Conlin's Main Street Not Wall Street Tour
testing 1 2 3 hello Cleveland!
OK the technical difficulties are out of the way and I'm at the Waypoint School/Shelter Auditorium in downtown Cedar Rapids for Roxanne Conlins "protect Main St Not Wall St" event. Timely with Grassley's announcement that he's a NO on the financial reform bill.
It's a vintage turn of the century (19th to 20th) venue and the only electricity is right at the stage. So I'm scrunched over to the side to stay out of the TV shots. One crew is here, presumably channel 9 (we're two blocks from the office)
With that Rep Kirsten R-M handles the intro and Roxanne is on. Other honorables on hand include Bob Dvorsky, Supe Lu Barron and House challenger Mark Seidl.
After that, praise for the volunteers and bits of the bio. ("I have been hungry because there was no food in the house," the bad ear, etc.) "I am so proud that after decades and decades the US has decided that health care is a right and not a privilege" gets good applause from the crowd of 60 or so. She's threading the biography through the contemporary issues.
"I am the American dream," she says of her legal success. "I represent human beings, people who have been hurt and need justice. It has been a great way to spend my life and I had no intention of changing that." References the M$ case and notes that CR schools got about 6 million from that.
"But then Senator Grassley came home after pretending to work for a bipartisan solution..." and dropped the Pull The Plug On Granma bomb. "He made me mad enough to run against him."
"Today underlines another reason Grassley needs to find his way back to Butler County," she says getting to the billed headline. "Why didn't we give the bailout money to the families who couldn't pay their mortgages so the assets wouldn't be toxic anymore?" The banks haven't done what they promised; paid themselves instead.
"Today Grassley announced that even though he voted to give Wall Street $700 billion, he's not going to vote to hold them accountable." (Crowd hisses in response.) "Senator GRassley is not paying attention to what the people of IA need. His face is turned to Wall Street."
"We can't solve the deficit until people get back to work. Let's do that first." Notes that Bush tax cuts and Medicare Part D were on Grassley's watch.
Wants to cut oil tax breaks and steer it to extended unemployment and green energy.
"I'll spend all day every day not thinking about what's good for big oil or Wall Street, I'll be thinking about what's good for the people of IOwa. Special interests have had their turn, now it's our turn."
Q & A: first questioner asks if Rox would want Obama to campaign for her; "absolutely." "It's going to take a little time to undo the last eight years."
Questioner says Grassley's trying to make it sound like he thinks the wall street bill is too weak. "That's just an excuse for doing what Wall Street wants him to do."
Debates question (Rox wants 12 Chuck offers 1 or 2) "Relying on 30 second ads doesn't help you to understand what each of us will do. We have an educated electorate and the senator should debate all across the state so he can tell the people why he felt it should be illegal for the govt to negotiate drug prices." And other items of the Grassley record. (such as Lilly Ledbetter bill) "His priorities are upside down."
Crowd is younger than I usually see at a CR event.
Next ? is financial stress of foster care. "Kids and families first for me if I'm your senator. Do you give tax breaks to the wealthy or shoes to kids? We need to reflect our values and priorities."
Questioner challenges Rox for attacking Grassley on bailout bill. "Senator Obama voted for that bill," says questiner. "I'm aware many Democrats including my friend Tom Harkin voted for that bill, but that doesn't make it right." Did it work? No. "If we'd done t my way people would still be in their homes."
Pitches signing up on the web site "so I can find you when the 30 second ads start, and they will be bad."
"Senator Grassley still supports privatizing Social Security and do not let people forget that."
We're winding down with the volunteer pitch. She'll be doorknocking in Marion 7/31. "Reach out to your own networks of people. You, personally, need to talk about this campaign and tell people how we can beat Chuck Grassley. It's co important that each of you take personal action to change our upside-down priorities." Bob Dvorsky makes the Vote Early pitch.
So we wind down after about an hour.