IA-Sen: Two big labor endorsements for Rob Hogg

Two of Iowa’s largest labor organizations are backing State Senator Rob Hogg in the four-way Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Speaking to delegates at the Iowa Democratic Party’s second Congressional district convention this morning, Hogg announced that the Iowa Federation of Labor has endorsed him, Des Moines Register’s Jason Noble reported. A couple of hours later at the first district convention, Hogg announced the support of AFSCME Council 61, which represents tens of thousands of public employees.

During his speech at a campaign event in Urbandale on April 25, Hogg mentioned his strong pro-labor voting record during four years of service in the Iowa House and ten in the Iowa Senate. Also relevant: Hogg’s main primary rival is Patty Judge, who was not known as a champion on labor issues in the Iowa legislature and was lieutenant governor when Governor Chet Culver vetoed a collective bargaining bill in 2008. I do not recall Judge speaking publicly about that bill at the time, but the veto caused lingering bad blood between Culver and the organized labor community.

Labor support doesn’t always carry the day in Iowa Democratic politics. Mike Blouin fell a bit short against Culver in the 2006 gubernatorial primary despite having more labor endorsements, including from AFSCME. Still, financial and/or organizational help from AFSCME and the IFL will be a boost for Hogg as he competes against Judge, Bob Krause, and Tom Fiegen to get out the vote before June 7. Judge spoke this morning to delegates at the third and fourth district conventions and is scheduled to appear at the other conventions in the afternoon. Krause and Fiegen were planning to appear at all the conventions today as well.

Any comments about the Senate race are welcome in this thread. At this writing, statements about the latest endorsements for Hogg have not appeared on either labor organization’s website or on Hogg’s Senate campaign website. I will update as needed.

UPDATE: Speaking by phone on April 30, Hogg said he was "really excited about the labor endorsements. I think it will really magnify the grassroots support that I already have. I think it’s because we share a view that we need to create an economy that works for all Americans. And I have that voting record in the Iowa legislature—I’ve got a 99 percent lifetime Iowa Federation of Labor voting record. I didn’t set out to have that, but that’s how they’ve scored me, and I’m very, very proud of that and very excited about the endorsement."

Continue Reading...

IA-04: Super-PAC will spend heavily to "protect" Steve King--despite own poll showing him way ahead

The things some people choose to spend money on.

A "group of investors loyal to presidential candidate Ted Cruz" announced on April 27 that they have created the Reignite Iowa super-PAC "to help protect Iowa conservative Steve King" from "Republican Establishment" efforts to remove the seven-term U.S. House incumbent. Jason Noble reported for the Des Moines Register that the super-PAC "will support King with direct mail, TV, radio and digital advertising in the district, with a budget anticipated in the ‘high six figures.’"

Yet a poll commissioned by the super-PAC suggests King had a four to one lead over State Senator Rick Bertrand, less than two months before the GOP primary.

Continue Reading...

IA-03: Sherzan highlights values through "different way of doing business"

Many candidates point to successful careers to communicate their leadership or management skills. Mike Sherzan, one of three Democrats seeking the nomination in Iowa’s third Congressional district, is highlighting his experience as founder and chief executive of a financial services firm in order to show that he values hard work and putting people first.

Last Friday, Sherzan became the first candidate in IA-03 to start running television commercials. I enclose below his introductory spot and latest direct mail, which build on his earlier promise to be "a voice for hardworking families."

UPDATE: Have added the second tv ad for Sherzan, which launched on April 26 and hits similar themes, with a focus on treating women fairly in the workplace.

Continue Reading...

IA-Sen: DSCC makes the obvious official, Judge doesn't talk about it

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recruited former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge to run against Senator Chuck Grassley, praised her as a "formidable challenger" the day she launched her campaign, and invited her to lunch with Democratic senators in Washington a few days later. So it was no surprise when the DSCC made its support for Judge official on April 20.

Judge’s campaign has touted endorsements from influential Iowa Democrats but didn’t spread the word about the DSCC’s announcement this week—probably because backing from Washington insiders feeds into talking points Republicans and Democratic rivals have already been using.

Continue Reading...

IA-01: Monica Vernon first to go up on tv

image from Monica Vernon’s debut television commercial

Today Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon launched the first television commercial of this year’s campaign in Iowa’s first Congressional district. I enclose below the video and transcript from "The Schumachers," which features three generations of a Iowa family that owns the Cobble Hill restaurant in Cedar Rapids.

Vernon faces former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy in the June 7 Democratic primary. Compared to the introductory spot for Vernon, Murphy’s four television commercials before the 2014 primary focused more on his own biography and political record. Those ads are still available on YouTube: "Story" (which began running the second week of April 2014), "Joint Effort" (starting in late April), "Voice" (starting in mid-May), and "Right Choice" (starting in late May).

Murphy’s budget for television commercials is likely to be more limited for this year’s race, judging by his year-end financial report. We’ll know more once Congressional candidates have disclosed their fundraising and expenditures for the first quarter of 2016. Those reports are due on April 15; Bleeding Heartland will cover them shortly thereafter.

UPDATE: Added below the Murphy campaign’s statement on this ad, which touched on his main argument against Vernon’s candidacy: she was a registered Republican until 2009.

Continue Reading...
View More...