Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Getting your priorities alligned

This morning's Des Moines Register tries to stir up a bit of controversy that doesn't really exist, I believe.
"Gov. Tom Vilsack suggested Monday that Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle needs to get out of Washington, D.C., and travel the state to discover how much economic progress is occurring throughout Iowa.

Vilsack, a Democrat, said he was surprised at comments made last week by Nussle, who claimed Vilsack's economic development agenda is "all based on photo ops," with few benefits for most business owners. Nussle, who along with Bob Vander Plaats is seeking the Republican nomination for governor next year, made the remarks in an interview with Lee Enterprises newspapers."
The criticism of Gov. Vilsack seems quite pointless by Nussle. Attacking a guy you're not going to be running against just doesn't make a lot of sense--politically or otherwise--to me. But remember, we're talking about the guy who showed up on the floor of the House of Representatives with a paper bag over his head.

In all seriousness, though, Jim Nussle should be spending all of August going through the state campaigning and seeing good economic results thanks to Governor Vilsack, as well as the bipartisan Iowa Values Fund.

The end of the article is where I had some significant problems:
"Maria Comella, Nussle's campaign spokeswoman, said Monday the congressman has spent 40 days traveling throughout Iowa, visiting more than 120 towns and cities, since announcing he will run for governor. Nussle has spoken with thousands of Iowans, she added.

It's difficult to take Vilsack's criticism seriously, considering that he recently became chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, has established a political action committee, and plans to spend Labor Day weekend in New Hampshire, Comella said. "That is a second-term agenda that has nothing to do with serving the people of Iowa," she said."
Comella is just an absolute moron, ok?

That so-called "second-term agenda" is nothing more than what Vilsack has done the last two months. He also negotiated a budget, even after a long period of debate that brought about a special session, got the speed limit raised, and lots of other things this last legislative session. Not to mention the restoration of basic American privileges like voting to reformed criminals who've dealt with their punishment.

You can't criticize a man for being politically active either. I mean, for God's sakes, what else is a governor of Iowa to do in June, July, and August besides visit the Iowa State Fair and maybe a Cubs game? The legislative season ends in May, or mid-June if there is a need for a special session. Keeping himself occupied in positive, Democratic ways is essential.

Jim Nussle's campaign needs to get their priorites straight. They're running for governor--and not against Tom Vilsack. Why don't they actually worry about issues that affect Iowans and not some kind of petty political bickering?

Nussle on Medicare/Medicaid

Our goal here at Nussle Watch is to explain why Iowa needs someone other than Jim Nussle for governor, preferably a Democrat with strong leadership qualities. While we take no position on candidates until after the primary, it is important to remember why we are against Jim Nussle.

August of 2005 marks the 40th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. To find out more about them, please visit their Wikipedia entries here and here, respectively.

In September, when Congress reconvenes, the House Budget Committee and their chairman, Jim Nussle, better get their act together. This summer, the Congress passed a resolution outlining the budget as it will be debated this fall. Jim Nussle was the author of that resolution and he's proposing big cuts supposedly to reign in the deficit--but according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the planned budget will actually increase deficits by as much as $167.5 billion.

When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, Jim Nussle appears ready to slash a chunk of their necessary funding. Nussle's budget resolution will cut funding for Medicaid and other low-income programs by $30 to $35 billion. According to the IDP, "For Iowa alone, this would mean a $129 to $173 million in cuts to Medicaid, and leave many low-income Iowans without health coverage."

Nussle also made sure to include $106 billion in tax cuts over the next five years in the budget resolution. Forty-six percent of those tax cuts will benefit people with household incomes exceeding $1 million per year (a pretty tiny group). I'm sure that'll help a few Iowans--but not the majority.

It's time for Iowans across the board to ask Jim Nussle a question. Which is more important: providing adequate support for the programs that Iowas desperately need or cutting taxes for the folks who contribute huge sums of money to your campaign?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nussle not good for Iowa Hispanic voters

If you're a Hispanic and an Iowa, Jim Nussle isn't your man for the next governor of Iowa.

According to the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), Jim Nussle received a 22% score for the 108th Congress that ended in 2004. The scores are based on votes applying to basic civil rights and quality of life issues for Hispanics and all Americans.

I looked up the results for the 107th Congress, ending in 2002, and found that during that session Nussle only received a 9% score. The scorecard can be found here (warning, PDF). In the 106th Congress, ending in 2000, Nussle only received a 20% score. Again, the report can be found here (warning, PDF).

The NHLA is a nonpartisan coalition of major Hispanic national organizations and distinguished Hispanic leaders from across the country, so I'm sure their judgments are not purely partisan in ways that opponents may claim. For more on the NHLA, click here.

Information compiled from sources linked above and the Iowa Democratic Party.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Debt increases under Nussle's watch

Thanks go to Gordon Fischer over at Iowa True Blue for this beaut:
"Congressman Jim Nussle became U.S. House of Representatives Budget Chair in 2001. Since 2001, the national debt has increased by more than $1.6 trillion!"
And now he wants to have some control over Iowa's budget as governor?

I don't think so.