Saturday, May 10, 2008



Ed Fallon's introduction to politics was working as a community organizer in Reagan-era Des Moines. He founded the Des Moines Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and entered electoral politics in 1992 by challenging an entrenched Democratic state Representative and beating him-- and then his Republican opponent-- handily. He earned a reputation as a solid Wellstone progressive in the Iowa General Assembly, where he served until 2006 when he decided to run for governor. Although he lost that race, he did carry the 3rd CD, his home district where he is now challenging Bush Dog Leonard Boswell.

Even if you think you know how badly Boswell has been voting, I'd like to ask you to take a look at, which was put together by our friends at Progressive Kick to show the relationship between the corporate donations Boswell has collected and his purely Blue Dog voting record.

When I spoke with Ed on the phone a few days ago I asked him if Iowa voters are really aware of Boswell's record in Congress. "People here are aware of his Iraq votes and a few of his other bad votes but what they haven't been aware of is his long history of voting with the Republicans. He was the deciding vote to pass Bush's for-profit prescription drug bill, the one favored by the drug companies; it passed 216-215. Democrats opposed it 199-8. Here's a guy who's so out of step with the Democratic agenda that it is embarrassing-- which is why he doesn't want to debate. He's just lousy on the issues... Congressman Boswell has declined all invitations to debate-- from the Des Moines Register, our largest TV news station, the League of Women Voters, WHO Radio... He said no to every debate, arguing that he is too busy in Washington tied up with the farm bill and just this weekend [Senator] Tom Harkin said the farm bill will be done by mid-May. The primary is June 3. People here are really unhappy that he doesn't want to debate. Iowans are very used to having an open discussion about issues and for him to decline a televised debate is really rubbing people the wrong way."

If you recall from 2006, anti-war sentiment proved very potent in Iowa and helped outspoken Democratic candidates Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack turn two red districts blue. In endorsing Ed Fallon today, Blue America would like to exchange a Bush Dog who consistently betrays Democratic values in order to rubber stamp the Bush agenda and please his campaign contributors for a real progressive leader-- so progressive, in fact, that he wound up refusing to support Gore because of his selection of reactionary warmonger Joe Lieberman. I asked Ed which issues seem most important to Democrats in the district. He had already done a guest post over at DownWithTyranny talking about a wide array of issues, from campaign finance reform to support for Choice and equality for all Americans. So he went right to the biggie:
"Congressman Boswell supported the resolution to go to war in Iraq-- [Boswell was one of the few Democrats who voted with Bush and the Republicans on all 4 roll calls on Oct. 10, 2002 authorizing Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq]-- and then continued to support funding for the war for the next 4 years. I think most people are aware that it's only been in the last year that he's started to vote against funding-- and that's a pretty powerful issue in this district. It's one of the key issues that really resonates strongly with the Democratic base and with voters broadly. But people are skeptical because of his support for the Patriot Act and its reauthorization, as well as his support for the Military Commissions Act allowing Bush to define torture. I brought up a lot of these votes at the 3rd district Democratic Convention last week; there were around a thousand people there. People were gasping at some of these votes. People in the district didn't know that Congressman Boswell was one of only a very small handful of Democrats who voted for the Military Commissions Act."

This primary has also become a bit of an Obama vs Clinton contest. Boswell is a superdelegate and insists he will support Hillary even though Obama won the state and, by an even bigger margin, district. Hillary came in a distant third after Obama and Edwards. Ed had been an Edwards activist but switched to Obama after Edwards dropped out. Ed's a multi-instrumentral musician and he teamed up with rapper $trick9 to tell a story about his race. Take a look-- and think about giving Ed a hand in getting his message out to Iowa voters.

Be sure to come over to Firedoglake today and meet Ed in person. He'll be blogging live there from 1pm- 3pm (Central Time).

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