Politics & Elections
Response to Koch Brothers' Latest Misleading Ad Attacking Bruce Braley's Support of Iowa's Middle Class PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 10:40
"Secret bank" of Koch brothers & their oil billionaire allies pouring money into TV attack ads

DES MOINES, IA – The name may be different, but the lies are still the same.

News broke late yesterday that Freedom Partners, the “secret bank” of the Koch brothers and their oil billionaire allies, were pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into another round of misleading TV attack ads targeting Bruce Braley’s record of support for policies that strengthen the middle class.

The Koch brothers’ money machine last reared its head in Iowa’s US Senate race with TV ads launched in January under the pseudonym Americans for Prosperity. Independent fact-checkers at the Cedar Rapids Gazette called those ads “mostly false.”

By any reasonable standard, the claims contained in the Koch brothers’ latest ad don’t stand up to scrutiny, particularly claims about Iowans facing “cancelled [health insurance] policies.” The fact is, Iowans were allowed to keep grandfathered health insurance plans and Rep. Braley supported improvements to the healthcare law that would have protected Iowans.

Braley for Iowa spokesman Jeff Giertz responded to the ad, saying, “The Koch brothers and their oil billionaire allies are once again attacking Bruce Braley with misleading ads because just like Bruce’s GOP opponents they support policies that would hurt Iowa’s economy, like blocking an increase in the minimum wage, undermining Medicare and Social Security, and sending us back to the days when insurance companies could kick people off their insurance when they got sick. Bruce Braley fights for Iowa’s working families because that’s where he comes from, and he’ll keep fighting for Iowa in the US Senate.”

Remember: whether it’s under the banner of Americans for Prosperity or Freedom Partners, the Koch brothers support an agenda – and candidates – that oppose raising the minimum wage, call for the elimination of the Wind Production Tax Credit, oppose the Farm Bill, and even push for the elimination of the Renewable Fuels Standard. These are all policies that create jobs for and strengthen Iowa’s middle class – and the Koch brothers and their allies are actively working against them.

SBA List Candidate Fund Endorses Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Andrew Shirley   
Monday, 07 April 2014 09:35

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a national pro-life political action committee, announced its endorsement of State Senator Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate in Iowa.

“Joni Ernst is an exceptional pro-life leader in the mold of Susan B. Anthony herself. The SBA List Candidate Fund is thrilled to endorse her campaign for U.S. Senate,” said Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “As an Iowa state Senator, Joni co-sponsored legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and to protect women from dangerous ‘telemed’ abortions. We know she will continue leading for life in Washington.

“Having served in the U.S. Army National Guard as well as in the Iowa legislature, Joni understands what it means to be a bold leader and to protect lives. She knows that protecting the vulnerable and building up women as leaders are not only compatible choices, but essential to the well-being of society. Her courageous leadership will make her an excellent addition to the growing number of pro-life women in the U.S. Senate.”

Joni Ernst was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2011 and serves as Assistant Minority Leader. State Senator Ernst is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard and served one tour of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Joni Ernst has received the endorsements of incumbent Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and former Gov. Sarah Palin. Reynolds and Palin were both previously endorsed by the SBA List Candidate Fund.

The Iowa Senate primary will be held on June 3. The seat is being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D).

The Susan B. Anthony List and its affiliated Political Action Committees, the SBA List Candidate Fund and Women Speak Out PAC, are dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women at all levels of government.  The SBA List is a network of more than 365,000 pro-life Americans nationwide.


A position by Candidate for State Senate Mark Riley PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Mark Riley   
Friday, 04 April 2014 14:38
Let me give you the perspective of a candidate who has challenged and is challenging an incumbent in a election for state office.   The high courts ruling is a devastating blow to challengers, independent candidates and those persons who refuse to accept lobbyist monies.  This decision will likely further solidify incumbency, two party rule, extremism and diminish law making for the common good of society.  It will preference the wealthy and the corporation.
Lets assume for the sake of argument the high court moved to protect speech and that this was sacred above all.  Let us then assume for arguments sake that money and speech are linked and corporations are people.  I disagree, but for the sake of argument lets put them aside, as untouchable.  Let us also assume for the sake of argument that the current way we elect politicians is bad for our democracy and we can all agree that the few should be not be advantaged to legislate the many. So here is our problem, money equals speech, and money as it currently exist in our political process is corrosive to our Republic.
We must solve this problem with a combination of solutions.  First we must enable public financing of campaigns.  We must publicly finance every candidate with a minimum amount of money based on the office being sought.
Second, we must make the purchasing of media time in Radio, Print and TV a mandatory equal time package.  So for example if a wealthy candidate wishes to buy air time on a Hawkeye football game, their opponent would receive an equal spot of time. If the rich candidate took out a full page newspaper ad their opponent would also receive that ad space. If a mailer was sent out, the same postage and print would be offered to the poor candidate.  The difference is that the rich candidate would be buying a debate and not exclusive media access for themselves.
By legislating that political advertising must be sold as equal time on certain media outlets we could fulfill the Courts edict on speech while protecting the uneven influence of money in politics with regards to mass media.
This allows our rich candidate to fully convert their money to speech. and gives a  rebuttal by their opponent that allows the electorate to be fully informed.  We protect the rich candidates right to speech without allowing their money to silence or drowned out the speech of their opposition and have a one sided conversation with the voter.
Mark J Riley
1010 S Ohio Ave
Davenport, Iowa 52802
Democratic Candidate for State Senate #45

Rita Hart files paperwork for re-election to Iowa Senate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Ben Foecke   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:23

DES MOINES – Senator Rita Hart has filed the official nomination papers with the Iowa Secretary of State to seek re-election to the Iowa State Senate in District 49. District 49 includes all of Clinton County, as well as northern and eastern Scott County, including the towns of Le Claire, McCausland, Park View and Princeton.

“My favorite part of being a state senator is talking with the people in District 49 and helping them solve problems,” said Hart. “I’m glad to get the official paperwork out of the way and now I look forward to contacting voters across my district.”

Hart added: “We’ve been holding legislative listening posts and economic development forums since January to gather input on the issues facing the Iowa Legislature this year. I plan to continue visiting the communities of Senate District 49 throughout the spring, summer and fall, listening to the concerns, questions and ideas of eastern Iowans.”

Rita Hart was a teacher for over twenty years before she ran for the Iowa Senate. In the Senate, Hart serves on the Education, Economic Growth, Agriculture, Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committees. Senator Hart is also the Vice Chair of the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

Hart was first elected to the State Senate from District 49 in 2012. She was elected to a two-year term.

Rita Hart is 57. She and her husband Paul live and farm in rural Wheatland. They have five children and are active members of St. Ann’s Catholic Church near Long Grove.


Silvis Passes Landmark Resolution PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Caryn Unsicker   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:52

SILVIS, IL – April 1, 2014 - The Silvis City Council tonight joined over 200 cities and 16 States nationwide in a growing movement to amend the US Constitution to limit the amounts of money that big corporations and individuals can donate to influence the political process.  Silvis Alderwoman Caryn Unsicker introduced the idea of a resolution to Mayor Tom Conrad, who agreed that too much money was being injected into our political process and gave her permission to address the full council in March.  The result was agreement by the council that money is threatening to destroy our democracy.

Ms.Unsicker cited the City of Coralville, Iowa, as well as school board, county board, and state elections where money is being infused by outside sources, often anonymous, to influence elections in favor of one candidate or another.  Illinois was the 14th State to adopt a similar resolution, SJR 27, which was sponsored by a Democrat and two Republicans.  Ms.Unsicker said that members of both parties are sick of all the pressure from outside sources.  It puts a lot of pressure on them to vote a certain way or risk being outspent and therefore, probably defeated, come election time.

So this evening, Silvis joined the growing list of cities in Illinois, including Galesburg, Champaign, Evanston, Chicago, Lisle Township, Oak Park, Cunningham Township, Warrneville, Carbondale, Avon Township, Warren, and Kane County, and Dubuque, Buffalo, and Waterloo, in Iowa, in an effort to keep our elections free and to give all Americans - not just the wealthy -  a voice in the political process.

If you would like more information, you may contact Caryn Unsicker at 309-912-6632.

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