Des Moines Register
October 24, 2004
When time came to help us with important state needs, the vaunted chairman [Grassley] could only get us a rain forest, making Iowa the laughing-stock of the nation.
Charles E. "Chuck" Grassley's ads proclaim "Grassley works." At what? What has he done for the average Iowa family? Let's look at the record.
Lately, he trumpets a near perfect voting attendance. So what? He votes with the president 99 percent of the time, which issues benefit the wealthy, not the rest of us. He is the champion of whistle-blowers and uselessly hounds the Pentagon about $500 hammers. But, again, where are the tangible benefits for most Iowans?
Grassley fights ferociously for the ethanol lobby, a boon to our corn farmers, but of harm to the rest of us. Taxpayers subsidize it. Ethanol itself pollutes. It costs at least as much energy to produce ethanol as the energy gotten from it as fuel.
He boasts of his chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee. When time came to help us with important state needs, the vaunted chairman could only get us a rain forest, making Iowa the laughing-stock of the nation. Pete Coors, a Republican Senate candidate in Colorado, says the rain forest is the poster child of all that's corrupt in pork-barrel politics and vows to end the practice.
Grassley's committee hatched the infamous Medicare drug benefit bill that angers and confuses most seniors. It does provide some relief for the poorest among us, but generally is a disgraceful caving in to the pharmaceutical companies. More outrageous, Medicare is not allowed to negotiate for lower drug prices. The bill is so anti-consumer because the drug houses got to write it. Why? Grassley was the third-highest congressional recipient of pharmaceutical money in 2002.
Grassley voted against the campaign-finance law, against increased funding of the farm and nutrition bill and against helping workers with medical premiums who lose jobs through outsourcing; he is for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and deeply cutting taxes for the wealthiest, worsening the deficit.
Art Small has a long legislative record of concern for issues of importance to working Iowans.
- Eugene Spaziani,