can’t seem to catch a break in his race to become Iowa’s next U.S. senator. The Democrat’s nearly constant stream of gaffes and embarrassing campaign discoveries provides plenty of material for a roundup of his worst greatest hits.

Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson reports that Joni Ernst released a new commercial highlighting her service to the Iowa Army National Guard.  In late July, the Ernst campaign held an event with her fellow soldiers and other veterans where she talked about the Guard.  “It’s Iowans helping Iowans and we saw that every single day that we were deployed,” Ernst said.  The new Ernst ad stresses that during times of natural disaster, the Guard helps Iowans, regardless of which party they may belong to and she’s been making that case in speeches, too.

The Quad City Times reports that Joni Ernst was in Scott County where she blasted the EPA for their job-killing regulations against Iowa’s farmers.  On a campaign stopTuesday in the Quad-Cities, Iowa Republican Senate hopeful Joni Ernst criticized the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to clarify how waterways will be defined under the Clean Water Act.

Roll Call’s photojournalist Tom Williams reports on his experience at the State Fair with Senator Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.  Ernst was walking around with Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and I was able to get some good shots of Ernst talking with voters.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reports that Joni Ernst is running a terrific campaign.  State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) has run a terrific campaign for the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D) and has been aided by the stumbles of Rep. Bruce Braley (D).

The Tweets That Drove The Week … 

@JoniErnst:  What a great crowd at last night’s @StoryCountyGOP dinner! #IASEN

@JoniForIowa:  .@joniernst stresses “good neighbor” message in Ames speech; “It’s our Iowa Way to help a neighbor in need.” #IASEN

@DavidPolyansky:  RT: @RNC: Out-of-touch elitist @BruceBraley talks down to Iowans “in terms they can understand.”  #IASen

@DToddHarris:  ROLLCALL: Walking the fair with Braley and Ernst is like experiencing night and day….People seem to want to hug her back. #iasen

@DDKochel:  .@brucebraley talked to two DC reporters and… staffers & “rarely stopped to shake hands or meet people” #iasen …

@IAmKohan:  Spoken like a true DC elitist: Braley says most important place he goes is the House Gym. … #IASEN

@BDayspring:  By missing 80% of Veterans Committee Hearings? Hmmmm. MT@TeamBraley: Iowa veterans know Bruce is fighting for them  #IAsen

@Brook_H:  ”Residents were outraged at the way the Braleys handled the situation.” … #iasen


Bruce Braley has been in Washington for 8 years and was recently in Texas for a political fundraiser where he belittled Senator Chuck Grassley for being just a farmer, with no law degree.  Before leaving for Washington, Braley served as the president of the trial lawyers’ association.