Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet...Vote Nussle

My Halloween costume this year was Jim Nussle trying to trick Iowans to vote for him.

And here's a little song to go with it.

"Trick or treat, smell my feet.
Vote for me, I’m a cheat.
If you don't, I won't be sad.
But W, Dick, and Karl will sure be mad!"

It was a greedy Republican named Nussle
Wearing a paper bag and a fancy sport coat
I said, "With those
Washington ethics,
you’ll never get my vote."

I slammed the door, checking all the locks.
Then grabbed the remote, flipped on the TV.
I was startled to discover Mr. Nussle
Screaming about nothing. "Please let me be."

"Trick or treat, smell my feet.
Vote for me, I’m a cheat.
If you don't, I won't be sad.
But W, Dick, and Karl will sure be mad!"

Who was this guy in the paper bag?
A little digging unveiled a messy divorce.
Nussle cried "Terror!" and ran looking for Newt.
Huge budget deficit? Mr. Nussle was the source.

He kept popping up in the least likely places.
Pandering to the Rightwing Christians.
His crooked little grin was driving me crazy,
if they only knew greed and divorce was his mission.

"Trick or treat, smell my feet.
Vote for me, I’m a cheat.
If you don't, I won't be sad.
But W, Dick, and Karl will sure be mad!"

Finally I did the only thing that I could think of.
I voted for Chet in the booth.
That night Nussle was bemoaning
like a little baby with a tooth loose.

Nussle tucked his tail in between his legs,
then he was headed back to
Hopefully he will never come back,
With Governor Chet, it will be the best its ever been!

Fallon: "Don't Write Me In, Vote for Chet"

Ed Fallon is calling for his supporters to don't write him in on November 7th and asks people to vote for Chet Culver. Fallon does so in a way that only Ed Fallon could do...in a song. The song is a version of Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In." You can listen to the song here.

Special Interests Finance Campaigns

Kyle, from Diary of a Political Madman, had a letter to the editor published in the Des Moines Register that outlines the sad state our campaign finance system has become.

Campaign Money Fuels Special-Interest Laws

New Poll in the 2nd District...Leach 50%, Loebsack 48%

The race in the 2nd District continues to be tight. A new poll released yesterday shows Republican Jim Leach leading Democrat Dave Loebsack 50%-48%. Loebsack led the same poll back at the beginning of October 48%-47%. Some numbers on Loebsack's side are that he leads in the % of supporters strongly supporting their candidate 40% to 37%. President Bush has a 60% disaproval rating in the district. 42% of the district identifies themselves as Democrats. Also, last Friday, the Register reported that Dave Loebsack has raised 3 times as much money as Leach did in the latest filing period.

It isn't good to see Loebsack behind, but it is just a couple of points and the polls are within the margin of error. In the end, the race is going to be close and the results will hinge on GOTV efforts by the campaigns.

Get out there and volunteer for you candidates, tell your friends and family about Loebsack, and if you can send Loebsack a couple bucks, so he can continue with TV and radio ads in the final week.

It's Crunch Time, so Get Out and Volunteer

It is crunch time. The election is just 1 week away. With so many important races out there, many of them will be won by which campaign gets the voters to the polls. This weekend, please try and volunteer, even if it is just for one hour. Here is some info from the Iowa Democratic Party.

Iowa Democrats Need Your Help

There are only a few days left until the election and the Iowa Democratic Party needs your help. There are going to be some tight races, and we need you to lend a hand. The most important thing you can do now is volunteer to help Get Out the Vote between November 4th and Election Day, November 7th. Working together, we will elect Chet Culver as Governor, help add Democratic Congressional seats, and take control of the Iowa House and Senate. Please give us a call or e-mail Casey Muhm at cmuhm@iowademocrats.org if you can help out. Thanks for your support. Here are our office locations and phone numbers:

Office Office Number
Ames 515-232-7592
Burlington 319-753-0445
Cedar Rapids 319-221-1065
Clinton 563-241-1356
Council Bluffs 712-328-0086
Davenport 563-322-3948
Des Moines 515-974-1701
Dubuque 563-556-7764
Fort Dodge 515-955-1016
Ft. Madison 319-372-7596
Grinnell 641-236-1166
Iowa City 319-337-3164
Marshalltown 641-752-2930
Mason City 641-422-0156
Newton 641-792-2877
Ottumwa 641-682-9038
Sioux City 712-233-2056
Warren 515-962-1211
Waterloo 319-226-4428

Monday, October 30, 2006

Meeting Denise O'Brien

Yesterday, I attended a campaign event with Denise O'Brien. Of all the candidates I have met this campaign season, Denise has to be the nicest. I first met her back in June and she remembered me and asked how my 2nd graders were doing. So she not only remembered that I was a teacher, but she remembered the grade. I attended the first of 2 events she did in town and in between events she met with some local residents to discuss a planned hog confinement. I think it was great that took an hour away from campaigning out local residents and provide them with her expertise in the area. These are just 2 examples that show the type of person Denise O'Brien is.

At the event, O'Brien talked about 3 main things. First, she wants to get new people on the land and said that 10 years ago there were 60,000 hog farmers in Iowa and now their are just 11,000. That is not getting more farmers on the land. She said that trend can't continue for Iowa's rural communities to prosper. Second, she discussed local ownership and mentioned biodiesel and ethanol. She said that if we build this biodiesel and ethanol plants and they are owened by outside interests Iowans will still be paying high prices. We must make investments in Iowa by Iowans. Finally, she believes in local control, saying that Iowa's laws aren't strong enough. She said that a bill has been stuck in committee in the legislator for a few years now and that if Democrats gain control there might actually be a vote on it and it could pass. Denise closed saying that she brings leadership that can bring peole together to make the right decisions for Iowa.

The race for Sec. of Agriculture comes down to one simple thing. Do you want to live in an Iowa where Iowans farm the land, make the decisions, and reap the benefits or do you want to live in an Iowa where out of state corporate interests make the decisions for your communties? If you want to live in an Iowa where the land provides an opportunity for Iowans, then vote for Denise O'Brien.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dr. Spencer House Call Tour Begins on Monday

I know there a couple of loyal readers of this blog from Waukee and thought they might be interested in attending this event tomorrow with Selden Spencer.

Spencer to Kick-Off House Call Tour With Waukee Press Conference

Harkin, Pederson, Culver and Others to Join Spencer on Tour

Ames, IA— On Monday, October 30, Fourth District Democratic congressional candidate Selden Spencer will kick-off “Dr. Spencer’s House Call Tour” with a press conference in Waukee. Spencer will spend eight straight days prior to the midterm elections traveling the district, meeting with supporters in their homes and knocking on doors in an effort to personally reach out to voters before they go to the polls on November 7th.

Spencer, a neurologist from Huxley, is challenging Republican incumbent Tom Latham from Alexander who is seeking a seventh term.

“Dr. Spencer’s House Call Tour” will encompass more than 20 of the district’s 28 counties. Spencer will make appearances in over 30 cities, canvassing and talking with supporters about issues and his vision for a better America.

During Spencer’s eight day tour, he will cross paths with several local and state figures. Spencer will begin the tour on Monday in Waukee, before meeting with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa’s Lt. Governor Sally Pederson, Iowa gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver, and others later in the week.

“I think this will be a lot of fun. I look forward to every opportunity I get to talk to supporters and get to know them on a one-on-one basis,” said Spencer. “There’s nothing that signifies what America is about than having candidates travel town-by-town, block-by-block and share their vision for a better country. It will come down to who the people in the Fourth District can trust to get the job done.”

“Dr. Spencer’s House Call Tour” begins at 1760 Birchwood Drive in Waukee, on Monday, October 30 at 9:00 a.m. For the schedule of Spencer’s tour, please visit his website at http://www.spencerforcongress.com. It will be updated throughout the week.

If you live in the 4th District keep an eye out for when Dr. Spencer will be in your area. Here are the events that are planned so far.

Quad City Times Endorses Culver

The Quad City Times has come out endorsing Chet Culver for Governor today. Their endorsement seems to be somewhat anti-Nussle and pro-Vilsack. Here is what they say about Culver...

Culver seems to get how the governor’s office can shape initiatives with executive programs implemented by bi-partisan, locally based boards. That was Gov. Vilsack’s effective tool as he faced highly partisan opposition in the legislature.

Iowa’s biggest challenge is attracting and retaining younger people. The next governor needs to tackle it with collaborative, innovative approaches that bear no semblance to the combative politics-as-usual that emanate from Washington. The next governor needs to actively sidestep the predictable, entrenched opposition that forced courts to resolve important Iowa issues the legislature could not.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Des Moines Register Comes Out With Their Endorsements

The Des Moines Register has come out with their endorsements for the upcoming election and mostly favored Democrats over Republicans. Here they are...

Governor...Chet Culver

Culver has taken his working knowledge about state government and molded it into proposals on education, economic development and renewable energy. He correctly identifies renewable energy as a historic opportunity for Iowa to remake its economy, and he has presented reasonably detailed ideas for helping it happen.
1st District...Bruce Braley
But what really sold us on Braley was his respect for the U.S. Constitution, which he called "one of the greatest documents written in the history of mankind." He recognizes the responsibility of Congress to uphold the Constitution and exercise oversight of the executive branch - a perspective sorely lacking in today's Washington. Braley is young, but polished. He is optimistic, but realistic. And he is the better choice to represent the interests of Iowans.
2nd District...Jim Leach
Jim Leach was the only member of the Iowa delegation to vote against the war in Iraq. That alone is reason enough to re-elect him.

A Republican, Leach has a reputation for integrity and independence of mind. That's demonstrated by his voting record, one of the most independent of any member of Congress.
3rd District...Leonard Boswell
On most issues, Boswell is right, from supporting a woman's right to choose to calling for fiscal responsibility. He has fought to oppose private accounts in Social Security and opposes tax cuts for the "richest 1 percent."

His experience and personal connections with people all over the world make him the better choice for representing Iowa and the country.
4th District...Selden Spencer
It would be great to have more representatives in Washington who know about health care, an issue the current Congress has ignored. Iowa should send to Congress Dr. Selden Spencer, a neurologist from Huxley.

Spencer, a Democrat, has been not only a faculty member at the University of Iowa but also a community physician for 22 years. He knows about the real-world health-care crisis facing this country. He also favors embryonic stem-cell research, a pursuit "near and dear to my heart" that has great potential for advancing medicine.
5th District...Joyce Shulte
King has been an embarrassment to Iowa, making the news for everything from referring to the Abu Ghraib prison abuses as "hazing" to calling for "cultural continuity" in America to describing disgraced U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy as a hero to pushing to build a 700-mile wall on the nation's southern border. This space won't allow listing all his outrageous remarks and positions.
and about Shulte...
Schulte would bring a breadth of experience to Washington, having worked in the mental-health field, small business and education. She's now director of the Student Support Services program at Southwestern Community College in Creston. So she knows firsthand how government policies impact the lives of students, the mentally ill and average Iowa families. And Iowa is long overdue in sending a woman to Washington.

I was surprised that the Register endorsed Selden Spencer in the 4th District, but Tom Latham has a long record of toeing the party line. As the Register says about Latham...
Spencer was right during a recent meeting with the Register when he noted that the current Republican leadership in Washingtoin has failed the country. And Latham has been part of the problem.
Unfortanately in the 2nd District, the Register doesn't understand that a vote for Leach is also a vote for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, and Hastert. In the 2nd district, the bluest district in Iowa, they should elect a Democrat that would vote for Democratic leadership in Washington. By voting for Leach, you are voting to continue the failed leadership in Washington. If Bush was truly a uniter and not a divider, like he campaigned as, then a person like Leach would have a place in Congress.

Dave Loebsack is the Democrat in the race and holds Democratic values like the majority of people in the 2nd District. He is against the war in Iraq, for health care for everyone, for increasing the minimum wage, for energy independence, and most importantly for change in Washington.

Wes Clark Raising Money for Selden Spencer

Wes Clark is helping Selden Spencer raise money to run the radio ad that Clark did in Spencer's behalf. Here's my post about the radio ad and here's what Clark has to say...

This year's midterm elections present American voters with a clear choice on the type of leadership we want for our country. Do we want to continue with the Republicans' current "stay the course" status quo? Or do we want new leadership on the critical issues that we face -- in particular the situation in Iraq -- the type of new leadership that only Democrats can provide?

For those who choose new leadership, they need look no further than Dr. Selden Spencer, who is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Iowa's 4th district.

I just recorded a radio ad in support of Dr. Spencer's campaign, and we are looking to raise $10,000 in order to play the ad across the 4th Congressional District. Please contribute what you can to air this important message.

Play MP3
Click here to listen to the radio ad.

Help us put my ad in support of Selden's campaign on the air -- contribute today!

I served in the military for 38 years. From my experience, it is clear that our policies are not leading us to victory in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the rest of the Middle East. It will take more than military might alone to secure America

Dr. Selden Spencer of Huxley has been on the ground in Afghanistan. He sees that we need a new direction in the Middle East that includes diplomacy and economic development, in addition to the strong military component of the mission.

Dr. Spencer served in Kabul as a physician with Northwest Medical Teams, and while there it became crystal clear to him that a critical component of our battle in the Middle East needs to be winning the hearts and minds of the people there. This is a lesson the Republicans in Washington refuse to learn, and is one of the primary reasons we need Dr. Selden Spencer in Congress.

Help Dr. Spencer bring the experience he gained on the ground in Afghanistan to Washington -- contribute towards our radio ads today!

Dr. Spencer's opponent, Republican Tom Latham, told the Mason City Globe Gazette that he supports George Bush's Iraq policy because he has no choice.

But this is clearly mistaken: there are choices in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Middle East, and it says a lot about Latham's leadership abilities that he thinks his only option is to blindly follow President Bush. Come November 7, you can exercise your own choice by voting for a candidate who supports change in our foreign policy, not just "stay the course."

To bring change to our nation's capitol, we need to make clear to undecided voters throughout the 4th District that Dr. Selden Spencer will provide new leadership on foreign policy in Washington.

Contribute today to help us run my radio ad in support of Dr. Spencer's campaign!

In these closing weeks of the campaign, Dr. Selden Spencer needs your support. With your help, Dr. Spencer will help us build a stronger and safer America.


Wes Clark

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nussle Values the Sanctity of Marriage

When I got home from work on Thursday, I had a message on my answering machine from Karen Nussle telling me that I should vote for her "loving husband" on November 7th. I laughed at it and was glad they were wasting their money calling my house.

Later that night I saw that earlier in the day, Jim Nussle announced that marriage was between 1 man and 1 woman at a campaign stop in Des Moines. Then WHO-TV out of Des Moines ran a profile of Karen Nussle. Here is part of the story...

Karen worked there, then on Capitol Hill and finally at a public relations firm. A congresswoman who knew both Karen and Jim Nussle thought they'd make a perfect couple. "Basically decided she was going to play matchmaker and bugged him until he asked me out."
WHO forgot to mention that Jim Nussle had a wife and 2 young children back in Manchester, IA at this time. You know, no one cares about little insignificant details like a wedding ring and 2 kids.

I guess the sanctity of marriage doesn't apply to Congressman. You can't blame a Congressman for finding a mistress while they are on the road. It is a longway from Manchester, IA, where their wife and 2 young children live, all the way to Washington DC. Then when they decide to leave their family and marry their mistress the media should just pretend that it is a storybook tale.

Does that sound like a loving husband to you?

Now, if Nussle does win this race, would Karen Nussle be the called the 2nd Lady?

Fallon on Economic Developement

Got an email from Ed Fallon today...

I remain greatly concerned about the direction state government is taking regarding economic dI evelopment. The Iowa Values Fund costs taxpayers $50 million annually, yet I see very little proof that it’s getting the kinds of results its backers promise.

Last week, the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) reported that companies receiving assistance from the Iowa Values Fund had pledged to create and retain 30,000 jobs statewide. What’s been pledged and what’s actually being created are miles apart.

This week, after months of extensive analysis of Values Fund progress reports, I submitted my third open records request of 2006 to IDED. The request asks for clarification on a number of ambiguous or confusing points in IDED’s data, including claims about job growth and wage levels. I submitted a similar request in April, with five pages of detailed questions. IDED promptly “answered” that letter, yet provided no real information, and requested that I re-organize my questions. This seems like nothing more than an effort to stall or stonewall me.

Over the past three years, I’ve spoken and written at length about why I think the Iowa Values Fund is wrong-headed. By spending millions of taxpayer dollars annually and refusing to provide program transparency, IDED presents a rosy picture of expenses that are difficult for the public to independently analyze and justify. At my request, State Auditor David Vaudt has agreed to audit the Values Fund, and I hope that effort will lead to greater clarity and exposure.

For details about this recent communication with IDED, check out my website, Fallonforgovernor.net, where I’ve posted copies of the most recent letter to IDED, and other files of note.

Thanks for reading,

Ed Fallon

Upcoming events where I’ll speak or perform music

Thursday, October 26

Fundraiser for Susan Radke, candidate for Iowa House

720 Duff Ave , Ames

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 31

Des Moines Public School Board Meeting

Discussion about redevelopment of Rice School site

Hiatt Middle School , 1214 E. 15th Street , Des Moines

6:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 2

Get Out the Vote Rally

Pedestrian Mall, corner of Dubuque and Washington streets, Iowa City

5:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 4

Tama County Democrats GOTV event

Eagles Hall, 112 E 3rd Street , Tama

6:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 5

“Stop the War With Words and Music”

Ritual Café, on 13th Street between Grand and Locust avenues

3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Take it Back College Tour

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Spencer's TV Ad up and Ready to Go

Selden Spencer came out with his radio ad that features Wes Clark that focuses on national security. Today he released his TV ad. The ad highlights Dr. Spencer's healthcare background and the need for change in Washington. Here it is...

Notes from Spencer's Campaign Stop

Finally, the post about the event Selden Spencer held in Marshalltown over the weekend. Sorry for the delay, I had a variety of computer issues come up and then the work week started, and here we are on Thursday. Well, anyway...

Selden Spencer came to Marshalltown on Saturday morning for a couple campaign stops, including speaking at a UAW meeting. I attended an event held at a local coffee shop. There were close to 30 people in attendance. Spencer began his speech by talking about his history of activism. I was messing with my computer, so didn't get down many details, but he Spencer stressed that a small number of people can make a difference.

Then Spencer got into the issues, saying that "people know that things are not quite right." He pointed to Katrina, the Iraq War (He mentioned he is reading the Art of War and one of the points in the book is war should be quick and decisive.), and the national debt. He then laid out the major concerns that he has been hearing from residents in the 4th District.

  1. Debt - We are approaching $9 trillion in debt that will be passed down to our children and grandchildren. With the Republican congress, there is no checks and balances. We must get rid of the Credit Card Mentality of the Republicans and that he will be a pay as you go Democrat.
  2. Energy - Spencer said he truly believes that renewable energy will be what drives the economy of the 4th District and maybe the country. He discussed the possibilities of creating jobs in rural Iowa with a variety of renewable energy, not just ethanol.
  3. Health Care - He talked a lot of about Medicare Part D saying that it was "written for and by the Drug companies." Spencer said 50% of wage earners don't have health insurance and that Americans should be able to have the same health care that Congress does. Spencer said he would take a Doctor’s mentality to Washington, where the patients concerns are most important. The 4th district will be his patient.
Spencer then talked about the fundraising letter from Tom Latham that bashed Chet Guinn. Spencer said that Latham and Republicans are using fear, fear, and more fear. Latham ended the letter by saying the race is simple, you can vote for terrorism or for Latham. Spencer said it really comes down to voting for incompetence or voting for Spencer. He mentioned his Harkin Steak Fry rant and said that we can overcome fear with hope.

He talked about his plans for TV and radio ads and we raised some money at the event to get a radio going here in Marshalltown. He also discussed his fundraising, saying that only about 5% of his money has come form PAC's.

He ended by talking about his brother, who was there. His brother is from Detroit and the Tigers are in the World Series. Spencer said in 2003, the Tigers had the worst record in baseball. They then cleaned house and got rid of every player and now they are in the World Series. We need to do that in this election and send new people to Congress.

Spencer was very up beat and so was the crowd, which included some people who usually don't come to these events. Spencer entered the race as a newcomer and a longshot. I think most people agree the race will be closer than originally thought and Spencer might just pull this thing out.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Imagine Paul Wellstone in the Senate Today

4 years ago today, Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. At the time, I did not know much about him. Since then I have learned a great deal about him. His book, Conscience of a Liberal, is a great read. From page 1 you can tell that Sen. Wellstone truly fought for what he believed in and what was best for Americans. He stood with principle and with compassion. His campaign motto was simple and to the point..."Vote for what you believe in."

In an article posted on the Huffington Post today by Jonathon Tasini about Paul Wellstone, Tasini discussed how Wellstone was more than just speaking out on the issues.

Putting aside his policy positions, his vision of politics was so much more than what we see in the unbridled ambitions of the political machines that vie for power: "Politics is not just about power and money games, politics can be about the improvement of peoples lives, about lessening human suffering in our world and bringing about more peace and more justice," he said.
I have gotten some ideas for this blog from this book. I have posted often on this blog about the so-called Centrists. I base a lot of thoughts from this quote from the introduction of Conscience of a Liberal...
People yearn for a politics of the center" - not the "center" so widely discussed by politicians and pundits in Washington but rather a politics that speaks to the center of people's lives: affordable child care, good education for children, health security, living-wage jobs that will support families, respect for the environment and human rights, and clean elections and clean campaigns.
Wellstone ends the introduction with this line...
Politics is what we create by what we do, what we hope for, and what we dare to imagine.

Spencer's Radio Ad Featuring Wes Clark

Yesterday, the Spencer for Congress campaign released their radio ad featuring Wes Clark. Of course, the ad talks about national security and intelligently fighting terrorism. You can hear the ad here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How many of Iowa's 5 Congressional Districts will be held by Democrats after this year's elections?

I have taken down the poll asking, "How many of Iowa's 5 Congressional Districts will be held by Democrats after this year's elections?"

With 71 votes cast, 35% of common Iowans think Democrats will hold 2 of the 5 seats in the US House. 24% think that Democrats will hold 3 of the 5 seats. 14% think they hold just 1 seat, while 11% are optimistic that they will hold 4 seats. 8% think the Democrats will sweep all 5 seats, while 7% think the Democrats will get shut out and have 0 seats.

Not if anyone cares, I voted for 3.

I have a new poll up asking if election day should be a national holdiay. The poll will be up until election day.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nussle is Suddenly Concerned with Oversight

Nussle recently made a campaign stop in Marshalltown and discussed CIETEC. Doesn't Nussle know that was so last summer?

At the top of the ticket is Jim Nussle, a congressman that has said one of the biggest challenges facing Iowa is mismanagement of state government agencies. Nussle said that one thing his opponent has stressed is that he has leadership after serving for eight years on the governor’s executive committee as secretary of state.

Nussle charged that is exactly where oversight for agencies such as CIETC (Central Iowa Employment Training Consortium) should have come from.
Nussle talking about oversight? What about the $9 billion missing in Iraq?

Spencer Wins Iowa Farmer's Union Endorsement in the 4th District

From Selden Spencer's campaign website...

Ames, IA— The Spencer for Congress campaign is pleased to accept the endorsement of the Iowa Farmers Union. The Iowa Farmers Union endorsed Selden Spencer, the Democratic congressional candidate for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District last Friday. Spencer, a neurologist from Huxley, has served as a physician throughout the rural Fourth District.

This endorsement comes two weeks before the crucial midterm elections, as Democrats seek to take back Congress from Republican control. Spencer is challenging six-term Republican incumbent Tom Latham.

“I’m grateful for the endorsement of the Farmers Union. They stand for family farmers and a competitive agricultural economy,” said Spencer. “With their help, I will be able to fight for competitive markets, profitability for producers, and the sustainability of our rural economy and quality of life.”

Spencer and Latham hold 2nd Debate

In the 4th District on Sunday, Republican Tom Latham and Democratic challenger Dr. Selden Spencer held their 2nd debate in Mason City. According to the Mason City Globe Gazette, the top issue discussed was health care.

Selden Spencer said the first thing he would do as congressman would be to revisit Medicare Part D while incumbent Tom Latham said he plans to continue work on a plan to provide National Guard, Reservists and veterans improved health insurance
A final forum will be held on October 26th by WHO radio.

I also attended an event with Selden Spencer over the weekend and will post my thoughts on it this evening.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I started this blog with the idea that it would be a collection of interesting things about politics that I found online. No article that I have read has made me stop and think as much as this one written by Pat Tillman's brother and fellow soldier, Kevin Tillman. I highly recommend reading the entire thing, but here is part of it...

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Des Moines Register picks Culver on Education

The Register compared Chet Culver and Jim Nussle's stance on education and highlighted strengths and weaknesses of each candidate's plan. The Register concluded that Culver came out on top with his education plan (the other day they favored Culver's Economic stance as well). This goes along with the ISEA endorsing Culver over the summer.

Here is what the Register said...
Culver offers thoughtful approach

Chet Culver sees the big picture when it comes to improving education.

Getting universal high-quality preschool in place quickly is a starting point. The Democratic candidate from West Des Moines would expand the existing program with a public-private partnership. He'd push for higher-quality child care, too.

At the other end of the spectrum, he'd work to make college more affordable. Culver would invest an additional $25 million in the state universities to lower tuition, retain faculty and broaden course offerings. That would be a step toward restoring state support, which has diminished as a percentage of the universities' total budgets. More scholarship assistance is part of his plan, too.
the biggest weakness in his education plan, as outlined on his Web site, becomes apparent: his failure to address the need for a stronger curriculum in elementary and middle schools. Better teachers alone aren't enough.

Nussle puts forth many good ideas

Another strength of his plan: It focuses on improving high schools, where many students haven't been challenged enough. He wants all youngsters to have access to Advanced Placement college-level courses and the opportunity to earn dual high school/college credit. That will increase rigor and offset college costs.
Nussle's plan falls short on details. That makes it questionable how well he would execute reforms. An example: Look at his call to "accelerate statewide education standards to 2008-09 school year."

It's not clear what he means on his Web site - but a staffer said he wants to move up the deadline for tougher high school graduation requirements. Below that bold-faced recommendation, Nussle's Web site lists three goals: "Focus more on core subjects, like reading, writing, mathematics and science" (And teach less of what?), "Ensure assessments conducted on Iowa's fourth- and eighth-graders" (This already takes place) and end social promotion (How would a governor influence that?).
And then there is this from Vander Plaats...
His running mate, Bob Vander Plaats, also raised a red flag for us when he said recently, according to an Ames Tribune report, that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution in schools.
And from the print edition of the Register...

The Bottom Line: Culver stands out for having a more complete plan that does not undermine public eduction.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Money and Elections in Iowa

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement has recently finished the second part of their study on the influence of money in elections in Iowa.

Phase II of our "Money and Elections in Iowa" study has been completed by Dr. Arthur Sanders. Dr. Sanders is the head of Drake University's Political Science and International Relations department and a national campaign finance reforem expert.

Phase II examines the roll of money in Iowa's legislative process. Specificially, Dr. Sanders looked at how health care policy decisions at the State Capitol may have been influenced by campaign contributions in the 2006 legislative sesson. He concludes that:

* Money is, indeed, increasing in importance in Iowa's democratic process.

* As campaigns continue to grow more expensive, everyday Iowans without access to big money contributions will be cut out of the democratic process.

* And, those who are able to provide large contributions will secure more access to our elected officials.

"Is it as bad as the worst critic things? No. But we are headed in that direction," said Sanders.

In his executive summary he writes, "the rising costs of campaigns are likely to increase the influence of money in both the electoral and policy arenas." To prevent this from happening he recommended three courses of action including that Iowa adopt Voter-Owned Elections; a system of voluntary public financing currently being used in Maine, Arizona, and other states around the country.

CCI members believe that Voter-Owned Elections (a.k.a. Clean Elections) will restore balance to our elections and allow for more everyday iowans to particpate in the democratic process. Maine and Arizona have both seen an increase in voter turnout, contested races, and overall citizen involvement since adopting the system.

To learn more, visit our site dedicated to Voter-owned Elections at http://www.voterownediowa.org.

Read the study:
Click here to download Phase II as a Microsoft Word document

Click here to download Phase II as a Pdf document

To read Phase I of the study, click here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Votes for Sale" on IPTV Friday night

Public Televisions's NOW is airing show called "Votes for Sale" this Friday at 9:00 pm. The show discusses how clean elections are working in Arizona and 7 other states. From NOW's website...

check out our special hour-long investigation into the fight to keep American elections free and fair across the country. Airing less than three weeks before Americans go to the polls, "Votes for Sale?" will spotlight the so-called clean elections movement, a radical public-funding experiment adopted in Maine and Arizona to revolutionize how campaigns are conducted. It works like this: candidates for public office receive a flat sum of money from the government to finance their campaign. In return, the candidates agree to use almost no private funds to run their elections.

Pushing special interest money out of the election process may do more than clean things up. It could also open the door for a variety of people who care about democracy to run for office with realistic hopes of winning.
Here's a preview of "Votes for Sale."

Loebsack comes out with TV ad

Dave Loebsack now has a TV ad out. You can download it here. It is pretty much your typical TV ad.

If you are able, please send Dave a couple bucks and help get his ads on the air.

The ad is up on YouTube now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Habeas Whatus? Part II

President Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act yesterday, which eliminates your rights granted under Habeas Corpus. Keith Olbermann and Constitutional lawyer, Jonathon Turley discuss the act here...

On the way to work today, I heard Chris Dodd saying that he was talked out of fillibustering this bill by other Democrats because the fillibuster probably didn't have the votes. There are times when it doesn't matter if you have enought votes. Some votes are so important and attack the most basic principles that you live by, that you must stand up for them.

Votes like these make it hard to defend claims that Democrats lack a backbone. If Democrats don't stand up for our most basic beliefs, then it makes it diffilcult to stand up for them. By handing over our constitution and endorsing the immoral acts of torture, we are attacking the exact same things the terrorists want to destroy...our rights and freedoms.

Hostile Takeover...Prescription Drugs

Chapter 7 of Sirota's Hostile Takeover is about Prescription Drugs.

No one wants to put the pharmaceutical industry out of business. Drug companies play an important role in the world's health care system. But in recent years, their quest for profits has led these companies to player a more destructive role in preventing medicenes from getting to the people who need them. That is why our government must step in and make sure the drug industry's profit motive stops drowning out every other societal need. Drug companies should be able to make healthy profits, but there is a difference between healthy profits and unhealthy profiteering. And the latter is particularly unacceptable when it means that people are denied the medicines they need.
Read more from Hostile Takeover...
Health Care

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hostile Takeover...Health Care

From chapter 6 of David Sirota's Hostile Takeover on Health Care...

According to a study by top experts in 2005, "the United States wastes more on [private] health-care bureacracy than it would cost to provide health care to all its uninsured." That's right - wastes. As the World Health Organization noted in a separate report, 15 cents of every dollar Americans spend on private health insurance goes to administrative expenses. The term "administrative expenses" is a euphenism for the costs incurred by Corporate America's quest for profits: that's everything from filling out and processing insurance paperwork to padding HMO executives' salaries. By contrast, when the government spends money on public health care programs like Medicare, those administrative expenses consume only about 4 cents of every dollar.
And after discussing different propoals of universal health care later in the chapter...
Remember, none of these proposals even take into account the amount that many businesses would save with a universal health care system. Consider General Motors. "In 2003 it costs of building a midsize car in Canada were $1,400 less than building the identical car in the United States, " wrote former Washington Post reporter Morton Mintz, now head of the Investigative Journalism Fun.
Read more from Hostile Takeover...

Elizabeth Edwards in Des Moines tomorrow afternoon

Got an email about Elizabeth Edwards being in Des Moines tomorrow afternoon signing books. Here are the details...

Elizabeth Edwards will be signing copies of her new book in Des Moines on Wednesday. She asked me to be sure that our online community in and around Des Moines knew that she'd be in town.

As you know, Elizabeth has released a terrific new book, "Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers." In the book, she shares many moving stories about the struggles she has faced in her life and how family, friends and strangers have helped her at every step of the way. It's a wonderful book and I know you will enjoy it. The details of the book signing are:

Des Moines Public Library
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, October 18th at 2:30 p.m.

We'll have a digital camera set up if you'd like to have a picture taken with Elizabeth. Later, you can download your picture at www.myphotowithelizabeth.com.

Elizabeth is looking forward to connecting with old friends in Des Moines and making some new ones. We hope you can come by and say hello.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Comments on Loebsack and Leach Debate

I caught most of the debate tonight sponsored by KCRG and the Gazette between Democrat Dave Loebsack and Republican Jim Leach. I thought Loebsack was a little shaky at the beginning. He was jumping around trying to include every issue in his answers. Loebsack settled down and I think at the end, he came out on top.

Leach did well...for a newscaster. He did an outstanding job outlining the issues. He used big, important sounding words and discussed both sides of the issues, but when he was done, you weren't sure what he was saying. It was Kerry-esque. Then in his closing statement, Leach quoted from a poem. That may play well in Iowa City, but what about the rest of the district. Reading the poem might be preparing Leach for his next job... as President of the University of Iowa.

Loebsack won 2 big points from me for using the term "birth tax" when talking about the deficit and coming right out and saying that Leach's first vote will be for Hastert and to continue Republican leadership. In a district that leans so much to the Democrats that is pretty much all that needs to be said. Hopefully, enough people are paying attention.

John Deeth also has coverage of the debate and I will update tomorrow with links to some stories from the old media.

Des Moines Register story
Iowa City Press Citizen story
Cedar Rapids Gazette story

**Update #2**
KCRG now has video of the debate up on their website.

My meeting with Dave Loebsack

A couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Iowa City and attended 2 events where Dave Loebsack was campaigning. I put off writing about it because I have been very busy at school, but a new poll last week that showed Loebsack holding a 1 point lead over Leach/Hastert was enough motivation for me to write over the weekend.

This was my first time meeting Dave Loebsack, but I had heard a lot of good things about him. After meeting him in person, I see why so many people are excited that he is running. Loebsack is very intelligent and knows foreign policy issue after having taught classes at the college level in international relations and foreign policy.

I attended the Johnson County Democratic BBQ last month and took some notes, but instead of writing about it, here is a video of Loebsack's speech. All I will write is Loebsack's 1 campaign promise: to never leave behind those who most need our help.

The next day, I caught up with Loebsack at the IRenew's Energy Expo. Loebsack was supposed to be speaking at the same time as Leach, but Leach ducked in earlier in the morning with a group of supporters, spoke for 20 min, and left before he could be asked a tough question. Loebsack came at his scheduled time and stayed later to answer questions. Since the forum was focuse on renewable energy, Loebsack outlined 5 things he would work on when elected:
1. He would sign on to legislation to increase CAFE standards.
2. He would vote to require at least 20% of the energy we use to come from renewable sources.
3. He would vote to regulate carbon as a pollutant by the EPA.
4. He would end corporate welfare for the world's wealthiest corporations.
5. He would work to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol.

Tonight on KCRG, Loebsack will be debating Jim Leach of the Leach/Hastert ticket. The debate will be televised live at 7 pm. Here is video from the Daily Iowan from a previous debate between Loebsack and Leach/Hastert.

In the meantime visit Loebsack's website to find out more about his campaign and send him a couple bucks if you can.

Invest in Universities to Keep Young People in the State

David Goodner, of Straight out of the Cornfield, is right on with this assessment of how to keep more young people to stay in Iowa.

Invest in universities

The next governor can retain and attract young people to Iowa by investing in an education economy, by developing the university industrial complex.

Young people want to do meaningful work in occupations with good wages and benefits. We also want to live in a rich cultural environment, where our viewpoints and lifestyles are respected.

We need cheaper tuition and incentives for nursing and education majors. We need to devote more resources to engineering, medicine, law and the sciences. We need to expand international studies, cultural geography and human-rights programs.

Young people will be challenged to stay here if we make Iowa an international center of education.
— David Goodner, Iowa City
I have written abou this issue numerous times (1, 2, 3) on this blog.

Then this past week, Diary of a Political Madman had this story about the Board of Regents being rumored to say they were going to cut all funding to the state universities.

Some University of Iowa faculty and staff are puzzled by statements attributed to Iowa state Board of Regents officials that UI should plan as though it would receive zero funding from the Legislature in the next five to 10 years.

They say they are even more puzzled that the regents -- President Michael Gartner and President Pro Tem Teresa Wahlert -- deny saying them.

Supporting our Universities is investing in our future.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Culver, O'Brien, and Mauro take leads in new Register poll

The Des Moines Register has a new poll that shows Chet Culver with a 7 point lead over Jim Nussle at 46% to 39%. From the Register article...

While the vast majority of likely voters remain loyal to their party's gubernatorial candidate, independents now prefer Culver over Nussle, 43 percent to 33 percent. In the mid-September Iowa Poll, Nussle had a 2-point edge over Culver among independents.
And here is a look at how the candidates are doing in each congressional district...
Culver runs stronger than Nussle in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd congressional districts, which cover most of eastern Iowa. They run nearly neck-and-neck in the 4th District.

Nussle has the advantage in western Iowa's 5th District, a vote-rich area for Republicans that could give him a big boost if he's able to turn out the vote in that part of the state.
The Register also did polling on the Sec. of Agriculture race and the race for Sec. of State. Denise O'Brien (D) leads Bill Northey (R) 40% to 26% with 32% undecided. For Sec of State, Democrat Michael Mauro leads Washington DC resident Mary Ann Hanusa 32% to 25% with 41% undecided. This is good for the Democrats in these races, but there is a lot of undecideds out there that could sway things.

Edwards: Bush Iraq Policy 'proactive stupidity'

John Edwards is in Iowa this weekend. Yesterday, he made a stop in Solon to do an event with Ro Foege. He had this great quote about the current situation in Iraq. Here is the story from the CR Gazette...

SOLON, IA - Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards today bashed the Bush administration for "proactive stupidity" by sticking with a failed policy in Iraq and being unable to admit the mistake.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Why Vote for What you Don't Like?

The folks over at Iowa Underground put this campaign ad together. Check it out...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fallon on Voting Integrity

Got an email from Ed Fallon today with an important message...

Dear Friends,

Last week, I met with Iowans for Voting Integrity and learned of the latest concerns with electronic voting machines. On November 7, one-third of the polling places in the United States will use electronic voting machines for the first time, and many of them will use the same Diebold machines that critics claim can be easily hacked or manipulated to fix elections.

I have long supported legislation requiring electronic voting to be verified up by a paper trail. This seems like a reasonable, simple step we can take to ensure that everyone’s vote is counted accurately. Public concern about electronic voting machines is one of the many reasons we need to elect responsible people to oversee our elections and eliminate the possibility of tampering.

On November 7, Iowans have an opportunity to elect someone with experience and integrity to the office of Secretary of State. That person is Michael Mauro, who currently is serving his tenth year as Polk County Auditor, and before that worked as the Polk County election director for twelve years. Mike is an unusual candidate for Secretary of State because he’s actually qualified! He’s had experience running high-turnout elections for twenty-two years, and is determined to make voting as easy and safe as possible. I trust him to protect the integrity of our election process.

I hope you’ll join me in doing everything you can to help Mike Mauro get elected Secretary of State on November 7. Check out Mike ’s website at www.michaelmauro.org. And if you’d like to learn more about Iowans for Voting Integrity, visit their website at www.iowansforvotingintegrity.org.

Thanks for reading,



Wednesday, October 18

Jan Mikelson in the Morning, to discuss the situation in Burlington

9 am

WHO Radio, 1040 AM

Call in at (515)284-1040 or (800)469-4295

Friday, October 20

Fundraiser for Joyce Schulte

Home of Jim Schall

5:30-7:30 PM

Storm Lake

So Warner's out, now what?

Mark Warner has decided not to run for President in 2008. The common analysis is that Evan Bayh or John Edwards will benefit the most. Here's is what the Nation has to say about Bayh and Edwards benefitting from Warner's absence from the race...

Don't buy either line.

Aside from the fact that Warner was the rare Democrat who in a post-9/11 election had taken a major position away from the Republicans in a southern state, and then governing successfully enough to leave office with high approval ratings, most potential primary voters knew nothing about him. His stands on the issues -- to the extent that he had articulated them -- were never what made Democrats around the country interested in Warner's serious-minded and well-financed bid for the nomination. Rather, it was the popular notion that Democrats are best positioned to win in the presidency if they nominate candidates with track records of winning in states that are below the Mason-Dixon line -- following in the footsteps of former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 1992.

The theory's a bad one. Democrats should be looking for presidential prospects the Midwest and West -- regions where the party's support is expanding and has the potential to tip previously Republican states -- rather than the conservative climes of Dixie. But if there is one certainty about the Democratic Party, it is that the partisans are slow to let go even of the most worn-out strategies.

I think Bill Richardson might benefit if he is serious about running and agree with the Nation's article that we need to be looking at someone from the Midwest or West because there is more chance of gaining electoral votes.

As for Warner, he is now on top of all VP lists, though I'd rather see him challenge Republican John Warner for the Senate.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hostile Takeover...Pensions and Nussle is a Hack

From Chapter 5 of Hostile Takeover on Pensions...

Consider this fact: corporations are not required to set aside adequate money to actually pay the pensions they've promised to their workers. Let's repeat this because, really, it is so appallingly hard to believe, it needs to be said twice: though your employer mayb be promising you a nice pension, federal laws actually permit companies to pocket the retirement money that they should be putting aside to follow on those promises. And boy are they abusing these loopholes to the extreme.

At the end of 2004, the nations 1,108 weakest private pension plans were underfunded by a total of more than $350 billion. In other words, companies had set aside $350 billion less in pension money than they had promised their workers. In just the five years between 1999 and 2004, the number of companies whose pensions were underfunded by $50 million or more grew by 600 percent.
And now on to Nussle. In each chapter, Sirota names a couples hacks, who have been rather awful on the issue being discussed (He sometimes also names heros, who have fought against the hostile takeover by big money.). In the chapter on pensions, Jim Nussle is named as a hack for his work trying to privative social security.
Hack: Jim Nussle, Iowa Congressman
Using Chairmanship to spread fearmongering lies about Social Security.

Iowa representative Jim Nussle (R) is chairman of the US House Budget committee, and in that role he is supposed to speak credibly about fiscal issues. Yet in 2005 he said that "by the year 2042, the entire (Social Security) system, in fact, by most people's definiton of the word bankrupt, would be bankrupt." It was a lie designed to scare people into supporting a Social Security privatization scheme that would give away billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street. But the lie was surprising, considering Nussle had taken more than $180,000 from the financial services industry during his political career. The truth is that the system will be very far from bankrupt in 2042. According to Social Security's own actuaries, if Congress does absolutely nothing, Social Security will still be able to pay 74 percent of its full benefits after 2041 - far from "bankrupt". Robert Ball, Social Security commissioner under both Democratic and Republican presidents, told the New York Times in 2005 what's really going on: "What they're saigint is not true. The program is not going bankrupt."
Read more from Hostile Takeover...

Governor's race tied at 42%

A new Rasmussen poll is out and Culver and Nussle are tied at 42%. Here is how the numbers break down...

It seems voters are more eager to avoid Nussle than Culver. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Nussle supporters consider their vote to be "for Nussle" rather than "against Culver" (22%). By contrast, just 50% of the Culver vote is "for Culver"; 38% is "against Nussle."

Nussle has higher favorables overall, and he is viewed "very favorably" by 22%, while Culver is viewed so favorably by only 15%. On the other hand, Nussle's "very unfavorable" number is also higher, 18% to Culver's 13%.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Meet the Real Bruce Braley

The Quad City Times recently wrote personal stories about the 2 candidates in the 1st District, Mike Whalen and Bruce Braley. The story on Democrat Bruce Braley is about him mentoring a young boy, who later gets cancer. Here is part of the story about Braley...

With Crawley facing long bouts with chemotherapy at University Hospitals in Iowa City (and a family with a lot of responsibilities at home in Waterloo), Braley made the decision to step away from his law practice and be with the youth as he went through it.

“I went to my partners and told them I was not going to be around for a while,” he says. “I ended up packing most of my stuff, including my computer, my research, some files and drove off to Iowa City and moved into his hospital room — literally.”
Then there is this that sums up Braley and counters the negative "liberal trial lawyer" image the Republicans have tried to paint..
Crawley recovered, and now he, as well as others who know Braley, say the picture the Republicans are painting of him — as a greedy trial lawyer only interested in suing doctors and nurses — is distorted.

They and Braley say what happened in Crawley’s room — and the inspiration he got outside it watching the courage of other children facing life-threatening diseases — is more indicative of his life, one he’s spent helping, not suing, people.

4 Years Ago

4 years ago today, the United States voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq. From a CNN story on October 11, 2002....

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, attempted Thursday to mount a filibuster against the resolution but was cut off on a 75 to 25 vote.

Byrd had argued the resolution amounted to a "blank check" for the White House.

"This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again," Byrd said. "Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution."
Here's the final vote in the Senate.

And from MSNBC today...
The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010, the top Army officer said Wednesday, a later date than Bush administration or Pentagon officials have mentioned thus far.

If I Had a Million Dollars...

Well, actually just $100.

If you had $100 to donate to any political campaign or organization where you send it?

You can split up your on donations in any amount, as long as the total does not total more than $ 100. Please add a comment with who you would donate to.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Register writes about the race in the 4th District

The Des Moines Register touches on the race in the 4th District with a story on Selden Spencer and Tom Latham and Iraq. There isn't much information in it, except the basics. Here is snippet...

Spencer, a Democrat, trails Latham in fundraising and is also at a disadvantage because Republicans have a slight edge over Democrats in the number of registered voters in the district.

But Spencer said he believes he presents an alternative for voters concerned with the occupation in Iraq, the national debt and access to higher education.

"I feel Tom Latham and the Republican administration have failed the country," Spencer said.
Now, I have heard that the 4th District has slightly leans Democratic. Not sure if it went for Kerry by a slim margin in 2004 or it is wsa PVI. If anyone has any information on that please post it in comments section.

Also, for more information about Dr. Selden Spencer, please visit the Spencer for Congress website.

Hostile Takeover...Debt

After taking last week off, I hope to finish Hostile Takeover this week. Chapter 4 of Hostile Takeover is about Debt and most of it is written about the Bankruptcy Bill that was passed in 2005. It isn't just one party that supports the hostile takeover by the Credit Card companies, Democrats, such Evan Bayh and Joe Biden and former Democrat Joe Lieberman get mentioned a lot in this chapter. On to the quote...

As journalist Mark Reutter noted in the Washington Post, the new bankruptcy law cracks down on ordinary citizens but "keeps intact the legal system by which corporations can shed certain employee obligations" - a euphenism for companies reneging on their pension, wage, and health care promise to workers. Thanks to the disparity, "federal bankruptcy court has become the venue of choice for sophisticated financiers and corporate managers seeking to pull apart labor contracts and roll back health and welfare programs at troubled companies."
Read more from Hostile Takeover...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

So Nussle Says he is a Special Parent

The Des Moines Register ran a story that discusses the role of faith in the lives of the candidates for Governor. These quote from Nussle caught my eye...

My relationship with Jesus Christ was cemented with the birth of my oldest child, who was born with Down syndrome and who is a constant source of challenge and joy. The day after she was born I was told by my friend and minister that God gives special children to special parents and that I will need to spend a lifetime trying to earn that title with God’s help. He was right, and with God’s grace and guidance, I am still working to be a good parent.
So if Nussle is such a special parent then why did he leave his wife and daughter and marry his mistress right after he ran a campaign promoting family values? You are right Jim, you still need a lot of work on being that special parent.

Denise O'Brien gets support from DFA

Got this email the other day...


Democracy for America supports fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government. That's why we are supporting Denise O'Brien for Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture.


Denise has been an organic farmer and farm activist for over 30 years. She and her husband ran a dairy farm for 20 of those 30 years. During this time Denise became interested in agriculture policy that promotes the family farm. She has helped start several progressive programs to fight corporate influence in farming. In the 1990's she lunched the Women, Food and Agriculture Network -- an organization that supports women in farming.

Support Denise O'Brien
Denise's experience over the past 30 years has prepared her to step forward as a leader in Iowa. When elected she will work to create more opportunities in farming. She wants to reduce the influence of industrial agriculture -- which has a serious impact on family farms and prevents young farmers from entering agriculture. Denise will work with local farmers to clean up the water. This essential resource needs to be protected and preserved. She will also work to boost the local economy by promoting locally owned renewable energy operations.

With your support, Denise can win her campaign and bring progressive values to the Secretary of Agriculture's office. Please visit her website and help her in any way you can.



Jim Dean

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fred Phelps Bringing his Hate Message to Iowa Soliders' Funerals

Last week I wrote about the 2 Iowa National Guard soliders who were killed in Iraq, one of which is from Marshalltown and I personally knew. His visitation is tomorrow and the funeral on Monday. At the visitation tomorrow, Fred Phelps and his lemmings from Westboro Baptist Church in Wichita, Kansas will be there picketing and spreading their message of hate. Iowa recently passed a law banning demonstrations within 500 feet of funerals because of bigot Phelps. From the Marshalltown Times Republican...

Officers will be on scene the entire time the church is there and no physical confrontations between the Westboro group and others will be permitted.

“There is a potential for conflict,” Walker said. “I looked at the Web site and I can see they have banners and signs that are, by most people’s standards, pretty offensive.”
Phelps will also be in Iowa City on Sunday picketing the visitation of the other fallen solider.

You can check Phelps's hate on his website at www.godhatesfags.com. Here is what he has to say about the funerals of the 2 fallen soldiers from Iowa.

About the hero from Iowa City...
He was cut off before his life had even begun. And yet you count him a hero for dying for his country instead of fleeing the wrath to come! Your worship of the dead soldier and the flag is what's bringing these soldiers back home in body bags. If you don't repent of these awful sins, along with the rest of those in this whorish nation, expect them to keep coming.
About the hero from Marshalltown...
He has seen this nation go to Hell in a hand basket to the Fag agenda, and he's now in Hell. This man volunteered himself into that war so that he could get himself some kind of macho rush and a pay check. Because you've sinned away your day of Grace, God has become your #1 enemy, and the only thing you can do is repent or worship his carcass. Fear God, you fools. It's not a blessing.
The picketing will be taking place about 4 blocks from my house. I will be heading over and hope their is a counter event. I will take pictures and will post them.

Latham Criticized for Negative Attack

From the Des Moines Register...

Washington, D.C. - A national nonpartisan organization on Friday criticized a Republican congressman in Iowa for using its questionnaire to launch a "negative attack" on his Democratic opponent in a press release.

Project Vote Smart said in a statement that Rep. Tom Latham "used Project Vote Smart's name and programs to give credibility to a negative attack against Selden Spencer, who is running for the same office."

It added that "by using the project's name to give credibility to these attacks, Thomas Latham is cheating the public out of their need for trusted, abundant, accurate, factual information."

All candidates are told repeatedly they can't use its issues questionnaires for attacks, the group said.
Visit Dr. Selden Spencer's website and see what he is all about and remember that a recent poll showed Latham at a 40% approval rating and 28% are undecided. Even a small donation would help the Spencer campaign reach out to voters in the final weeks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Some Midweek Homework

Diary of a Political Madman had a great post yesterday about the lottery. The post follows an exchange of letters from some lottery official and former State Rep. Ed Fallon.

Over at Political Forecast, they wrote yesterday about an article by Kos that describes himself as a Libertarian Democrat. Over the weekend I caught a debate on CSPAN in one of the House districts. There was a challenger running as an independent, but he had a lot of Libertarian beliefs and I agreed with many of them. Libertarian Democrat is a fitting description for my political beliefs and I think the 2 candidates that I have most strongly supported (Fallon and Feingold) can be described in that same way.

Also, I am not sure if there is any correlation, but it seems that the worse the Packers get, the better John Deeth's posts are. Check out what he has written the past couple weeks. There is some good stuff.