Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Nussle should give back tainted and corrupt cash

The Iowa Democratic Party issued a good demand today to Congressman Jim Nussle today:
"The Iowa Democratic Party calls on Congressman Jim Nussle today to return a $1,000 donation from the Friends of Duke Cunningham congressional campaign committee. Congressman Randall “Duke” Cunningham resigned yesterday after pleading guilty to charges of bribery and tax evasion.

“Once again, Congressman Nussle is connected to the culture of corruption in Washington that has become the trademark of the Republican Party. Will Jim Nussle once again refuse to return the campaign donation and separate himself from unethical behavior by his Republican colleagues?” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sally Pederson. “Iowans won’t stand for elected officials that put special interests and personal gain over high ethical standards.”

Cunningham pled guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion after accepting $2.4 million in bribes in return for political favors on behalf of a defense contractor. The Washington Post calls Cunningham’s case “the most brazen bribery conspiracy in modern congressional history.” [11/29/05]

The Iowa Democratic Party also called on Nussle to return campaign donations from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is currently facing an indictment on money laundering charges. The Nussle campaign has refused."
How long will it take for Iowa's presumptive Republican candidate to finally face the facts and become an ethical man, unlike the rest of his corrupt GOP pals in Washington?

Does Iowa need a governor who's taking money from Congressmen pleading guilty to or under indictment for federal offesnses? Of course not.

Jim Nussle: Quit being a corrupt Washington Republican. We don't want your culture of crime and misdeeds in our state. Give back Cunningham's money AND DeLay's money. It's what a true Iowan would do.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Nussle and Independent Investigations

Jim Nussle wants an independent investigation into the recent prison breakout.

That's fine, Jim. You can have that, just as soon as you call for an independent investigation into the Bush administration's attempts to mislead Congress and the American people in the runup to the Iraq war. I mean, that's something that actually relates to your job, not to your political ambitions.

Maybe you could ask Chuck Grassley to recuse himself in the Abramoff investigation, since he probably ought to be charged in it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nussle's Family Values Budget

Now, there are at least half a dozen big problems with the budget bill that recently passed the house, which a Nussle press release emailed to me calls the "Nussle Plan."

But the one that I think is, if not the worst, at least the most ridiculous, is the cut in funding to state child-support collection services by almost $5 billion. I realize Nussle had a messy divorce, but does he really need to take that out on parents with a deadbeat ex? Talk about family values. At least we're probably going to get $70 billion in tax cuts, so that the "Deficit Reduction Act" actually increases the deficit by $20 billion or so.

Oh well, it's not like Nussle needs to support family values or fiscal responsibility to win. He's always got the Republican reputation for good governance, right?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Iowa college students can't afford Jim Nussle

First, Jim Nussle helps to throw the United States into trillions of dollars of debt as Budget Committee Chairman in the US House of Representatives. Now he wants to cut federal financial aid spending so college students will be able to be massively in debt just like our country (except not as badly).

From the Iowa State Daily:
"U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is pushing to get a vote from the House of Representatives by the end of the week on a bill that would cut several billion dollars from federal student loan programs.

The Budget Reallocation bill, which would also cut funds from other programs to help pay for hurricane-induced emergency spending, was scheduled for a vote last Thursday, but the action was postponed."
Go read the rest of the story for more information, particularly what impact it might have on students at Iowa State.

Remember: This man wants to be the next governor of Iowa. It is up to us as responsible citizens to let Jim Nussle know that we CANNOT afford him as leader.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Guest Post: Nussle, subsidies, food stamps, and insolvent government

With permission from Patriot Skull Face, a progressive Iowa blog you should be reading:

"Overall, the package of spending cuts would total $50 billion over five years and includes reductions in spending for Medicaid, the health program for the poor; student loans; and food stamps.

The biggest impact in Iowa is likely to be in the increase in the cost of student loans and the reduction in state aid for child-support enforcement.

The effect on Nussle's gubernatorial campaign is likely to be marginal, said Dennis Goldford, a political analyst at Drake University.

'What he wants to do is sell some sense of leadership and vision for Iowa. I'm not sure that this speaks to that,' Goldford said."

So what role did Nussle play in these cuts? Well, as someone who is particularly concerned about cuts to food stamps, I paid close attention. I work for a local non-profit hunger relief organization that serves 42 Iowa counties. Here's how this all went down:

In March or so, Chairman Nussle set out the various levels of cuts that each committee was going to have to make. For the committees in question, the Agriculture Committees, he set the levels to be cut at about 3 billion dollars. After that, the House and Senate Ag then looked at policy reccomendations all summer to formulate their budgets.

For example, the Farm Bureau wanted food stamps to take $2 billion in cuts. Food and nutrition advocates like myself pushed hard for no cuts, and if any cuts were to happen they shouldn't exceed the President's proposal of cutting $574 million. This cut would remove 300,000 people from food stamps across 11 states, as well at 40,000 kids from school lunch.

As for farm subsidies, Senator Grassley was the champion for cutting payments to farmers collecting making over $250,000. Seems pretty reasonable, right? These subsides go mostly to farmers in the South for sugar and cotton supports. Thanks to Senator Harkin's leadership on the Democratic side, and with support from various Republicans in the Senate, the budget called for $0 in cuts to food stamps. Because the Senate Ag chairman is Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), don't expect payment limitations happening anytime from the Senate Ag Committee. Perhaps if Grassley can get it attached to something else, there is a chance, but his attempts this year haven't worked out.

Now the House Ag, starring such Iowa members Steve King and Leonard Boswell, voted to cut above the President's reccomendation, and set the level at about $844 million. This would affect the previously mentioned 300,000 recipients as well as any immigrant that hasn't been in the U.S. seven years. This was a food stamp provision that was repealed in 2002, yet has returned thanks to anti-immigrant rhetoric from fools like Tom Tancredo and Steve King.

The House and Senate Ag committees will then have to have a conference committee to decide what cuts will be included in the final budget. There is much speculation that because the congressional Republicans and Bush are in such bad trouble, they will forgo reconcilliation and just extend last year's budget. That would be the best thing for our nation right now, unless repealing the tax cuts for the top 1% suddenly become a possibility.

SO - bottom line - Jim Nussle crafted a stupid budget a long time ago not thinking that things like food stamp, school lunch, medicaid, college loan and other cuts would hurt him. Essentially, as the hurricaine Katrina debacle has pointed out: Democrats are in favor of a large solvent government, and Republicans are for a large insolvent government. That is a debate we should be willing to have.