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Two political visits. Two different people.

Reading the paper today*, I was struck by the two very different approaches.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock, a presidential candidate, first toured Pacific Junction flooding and then drove up to Barley’s to address an unrestricted audience.

President Trump flew into Offutt and then caravanned over to the ethanol plant to give a speech to 1,000 invitation-only attendees. Our district representative was not invited to address the people of her district. Was it because she is a Democrat ?

Governor Bullock works with his state legislature even though he is a Democrat and his legislature is overwhelmingly Republican.

Petty political snubs do not serve our country and a kind word to flooding victims would mean a great deal.

*The edition noted was published on June 12.

Lee Hazer, Council Bluffs


Grassley was right to push against tariffs on Canada and Mexico

As part of a farming family, I paid attention to the steel and aluminum tariffs we imposed on Canada and Mexico. While most people might not make a connection between metal tariffs and Iowa farmers, the connection is there. Retaliation for those tariffs took a bite out of the markets for farm products like grain and pork.

Senator Grassley, part of a farming family himself, saw that connection and played an outsized role in pushing to end those tariffs. He was the loudest advocate in Congress for removing them. He even had the backbone to give the administration an ultimatum.

Grassley was right to do that. Farmers need certainty. So does agribusiness and the rest of the rural economy. Flooding and low grain prices have already put plenty of pressure on rural communities. And now that the tariffs served their purpose of bringing Canada and Mexico to the negotiating table, it was time for them to go.

And now that we have an agreement that improves on NAFTA, rural Iowa could benefit even more. For the first time Canada has agreed to import American wheat and dairy. Having open markets in North America is good for both producers and consumers, especially farmers who export much of their crop each year.

Grassley chose the right moment and stood up for his constituents. We’re all better off for it.

Rozanne King, Mondamin


Support for Delaney

In seven months, Iowa will be doing our caucus. It’s time to do your homework so you can back a person who works for your interests. Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney was the first to declare he was running and Delaney has spent more time in Iowa than any other candidate. He is meeting folks, hearing their priorities, and considering the rural problems such as flooding, climate change, response to tariffs, and revitalizing rural communities. He is willing to discuss hard truths and wants the Democratic Party to present ideas with a message suitable for everyone.

Delaney is against single-payer policies like Medicare for All but has a plan for universal health care that guarantees coverage for all Americans as a right with the option of private insurance. Unlike government-funded healthcare plans like Medicare/Medicaid, private insurance generates the revenue to keep rural hospitals open. John’s plan also expands mental health coverage and lowers prescription drug prices. His “Better Care” plan protects but improves Medicare and would absorb the flawed Medicaid program. Employers would be encouraged to negotiate group rate plans and unions that have collectively bargained for healthcare could maintain their policies. John believes that we need to ensure that America works for hard-working Americans, that unions help put people into good jobs, train them to do better on the job, and that workers should be able to afford basic needs keep up with inflation.

Delaney understands the threat of climate change and has presented a plan to reduce emissions and invest in new solutions, including a carbon tax, carbon capture technologies, and a Carbon Thruway to return collected carbon to the ground. He opposes expansive defense spending cuts, feels our allies are losing faith in our standing as a world leader, and our actions are empowering our adversaries. He wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He also wants to ensure that our military remains funded so our armed forces have the resources they need. Delaney’s vision also includes a reasonable foreign aid program, women and minority rights, and an update of education problems and global security activities. I took these notes from speeches I heard or read. I consider voting my greatest privilege. Congressman Delaney is the kind of man I would be honored to caucus for — although I’m still listening to everyone. Learn more about John at johndelaney.com.

Dixie Trebbe, Council Bluffs

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500 days, start today

Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher, once wrote: “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength”. It is important that in the next 500 days, we, and our leaders, do not respond in kind to the lies, insults, and name calling we see coming from President Trump. Instead, we must work for those things that are most important; women’s rights, fair pay for fair work, renewal of relationships with our Allies, healthcare for all, welcoming of immigrants, dealing with climate change, and education funding. These are the things that will make America greater than ever.

The next few years will tell the tale, but we start today.

Steven Patterson, Marion


Question for Ernst on foreign interference

My question to Senator (Joni) Ernst is: Have you solicited and/or accepted opposition research from foreign country agents on your political opponents? Have you reported any attempts by foreign country agents to give you opposition research on your opponents?

Trump not only told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept a foreign country’s opposition research but that he would not necessarily let the FBI know it. In fact, Trump stated that the FBI director was “wrong” that it should be reported.

Trump proclaimed during his ABC interview that it was common practice for candidates to accept foreign country opposition research on their opponents. So it is perfectly legitimate that Ernst be questioned about it weekly since Trump openly invited other countries to interfere in our elections.

Julie Stewart Ziesman, Waukee

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