IA-Sen: Conlin ad highlights Grassley's vote for bailout (updated)

Democrat Roxanne Conlin launched her first television commercial in the U.S. Senate general election campaign yesterday, highlighting Chuck Grassley's vote for the Wall Street bailout in 2008 and tax breaks for companies that move manufacturing overseas.

The ad, transcript and other thoughts about the Senate race are after the jump.

UPDATE: I've added the Conlin campaign's response to one of Grassley's new tv ads too.

Here's the 30-second ad "Changed":

My transcript:

[Male voice-over, with 70s music in the background]: The year was 1975. The car was the Ford Pinto. And the Washington politician, Chuck Grassley. After 35 years, Washington sure changed him.

He took 800,000 dollars from Wall Street, and voted for the Wall Street bank bailout. He even voted five times for tax breaks for companies to ship jobs overseas. Chuck Grassley: After 35 years in Washington, he's lost touch with Iowa.

Conlin: I'm Roxanne Conlin, and I approved this message.

Although I opposed the bailout from the beginning, I'm not a fan of this commercial. The bailout may be the most unpopular policy Grassley has voted for lately, but a lot of Senate Democrats voted for it too, including Iowa's Tom Harkin. Yes, Grassley went to Washington in 1975 representing what was then the third Congressional district in northeast Iowa. But being in Washington for a long time isn't what made Grassley vote so often to represent corporate and wealthy interests--that's the politician he's always been. Finally, when Grassley flies back to Iowa almost every weekend it's going to be hard to convince people that he's "lost touch with Iowa."

The tag line should be something about Grassley not standing up for ordinary Iowans. How about a "comparison ad" listing some of Grassley's votes against fair pay or other things that would benefit working Iowans, contrasted with Conlin's record of supporting civil rights, fair pay and so on?

Or, Grassley voted five times to give tax breaks to companies that move jobs to other countries, while Conlin supports trade and tax policies (like "Buy American" rules) that would promote manufacturing in this country.

Or, Conlin supports extending tax cuts for 99 percent of Iowans, but Grassley insists on extending George Bush's huge gift to people earning more than $250,000 a year--tax cuts that added to our national debt and didn't prevent the steepest recession since World War II. Which Iowans is Grassley working for again?

Another ad I'd like to see would ask, "Why is Chuck Grassley afraid to debate Roxanne Conlin?" It could mention all the invitations he's declined, then play some unflattering clips from the candidates' joint appearance on Iowa Public Television last weekend. Conlin has formally invited Grassley to debate in Des Moines on September 19 and will do "the empty chair routine" if he fails to turn up. However, a commercial mocking him for not being ready/able to debate Conlin would reach a wider audience.

Share any thoughts on the Senate race in this thread.

UPDATE: I like how the Conlin campaign responded to Grassley's commercial touting the prescription drug benefit for Medicare (more on that ad here):

"The only true statement made by Senator Grassley in his ad is that he wrote the bill.  Everything else is a deceitful attempt to mislead Iowans in the hopes that we will forget just what was and was not in the bill," said Conlin spokeswoman Paulee Lipsman. [...]

Here's a list of what the Conlin campaign says in inaccurate along with where the campaign obtained it's information.

   * Cost $1.2 trillion without any way to pay for it   [Washington Post, 2/9/05]

   * Provided a $139 billion windfall for pharmaceutical companies  [Philadelphia Enquirer, 9/18/05]

   * Denied the federal government the ability to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare, just as the VA and private insurance can do, which could save Iowans $400 million per year   [Des Moines Register editorial, 4/24/07]

   * Grassley's bill was considered a win for the drug companies [Des Moines Register, 11/26/03] , who have become Grassley's fourth largest special interest contributor since 1989 [www.opensecrets.org]

SECOND UPDATE: Yesterday, Conlin advocated some changes in federal policy on farm subsidies:

The Democratic U.S. Senate nominee understands that farming can't go back to the way things were on her grandmother's farm, but "the federal government can do everything possible to encourage maintaining the remaining 92,000 farms that we have," she said Tuesday in Cedar Rapids.

The number of Iowa farms has decreased by 30,000 since 1980, which, Conlin noted, is the year her opponent, Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley, was elected to the Senate. The Grassley campaign did not immediately respond to Conlin's plan.

The decrease is due in large part to the economies of scale necessary because farming is so capital-intensive, Conlin said. "The more acres you've got, the more money you get from the federal government. That's the truth, so that makes the balance skewed in favor of corporate farms."

"We can't change the rules of economics," she said, "but we can change the balance of power." [...]

Her position is that federal support should go to independent farmers and not to agri-business.

"The numbers are pretty stunning: the top 10 percent get 70 percent of the money," she said. "I want that to stop."

She also wants to see anti-trust laws and the Packers and Stockyards Act enforced by a Justice Department "that understands agriculture and is serious about preventing the disappearance of the family farm," Conlin said.

On another farm-related topic, Conlin, who supports a renewable energy standard, would like to encourage using perennial crops rather than food crops for ethanol production of ethanol.

Login or Join to comment and post.