Times Endorsement: Tom Harkin For U.S. Senate

OCTOBER 30TH, 2008 | Harkin for Senate

Read the original story at The Quad City Times

Tom Harkin’s indelible impression is apparent across Iowa and America. Just ask anyone in a wheelchair. Or anyone fueling up a vehicle. Or anyone planting American crops or eating American food.

Harkin’s enduring impressions are evident in the stronger American farm economy, higher grain prices and a diminished reliance on production subsidies. His work makes it easier for disabled people to live, learn and earn, which also strengthen’s our country and economy.

His seniority gives Iowans the most influential voice in agriculture since Harkin chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

His seniority gives Iowans a front-row voice in health care reform since he’s a senior member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Harkin owes that influence to Iowans, who have returned him to the Senate for four terms.

We heartily endorse him for a fifth.

By always looking ahead, Harkin helped move the Iowa economy into the forefront of alternative energy production, fortifying the state against the full brunt of this economic downturn.

Harkin still is looking ahead. In his interview with the Times Editorial Board, he outlined a game plan to improve the electrical power grid and energy pipelines to make Iowa wind and ethanol power available nationwide. He elaborated on a transition to more sustainable organic ethanol production that would spread the alternative energy boon to south Iowa’s less tillable land.

Best of all for us, he spoke emphatically and specifically about the lifestyle changes and sacrifices Americans must make to cope with new economic realities. Among his conclusions:

Require money down for fixed rate mortgages.

Put a cap on credit card interest rates.

Restrict activities of American businesses sheltered in off-shore headquarters.

And the toughy: “Folks, you’ve got to give up your SUVs.”

Harkin’s broad-based support is leaving his Republican challenger, Christopher Reed, with little support, financial or otherwise, from his own party. Reed has chosen to not just disagree with Harkin, but portray him as some kind of traitor. Reed’s reckless rhetoric is precisely the wrong approach to take in this or any other race in American politics.

Whether in the majority or minority, Harkin has remained effective and accessible. At this time, Iowans and Americans need his experience in Congress.

We support Tom Harkin for U.S. Senate.

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