Washington Examiner – Democratic groups target 15 Republicans as ‘worst for women’

Two outside Democratic groups are taking aim at incumbent Republicans they say are “worst for women,” in the hopes that voters will oust them in November.

American Bridge and Ultraviolet put two GOP senators and 13 GOP House members on a new “ Worst for Women” scorecard that details their voting record on policies that impact women. The campaign includes a five-figure digital ad buy that will run on Facebook and link voters to the scorecard microsite.

The groups built the scorecard by analyzing the voting records of the 114th and 115th Congress, and limited the list to those who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Those on the list also voted in favor of the GOP tax plan, against a minimum wage hike and backed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

The two super PACs also included members who’ve made derogatory comments about women, including Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., who lamented not being able to call women “sluts” and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who blamed contraception for a “dying civilization.”

“Women are poised to play a key role in November. We don’t intend to let that opportunity slip by,” Shaunna Thomas, executive director of UltraViolet PAC said in a statement. “Each and every one of these Congress members is an active threat to women in every respect, whether in their access to health care, fair workplace protections, or protections and recourse for survivors of gendered violence.”

The targeted Republicans include Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Dean Heller of Nevada. House members on the list include Republican Reps. Dave Brat of Virginia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Taylor of Virginia, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.

“If you are a member of congress putting women’s rights, livelihoods, and actual lives at risk — start making plans for a long vacation after election day, because your political career ends in November,” said Bradley Beychok, president of American Bridge.

Full article: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/democratic-groups-target-15-republicans-as-worst-for-women

The Gazette: Republican-turned-independent Johnson endorses Scholten over King

SIOUX CITY — State Sen. David Johnson left the Republican Party to become an independent, and now he has endorsed the Democrat in the Iowa 4th Congressional District in a race for the seat held by Rep. Steve King.

Johnson on Thursday said he understands Republicans don’t like his changing views on politics, but said he can’t sit back while President Donald Trump runs roughshod on political norms and King and other conservatives turn a blind eye.

Therefore, as first announced at a Dickinson County Democratic Party event in Arnolds Park on Wednesday, Johnson has endorsed J.D. Scholten, a Democrat from Sioux City, for the 4th Congressional District seat.

“A Congressman Scholten will stand up to President Donald Trump, and a Congressman Scholten will not race-bait, which is a current trend of our president and our current congressman,” Johnson said in an interview.

“Steve King needs to set his Confederate flag in his back pocket and go back to Kiron.”

That was a reference to the flag that King kept on his congressional desk a few years ago.

Johnson, who lives in Ocheyedan, in May changed his plans to seek re-election as an independent in the heavily Republican Iowa Senate District 1. He said he knows Iowa Republicans don’t like his changed outlook. “It doesn’t bother me, because I know I am right,” Johnson said.

He said Scholten possesses an earnestness to do the right thing “for the working people in Iowa.” Johnson said Scholten also understands the necessity of having broad public access, noting that King in recent years has stopped holding publicized town hall meetings.

“J.D. Scholten will not run with the likes (Ohio congressman) Jim Jordan, (Freedom Caucus chairman) Mark Meadows, (Texas congressman) Louie Gohmert and other House extremists like Steve King does,” the state senator said.

Johnson also predicted the blue wave that some trends are showing as beneficial for Democrats nationally will play out with the party retaking control of the U.S. House in November. He said it would be better for the 4th District in that scenario to have a Democrat holding the seat.

Johnson said he’ll campaign at times for Scholten “to help spread the message that we can do a lot better.”

This marks two consecutive election cycles in which Johnson has opposed King. In the Republican primary for King’s seat in 2016, Johnson favored the challenger, state Sen. Rick Bertrand of Sioux City.

“I had high hopes that Sen. Bertrand would try, and he never did,” Johnson said.

After changing his party registration to “no party,” Johnson became the first independent to serve in the Senate since 1926. Johnson announced he was leaving the Republican Party in June 2016, as Trump moved closer to becoming the party’s nominee.

Two months later — well before the 2016 election was held — a King staff member, Zach Whiting, announced his candidacy for the 2018 Senate seat now held by Johnson. Whiting is running unopposed in Senate District 1.

Full article: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/republican-turned-independent-johnson-endorses-scholten-over-king-20180802

Des Moines Register – Sen. Chuck Grassley supports ban on dog, cat meat; Rep. Steve King opposed

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who raised a lamb named “Susie” in his farmhouse in the 1960s, said Wednesday he doesn’t want cats and dogs slaughtered for meat in the United States.

But U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, is opposing a federal ban on the killing of dogs and cats for human consumption, while two other Iowans in Congress — Reps. David Young, R-Van Meter, and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa City — are co-sponsors of legislation supporting such a prohibition.

Grassley, a New Hartford Republican, was asked during his weekly teleconference with Iowa reporters about provisions in House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill pending in Washington, D.C., that would prohibit the slaughter of dogs or cats for human consumption. The provisions would also ban the transport of dogs or cats, or dog or cat parts, for human consumption.

Grassley, a lifelong farmer, initially suggested he opposed such a ban, saying he has supported the slaughter of horses because people in some places in the world, such as Europe, may want to eat horse meat.

“I don’t want horse meat. I don’t want dog meat. I don’t want to eat cats, but if somebody wants to eat them, let them eat them,” the senator said.

But Grassley phoned the Des Moines Register shortly after the teleconference call to clarify his remarks. He proceeded to tell a story of how he doesn’t even eat lamb meat, explaining how there were triplets in his farm’s lamb flock in 1967 and one lamb named Susie had to be raised in his house. Susie lived to be 12 years old, but even when she was older, she wanted to come into the house, he said.

“This was one of the ewes, and I have never eaten lamb ever since because I always thought I would be eating Susie,” Grassley explained in his follow-up conversation.

“So, obviously, you can see my aversion to (eating) cats and dogs, and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want the slaughter of cats and dogs in the United States,” the senator said.

But Grassley also said he isn’t backing off his support for slaughtering horses for human consumption. In addition, he said he doesn’t anticipate the Senate will have a separate “Yes” or “No” vote on the issue of banning the trade of cat and dog meat before a final vote is taken on the wide-ranging Farm Bill in September.

Congressman King was among members of the House Agriculture Committee who scoffed at the idea of the need for a ban on killing dogs and cats for consumption when the issue was debated in April, according to the McClatchy Washington Bureau. King reportedly said the issue “is not a problem in the United States of America” and suggested U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-California, who sponsored the provision, was “burning our time.”

King’s aides didn’t respond this week to a request for comment about the legislation from the Register. Nor did aides to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak; or to Reps. Rod Blum, R-Dubuque, and Young.

Young and Loebsack are officially listed among 245 co-sponsors of H.R. 1406, which would prohibit the slaughter, trade or import/export of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States. Joe Hand, an aide to Loebsack, said Wednesday the congressman was pleased to see language from the legislation included in the Farm Bill.

Advocates of such bans have cited a case in Pennsylvania in which a man was caught breeding dogs for meat, and another situation in Hawaii in which a pet dog was stolen and reportedly killed to eat. But advocates said another goal is to send a message globally against the consumption of dogs and cats, which is not uncommon in some Asian countries such as China and South Korea.

More: ‘Heartbroken’ U.S. Olympian Gus Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm, adopts puppy

The Humane Society of the United States supports the proposed ban.

“The House and Senate provisions will prevent this appalling trade from taking hold in the U.S. and strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide, according to a statement issued by the Humane Society. “Around 30 million dogs and untold numbers of cats are subjected to this brutal industry globally every year, with animals often snatched off the street or stolen from loving families, still wearing collars as they are subjected to unspeakable abuse to end up on someone’s dinner plate.

Advocates of the ban say the trade of dog and cat meat is still legal in 44 states.

Dustin Vande Hoef, communications director at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, told the Register the sale of dog or cat meat is already illegal under Iowa law.

All meat that is sold in Iowa must come from a licensed and inspected facility, either by the Iowa agriculture department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Vande Hoef said.

“There is no approved facility that could slaughter or process dog or cat meat, so any effort to sell meat from those animals would be illegal,” Vande Hoef said.

Full article: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/01/cat-meat-dog-meat-chuck-grassley-supports-ban-steve-king-opposes/878879002/