Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


June 5, 2006  

"I am 100 percent for the New Hampshire primary being first," Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) said. "I think it is a wonderful tradition. It is an incredibly valuable thing that teaches people about politics and government."

''Ethanol is very important, but Iowans are more sophisticated than that,'' said a former Iowa Republican chairman, Michael Mahaffey. ''I think ethanol could be a bright part of Iowa's future, but it's only a part. I don't think there's going to be some kind of litmus test when it comes to presidential candidates.''


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


"You don't need papers for voting."

Democrats' hopes and true feelings seem to be coming out in the California special election to replace scandal riddled Republican Randy (Duke) Cunningham. Francine Busby is the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District in California. She was speaking to Hispanics and said, "You don’t need papers for voting."

She later told the press she was misquoted. However, someone tape-recorded the speech and released it to the radios.

Democrats were counting on this race to demonstrate to the national press that they will take control of Congress in 2006.

It looks like it demonstrated to the nation their true intentions.

Harkin supports illegals

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) joined protesters outside the Polk County Jail to protest the arrest of East High School graduate Estephanie Izaquirre (18).

Izaquirre was lured to Immigration Naturalization Services with an e-mail that informed her that there was paper work to fill out for her green card. When she arrived she was arrested on an outstanding warrant for deportation as an illegal alien.

The Izaquirre case is now before an immigration judge who will hear her plea for asylum. Izaquirre’s claim is that the culture of her native country would result in her becoming part of the sex trade if she were deported.

Harkin raises almost $1 million

In the time spanning January 2005 to March 31, 2006 Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) raised $961,000 to put  into the coffers of his campaign committee.

Harkin continues his out-of-state ability to attract funds to keep him in the U.S. Senate where he is one of the leading socialists serving in that body. Harkin's top state for individual contributions is New York, where 116 people have contributed $121,000. California in second place with $77,000 and New Jersey is third at $61,000.

The new Howard Dean

The Washington Post’s "The Fix" reports in depth on Sen. Russ Fiendgold (D-WI) and his campaign for the White House:

For much of the past year, Feingold has traveled the country, stopping in presidential hotspots like Iowa and New Hampshire to lay the groundwork for a presidential bid. Feingold said he has picked up anecdotal evidence along the way that his views on the war and wiretapping reflect the broad sentiment within the Democratic Party's rank and file.

"There is a deep sense, especially in the base of the party, that we don't have firm principles or that if we have firm principles, we're not stating them firmly," said Feingold. "And it is amazing to hear people, almost as if they've had the same script, saying we are tired of Democrats looking weak."

That kind of anti-Washington rhetoric is already drawing comparisons between Feingold and Howard Dean, whose call for a populist uprising within the Democratic Party catapulted him from little-known former Vermont governor to icon during the 2004 presidential campaign. Dean ultimately lost the nomination fight in dramatic fashion, but the energy he created helped him win the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee in early 2005.

NY Times’ stupidity

Editorial by: Roger Wm. Hughes

A friend of mine from Long Island constantly told me stories about how stupid and arrogant New Yorkers were. He would fete me with story after story of how myopic the city was. The current NY Times story covering the issue of ethanol and its effect on presidential candidates seeking voters’ approval in Iowa once again reinforces my friend’s premise.

The Times makes it seem that Iowans in the past would not let a presidential candidate survive without swearing allegiance to ethanol. Now, the Times makes it seem that Iowans have grown beyond this simplistic self-interest that saps money from the rest of the nation for this folly called ethanol.

The Times article has all the truth of a West Wing television script -- which is, hardly any. Iowans have always had more than a single interest. It is true that Iowa like most parts of the nation has its pockets of single interest groups... however, probably far less than other parts of the country.

The reason for that is Iowa is more dependent on exporting their products than almost any other state in the union. The state’s early founders realized Iowa was inadequately supplied with food processing facilities. Their early solution was to make Iowa a grain using state in the feeding of livestock. Iowa still today is the largest producer of corn, soybeans, hogs and chickens of any state in the union.

There is something about selling products to the rest of the nation -- and world -- that prevents the self-centered myopic view of New York being the money capitol of the world, and hence everyone must come to New York.

Now, Iowa can and will be (with the right leadership) known as the energy-state that demonstrates to the rest of the world how to lead in renewable fuels. Iowa is on the cusp of an economic renaissance. New York money is pouring into Iowa at 36 times earning on ethanol. The buyout price on an ethanol plant is 100 times construction costs. It seems that being able to produce energy for an automobile at $2.50 per gallon or less attracts investment dollars.

Granted, currently the spot demand for ethanol is higher because of shortages.

Because of Iowa’s resources (the panoply of bio-renewable fuels possibility in Iowa: ethanol; bio-diesel; bio-mass; wind; and hydroelectric), Iowa will probably be the first state in the nation to be energy independent. It is also true that economic independence makes a people freer from self-interest. Hence, this may be what the Times reporter mistook for the attitude of the few Iowans who in the past were prescient about bio-renewable fuels and demanded attention of those who would be president.

The Times’ article hints at the fact that not taxing ethanol is a subsidy and the myth that ethanol is not economically efficient.

First it is always galling when someone says that an agency’s increase, that they came up with themselves, when not funded is a cut in funding. This is galling in the same way as someone saying that because we tax others, then not taxing someone else is subsidy. I think that is called a tax break.

The Industrial Revolution had two predicates that were necessary for its creation. Those two predicates were cheap food and cheap energy. Iowa through government programs has long provided the first – cheap food. Now, Iowa is likely to provide much of the second – cheap energy.

It is true that currently corn could at best provide 15 percent of the energy for our nation’s gas burning automobiles. However, a decrease of those billions of barrels of demand would have an existential effect on the price of crude oil to our economic benefit.

More importantly, 70 percent of the value of the corn is still left in distiller’s grain to be fed to livestock. Iowa will still be a major provider of livestock to the food production system of the world.

It is true that Iowa’s energy success would have a disastrous effect on those elitists whose desire is that the rest of the country live more poorly with less resources.

One has to question why we are constantly fed such pabulum as this article by the NY Times.



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