Politics & Elections
Round Up: On Iowa Works Tour, Braley Says Working Roots Inspire Passion for Middle Class PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 28 March 2014 10:19
Last week, Bruce Braley took his Iowa Works tour to workplaces from the Missouri River to the Mississippi to highlight Iowans' hard work, promote the need for policies that strengthen the middle class and create good-paying jobs, and discuss his own working background.

Iowans learned about Bruce's plans to fight for middle class families, because that's where he comes from.


Council Bluffs

"What I'm doing this week is traveling around the state this week, stopping by businesses and showcasing many of the various jobs I worked as I was growing up in Iowa, including a number of jobs I did to help pay my way through college and law school. Some of those jobs were waiting tables, washing dishes and working as a cook and a bartender. So Duncan's Cafe was the perfect place for me to kick off the 'Iowa Works' tour." -Bruce Braley [KMALand, 3/19/14]

"Council Bluffs was Braley’s first statewide stop visiting with Iowans about the need for policies that strengthen the middle class and create good-paying jobs. He even served coffee to Duncan patrons, something he did to pay for college at Iowa State University. In fact, he began delivering newspapers in the second grade and has been working ever since, doing other jobs like selling greeting cards, truck driving, even baling hay and shelling corn." [Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 3/20/14]


Salix

"Braley, who once worked in construction, told employees he understands what it means to work hard and provide for your family, which is why he believes training and union apprenticeship programs are needed for more local skilled jobs. ‘We have to be looking at ways to get kids interested earlier in a career path that will lead them to a good paying job,’ said the representative.” [KMEG, 3/19/14]


Des Moines

"The Democrat from Eastern Iowa is in the middle of an ‘Iowa Works’ tour, where he's putting the focus on policies that strengthen Iowa's workforce. Thursday he was at the DMACC campus in Ankeny, at their Advanced Manufacturing Center. He spoke with students and teachers about job training and how to keep higher education affordable.” [WOI-TV, 3/20/14]

"‘The most important thing congress could do to help the middle class is restore the minimum wage and pass the bill that Senator Harkin and I have cosponsored in the House and Senate,’ Braley says, ‘and that would restore the minimum wage to the level of purchasing power to the level it had the last time that we increased it.’” [Radio Iowa, 3/21/14]


Ames

"Braley attended Iowa State University from 1976 to 1980, first studying journalism but graduating with a degree in political science before attending law school at the University of Iowa. He reminisced about his four years tending bar and washing dishes at Minsky’s Pizza Joynt in west Ames, which closed in 2005, to pay his way through college. 'That’s where I learned a lot about customer service jobs,' he said. And if you’ve ever been in a place like that after an Iowa State football game, or basketball game, you deal with high volumes of customers and you work extremely hard under stressful conditions.” [Ames Tribune, 3/25/14]


Dougherty

"'I grew up in a small town, Brooklyn, Iowa. I spent a lot of my time working on farms just like this one,’ said Braley. Braley has always had a connection to those making a living off the land and while Dougherty, Iowa may be a long way from Washington D.C., Braley says he knows how important rural jobs can be to the state’s economy.” [KIMT, 3/20/14]


Dubuque

“Braley said despite the resistance to a minimum wage hike — particularly among Republicans — he will continue to advocate. ‘I’m going to keep talking about it because I think it’s an important issue. Most people can’t survive on a minimum wage job,’ he said.” [Telegraph Herald, 3/21/14]


Davenport

"He's focusing on policies that create jobs and boost the middle class. He visited the Republic Truck Company to emphasize the impact of good paying jobs on the Iowa economy. ‘These types of jobs are the types of work people do every day,’ said Braley. ‘Nobody usually says thank you and yet they have an extraordinary impact on the people of Iowa.’” [WHBF, 3/21/14]

"‘I know what it takes to get a commercial driver’s license,’ Braley said. ‘I’ve driven a truck and worked construction to pay my way through school.’ Making those regulations easier to understand cuts costs to business, which frees up money that can be used for further investment, he said.” [Quad-City Times,3/21/14]


Cedar Rapids

“U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley concluded his Iowa Works tour at a Cedar River bridge that he said was replaced, in part, as a result of his legislative efforts to create a funding stream to replace bridges destroyed by the floods of 2008… During the Iowa Works campaign tour, Braley has highlighted Iowans’ hard work, the need for policies that strengthen the middle class and create good-paying Iowa jobs, and discussed his own working background, which includes four summers working on bridge crews.” [Quad-City Times, 3/24/14]
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University of Iowa students to participate in Hawkeye Caucus event in Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Lin Larson   
Friday, 28 March 2014 09:38

IOWA CITY, IA (03/27/2014)(readMedia)-- Approximately 60 University of Iowa students will participate in the 2014 Hawkeye Caucus, held on April 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.

The annual Hawkeye Caucus is a major gathering of UI students, university leaders, and state legislators, demonstrating the university's commitment to statewide service. The event connects UI students with state leaders while showcasing the people and programs from the UI that are making an impact across the state.

The following UI students from your area will be participating in the event:

Elizabeth Baer of Bettendorf

Mackenzie Leonard of DeWitt

Saad Ansari of Clinton

Drew Lakin of Clinton

Tyler Finchum of Muscatine

Alyson Wennlund of Bettendorf

Dexter Golinghorst of Walcott

 
Elizabeth Warren And The PCCC Endorse Two Prairie Populists In Key 2014 Senate Races PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Laura Friedenbach   
Friday, 28 March 2014 08:05

Today, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the PCCC are endorsing Rick Weiland in South Dakota and Bruce Braley in Iowa, two prairie populists from the heartland who are running to fill open seats that Democrats need to keep the Senate.

Both candidates are committed to expanding Social Security benefits and passing campaign finance reform (public matching funds), major new Wall Street reforms, and Warren's plan to make student loans more affordable. See Warren's email to PCCC members nationwide below.

 
Braley Makes Push to Preserve Government’s Only Radon Grant Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:22

Braley: this program is a life or death matter for states like Iowa with high concentrations of radon

Washington, D.C. – After the Iowa legislature’s recent attempt to require radon testing in Iowa schools stalled, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today made an aggressive push to protect one of the last available federal programs that can help states test for the deadly gas. President Obama has singled out this program for elimination in his 2015 budget.

Braley is circulating a letter among his colleagues seeking support to preserve the State Indoor Radon Grant Program (SIRP). The program was created in 1988 to provide assistance to states to test and reduce radon exposure in schools and homes.

“Radon, behind smoking, is the leading cause of lung cancer in Iowa, and we’re not doing nearly enough to ensure our families and schoolchildren are protected,” Braley said. “This is a matter of life and death for Iowans and I’m going to do everything possible to save this program—it’s the only resource we have to help reduce this threat until Iowa lawmakers act.”

Braley has already rallied the support of over a dozen lawmakers and is making resources for radon testing a top priority during the appropriations process. The American Lung Association has also announced their support for Braley’s initiative.

“Eliminating the SIRG program would have a devastating effect on the work being done across the United States to educate the public about the dangers of radon and save lives by protecting people from lung cancer,” Braley’s letter reads.  

Braley has spent years fighting at the federal level for the resources to allow testing in Iowa schools. In 2012, Braley introduced the End Radon in Schools Act to protect students, teachers, and school employees from high levels of radon in public schools and provide grants to test the radon levels in school buildings.

In July of 2013, Braley introduced an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to end the threat of radon gas in America’s schools.

A copy of Braley’s letter is available immediately below:

 

March 26, 2014

 

The Honorable Ken Calvert                        The Honorable Jim Moran

Chairman                                                    Ranking Member

House Appropriations Subcommittee        House Appropriations Subcommittee

on Interior, Environment, and Related         on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies                      

Agencies

 

Dear Chairmen Calvert and Ranking Member Moran:

As you both work to craft your fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill, we would like to urge you to provided significant funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) Program.

As you may know, Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that causes lung cancer.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after smoking, responsible for thousands of deaths each year, according to the Surgeon General and the EPA.  Because people spend much of their lives indoors, the quality of indoor air is a major concern. Radon has been found at elevated levels in homes in every state, and can also build up in schools and other buildings. The EPA estimates that nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the United States has unsafe indoor radon levels.

Exposure to radon causes no immediate symptoms, but the long-term threat of lung cancer is significant to everyone.  Simple steps can reduce the threat through testing buildings for radon and fixing buildings where levels are dangerously high.  Unfortunately, the President’s budget would eliminate an important program that prevents radon exposure.

The EPA’s State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) program was authorized in 1988 to provide financial assistance to states to develop, implement and enhance state capacity for reducing radon risk. Over the past two decades, the EPA’s Radon Program has helped reduce radon exposure in homes and schools and reduced radon-caused lung cancer. Eliminating the SIRG program would have a devastating effect on the work being done across the United States to educate the public about the dangers of radon and save lives by protecting people from lung cancer. Many states have indoor radon programs in place, but they need ongoing support as well as technical assistance, to make sure that states can reduce the health burden caused by radon exposure. Without the guidance and funding support from EPA, state programs will simply not be able to protect the public from the threat of radon.  We ask that you provide $8 million in funding for the State Indoor Radon Grant Program as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.

We appreciate your attention to our request.  Please feel free to contact us if we can provide further assistance.

Sincerely,

# # #

 
ANDERSON ANNOUNCES PLAN TO END WASTEFUL TAXPAYER-FUNDED INVESTIGATIONS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Roecker   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:01
Plan Includes Expanding Use of Electronic Poll Books & Updating Voter Registration Database
CLINTON, Iowa – Today, at an event in Clinton, Iowa, Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson announced his plan to end the wasteful criminal investigations in the Secretary of State’s office attempting to prove the existence of voter fraud in Iowa.  In addition, Anderson announces his commitment to preventing potential voter fraud before it happens by committing to expand the use of electronic poll books to all 99 counties.

“There is a clear choice in the race for Secretary of State – continuing the Matt Schultz agenda of wasteful investigations and voter intimidation, or turning the page and finding ways to modernize the office and encourage more Iowans to participate in our elections,” said Anderson.  “I believe our state’s reputation for clean and fair elections has been put at risk because our Secretary of State has spent his entire term in office trying to prove Iowans are cheaters.  It’s time to turn the page on these fruitless investigations and get back to encouraging Iowans to get out there and vote.”

Since Schultz took office, millions of votes have been cast and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been spent trying to prove voter fraud exists in Iowa.  Despite years of investigations, only six Iowans have pled guilty to election misconduct, “with most involving voters who said they didn’t know they were ineligible or that their actions represented election misconduct,” according to the Des Moines Register.

On March 20th a Lee County jury acquitted a former Iowa drug offender and mother of three young children who was charged with voter fraud as a result of Schultz’s investigation and faced up to 15 years in prison.  Without dissention, the jury ruled the mother had simply made “a mistake” by registering to vote because, as the jury foreman said, “she thought she had her rights restored.”

ANDERSON PLAN TO END INVESTIGATIONS AND MODERNIZE ELECTIONS:
In February Schultz said he expects to spend $240,000 in federal Help America Vote Act funding on the criminal voter fraud investigation.  He also requested an additional $140,000 in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year to continue his fraud investigation.

Our tax dollars must be used more effectively. Anderson believes it is time to take the office in a different direction:

STEP #1: Immediate end to hiring criminal investigator.
  • Upon taking office, Anderson will put an immediate end to the Matt Schultz practice of wasting either federal or state taxpayer dollars to hire criminal investigators in the Secretary of State’s office.

STEP #2: Expand use of electronic pollbooks.
  • Anderson commits to working with local election officials and investing in measures that are proven to prevent potential voter fraud such as electronic pollbooks.  By expanding the use of electronic pollbooks in all 99 counties, Iowans who choose to vote at the polls on election day could check-in electronically and the local poll worker will let them know immediately if they are eligible to vote and at the correct polling location.

STEP #3: Update voter registration rolls.
  • Anderson will invest in updating voter registration database to ensure eligible Iowa voters are no longer prevented from casting a vote, as was the case recently in Cerro Gordo county when three voters had their votes thrown out because their names mistakenly appeared on a Secretary of State list of ineligible voters.

“Modernizing the office and detecting fraud before it happens will strengthen the integrity of our elections without disenfranchising a single, eligible Iowa voter,” said Anderson.  “This is common sense, but to move forward we need a Secretary of State who cares more about governing than pushing some political agenda to suppress votes.”

In December 2012, Anderson unveiled his plan to make Iowa number one in the nation in voter turnout through implementing such measures as online voter registration and allowing Iowans to sign-up for permanent absentee ballots.
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