Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


June 3, 2006  

"My vote against this misbegotten war is the best vote I have cast in the United States Senate since I was elected in 1962," Sen. Ted Kennedy said. "And my call more than a year ago -- more than a year ago -- to bring our troops home is one of my proudest moments."

"War is the ultimate failure of diplomacy," Sen. John Kerry told a gathering of the Pacific Council on International Policy. "Yet our current leadership has arrogantly discarded this basic principle…. All too often they disdained diplomacy as little more than an inconvenient detour on the chosen path to armed conflict."


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Bush: ban same sex marriage

President Bush is expected to offer support for the Senate bill to amend the Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Media outlets like the NY Times are covering it as a pandering to the social conservatives.

However, Bush defenders remind listeners that Bush nominated John G. Roberts Jr., and Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.

Court cases have seen judges in several states rule against state laws banning same-sex marriage, including Georgia and Nebraska. There are also court cases pending in states including New York, New Jersey and Washington.

Pelosi caves to Black Caucus

NewsMax reports on Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi striking a deal with the Black Caucus to reverse her call for Rep. Jefferson to resign from his committee:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has dropped her demand that Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., resign from the powerful House Way & Means Committee - in exchange for a promise from the Congressional Black Caucus that they won't campaign against her in advance of this fall's critical mid-term elections.

According to a Roll Call report this week, Pelosi struck a deal with the Black Caucus in a closed door meeting last Friday to "hold off taking any pre-indictment action against Jefferson" as long as the group refrains from attacking her.

Newt’s Iowa advantage

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has a friend in Iowa who is running for Governor. That friend’s name is Rep. Jim Nussle. Nussle was part of the band of revolutionaries who helped Gingrich win control of Congress for the Republicans.

Gingrich recently was in Iowa campaigning with Nussle. Now, Gingrich is sending an e-mail message through the Iowa GOP Party data base to activist Republicans throughout the state. Here is part of the message:

On my last trip to Iowa, I had the great opportunity of traveling with Jim on the campaign trail. At each town we visited, Jim talked about an issue I think is critical to our country's future - renewable energy. Jim understands that if we're going to curb sky-rocketing gas prices, grow our economy and guarantee our energy independence, we need an aggressive strategy focused on environmentally friendly renewables like ethanol, biodiesel, wind and biomass.

Jim has the right idea with his recently introduced bipartisan Independence from Oil With Agriculture (IOWA) Act. It works as part of a comprehensive strategy that dramatically reduces our reliance on foreign oil. The IOWA Act establishes Iowa as part of the solution to reduce out-of-control gas prices, ease reliance on Mideast oil, and encourage economic growth by using agriculture as a source of energy production. The IOWA Act is exactly the right direction fr our country - utilizing homegrown resources and research to expand the availability and consumption of renewable fuels.

It's not the only step Jim has taken - he's also proposed a $2,000 consumer tax credit that would allow Iowans greater ability to purchase Flex Fuel Vehicles as part of his Iowa Energy 20/20 Plan. Jim's plan goes beyond the recently signed national energy bill that only offers federal tax credits for those who purchase hybrid cars and trucks. By offering Iowans a consumer tax credit to purchase these clean burning fuel vehicles, Jim is building on Iowa's incredible potential for renewable sources of energy and helping fuel its development by making Iowa the Renewable Energy Capital of the World. leading the way is trying to fill the void of the Democrats' lack of agenda. They asked their membership what should be the positive agenda that compels them to victory. Here is what the latest e-mail says:

The results are in. We're proud to announce the MoveOn member choice for our new, positive agenda:

·      Health care for all

·      Energy independence through clean, renewable sources

·      Democracy restored

These three goals were nominated, debated, and overwhelmingly selected by more than 100,000 people in local house parties and then online. Most groups would say this is a far too risky way to make such a big decision. But it's this grassroots consensus that makes this agenda different—and powerful.

So what's next? This month, we'll launch a major campaign for a clean energy future, starting by breaking the vise-grip of big oil in Washington with our "Oil Free Congress" initiative. Expect hundreds of local events, advertising, national media attention and accountability at the ballot box—and that's just for the first of our 3 new goals.

Of course, we won't let up in our work to end the war in Iraq, and we'll still respond to immediate threats in Congress. But our new agenda will focus our long-term work, offer voters a positive, inspiring reason to support progressives on Election Day, and push Democrats to think big and fight hard.


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