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Iowa 2004 presidential primary precinct caucus and caucuses news, reports and information on 2004 Democrat and Republican candidates, campaigns and issues

Iowa Presidential Watch's

The Democrat Candidates

Holding the Democrats accountable today, tomorrow...forever.

John Kerry

excerpts from the Iowa Daily Report

December 16-31, 2003

Kerry’s foreign policy speech: (12/16/2003)

Or -- bash Dean, bash Bush

The following is Sen. John Kerry’s speech on foreign policy as it was prepared for delivery:

Shortly after he took office, Thomas Jefferson – America’s first chief diplomat – laid out the goals of American foreign policy: “We are pointing out the way to struggling nations who wish, like us, to emerge from their tyrannies.” For 225 years – and with gathering force during the course of the last century – these words have guided an America that has come to believe that the surest way to defend our people is to advance our ideals.
click here to read entire speech --

Kerry’s ray of hope

“We interrupt the regularly scheduled Kerry-bashing for a ray of political hope.” Those were the lead words in today’s Boston Globe column on Sen. John Kerry’s campaign. The Globe offers this possible reason:

But here we are, five weeks until the first vote is cast, and something has really, finally changed. Maybe humility does that to a man. On the stump, he talks no longer about himself, but his ideas, repeatedly telling people, "This isn't about me, folks." His thoughts are presented not in calculated jargon, but in pointed prose.

The article also relates the importance of Iowa to the Kerry campaign -- Kerry is probably in third place behind Dean, who is locked in a battle with Dick Gephardt at the top in Iowa:

Kerry knows one true thing. Forget New Hampshire. To salvage his candidacy, he needs at least a second-place finish in Iowa -- a goal that became a lot more real when Saddam Hussein was captured over the weekend and Dean's antiwar fervor didn't seem quite so fervent any more.

A NY Times’ article agrees with the possible hope emitting from the Kerry campaign. They also point out Iowa’s importance to Kerry:

To that end, Mr. Kerry has sent to Des Moines Michael Whouley, a veteran Democratic field operative who first worked for Mr. Kerry on his 1982 race for lieutenant governor and who was Bill Clinton's national field director in 1992 and Al Gore's in 2000. Mr. Whouley, in turn, has had several staff members from states with later primaries transferred to Iowa to help, campaign officials said.

Mr. Whouley's knack for identifying supporters, turning them out to vote — and thinking on his feet — is the stuff of legend in New Hampshire: on primary day in 2000, after 4 p.m. surveys of voters leaving polls showed Mr. Gore down 4 points to Bill Bradley, Mr. Whouley sent workers onto the street to knock on doors and helped eke out a victory. (12/16/2003)

Kerry would increase military force

Sen. John Kerry said that he would increase the military force by 40,000 more troops to meet our nation’s commitment around the world. Kerry’s remark, made in his foreign policy speech yesterday, is the headline for the Associated Press today. Kerry’s best line of his speech was:

Dean embraces a "'Simon Says' foreign policy where America only moves if others move first," Kerry said. "That is just as wrong as George Bush's policy of school yard taunts and cowboy swagger."

The Des Moines Register coverage of Kerry’s speech emphasized how Kerry was trying to stress his military and foreign affairs credentials:

Kerry stepped up his attack on Dean on Tuesday, arguing that the former Vermont governor is unfit to be president because he dismissed Saddam's capture Saturday as unlikely to improve U.S. safety.

"Those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be president of the United States," Kerry said in a speech at Drake University in Des Moines. (12/17/2003)

Kerry: cargo inspections

Sen. John Kerry will call for tougher inspections of cargo in a speech at Portsmouth Harbor. The Associate Press reports that he will offer the following statement:

"We screen millions of shoes in airports every day, but less than 4 percent of the 21,000 enormous shipping containers that arrive America's ports. Any one of them could have a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon inside," he said. "With 95 percent of all our trade from outside this continent coming to us by sea, the question isn't if we can afford to take action on port security. The question is if we can afford not to."

Kerry will also promise to remove potential bomb-making material entirely from the world's most vulnerable sites within four years, work with other countries to track existing nuclear weapons, and deter the development of chemical and biological arsenals. A presidential coordinator would be in charge of making sure all that gets done. (12/17/2003)

Kerry’s new ad

Wednesday, Kerry's campaign announced it would start broadcasting an ad in New Hampshire on Thursday that currently is running in Iowa. In the 30-second spot, Kerry criticizes the Bush administration for creating a "special interest feeding frenzy" in Washington. (12/18/2003)

Open records, Dean

Kerry Campaign Manager, Mary Beth Cahill responded to Dean’s Campaign Manager Joe Trippi’s open letter calling for exposure and openness regarding who are behind the running of mean ads against Howard Dean. Her response? Cahill calls on Dean to be open – as in, open the records he sealed as Governor. Apparently Dean’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’ just doesn’t cut it with Cahill:

Yesterday, Dean presidential campaign manager Joe Trippi called on us all to support full disclosure of donors of third party groups that are running television ads against his candidate. Many of us voted to make full disclosure of donors the law of land. Because of our efforts, we passed McCain/Feingold a year ago and tightened all disclosure laws dealing with campaign expenditures, including those of 3rd party groups.

As Democrats, we all agree that full disclosure and transparency is a hallmark of our party. In that spirit and to hold Governor Dean to the same standards that he is imposing on some of us, we call upon Gov. Dean to open up his secretive documents.

The concealment of these records for 10 years doesn't allow voters to make a fully educated decision about who is best equipped to send George Bush back to Texas and restore this nation to its full promise and potential. Democrats are the leaders of openness in our government, and anything less is not worthy of our party.

President Bill Clinton often said that if you make sure voters get all the information, they’d make the right decisions. While Gov. Dean is very fond of reminding voters that they have the power, we'd like to see him trust them with the information to exercise it.

Only Governor Dean has the power to unseal these records. I hope you will join me in calling on Gov. Dean to use the power he has and unseal his governmental records. (12/18/2003)

Praise for Kerry

As if the Boston Globe recent article telling of hope for Kerry wasn’t enough, now The Des Moines Register’s dean of politics, David Yepsen, has good news as well.

Yepsen writes that Kerry could come in second in Iowa -- a Pew Research poll released 10 days ago reported likely caucus-goers showed Dean with 29 percent, Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt with 21 percent, Kerry at 18 percent and John Edwards at 5 percent. An internal Kerry poll by the Mellman Group shows Dean at 28 percent, Kerry at 24 percent and Gephardt at 23 percent. Kerry also shows up as the second-choice candidate of a lot of Democrats, which is a good sign for Kerry if their first-choice candidate should falter.

This has to scare the you-know-what out of the Gephardt camp, not to mention the Dean campaign. Part of what might be going on is the unlimited money being spent by Kerry and Dean in Iowa. However, Yepsen reports that Kerry’s improvement is in part due to old fashion hard and smart work of the candidate and campaign. Yepsen writes:

What has Kerry been doing to move up?

Working the fundamentals, that's all. He's been spending a lot more time in Iowa (which he should have done from the beginning) and impresses caucus-goers with his brains, experience and level-headed manner. His campaign staffers are a seasoned lot who execute well on the daily details of signing up caucus-goers. He's increased the number of television commercials. Answers that used to be 500 words are down to 250. He's a combat veteran, an important quality given that the Republicans will go after any Democratic candidate - especially Dean, who didn't go to Vietnam or serve in the military at all - for being weak on defense. (12/18/2003)

Kerry’s high stakes strategy

The Boston Globe reports that Kerry is so focused on his Iowa-New Hampshire strategy that he plans to stay in Iowa for the first two weeks of January, making only quick day trips to New Hampshire and staying out of other upcoming primary states almost entirely. Kerry’s high stakes gamble is betting on the fact that candidates can gain what is known as the big Mo from early wins. The Globe describes it this way:

Kerry advisers say he is wagering on a "January effect" to ignite his campaign: He plans to remain in Iowa for roughly 15 days after New Year's in the run-up to the Jan. 19 caucuses, while making quick trips to New Hampshire.

He will also deploy surrogate campaigners in New Hampshire, including his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry; daughter Vanessa and stepson Chris Heinz; and his campaign chairwoman, former Granite State governor Jeanne Shaheen. (12/18/2003)

Campaign around the clock

If you would like to find Sen. John Kerry Monday, Dec. 22, you could go bowling in Mason City, IA and do both at 10:00 p.m. Kerry is starting early on the traditional 24 hour campaign across America that has become the hallmark at the end of Presidential campaigns. Kerry is going to put in an around the clock effort in Iowa to demonstrate how much he wants Iowans’ votes.

John Kerry will campaign in Iowa on Saturday, December 20-Tuesday, December 23. The last portion of the trip will include a 24 hour day of visiting the workplaces of the Iowans he is fighting for: those who care for patients, keep our communities safe, work the third shift, farm the land, and look after our children.  (12/18/2003)

Kerry: no to Bush faith based initiatives

Sen. John Kerry campaigning in Iowa wants the line drawn at a different place than President Bush when it comes to faith based initiatives. Kerry said that he is for faith-based initiatives such as Catholic Charities or the Jewish Community Center that he said provide social services without blurring the line. However, he reports in an Associated Press story that Bush has gone too far:

"I think George Bush and his administration has stepped over the line of separation of church and state," Kerry said at Hopkinton High School. "What George Bush is trying to do is allow (religious groups) funding for actually using the religious activity as a component of the service."

Kerry said that he stands firmly for the clause in the Constitution against the establishment of religion. "All through our history we have drawn that line," Kerry said. "And I will continue to draw that line." (12/19/2003)

Kerry’s money

Senator John F. Kerry recently loaned $850,000 to his struggling presidential campaign to pay staff salaries and other expenses, and is now scouting banks for a multimillion-dollar mortgage package on his Beacon Hill home, campaign officials said yesterday.

The senator chose not to wait for the larger loan against his home because he is unsure when that loan will be secured; advisers said they hoped it would be in hand in two weeks. Kerry’s house currently does not have a mortgage, and he has left it with his lawyers to arrange the loan. (12/19/2003)

Working tour

Tomorrow, John Kerry will launch his four day Fighting for Working Americans Tour in Altoona, Iowa. Kerry plans to visit with middle class families to discuss his plan to end the failed Bush economic policy that has cost America 3 million jobs. Excerpt from the Kerry website:

Throughout the following four days, he will visit working Iowans at work, including factory workers, child care providers, fire fighters, nurses, small business owners and farmers and talk with them about his plan for the first 100 days of a Kerry Administration that will set America back on a course toward security and prosperity.

George W. Bush has taken America in the wrong direction because he cares more about special interests than about the needs of working Americans. John Kerry has a plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy so that we can invest in education and healthcare. He will stand up to the special interests and fight for working Americans to put the nation back on track to promise and prosperity. (12/20/2003)

Mano a mano

Sen. John Kerry appears to be asking Howard Dean for hand-to-hand combat regarding the question of foreign policy. However, Kerry does – given the ambiguity of his challenge – leave the door open for others, too.

“Job number one of the President of the United States is to make America safe. That’s why it’s so troubling that on the question of national security, in the past week alone Governor Dean has made a series of comments that betray a shoot-from-the-hip style and a troubling tendency to flip-flop. A candidate who treats America’s national security this way won’t be elected President of the United States – and frankly doesn’t deserve to be elected.

“On Sunday, Governor Dean said the capture of Saddam Hussein marked “a great day for the Iraqi people, the U.S., and the international community.” But the very next day, Governor Dean personally wrote a line into his prepared speech stating that “the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.” He made the bizarre assertion that Saddam Hussein’s capture “could have taken place six months ago.” He stated that, as President he would have acted in Iraq “had the United Nations given us permission and asked us to be a part of a multilateral force” – implying that he would give nations like China, France and Russia unprecedented veto power over America’s security.

“Perhaps he didn’t mean to say all of these things. Perhaps there’s some reasonable explanation for what he was really trying to get across. But it is clear that, in this past week alone, Governor Dean has added immeasurably to the already significant doubts about his ability to be Commander-in-Chief.

“Before we nominate a candidate to challenge a war-time President running for reelection on a dangerous doctrine of preemption, our Party needs to talk about these issues honestly and openly. That’s why today I challenge Governor Dean to a full, frank, and open debate on America’s national security. The stakes are too high to sweep the discussion over America’s safety under the rug.

“I hope Governor Dean will accept this offer. It’s good for our country. It’s good for our party. And if Howard Dean can’t debate national security with his fellow Democrats, how in the world can he expect to be able to stand on a stage and face George W. Bush?” (12/20/2003)

Winter politics

It is beginning to look a lot like winter. And, if it’s winter then it’s time to beat up on oil companies for high heating prices. Senator John Kerry sent a letter to the President telling him to work with the energy companies that he has been giving billions to too lower heating prices. Here is an excerpt of the letter:

“Given that we have near record amounts of gas in storage, it is difficult to understand how market forces alone can cause such a price spike. Today, I am writing to ask that the Department of Energy take all appropriate action to ensure that natural gas prices are fair and reasonable.

“Among these actions, I urge the Administration to call upon the leaders of energy companies, many of which are now generating higher profits because of the price spike, to work with the Administration, consumer advocates and others to lower prices. I also ask that you investigate the industry to ensure that these price spikes in regional and national markets are not the result of any anti-competitive practices. Finally, the Administration should develop a plan to respond to projections that average heating costs for families are soaring.

“Mr. President, you have supported an energy bill that gives billions of dollars to big energy companies and special interests. What we really need is to put America’s families first and provide relief for the millions of Americans who are now facing higher energy costs. These Americans are already having trouble making ends meet and they deserve action now.” (12/20/2003)

*Kerry’s Iowa battle

The LA Times is finally getting around to covering Sen. John Kerry’s efforts in Iowa. No new ground covered here. ((12/20/2003)

Kerry working Iowa

Sen. John Kerry continues to work retail politics in Iowa as he asks for votes in small groups or at a truck stop in Newton, Iowa. At the truck stop the Des Moines Register caught up with the candidate and he told the Register he wants Attorney General John Ashcroft investigated. He said he will recommend that President Bush appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether Attorney General John Ashcroft committed perjury by violating federal election law in 2000.

He also continues with the theme that Howard Dean is unqualified to be President because of a lack of foreign policy expertise according to the Register:

But Kerry, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, continued to make foreign policy the defining issue when comparing himself to Dean.

"If we're going to beat George Bush, we need a nominee who can stand up to Bush," he said.

"You wouldn't hire a contractor to build a house who'd never built a house." (12/21/2003)

Kerry’s working for America

Today, John Kerry kicked off a four day ‘Fighting for Working America’s Tour’ to discuss his ideas to create jobs and make it easier for working families to make ends meet. John Kerry promised to end the ‘special interest’ economy ushered in by George W. Bush and launch a new economy era that works for America’s families.

I. Get Rid of the Special Interest Economy

·        $100 billion for 16 biggest corporations: Bush proposed to repeal the corporate AMT that would have lavished $100 billion on 16 corporations.

·        $2 billion: Iraq reconstruction contracts awarded to Haliburton.

·        53% of Iowans had pensions and 401(k).

·        $2.18 billion: losses in Iowa in from 2000-2001.

Get rid of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to invest in education and health care. Time and again President Bush has chosen to shower tax breaks on those who need them least. This is not only unfair, but it is bad economics. Our nation has gone from a surplus to record deficits robbing our children’s future and from creating 23 million new jobs to losing over 3 million lost jobs.

Stop special interest giveaways and crack down on corporate scandals. Bush has supported giveaways for big oil companies, no-bid contracts for Haliburton and giveaways to corporate America – even $180 million for a shopping center with Hooters. Corporate scandals ­- some led by Bush's closest corporate cronies ­– have wiped out personal savings and shaken investor confidence. John Kerry will get rid of these special interest giveaways and crack down on corporate scandals.

II. Create More Jobs

·        30,900 Iowa jobs have been lost since President Bush took office.

·        Tyco Electronics is moving ahead with a plan to lose its plant in Guttenberg, Iowa putting more than 100 people.

·        WorldCom corporate malfeasance and lack of enforcement by the Administration resulted in the layoff of approximately 150 Iowans.

Crack down on companies that go abroad to avoid taxes and instead give tax breaks to companies who invest in jobs here in the USA. Kerry’s manufacturing tax credit will give tax breaks to companies that hire additional workers. He will also crack down on countries that are practicing unfair trade or manipulating their currency to undermine American exports.

Create 500,000 jobs through alternative energy sources and help family farmers by better targeting subsidies and encouraging conservation among family farmers.

·        Help small businesses by reversing the cuts that George Bush has made to loans and women’s business centers, by assuring that have the federal support that they need to grow and thrive, encouraging startups, and helping small manufacturers.

III. An Economy Where Middle Class Families Can Succeed

·        71.4% of children under age six in Iowa with all parents in the labor force.

·        Average annual cost of child care for a four-year-old in a center in Iowa: $6,198

·        Average 4 year public university tuition and fees in Iowa rose 20 percent in the last year.

Stop soaring health care costs that are putting a tight squeeze on families and hurting businesses. That means cutting prescription drug costs and helping out with the highest cost cases so we can tamp down health care premiums.

Make college affordable for every American. To succeed in the new economy, Americans need a workforce is more innovative and productive than our competitors. Kerry’s plan makes college affordable for every family with a new tax credit on the first $4,000 of tuition for all for years.

Cut the budget deficit in half in four years. John Kerry will not balance the budget by cutting Medicare or school lunches and he won’t do it by raising taxes on middle class Americans. He will take on corporate loopholes, cut wasteful government and get rid of tax cuts George Bush lavished on the wealthiest.

Stopping the tax hikes and the education cuts that are going on in the states – that are causing layoffs and hurting our economy. I have proposed a “State Tax Relief and Education Fund” that will provide relief that does just that. (12/21/2003)

Kerry’s appeal

The Des Moines Register reports on Senator John Kerry’s 24-hour campaign to bring attention to his Iowa efforts to get a boost out of Iowa into New Hampshire. The Register showed that not everything went well for the Senator:

"I agreed with some of the stuff he said," said Doug May, 42, a Kone Elevator apprentice from Sioux City who was working at the Davenport construction site. "He said he supported homeland security, thought it was underfunded, and said he didn't agree with the way we rushed into Iraq."

But May, a registered Democrat and member of the Iowa Air National Guard, wasn't swayed by the Massachusetts senator. He said he is supporting the re-election of President Bush, a Republican.

"I think he really stepped up to the plate," May said of Bush. "I did vote for (Al) Gore (in 2000), but I like the way George Bush has handled everything since September 11. Whether you like it or dislike it, you've got to stand behind the troops." (12/23/2003)

Kerry’s Real Deal Express

John Kerry will hit the campaign trail in New Hampshire this weekend. Kerry will deliver a major speech on Saturday about the upcoming choice facing New Hampshire voters, ride The Real Deal Express across the state, and meet Granite State voters in Portsmouth, Rochester, Manchester, Concord, and Franklin.

Kerry’s schedule includes a major address in Manchester, and five Holiday Chili Feeds. Members of the community are invited to come together to eat chili, meet John Kerry, and pepper him with questions. (12/23/2003)

Kerry to meet with soldier’s families

John Kerry has decided to extend his 24-hour campaign day to show his support for families affected by Bush’s reckless foreign policy. Kerry has been campaigning for 24 hours in Iowa to bring attention to his campaign. He said that he has been listening to hourly workers who have expressed their concern about overtime pay.

He will now travel to Sioux City to meet with families of soldiers who are fighting for our country overseas.  Kerry said as a Veteran that he understands the commitment of our nation’s service men and women. With the country off on the wrong track, we need new leadership with the right values and the right experience. In his first 100 days in office, John Kerry said he will end the Bush policy of unilateralism and pre-emptive war. (12/23/2003)

Kerry: Dean’s weak

John Kerry’s latest swipe at front runner Howard Dean:

Yesterday Howard Dean admitted what many of us have been saying for months – when it comes to foreign policy he has a huge gap in his resume that needs to be filled. We’ve had experience with a president who tried to fill the hole with advisers, with horrible results. In today’s world, we need to nominate a candidate and elect a president who has the experience, temperament and judgment to be president, not someone who requires on-the-job training.

Dean yesterday told a New Hampshire audience “the only way to have a Jewish democracy is to get out of the West Bank at some point because otherwise, you have a democracy; it's not a Jewish state. It's a Jewish state, it's not a democracy.”

Every candidate who aspires to be president should know that Israel is a democracy and our closest ally in the region. Unfortunately, Howard Dean is the only candidate who seems to be committed to retreating from this relationship.

Dean has previously said that we should take an “even handed” approach to the conflict, force Israel to remove “enormous numbers of settlements,” called Hamas “soldiers,” and recently shocked Florida Democratic activists when he said would work to strengthen “moderates’ in the Islamic world."

Moreover, Howard Dean named the controversial author and former Reagan adviser Clyde Prestowitz as a key member of his foreign policy team. Prestowitz advocates out-of-the-mainstream views like “making aid to Israel conditional on withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza."

Dean’s latest in a string of misstatements further demonstrates his ignorance and lack of commitment to a US-Israeli relationship of shared values, including a commitment to democracy, which have bound our countries for over a half a century. And they demonstrated the problems of having presidential candidates mouthing the policies of their advisers rather than exercising independent judgment built on years of experience. In the post-9/11 world, mapping our country’s role in the world is a complicated job; not a hole that needs to be plugged.

From Truman to Kennedy to Clinton, every American president has understood that Israel is a critical ally to the United States. The Oval Office is no place for on-the-job training and it is clear that Howard Dean doesn’t have the experience needed to serve the nation’s interests as a global leader. (12/23/2003)

Kerry: a man of means

The Washington Post reports Senator John Kerry has ponied up $6.4 million and now has a $16,667 monthly mortgage payment. Asked how Kerry will meet the monthly payments, an aide replied, "he is a man of substantial means." Kerry borrowed the $6.4 million from the Mellon Trust of New England, which granted a mortgage on his half of the home that Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, own on Beacon Hill's Louisburg Square. The mortgage features an adjustable rate starting at 3.125 percent, and the payments will be interest-only for the first 10 years of the 30-year loan. According to calculations by the Mortgage Bankers Association, Kerry's monthly payments during the first year will be $16,667, or $200,000 a year.

Kerry, whose 2002 income was $144,091 according to tax returns, must pay off the mortgage himself and cannot use his wife's fortune -- estimated at $500 million. The $6.4 million is a loan to the campaign. Kerry can be repaid in full with contributions from individual donors until the primary season ends at the Democratic convention in July. After that, the campaign would be allowed to repay him a maximum of $250,000, according to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. (12/24/2003)

Kerry ends 24-hour working tour

Sen. John Kerry has been traveling Iowa in his purple-and-red Real Deal Express bus. The tour received widespread press coverage. His tour also brought him approbation that he listens to real working people and is someone who is genuinely concerned about the real world. The Des Moines Register reports:

"We weren't real sure how this was going to work," said Charlie Skokam of McClelland, superintendent of the Council Bluffs street and sewer departments. "It's never happened here. Why would somebody want to come down here? But I think he really gets a lot of input by doing this sort of thing here."

The Sioux City Journal reports:

"I think he probably looks exhausted, but more power to him," Bachman Fort said. "He has done this and this is part of the plan, what he has to do to get people to acknowledge him and hear what he has to say." (12/24/2003)

Kerry’s new ad

John Kerry will launch a new ad tomorrow statewide in Iowa and New Hampshire. The 30-second spot highlights Kerry’s energy plan to reduce America’s dependence on Mideast oil and strengthen our national security. Kerry promises to reduce oil dependence by two million barrels of oil a day, as much as we currently import from the Middle East. Kerry’s plan to reduce oil dependence includes:

·        A New ‘Energy Security and Conservation Trust’ to accelerate the commercialization of technologies that will reduce America’s dangerous dependence on oil.

·        Reducing Oil Dependence by Two Million Barrels of Oil a Day – As Much As We Currently Import From the Middle East. Kerry will provide tax incentives for consumers to buy the vehicles they want and incentives for manufacturers to convert factories to build the more efficient vehicles of the future.

·        Making Our Homes, Offices, Schools, and Cities More Energy Efficient. Kerry will cut the Government’s energy bill 20 percent by 2020 – saving the Federal government $8 billion over the next ten years - and will challenge municipalities, corporations, universities, small businesses, and hospitals to do the same.

·        A Plan to Use Hydrogen Throughout the Nation By 2020 – a clean fuel that we can eventually get entirely from renewable sources from our farms, the wind, solar energy, hydropower and geothermal sources.

Text of Ad:

John Kerry: For nearly thirty years, we’ve talked about reducing America’s dependence on Mideast oil—and here we are today, more dependent on foreign oil than ever. It’s time to make energy independence a national priority—and to put in place a plan that frees our nation from the grip of Mideast oil in the next ten years.

Because no child growing up in America today should ever have to go to war for oil. I’m John Kerry and I approved this message.

[Note: The ad shows children playing with audio of John Kerry talking directly with voters about the importance of energy independence.] (12/24/2003)

Kerry’s ads

Sen. John Kerry, who loaned his campaign over $6 million, is spending his dollars on new ads. Kerry’s spending over $300,000 in Iowa on a healthcare ad and a modest boost in New Hampshire with a $150,000 ad where former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen asks voters to support Kerry.

The Iowa ad features health insurance and uses the story of the Knowles family to illustrate what Kerry says is wrong with America's health care system. Kerry describes how John Knowles lost his job and how his wife, Mary Ann Knowles had to continue working to keep the family's health insurance while undergoing chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. (12/26/2003)

Kerry’s divergence

The Manchester Union Leader reports on Sen. John Kerry’s latest trip to New Hampshire. Kerry quoted New Englander Robert Frost:

"Two roads have diverged in the New Hampshire woods," Kerry said in a speech prepared for delivery in Manchester Saturday. "One of them takes us toward retreat from our responsibility in the world, our responsibility to working families, our responsibility to talk straight to the American people - and our obligation to win their confidence and their votes next November."

Kerry’s tone seems to have changed regarding his handling of Howard Dean. He seems more confident to stand up to Dean and say there is a difference. He is not trying to explain his vote on going to war in Iraq:

Kerry said "we can't beat George Bush by being Bush-lite," referring to Dean's criticism of more centrist Democratic candidates.

"But we also won't beat George Bush by being light on national security, light on fairness for middle-class Americans or light on the values that make us Democrats." (12/27/2003)

Environmental passion

Sen. John Kerry campaigning in Iowa stressed his environmental record. If elected president, Kerry said he would implement a four-point plan to improve air quality, which would reduce future asthma cases and help current sufferers. These include:

-- Reversing the Bush administration's rollbacks of the Clean Air Act;

-- Making sure Clean Air Act rules apply and are enforced in agriculture; holding corporate farms accountable for pollution.

-- Take new steps to improve indoor air quality, like developing air quality standards and measurement methods;

-- reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"I've been deeply involved in the environment for years. It's been a longtime passion of mine," Kerry said. (12/30/2003)

"If I recall correctly, the first negative ad run in the state of Iowa was Howard Dean's ad against Mr. (Richard) Gephardt. And if I recall correctly, the first negative words uttered in the campaign were Howard Dean calling everyone else Bush Light and attacking Washington (D.C.),” John Kerry said. (12/30/2003)

"I'm dying out there," said this Kerry fund-raiser, a veteran Democratic moneyman who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There was so much excitement about John Kerry early on, and now there's none." (12/31/2003)

Dem Chairs criticize Dean

Sen. John Kerry’s website carries the following statement of Democrat State Party Chairs critical of Howard Dean:

“As current and past Chairs of state Democratic Parties, in states where Republicans have recently done well in Presidential elections, we know how quickly ill-considered statements by national Democrats can impact our state elections. As chairs, we also know that full and vigorous debate between our candidates leads to the nomination of our best and strongest candidates.

“With this in mind, we must express our strong disappointment in the recent statements of Howard Dean. Over the past few weeks, Gov. Dean has spoken before he thought, been forced to retract, apologize for and “clarify” many of his remarks. In addition to ill-considered statements on critical subjects, such as reserving judgment on what punishment should be meted out to Osama bin Laden, he has attacked our party leaders and the policies of President Bill Clinton that produced the most sustained period of economic growth in our country’s history. Rather than welcome full debate on his policy positions he has called on Party leaders to intervene in the nominating process to stifle debate between our candidates. Gov. Dean has gone so far as to suggest that he and his supporters may have an agenda other than insuring the defeat of George Bush if he isn't the nominee of our party.

“As current and former chairs of our state parties, in states where Republicans have recently done well in Presidential elections, we need a nominee who can neutralize the traditional GOP strengths on taxes and national security. And we know that regardless of the intensity in our primary fight, it will not compare to the onslaught that George Bush and the Republicans will dish out. That's why we support John Kerry for President; a combat veteran who supports middle class tax cuts and knows as Harry Truman once said, "if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen". We suggest that Governor Dean should take his temperature now.”

Mike Gireau, Chairman Montana Democratic Party
Redding Pitt, Chairman Alabama Democratic Party
Larry Framme, Former Chair of Virginia Democratic Party
Dan Hannaher, Former Chair of North Dakota Democratic Party
David Worley, Former Chair of Georgia Democratic Party   (12/31/2003)

Kerry: revamp farm subsidies

At the farm of Doug and Barbara Thompson in Hancock County, John Kerry discussed his plan to improve income for America’s family farms. During his talk with a group of local farmers, Kerry pledged to strengthen conservation programs and better target federal farm subsidies to family farmers—rather than corporate interests.

"As President, I will stand up for family farmers and good conservation practices. Unfortunately, George Bush has chosen to reward the big corporate farms that pollute our air and water and threaten family farming,” said John Kerry. “Instead, I will make sure we get moving on Senator Tom Harkin’s Conservation Security Program. It rewards family farmers for being strong environmental stewards, it helps our rural communities thrive, and it makes sure our family farms are a source of opportunity and hope for the next generation. The Bush Administration has fought this program every step of the way. The cause of conservation and our family farmers deserve better.”

Kerry highlighted the fact that Iowa’s growing land conservation needs are under-funded. There is currently over $104 million in unfilled applications from Iowa farmers who want to implement conservation practices on their land. Although soil loss is declining, Iowa still loses approximately 134 million tons of soil per year from cropland.

“I have fought to make sure that family farms have a fair shot to compete against large corporations and that farmers have the support they need. Today, four firms control 81 percent of the beef packing market and we’ve lost 38 percent of our hog producers. When you consider that two-thirds of all our agriculture support payments go to the largest ten percent of firms, it’s no surprise. But it is a call to action. And I intend to answer that call,” said Kerry.

Kerry also underscored his plan to stand up to the big corporate farms that have resisted putting in place safeguards to protect against mad cow disease. This past weekend, Kerry proposed a five-point plan to respond to the problems in the food safety and inspection system underscored by the current mad cow investigation.

“If you want a clear example of the cost we’re paying for President Bush’s decision to do the bidding of corporate agriculture, just look at the current mad cow investigation. We need better testing – more inspectors – and we need a President who will stand up to big ag lobbyists who try to block these kinds of improvements every step of the way,” said Kerry.

John Kerry’s plan to support America’s family farmers will:

·        Enhance Conservation Security: There is currently over $104 million in unfilled applications from Iowa farmers who want to implement conservation practices on their land. John Kerry will provide full funding for technical assistance but he won’t do it by robbing other important conservation programs to pay for it, as President Bush has done.

·        Better Target Federal Subsides to Family Farmers Rather Than Corporations: John Kerry believes that the structure for providing farm subsidies is unfairly tilted toward corporate farms -- that too many of the resources go to too few of the producers. As President, Kerry is committed to ensuring that Federal farm subsidies are better targeted to family farmers.

·        Stand Up to Powerful Agriculture Interests: John Kerry will stand up to the powerful large cattle businesses and meatpacking industry to assure that the American beef market will be safe and strong.

The Thompson family farms corn and soybeans on about 1,100 acres of land. The family farm dates back to 1896, when Doug’s great-great grandfather Ole Thompson arrived from Norway and purchased the land.  (12/31/2003)



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