Bruce Braley Hosting Fundraiser with Businessman Accused of Racial Discrimination
A KFC owner in Iowa who has been accused of instructing employees not to hire too many black people will host a fundraiser on Friday for Iowa's presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), who is running unopposed for his party's nomination, will attend a fundraiser at the home of Khurram Mian, who owns the Ames KFC where a black manager claimed she was fired for filing a formal complaint with the state's Civil Rights Commission for discriminatory employment practices.
An invitation for the event, where retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is also scheduled to be a "special guest," reads:
Please join Jan Bauer, Dr. Jon Fleming, Debbie Gitchell, Senator Johnie & Earl Hammond, Carolyn & John Klaus, Paul Lundy, Amber and Khurram Mian, Teresa & Senator Ralph Rosenberg, Jean & Dr. Selden Spencer, and Maggie & Brent Wynja. For a fundraising reception supporting Bruce Braley for U.S. Senate at the home of Amber and Khurram Mian.
According to a December 2013 report in the Ames Tribune, Roschelle Johnson, the manager, claimed that in July 2011, her supervisor pulled her while she was interviewing a potential employee who was black and asked, “How many blacks do you intend to hire?"
Johnson claimed that her supervisor told her that "upper management" was training her not to hire too many black employees because it would be bad for business. After they met with Mian, the owner, Johnson, claimed management made increased trips to "monitor or watch her behavior," took away her hiring authority, reduced her hours, and demoted her from manager to assistant manger, according to the Tribune.
In November of 2011, Johnson filed formal complaints to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the EEOC. Mian then reportedly asked her in a meeting "about her reasons for firing the complaints." The next month, Johnson was fired, and she alleged that Mian “made a decision to terminate Johnson in direct retaliation for her filing civil rights complaints, because of her prior complaints and also partly because of her race.”
A supervisor for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission told Breitbart News they were barred by law from commenting on the matter. The Braley campaign did not return requests for comments at time of this writing.
In March, Braley had to apologize for denigrating Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at a private fundraiser with trial lawyers as just a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school:"
"To put this in stark contrast, if you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone’s who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way on the Senate Judiciary Committee; or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee."
After an America Rising video of those remarks surfaced, David Yepsen, the longtime authority on Iowa politics, told the Des Moines Register, “This is bad for Braley and it will hurt him. Chuck Grassley is a political icon.”
"There are a lot of people who don’t have law degrees," he said then. "It comes off as elitist."
Though Braley is still a slight favorite in the general election in part because Republicans have not yet nominated his opponent, 53% of Iowans disapprove of President Barack Obama while only 41% approve, according to a poll released Thursday by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling.