The case for each Democrat running for Congress in IA-03

With less than three weeks remaining before the June 5 primary, many Democrats (including myself) are still undecided in the primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. All three candidates left standing in the once-crowded field have raised enough money to run strong, district-wide campaigns.

This post focuses on how Cindy Axne, Pete D’Alessandro, and Eddie Mauro have presented themselves in stump speeches, direct mail, and television commercials aimed at Democratic voters.

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IA-02: Loebsack in the driver's seat

The main campaign arm of U.S. House Republicans spent more than $1 million in 2014 trying to unseat Representative Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s second district. But national Republicans left the last Democrat representing our state in Congress alone during the 2016 campaign, and Loebsack is unlikely to be targeted this year either.

Fundraising by the candidates becomes more important when outside groups don’t get involved in a House race. For that reason, the latest batch of Federal Election Commission quarterly reports were especially encouraging for Loebsack.

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IA-03: Poll testing short and sweet messages about David Young

A survey is testing brief, positive messages about two-term Representative David Young in Iowa’s third Congressional district. A respondent took notes on the call on the evening of March 14.

My first thought was that the National Republican Congressional Committee or some outside group supporting GOP House candidates commissioned the poll. The phrases about Young didn’t have the level of detail I would expect from a survey designed by a campaign, and the question order was somewhat unusual.

On the other hand, Federal Election Commission filings don’t appear to show any expenditures by Young’s campaign on polling during the third or fourth quarters of 2017. Perhaps this survey is the incumbent’s early attempt to see where he stands.

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Four Senate immigration bills fail: How Grassley and Ernst voted

With less that three weeks remaining until the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program expires, the U.S. Senate voted today on four immigration proposals. Three of them contained language to protect “DREAMers,” who were brought to this country without authorization as children. No proposal received the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The only bill to fall short of 50 votes was Senator Chuck Grassley’s legislation, modeled on President Donald Trump’s demands.

Iowa’s senators have talked a good game about the DREAMers, but today Grassley and Joni Ernst rejected bipartisan plans in order to be rubber stamps for the president and immigration hard-liners.

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Senate rejects 20-week abortion ban despite Iowans' support

A ban on almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to advance in the U.S. Senate on January 29, as a motion to proceed with debating the bill gained only 51 votes, short of the 60 required under Senate rules. Three Democrats (Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia) voted for cloture on the misleadingly-named Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, joining most Senate Republicans, including Iowa’s Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted no, as did most of the Democratic caucus. Two Democrats facing potentially tough re-election campaigns this year–Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri–opposed the bill.

The U.S. House approved the same legislation in October on a mostly party-line vote of 237 to 189. Republicans Rod Blum (IA-01), David Young (IA-03), and Steve King (IA-04) supported the legislation, while pro-choice Democrat Dave Loebsack (IA-02) opposed it.

Nineteen states already ban most abortions after 20 weeks; Iowa joined their ranks in May 2017. Most terminations at that stage of pregnancy happen either because the mother has a serious health problem or because of a severe (often unsurvivable) fetal anomaly. Five women who have faced those difficult circumstances allowed Bleeding Heartland to share their stories last year.

I enclose below statements from some of the Iowans in Congress and background on the bill, which uses a faulty premise as an excuse to restrict women’s ability to make decisions about their own medical care.

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