IOWA

Enviro Groups Spending $1 Million Tying Ernst to Palin, Kochs

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Scott Bland
June 24, 2014, 7:35 a.m.

The League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters, Si­erra Club, and the En­vir­on­ment­al De­fense Fund an­nounced Tues­day that they will spend “nearly $1 mil­lion” against state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and launched a TV ad ty­ing her to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pal­in (R) and the Koch broth­ers, us­ing clips from a Pal­in speech and say­ing Ernst wants to “ab­ol­ish the EPA” and “shut down the De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion.” (re­lease)

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BIO­GRAPHY OVER IDEO­LOGY: Rep. Bruce Bra­ley (D) “has been pre­par­ing” for the Sen­ate “since he was first elec­ted to Con­gress … Now Bra­ley’s well-laid plans for a pro­mo­tion are be­ing threatened by a polit­ic­al tour de force he couldn’t pos­sibly fore­see: A mag­net­ic mom and Ir­aq vet­er­an who sports jean jack­ets and is primar­ily iden­ti­fied with her per­form­ance of hog cas­tra­tions on a fam­ily farm.”

Ernst “is a unique, un­likely and un­tested can­did­ate whose al­lur­ing bio­graphy and steely cha­risma has cap­tured the ima­gin­a­tion of Re­pub­lic­ans far bey­ond the bor­ders of Iowa. … For Demo­crats, the race is on to move bey­ond her bio­graphy, soft smile ““ and the in­fam­ous pig cas­trat­ing tele­vi­sion ad ““ and ap­prise voters of a re­cord they’re fram­ing as ‘rad­ic­al and ex­treme.’ They’re high­light­ing her op­pos­i­tion to the farm bill and re­new­able fuel stand­ard ““ two is­sues with par­tic­u­lar res­on­ance in this farm rich and eth­an­ol pro­du­cing state ““ as well as her will­ing­ness to privat­ize So­cial Se­cur­ity, re­con­fig­ure Medi­care in­to a vouch­er sys­tem and ab­ol­ish the min­im­um wage.”

Mean­while, Bra­ley has to con­tend with blow­back from the video of him dis­par­aging Sen. Chuck Grass­ley’s (R) abil­ity to head the ju­di­ciary com­mit­tee. Iowa GOP strategist Doug Gross: “It’s sear­ing in terms of its im­pact on his im­age in the state and that’s why he’s beat­able. Oth­er­wise, I don’t know that he would be.” (U.S. News & World Re­port)

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