The Weekly Roundup

Good afternoon –

Between voting against a pay raise for our troops, soliciting veterans on Craigslist for their support and failing to capture the endorsement from the Iowa Farm Bureau, it was another tough week for Washington liberal Bruce Braley.

The News The Drove The Week …

WHO-TV reports on Bruce Braley’s flailing campaign: U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley, a Brooklyn Democrat, has faced criticism for talking down to farmers, skipping veterans hearings in Congress and failing to find an “Iowa nice” way of settling a dispute with a neighbor over roaming chickens. 

Braley’s troubles continued, as his ad on Monday forced him to explain why he voted against giving our troops a pay raise in 2012. As the Des Moines Register reports: The Republican Party of Iowa responded to the new ad on Monday by noting Braley absence from several Veterans Affairs Committee hearings during his service on that committee in 2012 and a 2012 vote he took against a defense appropriations bill that included a pay raise for service members.

Politico Pro reports that Braley was the only Congressman from Iowa who voted against giving our troops a pay increase. The Iowa GOP pointed to Braley’s 2012 vote against a bill that would have given the troops a pay raise. It was backed by fellow Democrat Dave Loebsack.

After skipping 75 percent of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings, Democrats in Iowa are turning to Craigslist to find veterans who support Braley. As the Washington Free Beacon reports:  Allies of Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) are now turning to Craigslist to enlist the support of veterans amid a torrent of criticism from Republicans over the Senate candidate’s record on the military.

While the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) released an ad linking Joni Ernst to Sarah Palin, Time reports their attack is false.  The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee went up with a television ad on Monday entitled, “Joni Ernst & Sarah Palin¹s Tea Party Agenda Is Too Extreme For Iowa.” … To compare Ernst to Palin these days isn’t fair either.

The Washington Post reports that the Democrats’ Palin attack won’t work. Democrats have tried to turn Ernst into “Iowa’s Sarah Palin,” highlighting her conservative views on abortion and contraception, and emphasizing the fact that she campaigned with Palin. It might be a convenient comparison for Democrats to make, but with Braley’s stumbles and Ernst’s fairly sure footed campaigning and compelling biography, Democrats will likely have to come up with a better argument.
Daily Beast reports that Bruce Braley supported disgraced trial lawyer John Edwards for President.  In retrospect, it might have been a better political decision for a Democratic elected official to endorse almost anyone for president rather than John Edwards in 2008. The politically toxic legacy of the ex-senator has the potential to be used against a number of candidates this year and it already is being brought up against Congressman Bruce Braley, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Iowa.  A parody video made by Republican PAC America Rising attacking Braley has been circulating across the Internet on Thursday.

The Washington Post reports that Bruce Braley’s biggest ally Tom Steyer is a fierce opponent of ethanol.  Steyer, the man who is funding the ads. In an interview with Fortune in 2010, Steyer dismissed the use of ethanol in the national fuel mix. … “It’s just completely different. I saw in the paper the other day that Al Gore was saying that maybe he shouldn’t have been for ethanol. It’s kind of like, duh! Did you ever take out your calculator on that one?”

Commentary Magazine reports that Washington liberal Bruce Braley is an awful candidate.  The bad candidates include those like Iowa’s Bruce Braley and Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes, the latter a good candidate on paper but an almost shockingly terrible public speaker. 

The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Farm Bureau endorsed Joni Ernst. GOP U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst and Gov. Terry Branstad were both endorsed late Tuesday by the Iowa Farm Bureau. … Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Political Action Committee chairman Lance Bell, a farmer from Decatur County, issued a single statement in support of Branstad, Ernst and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

The Des Moines Register reports that Joni Ernst secured the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business.  Ernst also received formal backing from the National Federation of Independent Business. … “Joni has lived a life of service and in the Legislature she’s been one of the most dependable supporters of small business,” NFIB Iowa State Director Kristin Failor said in a statement. “Iowa small businesses badly need an advocate in Washington and our members are very excited by her candidacy.”  

Despite being outspent by Bruce Braley and his liberal allies, the Washington Postreports that Ernst is narrowly leading. The statistical model sees the GOP as favored. Joni Ernst’s surge in the polls is thus another case of the polls moving toward the underlying fundamentals … because our model and polling average favor Ernst, the forecast tilts toward the Republicans.

The Washington Post reports that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) released a positive web video on Joni Ernst. 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.

Tweets That Drove The Week …

@JoniErnstProud to have ‪@IowaFarmBureau‘s endorsement! I will continue to fight for Iowa agriculture in the US Senate. #IASEN

@DavidPolyanski:  .@joniernst is the choice of @IowaFarmBureau for ‪#iasen. Huge!‪ …

@DToddHarris:  Watch @joniernst take ALS #IceBucketChallenge ‪ … ‪#iasen

@DDKochel:  Important to note that @IowaFarmBureau endorsement of @joniernst is result of a 99 county process. Real power to this endorsement. #iasen

@DCGretchen: Farm Bureau endorses Joni ‘strong support for trade,risk mgmt programs,favorable tax policies&renewable fuels’ #IASEN  …

@IAmKohan:  Bruce Braley and John Edwards: Peas in a pod. #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.  Additionally, during the 112th Congress, Braley skipped 75 percent of the full Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings.