Latham, Maske meet on Iowa Press set

Congressman Tom Latham (R-Ames) and Bill Maske, the Democratic challenger in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, are the guests on this weekend’s edition of IPTV’s Iowa Press.  Maske (the “e” at the end of his name is silent) retired from his job as superintendent of the Interstate 35 School District in Truro in January to campaign full time. (Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a school district named Interstate 35 — and there are students from New Virginia in the district, too.)  Latham is seeking a ninth term in the U.S. House.

Here’s the Radio Iowa story of today’s event. 

The two operations at the center of the national egg recall are located in the district.  During the show, both answers the basic question:  what should be the federal response?

Latham: “They should enforce the law.  There should have been inspectors there.  They should have been doing their job and, unfortunately, they haven’t been.  As far as regulation are already in place that would have caught this if, in fact, the USDA had told FDA about what was going on. FDA has dropped the ball, but the regulations are there.  It’s a matter of enforcement, of holding people accountable and it simply is, obviously, we’re the number one egg producing state in the country, almost double Ohio and it is something that is very disruptive as far as our whole ag economyto have those problems in place.”

Maske:  “Well, my opponent said a number of things.  First off, he’s right.  There’s a lot of outrage out there amongst the constituents.  I have been out in amongst the fourth congressional district for 10 months now, continuously talking with people and they’re upset and not, it’s the fact that deregulation occured under the Republican-led congress and under the Bush administration.  They’re upset at all the tax breaks that have been extended to the wealthy and to corporate America that allows them to take jobs out of this country and that allows them to, the sweetheart deals, so to speak, for the oil companies.  They’re upset that things aren’t being done to protect consumers and protect the American people and so that plays right into the egg situation because it was a matter of not having enough regulations, enough oversight and not having the government employees in place that was needed to ensure that those regulations were enforced.”

Both Latham and Maske said they have not received campaign contributions from Jack DeCoster’s family.  DeCoster operates Wright County Egg and Hillendale Farms, the two egg-producing operations subject to the egg recall.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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