RPII: Early voting starts today, Ernst electrifies & ISIS intelligence

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Republican Party of Iowa Intel (RPII) features original content and aggregates news coverage of Iowa politics for GOP activists and other interested parties. Send tips—news from your area, events, etc.—to patch [at] iowagop.org with “[RPII]” in the subject field.
DES MOINES—Today, 40 days before Election Day, marks the start of early voting in IowaRegister to vote or request an absentee ballot by clicking here.
To raise awareness of opportunities for casting an early ballot, the Republican Party of Iowa and our candidates are embarking on a statewide bus tour featuring rallies today in Ankeny, Newton, Iowa City, Muscatine and Davenport as well as events Friday in Clinton, Maquoketa and Anamosa. Get tickets for those events—featuring Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Senate GOP nominee Joni Ernst, and other candidates—by clicking here.
Absentee ballots up nearly 98 percent from 2010. “The number of absentee ballots requested by Iowa voters is nearly double the number sought 43 days before the 2010 election, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz said Monday… numbers released Monday show Republican absentee ballot requests are up nearly 145 percent from 2010 to just over 31,000… That shows Republican Party efforts that include spending about $1 million this election cycle on voter turnout are paying off, party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said.”
[AP, 9/23]
GOP pushes early voting. “Republicans are trying to boost their early-voting efforts after lagging behind Democrats in the past two election cycles, spending unprecedented sums at the state level and launching a national campaign to get GOP voters to cast ballots before Election Day… An immediate focus of Republicans’ campaign is Iowa, where early voting begins [TODAY]. The state party has gone from investing nothing in its 2010 early-voting push to more than $1 million this year, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said.”
[WSJ, 9/18]
Some UNI young Republicans encourage GOP youth movement. “Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann stresses the focus on young people will continue up to the Nov. 4 election and beyond as a ‘permanent staple of our outreach efforts.’ He said he gets input from college students regularly as a teacher of history and government at Muscatine Community College. ‘As a college professor, I understand the concerns and issues facing young Iowans — I hear them from students every day,’ Kaufmann said. ‘The Iowa GOP and our candidates, especially Gov. Terry Branstad, have enthusiastically engaged with college Republican groups at universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges and even with young high school Republicans.'”
[WCF Courier, 9/18]
RNC set to pass Democrats’ tech advantage: The RNC’s Chief Data Officer describes the RNC tech operation and its new voter scores and technology that will help GOP congressional, Senate and gubernatorial races in the midterms.
[WSJ, 9/21]
Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines Tues., Oct. 21 features Michael ReaganGet tickets by clicking here.
RNC: “Braley’s Bumbled Campaign”: Bruce Braley’s campaign stumbles have exposed how out-of-touch he is with Iowans. In Iowa’s Senate race, Bruce Braley is his own worst enemy.
RPII: Ernst, Grassley and Kaufmann electrify Black Hawk County GOP crowd. State Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, kicked off her 99-county tour of Iowa Saturday night at Waterloo’s iconic Electric Park Ballroom with a boost from her soon-to-be colleague, Sen. Chuck Grassley… Ernst also brought up Braley’s hypocrisy on agricultural issues. ‘The entire Iowa delegation supported [a bill to reign in EPA regulation that would impact Iowa farms] except for Bruce Braley,’ she said. ‘On Tuesday he voted against that bill because he’s backed by California environmental extremists who support the EPA to take over. He stood up for California environmentalists, but he refused to stand up for Iowa farmers.’ ‘Here’s the one thing you can do right away: and that is you can vote early,’ Kaufmann said. ‘I know you’re hearing this again and again and again, but that is the most important thing you can do, folks. And I know, I know you love to show up on Election Day. My 90-year-old World War II [veteran] father told my son the other day, ‘I just don’t know about this vote early, but everybody’s telling me I should do it.’ So, for the first time, this 90-year-old man is going to go out, and he’s going to vote early, and he’s going to vote for Joni Ernst and Terry Branstad and that ticket all the way down.’ [RPII, 9/23]
GOP Lincoln Dinner features buffet of candidates. “’The question is why is (Democratic candidate) Pat Murphy attacking the American dream?‘ Blum said [in response to a Murphy attack on his business]. ‘So we’re tight in these polls. It’s a sure sign that it’s going to be close if they’re running attack ads against us already. But we like the direction this is going.’ He pointed out that the 1st District leans Democratic but recent polls have shown a close race between Blum and Murphy. But like the candidates who came before and after him, Blum said it’s going to take work in the next 44 days. He said they did not want to wake up on Nov. 5 with a ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ attitude and asked them to do more to ensure they wake up after the election to a Sen.-elect Ernst and Rep.-elect Blum.”
[WCF Courier, 9/21]
RPII: House Intelligence Chair boosts Ernst, Blasts Obama and Braley. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, visited Iowa Saturday to boost the candidacy of state Sen. and Lt. Col. Joni Ernst in her close contest with Rep. Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat and former trial lawyer. ‘She looked into the eyes of these 17, 18, 19-year-old kids who had the courage to wear the uniform of the United States of America,’ Rogers said. ‘If she can do that for 19-year-olds, she can do that for the United States Senate and the people of Iowa.’ …
Lt. Gen. Ron Dardis, who retired from the Iowa National Guard in 2009, has endorsed Ernst and praised her leadership skills overseeing 149 soldiers during her deployment as a company commander in 2003’s ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom.’ … ‘Joni was the first woman to command a combat unit in Iraq from the Iowa National Guard,” he said. ‘Let’s make Joni the first woman from Iowa to serve in the U.S. Congress!'”
[RPII, 9/24]
Ernst takes ‘Iowa Knows Best’ tour to Newton. Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat, plans to visit each Iowa county before Election Day… Ernst calls it her “Iowa Knows Best” tour, a way to highlight her opponent’s eight-year career as a member of congress and her own work as a county official and a state senator. ‘Because I believe that Iowans know what is best for Iowa, not politicians in Washington, D.C.,’ Ernst said… Braley made an appearance on the University of Iowa campus yesterday, but the event was not open to the public. The Braley campaign and University of Iowa officials invited a small group of students to a roundtable discussion with Braley.”
[Radio Iowa, 9/23]
Bruce Braley’s crocodile tears. “[F]rom September 1st until Election Day, Braley and his Beltway allies will outspend the GOP by over $2.4 million. ‘Congressman Braley is crying crocodile tears about outside money, but it’s Democrats that are set to outspend Republicans by $2 million. With environmental extremist Tom Steyer and other DC special interests bankrolling Braley’s campaign, it’s worth wondering what do these groups want in return from Congressman Braley?’ said Republican Party of Iowa spokesman Jahan Wilcox.”
[RPI, 9/23]
Barack Obama says he’ll come to Iowa, make calls, & lick envelopes for Congressman Braley.
[RPI, 9/22]
Senator Grassley took Braley to task for misleading Iowans about a vote he took that hurt Iowan farmers. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has issued a carefully worded written statement that takes aim at a vote at Democrat Bruce Braley’s vote took in the U.S. House against Iowans last week. Republicans in the U.S. House voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing rules that farmers fear would give the agency authority to regulate water in ditches, farm ponds and tile lines. Grassley called that House bill “a thoughtful approach to the problem” and an “easy” yes vote for “anybody who has talked to Iowans in the last couple of months.” Braley, who is running for the U.S. Senate this year, voted no. Grassley didn’t mention Braley by name, but Grassley said in the statement that it’s “too bad the entire Iowa delegation didn’t get the message” to vote yes.
[Radio Iowa, 9/17]
Iowa chickens vs. Senate candidate’s yard. Braley displayed his arrogance on national television by blasting his neighbor over his legal threat because a chicken stepped onto his property: “‘What’s so strange about this story is it’s an example of where, when somebody else’s animals are in your yard, you’re the bad neighbor,’ Braley said.”
[CNN, 9/17]
Iowa Senate seat might turn on chicken poop and hogs. “The race for the U.S. Senate in Iowa may come down to how voters feel about a chicken crossing into the wrong yard… Braley, 56, presents himself as a middle-class champion who has mastered Washington’s intricate ways. But his campaign is grappling with two big hits. The first came when he criticized beloved Sen. Charles Grassley, who could become Senate Judiciary Committee chairman if Republicans win a Senate majority. ‘You might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee,’ Braley said at a fundraiser.”
Fiorina: Joni Ernst is the clear choice in Iowa. We need more women in Washington like Joni Ernst to represent Iowans. Joni will confront the challenges presented by a dysfunctional and broken Washington because she is a problem solver and a proven leader in the Iowa State Senate. She brings the strength and commitment of a solder in the Iowa National Guard. And just as important, Joni is an independent voice who will stand up to the career politicians in Washington from both parties.
[TIR, 9/22]
Chuck Grassley: The Iowa GOP’s savior? “Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is going all in for Iowa Republicans this cycle. The Hawkeye State’s senior senator has become his party’s go-to surrogate to help in competitive House and Senate races. And that influence has only been burnished after he was derided by the Democratic Senate nominee as a ‘farmer from Iowa’ — a key turning point in the razor-tight contest.”
[The Hill, 9/19]
VIDEO: Rod Blum’s second general election TV ad relates the story of Malcolm Stewart, whose father was killed in a Chicago drug deal. Malcolm and his mother moved to Dubuque, where he played basketball for Rod Blum at Dubuque Senior High School. Malcolm was orphaned when his mother passed away from cancer at age 42, and the Blums took him into their family. Last May, Malcolm graduated with honors from the University of Dubuque.
Branstad, Blum bring campaign to Waterloo. “Blum, a Dubuque businessman, reiterated Branstad’s contrast between the present and the doom-and-gloom they saw before the governor’s 2010 election during a campaign stop at the Waterloo Republican headquarters… [Democrat Pat Murphy, Blum’s opponent, was] ‘the only speaker that ever excluded the public from a public hearing on taxes. He also kept the voting machine all weekend to try to brow-beat six Democrats who had the courage to buck his stupid ideas, which were job-killing labor bills,’ Branstad said.”
[WCF Courier, 9/23]
More trade, less EPA, Blum tells farmers in Cedar Falls. “Supporters see U.S. 1st District Republican Congressional candidate Rod Blum as right on the issues important to Iowa farmers. Those issues include stopping an overzealous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and expanding international markets.”
[WCF Courier, 9/19]
GOP’s Young says he’s reform minded, but no extremist. ‘Republican David Young told central Iowa business leaders Tuesday the nation has recently seen a federal government ‘out of control’ and he’s committed to insisting on accountability and common sense if he’s elected to Congress on Nov. 4
[DMR, 9/23]
Gov. Branstad’s Birthday Bash Oct. 25 at the Seven Flags Event Center in Clive will feature Gov. Chris ChristieClick here to RSVP. Email photos of Gov. Branstad for display at the bash to [email protected]VIDEOThe luckiest mustache in Iowa. The Hambycast gets a private tour of the Iowa state house, including its taxidermy, from Gov. Terry Branstad.
[CNN, 9/24]
Anti-jobs, anti-transparency agenda of Hatch on display in Burlington debate. “Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann highlighted the anti-jobs and anti-transparency agenda of state Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat, after the second debate of the 2014 gubernatorial cycle. ‘There is a reason that voters in Iowa don’t support and don’t trust Jack Hatch: he is running a campaign on an anti-jobs and anti-transparency agenda,” said Kaufmann, a seventh-generation livestock farmer and community college professor from Wilton. ‘Jack Hatch aggressively attacks good jobs in Southeast Iowa, but he maneuvered behind the scenes to kill legislation that would hurt his own bank account,’ Kaufmann said. ‘He attacks tax credits used to create good jobs across the state, but he supports tax credits that line his own pockets. Making matters worse, he refuses to release his tax returns to reporters and to the public—even after promising to do so.'”
[RPI, 9/20]
Hatch flounders in second gubernatorial debate. “Despite attack after attack, Governor Branstad maintained his poise throughout. He also put Hatch on the defensive several times. Hatch feigned righteous indignation over ads critical of the state senator using his position to kill legislation that would have hurt him financially. Hatch repeatedly used the liberal Des Moines Register as a crutch, claiming their investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing or conflicts of interest. However, that same investigation showed Hatch had voted in favor of bills that benefitted his real estate business on at least four occasions”
[TIR, 9/22]
The low profile battle for state senate majority. “A unified party is certainly the message Jeff Kaufmann pushes. He’s the Iowa Republican party chairman who started in June with a zero balance in the party’s checking account. Kaufmann said the party’s raised $400,000 since he took over. He claims 2014 will be the most active Iowa Republicans have been in a midterm election. He said races for the state senate are grassroots politics at its best because candidates can knock every door in their districts. ‘Once you move to that next level, to Congress or to the statewide officials like the Governor, you can’t do that,’ Jeff Kaufmann said. ‘It’s a job that certainly that rises above the level of local position. Certainly the amount of dollars you’re looking at and the stakes are high, but yet you can still see your senator on a weekly basis.’
Brad Anderson’s ties to convicted identity thief should concern Iowans seeking impartial chief elections officer. The Republican Party of Iowa charged today that Brad Anderson‘s ties to convicted criminal Zach Edwards while Edwards worked under Anderson at the state’s largest Democrat consulting firm should concern Iowans seeking a neutral arbiter of elections. Edwards pleaded guilty in 2012 to using a computer at Link Strategies to steal the identity of Matt Schultz, Iowa’s Secretary of State. ‘Brad Anderson’s cozy connection to a criminal dirty trickster strikes at the heart of his disingenuous campaign to portray himself as a champion of free and fair elections,’ said Iowa GOP co-chairman Cody Hoefert, a chiropractor and city councilor from Rock Rapids. ‘Brad Anderson is a career partisan operative whose underling was convicted of stealing the identity of Iowa’s Secretary of State in an attempt to frame him. It’s hard to believe it’s just a coincidence that Anderson soon sought the same office. Iowans simply cannot trust Brad Anderson to oversee the integrity of our elections.'”
[RPI, 9/23]
Gregg: ‘Miller out of touch with regular Iowans.’ “‘Miller’s clients are the people of Iowa, and he should be meeting with the people to find out what is on their minds,'” Gregg said, noting that Miller rarely detours from Des Moines, Chicago or Washington, D.C. to visit Iowa communities. Gregg has committed to visiting all 99 counties.
All of Iowa would be his clients. “Gregg questioned Miller’s connection to the state’s residents, noting that he does not frequently tour the state like Branstad and Sen. Chuck Grassley regularly do. ‘The voters are your clients, and you need to communicate with those clients,’ he said. Gregg has visited more than 70 out of the state’s 99 counties during the campaign so far.”
IPERS is in trouble. Did you hear Sam Clovis on 1040AM WHO Radio on Monday? He had a stellar interview with Jan Mickelson about just how vulnerable IPERS really is with its $6 billion unfunded liabilities. Sam spent about 35 minutes on air with Jan. Listen to the interview here. Sam’s segment starts around the 38 minute mark.
State auditor’s race for, about policy wonks. “Elective politics doesn’t get much wonkier than the race for state auditor… When asked to draw a contrast with Neiderbach, Mosiman noted that she’s a certified public accountant. That credential is important for a state auditor, she said, because it ensures that the auditor’s office is designated as a CPA firm. That helps in recruiting and retaining other talented accountants and auditors, she said.”
[DMR, 9/20]
Clinton Confab Complications. As Clinton world gathers in New York, problems loom over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
[RNC Research, 9/22]
Iowa Democrats say there’s room for a non-Clinton. “Not every Iowa Democrat is cheering for Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president. Some have a gnawing desire for someone else.”
[AP, 9/18]
The Clinton team is following reporters to the bathroom. Here’s why that matters. “Yes, this may be an extreme example. And, yes, the press strictures at the Clinton Global Initiative are the stuff of legend. But, the episode also reflects the dark and, frankly, paranoid view the Clintons have toward the national media. Put simply: Neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton likes the media or, increasingly, sees any positive use for them.”
Webb ‘seriously looking’ at 2016 bid. “Add former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb to the list of potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates. During his speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the former secretary of the Navy said he is ‘seriously looking at the possibility of running for president.'”
Sen. Bernie Sanders to come to Davenport next month. Sanders, who has said he’s considering a 2016 presidential bid, will be in Davenport on Oct. 4 at a town hall forum sponsored by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund.
[QCT, 9/22]
Obamacare website costs exceed $2 billion, study finds. “The federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project.” The government had estimated the cost at $834 million. “The construction of healthcare.gov involved 60 companies, supervised by employees of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services instead of a lead contractor, according to the inspector general at the Health and Human Services Department.”
GOP Victory office changes name in honor of former chairwoman.Via Grant Young: “De”, as she went by to anyone she met, was one of the most tireless, loyal and epic warriors in our cause. If you wanted to get anything done in Cerro Gordo County, or, hell, anywhere in the state for that matter, you called De. She was on a billion campaigns it seems. She got [expletive] done. She is still around, but we are losing her to Alzheimer’s now. She’s living comfortably with her daughters in the Daytona Beach area in Florida, her hometown where she met a minor league ball player from Mason City… moved back here and the rest is great Republican Party of Iowa history. Ever since I have been making the trips up north and working in Mason City, the very first thing I thought and still do is just to think, “What would De say?” “Are we making her proud?” This past Wednesday, after talking to local volunteers and checking with her family… we had our grand opening of the Mason City office. The central committee voted to officially call our office the “De Byerly Victory Center.”
[NIT, 9/18] [Mason City Globe Gazette, 9/18]The Des Moines Register newsroom will shed 16 percent of its staff next month. “The Register put a good spin on changes to its political reporting by announcing this week a “new partnership” with Bloomberg politics “on polling, content and events heading into the midterm and 2016 elections.” … I am skeptical the change will add any value for politically-minded Iowans. … I would rather see a larger team of political reporters dig in with more background and analysis.
[BleedingHeartland.com, 9/24]DISCLAIMER: The Republican Party of Iowa provided the above content as a service to its supporters and other interested parties. Any outside opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of RPI.