| Representatives Tom Latham (IA-04) and Steve King (IA-05) are among 50 House Republicans the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting this week in robocalls to their new districts. King will run for re-election in Iowa's newly-drawn fourth district in 2012; his likely Democratic opponent is Christie Vilsack. Latham will run in the new third district against Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell. The automated phone calls highlight the April 15 vote for Paul Ryan's budget, which would transform Medicare over time into a voucher program through which seniors could buy private health insurance. Here's the script:
Hi, this is Claire from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee calling about Congressman Tom Latham's vote to end Medicare.
Everyone agrees we must cut spending and tighten our belt, but Congressman Latham has made all the wrong choices. He actually voted to end Medicare, rather than end taxpayer giveaways for Big Oil making record profits or tax breaks for the ultra rich!
Seniors who pay a lifetime into Medicare deserve the benefits they've earned. Under the Latham-Republican plan Medicare ends, benefits to seniors are less, and costs to seniors increase - in order to pay for Big Oil taxpayer giveaways and the ultra rich's tax breaks.
America is built on shared sacrifice. Tom Latham is choosing to place the burden on seniors. That's not right.
Please call Congressman Latham at (515) 232-2885 and tell him to keep his hands off our Medicare!
The robocall against King uses the same script, substituting King's name for Latham's and giving King's phone number at the end: (712) 224-4692.
The DCCC clearly sees Medicare as a central issue for the 2012 campaign. The new IA-03 and especially the new IA-04 contain a higher-than-average proportion of senior citizens. I think most incumbent Republicans will be able to explain away this vote, saying changes to Medicare wouldn't affect current beneficiaries and Democrats have also voted for cuts to the program.
The 501(c)4 organization Americans United for Change started running a television commercial against King this week, also focusing on Medicare. Mark Langgin posted the video in this diary. He notes that Public Policy Polling's latest Iowa survey found Christie Vilsack's favorables to be better than King's statewide. Too bad she'll be running against him only in the 39 counties that make up the new IA-04.