Politics & Elections
First in the nation Iowa becomes 2014 battleground over Common Core: Governor Terry Branstad’s honesty called into question by challenger Tom Hoefling PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Tom Hoefling   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 07:42

April 16, 2014

Des Moines – Iowa GOP gubernatorial primary challenger Tom Hoefling today charged that incumbent Governor Terry Branstad and his campaign are deceiving Iowa Republicans about Branstad’s ongoing support for the Common Core national standards.

Tom Hoefling said today, “I don’t know why they think they can get away with this, frankly. It is obvious to any honest observer that Terry Branstad continues to support Common Core, and that he has done nothing of any real substance in this legislative session to stop it. It is also clear that the Branstad executive order from last October that they constantly cite did nothing to stop the implementation of Common Core. That was, to put it simply, a political smokescreen, and everybody who has looked into this question closely knows it.”

Hoefling added, “Support for the Common Core standards, which amount to the final blow against any remaining vestige of local control of our schools, is bad enough. But when the Governor and his campaign staffers go out on the campaign trail and try to deceive the people of this state, that takes things to a whole new level. It is now more than just a disagreement over public policy. It is a question of honesty and integrity.”

The Hoefling campaign pointed to a report from the statewide group “Iowans for Local Control,” which can be found here:



County Convention & Cinco de Mayo Upcoming Rock Island County Democratic Party Activities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Doug House   
Monday, 14 April 2014 11:21

The Rock Island County Democratic Central Committee will hold its County Convention on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Illinois state election law requires counties to hold county conventions each even-numbered April for party chairs to be elected.

Members of the Democratic Central Committee of Rock Island County will vote to elect a party chair to serve a two-year term. The County Convention will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, at the Laborer’s #309 Union Hall, 2835-7th Avenue, Rock Island.

In addition, the Rock Island County Democratic Hispanic Caucus will hold its Cinco de Mayo fundraiser from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, May 2, at the Moline American Legion, 1623-15th Street, Moline.

The cost, which is $10 per plate, includes authentic Mexican food and tickets are available at the door the night of the event.

“We are excited about this event which raises diversity awareness, brings people together and generates new support for our Democratic Party,” said Doug House, Rock Island County Democratic Party Chair. “This is also part of our party’s concerted effort to reach out and to celebrate the diversity of our community and our party.”

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Governor Quinn Statement on Passage of Amendment to Prohibit Voter Discrimination PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Katie Hickey   
Friday, 11 April 2014 14:49

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding the Illinois House and Senate’s passage of a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit voter discrimination in Illinois.

The bill is House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 52. It will appear on the ballot in November to be approved by Illinois voters.

“The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. No voter should have to face the suppression tactics that we see in other states across the nation.

“I commend Speaker Madigan and Senator Raoul for sponsoring this important amendment and congratulate the Illinois House and Senate for its nearly unanimous passage.

“I encourage everyone to support this amendment to our constitution that will protect our democracy.”

The proposed amendment states that “No person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income.”


Braley Campaign Backed by Nearly 8,000 Iowa Donors from All 99 Counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 11 April 2014 08:46
Braley for Iowa will report over $3.1 million cash on hand as of March 31

DES MOINES, IA – Braley for Iowa announced today that nearly 8,000 Iowans from all 99 Iowa counties have contributed to Rep. Bruce Braley’s campaign for US Senate since he announced last year that he was running to succeed Sen. Tom Harkin. Nearly 1,700 Iowans gave to Braley for the first time since January 1 alone.

Braley for Iowa also announced that it had received more than $1.25 million in contributions between January 1 and March 31, and had more than $3.1 million cash on hand at the end of March. Braley for Iowa has raised more than $5.25 million since Braley announced his candidacy.  

Braley for Iowa spokesman Jeff Giertz said, “With this outpouring of support, Iowans are saying loud and clear they want a Senator who will fight for the middle class to create jobs, help small businesses succeed, work to create economic opportunities, and protect Social Security and Medicare. Growing up in rural Iowa and working his way through college doing jobs like road construction, Bruce Braley understands the concerns of working Iowans, and he has a record of accomplishments for Iowa’s working families. We look forward to continuing to discuss Bruce’s pro-middle class message and building on our grassroots momentum all across the state.”

Braley for Iowa’s April Quarterly fundraising report is due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15.

Bruce Braley grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, and worked his way through Iowa State and law school at the University of Iowa doing jobs in road construction, at a grain elevator, and waiting tables. For nearly 25 years, Bruce worked as an attorney in Waterloo, where he represented Iowans: farmers struggling through the farm crisis, people who lost their jobs, and families denied insurance benefits they deserved. 

With no prior political experience, Bruce was elected to the US House in 2006, and has been re-elected three times. Among his accomplishments, Bruce has successfully worked to cut taxes for small businesses that hire unemployed workers and veterans; created a job training program for Iowans seeking work in renewable energy; and secured back-pay that was denied to 800 Iowa National Guard members. Bruce is running for the US Senate to fight for the middle class because that’s where he comes from.

Bruce lives in Waterloo with his wife, Carolyn. They have three grown children: Lisa, David, and Paul.
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Suffolk University Iowa Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Strong and GOP Field Scattered in Advance of Caucuses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Greg Gatlin   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 15:26

Republican Gov. Branstad Leads in Bid for Reelection to 6th Term

For U.S. Senate, Democrat Braley Leads Field, as Ernst Rallies in GOP Primary

BOSTON – With the January 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses on the horizon, Hillary Clinton is the far-and-away favorite among self-described Democratic caucus-goers, according to a Suffolk University statewide Iowa poll. And while some Republicans have begun visiting the Hawkeye State, the survey shows no favorites among prospective GOP presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, the Suffolk University poll of likely general-election Iowa voters shows Republican Gov. Terry Branstad with a strong advantage heading into the June 3 Republican gubernatorial primary, and he leads the sole Democrat in the race, State Sen. Jack Hatch, by 10 points in a general-election match-up. Branstad, the longest serving governor in U.S. history, is seeking his sixth four-year term.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley leads all five potential Republican opponents by between 6 and 13 points.

2016 presidential caucuses

A subset of self-described Iowa caucus goers were asked their first choice for their party’s nomination for president, 63 percent of Democrats indicated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 12 percent chose Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and 10 percent favored Vice President Joe Biden.

The picture was much cloudier on the Republican side, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 11 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (10 percent each), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and medical professor emeritus Ben Carson (9 percent each), and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (7 percent). Six others had 6 percent each: Congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), former Alaska Gov. and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Sen. Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Gubernatorial race

Branstad led Republican Tom Hoefling 71 percent to 8 percent with 19 percent undecided in the primary race. A general-election matchup shows him ahead of Hatch 42 percent to 32 percent, with 24 percent undecided.

“Although his ballot test number is under fifty percent, Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s overwhelming support in the northwest counties as well as his comfortable lead among independents statewide is significant,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “However, over a third of independents are undecided, so the race is fluid.”

Republicans aren’t faring as well in the U.S. Senate race, though the race is much closer. Braley’s lead over his Republican opponents is buoyed by wide positive margins in his home northeast area as well as in the central counties, including Polk.

In the smaller subset of June Republican Primary voters, State Sen. Joni Ernst, who has been tagged the “castration candidate” due to her TV ad that includes a matter-of-fact reference to growing up on an Iowa hog farm, is leading businessman Mark Jacobs 25 percent to 23 percent. Radio show host Sam Clovis (7 percent), former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (4 percent), and Navy veteran Scott Schaben (1 percent) trail the front-runners, while 40 percent of primary voters remain undecided. Although within the statistical margin of error, this is the first public poll showing Ernst leading in the GOP Primary.

President’s approval ratings and Obamacare

Slightly more voters viewed President Barack Obama unfavorably (49 percent) than favorably (45 percent), and his job disapproval rating widened to 50 percent, with 40 percent approving. When likely voters were asked about the Affordable Care Act, 48 percent said it is generally bad for Iowa, and 38 percent said it is generally good.

Upbeat on Iowa economy

Nearly 43 percent of voters polled said that the Iowa economy has improved over the past two years, while 14 percent said it has gotten worse, and 39 percent said it has stayed the same.

“Voters are clearly saying that the worst is over when it comes to the Iowa economy. That’s an opportunity for Democrats as they try to fight through the negative poll numbers of Obama and Obamacare.”


The statewide Suffolk University survey used a split sample of landline and cell phone numbers and a screen to filter out low voter intensity.  The field of 800 likely voters was conducted Thursday, April 3, through Tuesday, April 8. The margin of error is +/-3.5 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. The subset of 224 likely Republican primary voters carries an error rate of +/-6.55 percent. The margin of error is +/-8.7 percent for the 127 GOP caucus-goers and +/-8.4% for the 135 Democratic caucus-goers surveyed.

Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Suffolk University, located in historic downtown Boston, with an international campus in Madrid, is a student-centered institution distinguished by excellence in education and scholarship. Suffolk University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 90 areas of study. Its mission is to empower graduates to be successful locally, regionally, and globally.

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