A bunch of stuff, from Fong to Fiegen

Over the past two weeks I've accumulated a few items for the blog, but failed to post.  Here they are, in chronological order:

As James Q. Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported at the following link, Republican gubernatorial candidate Christian Fong of Cedar Rapids challenged Democratic Governor Chet Culver's record on flood recovery on August 28, 2009.  Read Fong's news release below:

(Cedar Rapids, IA)  Today, in the New York Times, appeared a story about flood recovery and how the tragedy and devastation of the floods from 2008 are being forgotten.   In the story, Governor Culver was quoted as saying, “We’re not making a lot of noise about it” in reference to the feeling of neglect and delays.

Christian Fong, Republican Gubernatorial candidate and C.E.O. of Corridor Recovery in Cedar Rapids, said “I simply do not understand why Governor Culver would admit to “not making noise” about raising awareness and using his position as Governor to constantly be emphasizing to the Nation that Iowa was hit with the second largest natural disaster in U.S. history, and we’ve yet to fully receive the help we need.”

Fong continued, “Governor Culver’s words send the wrong message to flood families still living in FEMA trailers and small business owners trying to rebuild their livelihoods.  In my role with Corridor Recovery, I worked with the New York Times to provide them background information for the story.  We need to raise awareness because people are still hurting.  Iowans deserve a Governor who will be proactive and make things happen.”

The New York Times story, can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/28/us/28cedar.html?_r=2&ref=todayspaper

Culver has hired more campaign staff.  An announcement went out yesterday (Read it below). FYI: Andrew Roos says he is not related to former Des Moines Register reporter Jonathan Roos, but Andrew Roos says he read stories under Jon Roos' byline over the years.

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver announced today two experienced political organizers are joining his team to lead his campaign committee. The Governor announced that Andrew Roos will serve as campaign manager and Jesse Harris will serve as deputy campaign manager.
“As we continue to make plans for 2010, I’m glad to have people like Andrew and Jesse helping organize our effort to continue our work to move Iowa forward,” said Governor Culver.
“Governor Culver has focused on real issues that matter to people – such as creating jobs and turning around our economy – and I am looking forward to working for him as he continues to help Iowa,” said Roos.
“There are many important issues facing Iowa, and Governor Culver has worked hard and been a leader for our state,” added Harris. “I am glad to have the opportunity to help him continue his work on behalf of people across Iowa.”
Roos has managed state-wide campaigns in Virginia, Delaware, Indiana and Rhode Island, and has done campaign field organizing in New Hampshire, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Harris’s experience includes working as the Iowa Director of the SEIU Change that Works campaign as well as Coordinated Campaign Director for the Iowa Democratic Party. He was field director for Governor Culver’s 2006 campaign, and has worked for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin as well as the Tom Vilsack for President Campaign.

As all the hubbub broke out in late August about President Obama's speech to school children, the Iowa Family Policy Center sent out this email:

IFPC Action has been receiving e-mails and phone calls asking for advice and comment on the nationwide Barack Obama address to public school children planned for Tuesday, September 8th.
Nationally, there is a backlash from many people over the idea that the President would use modern technology to access as many public school children as possible.  Many people are also concerned that the goals may be political, likening it to previous charismatic, socialistic rulers’ outreaches to indoctrinate young children.
Here at IFPC Action, we would like to ask Iowans a pointed question:  If you are uncomfortable with the head of the government addressing every student in the government-funded schools next Tuesday, are you also concerned with what those students are being taught (or not taught) in the government-funded schools all other days? (For example, Supreme Court rulings have banned Christian teaching; Planned Parenthood, the teachers’ unions, and homosexual activists have warped sex education; and academic achievement has generally plummeted.)
If you share these concerns, and believe parents should keep their children home from their government-funded school on Sept. 8th, you may want to encourage those parents to explore permanent options to government-funded school, such as home schooling or a God-honoring Christian school.
For help getting started with home or Christian schooling, please review the following web sites:
• Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators
• Home School Legal Defense Associationhttp://www.hslda.org/Default.asp?bhcp=1
• Find a Christian School

One of the Democrats who hopes to be nominated to run against U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-New Hartford, Iowa) next year chided Grassley for statements Grassley reportedly made in a private fundraiser in Miami, (Anyone else have a hard time picturingGrassley in Miami?) Read Tom Fiegen's statement below.

CLARENCE, Iowa — Democratic Senate candidate Tom Fiegen today called upon Senator Charles Grassley to “come clean” with Iowans on his position on health care reform, following revelations that Grassley privately told big contributors that he would work to defeat President Obama’s plan.

“Will the real Chuck Grassley stand up?” Fiegen said. “First we heard about the Grassley fundraising letter asserting his pledge to ‘defeat Obama-care’ which was not the same message Mr. Grassley had been stating publicly. That letter came at the same time the President has tried to keep an open door to negotiating with him.

“Now we learn of his secret fundraiser in Miami where he made the same pledge. What good are Mr. Grassley’s town meetings in Iowa when he’s telling Iowans one thing and telling something else to the big-money contributors from out of state? Whom does he work for? He needs to come clean with the people who sent him to Washington 30 years ago.”

Word of the fundraiser began spreading online during the Labor Day weekend. See http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/05/grassley-secret-fundraiser/

Fiegen said Iowans are increasingly seeing that they have a choice in 2010 — for affordable, quality health care access for Iowans, or for continued big profits for the insurance industry while millions go uninsured. Fiegen also noted President Obama will be speaking to the nation about the issue Wednesday night.

“It might be a good idea to listen to the President before deciding you’re against him,” Fiegen said of Grassley’s position.

“We know Iowans need reform — real reform — to make sure their families can get health care when they need it. We also know that Senator Grassley has given a lot of different signals to different audiences — even to the President of the United States,” Fiegen said.

“The President will know that when Senator Fiegen tells him that he is for or against the President on a given issue, his word will be true.  On health care, Tom Fiegen will be there for a plan that assures better access to health care for uninsured Americans and doesn't break the bank. That's what the President wants, that's what Iowans want, and Senator Grassley is blocking it.”

Fiegen is a former state senator from Cedar County and a bankruptcy attorney in Cedar Rapids. He is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2010 election.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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