Politics & Elections
Did Bustos Mislead the Media and Keep Her Shutdown Pay? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jan Schweppe   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:06
Chief Administrative Officer of the House says Bustos did not give up her shutdown pay. Did Bustos mislead the media and her constituents?

EAST MOLINE, Ill.—During the government shutdown last October, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) received quite a bit of media buzz for foregoing her congressional salary during the shutdown. After receiving a lot of pressure from reporters on October 1st, the first day of the shutdown, Bustos decided to announce the next day that she was giving up her pay in a letter to the Chief Administrative Officer of the House.

The media proceeded to widely report that Congresswoman Bustos was giving up her pay:

QCOnline: "Bustos Foregoes Pay During Shutdown, Durbin Unsure"
Peoria Journal Star: "No Government, No Pay for Rep. Cheri Bustos"
Sauk Valley News: "Bustos Won't Take Pay"
Washington Post: "Bustos 'has asked that her pay be withheld during a shutdown,' according to a spokesman."
CNN: "Bustos 'not accepting a paycheck.'"

But according to the Chief Administrative Officer, all Members of the House of Representatives received their pay in full during the shutdown.

Furthermore, Congresswoman Bustos has removed any reference to her giving up her pay from her website and from her Facebook page, although she did leave a post up on her Twitter account.

Jon Schweppe, communications director at Bobby Schilling for Congress, said that Congresswoman Bustos needs to explain herself.

"Last October, Congresswoman Bustos shamelessly bragged to the media that she would be returning any pay she received during the government shutdown. She received quite a bit of positive press for doing so. But did she return it? The Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives says no. It's time to find out the truth. Did Congresswoman Bustos mislead the public? And why did she remove any reference to giving up her pay from her congressional website and from her Facebook page?"

"At best, Congresswoman Bustos misled the media into thinking she was giving back her pay, and then she failed to correct the record. At worst, she was downright dishonest. This is not the first time Congresswoman Bustos has misled the media, and it surely won't be the last.

"Bobby Schilling didn't just talk about leading by example—he did it. Bobby Schilling rejected the congressional health care plan and pension plan, voted against all pay increases, and cut his office budget by more than 10 percent. What has Congresswoman Bustos done? She promised to forego her pay during the government shutdown, and then she quietly accepted it anyway, hoping that nobody would notice. It's clear that Bobby Schilling is the better choice for Illinois."

To contact the Chief Administrative Officer's office, contact CAO communications director Dan Weiser at 202-226-6660.

Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) was born and raised in Rock Island, Illinois. He has been married to his wife, Christie for 28 years and together they have 10 children. Schilling represented the Illinois 17th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011-2012, serving on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Agriculture Committee, and the House Small Business Committee. Schilling is seeking another term and is running against incumbent Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

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Army Veteran Tom Hall Discusses Bruce Braley’s Strong Record of Delivering Results for Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Lau   
Monday, 18 August 2014 10:52
Hall knows firsthand Braley’s strong commitment to delivering results for veterans

DES MOINES, IA – Today in Ankeny, Army veteran Tom Hall discussed Bruce Braley’s strong record of delivering results for Iowa’s veterans. Hall is an Army Ranger veteran, and spoke from personal experience. While he was finishing military school, Hall was denied housing assistance. He reached out to Braley, and Braley delivered results for Hall and the other members of his unit.

Hall said, “Bruce Braley’s record for Iowa’s veterans and military members is a record of results. He has always stood with us, and i believe that veterans as a whole are better off because of Bruce Braley.”

Braley’s record for Iowa’s veterans and military families is one of results. He led a successful effort to secure back-pay and GI Bill benefits for Iowa National Guard members, he introduced and helped pass tax cuts for businesses who hire veterans and worked across the aisle to pass the Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act, helping injured and disabled veterans retrofit their homes. Braley has also introduced legislation to incentivize more doctors and nurses to work at the VA to help provide the quality care veterans deserve.
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Sgt. Jesse McCunniff Discusses Bruce Braley’s Strong Record of Delivering Results for Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Lau   
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:33
McCunniff knows firsthand the results Braley delivered for his National Guard unit

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa National Guard Sergeant Jesse McCunniff discussed Bruce Braley’s strong record of delivering results for Iowa’s veterans. McCunniff is a member of the 1/133rd infantry battalion, and has been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan during his 17 years in the Iowa National Guard.

McCunniff spoke from personal experience – his unit in the National Guard was initially denied respite pay after their deployment in Iraq was extended. Braley led a successful effort to secure the pay the troops had earned.  Braley also stood up to the Pentagon to ensure that members of the 1/133rd infantry battalion were able to access GI Bill benefits that had previously been denied to them.

McCunniff said, “I am proud to support Bruce Braley because of his strong record of delivering results for Iowa veterans and service members like myself. I know of these results firsthand, and I know of the passion and dedication Bruce has for the thousands of Iowans who serve in our armed forces and the more than 240,000 veterans who call our great state home.”

Braley’s record for Iowa’s veterans and military families is one of results. In addition to securing back-pay and GI Bill benefits for Iowa National Guard members, he introduced and helped pass tax cuts for businesses who hire veterans and worked across the aisle to pass the Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act, helping injured and disabled veterans retrofit their homes. Braley has also introduced legislation to incentivize more doctors and nurses to work at the VA to help provide the quality care veterans deserve.
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Braley Accepts Invitations to Three Debates PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Lau   
Friday, 15 August 2014 09:10
KWWL-TV, KCAU-TV, & IPTV proposed debates provide greatest number of Iowans with opportunity to see choice between US Senate candidates
Des Moines, IA – Braley for Iowa campaign manager Sarah Benzing released the following statement:

“Iowans deserve an opportunity to see the clear differences between Bruce Braley and State Senator Joni Ernst on the issues that matter to them.That’s why we’ve accepted invitations to three televised debates that offer the greatest number of Iowans the best opportunity to see debates throughout the fall campaign. We are reaching out to Sen. Ernst’s campaign to determine the details, and we’re hopeful to have a final schedule of debates determined soon.”

Braley has accepted the following three debate invitations:
  1. An invitation to participate in a televised debate hosted by KWWL-TV in late August or September in Waterloo and broadcast on KWWL, KTTC-TV in Mason City, and KTIV-TV in Sioux CIty.
  2. A televised debate hosted by KCAU-TV during the week of October 6th in Sioux City and broadcast on KCAU, WOI-TV in Des Moines, and WHBF-TV in Davenport.
  3. A televised debate hosted by Iowa Public Television on October 23, 2014, in Perry, Iowa, and broadcast statewide on IPTV.
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Brad Anderson announces plan to strengthen military and overseas voting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Lara Henderson   
Friday, 15 August 2014 09:06
DES MOINES, Iowa – Brad Anderson, candidate for Iowa Secretary of State, announces his plan to strengthen military and overseas voting in Iowa elections. 

“As Iowans, we are incredibly proud of our friends and family that have dedicated their lives to protecting our democracy and ensuring our right to vote,” said Brad Anderson. “It is our responsibility to ensure that these service members are afforded one of the very rights they are sent overseas to defend. That’s why the Office of the Secretary of State must be proactive in protecting the voting rights of overseas Iowans and modernize this process.”

In 2008, the nonpartisan Overseas Vote Foundation ranked Iowa first in the ease of military and overseas voting, but since that time our state has fallen behind and Iowa’s Pew Elections Performance Index has gone from 5th in the nation in 2008 to 15th in 2012. Over the past three election cycles, Iowa has had among the highest rates of rejected military and overseas ballots – ranking 31st in the nation with nearly 6 percent of military ballots rejected while an additional 21 percent of requested ballots have simply remained unreturned.

“Iowa cannot continue to lose ground when it comes to military and overseas voting,” added Anderson. “As our next Secretary of State, I will make it a priority to put Iowa back at the top in voter turnout and ease of voting for overseas Iowans.”

Brad Anderson’s Plan to Strengthen Military and Overseas Voting

1. PROACTIVELY REACH OUT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND IOWA NATIONAL GUARD TO DISCUSS WAYS TO IMPROVE THE EASE OF OVERSEAS VOTING. The Office of the Iowa Secretary of State must proactively engaging in conversations with the Iowa National Guard and Department of Defense to discuss what steps can be taken to guarantee all eligible voters are able to cast ballots, and most importantly that those votes are then counted. Establishing an educational program provided by the Office of Secretary of State on the process of casting a ballot overseas in the months leading up to deployment is one example of how this could be done. 

2.    UTILIZE 21ST CENTURY SOLUTIONS SUCH AS ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION. We must utilize 21st century solutions to improve the ease of military and overseas voting. A uniform system of online voter registration for all Iowans will quicken and simplify the process of registering to vote while also increasing participation among voters at home and overseas. Simplifying and modernizing the process of registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot can help to ensure military voters have the tools and information they need to participate in elections. 

3.    EXPAND THE USE OF THE FEDERAL WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS. Recognizing the hardships service members face when voting overseas, Congress created the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) in 2009. The write-in ballot is a last resort for military voters who have requested an absentee ballot but have not received it by fourteen days before Election Day. The FWAB can simply be downloaded online and returned to the voter’s county auditor by mail, email, or fax. 

Expanding the use of the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot to state and local elections will ensure that our members of the armed forces are able to vote in elections for everything from president of the United States to city council members, even in the case of unforeseen circumstances. It is time to let overseas Iowans use the FWAB to vote in all elections, including state and local elections.

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