Filed Under: Elections, Featured, Featured Local, Iowa, Iowa Congressional Delegation, Iowa Politics
Yesterday morning U.S. Senate hopeful David Young spoke to a large turnout at the monthly Polk GOP Conservative Breakfast held at the Iowa Motor Truck Association. Below is a re-cap of his speech, the issues he touched on, and some brief analysis.
Still in the early stages of introducing himself to Iowa Republicans, he started from the beginning. He was born and raised in Van Meter where he grew up and participated in little league, Cub Scouts, and 4-H before finishing high school in Johnston and then going to Drake University.
Soon after graduating from Drake he headed to Washington D.C. where he eventually became Senator Chuck Grassley’s Chief of Staff. He described his time there by saying, “we battled the incompetence and arrogance of the Federal bureaucracy” and in general made the argument that through his interactions with Grassley’s staff and in dealing with constituent concerns he kept in touch with his Iowa roots.
The bulk of the speech was framed around “three deficits” that Young sees as getting in the way of the American dream—our budget deficit, a ‘jobs deficit”, and a “deficit of accountability”.
The Budget Deficit
On the budget deficit he noted it was embarrassing our national debt is approaching $17 trillion, that neither party was without fault, and that he wished President Bush (43) would have used his veto power on more of the bills that passed Congress during his Presidency. He vowed to be an “equal opportunity watchdog Conservative” in terms of spending and went on record supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. He pointed out that should Republicans take control of the Senate Mr.Grassley is in line to Chair the Judiciary Committee—which would have jurisdiction over this amendment—and pledged he would sponsor a bill to move this process forward. He then finished on the topic with one of the speech’s strongest lines—“it’s time for a Balanced Budget Amendment…it’s the greatest legacy we can leave our next generation”.
The “Jobs Deficit”
Young tied the “jobs deficit” to three separate current issues. The first of which was taxes, where he favors a “fairer, flatter, and simpler tax code for individuals and corporations.” He repeatedly stressed the importance of making these reforms permanent in order to allow entrepreneurs and job creators the confidence to invest their current capital into the economy.
The second issue he views as a hindrance to job growth is the “Affordable Care Act”, saying, “We need to do all we can to repeal, de-fund, and slow down the biggest headache to our economy—Obamacare”. He made the case this legislation has forced companies, for their own survival, to turn full-time employees into part-timers against both the best interests and will of each.
Lastly, Young is in favor of passing the Keystone XL Pipeline as soon as possible under the guise that it will create jobs, help with our energy independence, and bolster our national security.
The “Accountability Deficit”
Given the current climate this argument wasn’t a tough one to make. He listed several in the long litany of Obama administration scandals and referenced the fact that Congress is suffering from its lowest approval ratings ever—which given its history is quite embarrassing. Of particular note here was that he received a large round of applause for saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to go.
Young concluded by saying he knows how the Senate works and would be able to “hit the ground running”, that Bruce Braley is very beatable, and that he will be campaigning full-time and statewide over the next year.
On substance Young’s speech was fine and hit all the right notes—particularly I believe Conservatives will be thrilled with his Balanced Budget Amendment stance—but to say his delivery lacks electricity would be an understatement. If this goes unaddressed, whether it’s true or not, a majority of voters will take this blandness as a lack of passion.
Also worth noting, as mentioned above, is the awkwardness in making the case that somehow he stayed connected to Iowans through Grassley’s other staff and by talking to constituents from Iowa on the phone. I know he feels the issue of him living in D.C. for almost two decades needs to be dealt with—but I can’t help but think this is not a successful way to do so.
All things considered, this event wasn’t overly positive or negative for Young. From his perspective it was certainly beneficial to get some speech giving experience in a small and supportive setting. Having never run for office before he has some kinks to work out and this was a good place to start that process. His growth as a candidate, or the lack thereof, will largely determine the level of success he enjoys over the next year.
About the Author
Mr. Arnold is a long time constitutional conservative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa. Over the last few years he has been involved in numerous political campaigns, most recently serving as campaign manager for an Iowa House candidate and serving as a city chair for Tom Latham. He is self-employed, running a small business in Ankeny, Iowa where he resides with his wife.
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