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On the opening day of the Iowa State Fair, the Republican Party of Iowa launched an effort to hold Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, accountable for threatening litigation against his neighbors over therapeutic chickens and ignoring critical issues by skipping Veterans Affairs committee hearings.

The Iowa GOP launched braleychicken.com, a website that features multimedia content to inform Iowa voters about Braley’s legal wrangling with his vacation home neighborhood association over four chickens and how the longtime trial lawyer puts the interests of D.C. special interests over the needs of Iowa families, farmers and small businesses.

“It’s critically important that Iowans learn the unvarnished truth about Bruce Braley’s elitist attitude toward farmers and how he treats his neighbors,” said Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and a seventh generation farmer from Wilton. “Bruce Braley is a career politician who mocks farmers like Sen. Grassley at out-of-state fundraisers with his trial lawyer pals. It’s time for Iowans to put him out to political pasture by electing Joni Ernst.”

“If Bruce Braley can’t even talk to his Democratic neighbor to work out a minor dispute before threatening to sue his community, how will he treat Iowans as a powerful U.S. Senator?” said Cody Hoefert, the co-chairman of the Republican Party and a Rock Rapids-based chiropractor. “Lt. Col. and state Sen. Joni Ernst served a tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She understands the needs of Iowa veterans. The closest Braley has come to combat is skipping the majority of Veterans Affairs committee hearings.”

As part of this educational effort, Iowa GOP volunteers will hand out chicken-molded stress relief balls featuring the braleychicken.com website at the Republican Party of Iowa’s booth in the Varied Industries building at the state fair. Leading the charge will be Michael Thompson, a lifelong Democrat and Afghanistan veteran who is fed up with Braley’s elitist attitude toward farmers as well has his AWOL status on the Veterans Affairs committee.

Background on Michael Thompson:

Michael Thompson, a Jefferson native, has been a registered Democrat since he was 18 years old. He changed his registration status to Republican in June.

Thompson, 25, was a paid field staffer for Gov. Howard Dean in 2004 and caucused for President Barack Obama in Kansas while attending Kansas State University in 2008. He later volunteered for Obama in 2008 and donated $50 to the president’s campaign in 2012. He also voted for Obama twice.

Thompson is a U.S. Army veteran who served in an Army infantry unit based out of Fort Riley, Kansas. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and received a Combat Infantryman Badge after his squad came under fire on multiple missions.

Thompson left the Army this June, and he is having problems getting the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to certify his military service so he can attend Iowa State University this fall. He is outraged that Rep. Bruce Braley skipped Veterans Affairs committee meetings while veterans literally died waiting for care.

Thompson, whose father is a farmer, is also upset that Braley insulted farmers at an out-of-state fundraiser with Texas trial lawyers and threatened to sue his neighbors over free range chickens.

This election cycle, he supports Lt. Col. and state Sen. Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate because she’s a fellow soldier who understands veterans’ needs, is familiar with the struggles of farmers and treats her neighbors with respect rather than contempt.

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