The American Association for Justice's winter convention opens today in Maui, and two Democratic politicians and trial lawyers are being criticized for attending fundraisers organized on their behalf. The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a news release knocking U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) but mostly directed at Roxanne Conlin, a Senate candidate.
Conlin, a Des Moines personal injury attorney, is the former president of the American Trial Lawyer Association; she hopes to challenge Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in the fall. An invitation to the fundraisers was addressed to "My fellow women trial lawyers" and includes messaging on Citizens United v. FEC that we'll probably see in many direct mail pieces:
I am pleased to report that Congressman Bruce Braley and Roxanne Conlin will both be in Maui during the AAJ Winter Convention.
Congressman Braley, a trial lawyer himself, has been a steadfast supporter of our cause in his two terms in office. Since he has to run every two years, he is always targeted by opponents of civil justice, and this year will be no exception.
Roxanne Conlin, AAJ's first woman president, is running for the Senate in Iowa, hoping to unseat incumbent Charles Grassley. Since we've lost our Super Majority, Roxanne's race presents a solid opportunity to convert a Republican vote to a Democratic one!
Most importantly, given the Supreme Court's recent ruling on campaign finance, expect the Chamber of Commerce to oppose these two worthy candidates with every dollar they can muster. Now more than ever, these two incredible trial lawyers need your support!
The NRSC issued a statement from a spokesman, Colin Reed, declaring Conlin to have violated her pledge to stand against special interests.
The NRSC news release is available at IowaPolitics.com here. The Iowa Independent has a report, as well. (The Independent is one of the online news operations supported by Center for Independent Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that funds local reporting with a leftward tilt.)