Politics & Elections
First Lady Michelle Obama and Bruce Braley to Host Iowa Votes Rally in Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Lau   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 13:33

Des Moines, IA – First Lady Michelle Obama will join Bruce Braley in Des Moines on Friday, October 10th to host an Iowa Votes rally. The First Lady will speak about her support for Bruce Braley and the importance of voting in this year’s crucial midterm election. Braley and First Lady Michelle Obama will encourage all Iowans to vote early by mail or in person because it is the simplest and easiest way to cast a ballot.

“I’m thrilled to be joined by the First Lady here in Des Moines and to have the opportunity to speak to Iowans about the importance of voting early by mail or in person. Iowans face a clear choice in this election, and I’m running to be a Senator who fights for all Iowans. Voting early is the easiest way to cast a ballot and make sure every Iowan has a say in our future,” said Braley.

Friday, October 10, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama and Bruce Braley to Host Iowa Votes Rally
Drake University – Fieldhouse
2701 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa

Doors for the event are open from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, arrivals past 2:00 pm are not guaranteed into the event.

For ticket information go to www.brucebraley.com/rsvp or call (515) 802-8943.

Tickets are available for pick up beginning Monday, October 6th at Noon through 9:00pm on Thursday, October 9th at the following office locations:
City Address
Altoona 100 8th Street SE, Altoona 50009
Ankeny 502 N. Ankeny Boulevard, Suite 6, Ankeny 50023
Ames 109 Kellogg Avenue, Ames 50010
Des Moines 2204 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines 50312
Indianola 201 East Salem Avenue, Indianola 50125
Newton 108 First Street N., Newton 50208
Waukee 23 NE Carefree Lane, Waukee 50263

For press credentials, please RSVP online here.

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Iowa Opinion Writers: Ernst Fails to Hide Radical Views on Women's Healthcare PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 13:32
In last Sunday's debate, state Sen. Joni Ernst tried to hide her radical views on women’s health care by referring to her sponsorship of a so-called personhood amendment to the Iowa State Constitution – one that would ban common forms of birth control, outlaw abortion in any circumstance, and take a woman’s health care decisions out of her own hands – as merely a “statement.” Today, columnists at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register called out Sen. Ernst’s attempts to run away from her radical record on women’s healthcare.

Key takeaway: "Ernst has very little respect for the Iowa Constitution, did not understand the legislation she sponsored or is attempting political white wash on the abortion bone she tossed to the GOP base."

Bustos Says No to Economic Development Project in Rockford PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jon Schweppe   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 08:48

Bustos attacks EB-5 program she previously supported but now opposes
in an effort to score political points against Bobby Schilling

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos attacks program being used to finance Ziock project
By: Chuck Sweeny
Rockford Register-Star
October 4, 2014

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos is attacking a federal program being used to finance a key downtown redevelopment project in Rockford.

That project? It’s nothing less than the redevelopment of the Ziock Building, a 13-story former factory at 416 S. Main St. The building will become a hotel and conference center and will be adjacent to a new depot served by Amtrak trains to Chicago. The rail service is to start in late 2015.

The hotel project is linked to the separate redevelopment of the old Ingersoll factory on the east bank of the Rock River into a huge, indoor sports center.

Bustos, D-East Moline, represents downtown Rockford, which is in the 17th District. She is running against Republican businessman Bobby Schilling of Colona, also in the Quad Cities area.

The government program is called EB-5. Schilling, a former congressman, now works for CMB Regional Centers in Rock Island, which uses EB-5 money to invest in development projects in areas of high unemployment.

So, what is this program? In a nutshell, the EB-5 Immigration Investment Program allows foreigners to invest a minimum of $500,000 in U.S. projects that create at least 10 jobs in areas suffering from high unemployment. In return the investor and his immediate family members get a “green card” that allows them to live and work in the U.S. Most foreigners who participate are wealthy Chinese nationals.

On Aug. 27, Bustos’ campaign website questioned both the program and Schilling’s involvement with it: “After losing re-election Schilling walked out of Congress into a six-figure job selling American visas to wealthy Chinese investors that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to game the immigration system.”

On Sept. 19, Bustos wrote a letter on her congressional stationery to Gene Dodaro, U.S. comptroller general, requesting a “thorough audit” of the EB-5 program to evaluate its “efficiency, effectiveness and susceptibility to abuse.”
“In light of recently exposed abuses of the EB-5 program such as the indictment of Anshoo Sethi, as well as unprecedented increases in applications to this program, I have grave concerns about the potential for future exploitation of this program,” Bustos wrote.

“Although the goal of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is an important one, it is also equally important that we do not allow it simply to become a vehicle for wealthy immigrants to game the system.” Bustos would not comment directly to me, referring me through her campaign staff to the letter to the comptroller general.

In January, however, Bustos signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, which among many other things would make “the EB-5 visa (alien investor) regional center program permanent,” according to the bill’s description at congress.gov. Currently, the program must be reauthorized by Congress every three years.

Schilling defends the program, saying it boosts overseas investment in the U.S. and creates jobs.

“For far too long, American wealth has been invested overseas, creating jobs in countries all over the world,” Schilling said in a news release. “The reason Sen. (Dick) Durbin (D-Springfield) and others in Congress support the EB-5 program is to lure foreign investment to the United States, creating new American jobs here at home.

“Under the EB-5 program, CMB Regional Centers in Rock Island has helped create more than 90,000 new American jobs and helped add more than $7 billion in economic activity to rural and high unemployment areas.”

Gary Gorman, CEO of Gorman & Co., which is redeveloping the Ziock Building, also defends the program. The firm is using the EB-5 program as a construction and mortgage debt source in connection with Paragon Partners, a Chinese firm that markets EB-5 to would-be investors in that country.

“It angers me when people take potshots at this program,” Gorman said.

“The program is extremely well regulated. It costs taxpayers not one dime. The customs and immigration service vets every investment to make sure it is not used to help a bad guy to get into this country,” Gorman said. “I can’t think of another government program that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and generates American jobs.”

A Gorman & Co. development that used EB-5 is the Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee.

“We raised $15 million through EB-5 during the recession when no U.S. bank would loan us money. We created a 90-suite hotel with a bar and restaurant. There are now lots of jobs there,” Gorman said.

“EB-5 is legitimate, and if it’s worked through with honest people it’s extremely effective.”

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Schilling, Conaway Talk Ag and Trade With Farmers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Jon Schweppe   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 08:21

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), a key member of the House Agriculture Committee, joins Schilling and local farmers in Geneseo and Rio, Ill.

GENESEO, Ill. and RIO, Ill. -- U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) joined Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) for a question and answer session with local farmers in Geneseo and Rio, Ill. today. Conaway traveled to the Illinois 17th District to support Bobby Schilling in his race against U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline).

Schilling said that agriculture is the heart of the Illinois 17th District, and that he stands with farmers "100 percent."

"Agriculture is our life blood," Schilling said. "It's the largest job creator in the state of Illinois. Our area needs to have a representative in Washington that will help the American farmer feed the world. In order to do that, we need to level the playing field and let our farmers compete.

"More than 50 percent of American agricultural products are shipped to consumers outside of the United States," Schilling continued. "That's why I support trade expansion. It's important that we have fair and free trade. When given the opportunity to compete with a level playing field, we can compete and beat anybody.

"The key topic farmers brought up today was trade expansion and making sure we keep growing into global markets through fair and free trade. My opponent opposes trade and has campaigned heavily against it. Not only is trade important for large 17th District employers like John Deere and Caterpillar, but it is absolutely vital for farmers trying to sell their products. Let's give our farmers the ability to feed the world."

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Bruce Braley Touts His Record Of Bridging Partisan Divides in Davenport PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Lau   
Monday, 06 October 2014 10:18
Braley emphasizes his bipartisan accomplishments in Congress & contrasts with Sen. Ernst's Tea Party obstructionism

Braley endorsed by IUPAT on Centennial Bridge

Davenport, IA – Today, Bruce Braley touted his record as a bridge builder in Congress while touring the Centennial Bridge construction site in Davenport.

Braley has a strong record of working across the party divide to deliver results for Iowa and stand up for Iowa’s working families. Braley worked with both Democrats and Republicans to secure back pay and GI Bill benefits that had been denied to hundreds of Iowa National Guard soldiers. In addition, he worked to pass the bipartisan “Back to Work Act” that provided tax credits to businesses hiring unemployed workers. He also has a strong record of working across the aisle to protect and grow Iowa’s agriculture economy– including working for three years to pass the bipartisan Farm Bill and testifying alongside Governor Terry Branstad to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard and the 75,000 jobs it supports in Iowa.

In contrast, Sen. Joni Ernst's radical Tea Party agenda, which includes supporting a government shutdown that cost Iowa's economy $112 million and calling the President a "dictator," would only add to the gridlock in Washington. 

“I’m running for U.S. Senate to be a bridge builder, not a bridge burner. I’m proud of my record reaching across the party divide and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to deliver results for Iowans,” said Braley. “But Sen. Ernst stands with Tea Party obstructionists who are the bridge burners in Congress, and her radical Tea Party agenda would lead to more obstructionism. There’s a clear choice in this race, and Iowans deserve a Senator who will bring people together and put Iowa first.”

Braley, who worked for the Poweshiek County Roads Department to help pay for college, also proudly accepted the endorsement of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades at Centennial Bridge today.

“Congressman Braley’s visit to this project today, in addition to his consistent voting record on fair wages for construction workers, makes it clear that he is determined to get America working again by creating new jobs with infrastructure investment,” said Bobby Gilmore Business Manager for IU PAT District Council 81.  “The IUPAT stands ready to do our part to make certain Congressman Braley continues to fight for working families on Capitol Hill for years to come as our next Senator.”

Bruce Braley: Bridging the Party Divide, Standing Up for Iowa:

Jobs & the Economy
  • Passed into law the “Back to Work Act” that provided tax cuts for businesses hiring unemployed workers—resulted in hiring of tens of thousands of Iowans.
  • Worked with Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) on “New Era Act” to provide job training funding to Eastern Iowa Community College, Hawkeye Community College, and Northeast Iowa Community College for Iowans in the renewable energy sector.
  • Sponsor of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that helps employees fight pay discrimination in the workplace.
  • Along with Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA), helped save jobs at Lennox Manufacturing in Marshalltown by fixing over-burdensome energy regulations.

Helping Iowa Veterans
  • Worked with Republicans John Kline (MN), Michele Bachmann (MN), Tom Latham and Steve King to secure back pay for hundreds of Iowa National Guard members initially denied Respite Leave benefits.
  • Along with Rep. John Kline (R-MN), led a Congressional investigation into the Pentagon’s denial of GI Bill benefits that led to successful awarding of benefits to 600 members of Iowa National Guard
  • In honor of Holley Lynn James, worked with Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) on the Holley Lynn James Act to strengthen the military’s response to sexual assault and domestic violence in its ranks.  Provisions of this bill are now law.
  • Worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act into law.
  • Alongside Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman, passed a tax credit for businesses to hire veterans that benefitted nearly 1,400 Iowa veterans.

Fighting Back Against Social Security Reductions
  • This summer, successfully prevented service cut at 19 Iowa Social Security offices by building bipartisan coalition around Braley’s Seniors’ Access to Social Security Act

Protecting Iowa’s Renewable Energy Industry
  • Testified alongside Gov. Terry Branstad at EPA hearing to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard that supports nearly 75,000 Iowa jobs.

Strengthening Iowa Families
  • Worked with Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) on the “Making Adoption Affordable Act” that made the adoption tax credit permanent, making it easier for countless Iowa families to adopt.

Streamlining Government
  • Along with Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), saved money and time for small businesses and individuals by simplifying government paperwork through passage of the Plain Writing Act.
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