Latham: turnout will determine election
By Michael Tidemann
Iowa 4th Congressional District Representative Tom Latham brought his campaign to Estherville Tuesday.
In his appearance at Don Jose Restaurant, Latham fielded a variety of issues, ranging from the energy crisis to the war in Afghanistan to the future of the Republican party.
Latham’s challenger is Becky Greenwald of Waukee.
While the congressman needed no introduction, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Spirit Lake native Bill Northey prefaced Latham’s remarks with some of his own.
“Iowa is agriculture,” Northey said. “And it certainly is important to have somebody that understands agriculture.”
Northey pointed to the state’s number-one ranking in production of corn, soybeans, pork, eggs, ethanol, biodiesel and wind, the last of which the state has doubled this year alone.
“About 25 percent of the state’s economy is wrapped up in agriculture,” Northey said, noting that Iowa is second only to California in agricultural production.
Latham underscored the need for strong Republican turnout Nov. 4.
“It’s all going to be about turnout,” Latham said. “It really becomes your race more than ours. If each and every one of you will do one or two things it will really help.”
Latham also called attention to the need for support of the entire Republican party.
“The next presidential election is not about the next four years,” Latham said. “It’s about the next 40 years.”
In the question-and-answer session that comprised most of his visit, Latham addressed the following topics.
n Renewable energy tax credits: “That is not in jeopardy, regardless of who’s in the White House.” Latham noted strong bipartisan support for the tax credits from both parties.
n Energy policy: “It’s a national security issue. It’s a Homeland Security issue. It’s an economic issue.” Latham said the nation needs to not only explore alternative energy but also offshore drilling.
n Afghanistan: A general policy of what has worked in Iraq should work in Afghanistan, Latham said. He advocated continuing the clear and hold policy the U.S. has taken in Iraq.
n The bailout: Emmet County sheriff candidate Gene Haukoos thanked Latham for voting against the bailout. Latham said the market lost $3 trillion in value after the bailout was announced, with much of that amount going to CEO severance packages.
n Future of the Republican party: “Hope and pray they don’t get to 60 in the Senate,” Latham said of Democrats.