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.Â 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.Â 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 Grassleyâ€™s Chief of Staff.Â He described his time there by saying, â€œwe battled the incompetence and arrogance of the Federal bureaucracyâ€ and in general made the argument that through his interactions with Grassleyâ€™s staff and in dealing with constituent concerns he kept in touch with his Iowa roots.
The bulk of the speech was framed around â€œthree deficitsâ€ that Young sees as getting in the way of the American dreamâ€”our budget deficit, a â€˜jobs deficitâ€, and a â€œdeficit of accountabilityâ€.
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.Â He vowed to be an â€œequal opportunity watchdog Conservativeâ€ in terms of spending and went on record supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.Â He pointed out that should Republicans take control of the Senate Mr.Grassley is in line to Chair the Judiciary Committeeâ€”which would have jurisdiction over this amendmentâ€”and pledged he would sponsor a bill to move this process forward.Â He then finished on the topic with one of the speechâ€™s strongest linesâ€”â€œitâ€™s time for a Balanced Budget Amendmentâ€¦itâ€™s the greatest legacy we can leave our next generationâ€.
The â€œJobs Deficitâ€
Young tied the â€œjobs deficitâ€ to three separate current issues.Â The first of whichÂ was taxes,Â where he favors a â€œfairer, flatter, and simpler tax code for individuals and corporations.â€Â 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 â€œAffordable Care Actâ€, saying, â€œWe need to do all we can to repeal, de-fund, and slow down the biggest headache to our economyâ€”Obamacareâ€.Â 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 â€œAccountability Deficitâ€
Given the current climate this argument wasnâ€™t a tough one to make.Â He listed several in the long litany of Obama administration scandals and referenced the fact that Congress is suffering from its lowest approval ratings everâ€”which given its history is quite embarrassing.Â 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 â€œhit the ground runningâ€, that Bruce Braley is very beatable, and that he will be campaigning full-time and statewide over the next year.
On substance Youngâ€™s speech was fine and hit all the right notesâ€”particularly I believe Conservatives will be thrilled with his Balanced Budget Amendment stanceâ€”but to say his delivery lacks electricity would be an understatement.Â If this goes unaddressed, whether itâ€™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 Grassleyâ€™s other staff and by talking to constituents from Iowa on the phone.Â I know he feels the issue of him living in D.C. for almost two decades needs to be dealt withâ€”but I canâ€™t help but think this is not a successful way to do so.
All things considered, this event wasnâ€™t overly positive or negative for Young.Â From his perspective it was certainly beneficial to get some speech giving experience in a small and supportive setting.Â Having never run for office before he has some kinks to work out and this was a good place to start that process.Â His growth as a candidate, or the lack thereof, will largely determine the level of success he enjoys over the next year.
Though the U.S. Senate race in Iowa is only in the pre-natal stage the Des Moines Register hasnâ€™t wasted any time in displaying the partisan favoritism it has become infamous forâ€”an impressive feat given the race is only a few months old and has only a combined three candidates declared.
In the last month they have run two stories solely based on Democratic talking points, a practice they have failed to reciprocate for the other side, and flat-out offered no coverage of a significant Republican event.
The first instance occurred almost a month ago when, days after candidate Matt Whitaker announced on The Simon Conway Show, the Registerâ€™s Jennifer Jacobs published verbatim a full press-release from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee attacking Whitaker for comments he made on the program (http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/05/08/democrats-criticize-whitaker-for-pledging-to-vote-with-extremist-senators/article).Â In theory this practice is fine by meâ€”provided of course that as a â€œreputableâ€ statewide news organization they follow suit when the releases come from the other side of the aisleâ€¦I havenâ€™t seen this yet.
What makes this so damaging is that there is no shortage of releases from the DSCCâ€™s counterpart in Washingtonâ€”the National Republican Senatorial Committeeâ€”but they seem unable to merit the same ink.Â I routinely get these releases from the NRSC and if they are well sourced and fact based I occasionally run them.Â An example would be the following from yesterday:
June 5, 2013
Lawyer Speak: Braley Misleads Iowa Students…Says Student Loan Rates Must be Kept from Doubling, But Votes Against Legislation to Extend Lower Rates for Iowa Students
Bruce Braley isn’t fooling anyone. The slick former head of the trial lawyers association and liberal loyalist to Nancy Pelosi – in true trial lawyer fashion – is trying to fool Iowa voters yet again, this time about the rising cost of student loans.
Less than two weeks ago, Bruce Braley voted AGAINST a bill on the House floor that would have extended a lower rate for Iowa students’ loans. Bruce Braley might be able to fool a jury, but he can’t fool Iowans.
SHOT: @TeamBraley – Help @BruceBraley’s effort to keep college affordable by adding your name here…. #DontDoubleMyRate #IAProblemSolver
CHASER: Bruce Braley Voted Against A Bill To Extend A Lower Rate For Student Loans. â€œPassage of the bill that would tie student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate. Interest rates on all federal student loans (except Perkins loans) issued on or after July 1, 2013 would be set each year at the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent. Rates for graduate and parent PLUS loans would be set at the 10-year note plus 4.5 percent. Overall interest rates would be capped at 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.â€ (H.R. 1911, CQ Vote #183: Passed 221-198: R 217-8; D 4-190, 5/23/13, Braley Voted Nay)
If Bruce Braley was actually worried about student loan rates, why did he oppose a bill to prevent the rates from doubling for Iowa students in less than a month?Â Why is he hiding from his vote?
“Preventing student loan rates from crushing Iowa students who are already struggling should be an issue of bipartisan agreement in Washington, but Bruce Braley would rather politicize the issue than actually help the struggling middle class.Â Braley’s misleading trial lawyer speak is just the latest example of his slick attempt to fool the jury – Iowa voters.Â Iowans are too smart for that.”said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.
The second example of this behaviorâ€”also from the aforementioned Jennifer Jacobsâ€”came just yesterday via a story on a â€œsnarkyâ€ website just launched by the Iowa Democratic Party.Â The website makes a pretty juvenile attempt at poking fun of newly declared Republican candidate David Young.Â You can check it out here if you wish (http://welcometoia.com/), but Iâ€™m not going to give it any more play.Â The point here is the story published by the Register gave this Democratic effort everything it wantedâ€”publicity and exposure.
Whatâ€™s Not News?
A further slap in the face to Republican candidate David Young was the paper not even covering his official campaign announcement last Saturday at a restaurant in Van Meterâ€”this is inconceivable.Â So to recap hereâ€”the Register canâ€™t find the time or personnel to cover the announcement of a serious Republican candidate for the United States Senateâ€¦but they have the time and space to promote a Democrat website created to mock him.Â Itâ€™s just ridiculous.
This is merely a continuation of blatant biasâ€”my all-time favorite was the Republican presidential endorsement debacleÂ from 2008, which if you havenâ€™t seen you need to click the link.Â The Registerâ€™s economic struggles of late have been well documented.Â Though I concede much of this is due to the struggle of integrating a web-based model, itâ€™s hard not to assume a portion of the problem is their distinct and continuing partisan slant.
What kind of business model rejects and insults the sensibilities of what amounts to nearly half of their potential customer base?Â Answer: A struggling one that will continue to be further marginalized unless they change course and offer some balance.