9:58 AM, Sep 29, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democrat Bruce Braley says those who want to know his commitment to our nation's veterans need only look at the website of his Senate campaign.
"If people want to know my true record on standing up for veterans, they can go to my website and look at Braley Truth Team where it lays out all of the things I've done for veterans in eight years," said the Iowa congressman in his debate this weekend with his GOP opponent, state senator Joni Ernst.
Ernst herself is an active-duty officer in the Iowa National Guard.
Here's what Braley's page on veterans says:
Bruce Braley believes that our country should support our troops not only when they’re fighting abroad, but when they return home. That’s why he’s worked so hard for America’s military veterans. Braley introduced and passed a law to give tax breaks to companies that hire veterans returning from duty, unemployed veterans, and wounded warriors. Braley also successfully took on the Pentagon to secure overdue combat pay for 800 Iowa National Guard troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and helped secure full GI Bill education benefits that were initially denied to 600 Iowa National Guard soldiers.
Since at least 2012, Braley has been claiming to "fight for veterans every day", but as the Des Moines Register reported this summer, Braley has frequently missed House oversight hearings on the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some of these hearings he missed featured testimony about mismanagement at VA hospitals across the country, which became a full-fledged scandal earlier this year. One 2012 hearing he missed was held on a day where Braley attended three fundraisers in Washington instead.
On the day of another hearing, during which then-VA secretary Eric Shinseki testified, Braley was attending a union-hosted fundraiser. The issue of Braley's absence from VA hearings even made it into an ad from conservative super PAC American Crossroads, and PolitiFact, a fact-checking organization that's no friend to Republicans, says the claim that Braley missed 79 percent of hearings on the VA "mostly true."
The race between Braley and Ernst has been close, despite the state's Democratic tilt of recent years. A new poll from the Des Moines Register, however, found Ernst opening up a 6-point lead over Braley, 44 percent to 38 percent. The Real Clear Politics average of polls gives the Republican a 2.2-point lead.
6:00 AM, Sep 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
American Crossroads, the pro-Republican super PAC, has a new ad Tuesday running in Iowa that targets Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. The ad focuses on Braley's absence from 75 percent of the House of Representatives' veterans' affairs committee hearings. On the day of one 2012 hearing investigating claims of long wait times at VA hospitals, Braley attended three separate fundraising events.
Watch the ad below:
10:46 AM, Sep 8, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bruce Braley, the Democratic congressman from Iowa running for the U.S. Senate, was not listed as present at a February 2012 House hearing with then-Veterans Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki. On February 15, 2012, Shinseki appeared on a panel before the House Veterans' Affairs committee, which began at 10:30 a.m. The secretary's testimony focused on the VA Department's budget, although one panelist raised concerns about long wait times at VA hospitals.
"There's no towel service!"10:18 AM, Aug 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The race to replace retiring Democratic senator Tom Harkin of Iowa was considered to have favored the Democrat. At first, Republicans didn't appear to have an obvious candidate, and the state has been trending toward the Democrats for years. But the current GOP nominee, state senator Joni Ernst, has surprised many to become one of the best Senate candidates of the 2014 cycle. Ernst is now tied, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average.
But Iowa Dem missed three-quarters of committee hearings.1:52 PM, Jul 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bruce Braley, the Iowa Democratic congressman running for U.S. Senate, touted his work on behalf of veterans at his state party's 2012 convention. "I fight for veterans every day on the Veterans' Affairs committee," he said. Watch the video below:
3:31 PM, Jul 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Rep. Bruce Braley, the Iowa Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, missed three quarters of committee hearings concerning oversight of the Veterans Affairs administration in 2011 and 2012, including one, the Des Moines Register reports, on the same day Braley attended three fundraisers.
3:14 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Joni Ernst, the Republican Senate candidate from Iowa, is getting a boost from GOP super PAC American Crossroads. A new TV ad from the group contrasts Ernst's background as "a mother and a soldier" with that of her opponent, Democratic congressman Bruce Braley.
"Bruce Braley, trial lawyer and Washington politician, supports Obamacare and caught putting down Chuck Grassley to an out-of-state crowd," says the voiceover. Included in a clip of Braley criticizing Grassley, the Iowa Republican, as a "farmer who never went to law school."
5:39 PM, Jul 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
When is it okay for a politician to discuss impeaching a president? Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst is receiving criticism for her responses to questions about impeaching President Obama. Ernst, who won her party's nomination last month, never actually said she supported impeachment. But amid recent calls from some conservatives that "it's time to impeach" the president the Iowa Republican is receiving some tougher scrutiny over her past statements on impeachment.
2:29 PM, Jul 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa would like to become Senator Bruce Braley of Iowa. In pursuit of this ambition, he once disparaged a sitting Iowa senator as merely a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school,” while he, Braley, was a real, sure enough lawyer. With a degree and everything.
10:33 AM, Jun 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, a Republican, leads her Democratic opponent Bruce Braley by five points, according to a new poll from Republican polling firm Vox Populi. The survey of "active voters" (culled from registered voters who voted in the last two elections) in Iowa found 49 percent support or lean toward Ernst, while 44 percent support or lean toward Braley.
2:30 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa leads her Democratic opponent, Bruce Braley, by nearly seven points in a new poll from Loras College. Fresh off her victory in the GOP primary Tuesday, Ernst has 48 percent support from likely voters in a new poll from Loras College. Braley, a four-term congressman, has 41.7 percent support.
12:40 PM, May 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa has a double-digit lead over her closest primary opponent in a new poll from Loras College. The survey of 600 likely Republican primary voters found Ernst, a state senator, with 30.8 percent support, while businessman Mark Jacobs comes in second with 19.3 percent support.
Sam Clovis and Matt Whitaker come in behind with 9.5 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively, while 29.2 percent remain undecided.
8:36 AM, May 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Des Moines Register reports:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this morning endorsed Iowa's Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate, snubbing Republican rival Mark Jacobs, who has been campaigning on his experience as a business executive.
The news effectively secures Ernst's position as the business establishment candidate, which her backers say is a significant development just 20 days out from election day.
5:01 PM, Apr 3, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Nebraska senator Deb Fischer will travel next door to Iowa in support of a fellow female Republican running in a tough primary for U.S. Senate. According to a press release from ShePAC, a conservative women's group, Fischer will go to Des Moines later this month to campaign for Joni Ernst, who is running for the seat currently held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. Ernst is locked in a primary battle with four other Republican candidates, including leading candidate Mark Jacobs.