Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Republican Joni Ernst beats Bruce Braley in Iowa Senate race

Iowa senator Joni Ernst

Iowa senator Joni Ernst

NBC local news reports:

Joni Ernst has been elected as the next U.S. Senator from Iowa. The Republican, a state Senator from Red Oak, defeated Democrat U.S. Representative Bruce Braley in one of the nation’s closest watched elections.

Ernst will fill the seat currently occupied by Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1985, announced in January 2013 that he would retire at the end of his term in January 2015.

Recent polls had shown Ernst pulling ahead, a poll released by the Des Moines Register this weekend showed her with a seven point lead. A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday showed the race was tied at 47%.

Ernst will be sworn in to the Senate in January.

Here’s a bit of background on her:

In 1989, a teenage college student from Iowa completed an agricultural exchange on a family farm in the Soviet state of Ukraine. Not surprisingly, as Joni Ernst retells it, the experience gave her a profound new appreciation for her home country — one that has colored her career choices to this day.

“It was just such a difference between the United States and the opportunity we had and what that family had in Ukraine,” she told RealClearPolitics, citing the farm’s lack of basic utilities such as a telephone and running water. (Residents had to use an outhouse behind the chicken coop, and the family shared a single bicycle in the absence of a car. Farm work was done through manual labor, supported by horses and wagons.) “That made such an impression on me when I came back to the United States and it was a matter of ‘Oh, I love my country.’”

[…]Ernst’s campaign is putting its focus on the candidate’s varied life experiences, including 21 years in the U.S. Army Reserves and the Iowa Army National Guard and being a mother of three and grandmother of six. Indeed, Romney’s endorsement highlighted her history as a “mother, soldier and proven conservative.”

A company commander in Kuwait and southern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 (and now a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard), Ernst says the grim realities she witnessed in Ukraine long ago sparked her interest in giving back to and supporting her own country.

“I felt that the military was a great way for me to do that, to defend the freedoms and opportunities that we have here in the United States,” she explained. “I’ve loved it.”

Nonetheless, Ernst recounts the hardships of serving in the Iraqi desert, including driving convoys in 142-degree temperatures and sandstorms that would sweep over the region. The situation was “just [a] pretty difficult environment, but you just adapt and you just roll with it,” she recalled. “It was the greatest of experiences and it was the worst of experiences.”

Those experiences are what drew some of Ernst’s supporters to her side. Ruben Garza, an officer in the Iowa Army National Guard, said he sees the candidate’s service as apt preparation for the U.S. Senate. “When you’re a military leader, your actions and your words are highly scrutinized and you’re expected to do what you say. I would expect, [if] Senator Ernst says she’s going to achieve something, she’s going to put 110 percent effort into achieving that.”

Her personal story goes far beyond the Iraqi desert, of course. It can be traced back to the cornfields of Stanton, a farming town of about 700 in southwestern Iowa. The town’s premier landmark is a water tower modeled after a traditional Swedish coffeepot, complete with a colorful floral design, handle and spout. Erected during Stanton’s centennial in 1970, the tower is both a nod to the town’s 19th-century Swedish immigrant heritage and a tribute to native daughter Virginia Christine, an actress featured in 1960s television commercials for Folgers Coffee.

Joni Culver, the second daughter of a farming couple, was born the same year the water tower was erected. Ernst and her campaign like to highlight her roots as a farmer’s daughter, and she cited this aspect of her life when arguing for reduced government spending during a debate with other Republican candidates for the Senate: “As a farmer’s daughter, who grew up in southwest Iowa castrating hogs with her dad, I can go to Washington and cut pork,” she said to cheers from the audience.

Among those familiar with Ernst during those early years is her sixth-grade teacher and campaign supporter, Rick Gustafson. He compares the candidate’s upbringing to “Little House on the Prairie,” where Mrs. Culver would sew young Joni’s and her older sister’s clothes. (He still has a pillow Ernst’s mother gave him, embroidered with the names of all 23 students in his class.)  Moreover, Gustafson remembers his former pupil’s strong work ethic and that she learned to drive her father’s tractor, as well as being a model student in class.

“Joni was one of those rare students that had high intellect, very, very good academic ability, and also had a high integrity in terms of doing the right things,” Gustafson told RCP. “She had all those and showed all those qualities at that time, even though she was still in those formative years.”

Ernst first expressed that love by joining the Army Reserves and the National Guard, and she hopes to express it further by serving in the U.S. Senate. What makes her ambition especially noteworthy is that, should she win the GOP primary on June 3 and the general election in November, Ernst would become the first woman from Iowa to serve in Congress. Given the state’s long track record of moderate, independent-minded politics, one might be astonished to learn that only Iowa and Mississippi have yet to elect a woman to federal office or governor.

I think she has the background to be the first woman President one day! She is also pro-life.

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Republican Joni Ernst takes 7 point lead in Iowa senate race

Joni Ernst vs Bruce Braley

Joni Ernst vs Bruce Braley

I hope all my readers in Iowa will vote for her.

Here’s the latest poll:

Joni Ernst has charged to achieve a 7-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in a new Iowa Poll, which buoys the GOP’s hope that an Iowa victory will be the tipping point to a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate.

Ernst, a state senator and military leader, enjoys 51 percent support among likely voters. That’s a majority, and it’s her biggest lead in the three Iowa Polls conducted this fall. Braley, a congressman and trial lawyer, gets 44 percent, according to The Des Moines Register’s final Iowa Poll before Tuesday’s election.

It looks like she is just winning on the issues:

Here’s what has shaped Ernst’s lead, according to the poll results:

  • Although a small plurality of likely voters thinks Braley has more depth on the issues, they like Ernst better than Braley on several character descriptions. They think she better reflects Iowa values, she cares more about people like them, and she’s more of a regular, down-to-earth person.
  • Voters find Ernst, who has led Iowa troops in war, to be a reassuring presence on security issues, the poll shows. In the wake of news developments on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, increasing aggressiveness of Russia and the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East, more likely voters see Ernst as better equipped than Braley to show leadership and judgment, by at least 9 points on each issue.
  • Independent voters are going Ernst’s way, 51 percent to 39 percent.
  • The negativity in the race has hurt Braley more than Ernst. Forty-four percent say he has been more negative in campaign ads, compared with 32 percent for Ernst.
  • Among several potential mistakes the two candidates have made, the one that stands out is Braley’s seemingly condescending remark about Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. In March, GOP operatives released caught-on-tape remarks Braley made at a private fundraiser in Texas that seemed to question the qualifications of “a farmer from Iowa without a law degree” to become the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

That inflicted a lingering hurt, as did emergence of the news that Braley had missed the majority of his Veterans Affairs Committee hearings, the poll shows.

It’s hard for a male Democrat to push the “war on women” narrative against a woman who has been off to war.

Since the article is from the ultra-leftist Des Moines Register, they register their disapproval of her support for private Social Security savings accounts. But that’s just another plus. I hope she wins, and I could see her being President one day, too. We need more REAL people, not career politicians.

Just in case anyone is wondering, yes – she is pro-life. The ultra-leftist New York Times explains:

In Iowa, a Democrat, Bruce Braley, had a 12-point advantage among women over his Republican rival, Joni Ernst, who led by 15 percentage points among men, in a poll conducted for CNN/ORC International this week; over all, the two were statistically tied. Ms. Ernst has been a particular target of women’s groups because… she has not backed off her support for a “personhood” amendment conferring constitutional rights at conception, which would effectively outlaw abortion and some fertility treatments and birth control methods.

The mid term elections are on Tuesday! Make sure you make your voice heard, especially if you are in Iowa or one of the other key senate race states.

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Iowa Human Rights Commissioner told pastor and family to “burn in Hell”

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt:

In Sioux City, Iowa, a local pastor is asking for the removal of a newly appointed member of the city’s human rights commission. The city council appointed Scott Raasch to the commission, which adjudicates discrimination complaints, on July 8. However, the Rev. Cary Gordon, executive pastor of Cornerstone World Outreach, recently brought to light threatening comments Raasch left comments on Gordon’s Facebook page over Gordon’s vocal opposition to the Iowa Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage.

According to the report from the Sioux City Journal:

In one comment, Raasch wrote: “You are haters and bigots and you will get what’s coming to you sooner or later. I hope you rot in hell.”

Gordon replied, “I hope you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I wouldn’t want you or anyone else to go to hell.”

Raasch wrote, “I know Christ and don’t need a snake oil salesman like you to tell me about him. I guess that’s the difference between us because I think there are many people that deserve to burn in hell … including you and your entire family.”

“He gives blatant death wishes to anyone who disagrees with his political or sexual views,” Gordon said Thursday. “He is obviously unstable and filled with raging hatred.”

It’s very important to understand what kinds of people are appointed to these Human Rights Commissions. They sound so good, but actually they are just politically correct Inquisitions. And they appoint the most radical left-wing extremists to them – people who are incapable of even listening to points of view other than their own. We don’t need Inquisition panels to tell us what to think.

 

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Iowa Republicans ban taxpayer-funding of abortion

Good news from Iowa, as reported by Caffeinated Thoughts.

Excerpt:

The Iowa House passed on a 58-37 vote an amendment (H-8489) to the SF 2336 the Health and Human Services appropriations bill.  The amendment provided clear and strong language which defunds abortion of state and federal family planning funds with the only exception being to save the life of the mother.  It removes exceptions for rape and incest, as well as, fetal abnormalities.  It also largely defunds abortion providers in the state of Iowa.  The amendment reads:

A department shall not distribute state or federal family planning funds under this section to any entity that performs abortions or that maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.

In addition all state departments that distribute state and federal family planning money are required to report to the Governor and the General Assembly who received state or federal family planning funds.  If they do distribute state or federal family planning funds to an entity that doesn’t provide primary health services they have to explain why it was necessary to prevent severe limitation or elimination to family planning services to that region of the state.  This amendment had the full support of the Republican caucus.

 Shane also quotes Thomas Jefferson in his post as follows “to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical”. I think that de-funding abortion is a great first step to reducing the number of abortions, and particularly sensible in a time of fiscal crisis. This is common sense.

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Video and transcript of Rick Santorum’s inspiring Iowa victory speech

The speech is 20 minutes long, and it sounds like what a Republican sounds like.

Here is the full transcript of Rick Santorum’s Iowa speech.

Excerpt:

SPEAKER: FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA.,

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

[*]

SANTORUM: Thank you. Thank you. Game on.

(APPLAUSE) As all of you know, I do not speak from notes, but there’s a couple things I want to say that are a little — little more emotional, so I’m going to read them as I wrote them.

C.S. Lewis said a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words. My best friend, my life mate, who sings that song when I forget the words, is my wife, Karen.

(APPLAUSE)

People have asked me how I’ve done this, sitting back at the polls and not getting a whole lot of attention paid to us. How did you keep going out to Iowa, in 99 counties, and 381 town hall meetings and speeches? Well, every morning when I was getting up in the morning to take on that challenge, I’ve required a strength from another particular friendship, one that is sacred. I’ve survived the challenges so far by the daily grace that comes from God.

(APPLAUSE)

For giving me his grace every day, for loving me, warts and all, I offer a public thanks to God.

(APPLAUSE)

Third, thanks. Thank you so much, Iowa.

(APPLAUSE)

You — you, by standing up and not compromising, by standing up and being bold and leading, leading with that burden and responsibility you have to be first, you have taken the first step of taking back this country.

(APPLAUSE)

This journey started officially just a few months ago in June, when I stood on the steps of the county courthouse in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I decided to go there, not the typical place someone announces for president — it’s not where I was born, it’s not where I ever lived — but it’s where my grandfather came back in 1925. He came by himself, even though he was married with two children, one of them being my father. He came after having fought in World War I, because Mussolini had been in power now three years, and he had figured out that fascism was something that would crush his spirit and his freedom and give his children something less than he wanted for them.

So he made a sacrifice. He left to the coal fields of southwestern Pennsylvania. He worked in the mine at a company town, got paid with coupons, he used to call them, lived in a shack. Eventually, he figured out that that was a trip to nowhere, so he started taking less — taking money less so he could start to save, and he did. And after five years, he got his citizenship and brought my father over at the age of 7. He ended up continuing to work in those mines until he was 72 years old, digging coal. I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone who had died. It was my grandfather. And I knelt next to his coffin. And all I could do — eye level — was look at his hands. They were enormous hands. And all I could think was those hands dug freedom for me.

And so to honor him, I went to Somerset County, because I believe foundationally, while the economy is in horrible condition, while our country is not as safe as it was, and while threats are rising around the world, while the state of our culture under this administration continues to decline with the values that are unlike the values that built this country, that the essential issue in this race is freedom, whether we will be a country that believes that government can do things for us better than we can do for ourselves, or whether we believe, as our founders did, that rights come to us from God and, when he gave us those rights, he gave us the freedom to go out and live those — live those rights out to build a great and just society not from the top down, but from the bottom up.

(APPLAUSE)

My grandfather taught me basic things that my dad taught me over and over again: Work hard, work hard, and work hard. And I think about that today. There are so many men and women right now who would love to work hard, but they don’t have the opportunity.

And we have two parties who are out talking about how they’re going to solve those problems. One wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more Medicare and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs, and passing Obamacare to provide even more government subsidies, more and more dependency, more and more government, exactly what my grandfather left in 1925.

And then there’s another vision, with another vision, the Republican vision, which is, let’s just cut taxes, let’s just reduce spending and everyone will be fine.

I believe in cutting taxes. I believe in balancing budgets. I propose cutting $5 trillion from this budget over the next five years. I support a balanced budget amendment that puts a cap at 18 percent of GDP as a guarantee of freedom for this country. But …

(APPLAUSE)

But I also believe we as Republicans have to look at those who are not doing well in our society by just cutting taxes and balancing budgets, and that’s why I put forth a plan that Iowans responded to. It’s a plan that says, yes, let’s flatten the tax code, get rid of it, replace it with five deductions. Let’s create two rates, 10 percent and 28 percent. Why 28 percent? If it’s good enough for Ronald Reagan, it’s good enough for me.

(APPLAUSE) And then I take the corporate tax, cut that in half, because it’s the highest in the world, and we need to be competitive. But when I traveled around Iowa to the small towns, I found a lot of those small towns were just like the small towns that I traveled around in Pennsylvania. They were towns that were centered around manufacturing and processing, those good jobs that built those towns, and those jobs slowly, whether it’s in Hamburg, whether it’s in Newton, or any place in between, we found those jobs leaving Iowa.

Why? Because our workers didn’t want to work? Because our workers weren’t competitive? No. It’s because government made workers uncompetitive by driving up the cost of doing business here. It’s 20 percent more expensive to do manufacturing jobs in this country than it is in the top nine trading partners that we have to compete with. And that’s why we’re losing our jobs.

And so when Republican purists say to me, well, why are you treating manufacturing different than retail? I say because Wal- Mart’s not moving to China and taking their jobs with them.

(APPLAUSE)

So we eliminate the corporate tax on manufacturing so we can compete. We take the regulations, every regulation that’s over $100 million, and we repeal all those regulations, repeal them all, and there’s a lot of them. Under the Bush and Clinton administrations, they averaged 60 regulations over $100 million a year. This administration hit 150 last year.

You don’t want to know what’s crushing business. This administration is crushing business.

I’m taking a second look at Santorum’s economic policies and it seems to me that they will very good for blue collar workers especially. By cutitng corporate taxes, everyone in the country who makes anything at all is going to have about 6 job offers before noon.

As far as social policy and foreign policy, Santorum is number one. He really is a fine candidate. My endorsement of Rick Santorum is here. I previously liked Bachmann and Cain, but with those two now out, I find that Rick Santorum is actually better than either of them in many ways.

UPDATE: Wow! Rick Santorum raised over a million dollars already today!

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