Greenwald pleased by Latham attack

The headline may be incongruous, but it’s accurate when you see the quote from this morning’s news conference at fourth district congressional candidate Becky Greenwald’s headquarters. "I think the biggest hope we have is knowing that he’s actually on the attack," Greenwald says. "I’m mean he’s a 14-year congressman. You don’t see the other congressional members attacking their opponents, so I think this is a nice turn of events."

Greenwald, as you may know, is a Democrat from Perry who is challenging Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Ames in the November election.  Just before this morning’s news conference began, Greenwald made this observation as she saw the lectern full of five microphones.  "You should know this is a record number of microphones for me."  You can listen to the entire 10 minute news conference here.

The attack Greenwald references is a news release issued by the Latham campaign on Monday.

Becky’s Bailout of reckless and greedy Wall Street CEOs sinks the American people deeper in debt

Ames, IA – Congressional candidate Becky Greenwald wants to make one thing very clear to Iowans – she would have voted for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout had she been a member of Congress. Greenwald reiterated her unwavering support for the bill yet again during a recent debate in Mason City with her opponent Tom Latham – who stood up for Iowans by voting twice against the bailout of Wall Street.

During the debate Greenwald said that she still supported the bailout even though there has been an additional $8 trillion loss in stock value since passage of the controversial bill by Congress and a new admission by a leading member of congress that the bill will not work. Last Thursday, Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman – and Chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee – Paul Kanjorski proclaimed, "I think we already know, it’s not going to work."

"Reckless Wall Street CEO’s made a mess and they asked Iowans to pay to clean it up," noted Latham for Congress spokesperson Matt Hinch. "Tom Latham stood up in Congress and protected Iowans by twice voting no on this massive Wall Street bailout. Tom Latham believes that, as a matter of principle, it is wrong to spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to reward, benefit and bailout those on Wall Street who created this mess."

Highlights of Becky Greenwald’s endorsed Wall Street bailout plan includes:

* The largest corporate welfare proposal in U.S. history all at taxpayer expense;

* Gives the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and Wall Street veteran and former Goldman Sachs CEO, Henry Paulson a no-strings checkbook with $700 billion in taxpayer funds to spend as he sees fit;

* The Washington Post reports that there is a strong possibility of conflicts of interest, since the same companies who created the mess on Wall Street will, "be managing the assets while also selling their own troubled securities to the government.";

* Taxpayer funded pork in the bill included tax breaks for rum, sports entities, television and the manufacturer of wooden arrows for children;

* And, no guarantee by Secretary Paulson that his plan will actually work.

"Becky Greenwald would reward the same greedy CEO’s who caused this crisis," continued Hinch. "Becky Greenwald would spend $700 billion of Iowans’ money to fix Wall Street mistakes and greed. No accountability and no guarantee it will even work. It’s clear that Iowans can’t trust Becky Greenwald with our tax dollars."

Just after noon today, the Greenwald campaign issued this news release:

Waukee, IA — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today added Becky Greenwald to its “Red to Blue” program. Becky earned a spot in the competitive program by establishing significant local support and skillfully showing Iowa’s voters that she stands for change and will represent new priorities.

The Red to Blue program highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, and strategic support.  The program introduces Democratic supporters to new, competitive candidates in order to help expand the fundraising base for their campaigns.

“We are thrilled to have the complete backing and support of the national Democratic Party,” said Becky Greenwald. “Today, I challenged Tom Latham to debate me on television after the 14-year incumbent attacked me for the first time in this race. His campaign must be sensing the strong support for my campaign. This election is too important not to debate the issues facing our working families in front of a television audience.”

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen said, "Becky Greenwald is running a solid campaign and is committed to making things easier for middle class families in their districts. With less than 21 days to make her case for change to voters, the Red to Blue program will give Becky the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November."

Red to Blue was a proven success in the 2006 cycle. In 2006, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns averaging $404,000 per campaign.  Red to Blue was also responsible for solidifying the structure of dozens of campaigns and making a real difference for Democrats across America.

Finally, before I end this post, I need to highlight the "bright" moment of today’s news conference in Waukee at Greenwald campaign headquarters.  Des Moines Register reporter Jason Clayworth began to ask a question, the predicate of which caused lots of laughter.

"I watch a lot of Wheel of Fortune," Clayworth began.  Greenwald, First Lady Mari Culver, the reporters and staff in the room started to laugh. 

"Do you get the answer right?" Greenwald asked Clayworth after a few moments of laughter. 

Clayworth started again:  "I watch a lot of Wheel of Fortune and I notice that your commercials haven’t been running recently.  Is your campaign out of money?"

Greenwald:  "Well, we’re putting the message out to the voters and we’re confident that we’ll get the word out to our voters and we’re not on the air right now."

Clayworth:  "Will you be?  I know that tomorrow the campaign reports come out.  What indication will that show?  Have you been successful raising money this last quarter?"

Greenwald:  "Oh, my goodness, we’ve been successful.  We’ve raised more money than Congressman Loebsack did the entire election cycle last time but we won’t talk about our finances until they’re reported."

Clayworth:  "Is there a reason why there’s not been advertising like there was a while back?"

Greenwald:  "Because we’re not on the air right now."

Clayworth:  "So it’s not a financial issue."

Greenwald:  "It’s an issue of our timing and our strategy."

In defense of Master Clayworth, Kansas State research (which I found on-line in a quick Google search) suggests watching game shows is good for your brain. "Brain waves of someone watching TV are similar to those of someone who is asleep. Choose programs that promote laughter and elevate feelings of well being or those that test problem-solving abilities — such as game shows."

UPDATE — Matt Hinch, Latham for Congress campaign manager, issued the following statement via email at 12:35 p.m.:

“We appreciate the chance for Iowans to hear the stark differences between Becky Greenwald and Tom Latham through two debates held last week that can still be accessed online on the websites of radio stations WHO and KGLO.

"It is unfortunate that our televised debate first scheduled for October 3rd and then again for October 17th was cancelled by Iowa Public Television.

"It certainly will not require yet another forum for Iowans to learn about Becky Greenwald’s risky Wall Street bailout scheme.  Becky Greenwald has repeatedly stated her position that she would have voted for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout which spends Iowans’ money to fix the mistakes and greed of Wall Street while Tom Latham stood up for Iowans and voted twice against the pork-filled plan.

"Because Becky Greenwald chooses Wall Street over Iowa Main Street it’s clear that Iowans can’t trust Becky Greenwald with our tax dollars.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Latham, in true form, realizing that his vote reflects his signal to Republicans, that he will hold the party ideology above the welfare of the country, and vote NO. His dilemma, of course, is that on September 19, 2008, Paulson demanded entitlement for Bush’s going away present to his cronies. That is the moment when the Republican Party formally announced they are, in fact, the Party of Corporate Welfare. By voting against the bailout, Latham was choosing between voting against the Republican Party being the Party of Corporate Welfare, or voting for helping the country in a time of need.
    Latham chose the worst of all ways to show his party loyalty, by selling out the country to benefit his party. True, it was a lose-lose situation. I feel warm in my tummy that he acted the way he did. Iowans now know he cares not for them, but for remaining in power. That is not what Iowans want from their elected representatives.
    Latham needs to understand, America does not tolerate corporate welfare. He will now have to find another party, as the Republican Party is history.

  2. A great book that follows along this same line of thinking is “Plunder,” written by Danny Schechter.