2014 2nd District Congressional Debate
IPTV is hosting a debate in Iowa City this Thursday (Aug. 28) between Rep. Dave Loebsack and Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
The Iowa Press Debate will be live at City High School (1900 Morningside Drive, Iowa City). It will be broadcast live on IPTV, but it is open to the public for a live “studio” audience, and we are hoping for a good turnout.
We’d love for as many 2nd District Democrats as are interested to be in attendance! It is free, and seating for the public is open on a first-come, first-served basis (each campaign will have a number of reserved seats), as well.
The debate starts at 7 p.m. Doors at City High will open at 6 p.m., and we ask that everybody be there and seated in the auditorium by 6:45 p.m., prior to the start of the live broadcast.
If you have any questions, please let Travis Graven (Director/Producer) know. He will be in Iowa City setting up beginning Tuesday, August 26, and would be happy to answer any questions. He can be reached via cell phone at 515-321-4627 or email at email@example.com.
General Elections Set as Filing Deadlines Pass
Voters of the Democratic persuasion in the Iowa 2nd Congressional District will have lots of decisions to make starting September 20. Vote by mail ballots will be mailed starting on that date. The ballots that determine the outcome of the fall general elections will be COUNTED on November 4 this year, but those ballots could be cast as soon as those mailed ballots get delivered. All campaigns (local, state, and federal) need all hands on deck and all boots on the ground to make sure that our candidates are elected.
Congressman Dave Loebsack, our US Representative in the 2nd District, is set to fend off the winner of the June 3rd Republican Primary, Mariannette Miller-Meeks. The badly mauled Republican candidate is trying for the third time to unseat Congressman Loebsack. Miller-Meeks is hampered by her involvement in the scandal surrounding secret deals and tax payer funds she authorized to be spent as hush money while she was the appointed Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. She stepped down from that position under a cloud after she publicly maligned the recipients of state aid in an egregious and patently false manner just days before announcing her third attempt to unseat Congressman Loebsack.
Congressman Bruce Braley continues his bid for the US Senate. His opponent appears to be focused on Bruce Braley while Braley continues to focus on the issues. Issues like Social Security, Medicare, and education affordability are key to an upwardly mobile middle class, but these programs will most certainly be on the chopping block if Ernst gains the seat. While Joni Ernst continues to talk about chicken-manure, Braley is successfully painting Joni Ernst as too far to the conservative right for Iowa voters.
In the race for Governor of Iowa, it appears that Democratic challenger Jack Hatch of Des Moines and his running mate, Monica Vernon of Cedar Rapids are getting a major lift from the ongoing scandal revelations of the beleaguered Branstad administration. Governor Branstad has been reported as repeatedly saying that he "knows nothing" about how his administration is governing the State of Iowa. As these are words that most Iowans can agree with given that we are being left in the dark on matters of substance in this administration, it appears that Governor Branstad "doesn't know Jack"! The first of three debates, held during the Iowa State Fair, showed that Hatch has what it takes to school Branstad on effective leadership.
At the last minute, during their state convention, the GOP named candidates to fill previously vacant challenges to both incumbent Democrats, State Attorney General Tom Miller and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald. The GOP is counting on the addition of ultra-conservative Sam Clovis to turn out their base for this election. Just one more reason for the Democratic base to double down and get out the Democratic vote.
The remaining state-wide races are one-to-one match-ups with great Democratic candidates:
Leading the pack is Brad Anderson of Des Moines who has been running a strong campaign against the potentially unconstitutional policies of the outgoing GOP Iowa Secretary of State (and failed US Congress candidate in the 3rd District), Matt Schultz. The GOP candidate in this open-seat race is none other than the PREVIOUSLY-removed Paul D. Pate of Cedar Rapids. Mr. Pate held the position before Chet Culver, but never ran for re-election.
In the election for State Auditor, Jonathan Neiderbach of Des Moines is the Democratic challenger to Mary Mosiman of Ames who was appointed by the hapless Terry Branstad to replace David Vaudt who resigned last year.
Finally, for Secretary of Agriculture, the Democratic challenger to the GOP incumbent, Bill Northey, is Sherrie Taha of Des Moines.
Contact information for each of these races and all of the Iowa Senate and House races in the 2nd District can be found at the "Elections" tab above.
Minimum Wage Increase, Women's Rights, Veterans Bills, Mental Health
There could not be a more definite division between Democrats and Republicans on these issues. The need to make sure that voters understand these topics and what is being proposed by each side could not be more important. It is always easier to bring issues down to the level of silly little slogans when you don't care about the truth. Most issues at the forefront of the battles in our legislatures at both the state and national level are much more complex than bumper-stickers can explain.
The fight to increase the minimum wage is a case in point. The point-counterpoint discussion about whether the United States should increase the minimum wage is unfolding as theory vs. reality. The Democratic points that a measured, slow increase in the minimum hourly rate would stimulate the economy creating more jobs, lift 900,000 people out of poverty, and reduce the number of low-wage earners being subsidized by tax-payers (while corporations pocket the money they should be paying so their employees can live on their earnings without additional government help). The Republicans decry a theory that ANY increase in labor costs HAS to slow the economy - despite years of proof to the contrary. That is not to say that every employer is able to meet a requirement to raise the wages of their lowest-paid employees without a hit to their profitability. The debate continues. Be sure to follow the FULL discussion and support your Democratic legislators who are working for you. An excellent discussion of the pros and cons can be found in this article from the Chicago Tribune.
Women's rights continue to be an issue at both the state and national level. Given that there are a little more than five million more women than men in the U.S; a higher percentage of registered women actually vote, and that more women tend to vote for Democrats (56%) than Republicans (44%), one would think that an intelligent politician would actively work to avoid antagonizing women. We can leave that statement to stand on its own merits. No point in beating a dead elephant.
Many rank and file GOP voters must be feeling overwhelming shame since their U.S. Senators blocked a bill crafted for the sole purpose of taking care of our veterans. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont brought forth a bill, S. 1982, that would have helped veterans gain access to healthcare programs, permanently resolved a previous cut to veterans' pensions, and would have increased the impact of the GI Bill for education by allowing veterans to attend any college across the country at in-state tuition rates. The bill would have also provided advanced appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Not only did every Republican Senator save two vote against the bill, they first tried to tie sanctions against Iran to the stand-alone bill. “Whatever your views are, it just does not belong in a veterans bill,” Sanders said at a press conference after the vote. Apparently, the GOP likes the idea of creating more veterans, but not taking care of the ones we already have.
Mental health continues to be a major issue in Iowa ... and in the nation. As Iowa struggles to figure out how to structure and pay for the critically needed and scarce mental health services, the nation has come to realize that the mental health screenings that even the NRA agrees should be available are being obstructed in those states being run by GOP legislatures and/or governors. One of the little-realized side effects of denying Medicaid expansion to their constituents, is the denial of mental health services to those between 100% and 150% of poverty.
These are just a few of the issues on the radar this month. Find out more about these and other issues. Speak to your legislators, neighbors, and family. An informed electorate is required for Democracy to survive.
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