Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Whalen Still Dogged by NCPA Ethanol Stance

Today's Quad Cities Times has an article about a new Democrat ad on the air that questions Whalen's credibility on ethanol.

Anyone who has been watching Whalen since the beginning of his bid for Congress knows that he is committed to Iowa agriculture (and has the endorsement of the Iowa Farm Bureau).

However, his time spent at the National Center for Policy Analysis, as POLICY CHAIR, is causing him problems once again. You may recall that this issue came up in the primary, and is now the topic once again.

Whalen's campaign is using the same old line, that as Policy Chair, he didn't actually have input on policy stances, and that the NCPA's stance on ethanol was actually just the views of one of it's members.

Braley's ad claims that President Bush and Mike Whalen don't get it and that Bruce Braley supports ethanol and Iowa farmers. I think claiming the owner of the Iowa Machine Shed doesn't support agriculture is a pretty tough argument to sell.

Whalen and Braley Debate Tonight

After the spirited Nussle-Culver debate last night, it is important to note that the 1st District contenders will go head to head tonight in Davenport. Unfortunately, this debate will be viewable only by taped delay, airing on Thursday at 7 PM and Sunday at 5:30 on WQPT-TV in the Quad Cities.

From the Des Moines Register:

"There is a big contrast between the candidates that will become very apparent," said Russ Perisho, Whalen's campaign manager. "Sometimes you have debates when people walk away and scratch their heads because they can't tell the difference between the two candidates. This will be a clear contrast of issues, and I think that is why the voters need to hear it."

I certainly agree with Perisho here. These two candidates agree on almost nothing. This will be a great opportunity for voters to see the difference in the two men, and judge both on style and substance.

A second debate is scheduled to take place in Dubuque on Monday.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Braley Beating on Whalen

Mike's getting ripped by Bruce on Immigration and Minimum Wage.

What's worse for Whalen, Braley isn't just beating him up...he's actually just plain beating him. In a poll conducted by RT Strategies, surveying 1014 individuals, Braley came out ahead of Whalen by 13 points...54 to 41. Though I haven't had time to check them out, the Braley campaign makes available the full results and crosstabs as well.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Braley Opposes Both Amnesty and Deportation

In response to a public Congressional hearing on immigration that was held in Dubuque on Friday, Democratic candidate Bruce Braley issued a press release challenging opponent Mike Whalen to pledge that he has never hired an illegal immigrant.

Braley also got a good article in the Des Moines Register about his views on illegal immigration. He claims that he's against amnesty for illegals, but in the same breath says they should be allowed to stay here. He thinks they should have to pay a fine and back-Social Security payments covering their time of illegal employment.

"It has to be meaningful punishment and that is something Congress has to decide because the cost of deporting 12 million illegal immigrants would be over $200 billion," Braley said. "With rising deficits, taxpayers can't afford that, so we have to come up with a more creative way of addressing the problem."

Braley said, for example, that all illegal workers would be required to make back payments on Social Security and other taxes that they failed to pay while working illegally.

Whalen spokesman Brian Dumas does a good job of taking Braley to task for his contradictory viewpoints.

Dumas also took issue with Braley's statement that he opposes amnesty. "You can't have it both ways. Bruce Braley is not willing to deport illegal immigrants. That means he's in favor of amnesty."

I find it interesting that Braley is now trying to go on the attack on an issue that the Democrats wrote off as a Republican wedge issue during the primary. Immigration is a big issue, even in Iowa, so I think Braley can gain by doing this. I'm not sure though, that his stance is the right one to take. To "oppose" amnesty is the right thing to do, but to then say that their retribution (paying a fine rather than returning home) is not. How does Braley think the illegals working in Iowa are going to be able to afford to pay steep fines AND back payments to Social Security?

Braley called the Congressional hearings in Dubuque a political stunt. I think his false solution to the illegal immigration problem is no better.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Whalen Now Wants to Raise the Minimum Wage Too

Well it looks like I was wrong in my post below regarding Whalen's stance on the minimum wage. See I remembered him saying previously in no confusing terms that he opposes an increase in the minimum wage. Now, however, he has changed his mind, apparently because he thinks it's going to happen despite his objections, so he might as well jump on the bandwagon.

From today's Des Moines Register:

Congressional candidate Mike Whalen insisted Wednesday that he would be an independent voice in a Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, but he conceded he would vote for a Republican-approved bill to raise the federal minimum wage even though "it is a compromise I wouldn't have crafted."

Whalen, who is running in Iowa's 1st Congressional District against trial lawyer Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat, said his support for a minimum wage increase was based on the "reality that something is going to be approved" and not recent criticism from Braley and a national Democratic congressional campaign who accused the Bettendorf hotel and restaurant chain owner of being against raising the minimum wage for the first time in nine years."

Frankly, it is a done deal in the House, and that has to be acknowledged," Whalen said.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Braley Calls for Minimum Wage Increase...Again

From IowaPolitics.com, Democratic candidate Bruce Braley has once again called for an increase in the minimum wage. Is this his single issue? (This and Medicare D, I suppose. Oh yeah, and hating the President).

My guess is Whalen won't join Braley's call to "stand with working families and join me in this pledge." Honestly, my guess is Whalen won't say anything...about anything. He's been pretty quiet lately, from what I can tell.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Braley's family in Iowa for a long time...

...and therefore Bruce should be Congressman.

That's the message Bruce Braley advocated at the State Fair's political soapbox, sponsored by the Des Moines Register.

Their article says Braley discussed family history, a vague idea about reducing our forces in Iraq, and of course Medicare Part D. He addressed a crowd of only about a dozen people, including, yes, Braley's family.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yepsen: Braley must be considered favorite

Bruce Braley and the Dems got a good article from David Yepsen in the Des Moines Register today.

Yepsen discusses the Democrat momentum at this piont, and declares Bruce Braley the favorite in the 1st District race.

Yepsen also points out the importance of Dubuque to this seat, reminding us that Dubuque is where the swing part of the swing district resides. Socially conservative Democrats...who will they favor?