Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bill Clinton to speak today at Iowa Democrats' fall gala

Bill Clinton to speak today at Iowa Democrats' fall gala

It's Jefferson-Jackson Day and I'll be there laptop at the ready.

Clinton is expected to arrive shortly before a reception with key activists. He is expected to speak early in the program and be on his way back to New York before the event is finished, state party officials said.

Missing John Edwards in Solon and Iowa City today due to a schedule confluct with Joe Bolkcom's bike ride. Don't get many chances to combine biking and politicking. But Tuesday we get a double deal: lunch with John Kerry, dinner with Dodd.

The Secretary of Ag candidates do Iowa Press this weekend. Even national sources (NY Times?!?) are noticing that this race is hot.

When asked whether large-scale hog facilities should be promoted in Iowa, the candidates parted ways again. 'We need to allow modern facilities that are built with environmentally-responsible techniques,' said Northey, former president of the National Corn Growers Association.

O'Brien repeated several times her support for encouraging small- to medium-sized farms that will attract new farmers to grow organic products - a big growth industry - along with grapes, corn, soybeans and livestock. 'I think it's in the state's interest to encourage dispersed agriculture,' O'Brien said.

The candidates offered different views on who should have ultimate control over the development and siting of giant hog production facilities. State environmental regulators now have the final say.

O'Brien argued that local officials know their communities and should make final decisions. She suggested panels that include local health officials along with county supervisors.

'There's a uniqueness in Iowa,' said O'Brien. 'Our communities should be trusted to decide if the locations are correct in their communities.'

She said it's an economic and social question as well as an environmental issue.

'In the last decade we've gone from 60,000 hog farmers to 11,000 hog farmers,' she said, blaming the shift on larger production units.

Northey opposed the call for more local control. State regulations could be tweaked to accommodate such needs as larger setbacks from tourist attractions, but Northey said current rules are fundamentally working well.

O'Brien: For family farms and local control. Northey: for hog lots and no local control.

Glover also looks at the overall battle for legislative control, but unfortunately just skims the surface. Clsest we get to what I'm looking for:

Rants said open seats in rural Story County, Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls likely will determine control of the chamber...

Maybe I'm a junkie but name the seats, Mike.

And the Press-Citizen gives the Loebsack-Leach poll changing headlines. Yesterday afternoon they posted it as breaking news (after lagging behind the bloggers by a news cycle):

Loebsack one point ahead in recent poll

But on line this morning the lead has transmogrified into

Loebsack, Leach in tight race

Haven't seen print yet but I'm betting they go with the latter.

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