Dubuque County Democrats
Dubuque County Democrats

Way Out with Walt

Way Out With Walt Pregler, Democratic Activist. Send comments to Walt.

The following opinions are those of Walt Pregler and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Dubuque County Democratic Party.

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Issue 28: Thursday, 6 June 2013:

Dubuque County will be a busy political place in 2013. We have four well known Democrats announcing for County Supervisor, three active Democrats announcing for State House, and there is still a year to go before the primaries. Bruce Braley appears to be avoiding a primary for the US Senate, but his House sear has several candidates contemplating a run. No official announcements for the office of Governor, however, several well knowns are considering running. The other major party is playing musical chairs with the Senate seat, and has a primary for the House seat.

I am confident that our democrat candidates will be bringing the issues to the voters and not engage in Karl Rove like tactics or contract for push polls. It is my desire that the primary campaign be kept clean and tactful, so that we can assemble in June of 2015 and proceed to clean clocks on the repugnant opposition.

President Obama has a progressive and healthy agenda for the future of the country, but the deep left torpedoes his proposals right and left. In 2015 we can give him the help he so much needs.

On the home front, we are grateful and the beneficiaries of excellent leadership by our delegation to the Statehouse. Bringing attention to clean water, to getting Branstad to yield to Medicaid expansion was a stroke of professionalism. Education reform as proposed by many would have been a disaster for Iowa. Intelligent minds corrected that from being a reality. Blaming teachers for the ills in the system simply isn't a very good way to improve the system. A good compromise was struck, but more needs to be done.

On the local level, fund raising will be a priority for the party. We will need to hire staff and recruit volunteers for the June till November cycle. Renting space for headquarters will be a large expense too. On July 14, 2013 we will have a fund raising omelet breakfast at the UAW hall in Dubuque. Mark your calenders and make it a point to attend.

More details to come later.

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Issue 27: Wednesday, 11 July 2012:

A few years ago there was a popular movie entitled “A LONG HOT SUMMER”. Well Mr. Romney and the super pacs are turning 2012 into a disgusting heated long summer too. They have purchased millions of dollars of TV time to discredit President Obama. Innuendo, untruths and quotes out of context abound.

United States Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner were the originators of this clandestine propaganda program. Both men, holding powerful and prestigious positions in the Congress used their positions to tell the world that their #1 objective in 2012 was to prevent President Obama from being elected to a 2nd term. This exemplifies just how much concern they have for the people of our nation.

Remember the holiday season of 2011. We were inundated with vicious TV ads castigating Obama, while they were seeking the support of the Iowa Republican caucus. Funny isn’t it. The leadership of the Republican Party couldn’t even tally the ballots right. Ironically, their honchos call for voter reform, to prevent so called voter fraud.

When circumstances don’t go their way, they employ all the tricks in the book to get it the way they want it. The Supreme Court decreed the health care act legal and constitutional. A giant step in the effort to reduce the highly inflated cost of health care. John Boehner announced immediately that he would schedule a vote to repeal the law. This law enables millions of uninsured citizens, access to insurance and proper health care. NBC news reported that there was over 80 billion dollars of uncompensated health care in 2011. Reducing that amount will go a long way in lowering health care costs. In order for a hospital to be eligible for Medicare Reimbursement, they are required to offer care to patients insured or uninsured. McConnell and Boehner don’t mind strapping you with that burden. But they call it outrageous to require citizens to carry insurance. Our insurance carriers have to inflate our monthly premiums to make up that deficit. Canada has a national health care system and it seems to work well.

Another kick in the slats is the treatment of students who need loans to finish their education. Today’s technology, and global business climate require college degrees in order to be competitive. The cost of a degree is beyond the reach of 90% of college students. Low cost loans, backed by the govt. are the best answer. However, the blockade in the House of Representatives is just plain sad. Increasing the interest rates would force many to forget college and join a workforce that is poorly qualified. We need to reinforce the financial system to help bolster our community colleges and our great universities.

President Barack Obama promised change in 2008. The greedy group of wealthy conservatives has invested in a cartel of Super PAC’s aimed at discrediting every move the White House proposes. We now need change again. We need to change the majority in the House of Representatives and increase the majority in the U.S. Senate. Vote Democrat. If you own a house and have a mortgage on it, the interest rate is probably high. Many banks refuse to negotiate the refinancing of that mortgage, because it will mean lower rates and less profit. Others have suffered severe reductions in their appraised value, causing their mortgage to be higher than their real value. This is Wall Street at its finest hour.

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Issue 26: Wednesday, 15 September 2010:

ELECTION 2010 EDITION

Let’s start with Sen. Chuck Grassley. He is using an ad again this time, that he used six years ago. He is riding his John Deere riding mower, pulling two rotary mowers with a rope. It is the most unsafe practice one can do. The National Farm Safety program condemned that then, & should do it now.

Chuck is hiding a little secret also. How ethical is it for your spouse to work for a Washington D. C. firm that lobbies Congress. No wonder they are so successful. A direct pipeline to the Senate Finance Committee. Want to end corruption in government. Vote chuck out of office.

Last but not least. Chuck double dips. He draws a salary from the Senate, and collects “set aside” funds from the Agriculture dept. for his (sic) farm. If he has perfect attendance and cast over 6000 votes, when did he have time to farm. Talk about feeding at the public trough.

Roxanne Conlin is a very good litigator, and will be a welcome addition to the U.S. Senate.

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Terry Branstad now has an ad out entitled Big Bad Debt. In the dialogue of that ad, he accuses Chet Culver of raising taxes. An outright lie. We do have a bonded indebtedness. It is in the form of “revenue bonds” not General Obligation bonds. The payments of the Casinos to the State, retire the bonds. In turn, the I-Jobs program is fully funded, and working. Remember also, these bonds were not just the working of the Governor. The Legislature is required to approve their sale also. Any property tax increase you may have experienced this year, came from local entities, not the State of Iowa.

One of the toughest decisions Gov. Culver had to make, was the 10% across the board budget cut. He could have driven the State deeper into debt by calling a special session of the Legislature to balance the budget. That could have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. He could have chopped here and there, creating biased campaign issues. Instead, he treated all subdivisions of State govt. alike.

Under the Culver/Judge leadership, preschool children are now getting formal training, supervised by the Dept. Of Education. Veterans are being treated the way they should be in Iowa, and there is even aid to those at home while mom or dad is deployed to the mid-east. Teachers are now getting paid a respectable salary.

Health insurance for children is properly funded. Economic development is going great. And the frosting on the cake is this. 1. Iowa has the best bond rating in the nation, both Moody’s and Standard & Poor rate Iowa as AAA. 2. Next to Nebraska, Iowa has the lowest per capita debt of any other state in the nation. Terry whats his name never enjoyed that in his 12 previous year tenure.

Remember this: DEMOCRATS RECYCLE MATERIALS - NOT EX GOVERNORS.

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Issue 25: Wednesday, 16 June 2010:

It seems like eight years back. The Republican spin masters are venomously attacking the Obama and the Culver administrations in every fashion they can imagine.

Let’s give the President credit for intelligently and articulately handling the disaster in the gulf area. Instead of pushing the panic button, or obligating the citizens of this country financially to the event, he carefully calculated the effects and systematically held BP financially responsible for the debacle.

Speaking as a curbstone attorney, the president has BP by the bank account, and can request Congress to give him authority to seize BP’s assets if necessary. Yet he is giving BP every opportunity to compensate all involved for the damages done. We ain't paying for it, and we should not have to.

On the Culver side. Every time someone in the Culver administration resigns or retires, the repugnant Republicans make a big journalistic deal of it.

Look at the bright side of the Chet Culver Governorship.

    •  No new taxes or tax increases.
    •  AAA bond rating by Standard & Poor (Only a few states enjoy this).
    •  Skillful and professional handling of disasters and calamities. Ie
      Applington and Parkersburg devastation by tornadoes.
      Cedar Rapids - Waterloo - Des Moines flooding plus other smaller cities and towns.
      Ice storms that crippled electrical power in many areas of the State.
      A large slump in the revenue supporting the State Budget.

    •  I-Jobs programs. Bonding, based on gambling revenue to finance the recovery of the above mentioned disasters.
    •  Legislation that encourages research and production of alternative fuels.


There are many other programs and actions Chet Culver has undertaken to keep Iowa a viable State. All of these totaled in Forbes magazine declaring Iowa as one of the best States in the nation to start a business or a arrear. Only seven other States can claim this.

In the opinion of this writer, Gov. Culver has done a yeoman’s job in administering the affairs of Iowa. Facing all of the adversity and controversy the pundits have thrown his way, Gov. Culver and Iowa have come out on top. Chet deserves another term.

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Issue 24: Monday 29 March 2010:

Congressman Bruce Braley, addressing the UAW CAP meeting in Des Moines this month related on the success of the Cash For Clunkers program that he helped author. Not only did the program remove and destroy many energy guzzling clunkers from the road, it also generated over $900,000,000 in sales taxes, which helped the economy of the individual states.

In a campaign stop in Maquoketa, former Gov. Terry Branstad bellowed some fantastic campaign goals. I quote the Telegraph Herald visa vie Mary Nevans-Pederson:

“ Without offering details, Branstad promised some ambitious changes if elected creating 200,000 new jobs, reducing the totality of state government by 15% and raising family incomes by 25 percent. He promised to upgrade the state’s educational system by rewarding good teachers and “getting rid” of bad teachers, administrators and failing schools. Branstad said although most of Iowa’s teachers are doing an exemplary job, “unions continue to protect the worst teachers.”

“Politics has become mean and personal,” Branstad said. “I’m trying to make it fun again and run a positive campaign.”

Good old Terry is up to his old tricks. 200,000 new jobs. WOW. There is more hot air in that than in the Goodyear blimp.

Unions are protecting bad teachers. Really. During Terry’s tenure, teacher pay plummeted to nearly the bottom of the scale. Gov. Tom Vilsack and Gov. Chet Culver jumped through hoops to get the money to increase salaries. 98% of those graduating in Iowa with teaching degrees left the state for better pay during Branstad’s reign.

If he intends to make politics more friendly, why did he insult the Iowa State Education Assn.

Raising family income by 25%. During his reign he raised taxes on the middle class more than once, including a sales tax increase twice.

It’s going to be an interesting summer and fall. After the boorish republican assault on health care, and the Supreme Court turning corporate monies loose on politics, we are in for a whing ding of a campaign season.

The Republicans can raise all the money they want, but they can’t fill in the boxes on the ballot. Only you can do that, and we can out number them easily. So keep the faith.

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Issue 23: Thursday 10 September 2009:

THIS IS THE TIME TO DUMP GRASSLEY:

It has to be embarrassing for the Republican Party in Iowa to admit that Senator Charles Grassley is one of their favorite sons. He may be from Iowa, but he does not represent the will of Iowans.

The Senior senator from our great State, in Winterset Iowa this past month, stupidly mouthed the falsehood, that the Health Care Reform Act, as proposed by Congress would deny Sen. Ted Kennedy proper care since he was determined to be in the stages of terminal cancer. To put it bluntly, Sen. Grassley doesn’t understand all he reads about it.

I have had the wonderful honor to serve on the Board of Trustees of Xavier Hospital and Mercy Medical Center. During my tenure, the hospitals were meticulous in formulating a policy on “End of Life” situations. Grassley purposely distorted those claims. All hospitals in Iowa were very thorough in developing an ethical and compassionate end of life policy. Chuck don’t get it.

Medicare is not and never was discussed or proposed in the reform procedure. Seniors need not worry about losing coverage.

The salient point about my writing is this. Senator Grassley is owned, lock stock and barrel by the insurance industry.

He has in his campaign accounts the following monies:

$876,084 From the Insurance Lobby
$869,825 From HMO’s
$272,629 From Hospitals and Nursing Homes
$240,090 From Health Care Professionals

This totals $1,383,420 From the ghoul lobbyists that wrote Medicare Part D drug plan. The ones that profit the most from this situation are those who manufacture Preparation”H”.

So you now know who owns Senator Grassley’s soul.

Thank the Good Lord for the Senate’s wisdom. They appointed Iowa Senator Tom Harkin to chair the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee. Senator Tom is on our side and will put forth a herculean effort to enact a fair and equitable Health Care Reform Law.

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Issue 22: Friday 1 May 2009:

Recently, one citizen published a letter to the editor about the Obama administration, and joined Rush Limbaugh in wishing him to be a failure. TALK ABOUT POLITICAL DYSLEXIA. HE’S GOT IT BAD.

Point #1 In his first point, he criticizes the plan to revamp the health care industry. Well it certainly is out of control right now. Medicare reimbursements to Iowa are third from the bottom in the fifty states. We can’t recruit physicians due to this malady. Yet we pay the same premium as the top getters. Grassley and Nussle presided over the Medicare Modernization Act. They failed Iowa big time.

Point #2 - He Obama - wants to grow government and spend money we don’t have. Reagan, both Bushes have spent more than all of their predecessors combined. And nearly started World War Three in the process.

Point #3 - he wants to shrink the military. It's about time. The president is Commander in chief of the Armed forces of the United States. HE IS NOT THE CHIEF OF POLICE OF THE WORLD.

Point #4 - He wants to take over private business. Well Well, weren’t those businesses up to their necks in alligators, and needed Bush to start draining the swamp. Remember Bank of America, Citi Group, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were on the brink of financial collapse. Leaving them go under would have global disastrous implications.

Point#5 - He has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution (Bush ignored it) and the laws of the land. The Supreme Court ruled abortion legal. I don’t like it either, but we have to live with it. Bush never tried to reverse Roe v Wade.

Point#6 - He wants Congress to raise taxes. Well Bush, Gingrich and crew cut taxes for the big money boys. Look what happened. The economy nearly collapsed and the fat cats still maintained their avarice and greed. Their ethics reflect the thinking of the devil.

Point#7- He wants to make contracts with other countries. Well Geo. W. Had every other country torked off at us for Iraq. Someone had to make peace. Get your head out of your trousers.

Point #8 - He wants to give amnesty to illegal aliens. Amnesty is a lot more humane than the cost and angst of deporting them.

Point #9 - You call global warming an unproven hysteria. You are a good example for the need of better educational systems.

Some of the other points in your letter are too dumb to comment on.

The nation was in worse shape when Bush left the White House, than it was when Gen. George Washington swore in as our first president.

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Issue 21: Friday 17 April 2009:

Recently, I spoke to the Democratic Central Committee about a nostalgic trip down memory lane in Dubuque.

Start at Fulton School. Drive to 20th St. and turn left onto Rhomberg Ave. Proceed to the 1400 block of Rhomberg and observe Marshall School, continue to the 2000 block of Rhomberg and turn left onto Shiras Av.  Enter Eagle Point Park. Drive slow and soak up the beauty of the Bridge Room, Restaurant Room and the Indian Room. All are made of native limestone, and designed by a architect mentored by Frank Lloyd Wright.

After viewing those beautiful buildings(which were awe inspiring to Elenore Roosevelt) proceed to the Shiras Memorial. Looking downriver, observe a city owned and operated swimming pool. Then look north and watch the towboats navigate through ock and Dam #11

In 1933 – 1939 several Federal Grants were awarded to the city of Dubuque and the Corps of Engineers to construct these magnificent edifices. They were products of the WPA, President Franklin d. Roosevelt’s version of the Obama stimulus plan.

Lock and Dam #11 was one of many built during the Great Depression to stimulate the economy and to provide dependable navigation of the Mississippi river from New Orleans to St. Paul. That particular program provided work, and paychecks for many out of work Dubuquers, including my own father.

Fulton School – Marshall School – Bryant School and Lincoln School were also examples of WPA Grants to Dubuque.

Municipal Pool was another example. Due to age, it was replaced with Sutton Pool in the 1990’s.

In Obama’s Stimulus bill, Federal withholding was reduced, giving wage earners a tax cut, the State Legislature is attempting to do the same, with its repeal if the Federal Income Tax deduction, which gives all wage earners, making under $125,000 a year a sizeable break. The Obama bill also includes a one time payment of $250 to those on Social Security. This could amount to $500 per household.

For eight years, President Bush cut taxes for the upper echelon. It was supposed to enhance the economy. Well it failed. He broke the Banks and mortgage businesses. After he attempted to bail them out, he left office and blamed Obama. A real hypocrite he is.

One thing that has come full circle, is the exporting of jobs to third world countries, who exploit humanity by keeping the workforce in abject poverty. This might be the goal of the Republican Party too. We now have reached that point in unemployment, that none of the middle class has the financial resources to buy anything, or meet their housing payments.

The Stimulus bill focuses on a few important points. Lowering the middle class tax burden, putting Americans back to work and redeveloping our country’s infrastructure, as opposed to more military spending.

Tea Parties are the work of the devil, and will not aid in the resolution of our nation’s problems.

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Issue 20: Sunday 11 May 2008 (Mother's Day):

Now that the Legislature has adjourned for 2008, the many “newspapers” in the State have taken it upon themselves to critique the session and the leadership of both parties. Some have used their first amendment privileges as a bully pulpit.

The ban on smoking became a passionate subject during the session. A great deal of money was spent on lobbying. Big tobacco and the gaming industry dominated the statehouse during the session, twisting arms to get their wishes. A compromise was struck, and like it or not, those places the average person frequents has been legislated as smoke free. This writer has not and does not frequent casinos, let alone the gaming rooms. However, I do appreciate having restaurants, meeting halls etc. kept smoke free. It is a incontrovertible fact. Smoking causes major sickness in humans, and at a terrific cost. Like non regulation of firearms, if certain controls are not in place, innocent people suffer. Humanity won on that issue.

Critical care hospitals is another issue bandied around the journalistic world. Has anyone in the emergency medical field ever educated the media about the golden hour in cases of trauma, and the four minute rule in heart emergencies? Also, with our system of checks and balances, a community could not build such a facility without following the precepts previously laid out by our forefathers. Subdivisions of government cannot incur a debt or bond without securing authorization from the electorate. Where is the hurt? This law enables communities to approach the subject easier. Unlike Finley Hospital which, through its trustees abrogated its responsibility by allowing Iowa Health Systems to operate the facility. What kind of a hornet’s nest did that stir up?

Talk about abrogating responsibility. A group of loose cannons under the 527 cloak of calling themselves the IOWA PROGRESS PROJECT, purchased several full page ads in local papers to admonish the legislative leadership for adopting HF 2645. The ad is ambagious to say the least. It says that the bill guts Iowa’s “bi-partisan labor laws.” What an oxymoron. The Iowa Democrat party has always been very much in favor of union’s right to collective bargaining.

Big unions are accused of teaming with Democrats to rush this bill through. Wake up folks. Unions have traditionally been members of the Democrat Party for centuries. They petitioned for justice, and HF 2645 enables that. Remember checks and balances. The real protesters are the $100,000 + a year school supt.’s who usually don’t negotiate contracts. They hire big gun legal experts to do it for them. Teachers play a big role in forming the minds of our children. Why are we reducing them to a class below other divisions of organized labor. They have the right to redress in instances of discipline and working conditions.

Last but not least. The clause in the Medicaid bill that exempts Finley hospital from the bonus reimbursement is not revenge. It covers all hospitals participating in Medicare in Iowa. One is being lead to believe that Finley is squeaky clean. No way folks. Remember the vice president of their union. She was fired because she was interviewed by the press. Another was disciplined for complaining about an electrical short in a piece of equipment. Another was fired because she did some nursing in private homes on her off duty hours. Several patients have legitimate complaints about substandard care. Upon observing this, Speaker Murphy included redress in the Medicaid bill that would address this kind of situation. Some call it revenge, I call it leadership.

Several years ago, I complained to our City Council about the traffic on my street. My neighbors supported this complaint. After listening to this problem, the City Council ordered speed limit signs installed and monitored the traffic for some time. That is what the First Amendment provides. We can petition our government for redress to grievances. It works and Pat Murphy should not be admonished for it.

You may be the next patient to experience a bad time at an ER. At least there would be a small incentive for hospitals to be more alert.

Public hearings in the Legislature are not easily accessible by the average voter. Des Moines is 180 miles away and most of the sessions are in the winter. Travel can be questionable. Also it takes more than 60 votes to pass any bill. Are all of those who voted in favor guilty of a rush rush job?

If we are using our editorial prowess to draw attention to legislation, lets take a look at our Congressional contingent.

Iowa is third from the bottom in Medicare reimbursements. Every citizen enrolled in the Medicare program across the 50 states pays the same premium. Why such an inequity?

Sen. Charles Grassley, and Rep. Jim Nussle were in the drivers seat as Senate Finance chair. And House Budget chair. when the Medicare Modernization Act was enacted. In previous years Chuck and Jim voted to increase reimbursement to large states like New York, leaving Iowa at the bottom. Physician talent is leaving Iowa because of this. Iowa City had to cut its budget causing a few expert surgeons to leave Iowa. Where were the editorials then. To add insult to injury, Grassley and Nussle had a majority from their party controlling Congress, and their President in the White House. Things have regressed so bad, that a group of Iowa physicians has filed a law suit, against the Center For Medicare Services for equity in the situation.

It is obvious that BIG BUSINESS has endeavored to squelch middle class Americans to the point of poverty.

Don’t blame the so called big unions. What union was involved in Enron, Arthur Anderson, or most recently Bear Stearns? If a union does it, is it corrupt? If a chamber of commerce does it, is it ok? Your vote in November can start the change. Think about it.

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Issue 19: Thursday 29 November 2007:


I had the pleasure of attending the UAW Community Action Conference this past month in Dubuque. A great deal was learned at this event.

Allen Reuther, the union’s legislative lobbyist in Washington told us of a little known effort by sen. Charles Grassley, our beloved senior senator. Chuck has offered an amendment to a non controversial bill, that would extend “Fast Track”.

If you are unfamiliar with Fast Track, it is a trade related law that gives the president the power to negotiate a trade deal, send it to the senate for ratification, and it is law. One big glitch in this law. The trade pact cannot be amended, nor can it be debated. Only voted up or down. This particular law gave birth to NAFTA and CAFTA.

Locally, here in Dubuque, several jobs went south of the border from the John Deere plant. The engine division and several hundred good paying jobs with good benefits went with it. This division was recognized by the Deere chain as one of the best for its reliability and quality. However, cheap Mexican labor was too much to pass up.

Write Grassley and let him know of your feelings on free trade and Fast Track.

On another note, on November 16, 2007 one of Bush’s neo-cons here in Dubuque published some more of his journalistic barf.

He blames an un-named political party for the deaths of 4000 unborn babies a week. WOW.

Digress a bit and take a long look at Roe vs. Wade. It was a decision that was made by the Supreme Court of the United States by justices appointed by Eisenhower and Nixon, during Nixon’s tenure. In later years, Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the court. She was adamant in her support of reproductive rights. More republican moves. Then gramps Bush appoints Clarence Thomas, and emperor Bush jr. appoints two more to the court. He has a majority in the house and senate, his cracker jack atty. general is Gonzales, and he has fiver out of nine justices who are Roman Catholics. He didn’t do squat to reverse Roe vs Wade. But you can bet your life it will be a major issue in 2008.

Abortion is not a political issue. If it is anything at all, it is a CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE. To end abortion upon demand, we must either REVERSE THE SUPREME COURTS DECISION - OR AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.

To tie this to political campaigns is like a dog chasing its tail. All of Congress can vote to end it, but the courts will sustain it.

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Issue 18: Sunday 11 March 2007:


Fellow Democrats. We have had the privilege to host Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Dubuque. I am proud of the attendance of the Dubuque citizens for the wonderful turnout at both events.

Hillary showed us that her expertise is not superficial, but from a great deal of experience. Especially in the field of healthcare. Remember back in 1994 when Sen. Bob Dole took her to the woodshed, after Pres. Clinton commissioned her to analyze the problem and create a solution. The republican party then launched a multi-million dollar investigation to discredit both she and the President.

Barack gave us a fine sample of his expertise and fibre too. He had some great perspectives on Saddam and the Iraq war. Not only did he explain the humongous cost of the war in dollars and cents, he also reminded us that much of the equipment used over there will need to be replaced when hostilities end. Both he and Hillary were emphatic on one thing. U.S. troops over there are unnecessary, and should be brought home as soon as possible. As long as the Iraqis want to kill each other, we should not be involved. Among his closing remarks, Sen. Obama chided the crowd to do one thing. VOTE IN 2008. We cannot afford to sit this one out. A very important and profound statement.

I do not want to offend the John Edwards Supporters either. Sen Edwards was very keen on universal health care, unemployment and illegal immigration. All three of the candidates know the importance of getting support in Dubuque, and I am sure they will be visiting us again before the January caucuses. It is important for us to show up in numbers, as this gives them encouragement, and perhaps after the election they won’t forget us, and we will be able to retain the first in the nation caucus. The late Sen. Harold Hughes once told Pres. Richard Nixon; “You are the President of the United States, and commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, But you are not the chief of police of the world.” I want a president like that. Perhaps we can find that person in the candidates that are visiting with us.

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Issue 17: Tuesday 1 August 2006:

I had my car in for service the other day, and in the bay next to my car, was a car with a bumper sticker on it which read:  “ Vote for freedom “ vote Jim Nussle”

Geez, I got kind of emotional. After all, I thought, look at all the freedom we lost, when Jim locked on to Bush.

Remember when you could stroll through the Courthouse, and you didn’t have to remove your belt, empty your pockets and pass through a detector, before you could gain entrance. And a retired law enforcement officer was there supervising the procedure.

Remember back when you could go to the airport, purchase a ticket, and load your luggage without being interrogated, and showing a valid I.D.

Remember when your mail to your Congressman went directly to his office, and didn’t have to be x-rayed first.

Now Jim boasts about the creation of new jobs. Of course. All of the security freedoms he screwed up, created many jobs, at our expense.

Jim voted against education over 60 times in his congressional career. Wait till your kids endeavor to enroll in a college. Little or no substantive aid is available. Teachers are retiring early due to the decline in pay and benefits.

If your mail is late in being delivered, look at the billions Jim as budget guru diverted from the postal service to finance the Bush folly in Iraq.

Remember when your union was more concerned in negotiations about wages opposed to health insurance that is devastating business and industry today.

Now the catch word of this fall will be the donut hole in medicare part D prescription drug assistance. Thousands of seniors will hit the $2500 limit and will be required to pay for full price for prescriptions, and still have to pay the medicare drug premium until they pass the prescribed amount which is around $5000. Bummer.

If you like all of these failings, you’ll really like it if Jim becomes Governor of Iowa.

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Issue 16: Saturday 22 July 2006:

Two things have happened this week that have resounding effects on the gubernatorial race in Iowa.

Jim Nussle was endorsed by the infamous and notorious “Iowans For Tax Relief”. If you are not familiar with this organization, just think back a few years. In the early 2000's we were sent to the polls to vote on two constitutional amendment. These amendment were designed by this organization to constitutionally require a vote of the people before a legislated tax increase could take effect. This foolishness indeed did little but strip the legislature and gov. of their right to govern.

Iowans for Tax Relief was founded by former State Senator David Stanley of Muscatine. Mr. Stanley, heir apparent of Stanley Engineering, and former candidate for U.S. Senate, is not far right, but as journalists call it, looney right.

He is against minimum wage, unions, welfare and anything that elevates the middle class. His cohort in mischievinousness, is non other than Goldwaterite, Ed Failor. Ed is a former Municipal Court Judge from Dubuque, and deposed Director of Mines from the Nixon Adm. They are very much in favor of controlling the lives of the populous by restricting the freedoms we used to enjoy, until Bush got elected.

The second thing was Jim Nussle’s vote against stem cell research. He sides with emperor Bush, that it is immoral to destroy living cells for medical research.. Are they going to put those existing embryos back into the ovaries from whence they came, or are they going to let them shrivel to death in cryogenic freezers? Where is the morality in that.
Just another looney right wing attempt to by-pass the constitution, the will of the majority and to frame an issue they will cultivate come election time.

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Issue 15: Sunday 30 April 2006:

Now that all the required meetings are over, the conventions convened and adjourned, the candidates can focus on some serious campaigning . The primary election is June 6.


Let’s put personalities aside for a change and concentrate on the sacrifices our candidates are making on our behalf. We have four good men running for a seat in congress. We have four qualified and good men running for Governor. Several counties have primary elections for County Supervisor. The field is large, and the candidates are all first rate.

Give them the due they deserve. They have left good positions of employment, ostensibly to serve you, and return to good and honest government. Backbiting, name calling and other obstreperous remarks from the electorate are uncalled for. Quite frankly, these kinds of statements cause good qualified citizens to shy away from public office. When you back bite and slander candidates, you not only askew them, but you also cause injury and hurt to their families.

The best thing we can do for the candidate of our choice is to “vote” for them. If you want to help them campaign, request information from their staff. And best of all, donations of cash are always appreciated.

Remember – “BAD PUBLIC OFFICIALS ARE ELECTED BY GOOD CITIZENS WHO DON’T VOTE.”

Your vote counts. Remember:

In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.

In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed.

In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.

In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the union.

In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.

In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.

So honor your candidate and your country, register and vote in the June 6, primary. So you have to declare yourself a Democrat, that’s better than being a Republican. Look what they have done to the country.

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Issue 14: Thursday 23 February 2006:

The proper term is MONKEY SEE - MONKEY DO

This week Cong. Jim Nussle and hopeful VanderPlaats announced that they will join forces and VanderPlaats will become Nussle’s running mate.

This way they avoid a nasty primary and save lots of money, hopefully to bash the democrat candidate for Governor.

This brings the advocate of a small minimum wage and a congressional expert in marketing big government together to strap Iowa with lousy government.

Jim Nussle sold out to the drug manufacturers and Wall Street moguls while in Congress. Think of what he can do to Iowa’s senior citizens.

Since one Democrat announced an alliance with another to form a team for the Governor’s mansion, Jim followed suit. This move could prove lethal for Jim.

We don’t need more tax cuts, but we need some legislators who understand economics. It is obvious that the team of Sen. Lamberti and Speaker Rants are uneducated in taxation and its effect on the economy. They need replacement.

Our best efforts between now and the June primaries is to find and register voters favorable to the Democratic Party.

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Issue 13: Tuesday 31 January 2006:

VETERANS DESCEND ON STATE CAPITOL

On Wednesday JAN. 18, 2006, veterans from all over Iowa met at the State Capitol to lobby for increased benefits. According to news reports, they had some success. I congratulate them. Our great country does a great disservice to its veterans when government limits care for veterans. Especially those who have service connected disabilities. Surely we can afford their care and upkeep in a first class manner.

Richard “George Goebel was among the leaders who ushered a group by bus from Dubuque. However in a press interview before leaving Dubuque, Mr. Goebel lamented that in talking to legislators, all they talked about was education.

We in the administrative arena of education have been decimated by both the Stat of Iowa and the Congress.

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Issue 12: Tuesday 3 January 2006:

Our dear friend Sen. Charles Grassley was tauted in the Telegraph Herald on Jan. 2, 2006 for discovering and moving to eliminate a loophole in the IRS tax code.

The loophole allowed big game hunters to donate their mounted trophies to museums and deduct the cost of the safari or hunting trip from their taxes.

Gee whiz. What geek included a deduction like that in the first place.

Also, why isn’t Grassley monitoring priorities like Medicare, No Child Left Behind, and the problems of family farming instead.

His political party gave us debacles like No Child Left Behind, Freedom to Farm and the epitome of health care reform, the Medicare Modernization Act. Sen. Grassley was one of the chief architects of the health reform.
Take note of Medicare Part D. Prescription Drug Assistance.

It has a formula like this. Take the product of the square root of your zip code, add the number of pills you take a day, divide this by twelve, then add $35.00 x 12 to the forementioned. This will give you the amount of drug aid you receive until you reach $2500. You are on your own then until you spend a total of $5000.
If this is confusing, welcome to the club.

Freedom to farm nearly eliminated the family farm. No Child Left Behind has a bunch of unfunded mandates and is disproportionately underfunded. Medicare Modernization has Iowa 47th for reimbursements. Iowa hospitals are struggling to meet the demands of service for the underinsured or un-insured. Getting one of the smallest amounts of reimbursement is pathetic and will eventually cripple small town hospitals. Doctors try to avoid Iowa. A surgeon can earn 35% more in Illinois for the same procedure he performs in Iowa. If Met Life paid out that way, they would be out of business by now.

Sen. Chuck is really representing Iowans.

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Issue 11: Saturday 3 December 2005:

The Holiday season is approaching for Christians and Jews. We have many things to ponder as we count our meager blessings of 2005.

First of all, if you are tiring of telemarketing calls, you can access the government database to be on the "Do not call registry." The # is 1-888-382- 1222.

Should we give thanks to Congressman Nussle and Sen. Grassley for all they have done for Medicare Modernization? Iowa is close to last in reimbursements. Prescription drug plans on Part D is so confusing that even Einstein can't figure it out. And in the end, it will cost people more, than it will save them.

From the White House, to the RNC Hq. to Congress, greed and corruption thrives. From Cheney, to Frist, to DeLay to Cunningham. Whom do you trust?

Katrina has devastated the Gulf Coast, and FEMA and crew are stymied. Clean up is at a snails pace, the Administration can't cope, and we take vacations in Crawford for the Holidays.

Grassley and Nussle are groping and grappling with budget reconciliation plans, that penalize the rest of the nation for a natural disaster, that the Congress and Administration cannot comprehend.

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Issue 10: Tuesday 8 November 2005:

Jim and Chuck are up to it again:

The Budget Reconciliation Act, now before the House, and developed by the Senate Finance Committee, will cut 38 BILLION from this years budget. Our Republican wizards in Congress say this is necessary to send assistance to the Gulf Coast for rebuilding after the hurricanes.

I’ll bet you can guess what is getting cut. All the entitlement programs that sustain the entire country.

Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Veterans’ Programs etc.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

First of all, the Feds were caught with their pants down, when Katrina hit. Now in order to compensate for it, seniors, veterans and widows are taking another hit.

FEMA is spending like a drunken sailor, and people are still waiting for housing, water, electricity etc. Remember Katrina hit the Gulf region in late August. This is November.

I’m damn glad G.W. Bush wasn’t president on Dec. 7, 1941.

Call Nussle & Grassley and register your disgust.

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Issue 9: Friday 21 October 2005:

Here it comes again folks. The Grassley machine in the U.S. Senate. 11 billion dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Sen. Charles Grassley announced the Senate Finance Committee’s proposal for this fall. It calls for significant reductions in Medicare reimbursement and cuts in Medicaid to pharmacies. Who do you think will get hurt the most on this one? The proposal will give physicians a hike in benefits. What a lousepoop Sen. Chuck turned out to be. His own beloved Iowa, [that’s us folks] is 47th in reimbursement now. Hospitals and nursing homes are struggling to keep going, Medicaid cuts will certainly harm them. Reimbursing physicians more will amplify the disparity and give them more incentive to leave Iowa.


Where is Sen. Grassley’s conscience anyway?

On a different note. If natural gas was in short supply, why dosen’t Congress move to ration it so everybody will have enough to heat their homes this winter. Increasing the cost just don’t ensure equity in distribution, or provide an adequate supply. Petroleum products also. If Katrina & Rita damaged the process of refining that much, why aren’t service stations closing, and the White House rationing the supply?

Wake up, folks, the  R’s are pulling your leg.

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Issue 8: Monday 3 October 2005:

Sexual Orientation, the bugaboo of the 2005 City Council election. Should this be included in the Dubuque Human Rights Ordinance? I signed the first Human Rights Ordinance into “Law” in 1966. It was only the right thing to do.

Here is what the “sexual orientation” clause won’t do.

1. It will not make Dubuque a safe haven for gays & lesbians.
2. It will not attract more of them to Dubuque
3. It won’t obligate citizens to accommodate them, as Federal Law already does.
4. It will not create weird places to congregate. Bricktown has generated more trouble than any gay or lesbian bar that might be in the area.

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Issue 7: Wednesday 21 September 2005:

Sen. Charles Grassley is at it again. He is calling for across the board cuts in Federal spending, to replace the monies appropriated to cover the destruction of hurricane Katrina.  A normal nincompoopish move by the senator from Iowa.

For years, many officials from the Dubuque area have been lobbying to get the funding necessary to complete our 1970's transportation plan for the Tri-State area. Now Grassley is stupidly willing to cut those funds to cover a disaster, that is in part the fault of for Congress not properly funding requests from the Corps of Engineers to bolster already failing levees on Lake Ponchartrain.



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Issue 6: Sunday 11 September 2005:

HOW IMPORTANT IS ONE VOTE?

In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.

In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed.

In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.

In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.

In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.

In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.

So you see, your ONE vote does count. 

On Tuesday, September 13 we have a spirited School Board election.

Do your civic duty or someone else may do it for you.
 

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Issue 5: Thursday 1 September 2005:

LABOR DAY - NO PICNIC IN 2005

Lets look at the record for Labor Day 2005 in Iowa. Iowa’s workforce has shrunk by several thousand since 2000. Dubuque lost a great deal from 1980 to 2005. Deere is down by 6000, the Pack by a little over 3000, Flexsteel is moving jobs offshore and to the east Coast.

As we travel around Dubuque, we are reminded of the old slogan in the Dubuque Leader. “What Dubuque Makes - Makes Dubuque.”

Remember Farley & Loetscher, Caradco, Dubuque Packing Co., H.B. Glover Co. Metz Mfg. Co., Hurd Most Co., Sorbeau Mfg. Co. Eska, Janlin Plastics. All of these are employers who were or are native Dubuquers who had real businesses going, and then closed, moved or just quit, leaving their workforce out in the street with next to nothing.
 

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Issue 4: Thursday 25 August 2005

In Thursday's TH, George Will editorialized on the boycott of Cindy Sheehan. Some of his language was less than gentlemanly, and his hypocritical attitude came through very clearly. George S. Will really epitomized his avaristic character.

I guess it's ok for a President to send you condolences via a Xeroxed form letter when your child is killed in combat. Especially in a war that makes no sense whatsoever.

Also this week, George's illegimate brother, Pat Robertson, called for the assassination of Pres. Chavez of Venezuela. The man who decryed abortion during the '92, '96 and 2000 general presidential elections. Shakesphere had it right on the money when he wrote in Hamlet: &quo;what fools these mortals be&quo;.

On the darker side, Sen. Charles Grassley writes glowing words about the benefits of CAFTA-DR. He states that Iowa will benefit from an opportunity to export volumes of soybeans, corn and agricultural implements. He didn't elaborate on the inhumane child labor that is rampant in Central America, or the horrible wages without benefits in the Domican Republic. After all, NAFTA to day has only generated a 50 BILLION DOLLAR TRADE DEFICIT.

Our next serious problem comes up in the fall session of Congress when Grassley and his band of gunsels pushes for a free Thialand trade agreement. Three things are exported enmasse from Thailand. They are sugar, rice and pickup trucks. Currently, all pickup trucks imported from Asia have an import tax attached. The agreement would repeal that tariff. It is estimated that the big three auto makers would eliminate 27,000 jobs in this country if that happens. This does not count the impact on the sugarbeet and rice production in the U.S.

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Issue 3: Wednesday 27 August 2005

How to be asinine, ignorant and arrogant. Just watch Pres. Geo. W. Bush, while he vacations at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. If he had any intelligence at all, he would have invited Cindy Sheehan on to the ranch, served her lunch and expressed his sympathy for the loss of her son Casey. Instead, like an arrogant nitwit, he allows her efforts to escalate into a major debacle. He just doesn’t give a dam about the American people. A Saudi King who is gouging us poor for oil gets the red carpet, we get the green weenie. Impeachment is in order.

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Issue 2: Wednesday 3 August 2005

Congressman Jim Nussle made it official. He intends to seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Iowa in 2006.

He called for more vision and leadership, as well as co-operation as keys to a successful campaign. He made the initial announcement in his adopted town of Manchester. Beside him were his new wife, his children and his campaign manager.

Jim needs a little shot of hindsight.

Fourteen years ago, he needled the Democrats about term limits. He thought they were necessary to refresh govt. He forgot that pledge.

Jim berated Dave Nagel on the check scandal in the House of Representatives Bank. He scolded the members of the House for not knowing how to manage finances, and if they couldn't keep their own personal affairs straight, how could they direct a government. Prophetic isn't it, and yet sadly ironic.

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Jim has guided our nation into a debt of monumental, and historic proportions. And at the same time, he engineered some of the largest tax cuts for the wealthy that U. S.history has ever witnessed.

As chair of the House Budget Committee, Jim along with Iowa Senator Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, wrote the Medicare Modernization Act. We as Iowans are victims of this legislation. Iowa is the 47th State in Medicare Reimbursements. Yep, 3rd from the bottom. Yet we pay the same premiums as the top 46.

This has caused several very skilled surgeons in Iowa City to relocate, and some in Dubuque will be doing so too. We suffer.

The infamous Deere deal with Finley Hospital is a direct result of poor reimbursements. If we in Iowa received our fair share, hospitals and insurance companies would not be in the crisis they face now.

Jim just didn't have the horses to get Iowa reimbursed, commensurate with the quality of medicine we used to have.

Jim's marriage to Newt Gringrich, was a failure, and his marriage to Tom Delay is even worse. Iowa was pushed backwards in several areas. In medicine and Medicare, in the Freedom to Farm Act, in the No Child Left Behind Act.

Now he knocks Gov. Vilsack.

Democrats have always moved Iowa forward. Under the 30 years of Robert Ray and Terry Branstad, Iowa suffered from dry rot&quo;.

Jim has called Iowa's economic gains a result of the national economy. He claims Gov. Vilsacks Vision Iowa program is a crap shoot.

Jim has called for more tax cuts for business as an elixir to a better economy.

Jim you tried this after Clinton left office {with a surplus} and immediately immersed our country into a horrific national debt, the largest in our nation's history.

If you want to give the real troops a break Jim, repeal the federal taxes on my phone bill. There are several thousand phones in Dubuque County. The extra $5 0r $6 added to the economy per phone line would put several hundred thousand dollars into the economy each month. Wouldn't that be better, giving the common man more spending power?

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Issue 1: Saturday 30 July 2005

The nomination and possible confirmation of Judge Roberts poses a real threat to the 2006 political campaign.

President Bush has professed to be pro-life period.

Therefore, we can expect an effort to overturn Roe vs Wade before the campaign begins.

If the effort is unsuccessful, the status quo remains the same.

If the effort meets with success, a new and bitter war will start. Both camps are in training already, and a battery of experts on both sides will layout battle strategy.

Cardinal William H. Keeler wrote in the Columbia magazine issue of March 2005; “The fact is that Roe vs Wade amended the U.S. Constitution without the participation or the consent of the people.”

Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities committee.

We can look forward to this group and many, many others to put forth a vigorous fight to overturn the Supreme Court ruling.

If this does happen, the abortion question may go directly to State Legislatures as to whether each State might allow abortion or will ban it altogether.

A second question, Will Roman Catholics, holding public office, fight to oppose abortion, or acquiesce to public demand? Catholic governors like Tom Vilsack  will face a genuine moral delimma if this is the case. It could boil down to signing a law your faith regards as immoral, or facing excommunication by the Bishops of their respective State. Give it some serious thought.

Walt Pregler
Active Democrat

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