Iowa Public Television

 

Iowa's 2nd Congressional District Candidates and Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate

posted on October 28, 2004

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

Henderson: GOOD EVENING. TONIGHT WE PRESENT THE THIRD AND FINAL EDITION OF OUR "CAMPAIGN 2004" SERIES AS WE DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGNS WITH CANDIDATES WHO WILL APPEAR ON THE NOVEMBER 2 BALLOT. THIS EVENING WE FOCUS ON IOWA'S SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, AND WE TALK POLICY AND POLITICS WITH A CANDIDATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. RICHARD CAMPAGNA IS FROM IOWA CITY AND IS ON THE BALLOT NATIONALLY AS THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY'S CANDIDATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT. HE'S MAKING HIS SECOND APPEARANCE ON THE FEDERAL BALLOT. KEVIN LITTEN OF CEDAR RAPIDS IS A MEMBER OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY TOO, AND HE SEEKS TO REPRESENT EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN IOWA'S SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. MR. LITTEN IS ON THE BALLOT FOR THE SECOND TIME. ALSO SEEKING TO REPRESENT THE SECOND DISTRICT IN THE U.S. HOUSE IS DAVE FRANKER, A DEMOCRAT FROM NORTH LIBERTY WHO'S ON THE FEDERAL BALLOT FOR THE FIRST TIME. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO OUR DISCUSSION. FIRST, I THINK THERE MAY BE PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE WHO DO NOT KNOW YOU. SO IF YOU COULD, LET'S START WITH YOU. PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT KNOW YOU.

Campagna: SURELY. MY NAME IS RICHARD CAMPAGNA. I AM CURRENTLY IN IOWA CITIAN. I'VE BEEN HERE IN IOWA FOR THE GOOD PART OF FIFTEEN YEARS WITH MY WIFE AND SON. I'M A BROOKLYNITE, NOT BROOKLYN, IOWA, BUT A NATIVE BROOKLYN, NEW YORKER. THEY TELL ME I'VE LOST MUCH OF MY BROOKLYN ACCENT AND HAVE REPLACED IT BY SOMEWHAT OF AN IOWA ACCENT. I'M, INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THE FIRST SON OF LONG-TIME DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICAN IN MY FAMILY AND ULTIMATELY, BASED UPON ACTIVITIES AND LIFE IN IOWA, BECAME A LIBERTARIAN ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO FOR REASONS WHICH I HOPE TO DEVELOP LATER ON IN THIS PROGRAM. AND I RAN FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR WITH A GENTLEMEN BY THE NAME OF CLIVE CLEVELAND IN 2002. AND BECAUSE OF THAT EXPERIENCE, WHICH WAS UNIFORMLY POSITIVE, WAS FURTHER ENTICED AND DESIRED TO SEEK OUR PARTY'S U.S. V.P. NOMINATION, WHICH I RECEIVED AND AM NOW RUNNING FOR.

Henderson: MR. LITTEN, WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE PERSON SITTING NEXT TO YOU ON THE FOOTBALL BLEACHERS? WHO ARE YOU?

Litten: WELL, I GREW UP WITH MY FATHER IN THE MILITARY, SO I MOVED AROUND QUITE A LOT. I WAS BORN IN ALASKA. I LIVED IN HAWAII, SEVERAL MILITARY BASES. THE MIDWEST IS MY HOME. I'VE HAD A PHARMACY LICENSE IN FIVE SEPARATE STATES. I REALLY ENJOY THIS. IF YOU HAD TO PIN ME DOWN, I'D SAY I'M A MISSOURIAN, BUT IOWA IS JUST A LITTLE BIT NORTH OF THAT. I LIKE THE PEOPLE IN THE MIDWEST. I DON'T EVER FORESEE MOVING OUT OF IT.

Henderson: MR. FRANKER, LET'S TURN TO YOU, THE DEMOCRAT ON THE PANEL. WHO ARE YOU?

Franker: WELL, I'M DAVE FRANKER. I LIVE IN NORTH LIBERTY. I'VE SERVED AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL ON THE IOWA CITY AREA COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD, WHICH INCLUDES NORTH LIBERTY, CORALVILLE, IOWA CITY, HILLS, SOME OF RURAL JOHNSON COUNTY. IT WAS THE FIFTH LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE STATE OF IOWA. I GREW UP IN NORTHWEST IOWA IN A LITTLE TOWN CALLED LEEDS, THAT NOW IS MORE A PART OF SIOUX CITY. AND THEN I'VE LIVED MY ENTIRE PROFESSIONAL LIFE IN EASTERN IOWA. I'VE BEEN A TEACHER, K-12 AND COLLEGE TEACHER, A CHAPLIN AT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER IN IOWA CITY, AND ALSO SERVED ON A PART-TIME BASIS IN SMALL RURAL CHURCH CONGREGATIONS AS A LUTHERAN MINISTER. SO THAT'S BEEN MY PROFESSIONAL WORK, AND I'M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE. I APPRECIATE THE INVITATION FROM IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. IT'S GOOD TO SHARE THE FORMAT TODAY WITH LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATES, AND IT'S NICE TO SEE KEVIN AND RICHARD HERE WITH US TODAY.

Henderson: MR. CAMPAGNA, YOU TALKED ABOUT THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY, IN JOINING IT. WHY DID YOU JOIN THAT PARTY AS OPPOSED TO THE TWO MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES IN OUR SYSTEM?

Campagna: ESSENTIALLY IT IS BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY PARTY THAT REALLY CAME CLOSE TO REPRESENTING MY IDEAS AND APPROACH PHILOSOPHICALLY AND PRACTICALLY. IT WAS THE ONLY PARTY AND IS THE ONLY PARTY I BELIEVE THAT REALLY HAS A COHERENT PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH TO PERSONAL, FINANCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL LIBERTY. AND SOME CALL IT THE PERFECT MIX OR AVERAGE, THE BEST OF BOTH OF THE SO-CALLED TWO MAJOR PARTIES. AND THERE IS A BIT OF TRUTH TO THAT. AND ESSENTIALLY I FOUND, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE BEEN MEMBERS OF BOTH OF THE OTHER MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES AT DIFFERENT TIMES IN MY LIFE, THAT THIS PARTY REALLY IN A COHERENT AND CONSISTENT WAY REPRESENTS MY IDEAS AND NOW, I WOULD SAY, THE IDEAS OF MOST MAINSTREAM AMERICANS.

Henderson: MR. FRANKER, WHY ARE YOU A DEMOCRAT?

Franker: I SEE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AS THE BEST WAY IN THE CURRENT SITUATION IN MY DISTRICT, IN THE SECOND DISTRICT, TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A NEW VISION TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS THAT SECOND DISTRICT IOWANS FACE. WE'VE SEEN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISE FOR THREE MONTHS IN A ROW NOW IN IOWA. IT'S HIGHER THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO. PEOPLE ARE FINDING THAT THEIR HEALTH CARE INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE OUT OF REACH. OUR SENIORS WERE GIVEN A MEDICARE MODERNIZATION ACT THAT, IF I WERE A TEACHER GRADING IT, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN IT A D-. WE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER. OUR VETERANS HAVE BEEN GIVEN PROMISES THAT HAVE BEEN MATCHED ONLY IN WORDS AND NOT IN DEEDS, SO I HOPE WE HAVE A CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT THAT. AND THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION HAS LABELED MANY OF IOWA SCHOOL TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS AS FAILURES. THAT'S WRONG AND NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.

Henderson: MR. LITTEN, YOU ARE RUNNING FOR THE SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT CURRENTLY HELD BY JAMES LEACH. WHY SHOULD HE BE REPLACED, AND WHY SHOULD HE BE REPLACED BY A LIBERTARIAN?

Litten: PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS BETTER OFF WHEN THEY'RE ALLOWED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF FREEDOM AND CHOICE. WE HAVE THIS HUGE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, A TRUE BEHEMOTH -- IT'S A MONSTER; NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO CONTROL IT -- CALCULATING WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE MONEY IT BRINGS IN. THE WASTE, THE FRAUD, THE ABUSE IS JUST TOO GREAT. IT'S TIME TO KNOCK IT DOWN IN SIZE. REPRESENTATIVE LEACH HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN FAVOR OF BEING BIGGER AND BIGGER AND BIGGER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WHICH YOU CAN'T CONTROL IT. IT'S OUT OF HAND. I HOPE TO GIVE PEOPLE MORE FREEDOMS AND LIBERTIES, KNOCK THAT GOVERNMENT DOWN IN SIZE.

Henderson: MR. FRANKER, YOU TOO ARE SEEKING TO REPLACE CONGRESSMAN LEACH. WHY SHOULD IOWANS FIRE HIM FROM HIS JOB?

Franker: MR. LEACH -- FIRST LET ME SAY THAT I RESPECT MR. LEACH AND HONOR HIS YEARS OF SERVICE. AFTER 28 YEARS I THINK IT'S A LEGITIMATE QUESTION TO ASK IN THE SECOND DISTRICT: WHAT'S JIM LEACH DONE FOR US IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS; WHAT DOES HE PROPOSE TO DO IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS? I HAVEN'T SEEN ONE INITIATIVE THAT HE'S TALKED ABOUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL OTHER THAN HIS CAMPAIGN SLOGAN OF INTEGRITY. AND IT'S TIME TO INVESTIGATE THE ISSUES, TO TALK ABOUT THEM. MR. LEACH HAS AN EXPERTISE IN FOREIGN POLICY. I DON'T DISPUTE THAT. NO ONE DOES. WHAT ARE WE GETTING FOR IT? WHEN HE DEFENDS DONALD RUMSFELD'S CONTINUATION IN OFFICE; WHEN HE DOESN'T JOIN ME IN ASKING FOR VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY TO SEVER HIS TIES WITH HALIBURTON, THE SAME VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY WHO CAME TO CEDAR RAPIDS AND RAISED $35,000 FOR MR. LEACH'S CAMPAIGN FUNDS IN ONE NIGHT; WHEN HE CONTINUES TO SAY THAT GEORGE BUSH IS A STRONG LEADER -- I THINK IN MANY WAYS GEORGE BUSH AT THIS TIME IS THE WRONG LEADER -- IT'S AN HONEST THING TO ASK HOW EFFECTIVE IS HE IN HIS ONE AREA THAT HE'S CARVED OUT AS HIS EXPERTISE. I HAVE AN EXPERTISE IN EDUCATION, IN SENIORS AFFAIRS, IN VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND WHAT I LIKE TO CALL KITCHEN TABLE EXPERTISE. I COME FROM A WORKING CLASS IOWA BACKGROUND. MY DAD PUNCHED A CLOCK. MY MOM WAITED TABLES. I'VE LIVED IN THE DISTRICT FOR 23 YEARS. I CALL MYSELF, I THINK IN A LEGITIMATE WAY, A COMMUNITY INCUMBENT. AND IT'S TIME FOR A NEW VOICE AFTER 28 YEARS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Henderson: MR. CAMPAGNA, HE MENTIONED BUSH AND CHENEY. YOU AS A VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ARE SEEKING TO OUST THEM. WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO IOWANS IN TERMS OF YOUR INDICTMENT OF THE BUSH-CHENEY ADMINISTRATION?

Campagna: WELL, IT'S MORE OF AN INDICTMENT OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM, THE CURRENT TWO-PARTY AUTHORITARIAN REGIME FUELED BY THE SO-CALLED ELITE MEDIA IN TERMS OF NOT REALLY OPENING UP THE SYSTEM TO THE VARIOUS MOVEMENTS IN PARTIES THAT ARE AGAIN, I BELIEVE, ACTUALLY REFLECTIVE OF AMERICA. SO IT'S NOT SO MUCH AN INDICTMENT OF THIS PARTICULAR ADMINISTRATION OR THE ONE THAT MIGHT LIKELY REPLACE IT, BUT RATHER AN INDICTMENT OF THE -- AND I'M SORRY TO USE THIS WORD -- THE INHERENT CORRUPTION AND WRONG PHILOSOPHICAL DIRECTION THAT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY HAS BEEN TAKING BOTH ELECTORALLY AND LEGISLATIVELY.

Henderson: LET'S DELVE INTO SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT VOTERS SAY ARE OF CONCERN TO THEM. A PUBLIC OPINION POLL TAKEN BY THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE" A COUPLE WEEKS AGO FOUND IOWANS' NUMBER ONE CONCERN, AHEAD OF TERRORISM AND AHEAD OF THE WAR IN IRAQ AND JOBS, IS HEALTH CARE. WHAT WOULD YOU DO AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL TO, I GUESS, RESCUE THIS AILING SYSTEM?

Campagna: INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, IT WOULD BE A RESCUE PLAN, BUT IT WOULD BE VIRTUALLY THE OPPOSITE RESCUE PLAN OF THE ATTEMPTS BY EITHER OR BOTH OF THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES, WHICH HAS TO BE A DECENTRALIZATION, AN APPROACH AWAY FROM THE COMMAND AND CONTROL, TOP-DOWN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE. IT IS ESSENTIALLY THE CLOSEST TO A BOTTOM-UP, INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY, SMALL ASSOCIATION AND, AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL, STATE-ORIENTED APPROACH. BUT IT IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF A CENTRAL -- CENTRALIZED HEALTH CARE PLAN, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, OR EVEN EXTENSIVE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN THAT WHOLE PROGRAM.

Henderson: SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SUGGEST THAT'S SURVIVAL OF THE RICHEST BECAUSE THEY'D BE THE ONES ABLE TO AFFORD THE CARE.

Campagna: BUT OF COURSE THE ANSWER TO THAT IS NOT REALLY, IN FACT JUST THE OPPOSITE. THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS THE SURVIVAL OF VIRTUALLY NOBODY BECAUSE EVERYBODY -- RICHEST, MIDDLE CLASS, AND POOREST -- ARE NOT GETTING SERVED. OUR POINT IS TRULY BY DECENTRALIZATION, BOTTOM-UP APPROACHES TO ALL OF THESE ISSUES, ESPECIALLY INCLUDING HEALTH CARE, LITERALLY PRICES AND ACCESS WILL ACTUALLY BE MORE AVAILABLE TO EVERYBODY AT ALL SOCIOECONOMIC LEVELS.

Henderson: MR. LITTEN, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT YOU ARE A PHARMACIST, AS SOMEONE WHO IS WORKING WITHIN THE CURRENT SYSTEM. WHAT IS YOUR PRESCRIPTION AND, IN PARTICULAR, ABOUT THESE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS THAT FOLKS FIND SO HARD TO PURCHASE BECAUSE THEY'RE SO PRICY?

Litten: WELL, THERE'S SO MUCH GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM NOW THAT THE FREE MARKET HAS NOT BEEN ALLOWED TO WORK. MANY DRUGS, THERE ARE SEVERAL TO CHOOSE FROM. IF THE SECOND BEST DRUG COSTS HALF AS MUCH AS THE FIRST, SHOULDN'T THE PATIENT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE A SAY IN THAT? SO MUCH OF OUR HEALTH CARE DOLLAR IS PAID FOR BY OTHER PEOPLE. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PICKS UP ANYWHERE FROM 30 TO 50 PERCENT OF EVERY HEALTH CARE DOLLAR IN AMERICA. INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE A SAY IN WHAT HEALTH CARE YOU WILL RECEIVE AND HOW IT'S GIVEN TO YOU. IDEALLY THE PERSON RECEIVING THE HEALTH CARE SHOULD HAVE THE GREATEST SAY IN WHAT HEALTH CARE THEY RECEIVE AND WHERE IT SHOULD COME FROM. WHY CAN'T WE GET MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS? WHY ISN'T THAT TAX EXEMPT? WHY DIDN'T THE INSURANCE COMPANIES GET TO CALL THE SHOTS? WHY DOES GOVERNMENT HAVE THE SAY? AND WE ALL KNOW THAT IF WE WENT TO A SOCIALIZED MEDICAL SYSTEM, IT'S JUST ANOTHER NAME FOR RATIONING. THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN PAY FOR ALL THE HEALTH CARE EVERYONE WILL WANT. SOMEONE WILL NOT GET THE HEALTH CARE THEY NEED UNDER THAT SYSTEM.

Henderson: WHAT ABOUT THIS IDEA THAT MANY SUGGEST WOULD BE A CURE-ALL, AS TO ALLOW THE IMPORT OF DRUGS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES -- CANADA, MEXICO -- AS A MEANS OF GIVING AMERICAN CONSUMERS A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE TO THE MORE EXPENSIVE DRUGS THEY MIGHT BUY IN YOUR PHARMACY?

Litten: THE REASON THEY'RE SO EXPENSIVE HERE IS BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MUCH GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY. THERE ARE COUNTRIES ON THIS EARTH THAT WORK PERFECTLY WELL WITHOUT ANYTHING RESEMBLING OUR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THERE ARE COUNTRIES WHERE IF YOU WANT TO MARKET A DRUG, YOU SIMPLY MARKET A DRUG. TO MARKET A DRUG IN AMERICA, YOU HAVE TO SPEND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS GETTING IT APPROVED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND YET WE'RE NO SAFER THAN THOSE COUNTRIES THAT DON'T HAVE THAT. AND THAT'S THE FIRST AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY HAVE TO RECOUP WHEN THEY SELL IT. DOCTORS GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL FOR ALL THOSE YEARS TO LEARN ABOUT DRUGS. I WENT TO SCHOOL FOR ALL THOSE YEARS. I CAN MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE. I WILL SHARE THAT WITH MY PATIENTS. AND YET THEY ARE THE ONES THAT NEED TO MAKE THE CHOICE ON WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES, AND THEY ARE BEING TOLD THEY CAN'T DO THAT IN ANY GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED OR INSURANCE CONTROLLED SITUATION.

Henderson: MR. FRANKER, AS A CANDIDATE IN IOWA'S SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHAT CHOICE WOULD YOU MAKE ABOUT MEDICAL CARE?

Franker: IT'S -- KAY, IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT PROBLEM FOR MANY IOWANS ACROSS IOWA, INCLUDING THE SECOND DISTRICT. RIGHT NOW ONE COULD ARGUE THAT THERE IS A RATIONING OF CARE BY THOSE -- FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T AFFORD IT. RATHER THAN SEEK PRIMARY CARE, THEY WAIT UNTIL THEY'RE MUCH MORE ILL. THAT DRIVES UP THE COST FOR ALL OF US. THERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT I THINK I COULD MENTION QUITE QUICKLY. BUT FIRST OF ALL, LET ME SAY THAT MY RECORD AS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER SHOWS THAT A LITTLE OVER TWO YEARS AGO, I SPOKE OUT AGAINST THE OVERDOSE OF JUNK FOODS, THE AVAILABILITY OF IT IN OUR IOWA SCHOOLS, AND STOOD UP TO THE SOFT DRINK LOBBYISTS FROM DES MOINES WHO DROVE OVER TO MY COMMUNITY AND TRIED TO GET ME TO BACK DOWN ON IT. THAT INITIATIVE ITSELF ENABLED OTHERS TO STEP FORWARD WITH THEIR VOICES AND WAS A PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE MEASURE THAT SAVES POTENTIALLY MILLIONS OR EVEN BILLIONS OF BETTER HEALTH FROM THE GIT-GO. THREE THINGS. THE FEDERAL HEALTH AND BENEFITS PLAN, OF WHICH I WAS A BENEFICIARY AS A CHAPLAIN AT THE V.A. FOR SIXTEEN YEARS, IS PRIVATE INSURANCE BUT IS AVAILABLE TO ALL ON THE FEDERAL PAYROLL. IT'S WHAT MR. LEACH HAS ENJOYED FOR 28 YEARS. SENATOR KERRY HAS A PLAN TO MAKE THAT AVAILABLE FOR ALL AMERICANS. IT'S NOT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. IT'S NOT RATIONING. IT'S NOT HIGHER COST. IN FACT, BY MAKING IT AVAILABLE TO ALL, YOU ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SEEK PRIMARY CARE, YOU SHARE THE RISK, AND YOU PUT A DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON THE PRICES. SECONDLY, WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE SECOND DISTRICT OF IOWA WHO ARE IN THEIR FIFTIES, MAYBE EARLY SIXTIES, WHO MAYBE HAVE WORKED FOR A CORPORATION FOR A LONG TIME. THEY'D LIKE TO TRY SOMETHING. THEY'VE GOT AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT WITH SOME INNOVATIVE IDEAS. WHAT'S HOLDING THEM BACK? AND THAT'S RETIRING, LEAVING THEIR CORPORATION OF MANY YEARS, AND TRYING THEIR HAND AT SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE GREAT FOR BUSINESS, THAT WOULD BE GREAT FOR SMALL BUSINESS, NEW EMPLOYMENT IN THIS PART OF THE STATE, BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH CARE COST. IF WE ALLOW MEDICARE BUY-IN, SENATOR KERRY HAS SAID AT AGE 55, I SAY THE AGE OF 50, WE CAN SPREAD THE RISK, THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS ARE ONLY ONE OR TWO PERCENT, AND UNLEASH SOME OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AMONG OUR EASTERN IOWANS, AND SOME OF THOSE CORPORATIONS WOULD BE ABLE TO HIRE SOME OF OUR YOUNGER WORKERS WHO WOULD MAYBE STAY IN IOWA, WHO AS BEGINNING WORKERS WOULDN'T COST A CORPORATION AS MUCH. THE THIRD THING IS THE MEDICARE MODERNIZATION ACT, WHICH I LABELED EARLIER AS A D-, IS IN FACT THAT. MR. LEACH IS FOND OF SAYING THAT IT HELPS ELDERLY POOR WOMEN IN IOWA. GRANTED, THERE IS SOME ELEMENT OF THAT, ALTHOUGH THOSE WHO ARE GETTING THAT BENEFIT, MOST OF THEM ALREADY ARE NEARLY DESTITUTE AND GETTING SOME KIND OF GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE. IT MADE IT ILLEGAL TO BUY THROUGH THE MEDICARE SYSTEM IN BULK AND NEGOTIATE TO HOLD DOWN THE PRICE ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. WE ALREADY DO THAT IN THE V.A. SYSTEM. THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DONE. MR. LEACH HAD THE DECIDING VOTE. AND IT WASN'T AN ISSUE OF DOING NOTHING OR WHAT WE DID, IT'S AN ISSUE OF WHAT WAS DONE LAST YEAR WITH HIS ONE DECIDING VOTE. WE COULD MAKE IT MUCH LESS CONFUSING FOR IOWA SENIORS IN 2005 WITH A NEW CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE.

Henderson: MR. CAMPAGNA, THERE HAVE BEEN FOLKS WHO'VE SUGGESTED THAT THE ELECTION OF 2004 FOR PRESIDENT BUSH AND DICK CHENEY IS A REFERENDUM ON IRAQ AND THE PROSECUTION OF THE WAR ON TERROR. WHAT IS YOUR ANALYSIS OF THEIR CONDUCT ON THE WAR ON TERROR, NUMBER ONE? AND NUMBER TWO, IF YOU WERE ELECTED, HOW WOULD YOU PROSECUTE THAT WAR IN THE FUTURE?

Campagna: OKAY. AND AGAIN, THAT IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR THE WHOLE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT AND APPROACH TO FOREIGN POLICY. OUR GENERAL POSITION IS THAT, AS IMPORTANT AS THE SPECIFICS OF THE WAR IN IRAQ ARE, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN GET OUT OF THIS PARTICULAR WAR IN ITS PROSECUTION IS THE ALL-IMPORTANT NEED TO REEXAMINE OUR WORLD VIEW, OUR WORLD VISION, OUR ENTIRE FOREIGN POLICY. MOST IMPORTANTLY, AND I DON'T HEAR EITHER OF THE TWO SO-CALLED MAJOR PARTIES TALKING ABOUT IT, IS REALLY THE NEED TO REVISIT OUR WORLD VIEW TO MAKE IT LESS INTERVENTIONARY, LESS QUASI-IMPERIALISTIC, LESS AGGRESSIVE, AND MORE IN TUNE WITH THE CONSTITUTION AND OUR FOUNDING FATHERS' VISION OF WHAT AMERICA'S WORLD VIEW COULD BE. THAT BEING SAID, WE ARE IN THE COURSE OF THIS WAR ON IRAQ. IT WAS PROBABLY NOT BASED ON APPROPRIATE INTELLIGENCE. THAT BEING SAID, WE DO NEED TO -- WE DO NEED TO BRING IT TO A TIMELY PROMPT AND SAFE CONCLUSION, EVENTUALLY WITHDRAW OUR TROOPS. BUT THAT BEING SAID, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR US TO DO IS TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR WORLD VIEW AND VISION. AND YOU'RE NOT HEARING ANYTHING REMOTELY LOOKING LIKE THAT FROM THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES.

Henderson: MR. LITTEN, AS A FELLOW LIBERTARIAN, IS THERE SOMETHING THAT HE DIDN'T SAY ABOUT IRAQ THAT YOU THINK HE MISSED?

Litten: IF YOU LOOK AT OUR EXIT STRATEGY FOR GERMANY, WHICH WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO, WE HAVE NONE. WHERE IS OUR EXIT STRATEGY FOR JAPAN? WHERE IS OUR EXIT STRATEGY FOR KOREA? WE'RE STILL THERE. WHAT IS OUR EXIT STRATEGY GOING TO BE FOR IRAQ? EX-PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER HAS SAID WE SHOULD LEAVE IRAQ IMMEDIATELY. OUR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, MICHAEL BADNARIK, HAS SAID WE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO LEAVE IN THREE MONTHS. SO THAT SEEMS REASONABLE TO ME IF JIMMY CARTER THINKS WE CAN JUST PACK UP AND GO TOMORROW. I DO THINK WE SHOULD LEAVE THERE. IT IS UP TO THE IRAQIS TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN DESTINY. AND TO THEM, WE WILL ALWAYS BE THE INVADERS OF THEIR COUNTRY.

Henderson: MR. FRANKER, YOU'VE CALLED FOR DONALD RUMSFELD'S RESIGNATION. ASIDE FROM THAT, WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN THE FUTURE IN IRAQ? HOW WOULD YOU VOTE IN CONGRESS IN TERMS OF WAGING THE WAR AND FINANCING THE WAR?

Franker: WELL, THAT'S A VERY INTERESTING QUESTION, KAY, BECAUSE THE FIRST VOTE I MIGHT HAVE COULD BE, OTHER THAN TO PUT NANCY PELOSI AND STENY HOYER IN CHARGE OF THE AGENDA, RATHER THAN MR. LEACH'S CHOICE OF DENNIS HASTERT AND TOM DELAY OF TEXAS, IN THE EVENT OF AN ELECTORAL COLLEGE TIE, WHICH WE'VE SEEN STRANGER THINGS THAN THAT IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS, THE NEW HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WOULD HAVE THE VOTE. MR. LEACH WOULD BE A VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH AND DICK CHENEY. I WOULD BE A VOTE FOR JOHN KERRY AND JOHN EDWARDS. I BELIEVE THAT THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS REBUILDING, OTHER THAN IMMEDIATE MEASURES AS I'D ENUNCIATED EARLIER, WOULD BE THE ELECTION OF SENATOR KERRY AS OUR NEW PRESIDENT TO RESTORE AMERICA'S -- TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF RESTORING AMERICA'S LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD. I WOULD ADD AT THIS POINT, I THINK IT'S APPROPRIATE FOR OUR LISTENERS TO KNOW, I'M AN INDEPENDENT-MINDED DEMOCRAT. I HAVE AN INDEPENDENT VOICE. AS A MATTER OF FACT, NO ONE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., OR EVEN DES MOINES A YEAR, YEAR AND A HALF AGO SAID, "DAVE, YOU'RE THE GUY." I BEGAN A GRASS-ROOTS CAMPAIGN. AND THE OTHER NIGHT ON A DEBATE THAT WAS BROADCAST WIDELY IN EASTERN IOWA, THE QUESTION CAME, DO YOU HAVE SOME DIFFERENCES WITH MR. KERRY OR A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION. AND I DID SAY THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE -- I HAVE ENDORSED HIS FOUR-POINT PLAN. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A LITTLE BIT MORE OF A BLUEPRINT -- IT HAS TO BE A BLUEPRINT AT THIS POINT BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT SITUATION -- FOR AN EXIT STRATEGY, HOW WE MIGHT MAP THAT OUT. AND SO THOSE ARE A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT ISSUES AS TO HOW TO BEGIN TO MOVE FORWARD ON IRAQ. MR. LEACH HAS CRITICIZED ME FOR SAYING I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO ON THE 87 BILLION LAST OCTOBER. I NEED TO ADDRESS THAT BECAUSE IT'S VERY IMPORTANT. I KNOW WHAT SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS MEANS. FOR SIXTEEN YEARS I OFTEN WAS CALLED IN LATE AT NIGHT TO ATTEND TO VETERANS, SOMETIMES IN THEIR FINAL HOURS. SUPPORTING THE TROOPS IS OFTENTIMES A 40-, 50-, 60-YEAR COMMITMENT TO THEIR HEALTH CARE. AND NOW WE CAN SEE WHAT I SAID WAS THE CASE LAST OCTOBER. WE SHOULD HAVE DEMANDED, WHEN WE HAD THE POWER OF THE PURSE, A CLEAR PLAN FOR THE BEGINNING OF AN EXIT STRATEGY. MR. LEACH DECIDED TO WRITE A BLANK CHECK. NOW WE ARE SEEING HOW IT'S HURTING OUR TROOPS IN THE FIELD, THE FACT THAT THERE WAS NO DEMAND A YEAR AGO FOR A BEGINNING OF AN EXIT STRATEGY. AND NOW WE'RE AT GREATER RISK, AND ALL THIS AFTER HAVING SPENT ALL THIS TIME AND MONEY.

Henderson: MR. LITTEN, MANY IOWANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR JOBS, THEIR JOB SECURITY, WHETHER THEIR CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO FIND A JOB. WHAT, IN TERMS OF FEDERAL ACTION OR INACTION, AS IT WERE, WOULD YOU SEE IN THE FRONT OF STRAIGHTENING OUR ECONOMY AND MAKING IT GROW?

Litten: THERE IS SO MUCH BUREAUCRACY NOW. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TELLS US HOW TO SPEND OUR MONEY, WHERE TO PUT OUR PEOPLE, WHERE TO PUT OUR TRAINING. THEY TWEAK THE TAX CODE. THEY TWEAK THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS. THEY DO ALL OF THIS AND IT'S HURTING US. THAT'S WHY THERE'S SUCH A PROBLEM WITH OUTSOURCING TODAY. THERE'S ALWAYS BEEN CHEAP LABOR IN THE REST OF THE WORLD, BUT ONLY NOW IT'S COME TO THE POINT WHERE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY GOING THERE BECAUSE OUR GOVERNMENT HAS MADE IT SO BAD, IT'S JUST -- YOU KNOW, WE HAVE THE BEST WORKERS IN THE WORLD, AND YET THEY CAN'T WORK. THERE'S TOO MANY --

Henderson: SO YOU'D ENACT NEW TRADE POLICIES?

Litten: TRADE IS SOMETHING THAT MUST BE NEGOTIATED SO THAT IT'S FREE AND FAIR. BUT I THINK WHAT I WOULD DO IS I WOULD LET THE FREE MARKET HAVE A SAY IN HOW THINGS ARE DONE, HOW PEOPLE ARE TRAINED, HOW THEY WORK. AND THAT WOULD PUT US BACK ON THE STANDING WE NEED TO BE TO BE COMPETITIVE IN THE WORLD.

Henderson: MR. FRANKER, WHAT'S YOUR JUMP-START FOR IOWA AND THE U.S. ECONOMY?

Franker: FIRST OF ALL, THE TAX POLICIES OF THE BUSH-CHENEY-LEACH TEAM HAVE BEEN TO THE DETRIMENT OF A RECOVERY. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUES TO RISE IN IOWA, AND IT'S HIGHER THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO. WE WERE TOLD A YEAR AND TWO AND THREE YEARS AGO THAT THEY HAD THE RIGHT POLICIES TO GET US BACK ON TRACK. MORE IOWANS NOW CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR WORK. FOUR TIMES IN THE CURRENT LEGISLATIVE YEAR IN 2004, ON SEPARATE VOTES MR. LEACH VOTED TO -- NOT TO END THOSE TAX BREAKS FOR THE WEALTHIEST 2 PERCENT. IT'S BETTER TO MOVE TAX BREAKS TO THE MIDDLE CLASS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH. FOUR TIMES MR. LEACH VOTED NO TO END TAX BREAKS TO THE WEALTHIEST 2 PERCENT, THOSE EARNING ESSENTIALLY OVER $200,000. THEY DON'T LIVE IN IOWA, FOR THE MOST PART. WITH RESPECT TO -- IF I MIGHT ADD A COMMENT TO MR. LITTEN'S NOTE. IN SOME AREAS WE DO NEED TO PEEL AWAY SOME OF THE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY OR SOME OF THE FEDERAL OVERREACH. THREE YEARS AGO WHEN THE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT WAS TO BE RENEWED, AS IT'S BEEN EVERY FOUR OR FIVE YEARS SINCE 1965, I SAID THEN THAT THE 2001 VERSION, WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH VERY CLEVERLY NAMED "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" AS THE SUBTITLE, I SAID THEN THAT THAT WAS A FEDERAL OVERREACH INTO IOWA SCHOOLS AND THAT THE REGIMEN OF PENALTIES THAT ARE NOW IN THEIR FIRST YEAR WAS AN OVERREACH AND A DISRESPECTFUL APPROACH TO IOWA EDUCATORS. THE IDEA THAT GEORGE BUSH IS GOING TO TELL IOWA TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS THEY'RE FAILURES IS WRONG. IT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. I INTEND TO TAKE A BIG ERASER TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND TO CHANGE THAT.

Henderson: MR. CAMPAGNA, ARE YOU GOING TO PROMISE FOLKS A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT TO FIX WHAT IS AILING THE NATION'S ECONOMY, OR HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FIX THE ECONOMY?

Campagna: WELL, THE ANSWER IS THERE MAY BE A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT, BUT IT WILL DEFINITELY NOT BE COMING FROM OR AIDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND AGAIN, IN ANSWER TO VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE QUESTIONS, WHETHER IT BE JOBS, THE ECONOMY IN GENERAL, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, THERE IS A ROLE FOR GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL. THAT ROLE IS, IN OUR VIEW, SEVERELY REDUCED FROM WHAT IT CURRENTLY IS. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT, BOTH IN A PRACTICAL AND IN A CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE, IS MUCH FURTHER DOWN THE CHAIN, MUCH CLOSER TO STATE GOVERNMENTS, MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS.

Henderson: SO WOULD YOU ABOLISH THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX?

Campagna: VERY DEFINITELY. THAT'S BEEN THE HALLMARK OF OUR -- OF OUR APPROACH. AND WE WOULD, IF I HAD MY WAY, REPLACE IT WITH SOMETHING LOOKING LIKE WHAT THEY CALL A NATIONAL CONSUMPTION TAX.

Henderson: PEOPLE ARGUE THAT WOULD HURT THE ECONOMY.

Campagna: AND AGAIN, I KNOW THEY DO BUT WE ARE CONVINCED THAT NOT ONLY WOULD IT NOT HURT THE ECONOMY, IT WOULD -- IT WOULD STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AND SOLVE MANY OF THE PROBLEMS THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS MORNING.

Henderson: WELL, I DON'T WANT TO HURT ANY OF YOUR FEELINGS, BUT WE ARE OUT OF TIME, GENTLEMEN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AROUND THE TABLE TODAY. YOU'VE PROVIDED INSIGHTS INTO YOUR OWN CAMPAIGNS. THIS EVENING'S FORUM IS THE FINAL PROGRAM IN OUR THREE-PART SERIES FOCUSING ON THE CANDIDATES WHO WILL APPEAR ON THE NOVEMBER 2 BALLOT. WE THANK ALL THE CANDIDATES WHO TOOK THE TIME TO JOIN US TO DISCUSS THE POLITICS AND THE ISSUES OF THIS, THE CAMPAIGN OF 2004. I'M KAY HENDERSON OF "RADIO IOWA." THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

CAPTIONS BY: MIDWEST CAPTIONING DES MOINES, IOWA.


Tags: 2nd Congressional District campaign 2004 Congress Iowa