Sunday, February 12, 2006

Week(s) in Review

As I have been away, it seems that much is abrew in the 1st District. Here is a rundown:

As noted below, Mike Whalen announced a new "Contract for American Jobs". Whalen called for a flatter tax system, cuts in entitlement programs, and tax breaks to businesses and corporations. The article from the Times is posted on his website.

Also detailed a few posts down, Bill Dix called for less health care red tape. Article on his website as well.

Brian Kennedy tried something new to the District in his campaign. Last week he aired a live webcast. A recording can be found on his homepage.

Also, while scouring candidate websites I found that a few debates have been taking place around the District. All three Republican candidates also appeared side-by-side at a debate held in Manchester a couple weekends ago. Audio can be found on this page at Brian Kennedy's website. At a previous debate held about a week before that at Wartburg College candidates from both parties went at it...All but Mike Whalen that is. It was a three-on-two debate. The GOP seems to hold it's own, but the Dems get some good shots in as well. A recording can be found here.

On the left side of the race, Bruce Braley has been busy collecting Union endorsements. Visit his newspage to see everyone jumping on the Braley Bandwagon.

Rick Dickinson released that he announced his candidacy in January and has opened a new headquarters in Dubuque. You can find this release, and listen to audio from his announcement tour here on his website.

Bill Gluba released results from a poll purporting him to be in the lead in the Democratic Primary at the end of January. Unfortunately, his fundraising numbers came out three days later...look a few posts down for that. Since then he has challenged Congress to crack down on oil companies and sent out a newsletter asking constituents for ideas for a Democratic agenda.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the article about Whalen’s “Contract for American Jobs” in the paper a few weeks back. I remember thinking the same things you allude to in your discussion a few posts down, and my thoughts were resurrected upon reading this post.

The problem with Whalen’s contract is that I can’t figure out what he is actually pledging to do. No specifics are available anywhere! Not in the article and not on his website. At most you can find a very vague pledge card in a newsletter he sent out, which of course contains no specifics.

What is it that Mike is proposing? Revamp health care? Fix the tax code? Address lawsuit abuse? Revamp the entitlement programs? All are noble pursuits I suppose. And just about anyone could claim to want to get them taken care of. My thought is that it doesn’t actually become a stance on an issue or a policy proposal though, until you can not only name the problem, but also tell us your specific ideas on how you would go about fixing them.

The original Contract with America enumerated eight reforms which would be passed on the first day in session in order to restore faith in the American government, and went on to specify ten more bills which would be voted on within the first 100 days.

Mike Whalen’s contract is nothing more than vague rhetoric. Rather than make specific proposals, he has listed a few general areas in which he sees the need for improvement (as most Republicans would) and lumped them all into one 40-word paragraph. This hardly lives up to the standard set by Newt Gingrich, from whom he steals the title of his plan.

It seems to me Whalen’s contract is about as good as his campaign ads paid for by the Machine Shed last fall… the dish looks good in the ad, but when it comes to what’s actually served up you’ll be left wondering “Where’s the beef?”

2:43 PM, February 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly my sentiments. Besides, how can someone borrow from Newt and the Contract for America (which, by the way, was headlined by the Grassley/Shays amendment to put members of Congress under it's own laws) when they didn't support it at the time?

To wit, in 1994, when Newt and our own Congressman Nussle were running on the Contract for America, Mike Whalen was contributing to Democrat Dave Nagle. True, you can look it up at

How do you answer that? You better come strong, Mike...

7:12 PM, February 16, 2006  

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