CAMPAIGN ALMANAC: Franken’s announcement says Grassley is failing on family farms | Government and politics
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Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Franken, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa, released a new ad on Monday accusing his opponent, Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, of failing family farms.
Sporting a navy cap in front of a cornfield, Franken says in the ad that Grassley is beholden to big corporations at the expense of small farmers. Franken, who was born in the small Lebanese town in northwest Iowa, notes in the ad that he worked on a small farm growing up.
“Since Chuck Grassley took over, Iowa has lost half of our farms,” he says in the announcement. “Chuck took over a million dollars from Big Ag, and he’s passing laws to help them get the little guy out.”
According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, Iowa had 84,900 farms in 2021, about half the number of farms it had in 1960 during Grassley’s first term at the Iowa House. It had 119,000 farms in 1980 when Grassley was first elected to the US Senate.
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In an emailed statement, Grassley’s campaign spokeswoman Michaela Sundermann said Grassley has been endorsed by agricultural groups like the Iowa Farm Bureau and leaders of commodity associations like than the Iowa Corn Growers and Iowa Soybean Associations.
“Is Mike Franken really suggesting that he knows more than real farmers? Mike Franken supports higher taxes and more federal regulations on farmers,” Sundermann said. “There is no champion stronger for Iowa AG than Chuck Grassley. Mike Franken’s new ad is dishonest and desperate. Iowans will see through his attempts to mislead voters.
HINSON, MATHIS ADD A DEBATE: Two former Iowa reporters vying for a congressional seat from Eastern Iowa will participate in a debate hosted by their former employer.
KCRG-TV will host a one-hour debate between Republican incumbent Ashely Hinson of Marion and Democratic challenger Liz Mathis of Hiawatha at 7 p.m. on October 12.
Hinson and Mathis are running for Iowa’s new 2nd congressional district.
The debate will also be carried by KWQC in the Quad Cities, KCCI in Des Moines and KTTC covering Mason City and Rochester, Minn. The four stations will carry the debate on their broadcasting and streaming platforms, according to KCRG.
Hinson, a former KCRG anchor and reporter, is serving her first term in the US House after ousting Democratic Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer in 2020.
Mathis, also a former anchor and reporter for both KCRG and KWWL, has spent the past 10 years in the Iowa Senate.
The couple will also participate in a debate on PBS from Iowa at 7 p.m. on October 18.
MATHIS LAUNCHES A NEW AD: In her second ad, Democratic State Senator Liz Mathis of Hiawatha focused on protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits for Iowa’s seniors.
Mathis is seeking to unseat U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, in Iowa’s new 2nd congressional district. This is Mathis’ second commercial in what the campaign expected to be a $350,000 television ad campaign on broadcast and cable from August 23 to September 19.
In the ad, Mathis talks about his “greatest generation” parents, who depended on Social Security and Medicare benefits. Both of her parents served in World War II. His father was a farmer and his mother was the town nurse. Mathis talked about serving as a caregiver to her sick parents during the election campaign and navigating insurance and paperwork with her parents’ care.
“So when I hear from Washington (DC) about cutting Social Security and Medicare, I know who will pay the price,” Mathis says in the ad. “…My family depended on these benefits. I will make sure they are always there for you.
Hinson released his first ad last week in what his campaign expected to be a more than $2 million ad campaign through Election Day.