Politics & Elections
Loebsack: Republicans Fail Iowa Farmers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:37

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House voted on an insufficient agriculture disaster package instead of bringing up a bipartisan farm bill.  Loebsack has called on Congress to stay in session multiple times to get critical work done.

“The worst case scenario came true for Iowa farmers - Republicans are playing politics and leaving early for their summer vacation while there is a historic drought gripping our state. The Republican Majority has refused to pass the single most important piece of legislation for Iowa Farmers – the farm bill.  While I was hoping it would not come to this point, I was afraid it would, which is why I led the delegation in introducing a disaster relief package for farmers and livestock producers.

“The bottom line is - we need a new farm bill and we need disaster aid.  There are bipartisan bills to do both in the House and Senate, but Republicans would rather play politics and pack up and leave for vacation a day early than do the difficult work of actually getting a reformed farm bill done. Unfortunately, today we were forced to take a vote on a bill that is dead on arrival in the Senate to give the Majority Members cover for their August vacation while Iowa farmers suffer and the fields whither.”

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The Chairman's Report August 2, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by A. J. Spiker   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:09

Last week, we were fortunate to welcome Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to Iowa. They travelled to Davenport, Coralville and West Des Moines and addressed packed crowds at each event. Both spoke about the need to reaffirm the American Dream for our children and grandchildren and how the fiscal path our nation is currently on is unsustainable. I enjoyed meeting both Governors and I am sure we will see them back in Iowa in the future.

Governor McDonnell and Governor Jindal speak at the Coralville Victory Office

On Saturday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was scheduled to speak at the Capitol in Des Moines but unfortunately he was unable to make it due to plane trouble. That didn’t stop a large crowd from gathering in the rain to hear Governor Branstad speak! Senator Rubio was able to address the crowd by phone and we hope to have him in Iowa soon.

Governor Branstad addresses the crowd in front of the Capitol

This Saturday is Super Saturday all across the nation. Join Republicans in every state as we embark on a massive phonebanking and doorknocking effort. Find the closest Victory Office at the bottom of this email and sign up for a shift! Our Victory Offices help all Republicans up and down the ticket so it is important that we make as many voter contacts as possible.

To Victory,

A.J. Spiker
Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa

 
Middle Class Iowa Family React to Independent Report Romney’s Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes on Middle Class Families PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Obama for America   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:00

McLaughlin’s Met President to Discuss Tax Benefits They’ve Seen Since Obama Took Office

Des Moines, IA – Today, middle class Iowa family Jason and Ali McLaughlin reacted to a nonpartisan report out yesterday that found in order for Romney to pay for his $5 trillion of tax cuts weighted toward millionaires and billionaires, he’d have to raise taxes by an average of $2,000 on a middle-class family with children.

President Obama visited the McLaughlin’s in Cedar Rapids in July. The McLaughlin’s spoke to the President about $4900 in tax cuts they have received since President Obama took office. Romney’s tax plan would raise the McLaughlin’s and other family’s taxes, putting a strain on the middle class. Watch a video on the McLaughlin’s HERE.

Statement from Cedar Rapids Family Jason and Ali McLaughlin

“We are a typical middle class family. We work full-time to provide for our son, Cooper, and a second child on the way. We had the opportunity to talk to President Obama about the $4,900 in tax relief we have received over the course of his first term. We told him the tax relief is vital to supporting our family whether it’s finishing our basement for more space for our growing family or putting money towards Cooper’s college education fund.

“That’s why we are disappointed to hear about an independent, non-partisan report finding Mitt Romney’s tax plan would raise taxes for families who have children and make less than $200,000 would see their taxes go up an average of more than $2,000. And Romney is raising taxes on middle class families to pay for a $5 trillion tax plan skewed to the wealthiest. To some people, $1,000 or $2,000 might not seem like that much. But to us, that’s a big deal. A thousand dollars is a big deal. Five hundred dollars is a big deal.

“Our family literally can’t afford Mitt Romney.

“President Obama has a plan to prevent a tax hike on the middle class that enacts spending cuts and reforms and asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share again so we can reduce our deficit in a balanced way. On top of the tax cuts our family has benefitted from, The President is calling on Congress to immediately prevent a tax hike on the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000. There is a clear choice between President Obama, who is looking out for families like ours, and Mitt Romney, who puts the interest of the wealthiest American over middle class families.”

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Loebsack to Senate Republicans: Don’t Let Politics Kill Wind Energy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 06 August 2012 07:41

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today urged the Republican Leader of the Senate Finance Committee to not let politics harm Iowa’s wind energy industry and include the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy in legislation to extend expiring tax programs.  Despite the strong bipartisan support of the PTC, according to reports, political pressure from the Republican Presidential Nominee led Republicans to strip the critical job creating tool from the package.

“The PTC has strong bipartisan support in both chambers, including the entire Iowa Delegation.  Congress should not let politics get in the way of taking action on a critical tax credit that is in the best interest of the country and the economy,” said Loebsack.  “Pulling the rug out from under an industry that has been striving successfully to employ Americans and provide clean energy during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression makes little sense.  I respectfully urge you to act now to extend this critical job-creation tool, not let politics dictate policy on this important matter.”

Loebsack has been a longtime supporter of wind energy.  He has visited wind energy plants across Iowa to see firsthand the need for stability that an extension of the Production Tax Credit would provide and has repeatedly urged the House and Senate leadership to protect these good Iowa jobs.  Loebsack was also named a USA Wind Champion by the American Wind Energy Association for his ongoing support of wind energy in Iowa and working to extend the PTC.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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Justice Department Blocks Voter ID at Every Turn PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Corrine Williams   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:18

Below is a recent “Morning Bell” piece from The Heritage Foundation regarding Voter ID.  Senior Legal Fellow Hans Von Spakovsky will be publishing a book on the Voter ID issue.

For example a recent attack on voter ID is occurred in Minnesota, where earlier this month, the state Supreme Court will hear a case filed by the League of Women Voters (LWV).

In League of Women Voters Minnesota v. Ritchie, the LWV is trying to convince the court to remove a referendum question from the November ballot. Its argument is that voters won’t be able to understand the ballot question.

This referendum was passed by the Minnesota legislature in April and would amend the state constitution to require all voters voting in person to “present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot.” The amendment would also require absentee voters to be “subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification.”…read more

Justice Department Blocks Voter ID at Every Turn

People seemingly voting after they've been dead for years. Drug kingpins buying votes from poor people to sway elections. Non-citizens being bussed to the polls and coached on how to vote. Stories of voting fraud are shocking, and states have been taking action to make sure that elections are secure. But the Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, has blocked states at almost every turn.

This is the same Justice Department that stopped a non-partisan election reform by arguing that if party affiliation were removed from a ballot, African-American voters wouldn't be able to identify and vote for the Democrats. Holder has continued to stoke the racial fires, calling a requirement for voters to produce photo identification a "poll tax." Heritage expert Hans von Spakovsky said this argument is merely political. "Holder continues to perpetuate the incendiary error to the public, knowing that the poll-tax assertion is a racially charged one that should not be used lightly," von Spakovsky said. He explained:

Even the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—the most liberal appeals court in the country—did not buy the Holder poll tax claim when it reviewed Arizona's voter ID law. In Gonzalez v. Arizona (2012), the Ninth Circuit held that even though "obtaining the free identification required under [Arizona law] may have a cost," such immaterial costs are not a poll tax.


Holder is now "investigating" Pennsylvania's voter ID law, on the left's charge that it disenfranchises minorities.

Former Congressman Artur Davis, an African-American from Alabama who served in Congress as a Democrat from 2003 to 2011, finds this argument incredibly insulting. Speaking at The Heritage Foundation yesterday, Davis held up his driver's license and said, "This is not a billy club. It is not a fire hose. I used to represent Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and I know something about fire hoses."

In states that have voter ID laws, the real-world results show that minorities have not been disenfranchised by any means. States that require ID to vote have offered free IDs to anyone who does not have one already. In Kansas, which allows any of nine different forms of ID as proof of identity to vote:

Out of a total of 1.713 million registered voters in Kansas, only 32 people had requested a free photo ID as of May 4, 2012. That represents only 0.002 percent of the registered voters in the state. Of those 32 voters, 80 percent were white, 10 percent were black, and the race or ethnicity of 10 percent was unknown. Thus, there is no evidence that minority voters were disproportionately affected.


Georgia, which has had voter ID since 2007, allows six different forms of ID to vote. And there has been no stampede of would-be voters who lack identification: "The number of photo IDs issued by Georgia to individuals who did not already have one of the forms of ID acceptable under state law is remarkably small, averaging less 0.05 percent in most years, and not even reaching three-tenths of 1 percent in a presidential election year."

What happened to minority voting after the law went into effect? In the 2008 presidential election, Hispanic voting in Georgia increased by 140 percent over the 2004 election. African-American voting increased by 42 percent. That is also a higher rate of increase than in other states without voter ID. Von Spakovsky notes:

The increase in turnout of both Hispanics and blacks in the 2008 presidential election after the voter ID law became effective is quite remarkable, particularly given the unproven and totally speculative claims of the Justice Department that the voter ID requirements of Texas and South Carolina will somehow have a discriminatory impact on Hispanic and black voters. In fact, Georgia had the largest turnout of minority voters in its history.


The evidence that producing photo ID is a burden simply isn't there. "How can it be a burden to ask people to do something they do all the time?" asked Congressman Davis, who said he went to a news organization to do an interview on voter ID and had to produce his driver's license to enter the news organization.

The Justice Department requires ID from visitors as well.

Voter ID battles are not over, and activist groups are trying everything they can think of to challenge these requirements. The Minnesota legislature passed a referendum that placed the question of voter ID on the ballot for citizens to decide. But the ballot question is under litigation because the League of Women Voters has sued, arguing that the question is "misleading" to voters. The Minnesota Supreme Court will be considering it.

In the state of Kentucky, it has become clear that buying votes is a common practice. A person's vote can often be bought for $50. Recently, it has come to light that cocaine and marijuana dealers are using drug money to buy votes and turn elections. According to one report, "In the Eastern District of Kentucky alone, more than 20 public elected officials and others have either been convicted or pleaded guilty in various vote-buying cases just in the last two years."

America cannot allow its elections to be anything but secure and legal. Preventing voter fraud is common sense, and it is outrageous that the U.S. Justice Department would stand in the way.

RESOURCES:

Holder Gets It Completely Wrong on Poll Taxes and Voter ID

The Problem of Non-Citizen Voting

Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Kansas

Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Georgia

Without Proof: The Unpersuasive Case Against Voter Identification

 
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