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, 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?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Debate Challenge

Bruce Braley sent a letter to Mike Whalen on Friday challenging Whalen to a series of four debates between now and the November 7th election.

A copy of the letter is as follows:

* * *
Dear Mike,

I believe the voters of the First Congressional District have a big responsibility and a big choice before them. For the first time in sixteen (16) years, voters will elect a new congressman from Eastern Iowa.

Although we will each campaign vigorously over the next thirteen (13) weeks, I believe voters deserve a chance to see us standing together, answering voters’ questions and describing our positions on the issues.

We have very different views on important issues that affect people across Eastern Iowa. For example, I support raising the minimum wage, but you don’t. I support fair trade policies that will help Iowa workers and the protection of social security from the uncertainties of the stock market. From what I have read, you have a different view.

Given that, I hope that you will join me in four debates that reach the widest possible audience of voters between now and the election. We should discuss a broad range of issues in each debate.

I have asked my campaign manager to contact your campaign to arrange a time to meet and agree on the venues and formats for the debates.

I hope that you agree and will join me in these debates.


Bruce Braley


So far there has been no response issued from the Whalen campaign.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Braley calls for minimum wage increase, but won't compromise to get it

Yesterday Bruce Braley issued a press release and did a small media tour campaigning on the minimum wage issue. Talk has been that Democrats will use this nationally as their attempt at a "wedge-issue" to keep favor with their working folk.

Braley's release calls for "an honest increase in the minimum wage," advocating for the minimum wage to go from the current $5.15 to $7.25 per hour in three increments.

This bill actually passed the House last week. Braley, though, isn't satisfied. Instead, he is complaining. Braley complains that while the bill passed the House it was attached to another bill to make permanent cuts in the "death tax". Braley complains that the elimination of the tax only benefits millionaires. Braley complains that this is fiscally irresponsible. Braley doesn't note that tax cuts have improved our economy in recent years, or that raising the minimum wage by 71% could negatively impact many small businesses.

Rather than see this bill which now awaits passage in the Senate as an opportunity for cooperation and bi-partisan discussion on the issue, Braley would rather demagogue the issue in an unwillingness to compromise. He wants the minimum wage increase, but won't even consider a tax cut.

Partisan politics at its finest, folks.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Frist in the First

Over the weekend Sen. Bill Frist attended several small fundraiseres for candidates across Iowa's First District. Beneficiaries included Mike Whalen, Roby Smith, and Matt Reisetter.

While the list of hosts for the Smith event was impressive, I'm told attendance at the Reisetter event was better. I've highlighted the Smith/Lykam race previously, but now want to mention that as much as Smith is a good GOP candidate in Davenport, Reisetter is just as impressive for the Republicans in Cedar Falls. It's not surprising that these are two statehouse candidates Frist wanted to stump for...their popularity within their GOP communities is not restricted simply to their districts...both have the ability to draw support from a relatively wide area.

This article from the Courier recaps the Frist/Reisetter event.

While it's a good read, there is a bit of humor thrown in at the end...they call Frist a top candidate for the GOP presidential nomination! See the odds-maker HERE for the current handicap.