Joni Ernst needs to act on the Violence Against Women Act

Lesli Nesmith found that Senator Joni Ernst has little to show for repeated promises to move forward on one of her stated priorities: reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. -promoted by Laura Belin

Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 as part of a large crime bill. The law created a system to provide support and programs for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as a framework of legal enforcement against perpetrators.

In the ensuing 25 years, VAWA has been strengthened and expanded, as policy-makers recognized gaps in the law and changing societal needs. Sadly, this legislation fell victim to the budget battles of late 2018 and lapsed without reauthorization by Congress in December.

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IA-04: Don't be so sure the latest uproar will hurt Steve King

When U.S. Representative Steve King thinks out loud, national headlines often follow.

The Des Moines Register’s Robin Opsahl was first to report on King’s musings at the August 14 Westside Conservative Club breakfast in Urbandale.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” […]

“Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society? I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”

To many, the comments seem indefensible. But I suspect many conservative Republicans in Iowa approve of King’s uncompromising stance on abortion, even if they don’t like how he talked about the issue.

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Eleven times Chuck Grassley or Joni Ernst opposed reasonable gun limits

Two more horrific gun crimes devastated American cities this weekend. Hours after an attacker fueled by anti-immigrant hate killed 20 and wounded dozens at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, a shooter using a high-capacity magazine in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and injured 26 in less than a minute. Last weekend, a famous annual garlic festival in California joined the long list of venues where shooters have killed many people in minutes.

While no one law would would end all mass shootings in the United States, a few gun violence prevention policies could reduce the carnage that is almost unknown in countries with stricter limits on firearms ownership or access.

Iowa’s U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have consistently opposed those policies.

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What needs to happen for J.D. Scholten to beat Steve King (2020 edition)

UPDATE: Scholten launched his campaign on August 5.

Art Cullen reported in the Storm Lake Times on July 31 that while J.D. Scholten “has not formally announced whether he will run” for Congress again in Iowa’s fourth district,

He is running.

“Let me put it this way,” he said. “Last cycle we hoped to win. This cycle we intend to win.”

I assume that means Scholten is in.

He swore off running against Sen. Joni Ernst.

It’s time to revisit Bleeding Heartland’s 2018 analysis of what it would take for Scholten to win a district with a partisan voting index of R+11. I see six essential elements to an upset victory:

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IA-04: Joni Ernst's neutrality hurts Randy Feenstra more than Steve King

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst made headlines in Iowa and national media this week when she told reporters on a conference call she “will not be endorsing anyone” for the Republican nomination in the fourth Congressional district.

Strictly speaking, her announcement wasn’t news. Within days of State Senator Randy Feenstra’s campaign launch in January, Ernst said she didn’t plan to endorse in the IA-04 primary, Bret Hayworth reported for the Sioux City Journal at the time.

Many commentators have viewed Ernst’s distancing as a political blow to King, whom she enthusiastically endorsed the first time he faced a GOP primary challenger. Similarly, Governor Kim Reynolds and Senator Chuck Grassley backed King in that 2016 race but have vowed to stay neutral before next June’s primary.

While King would surely welcome the backing of Republican heavyweights for what may be the toughest race of his career, Feenstra likely needs that boost more.

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