Good morning folks –

Between a front-page story about Bruce Braley threatening legal action against his neighbor over chickens, Governor Branstad blasting the Democrat nominee and a liberal outside group offering free fair tickets, parking and food in exchange for attempting to create problems while Joni Ernst delivered a speech honoring the service and sacrifice of Iowa’s veterans at the State Fair, it was another bad week for Washington liberal Bruce Braley.

The Weekly Hawkeye Roundup …

The front page of the Washington Post reports that Bruce Braley threatened to sue his neighbor because one of her chickens stepped onto his vacation home property. This spring, Pauline Hampton’s chickens roamed onto Bruce and Carolyn Braley’s vacation property on tranquil Holiday Lake. Hampton said she did not know this until she walked over one day to offer Carolyn a dozen fresh eggs. To which she said her neighbor replied, “We aren’t going to accept your eggs — and we have filed a formal complaint against you.”  Carolyn [Braley] took her complaint to their neighborhood homeowners’ association board meeting in May. Her husband, Bruce [Braley], then called the association’s lawyer, Thomas Lacina, to say he that believed “chickens are not pets and should not be permitted at Holiday Lake,” and that he wanted to “avoid a litigious situation,” according to an e-mail Lacina wrote.

Governor Terry Branstad blasted Bruce Braley for being arrogant and entitled.  As the Washington Post reports:  Gov. Terry Branstad (R), who backs Ernst, said he believes this one will be about Braley’s character.  “He’s arrogant and he feels entitled,” Branstad said in an interview. “Iowans like just the opposite. They like somebody that’s humble, that’s hard-working, that’s a good listener.”

Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer was sternly rebuked for his misleading ad, asPolitiFact rated his baseless attack ad against Iowa’s Joni Ernst as false.  An ad by NextGen Climate Action Committee said Ernst signed a pledge that “protects tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”  Ernst signed the Taxpayer Protection pledge, a promise promoted by Americans for Tax Reform, which is a broad vow to oppose all tax increases. It does not specify protecting tax loopholes for companies that have employees overseas. In one instance, Americans for Tax Reform urged signers to vote against a bill that closed one of these loopholes, but the decision was more about stopping a tax increase than protecting outsourcing, and Ernst had yet to sign the pledge then, anyway.  We rate this claim False.

Steyer then put up another ad attacking Iowa’s Joni Ernst and KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids said that ad too was false.  Conclusion:  NextGen is entirely misleading in its use of the word “would” in claiming Ernst would eliminate support for Iowa renewables. … Ernst has also taken several steps to protect the RFS, including supporting resolutions and writing to the EPA.  Her efforts run contrary to NextGen claims, which are misleading and taken out of context.  We rate NextGen’s claim as false. 

With Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey at her side, Joni Ernst reminded Iowans that she has and always will support the renewable fuel standard.  As the Des Moines Register reportsRepublican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst defended her support for the renewable fuels standard, a federal requirement that helps ensure a minimum amount of ethanol is blended into the U.S. fuel supply, during a press conference at the Iowa State Fair. Ernst was flanked by Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey.

The Des Moines Register reports that Joni Ernst praised our veterans during her speech at the State Fair.  Ernst, a Republican state senator, devoted her entire remarks to a celebration of the U.S. military … She told two stories about her personal experiences as a member of the military – including one about her privilege in knowing Spc. James C. Kearney III, an Emerson man who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2004. Kearney’s father was at the fair with Ernst on Friday.

Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson reports that Joni Ernst blasted the VA for failing our veterans.  “I am going to take my time on this Soapbox to talk about something that I feel is very, very important … those brave men and women who serve in our armed forces,” Ernst said. … “I am appalled at the heartbreaking way our Veterans Affairs Administration is being run today,” Ernst said. “Our servicemen and women have fought so very hard for us. We must stand up for them and we must stand up for their families,” Ernst said.

Michael Winke from Waukee penned a letter to the Des Moines Register telling them of an elaborate plan by an outside group to pay for fair tickets, food and parking in exchange for protesting Joni Ernst’s speech at the State Fair.  The anti-gun special interest group Mothers Demand Action is also making calls about seeing Joni Ernst on Aug. 8. They are offering to pay for parking, admission, food and giving you a free T-shirt to protest Joni Ernst.  Yet the Democrats have the audacity to run attack ads about Joni Ernst’s money from special interests groups. There will be two groups there to see Joni Ernst speak. Only one has been paid to be there.

The Tweets That Drove The Week …

@JoniErnst:  Watching the Columbia Sheep Show w/ the Sowers Sisters from Parkersburg and our State Fair contest winners! #IASEN

@TeamJoni:  Senator Grassley and Joni talk to FFA exhibitors at the fair! #iasen

@DToddHarris:  Branstad on Braley: “He’s arrogant and he feels entitled, Iowans like just the opposite.” #iasen

@DDKochel[email protected] grilling at the pork tent following an emotional and wonderful tribute to service at the soapbox #iasen

@DCGretchen:  Joni Ernst campaign calls on TV stations to pull down false environmentalist billionaire’s TV ad. … #iasen

@IAmKohan:  Wonder who @joniErnst voted for at “cast your kernel”… #IASEN

@BrookH:   Chicken Suit: A Campaign in Shambles #iasen #IOWA

@KObradovich[email protected] has biggest crowd so far today at #DMRSoapbox

@Alexis_Levinson:  Between Ernst and Grassley, they can’t make it more than 10 feet without someone stopping to shake hands/hug/take a photo #iasen

@Emilyrs[email protected] and @ChuckGrassley walk around the Iowa state fair

@IowaGOP:  Check out  to find out more about @BruceBraley’s war on chickens. #iagop