Desmoinesdem has been posting some links from the EENR Blog.
A brief history: EENR initially stood for Edwards Evening News Roundup. Edwards supporters posted nightly diaries about John's campaign and what he stood for on the Daily Kos from April 4, 2007-Feb 1, 2008. When the campaign suspended and most of the other progressive blogs focused on the horse race, some JRE supporters decided to start our own blog to discuss issues facing all of us, and not just be a support group blog for disenfranchised JRE supporters. The EENR editorial team believes that along with the issues, they (we) should advocate for more and better downticket candidates that support a more bold, progressive agenda on Capitol Hill and in some instances, state races. That is why EENR endorsed Ed Fallon.
Tonight EENR proudly endorses Kevin Miskell, IA-04 who is a true John Edwards Democrat. Here's why.
Miskell is a fifth generation Iowa farmer from Story County, Iowa. See One Carolina Girl's video of Miskell from last year:
EENR invited Miskell to come by last week and talk about the issues the community was interested in, which included international issues besides the war in Iraq that blogs and the M$M don't pay as much attention to; some would have been curve balls for many candidates. EENR discovered Miskell has been following human rights and other international issues as its bloggers have. That's rare.
Disclosure: I am on the EENR editorial team.
When family farmers were facing an economic crisis under Reagan, Miskell became very involved in his community working to help save family farms. Here's a snippet from Miskell's website about his background as a family farm advocate:
For the past 21 years, he has been active in grassroots politics across the state, promoting sustainable agriculture and fighting to protect the environment. During these past two decades, Kevin has worked with elected officials on both the state and national level on legislation relating to agriculture, rural economic development and renewable energy.
During the past four years, Kevin served as Vice President of Iowa Farmers Union, a grassroots organization that promotes the viability of small family farms and sustainable agriculture.
Since 2003 Kevin has worked on the staff of three presidential campaigns. In 2003, he worked for Senator Bob Graham. When Graham dropped out of the race, Kevin was hired by Senator John Edwards' campaign to serve as his Midwestern Director of Rural Policy and Outreach and worked again in this capacity in 2008.
Here some important issues Miskell will tackle for his district and for all of us as applicable.
Miskell on Iraq
Kevin Miskell believes we need to start bringing our troops home from Iraq and end the war. Here's a snippet from his website:
When elected to Congress, I pledge to bring home America's troops from Iraq as quickly and safely as possible. The war in Iraq, from its inception, has been poorly planned and poorly executed by George Bush and his administration.
Rather than secure Afghanistan and capture Osama Bin Laden as he so publicly promised, George Bush chose to plunge into an unnecessary war that has cost the United States the lives of over 4,000 American soldiers and more than 60,000 wounded.
Miskell has pledged that his first priority in Congress will be to end the Iraq War. I don't know about you, but we sure need more Democrats who are 100% committed to ending the occupation in Iraq.
In addition, EENR bloggers asked Miskell his thoughts on mercenaries and contractors such as Blackwater/Haliburton. Here was his response:
We are not winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people by taking over their jobs. Ultimately, Iraqis should be doing the rebuilding of their country with our assistance. Not Haliburton, which is coming and sucking up the reconstruction money like a vacuum cleaner.
The Iraqi people will never feel safe until we leave their country, but we need to remind them that we are a caring society or we will face this problem again in the future.
These companies are just another way that George Bush makes his buddies rich that have contributed to his campaign. How much more could we be paying our brave men and women in the military if we weren't paying these ridiculously high rates to
Not only could we be paying the soldiers a considerable amount more, but we would have the money to take care of them when they come home. It is ridiculous that we are treating another generation the same way as we did the Vietnam Vets.
Miskell on Energy Independence
Miskell was asked about oil prices and futures speculation. Here's his response:
For those of you who lived through the last oil shortage of the late 70s, early 80, we found out afterwards that much of this shortage had been manufactured by the oil companies themselves.
With that being said, we will run out of oil eventually and we will always be at the mercy of the Middle East until we wean our country off our oil addiction.
During the Carter Administration, Hamilton Jordan was instrumental in helping start the sustainable energy program that if we had continued, we wouldn't be in this situation now.
We can combine the renewable energy development and kick start the economy at the same time by changing a few minor things in national law the same way they have done in Germany. Where 45% of the new renewable energy is owned by individuals and small groups instead of large corporations.
This money coming in to the local community not only helps feed the local economy by turning over 7 to 10 times.
Another mistake Ronald Reagan was his tickle on economics. Every farmer knows that you feed a plant from the roots up.
Miskell on Universal Health Care
As much as prices at the pump, Progressives and most Americans alike worry about health care coverage. Miskell spoke of his personal experience about this problem:
Upon graduating from Iowa State University, I was a state manager for a top health care company in the early 80's. We will never have a decent health care system in this country until we go to a single pool system.
In my opinion we need to fix Medicare and expand it to birth to death. This would cover everybody fairly in the country and
would be a workable solution to our current crisis.
Not only would it cover those who are not covered at this time, it would include the healthy and the elderly and help extend Medicare and help keep it from going bankrupt.
Miskell on Food Shortages
One of the great concerns in our EENR community is the looming food shortage crisis. When asked, this was Miskell's reply:
The looming food crisis is partly because of Bush's bad
economic programs. By decreasing the interest rates the way
he has, Bush has pushed down the value of the dollar by
40% to 50%.
This has increased the amount of exports, which is normally
good, but it has now put on an unsustainable demand for
all agricultural products.
Unfortunately the more that the industrialized agriculture
takes over, the more they will expect huge returns, causing
the cost of food to increase exponentially, until the common
person will have a hard time feeding their families.
Miskell on Human Rights and the Myanmar Problem
The Burma situation is a terrible human atrocity, but let's not jump into another mini-Iraq too quickly. The United Nations needs to be involved within all of these small countries to make sure that George Bush does not run around playing the lone rangers all over the world.
We need to fill a lot of loopholes that have been created previously and during the Bush Administration that benefit major corporations at the expense of human suffering. This is just one example of what's happening all over the world and why we are being considered the ugly Americans again.
We should definitely wait until the humanitarian crisis is over so that the dictatorship does not take it out on the general populace.
Miskell on Immigration in His District
Yours truly, who lives in Illinois, but in touch with many Iowans, asked Miskell about the Postville raids as it was an immigration issue:
The Postville raids are just another example of the failed Republican policies that have been in place for the past 14 years that Tom Latham has been in office.
They have had plenty of time to address this issue, but the corporations seems to enjoy the low-cost slave labor that Republicans have been able to enjoy increasing their stock dividends.
The answer to this situation is the same that Senator Edwards had on his platform. We need to have a non-copiable Green Card for all those that would be eligible and any employer that would be caught after that time hiring a non-documented citizen would be heavily fined.
Why Tom Latham hasn't said anything, it probably wouldn't surprise me if he hasn't received support from this companies like this in the past.
Miskell on What It Means to be a True Progressive
We asked Miskell how he interprets being a progressive:
Being a true progressive is not just a label. Teddy Roosevelt was a true progressive. FDR was a true progressive. It's been a long time since a true progressive has been in the White House. It's a shame that we didn't get to put a true progressive – John Edwards – in the White House.
I was raised with family values. I was raised with the belief that you pay as you go. I was raised with the belief that you help those that can't help themselves.
I believe that your children and your grandchildren are more important than your bank account. If this is what it means to be true progressive than I will not change.
Every time I talk to a crowd in the 4th District, I ask the same question, what is the difference between a politician and a statesman?
A politician goes into office for himself. A statesman goes into office for the people that elected him. For the sake of my children and my new grandchild I will remember if elected to be a statesman.
Miskell on Why He is Running
Here's a snippet from Miskell about why he's running for Congress:
I am running for Congress because I want to help create an America where all can share in the prosperity of the American Dream and have equal access to quality education, affordable health care and economic security.
For too long I’ve seen people run for office say one thing to get elected and then abandon those principles once they are in office. Today, America needs leaders who have a track record of working for the good of their neighbors and will keep their word once elected.
For the past twenty-one years I have been active in grassroots politics here in Iowa, fighting to preserve the viability of the family farm, protect the environment, promote sustainable agriculture and expand the rights of all Iowans.
In entering this race I am dedicating myself to representing the values of Middle America, where hard work, integrity and a person’s word are as strong as the land and common sense of community that holds us together.
EENR Editorial board believes that Miskell has done his homework, and was probably asked more about details than perhaps the Des Moines Register asked him. The DMR endorsed another Democratic candidate, and we wish that person well too. But also we think Miskell would be an asset to Congress, his district, and to all progressives. He will stay in touch with his constituents, and evidence is that with some of the tougher questions, Miskell took the time to return later that evening to EENR to answer them.
Those who live in his district, EENR encourages anyone to contact the campaign to see what one can do between now and Tuesday, whether it is knocking on doors, phonebanking, bringing treats to the staff, etc. Time is as valuable as money. If anyone has change to spare (and it is getting more harder to come by), contributions can be made to his campaign.
(cross-posted with modifications from EENR Blog)