Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Live with Culver

Howdy from the Iowa City Federation of Labor picnic. We’re stretching till 2:30 when Chet is arriving. I was running late and missed a few speeches. Right now no-chance house candidate Clara Oleson is speaking and not really holding the crowd (she’s spoken longer than the rest of the candidates put together), so it’s a good chance to catch up. The real activity is on the fringes, as various labor stars, candidates and Key Activists are confabbing.

Got here at 12:30 and House candidate Mark Nolte was up and running. Mary Mascher followed up with a general them of “winning the House and Senate is meaningless without a governor,” and the name Chet was mentioned a lot more already today than Friday night. The place is green and gold which makes this packer fan happy… a lot of labor and most of the local legislators were Blouin, so this looks like Culver coming out day.

Most of the Supervisors are here, along with the High Sheriff of Johnson County, and we also heard from school board candidate Sam Garchik. No connection so this will be loveblogging in form only and not in real time. That typo, loveblogging, is worth keeping. Traditionally this event ends with a nice singalong of old labor standards. Very family friendly… it’s an annual stop for my daughter and I. (She usually skips the speeches.)

I’m perched on a trash can, one of my odder blogging locations. The bees are my best friends. Several TV crews are lines up waiting for Culver. The City Fed folks are introducing one another, there’s a nice level of self-celebration involved.

My most vivid Labor Day picnic memory was listening to a whole Jesse Jackson speech at arm’s length in 1991.

Time for a battery break, back with more later…

Part Two. Nice short rap from Ro Foege. It’s an hour later and Chet Culver just got here.

Forgot to mention Gary Sanders and Stop Wal-Mart, and write in school board candidate Sam Garchik, earlier. Also learned that Dave Loebsack was first up and immediately had to leave for another event.

Chet’s on the mic and ready. Says it’s his firth stop for the day with two more to go. Polls have me ahead (applause line). Introduces local labor diehard and Harkinista Tom Larkin as a new staffer… seeing some longtime Blouinies and Fallonistas in newly minted Culver shirts. Only gov in nation who’s been in a classroom in the last 20 years. Chet’s causal in green short sleeves and jeans. Talking up the trifecta. We’re in an incredibly good position but we need your help (the get to work litany that you use speaking to the choir, and we hare are the choir)

We’re the most purple state in the nation and can’t buy into the Nussle Hustle… they twist and distort and we need to stand firm behind our candidates. We can thank Nussle for the WorldCom/Enron style pension raids, so for Nussle to talk to me about pension security is like Cheney on hunting safety. (Saw that coming…)

Nussle saying very different things as a candidate than his congressional record. This campaign is about issues, but also about values. Nussle’s been in DC 16 years and his experience is very different. Nussle wants you to believe he’s from Manchester, but he really has Gone Washington on us. 980 speeches on House floor – has he ever spoke for increasing minimum wage? Zero. Voted six times against increasing. Can’t let rhetoric outweigh records. 100 votes against education. Voted to cut Pell Grants 12.6 billion.

I want to build on Iowa’s strengths. We should be first energy independent state. UIowa needs to be big part of that. We’ll give regents institutions the $ they need. We’ve lost too many of our leading professors. The regents institutions are a pillar of our state’s strength.

Stem cells – we need to lift the ban (big applause line). Nussle’s not for that. Choice gets an even bigger round of applause.

I ask you to stand with me cadence, I guess I should stand… and he ends with a call for the trifecta.

So Chet will wander and chat and I’ll wrap for the moment… Afterthought: Decent for a speech to the choir, presumably a speech to a less converted crowd would be more fleshed out and less attack.

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