Raising Social Security As Issue in Legislative Race?

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) spoke with a few Iowa reporters by telephone this morning from his home on a farm near New Hartford.  After briefing us about his travel schedule through some flood-damaged eastern Iowa towns today, Grassley launched into the following commentary about political advertising: "I was sitting here in my living room watching some commercials about state legislative races and I observed one that was a negative ad against somebody by the name of Schulte where the Democrat was accusing this Republican candidate of being for privatizing Social Security and something else dealing with some of Bush’s economic programs and we don’t need more of that, and I just wonder how much the Democrats running for office know about government — that state legislative candidates don’t have anything to do with Social Security or anything to do with Bush’s economic programs, that they’re running for the state legislature.  They’re not running for congress and I think I’ve seen some similar ads, maybe not exactly the same, used against other candidates and I wondered just what sort of qualifications some of these candidates have if they don’t know that their opponent doesn’t have anything to do with Social Security.  Do they think they’re going to Des Moines to do something about Social Security?  It reminds me after the 1964 landslide there was a Democratic candidate elected and he didn’t know whether he was going to Washington or Des Moines to serve his people and I would just hope that people would keep state legislative issues and state candidate races to state issues not trying to confuse the public — unless the candidates for the Democrats don’t know the difference."

I’ve run into a couple of people in Windsor Heights, a Des Moines suburb, who say the Democrat in a state legislative race in their area has raised the Social Security issue.  "Do they think we’re that dumb?" one of my elderly friends asked me.  Brooke Borkenhagen, spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party, has not responded to a request for comment regarding Grassley’s assertions.

UPDATE:  At 5:54 p.m. (about 8 hours after this was posted) Borkenhagen issued the following statement via email:  "Renee Schulte’s judgment in supporting George Bush’s failed policies is fair game.  Like George Bush and John McCain, Renee Schulte and Iowa Republicans want to privatize Social Security, which 558,000 Iowans rely on.  The crisis on Wall Street has shown just how disastrous privatization would be for Iowa families. Iowans should take a close look at the judgment of Iowa Republicans who still want to risk our Social Security on Wall Street." 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. Yes..The Democrats DO think we are that dumb.
    They think that they can pull the wool over your eyes…tell you whatever they want…and we’ll just believe it…
    People aren’t stupid..

  2. Did you tell her that Renee was running for the Iowa House and not the U.S. House cause Brooke still sounds really confused.

  3. CedarWaxwing says

    Again..Do Democrats THINK we’re that dumb..
    Ms. Borkenhagen..tell us..please..HOW can Renee Schulte affect Social Security as an Iowa State Legislator?
    We’d love to know..Considering that Social Security policy is a FEDERAL issue..not a state one.
    Let’s call this for what it is..a blatant attempt to scare the public. The Iowa Democratic Party should be ashamed.

  4. Rod Schaub says

    This election is so ridiculous. The democrats have an “anti-Bush” campaign going on. The republicans have an “I’m not Bush” campaign going on.
    There is a distinct lack of facts and objective discussion… smells like a republican… sniff sniff sniff… must have hitched their wagon to Bush… Here comes the screaming anti Bush rhetoric.
    So I’m feeling sick; sicker still that more than half of the population needs nothing objective at all.