We were invited to an appearance by Jack Hatch at a friend’s house the other evening. I must say that I was greatly impressed by the man. Unlike the boisterous campaign of his opponent, Senator Hatch was subdued yet quite forceful in his presentation. Mr. Hatch has specific plans to move Iowa forward.
I will admit I did not take notes. I was not planning on writing on the Hatch candidacy for awhile if at all. However, his presentation made me want to get out and shout “vote for this guy. He’s got the leadership Iowa has been lacking.”
Hatch is using a method of campaigning we haven’t seen enough of lately. He is talking about his vision for a better Iowa, he is talking about how we must do things right for Iowans, he is talking about education and the environment and jobs, real jobs with companies locating in Iowa for the right reasons. In short Hatch is painting a picture of what Iowa can be, and it can be great.
What Hatch did not do was spend much time talking negative about his opponent. He believes that Iowans are better than the negative campaigning. As he noted, Branstad has already spent many millions going negative on Hatch and so far it has gained Branstad nothing. Perhaps the day of running your opponent down as a campaign tactic no longer has the power it once did.
What Iowans do want is a leader who will work in their favor, not just for those who have money and power. What Iowans want to see is results, Jack Hatch went over some of the battles he has led in the legislature over his time in the senate. The story of the showdown with Branstad over the ACA Medicaid extension was fascinating. Like all other Republican governors, Branstad tried to refuse the ACA Medicaid program. Mr. Hatch, who has been probably THE leader for healthcare in Iowa, pushed hard for for Iowa to join in the expansion. Over the end of the legislative session in 2013 a group led by Hatch held out to the point that Branstad accepted a compromise. Thanks to Hatch’s leadership, poor Iowans had the benefits of the expanded Medicaid.
While Jack Hatch won’t dwell on Branstad’s shortcomings, I will. Our state has missed a great chance to progress in the past 4 years. This must be talked about and assessed.
In the past four years we have seen our infrastructure deteriorate to the point where roads are a hazard to our autos. We have seen our waterways deteriorate to the point where they are rated among the worst in the country. Our governor uses his line item veto to cut food for the poor. As noted in a previous post, our governor consorts with a named hate group to push a specific religion in Iowa.
Then we have the scandal of his firing competent bureaucrats and replacing them with cronies. In many cases those fired were paid to keep quiet with taxpayer’s money. We also have Branstad doing all he could (just like every other Republican governor) to stop the ACA, including joining the Florida led lawsuit. Couple that with his stance on the Medicaid extension and his line item veto of food for the poor and you realize Branstad has no love for the common Iowan.
And let us not forget his piss poor record on jobs. The numbers he uses have been shown over and over to be quite bogus. Iowa has gained jobs, but not the portion we should be getting just from the recovery. If Iowa has 1% of the population, we should get 1% of the job gains just to keep pace. Who can forget Branstad turning away money for train upgrades? Just to bookend that, let us remember his turning away of money to study solar energy in Iowa on the request of oil and gas lobbyists.
This is just a small rehash of the Branstad administration this time around. Make no doubt he sees his job as taking care of the rich and powerful. As such, it is very easy to see the stark contrast between he and Democrat Jack Hatch.
So, Iowa, in a nutshell you have a choice – more government for the rich or a governor who will govern for the whole state. Doesn’t seem like a hard choice for me.