Iowa Public Television

 

Iowa's Candidates for the United States Senate

posted on October 27, 2004

THIS IS "CAMPAIGN 2004," AN EXAMINATION OF THE CANDIDATES AND THE ISSUES. HERE IS KAY HENDERSON.

Henderson: GOOD EVENING. TONIGHT WE PRESENT THE SECOND OF THREE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION PROGRAMS FOCUSING ON THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2004. SPECIFICALLY, WE TALK POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY AND ISSUES WITH FEDERAL CANDIDATES WHO WILL APPEAR ON THE NOVEMBER 2 BALLOT. THIS EVENING WE DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN TO REPRESENT IOWA IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THREE CONTENDERS ARE WITH US HERE IN THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION STUDIOS. JOINING US ARE CHRISTY ANN WELTY OF FAIRFIELD, REPRESENTING THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY AND SEEKING OFFICE FOR THE SECOND TIME. ALSO ON THE 2004 BALLOT IS EDWIN FRUIT OF DES MOINES, REPRESENTING THE SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY. AND MR. FRUIT IS SEEKING OFFICE FOR THE THIRD TIME. DARYL NORTHROP OF DES MOINES IS AT THE TABLE AS WELL. MR. NORTHROP REPRESENTS THE IOWA GREEN PARTY ON THE BALLOT. HE IS SEEKING PUBLIC OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME. ONCE AGAIN, EACH OF THESE CANDIDATES WITH US THIS EVENING IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE. WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU.

Welty: THANK YOU.

Northrop: THANK YOU.

Henderson: I'M STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT PERHAPS SOME OF THE FOLKS WHO ARE WATCHING US THIS EVENING HAVE NOT NOT MET YOU, DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU. SO LET'S BEGIN WITH THIS. MR. FRUIT, IF YOU WERE SITTING NEXT TO SOMEONE ON A PLANE, HOW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THEM?

Fruit: WELL, I WOULD TELL THEM THAT I'M A PACKING HOUSE WORKER IN PERRY, IOWA, AT THE TYSON FOODS PLANT. I'M A MEMBER OF THE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION. AND I WOULD EXPLAIN TO THEM THAT THE REASON I'M A SOCIALIST IS BECAUSE I THINK THAT THIS COUNTRY IS DIVIDED INTO CLASSES. THERE ARE THE WORKING FARMERS AND THE WORKING CLASS WHO REPRESENT THE MAJORITY, AND THEN THERE'S A SMALL, TINY HANDFUL OF BILLIONAIRES WHO, THROUGH THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES, RUN THE COUNTRY IN THEIR INTERESTS. AND WHAT I THINK IS THAT WE NEED TO HAVE A WORKERS AND FARMERS GOVERNMENT WHERE THE WORKERS AND FARMERS RUN THE COUNTRY, RATHER THAN THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS WHO REPRESENT THE WEALTHY IN THIS COUNTRY. I SAY THAT THE WORKERS AND FARMERS PRODUCE THE WEALTH, BUT IT'S THE RULING RICH WHO REAP THE BENEFITS OF THAT. AND I THINK THAT THE MAJORITY IN THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE IN CONTROL SO THAT WE DECIDE HOW THE WEALTH IS DISTRIBUTED, NOT ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES BUT AROUND THE WORLD. OUR PARTY ALSO STARTS FROM THE INTERESTS OF THE WORKERS AND FARMERS AROUND THE WORLD, NOT JUST IN THE UNITED STATES. AND, YOU KNOW, WE THINK THAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE A REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE THERE ARE MASSES OF PEOPLE ARE CONVINCED THAT WE NEED TO MAKE THESE KIND OF CHANGES IN ORDER TO REPLACE THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM, WHERE WE HAVE A SYSTEM OF HUMAN NEEDS OVER PROFITS, NOT PROFITS OVER HUMAN NEEDS.

Henderson: MS. WELTY, HOW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO SOMEONE WHO'S NEVER MET YOU BEFORE?

Welty: I USUALLY LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE DOING, IF THEY'RE READING A BOOK OR HAPPEN TO HAVE INVOLVED WITH SOMETHING, AND TRY TO GET INTO THEIR SPACE AND, YOU KNOW, HOW ARE THINGS GOING. I'M VERY INTERESTED IN POLITICS, PHILOSOPHY, PURSUING THINGS THAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT. SO CONVERSATION TENDS TO GO THERE.

Henderson: SO WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

Welty: I'M A HOME SCHOOLER. I WORK AT HOME WITH MY CHILDREN. THEY'RE SEVEN YEARS OLD AND FIVE YEARS OLD. THEY'RE DOING VERY WELL. AND THEY ARE THE REASON I'M IN POLITICS IN THE FIRST PLACE, BECAUSE I WANTED THEIR FUTURE TO BE SOMETHING THAT WHEN THEY ASK ME, YOU KNOW, WHY IS THE PLACE -- WHY IS THIS COUNTRY THE WAY IT IS, I WOULD BE ABLE TO SAY, WELL, I WORKED AT IT AND I DID MY PART INSTEAD OF JUST THROWING UP MY HANDS AND SAYING THOSE OTHER PEOPLE, THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO RUN THE COUNTRY. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO TAKE PART AND BE A PART OF MAKING THINGS HAPPEN INSTEAD OF WATCHING THINGS HAPPEN.

Henderson: MR. NORTHROP, HOW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO SOMEONE YOU MIGHT SIT BY AT THE IOWA CUBS GAME?

Northrop: WELL, I WOULD START OFF BY LETTING THEM KNOW THAT I HAVE TO WORK FORTY HOURS A WEEK, JUST LIKE THEY DO, TO PAY MY BILLS AND THAT I BECAME ACTIVE IN THE GREEN PARTY BECAUSE I BELIEVE PEOPLE DESERVE A TRUE VOICE IN THEIR POLITICAL REPRESENTATION, ESPECIALLY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. WE HAVE A CURRENT TWO-PARTY DUOPOLY, WHERE WE HAVE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES THAT HAVE DRIFTED CLOSER AND CLOSER TOGETHER, BOTH DOMINATED BY CORPORATE SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY. AND THAT LEAVES THE REST OF US OUT IN THE COLD WITHOUT A VOICE IN THE HALLS OF POWER. AND AS A GREEN, I FEEL THE GREEN PARTY PROVIDES AN HONEST ENTRY BACK INTO POLITICAL PARTICIPATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE DROPPED OUT OF PARTICIPATING AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE YET TO HAVE A CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE. GREENS ARE A NATIONWIDE PARTY WITH ACTIVE ORGANIZATIONS IN 44 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THERE'S 207 ELECTED GREENS CURRENTLY HOLDING OFFICE NOW, INCLUDING TWO RIGHT HERE IN IOWA: TIM HARTHAN OF THE EMMETSBURG CITY COUNCIL; AND KEVIN LEE OF DECORAH. HE'S THE TOWN TRUSTEE. SO GREENS ARE GETTING INTO OFFICE. THEY'RE PUTTING PEOPLE'S VOICES FIRST WITH GRASS-ROOTS DEMOCRACY, SOCIAL JUSTICE, NONVIOLENCE, AND SOUND ECOLOGY, AND TAKING BACK CONTROL OF OUR GOVERNMENT FROM SPECIAL INTERESTS.

Henderson: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RALPH NADER RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?

Northrop: RALPH NADER HAS EVERY RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. HE'S NOT THE GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT. OUR GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IS DAVID COBB. HIS WEB SITE IS VOTECOBB.ORG. HOWEVER, MR. NADER DOES HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO RUN, AND I WILL DEFEND THAT RIGHT.

Henderson: THE TWO GENTLEMEN AT THE TABLE HAVE OUTLINED WHY THEY HAVE JOINED THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES THAT THEY'RE AFFILIATED WITH. MS. WELTY, COULD YOU ARTICULATE FOR OUR VIEWERS WHY YOU'RE A LIBERTARIAN?

Welty: LIBERTARIANS, ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW DISLIKE POLITICS. WE'RE RELUCTANT POLITICIANS, BECAUSE REALLY THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS IS TO PROTECT THE JOY OF LIFE. AND THE WAY THINGS ARE NOW, POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT ERASE THE JOY OF LIFE. AND SO LIBERTARIANS WANT TO BRING THAT BACK. I RUN LOW-KEY CAMPAIGNS BECAUSE I DON'T WANT POLITICS GETTING IN AND TAKING OVER MY LIFE. AND BECOMING A POLITICIAN -- I DON'T CALL MYSELF A POLITICIAN. I SIT ON THE FAIRFIELD CITY COUNCIL, BUT IT'S BECAUSE I'M THERE AS A -- TRYING TO MAKE THINGS WORK, NOT JUST TRYING TO USE POLITICS. SO LIBERTARIANS BELIEVE IN EACH PERSON MAKING THEIR WAY, MAKING THE MOST OF THEIR LIFE, AND NOT TRYING TO CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE. AND WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT DOES NOW INSTEAD OF PROTECTING PEOPLE FROM INJUSTICES OF OTHER PEOPLE, THEY TRY TO CONTROL PEOPLE TOO MUCH. SO LIBERTARIANS ARE TRYING TO ADVANCE LIBERTY AND INCREASE THE JOY OF LIFE.

Henderson: LET'S TALK ABOUT CHUCK GRASSLEY, BECAUSE HE IS HOLDING THE OFFICE WHICH THE THREE OF YOU ARE SEEKING. MR. FRUIT, WHAT IS YOUR INDICTMENT OF CHARLES GRASSLEY? WHY SHOULD IOWANS ESSENTIALLY FIRE HIM AS THEIR UNITED STATES SENATOR?

Fruit: WELL, I DON'T THINK MR. GRASSLEY IS DIFFERENT THAN MR. HARKIN OR ANY OF THE OTHER REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS WHO ARE U.S. SENATORS OR IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THIS COUNTRY. REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY SAY OR DO, THEY REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF THE WEALTHY. THERE ARE TWO -- THERE ARE TWO THINGS GOING ON THAT -- TRENDS THAT WE SEE AS A RESULT OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM AND THE DRIVE FOR PROFITS. ONE IS THE DRIVE TOWARD WAR, THE OCCUPATIONS OF AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, U.S. TROOPS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO PROTECT THE CORPORATE INTERESTS AND TO KEEP THE U.S. MILITARY TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND INTERESTS OF U.S. CORPORATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. AT THE SAME TIME, WE SEE AN INTENSIFICATION OF LABOR IN THIS COUNTRY, THE MINES, THE MILLS, THE FACTORIES, LESS PEOPLE DOING THE JOB THAT MORE PEOPLE USED TO DO, THE WAGES BEING DEPRESSED, BENEFITS LIKE HEALTH CARE, HEALTH BENEFITS AND RETIREMENT ALL BEING CUT TO THE BONE TO KEEP THE PROFITS OF THE WEALTHY UP, BASICALLY. WE THINK THAT'S WHAT THIS SYSTEM IS DOING, AND THAT'S WHY ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS WE CALL FOR IS FOR WORKERS WHERE THEY DON'T HAVE LABOR UNIONS TO FORM UNIONS, SO YOU CAN DEFEND YOUR RIGHT AGAINST THE BOSS ON THE JOB. AND WHERE YOU DO HAVE UNIONS, MAKE THEM STRONGER, GET INVOLVED, BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY WAY WE CAN DEFEND OURSELVES. AND THEN FINALLY, WE DON'T THINK WORKING PEOPLE HAVE A POLITICAL VOICE IN THE SYSTEM. WE CALL FOR THE LABOR UNIONS TO BREAK FROM THEIR SUPPORT TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, WHICH IS WHAT MOST OF THEM DO, AND FORM A LABOR PARTY BASED ON THE TRADE UNIONS THAT WILL BEGIN TO ADDRESS THE REAL PROBLEMS THAT WORKING PEOPLE AND WORKING FARMERS FACE IN THIS COUNTRY.

Henderson: MR. NORTHROP, WHY SHOULD IOWANS FIRE CHUCK GRASSLEY?

Northrop: SENATOR GRASSLEY HAS SYSTEMATICALLY SUPPORTED CORPORATE INTERESTS OVER THE INTERESTS OF REGULAR IOWANS. FROM 1989 TO THE PRESENT, SENATOR GRASSLEY HAS ACCEPTED NEARLY $10 MILLION IN SPECIAL INTEREST CONTRIBUTIONS. NEITHER MY CANDIDACY NOR THE GREEN PARTY ACCEPTS ANY SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY, SO WE'RE ABLE TO CONNECT DIRECTLY TO THE PEOPLE. SENATOR GRASSLEY CURRENTLY HAS 37 PERCENT OF HIS CAMPAIGN WAR CHEST OF ROUGHLY $7 MILLION FROM SPECIAL INTERESTS. THAT LEAVES ABOUT 64 PERCENT COMING FROM INDIVIDUALS. AS A STUDENT PART TIME AT DRAKE UNIVERSITY, I KNOW THAT IF I DO MY JOB ONLY 64 PERCENT OF THE TIME, I'M GETTING A D-, AND I BELIEVE IOWANS DESERVE MORE THAN D- REPRESENTATION IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THEY DESERVE A SENATOR THAT SPEAKS FOR THEIR NEEDS, TO THEIR GOALS, AND TO THEIR DESIRES. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO MEDICARE AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, SENATOR GRASSLEY HAS REALLY FAILED THE STATE. THE MEDICARE BILL THAT HE CHAMPIONED SPECIFICALLY BANS THE GOVERNMENT FROM BARGAINING WITH DRUG COMPANIES FOR A LOWER PRICE ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, AND HE SUPPORTS FEDERAL AG POLICIES THAT PUT FAMILY FARMERS OUT OF BUSINESS AND ENRICH GIANT CORPORATE AGRIBUSINESS COMPANIES THAT VIEW FARM FIELDS AS CROP FACTORIES, NOT LAND BUT FAMILIES PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION. IOWANS DESERVE A CITIZEN'S VOICE IN THE SENATE AND NOT A CORPORATE VOICE.

Henderson: MS. WELTY, WHAT IS YOUR INDICTMENT OF SENATOR GRASSLEY?

Welty: WELL, WHEN I MOVED HERE FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, I WAS NOT POLITICALLY ACTIVE. AND THAT WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE TIME THE FIRST GULF WAR WAS BEGINNING, AND I WAS SO PROUD OF GRASSLEY FOR VOTING AGAINST GETTING INTO THAT WAR. HE WAS THE ONLY VOTE IN SENATE AGAINST THAT. AND I SAID THAT'S MY SENATOR, MY NEW SENATOR. BUT SINCE THEN THINGS HAVE CHANGED, AND HE HAS NOT HELD THAT GROUND. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A VOICE IN THE SENATE THAT OPPOSES INVASIONS LIKE THAT. THE OTHER THING IS HE HAD A CHANCE RECENTLY TO ABOLISH THE INCOME TAX. I DON'T KNOW -- TO ME THIS WAS NEWS BECAUSE I DON'T FOLLOW THE NEWS THAT MUCH, BUT IT CAME DOWN TO HIS SINGLE VOTE ABOUT SHALL WE SUNSET THE IRS, AND HE VOTED TO KEEP THE IRS IN PLACE. HE SAID IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH OF A JOLT. I THINK IT'S JOLTING FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE TO PAY THEIR INCOME TAXES EVERY YEAR, FRANKLY. AND ALL THOSE JOLTS AROUND THE NATION DESERVE CONSIDERATION TOO. FOR THOSE REASONS I THINK MY VOICE WOULD HAVE SAID WE DON'T NEED THE WARS, WE DON'T NEED THOSE TAXES, WE CAN DO THINGS BETTER THAN THAT.

Henderson: MR. NORTHROP, YOU MENTIONED THE MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL ON WHICH SENATOR GRASSLEY PLAYED A LEAD ROLE. HEALTH CARE IS A MAJOR CONCERN FOR IOWA VOTERS, ACCORDING TO PUBLIC OPINION POLLS. WHAT IS YOUR PRESCRIPTION FOR FIXING WHAT AILS THE SYSTEM?

Northrop: WELL, WE NEED TO MOVE TOWARDS A SINGLE-PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. THE REASON WHY IS THAT HEALTH CARE IN OUR COUNTRY IS BROKEN. IT'S A FAILURE. ROUGHLY 40 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE NO HEALTH CARE. MOVING TO A CANADIAN-STYLE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WOULD PROVIDE INCREDIBLE BENEFITS FOR ALL IOWANS AND ALL AMERICANS. CANADIANS HAVE LONGER LIFE SPANS. THEY HAVE LOWER INFANT MORTALITY RATES. THEY HAVE ACCESS TO CHEAPER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. THEY HAVE ACCESS TO FLU VACCINE, WHICH HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS QUITE A BIT LATELY. PLUS, THEY COVER EVERYONE IN THEIR COUNTRY REGARDLESS OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS OR ABILITY TO PAY. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, INDIVIDUAL CANADIANS PAY 40 PERCENT LESS PER CAPITA THAN INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS DO. SO THEY HAVE A SYSTEM THAT COVERS EVERYONE, COVERS THEM BETTER, AND COVERS THEM FOR LESS MONEY. THESE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLANS HAVE BEEN IN FORCE IN EUROPE FOR DECADES, AS WELL IN CANADA. EVEN COSTA RICA HAS A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE INSURANCE PLAN. IT'S HIGH TIME THAT OUR HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S. PROVIDES ACTUAL PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE TO EVERYONE INSTEAD OF EXPLOITING OUR ILLNESSES FOR PROFIT.

Henderson: MR. WELTY, WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE DONE TO FIX THE NATION'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM?

Welty: WELL, I THINK WE NEED TO GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF IT BECAUSE HAVING THE GOVERNMENT INVOLVED IN HEALTH CARE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE POLITICIANS MAKING A LOT OF DECISIONS FOR PEOPLE, WHEN PEOPLE WOULD MUCH RATHER MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT HEALTH CARE. YOU HAVE -- WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE ONE POINT, LIKE A LEGISLATURE OR A GOVERNOR'S MANSION OR A PRESIDENCY, TO INFLUENCE WITH LOTS OF MONEY, IT'S MUCH EASY TO INFLUENCE THAT ONE POINT TO GET YOUR WAY THAN IT IS TO INFLUENCE MILLIONS OF POINTS ACROSS THE U.S. TO, YOU KNOW, GET YOUR POLICY IMPLEMENTED THAT YOU WANT OR TO GET THE CONTRACTS THAT YOU WANT, GET THE LEGISLATION PASSED THAT YOU WANT. SO IT WOULD BE -- WITH ALL THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVING A VOICE IN WHAT THEIR HEALTH CARE IS, THEY WOULD HAVE A MUCH BETTER CHANCE OF GETTING WHAT THEY WANT THAN JUST HAVING THE PHARMACEUTICALS AND THE HEALTH CARE EXECUTIVES APPROACHING THESE ONE OR TWO POLITICIANS AND INFLUENCING THEM WITH MONEY.

Henderson: MR. FRUIT, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, HOW DO YOU FIX IT?

Fruit: WELL, I DON'T THINK YOU CAN FIX IT UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM BECAUSE CURRENTLY IT'S BASED UNDER THE PRIVATE PROFIT MODE. WE'RE FOR A NATIONALIZED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. WE THINK HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, OUR RIGHTS THAT SHOULD BE PROVIDED TO ALL PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY -- THERE'S NO REASON WHY PEOPLE GOING TO COLLEGE SHOULD HAVE TO PAY $15- TO $20,000 A YEAR TO FINANCE THEIR EDUCATION. THIS IS A VERY WEALTHY COUNTRY. AND AS I SAID BEFORE, THE WEALTH IS GOING TO THE TINY MINORITY. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR HEALTH CARE. WE'RE FOR NATIONALIZED HEALTH CARE. WE THINK IT SHOULD BE FREE AND PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER WORKERS' CONTROL. THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES SHOULD BE NATIONALIZED. THE AIDS EPIDEMIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA COULD BE ERADICATED IF THE PROPER DRUGS WERE PROVIDED, BUT BECAUSE WE'RE BASED ON A PRIVATE PROFIT SYSTEM, THE COUNTRIES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA CAN'T PAY FOR THE DRUGS SO THEY CAN'T HAVE THEM. THAT TO ME IS COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL AND CRIMINAL. AND FINALLY I WANT TO SAY THAT BOTH PARTIES, THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES, ARE NOW ATTACKING THE RIGHT OF PEOPLE TO HAVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND A DECENT RETIREMENT, RIGHTS THAT WERE WON IN THE 1930S AS A RESULT OF A MASSIVE STRUGGLE OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT TO ORGANIZE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE THINK THAT'S CRIMINAL THAT THIS COUNTRY CARES LITTLE ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BE EDUCATED AND LITTLE ABOUT THE ELDERLY WHO SPENT 50 OR 60 YEARS WORKING AND WANT TO HAVE A FEW YEARS TO HAVE A DECENT RETIREMENT, AND NOW YOU'RE BEING TOLD, WELL, YOU SHOULD PUT THE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET AND MAYBE YOU'LL HAVE IT AND MAYBE YOU WON'T WHEN YOU RETIRE, OR RAISE THE RETIREMENT AGE. IN FRANCE, THE RETIREMENT AGE FOR MEN AND WOMEN IS 60 AND 55. HERE'S IT'S 65 AND GOING UP. BASICALLY THEY'RE SAYING YOU SHOULD DIE, YOU SHOULDN'T RETIRE, OR YOU SHOULD WORK UNTIL YOU DIE. WE THINK THAT'S UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL TO DECIDE, AND THESE ARE THINGS WE THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD FUND. FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE, ALL THESE THINGS SHOULD BE PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF THE WEALTH THAT THIS COUNTRY PRODUCES.

Henderson: LET'S TALK ABOUT ANOTHER ISSUE THAT'S WORRISOME TO IOWANS: THE PRICE OF THAT GASOLINE THAT THEY'RE PUTTING INTO THEIR TANKS, THEIR VEHICLES. MR. FRUIT, WHAT SHOULD FEDERAL ENERGY POLICY LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

Fruit: WELL, WE CALL FOR THE NATIONALIZATION OF THE ENERGY INDUSTRY, OIL, NATURAL GAS, AND OTHER COMPONENTS OF THIS. WE THINK THAT IN THE SAME WAY THAT HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION SHOULD BE PROVIDED, SO SHOULD ELECTRICITY AND GAS AND OTHER THINGS THAT PEOPLE NEED TO LIVE. AND WE THINK THOSE -- ONE OF THE THINGS WE POINT OUT IN OUR CAMPAIGN IS THAT THERE ARE TWO BILLION PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO HAVE NO ACCESS TO ENERGY, NO ELECTRICITY, NO COOKING OIL. LIKE IN HAITI, PEOPLE HAD TO CHOP DOWN ALL THE TREES IN HAITI. HAITI IS NOW ONE PERCENT FOREST BECAUSE PEOPLE HAD TO CHOP DOWN THE TREES TO USE IT -- USE CHARCOAL TO HEAT, YOU KNOW, FOR COOKING, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ELECTRICITY. THIS COULD BE PROVIDED VERY RABIDLY WITH THE WORKERS AND FARMERS GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES PROVIDING THE TECHNOLOGY THAT'S NEEDED. I CUT AN ARTICLE OUT OF THE PAPER A FEW WEEKS AGO ABOUT THE PROFITS THAT EXON MOBILE MADE -- EXON MOBILE MADE OVER THE LAST QUARTER, AND IT WAS SOMETHING LIKE $3.5 BILLION. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY BASICALLY TOOK IT OUT OF OUR POCKETS BECAUSE THEY RAISED THE PRICE OF GASOLINE AND DIESEL FUEL AND ALL THAT. WE THINK THAT SHOULD BE NATIONALIZED AND IT SHOULD BE PROVIDED IN, YOU KNOW, FOR THE INTERESTS OF WORKING PEOPLE AND FARMERS IN THIS COUNTRY. THAT'S ANOTHER THING THAT'S PUTTING FARMERS OUT OF BUSINESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO PAY MORE AND MORE FOR THEIR EQUIPMENT FOR THE FUEL TO, YOU KNOW, TO FUEL THEIR TRACTORS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT. WE THINK THAT ALL SHOULD BE PROVIDED FOR PEOPLE AS PART OF WHAT A WORKERS AND FARMERS GOVERNMENT WOULD DO IN THIS COUNTRY.

Henderson: MR. NORTHROP, WHAT DO YOU THINK ENERGY POLICY SHOULD LOOK LIKE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL? WHAT CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE?

Northrop: WELL, FIRST WE HAVE TO BE VERY HONEST WITH OURSELVES. AS A NATION AND AS A GOVERNMENT, WE'RE ADDICTED TO FOREIGN OIL. EVERYONE KNOWS WE IMPORT OVER 50 PERCENT OF OUR DAILY SUPPLY OF OIL FROM FOREIGN SOURCES. AND TO SURVIVE AS A NATION AND AS A PEOPLE, WE NEED TO BREAK THAT ADDICTION BEFORE IT DESTROYS US. AS A U.S. SENATOR, I WOULD SUPPORT COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICIES THAT WOULD MOVE US TO 25 PERCENT OF OUR NATIONAL ENERGY NEEDS BEING PROVIDED BY ZERO EMISSION, RENEWABLE SOURCES. A PRIME EXAMPLE HERE IN IOWA IS WIND POWER. THE NORTHWEST THIRD OF THE STATE IS PRIME WIND POWER GENERATING TERRITORY. THE COST OF PRODUCTION OF WIND POWER HAS FALLEN TO THE LEVEL OF PRODUCING ELECTRICITY FROM NATURAL GAS-FIRED POWERED PLANTS. HAVING TURBINES IN YOUR FARM FIELD PROVIDES YOU, THE FARMER, WITH A STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME. IT PROVIDES CLEAN ENERGY, WHICH KEEPS OUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN, WHICH WE ALL DEPEND ON FOR OUR BASIC LIVING. FURTHER, I WOULD INVEST IN THE ENERGY -- CLEAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND ESPECIALLY HERE IN IOWA, BECAUSE WE HAVE THE WIND, WE HAVE THE FARM FIELDS, BUT MOST WIND TURBINES ARE PRODUCED IN EUROPE. WE HAVE THE IDLE FACTORIES HERE. WE HAVE THE ENGINEERS HERE. WE HAVE THE MACHINISTS. WE HAVE THE WORKERS. LET'S NOT ONLY REAP THE BENEFITS OF CLEAN ENERGY HERE, LET'S ALSO BUILD THE CLEAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE HERE AND PROVIDE JOBS FOR IOWANS.

Henderson: MS. WELTY, WHAT'S YOUR PRESCRIPTION FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY?

Welty: I AGREE THAT ALTERNATIVES ARE A GREAT THING. THAT'S WHY I'M HERE. AND I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE CAN DO A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF JUDGING ALTERNATIVES IF THEY'RE PRESENTED WITH ALL THE FACTS AND THE CONSEQUENCES. ONE THING THAT I THINK IS VERY FUNNY -- I JUST GET A KICK OUT OF THIS -- IS THAT PUTTING THE GOVERNMENT IN CHARGE OF ENERGY AND FUNNELING ALL THAT POWER INTO ONE PLACE IN THE GOVERNMENT MEANS THAT WHOEVER IS SITTING IN THAT SEAT OF DECISION GETS TO DECIDE WHERE THE ENERGY MONEY GOES. AND IN THIS CASE IT MEANS IT GOES TO OIL. IT GOES TO BUYING UP PATENTS FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SO THAT WE DON'T HAVE THOSE OPTIONS ANYMORE. AND I THINK IF INSTEAD THE ENERGY MONEY WAS LEFT IN THE POCKETS OF PEOPLE OUT THERE, THEY WOULD CHOOSE TO GET TOGETHER IN A COLLECTIVE, FOR INSTANCE, AND HAVE THEIR OWN GENERATING STATION IN THEIR OWN TOWN, FOR EXAMPLE, OR INVEST IN WINDMILL OPERATION SO THAT THEY CAN, YOU KNOW, HAVE -- PUT ALL THEIR MONEY INTO A PLACE THAT THEY WANT IT TO GO, NOT LET SOME BUREAUCRAT DECIDE FOR THEM BECAUSE THE BUREAUCRATS ARE RELATIVELY EASY TO PRESSURE WHEN YOU HAVE THAT MUCH RIDING ON A DECISION LIKE THAT.

Henderson: A LOT OF FOLKS AROUND IOWA AND THE NATION ARE TALKING ABOUT IRAQ. I'M SURE YOU'RE RUNNING INTO IT AS YOU TALK WITH VOTERS. MS. WELTY, WE HAVEN'T MUCH TIME LEFT, BUT WHAT IS YOUR PRESCRIPTION FOR WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN IRAQ? WHAT SHOULD THE U.S. DO THERE NEXT?

Welty: WELL, I THINK WE HAVE TO GET THESE AMERICANS OUT OF IRAQ AS SOON AS WE CAN, AS SAFELY AS WE CAN, BECAUSE IT'S HYPOCRITICAL TO PUSH OTHER NATIONS AROUND WHEN THAT'S WHAT WE ARE HERE -- WHAT WE STAND FOR IS INDEPENDENT PROGRESS IN A NATION'S WAY, YOU KNOW, WHATEVER THEY CHOOSE. AND THAT'S THE WAY AMERICA WAS CREATED. WE SHOULDN'T BE IMPOSING AND DEPOSING DICTATORS FOR OTHER COUNTRIES.

Henderson: MR. NORTHROP, WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON IRAQ?

Northrop: AT BEST THE WAR ON IRAQ WAS A MASSIVE INTELLIGENCE FAILURE. AT WORST, IT WAS A WAR FOR OIL AND EMPIRE. I SUPPORT A FULL WITHDRAWAL OF FOREIGN TROOPS FROM IRAQ WITHIN A YEAR OR AS SOON AS FEASIBLY POSSIBLE. FURTHER, IN THE U.S. SENATE, IF I WERE ELECTED, I WOULD SUPPORT AN IMMEDIATE REPEAL OF THE 2002 CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION THAT GAVE THE PRESIDENT THE RIGHT TO DECLARE PREEMPTIVE UNILATERAL WAR. I FEEL THAT WAS A FRIGHTFULLY IRRESPONSIBLE ABDICATION OF THE CONGRESSIONAL'S OVERSIGHT ABILITY FOR THE DECLARATION OF WAR. AMERICAN TROOPS ARE STUCK IN URBAN GUERRILLA COMBAT IN IRAQ, SOMETHING THAT GEORGE BUSH SENIOR WARNED AGAINST IN HIS BOOK THAT APPARENTLY HIS SON, GEORGE BUSH, JR., DID NOT READ. AND AS A RESULT, WE'RE IN A NO-WIN SITUATION OF STAYING IN IRAQ FOREVER, PROPPING UP A PUBLIC GOVERNMENT, OR LEAVING AND LETTING THE COURSE OF ACTION UNFOLD AS IT MAY. WE NEED TO HAVE OUR TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ. IF THE PRESIDENT OF IRAQ OR THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ REQUESTS PEACEKEEPING TROOPS, THAT SHOULD BE AT THEIR DISCRETION, NOT IMPOSED BY THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION FORCES.

Henderson: MR. FRUIT, YOU TALKED ABOUT IRAQ EARLIER. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN THE FUTURE? YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW WE GOT THERE. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE NEXT?

Fruit: WELL, I DON'T THINK IT WAS A MISTAKE. I THINK IT'S WHAT -- WHAT THE RULING CLASS NEEDS TO DO. THEY'RE NOT JUST IN IRAQ. THEY'RE IN AFGHANISTAN. THEY'RE THREATENING IRAN. THEY'VE THREATENED NORTH KOREA. NOW THE GOVERNMENT -- THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS THREATENING BRAZIL BECAUSE BRAZIL WANTS TO USE NUCLEAR POWER TO ELECTRIFY. THESE ARE WHAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO PROTECT INTERESTS OF THE WEALTHY IN THE UNITED STATES AROUND THE WORLD SO THEY CAN CONTINUE TO SUCK THE RESOURCES OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD. WE'RE FOR THE IMMEDIATE UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAWAL OF ALL U.S. TROOPS FROM ALL THESE COUNTRIES, INCLUDING EUROPE, INCLUDING COLUMBIA WITH THEIR SO-CALLED DRUG WAR, WHICH IS NOT A DRUG WAR BUT IT'S A WAY TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING MILITARY AND OTHER DICTATORSHIPS IN LATIN AMERICA. IT'S VERY EASY. WE HAVE PLENTY OF PLANES. WE HAVE PLENTY OF SHIPS. YOU JUST SEND THEM AND YOU PUT THE TROOPS ON AND YOU BRING THEM HOME. IT'S A VERY SIMPLE CALCULATION. LET THE IRAQI PEOPLE DETERMINE THEIR OWN DESTINY RATHER THAN BE OCCUPIED BY THE UNITED STATES AS THEY WERE OCCUPIED BY GREAT BRITAIN IN THE EARLY PART OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. SO WE'RE FOR THE IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF ALL U.S. TROOPS. AND I MIGHT ALSO ADD THAT WE'RE ALSO FOR INCREASING WHATEVER BENEFITS THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE -- IN THE MILITARY NEED. YOU KNOW, THERE'S CUTS IN THE VETERANS HOSPITALS AND ALL KINDS OF AID AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS. AND EVEN THOUGH WE DISAGREE WITH THESE WARS, WE THINK THAT PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT IN THEM AND GOT INJURED AND NEED HEALTH CARE SHOULD RECEIVE IT, INCLUDING ONE MORE THING. I THINK THAT WOMEN IN THE MILITARY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE ABORTIONS IF THEY SO DESIRE IN MILITARY HOSPITALS, SOMETHING THAT WAS CUT OFF UNDER THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IN THE EARLY 1990S. SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE TALK ABOUT.

Henderson: COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE. YOU HAVE JUST TWO OR THREE WORDS TO USE. MS. WELTY, A VOTE FOR ME IS --

Welty: A VOTE FOR LIBERTY.

Henderson: MR. FRUIT, A VOTE FOR ME IS --

Fruit: A VOTE FOR ME IS FOR THE FUTURE MOBILIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS AND THE FARMERS TO TAKE POWER IN THIS COUNTRY OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE RULING RICH.

Henderson: AND MR. NORTHROP, A VOTE FOR ME IS --

Northrop: IT'S A VOTE FOR HONEST CITIZEN REPRESENTATION IN THE U.S. SENATE. NOTHING LESS.

Henderson: THANKS TO THE THREE OF YOU FOR JOINING ME HERE AT THE TABLE. I'M SORRY WE ARE OUT OF TIME. YOUR INSIGHTS INTO THE CAMPAIGN OF 2004 HAVE BEEN BROADCAST ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. TOMORROW EVENING WE RETURN AT THIS SAME TIME TO PRESENT THE LAST OF OUR THREE PROGRAMS DISCUSSING THE ISSUES WITH CANDIDATES SEEKING FEDERAL OFFICE FROM IOWA. CANDIDATES FROM IOWA'S FIRST AND SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS WILL BE HERE, AS WILL A CANDIDATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. 6:30 P.M. IS OUR AIRTIME TOMORROW NIGHT. I HOPE YOU'LL BE JOINING US THEN. I'M KAY HENDERSON OF "RADIO IOWA." THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. CAPTIONS BY: MIDWEST CAPTIONING DES MOINES, IOWA 


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