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Standing With Ed Fallon

Nicholas Johnson

The Mill, Iowa City, Iowa

May 2, 2006

[Audio of this introduction, and the speech of Representative Ed Fallon that followed, is available from]

Thank you Jeff Cox. You quote from classical music, I quote from country.

There’s a country song with the line, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

Well, Ed Fallon, Iowa's next governor, is a man who stands for something.

Ed’s positions on campaign finance reform, education, health care, corporate welfare, and environmental protection are about as close to your positions and mine as any public official could get.

Why? Ed is one of us. He isn't wealthy. He refuses PAC money and large contributions. He still lives in an inner-city house in Des Moines. He has personally experienced the pain of needing medical care for a child and not having health insurance.

But it's also because Ed's bright, stays informed on the issues, and with seven terms in the Iowa Legislature has more legislative experience than his three opponents combined.

When I was in Washington as U.S. Maritime Administrator and an FCC Commissioner, I used to complain about the culture of corruption, conflicts of interest and campaign contributions. It didn't gain me any popularity with my colleagues.

Ed's focus on such issues in the legislature hasn't always been the popular thing for him to do, either. But not only has it been the right thing to do, it’s also the political thing to do.

Want to make sure we beat Jim Nussle this fall? Then do the math. Ed wins elections.

There are lessons here for the national, as well as the Iowa, Democratic Party.

You may or may not agree that this approach has led to bad public policy, support of wars that never should have been waged, and tax breaks for those who neither need nor even want them.

But one thing you can't dispute. This strategy hasn’t even worked politically. Not for our presidential candidates in 2000 and 2004. And it won’t work in the Iowa governor's race in 2006.

Ed has shown us we don't have to lose our soul in the hopes of winning elections -- and then lose the elections as well. We don't have to choose lose-lose politics.

Ed is win-win. He has shown us how we can have it all; how we can keep our soul and win elections.

Ed's proof of that country song line with which I began: “We’ve got to stand for something or we’ll fall for anything.”

This fall, let’s stand, with the next governor of Iowa, Ed Fallon.