Sunday, October 28, 2007

Edwards Calls on Iowans to Pledge to Not Caucus for Anyone Who Takes Lobbyist Money

At a campaign stop at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown on Saturday afternoon, John Edwards drew strong distinctions between him and Hillary Clinton by calling on Iowans to pledge to not caucus for anyone who takes money from lobbyists.

Edwards said trading corporate Republicans for corporate Democrats won't fix the situation in Washington. Edwards announced that he has never taken money from Washington lobbyists, which drew loud applause from the crowd of over 200. Edwards told the audience that they can do something about this by pledging to not caucus for anyone who takes money from lobbyists. Edwards used a Rural American Forum that Hillary Clinton recently held at Monsanto's Lobbying Headquarters in Washington DC as an example of what is wrong...

I'm not sure where they got the people from, but if I want to talk to rural Americans I come to Iowa.
Earlier in the day, Sen. Edwards campaigned in his 99th county this year, making him the first candidate to campaign in every county in the state this election cycle.

The overriding theme of Edwards stop was that our nation is better than this. He began his speech talking about the recent documentary about World War II by Ken Burns and cited the incredible accomplishments and sacrifices Americans made. He said Americans today have responded in amazing ways to Katrina and to 9/11. However, little progress has been made with over half the schools in New Orleans still closed and a hole in the ground still at ground zero. Edwards cited two factors for this. First, corruption in Government that is demonstrated by no bid contracts. The second reason is trade policies that favor corporations over worker's rights and environmental standards.

Edwards took a half dozen questions from the audience. The first question was about health care. Edwards outlined the basics of his health care plan and then started talking about the need to care for our Veterans, which drew very loud applause from the crowd at the Iowa Veterans Home. Edwards said we need to have guaranteed funding for the Veterans Administration. Another line concerning health care from Edwards that garnered loud applause was when he said he would tell Congress, members of his administration, including the Cabinet, that if they don't pass a health care bill, so every American would be covered, by July of 2009 then he will use his power as President and take their health care coverage away.

An interesting question came from a man who is the son of a UAW worker about a quote from Sen. Edwards book, Home, about the dignity of hard worker Sen. Edwards learned working in the mill in the summers when he was growing up. Sen. Edwards responded by saying...
Today we glorify those who make millions and those aren't the ones who have made American great, it is those who work hard everyday that have made American great. It is time to show respect and dignity to those that work for a living.
Edwards closed by saying all the candidates have their policy statements, but what really matters is who the voters can trust. He said President Bush has squandered the trust of the American people and the world and it is vital that our next President can be trusted.


Ben said...

Edwards the "anit-lobbyist" seems to have no problem accepting union endorsements. Explain to me the difference between an environmental group or trade associaiton (lobbyists) and an group of employees (union).

Let's call it like it really is. We live in a representative democracy. The key word is "representative". All elected officials serve as the mouthpiece for particular concerns. The struggle is to find exactly which groups a particular offical is representing.

noneed4thneed said...

I see your point. Last year, the Iowa Legislature raised teachers salaries. The bill was written by the ISEA, a group that I am a member of. I don't like this fact and the system needs to be changed.

As for the difference is that a union member working in a factory or a high school teacher aren't taking legislators out for dinner or letting them use their jets like lobbyists from energy businesses are doing.