I don’t dislike Joni Ernst as a person. She appears to be very nice and it is with sincere admiration that I thank her for her military service. I believe that she is sincere, as well, in her commitment to improving Washington and to change the course of America in a better direction. But that doesn’t make her the right person for the job.
An article the day before an election may seem like too little too late to influence a race; many absentee ballots are already cast and most people know with certainty which little box they’re going to fill in tomorrow, but a vote not yet cast is still a vote not yet cast. The Braley/Ernst race will be close and a few people reconsidering their decision could make a difference.
The most aggravating aspect of this race has been the erroneous rhetoric that has attacked the candidates. Bruce Braley’s record has suffered the most in this regard due to dark and unlimited soft money that have given attack ads the lion share of airtime.
He has been portrayed as uninterested in our veterans “just when they needed him most”- yet nothing could be further from the truth. Braley has made Veteran’s benefits the signature of his terms in the House. Braley introduced and passed a law to give tax breaks to companies that hire veterans returning from duty, unemployed veterans, and wounded warriors. He took on the Pentagon to secure overdue combat pay for 800 Iowa National Guard troops and helped secure full GI Bill education benefits.
Committee attendance records are a weak issue. Ernst, in particular, has a low attendance record in Des Moines, but that doesn’t mean that she’s been uninterested in the job, it simply means that she (like Braley) was serving her office in other ways. I don’t hold her low attendance record against her.
In one of the more ironic twists of any campaign, Braley missed a committee meeting because he was literally welcoming Iowa veterans in Washington from the Honor Flight.
Several Republican PAC commercials have cited Braley as a regulations creating, tax and spend Democrat. Each of these points are simply political rhetoric. The Bush Administration left America with an economy in a death spiral and spending was the inevitable result. Detroit was buoyed by both Bush and Obama stimulus. Wall Street, as well. New regulations were put in place to curtail devious practices that led to toxic assets that crippled the stock market.
To now pin spending on Braley and Democrats is as disingenuous as politics can get. In fact, deficit spending is now less as we move toward balancing the budget that Ernst says would be her priority.
George Bush had a Republican Congress for 4 years (Democrats only had a majority in both the House and the Senate for 2 of Bush’s 8 years) and the brick and mortar were laid that resulted in economic collapse. Why, America, would we think that the same formula would lead to different results?
We may not have a Republican President today, but if Republicans sweep into Washington in these midterm elections, we will be one step away from the trifecta that opened the financial faucet for the wealthiest Americans to amass greater fortunes and choked the Middle Class to where they could no longer spend and sustain the economy.
6 months ago, Bruce Braley led this race by a wide margin. Since then Joni Ernst has mounted a very strong and clever campaign. She is a nice Iowa farmgirl and a self sacrificing patriot and that translates very well in the midst of a contentious political climate.
Braley meanwhile pulled a gaff in Texas that was exploited by the Ernst campaign. I can say with certainty that he wishes he could take a remark back where he appeared to belittle Senator Chuck Grassley by categorizing him as a farmer, but the comment has to be put in context. He was speaking privately to lawyers suggesting that someone with a law degree and not a “farmer who never went to law school” should head the Judiciary Committee. That, in itself, is not an outrageous statement.
Would he rephrase that if he could? Absolutely. Does it mean he doesn’t care about farmers? Absolutely not. Braley has fought tirelessly to re-new the Farm Bill to provide our farmers and ranchers the tools they need to produce abundant and affordable food.
Your vote is important. Have you taken the time to look at his REAL position on farming? http://braley.house.gov/issue/agriculture
It comes down to this. Bruce Braley has been a Congressman who has reached across the aisle to get things done. He cares about Iowa, he cares about America, and he fights for better benefits for veterans and subsidies for farmers. He is a passionate advocate for renewable energy to bolster Iowa’s economy as well as provide better environmental standards. Yes, he is a lawyer, and thereby knows a thing or two about the system our Founding Fathers created. We are a nation of laws; that is how we keep order, justice, service, fairness, opportunity and advance our interests.
Joni Ernst has gained a lot of attention for her position to “bring Iowa values to Washington.” Great statement and it has worked because we are tired of the hostility in Washington. But it’s hostility created by a 100% obstructionist agenda by Republicans since January of 2009. It is hostility created by superficial memes and news agencies with nothing but a financial agenda. It is hostility created by billions of dollars that serve only the special interests of those spending it.
A vote for Joni Ernst continues the gridlock that defines today’s politics. A vote for Ernst supports the special interests of corporations. It is a vote toward undervaluing women in the workplace and away from the freedom to have dominion over their own bodies. A vote for Ernst is a vote against affordable student loans, a living wage and a healthier environment. A vote for Ernst moves us toward the privatization that steers America toward plutocracy. A vote for Ernst leads us toward policy that threatens the civil rights guaranteed by our constitution to all Americans.
A vote for Bruce Braley is a vote for the kind of politician we all say we’re looking for. Intelligent, willing and able to listen and respond, who reaches across the aisle, who is passionate about his state, his country, and those who serve, from our agricultural roots to the service men and women who defend us.
A vote for the Democrat in this race helps to secure balance on Capitol Hill to ensure that we do not, once again, begin a slide into economic and cultural catastrophe.