“After racking up a reckless, anti-worker record in Des Moines, Ashley Hinson has proven that she would be a rubber stamp on Washington Republicans’ agenda of lower wages and higher health insurance costs in Congress. Meanwhile, Abby Finkenauer has built a strong track record of fighting for working class families like her own. She has hit the ground running to lower health care costs and fight for small businesses, which is why voters will re-elect her to keep fighting for them in November.” – DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos.
To: Interested Parties
From: Brooke Goren, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: June 2, 2020
Subject: The Case Against Ashley Hinson
Tonight’s primary results set up a clear contrast between anti-worker politician Ashley Hinson and working families champion and lifelong Iowan Abby Finkenauer.
While Washington Republicans have touted Hinson as one of their top recruits in an embarrassingly weak field of candidates across the country, Hinson will be hard-pressed to overcome her long and established anti-worker record in this heavily working-class district.
In the Iowa Statehouse, Hinson repeatedly voted against the interests of working-class Iowans – including voting to cut unemployment benefits that are keeping Iowans afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, voting to jeopardize public workers’ retirement, voting to gut collective bargaining rights, and voting to cut workers’ hard-earned compensation benefits. After racking up a disastrous record in Des Moines, Hinson now wants to bring her anti-worker agenda to Washington, where she has demonstrated she would be a rubber-stamp for Washington Republicans’ efforts to raise health care costs and lower wages for middle-class families.
While Hinson has spent years helping her wealthy special interest friends at the expense of working people, Rep. Finkenauer has built a strong brand as a champion for working and middle-class Iowans.
One of the youngest women ever elected to Congress, Rep. Finkenauer is the daughter of a union pipefitter who ran to give families like her own a voice in Congress. Her bill to help rural small businesses create more jobs was the first piece of legislation passed by a freshman lawmaker this year. And she has been on the frontlines of advocating for the issues impacting Iowans the most: improving rural health care, helping farmers and workers impacted by the trade war, and securing relief for Iowans impacted by disasters like coronavirus and flooding.
With deep grassroots support among blue-collar voters and a proven ability to outperform the top of the ticket, Rep. Finkenauer is in a strong position for re-election in November.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“’She came here to get things done. It’s far more important to her to get things done then to get on the national news,’ said Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, who worked with Finkenauer on her first bill.” [USA Today, 8/26/19]
HEADLINE: Finkenauer, youngest woman ever to sponsor bill that clears House [Radio Iowa, 1/19/19]
HEADLINE: Finkenauer pushing for better rural internet in Iowa [KCRG, 5/13/19]
HEADLINE: Rep. Abby Finkenauer touts need for infrastructure reform in Cedar Rapids visit [CBS2, 3/20/19]
“Now that she’s in Washington, Finkenauer wants to reach across the aisle to create real progress on issues ranging from transportation infrastructure to climate change. In particular, she sees healthcare as a major priority.” [Iowa Public Radio, 2/6/19]
Ashley Hinson: A Nightmare for Working Iowans
HANDPICKED BY WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS, HINSON WOULD RUBBERSTAMP THEIR HEALTH CARE AGENDA
From day one of this campaign, Hinson has touted her status as Washington Republicans’ handpicked candidate saying, “”Having their support means the world, because it means that somebody is advocating for you every day — wanting to do whatever they can to help me get there.”
While that talking point may go over well with Washington special interests and well-connected donors, Iowa voters have watched for years as Hinson’s party pushed to increase their health care costs and gut protections for 316,500 people in IA-01 with pre-existing conditions. As Washington Republicans continue their push to destroy the Affordable Care Act in court, Hinson owns her party’s efforts to take away health care in the middle of a global pandemic.
With her close ties to Washington Republicans, their toxic brand on health care will make it nearly impossible for Hinson to convince voters to trust her on their number one issue.
That’s a stark difference from Abby Finkenauer who has made lowering the cost of prescription drugs and improving access to affordable health care a top priority in Congress. Rep. Finkenauer stood up to the powerful pharmaceutical companies and passed legislation through the House that would require drug manufacturers to disclose the price of drugs in their advertisements. She has also introduced bipartisan legislation to tackle doctor shortages and improve maternal mortality rates in Iowa’s rural communities.
HINSON VOTED FOR CUTS TO UNEMPLOYMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE HAD A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON IOWA’S ECONOMY AND WORKERS
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 220,000 Iowans have filed for unemployment. Yet if Ashley Hinson had gotten her way, these workers and their families would have seen their benefits dramatically reduced.
As a state legislator, Hinson voted for a bill designed to cut unemployment benefits for individuals who lost their jobs because their employer went out of business. Had that legislation become law, it would have had a devastating impact on Iowa’s families and economy during this pandemic.
While Hinson voted to cut support to Iowans navigating this unprecedented crisis, Rep. Abby Finkenauer has had their back every step of the way. Finkenauer voted to boost unemployment benefits for jobless Iowans, pushed for more funds for struggling small businesses, and has been a leader in advocating for more personal protective equipment for workers at the district’s meat packing plants.
HINSON HAS A LONG RECORD OF HURTING WORKING FAMILIES
Despite the large population of blue-collar voters in this district, Ashley Hinson has racked up a deeply anti-worker resume as a state legislator that will be an unshakeable drag on her campaign.
As an elected official in Iowa’s Statehouse, Hinson voted for a massive cut to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to limiting who qualifies for certain key benefits, the bill decreased compensation for one common injury by nearly 70%. She has also made enemies out of public-sector employees, voting to gut their right to collective bargaining and for legislation that jeopardizes public workers’ retirement.
Voters in this district rejected Congressman Rod Blum last cycle in part due to his vote for the GOP Tax Scam, which gave more than 80% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. In addition to providing a massive handout to large corporations, the law incentivized these same companies to ship jobs overseas — all while making millions of middle class families pay more. Yet despite its adverse effect on Iowa families, Hinson has voiced her support for the Tax Scam, saying she would push to extend it in Congress.
Meanwhile, Hinson has run a notably anti-worker campaign for Congress. After the House passed the most comprehensive pro-worker bill since The National Labor Relations Act, Hinson wrote an op-ed calling it “the single most harmful piece of legislation” in decades.
Hinson’s record on workers issues comes in stark contrast with Representative Abby Finkenauer, the daughter of a union pipefitter who has a long history of advocating for working families.
PATH TO VICTORY
Iowa’s First Congressional District is a traditionally Democratic stronghold with rural populations that make this swing district one of the most competitive in the state. In 2018, Representative Abby Finkenauer defeated former Congressman Rod Blum by 5 points, outperforming the Democratic candidate for governor by nearly 4 points in the district. Iowans here voted for President Obama twice by double digits. And while Republicans tout Trump’s performance in 2016, the President’s poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his assault on rural Iowa will be a liability for Ashley Hinson this fall.
A Dubuque native with deep working-class roots, Finkenauer won back the county in 2018 after Trump was successful there, showing her ability to resonate among blue-collar voters fed up with Washington and outperform Presidential performance. And with a 2-to-1 cash on hand advantage over Ashley Hinson, she has the funds to do this again in a Presidential year. On top of that, Finkenauer has the backing of over a dozen labor groups whose workers will be more energized than ever to reject Ashley Hinson and her anti-worker record in November.
While Hinson has consistently put bosses over working people, Eastern Iowans know that Rep. Abby Finkenauer has always had their back. For Finkenauer, this is personal. She’s fighting for her family, friends and neighbors, and it’s that commitment that will earn her re-election.