Retired Admiral Michael Franken Joins Senate Race For Ernst Matchup

Michael Franken, a retired Navy admiral from Northwest Iowa, entered the U.S. Senate race today against Joni Ernst to “do what’s right for Iowa” and stand up to the Washington establishment. “Iowans need a senator who will go against the grain in Washington and do what’s right for Iowa,” said Franken, in an introductory campaign video released Monday morning. Raised in Sioux Center, deep in Rep. Steve King’s conservative 4th Congressional District, Franken’s 40-year career with the Navy took him around the world. Before moving back to Sioux City this year, he lived in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Franken served […]

Trump Knows He “Really Messed Up With The Farmers,” Say Branstad/Ernst

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said President Donald Trump understands he “really messed up with the farmers” when he approved 31 waivers allowing refiners to forgo ethanol blending requirements outlined in the Renewable Fuel Standards. However, Ernst said the President, after several conversations with top staff and herself, didn’t agree to change that decision. Ernst told a crowd gathered in Forest City on Friday that she had two calls with Trump on Thursday. She added that Ambassador Terry Branstad also spoke with Trump about the waivers earlier in the week. “When I followed up with Ambassador Branstad after that meeting, he […]

Iowan To Joni Ernst: The ACA Helped My Rural Hospital

Sen. Joni Ernst told a crowd of constituents at a recent town hall meeting her “commitment to rural America is very strong” because she lives in rural Iowa. Josh Dahle challenged that statement, explaining to Ernst how the Affordable Care Act benefited a rural hospital where he used to work, and how her votes to repeal the ACA were, in fact, not good for rural America. Rather than make a humanitarian argument for the ACA — that all Americans should have health insurance — Dahle said he has reframed the discussion around economics when talking to Republicans about the benefits […]

After Judiciary Appointment, Joni Ernst Backs All Trump Judges In 2019

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have taken it upon themselves to stack the federal courts with conservative judges, an effort Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst has aided in lockstep. Ernst, Iowa’s junior U.S. senator, was appointed to the influential Judiciary Committee in January, tasked in part with vetting judicial nominees. “As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve worked hard to get a record number of President Donald J. Trump’s judicial nominees on the bench,” Ernst said, in an Aug. 8 Facebook post. According to Ernst, since Trump took office in January 2017, 44 Circuit Court […]

Ernst Plans Visit With Trump On SREs, Hopes For USMCA Resolution

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said she and Senator Chuck Grassley were able to slip messages about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proliferation of the Small Refinery Exemptions to Ambassador to China Terry Branstad before he met with President Donald Trump on Monday. Ernst said at a town hall meeting in Rockwell City Thursday morning that Branstad and Trump were supposed to talk about negotiating a trade deal with China, but that it ultimately “evolved into an SRE discussion.” “[Branstad] took my comments and comments from Senator Grassley and presented those to the President,” Ernst said. “I am expecting to have a […]

IA-Sen: Christie Vilsack Weighs In With Greenfield Endorsement

Christie Vilsack, the former First Lady of Iowa, has weighed in on Democrats’ effort to win a seat in the U.S. Senate with her endorsement today of Theresa Greenfield. “With all the gridlock and mudslinging in Washington, Theresa Greenfield is exactly the kind of commonsense leader Iowans need fighting for our families in the Senate,” said Christie Vilsack, Tuesday in a statement. It’s one more high-profile endorsement for Greenfield, who has seen most of party leadership quickly coalesce around her candidacy to take on Joni Ernst. The Iowa contest should prove to be a top national target for Democrats as […]

Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley Noncommittal On Gun Control

All eyes will turn to the Senate in September when lawmakers return to the Capitol with a host of issues to tackle, chief among them gun safety legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. In the wake of two August mass shootings that killed 31 people in two states, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a Louisville, Kentucky, radio station that discussions on background checks would be “front and center,” in addition to so-called red flag laws. Will the Republican-led Senate take up House Resolution 8, requiring background checks on all gun sales, or will it craft a […]

After Active Shooting Training, Teacher Pleads With Joni Ernst On Guns

Questions on gun violence and the 2nd Amendment dominated a contentious town hall forum with Senator Joni Ernst in Johnston this morning. Over half the audience members who asked Ernst about various policies pressed her on her gun rights stance. Though Ernst scheduled her Polk County forum at 7:30 AM on a Saturday, a crowd of about 150 showed up to the suburban Wallace Elementary School auditorium. About two dozen Ernst supporters, decked out in campaign t-shirts, gathered in the parking lot beforehand and cheered and encouraged Ernst as she spoke. But they were considerably outnumbered by the many gun […]

New TV Ad, Mobile Billboard Will Hit Joni Ernst On Health Care

For Iowans, politics at the State Fair is as inevitable as enjoying fried food on a stick. Like it or not, it’s there, and nearly inescapable. On Saturday, fairgoers won’t bump into many people running for president, but they might see Sen. Joni Ernst — on a billboard, that is. Along with a picture of Ernst, the mobile billboard will display her phone number in the Senate — (202) 915-9462 — and a message: “Tell Her To Stop Voting To Gut Our Health Care.” “We need Senator Ernst to stop supporting increases in our health care costs, especially on older […]

Environmentalists Send Airborne Message To Joni Ernst On Climate

Climate change and environmental advocates flew a banner over the Iowa State Fairgrounds today, calling on Sen. Joni Ernst to acknowledge climate change and to act on policy. “We’re out here today because Iowans are feeling the impacts of climate change more than ever and seeing it first hand,” explained Jennessa Agnew, Deputy Field Director from the League of Conservation Voters. “Iowa Senators in D.C. aren’t even willing to acknowledge that this is something that’s happening,” Agnew said. “This year, we’ve seen record flooding across the state hurting families, farmers, the economy and the quality of life here in Iowa.” […]