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Please begin with an informative title:

Ok, I'm liking where this is going:


Democratic candidate for Iowa's First Congressional District Bruce Braley gets ready for his debate against Ben Lange at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Mike Burley)
Monday afternoon, representative Bruce Braley will be in Dubuque to speak out about efforts to make our school buses safer. Braley unveiled a bill last week which stiffens penalties for people who illegally pass school buses. - CBS 2 Iowa, 5/12/14
Here's a little more info:


Braley said traffic accidents in and around school buses are a “too-common occurrence,” so he is proposing legislation called the School Bus Safety Act that would tackle the problem five different ways:

Title I would be called “Kadyn’s Act,” named for a Northwood student, Kadyn Halverson, who died three years ago this week when a motorist drove past a bus with its stop sign out. It would increase the penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses.
Title II creates grants for Motion Activated Detection Systems on the exterior of buses that would alert a driver when something is moving in close proximity to the bus.
Title III requires background checks on school bus drivers.
Title IV would allow states to apply for funding to purchase new school buses with seat belts or to equip current ones with seat belts.
Title V would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assess ways to use technology to get drivers to stop for school buses.
Two of the provisions build off of legislation that has already been adopted in Iowa.

Iowa enacted Kaydn’s Law in 2012 to increase fines for people who ignore the stop signs on school buses, and the same year lawmakers also passed a measure requiring background checks for school bus drivers.

Those two Iowa laws, if enacted nationally, would help pay for the other provisions Braley has proposed. States that refuse to enact those provisions would lose 10 percent of their federal highway funds. Those withheld dollars would fund the grants for the motion sensors and seat belt programs.

But Braley believes it’s worth spending to save the lives of children. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of six children are killed in school-bus related accidents each year, and an average of 13 children are killed in pedestrian accidents outside school buses each year. - WCF Courier, 5/8/14

Here's a little more background info about Braley's legislation:


The legislation comes on the heels of the third anniversary of Kadyn Halverson's death. The 7-year-old rural Kensett girl was hit and killed by a pickup truck in May 2011 as she crossed the road to board her school bus in Worth County.

The Iowa Legislature adopted Kadyn's Law in 2012, which calls for stiffer penalties when a driver passes a school bus with its stop arm extended. A first offense in Iowa carries a fine of $250 to $675, up to 30 days in jail and a 30-day license suspension, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Kadyn's Law is something Braley said he'd like to see replicated nationwide to make children safer in, on and around school buses.

"My goal is to prevent another family going through what the Halversons did," Braley said Wednesday morning during a conference call with state media.

"We know from statistics in Iowa and around the country, this is a far too common occurrence," he said in regards to stop arm violations. In some states, fines are as low as $30. - Globe Gazette, 5/7/14

See it's this kind of stuff that makes Braley a perfect fit to replace retiring Senator Tom Harkin (D. IA) in the U.S. Senate.  And it's looking like he might facing off against this whack job:


Joni Ernst was lagging behind in the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate here in Iowa.

She was a relative unknown in a crowded field led by a wealthy businessman. Then she started talking about castrating hogs.

Ernst spent just $9,000 to air her first television ad, but her testimonial – “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm” – and her promise to apply those pork-cutting skills to “make ’em squeal” in Washington transformed her candidacy.

In the first three days, her 30-second spot was viewed nearly 400,000 times on YouTube and became the talk of cable news, catapulting the state senator from rural Red Oak into the top tier.

Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard who says she proudly carries a pistol in her purse, followed up last week with her second ad, in which she steps off her Harley-Davidson and, wearing a black leather jacket, fires multiple shots with expert precision at a shooting-range target.

The narrator says she’s aiming for President Barack Obama’s health care law.

“It is very edgy. I will admit that,” Ernst said.

With three weeks before the June 3 primary, polls show Ernst gaining on Mark Jacobs, a retired Reliant Energy chief executive who moved back to his native Iowa from Texas two years ago. He has poured at least $1.6 million of his own money into the campaign and had been the early favorite to win the nomination. - Journal Gazette, 5/12/14

Yeah, it's no wonder her ads and platform make her an attractive candidate for Republican voters:


With Ernst’s newfound stature comes growing scrutiny. After she told the Des Moines Register on Friday she has “reason to believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” Iowa Democrats pounced with a statement saying Ernst was perpetuating a “myth” and that her “denial of the facts is very troubling.”

Unlike in other Republican Senate primaries, the two leading candidates here do not represent opposing wings of the GOP. The two candidates most closely aligned with the tea party — Sam Clovis and Matt Whitaker — are underfunded and lagging behind.

Jacobs said that he, unlike Ernst, can campaign this fall against Braley as an outsider. “I think people are sick and tired of the business as usual in Washington, and we’re not going to fix Washington by sending the same type of person again,” he said.

Although Ernst is the only elected official in the race and has the endorsements of GOP establishment figures such as Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, her ads have introduced her to Iowa voters as anything but a typical politician and attracted support across the breadth of the party.

Late last month, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin flew to Des Moines for a rally to endorse Ernst. Watching the hogs ad, Palin told the crowd, “It’s like, whoa, nobody’s going to push her around.”

Ernst’s hogs ad came about almost by accident. Last year, when Ernst sat down with her advisers to develop a stump speech, she mentioned almost as an aside that one of her chores growing up on the family’s southwest-Iowa farm was castrating hogs. This startled her media consultant, Todd Harris.

“Todd even mentioned: ‘I had no idea what that entailed. I had to go onto YouTube and see how that was done,’ ” Ernst recalled.

That fall at a debate, Ernst tested a one-liner about castrating hogs. The crowd lit up. With the campaign behind in fundraising, Harris and his partners at Something Else Strategies thought that building a provocative ad around that line might get her attention they could not afford to buy.

When Ernst asked how an ad about castrating hogs might be received, Harris told her to “be prepared for a lot of East Coast hyperventilating” but assured her that it would be well received by people in Iowa. - Washington Post, 5/12/14

Yes, that's right, she thought invading Iraq was a great idea:


Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Joni Ernst said Friday that she has reason to believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a comment that Democrats immediately jumped on with criticism.

Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak, is one of five Republicans seeking the GOP nomination to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin, a Democrat.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board on Friday, Ernst said: “We don't know that there were weapons on the ground when we went in. However, I do have reason to believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That was the intelligence that was operated on. I have reason to believe there was weapons of mass destruction."

Ernst, who is a member of the Iowa National Guard and served in Iraq during the war there, has frequently talked about her military service during the Senate campaign.

Democrats said it was a troubling remark.

"Iowans should be gravely concerned that Joni Ernst continues to perpetuate a myth that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have said was untrue," said Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan. He added, "This is a debate that was settled many years ago" and her "denial of the facts is very troubling."

The Bush administration, as well as its allies and many members of Congress, said before the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

However, none could be found during or after the war. In 2005 a commission created by President Bush, called the episode one of most public and damaging intelligence failures in U.S. history. - Sioux City Journal, 5/10/14

Something for Iowa voters to consider.  Braley was an early and outspoken opponent of bombing Syria so voters should very heavily consider that in regards to who can handle foreign policy better.  And of course this ridiculous ad helped boost her chances at winning the primary:


The new ad in May is called "Shot," where Ernst enters a shooting range and fires off some shots at a target while narration describes her opposition to federal health care reform, or ObamaCare.

"Joni Ernst will take aim at wasteful spending. And once she sets her sights on Obamacare, Joni's gonna unload," the narrator says.

Ernst, a military commander, said the ad is not inappropriate, and reaches a lot of Iowans.

"I am not your typical candidate. I am someone who is trained with firearms... I am someone who stands up for Second Amendment rights," she said.

Ernst fleshed out her positions on gun ownership. She said mentally ill people should not have the ability to own a gun, but everyone else should. Ernst said there should not be restrictions on AK-47's.

"A lot of people use them for sport," Ernst said, including at shooting ranges. - Sioux CIty Journal, 5/8/14

Braley is a strong support of gun control and has been endorsed by Gabby Giffords. Of course Ernst will have to defeat Jacobs in the primary first and she is already hitting him hard:


Iowa candidate for U.S. Senate Joni Ernst was "extremely offended" by an opponent's use of the term "AWOL" to describe her absences from the state Senate, she told the Des Moines Register's Editorial Board on Friday.

"That term is very degrading in the military," Ernst said. "I have never been AWOL."

Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, missed more than 100 votes during the legislative session that ended last week – many because she was campaigning and some because of her Guard service.

The absences led Mark Jacobs, a retired businessman also running for Senate, to declare her "AWOL" – the military acronym meaning "absent without leave" – on a website and in email messages to supporters.

The move led to immediate responses from Ernst supporters, including a statement from U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who called the use of the term "inexcusable."

AWOL has a very limited and specific meaning in the military, Ernst said Friday, referring to when soldiers cannot be reached and have "turned their back on their service."

"If he had any sort of service like I have, he would've understood what AWOL means," she said, adding, "I have not been AWOL, I will never be AWOL." - The Des Moines Register, 5/9/14

Whoever wins the primary the Koch Brothers will back to buy this seat for the GOP.  If you would like to donate and get involved with Braley's campaign, you can do so here:

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Originally posted to pdc on Mon May 12, 2014 at 09:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by Youth Kos 2.0 and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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