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. But what's not being said is that her Democratic opponent once voted to continue debating impeachment proceedings against a Republican vice president.
Yahoo! News first reported on a video from a January candidate forum showing Ernst being asked about Obama's executive overreach. In the forum, which featured other Republican candidates, Ernst stopped short of outright endorsing impeachment and removal of office, but did say Obama had "become a dictator" over his recess appointments and "should face the consequences." Ernst went on to say that elected members of Congress ought to push harder against such executive violations, and her campaign later "clarified" that she had been answering a hypothetical. And in a radio interview last month, she said that House speaker John Boehner should move forward on impeachment proceedings if he "thinks he has a case." Ernst added that she wasn't "encouraging or discouraging it." (Boehner, for his part, told reporters today he wasn't interested in pursuing impeachment.)
Democrats and the campaign of her opponent, Bruce Braley, have pounced. Here's Justin Barasky of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
And here's Braley's communications director, Jeff Giertz:
Fair hits at Ernst, perhaps. But what happens to the politics of impeachment when the parties are reversed?
In 2007, Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio tried to put forward a resolution to bring articles of impeachment against Republican vice president Dick Cheney for "high crimes and misdemeanors." As they often did in the final years of the Bush administration, the Democratic House leadership attempted to quash impeachment efforts by holding a vote to effectively kill Kucinich's bill. The motion to kill the bill failed, made possible by several Republicans, who hoped to force Democrats to continue debating potentially politically damaging impeachment proceedings, and 86 liberal Democrats.
Among those 86 Democrats who voted against killing the articles of impeachment? First-term Iowa congressman Bruce Braley.
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.
2:49 PM, Apr 24, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Mark Jacobs, a Republican candidate for Senate in Iowa, has donated more of his own money to his campaign than any candidate in Hawkeye State history. The Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs (no relation) has the story:
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.
5:02 PM, Mar 25, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register reports, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Iowa, Bruce Braley, recently made a gloves-off appeal to an audience:
… of trial lawyers in at a fundraiser in Texas:
Joni Ernst tries to separate herself from the Iowa GOP pack. Mar 31, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 28 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In Iowa’s crowded, six-way GOP Senate primary, Joni Ernst is trying to break out of the pack by running as the only candidate who is “a mother, a soldier, and a proven conservative.”
9:10 AM, Feb 18, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Iowa is wide open, according to a new survey of GOP voters in the Hawkeye State. Mark Jacobs, a businessman and self-funding candidate, leads the pack with 22 percent, while state senator and Iraq veteran Joni Ernst earns 11 percent. Two more candidates, former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker and radio host Sam Clovis, round out the field with 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Supported Arlen Specter, cap and trade.12:43 PM, Feb 10, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa, who calls himself a “life-long Republican,” once donated $1,000 to the Senate campaign of Democrat Jon Corzine. Mark Jacobs, a Republican businessman who is running for the Senate seat of retiring Democrat Tom Harkin this year, gave the money to Corzine, the CEO of Goldman Sachs who was running for Senate in New Jersey in 2000. Jacobs was working for Goldman Sachs in Houston at the time.
10:24 AM, Jan 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A gathering of pro-Hillary Clinton activists in Iowa this weekend revealed how supporters of the former first lady are hoping to learn from the mistakes of Clinton's failed attempt to win the Iowa caucuses in 2008. America Rising, a conservative opposition research firm, had its cameras rolling at the meeting, organized by Ready for Hillary, a super PAC that supports Clinton.