Archive for October 23, 2010
Roxanne for Iowa
by Paul Deaton
should speak with one voice and Roxanne Conlin should join the Iowa
caucus in Washington. We are plain tired of Harkin voting one way and Grassley the
other on legislation important to Iowans.“
From the first day the author met Roxanne Conlin, in November 2009, her message about her opponent has been clear and consistent: Senator Chuck Grassley needs to retire after a long career in politics because Iowans deserve representation more closely aligned with our values.
During a constant stream of appearances, fundraisers and speeches in all 99 Iowa counties, Conlin demonstrated a consistency of approach both during the contested primary and in the general election campaign. In doing so, she provided evidence that what you see is what you would get with Roxanne Conlin as our United States Senator: someone who will fight for Iowans in a bitterly partisan Senate.
Conlin asked us to reach out to our social circles and talk to friends and neighbors about her campaign. While doing that, and contrary to what we hear in the news media, it was difficult to find voters who would not support Conlin. What made people change their mind about the incumbent is the way he has changed with the increased partisanship in the Senate. His “pull the plug on grandma” comment at a 2009 town hall meeting in Winterset was a familiar and repeated indicator that it was time to change. Conlin pointed to Grassley's statement as a key motivator for her getting into the race. During the campaign she pointed out other areas where the incumbent put powerful interests in front of the interests of Iowans. Conlin has been a diligent and thoughtful campaigner and one would expect the same from her as our United States Senator.
What has made the Republican obstruction effective in the Senate is their ability to close ranks and vote as a block. In particular, the use of the filibuster has stopped discussion of important legislation dead in its track. In many cases, consideration of legislation seems to have been reduced to a discussion between a few Senators, notably, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Harry Reid (D-NV), with Reid asking McConnell if Republicans will allow discussion. Something is wrong with that.
Wrangling the Democratic majority to break a filibuster and enable discussion in the Senate has been accomplished only on a subset of important issues. If partisanship will continue in the Senate, and there is no reason to expect otherwise, Iowa should speak with one voice and Roxanne Conlin should join the Iowa caucus in Washington. We are plain tired of Harkin voting one way and Grassley the other on legislation important to Iowans.
During the final days of the 2010 campaign, much of the groundwork is already laid. A substantial number of people have early voted and Democrats hold the advantage here. The Democratic registration advantage and a strong desire to change run in our favor. The rest is up to us and making sure our friends and relatives get out to vote for Roxanne and the Democratic slate. Making Roxanne Conlin part of what we talk about before the election can be easy. What will be hard will be living through another two years of gridlock in Washington. A vote for Roxanne Conlin would be a step towards breaking Washington's gridlock. It's not too late to click here to join the Roxanne for Iowa campaign.
~Paul Deaton is a
native Iowan living in rural Johnson County and weekend editor of
Blog for Iowa. E-mail
Contact your county auditor or Go to IowaDemocrats.org to find out where to vote early
you know? ..Studies of GOTV have shown that one knock on
the door within 72 hours of the election can increase turnout by 12.5%
– a second by almost as much… a live
phone contact increases turnout by 2.5% to 3%… link There are only two weekends left to go to your county Dem HQ and volunteer some time to help elect Democrats. Find contact information for your Democratic county chair here. Sign up for a shift. Your help will be appreciated.
WHO-TV Declines Grassley Ad
This is an update on BFIA's earlier post [scroll down] on the ad calling out Senator Grassley for statements he made during health care reform. The ad uses video of Grassley saying, “I've lived off the public tit all these years,”
and when he later used the phrase “sucking the tit of the taxpayer.” WHO-TV is inappropriately taking on the role of the context police by refusing to air the ad saying the quote is being taken out of context. We think the quotes speak for themselves.
Here's the latest from Bold Progressives and DFA
* Over 1,500 people chipped in $35,000 to put it on TV
* Over 28,000 people viewed it on YouTube
* It's been covered by the Washington Post, ABC, the Globe Gazette, Iowa Independent, Huffington Post, and others. All that in only 24 hours!
Now, after talking to Chuck Grassley's campaign, WHO-TV (Des Moines NBC) is refusing to air the hard-hitting ad. Can you help us strike back?
Click here to call WHO-TV right now and demand they air the PCCC/DFA ad.
Democrat Bill Maske Wins Des Moines Register Endorsement
“Latham has not delivered enough to deserve re-election, and Maske is worthy of Iowans' support.“ Link
When U.S. Rep. Tom Latham recently met with the Register editorial board, he made a point of sharing that he wasn't looking for this newspaper's endorsement. He said he was visiting only out of respect for his constituents. That's fine, and we appreciate his time.
It wasn't possible for the Register to muster an endorsement for him anyway. The best argument for sending the 4th District congressman back to Washington for a ninth term is seniority. There is something to be said for keeping lawmakers in office, as they gain power and are able to do more for the people they represent. But Latham has failed to accumulate a strong record of accomplishments, and his rhetoric is misleading.
For example, he said the new health law hurts Medicare's solvency. The opposite is true. Just a few months ago, Medicare trustees said the program's fiscal future will be “substantially improved” by health reform. He said no one knows what the health reform bill is going to do yet – but he apparently knows enough to claim it's going to jeopardize doctor-patient relationships and hurt the country.
Latham said Iowans are fearful about the future – then proceeded to gin up that fear. The Republican from Alexander deserves credit for spearheading the drive to fund the National Animal Disease Center in Ames through 2005. But it's time for the people of the 4th District to have a more engaged member of Congress who sticks to the facts.
That means making a change – and choosing Bill Maske.
Maske is a native Iowan who has spent the past 34 years in education. He's been a teacher, coach, administrator and worked at a school in Iran. He wants to continue his public service in Congress. “Public officials have lost sight of being a public servant,” he said in a recent meeting at the Register.
Whenever voters elect a newcomer, they're taking a risk. But Maske seems to have a good understanding of the complex issues facing the country rather than blindly toeing the party line when answering questions.
He recognized the new health reform law was imperfect and needs work. He talked about why the No Child Left Behind law should be rescinded. He was specific about ideas for making Social Security solvent, including removing the cap on income limits for payroll contributions.
If Iowans send him to Washington, Maske said he would focus on the economy and getting Americans decent-paying jobs. He laid out a plan to invest in business, emphasize renewable energy and create a program to rebuild this country's crumbling infrastructure.
It is difficult for candidates to unseat incumbents in any election. In a year when Republicans appear to have an upper hand, this Democrat from Truro has an especially difficult challenge. Latham has not delivered enough to deserve re-election, and Maske is worthy of Iowans' support.