Politics & Elections
ICYMI: Des Moines Register: Braley viewed as a doggedly determined 'rising star' PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:58

Des Moines Register

By Jennifer Jacobs

May 8th, 2012


Those who know Bruce Braley well say one of his defining personality traits is doggedness. The former trial lawyer follows projects from start to finish, and staffers say he insists they do the same.


Braley’s name is bandied about as a future U.S. Senate candidate (to replace Democrat Tom Harkin if he chooses not to run again in 2014, or to replace Republican Chuck Grassley, who is up for re-election in 2016).


“I think Braley is a rising star in the Democratic Party,” said state Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield. “I believe he has shown some common sense in picking his fights. He doesn’t run off willy-nilly at the head.”


A panel of eight Iowa and Washington-based journalists organized by The Des Moines Register ranked Braley fourth in effectiveness out of Iowa’s seven congressmen. That placed the three-term Braley above two colleagues with more seniority in the House — Republican Steve King and Democrat Leonard Boswell — as well as Dave Loebsack, who was elected at the same time as Braley.


Braley got off to a fast start in proposing and steering passage of legislation during his first two terms, when Democrats were in power. That’s tougher this term, now that he’s in the minority.


One accomplishment that Braley points to when he was part of the majority is reforming the way Medicare pays Iowa doctors, who have historically seen lower payments from Medicare than doctors in larger states. Iowans in Congress had sought to change the formula for years. At 3 a.m. on a Saturday in 2010, after hours of negotiations with Democratic leaders over the health care reform law, he helped secure an agreement to change the payment structure.


His staff noted practical accomplishments to benefit his district. When the 2008 floods washed out a bridge over the Cedar River in Waterloo that the Iowa Northern short-line railroad company used to carry goods, the rail cars had to make a 300-mile detour. That increased costs for manufacturers and farmers. Braley successfully pushed for money to repair rail lines knocked out by natural disasters. The railroad bridge reopened in late 2009.


Braley is also into plain talk. Lawmakers have made numerous attempts over the years to require the government to write forms and documents in easy-to-understand language, but Braley’s bill, the Plain Writing Act, was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.


He helped secure a tax credit for small businesses that hired unemployed workers. In Iowa, the credit assisted in the hiring of 104,000 people through the end of 2010, his aides said.


Braley ranks 87th in the lineup of the National Journal’s most liberal to least liberal members of the House. He is more liberal than 80 percent of the House on social issues and 84 percent on foreign issues, according to the Journal analysis of votes cast in 2011.


Braley, whose father fought on Iwo Jima, champions veterans issues, and he has a remarkably good working relationship with Republicans on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, congressional insiders said. For example, Braley and a freshman Republican from Indiana did two field hearings last fall, one in Iowa and one in Indiana, on unemployment among veterans.


To help disabled veterans retrofit their homes, Braley co-sponsored a bill to expand a grant program. He worked with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to help win House approval of the Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act in 2011. The proposal is now stuck in the Senate.


Meanwhile, to keep in touch with Iowans, Braley does a conference call with Iowa reporters on Wednesday mornings and sent out 278 news releases in 2011. He has visited every county in the 1st District in the past 12 months.


“He just does everything that he could possibly do. He has been fantastic,” said Pat Sass, chairwoman of the Black Hawk County Democrats. “You couldn’t find anyone that’s more active.”

Understanding Mormonism PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:07
The Softer Side of Mitt Romney
If Voters Understood his Religion, They’d Warm to Candidate,
says Mormon Author

Critics say the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney seems “stiff” and out of touch. Some say it’s because of his immense wealth. Ross H. Palfreyman, a Mormon author of Two Years in God’s Mormon Army (www.mormonarmy.net), thinks it’s something else.

“People get distracted by religion, especially the Mormon religion, because, hey, we do some quirky stuff,” Palfreyman says. “I think Romney has stayed away from the personal stuff because much of it has to do with being Mormon. But if people knew about his experiences as a Mormon, they’d see his softer side.”

Like Palfreyman, Romney served two years as a Mormon missionary, a rite of passage that teaches young men compassion and self-discipline, among other values, Palfeyman says. That time away from home – no visits allowed and only two phone calls a year on Mother’s Day and Christmas – can be the most memorable in a Mormon’s lifetime, he says.

Palfreyman offers facts for voters about Mormonism and Romney’s relationship to it:

• Romney served his two-year mission in France. No matter where a young man serves his mission “it prepares you for a life of service,” Palfreyman says. The missionaries witness abject poverty, learn selflessness and hard work, and learn how to accept rejection.

• Romney also served five years as bishop of his congregation in Belmont, Mass. It was an unpaid position where he managed nuts-and-bolts-type issues like administrative tasks and more delicate duties, including financial counseling and assistance, and marriage relationship help.

• Mormons revere and exalt the Bible, and see it as the bedrock of Christianity. They also believe in a revelation given from God to Joseph Smith, which is found in the Book of Mormon.

• Children are baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 8. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential running mate for Romney, was baptized into the LDS Church while living in Utah with his family. Rubio converted to Catholicism as a teenager.

• Mormons believe God wants human beings to follow a health outline called “The Word of Wisdom,” which discourages use of alcohol, tobacco or coffee. Adherence to this health code is especially important for baptism, full-time missionary work, church school attendance and entry into the church’s temples. Violation of the code is not grounds for excommunication or other disciplinary measures. Other guidelines include limited meat consumption, the restriction of narcotics and an emphasis on eating herbs, fruits and grains.

Romney is far more than the stiff businessman in a suit often seen in public, Palfreyman says.

“Clearly, there’s a softer and more developed side to Mitt Romney, because he was a great bishop from all I’ve heard,” he says. “His religion is the elephant in the room, but he’s got to keep it from distracting from his message about what he would do as the nation’s leader.”

About Ross H. Palfreyman

Ross H. Palfreyman is a Laguna Beach, Calif., lawyer who began his mission work in 1973 in Thailand, during the Vietnam War and the Thai Revolution of ’73. Two years of trying to convince devout Buddhists that they’d be better off as Mormons was trying enough, he also was threatened at gunpoint and fended off parasites and rabid dogs during his “indentured servitude.” He initially wrote about his experiences for his six children. Palfreyman’s youngest son returns from his mission in Mexico in August.

Absentee Ballots Now Available; Vote By Mail or In-Person at Auditor’s Office. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Roland Caldwell   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 13:12
DAVENPORT – Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz announced today that absentee ballots are now available
for the June 5, 2012 Iowa Primary Election. Absentee ballots can be voted in the Auditor’s Office, or voters may
request ballots be mailed to them. A fill-able Official Absentee Ballot Request form is available at the Auditor’s
webpage http://www.scottcountyiowa.com/auditor/. Voters can also call the Auditor’s Office at 326-8631 and
request that a form be mailed to them. Once the form is completely filled out voters need to sign the form and
return it to the Auditor’s Office, 600 West 4th Street, Davenport, Iowa 52801. Ballots are mailed within 24 hours
of receipt of the request.

Primary elections are elections conducted by the State for the benefit of the two major political parties. The
winners of the primary election then become their party's nominee for office in the November General Election.

Iowa primary elections are "closed primaries" meaning that only voters who publically affiliate through their
voter registration status with a particular party can vote in that party's primary election. Voters may declare
or change party affiliation at the polls on election day by filling out a Change of Party Affiliation Form provided
by the precinct election officials. Absentee voters may change their party affiliation by selecting to receive the
ballot for the party of their choice.

Several nominations for office are contested during this primary election. On the Democratic Party ballot there
is a contested election for the nomination for United States Representative from Iowa's Second District between
incumbent Congressman Dave Loebsack and Iowa State Senator Joe Seng. There is also a contested election for
the nomination for State Senate District 49 between Rita Hart and Dorothy O'Brien.

On the Republican Party ballot there is a contested election for the nomination for United States Representative
from Iowa's Second District between John Archer and Dan Dolan. There is also a contested election for the
nomination for State Senate District 46 between State Senators Jim Hahn and Shawn Hamerlinck. These two
incumbent State Senators were placed into the same State Senate District through the redistricting process.

For more information contact the Scott County Auditor’s Office at 563-326-8631.

The Chairman's Report PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by A.J. Spiker   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:22

I hope everyone is enjoying the nice spring weather! We had a great week at the Republican Party of Iowa. Last Wednesday we had over 40 people attend our Chairman’s Lunch here at the headquarters. Unfortunately our original speakers Majority leader Upmeyer and House Speaker Paulsen were unavailable since they were busy battling the Democrats over the budget at the Capitol. Luckily Senator Zaun, Rep. Kaufman, and Agriculture Secretary Northy were able to join us for a great discussion about how we can continue to strengthen the Party this year.

Last Thursday I also had the opportunity to speak at the Green County GOP fundraiser. I want to thank Greene County GOP Chairman Roger Olhausen and co-chairman John Meyer for inviting me. I enjoyed meeting everyone in Greene County and it was great to see so many enthusiastic republicans.

Yesterday the Iowa Secretary of State released the latest voter registration numbers. I am pleased to report that we have increased our lead over the democrats! We now hold an almost 9,000 voter lead on the democrats in the state. The Republican Party will continue to reach out to disaffected democrats in the coming months and I am confident that this trend will only continue.

There is still time to get your tickets to the Lincoln Dinner! Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Obamacare’s greatest foe is our featured speaker. Cuccinelli was the first state Attorney General to file a legal challenge to Obamacare. Other speakers will include Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds, Senator Grassley, Congressman Latham, and Congressman King. Because this falls on Cinco de Mayo, we will have a reception from 6-7 pm complete with a margarita and daiquiri bar and a live band. The event will be held at Vets Auditorium Ballroom and tickets cost $75. To purchase tickets please call 515-282-8105 or visit www.iowagop.org.

To Victory

A.J. Spiker

Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa

Americans for Prosperity Launches $6.1 Million Ad Buy, Events in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Mark Lucas   
Monday, 30 April 2012 10:38

New Ad Scrutinizes Wasteful Use of Taxpayer Dollars

IOWA CITY, IOWA – Today Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nation's largest advocate for economic freedom, held a conference at the National Press Club announcing the release of a $6.1 million ad buy. The new ad is launching along with nationwide grassroots action that holds President Obama accountable for his wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.

Titled “Wasteful Spending,” the ad highlights billions of stimulus dollars that were given to foreign companies, mostly to subsidize their own green energy projects.

CLICK HERE to view and download the Wasteful Spending ad:

“The white house continues to let ideology, government cronyism, and bad judgement influence economic policies that are hurting hard working iowans.” said AFP-IA State Director Mark Lucas. “Energy prices are rising as the administration pays off their friends in the green energy market. This is evidenced by giving $530 million to the now-bankrupt Solyndra. Iowans deserve a much better return on their hard earned tax dollars.”

Over the next two weeks, the ad will air in the following eight states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia. As the ad kicks off, AFP will launch a tour featuring rallies and educational townhalls throughout the country. In Iowa, rallies and educational events will take place in Iowa City and Des Moines.

In the past, AFP has focused on President Obama’s willingness to risk taxpayer dollars in other green energy schemes. The group launched two ads focused on the Solyndra failure, dedicating $6.5 million combined.  At $6.1 million, this latest effort is the largest to date.

To interview Mark or learn more about the ad, please call 319-333-9124 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org


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