Branstad And Ernst Join Fellow Republicans Kicking Off Campaign
Oskaloosa, Iowa – Smokey Row once again played host to not just one candidate, but a slate of candidates for the Republican party.
Republicans were looking to make a mark on the first day past the primary, and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) and US Senate candidate Joni Ernst joined up with 2nd Congressional Candidate Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and other candidates in a 5 stop tour of southeast Iowa.
Branstad talked about his challenger, Jack Hatch (D) and his concerns about confidentiality agreements. “When I found out that there were confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements, I signed an executive order to ban them, and in addition to that I’ve recommended that we eliminate the provision that makes personnel records exempt from the open records law,” Branstad said.
Branstad talked then about Hatch’s refusal to fully disclose his tax records. “Unfortunately, Senator Hatch is not supportive of eliminating that big loophole in open records law. I have disclosed 24 years of my taxes. He’s only disclosed one and refuses to do the others. We have disclosed thousands of documents, including emails. He [Hatch] refuses to disclose his documents that show if there is collaboration with his colleagues who were on the Senate Oversight Committee. So we are very committed to openness and transparency. I think, Senator Hatch is the one who’s got a lot to hide.”
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst talked about nomination and what is next for her campaign against Democrat Bruce Braley. “I just think people are excited about the opportunity to gain this seat back. We haven’t seen this opportunity in like forty years,” Ernst said of the open seat.
“Like I said, the Iowa way is working and we see the Washington D.C. way is not, and I think they want to send somebody. Iowa voters want to send somebody to Washington D.C. who is going to make a difference and get America on the right track,” said Ernst.
Ernst, a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa National Guard, talked about her leadership. “I do think that that has been such a huge part of who I am in serving my state and my nation in the Armed Forces and it has developed a leadership style in myself. I’m always concerned about my soldiers. I’m concerned about doing the right thing for leadership but making a difference for people. I think that leadership is going to serve me very well as I go on to be the next United States Senator from Iowa, caring about our soldiers. They fought so hard for us, we need to fight equally as hard for them and I don’t see that happening right now.”
Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who is taking on Democrat Dave Loebsack for the 2nd Congressional District, is a retired Lt. Colonel from the Army Reserves. In a year dominated by Republican women candidates, Miller-Meeks talked about being one of many women candidates. “I just think it’s fabulous to be on a team with some great women. We’ve got Lieutenant Governor Reynolds. We’ve got Senate Candidate Joni Ernst, [and] we’ve got Mary Mosiman. We’ve got three veterans. We’ve got Governor Branstad, Joni Ernst and I are all veterans, and I just think it’s a great ticket to be on. This is a Republican year and the year of Republican women.”
Miller-Meeks has been very vocal about the Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare. Beyond that, Miller-Meeks said, “Increasing take home pay and job creation is important. We need to remove those barriers for companies to be able to start a business, to grow a business, expand and increase pay. It is critical that we do this for working families, and it’s time to put Iowan’s first, not President Obama, not the Democrats policy.”
“We have working policies in Iowa put forth by Governor Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and our Legislature. We need to take those all the way to Washington D.C. and put some common sense Iowa values in Washington,” said Miller-Meeks in closing.