The Green Party of Iowa is proud to support well-qualified candidates who offer fresh approaches to issues facing Iowa and the world.
Northrop for Senate
In the election of 2000, I found my political voice in the Green Party, via Ralph Nader's candidacy. Faced with the lackluster choices that year, I visited Nader's campaign website, and was faced with the simple realization: the Green message made sense, common sense! After lobbying my co-workers mercilessly to vote for Nader, my friend Sam Howells and I founded the Polk County Green Party ( www.desmoinesgreens.org ).
During the 2002 off-year election, I was active in helping Green candidate for Governor, Jay Robinson, and Green candidate for U.S. Senate, Tim Harthan, in their local campaign stops. On election night, I appeared on the local ABC television affiliate's election night round table, where I represented the Green ideals: a message of hope, responsibility, freedom, and truth.
In 2004, Republican Senator Charles Grassley will be up for re-election, and the time has come to run for office. The Green message needs to be shown to the people of Iowa, as a real alternative to the corporate parties. Iowans deserve nothing less. Big money and big government have walked hand in hand for far too long. It is time for citizens to take back their democracy, and have our governmental institutions serving our needs, instead of the needs of the board room.
Iowa City Press Citizen Endorses Daryl Northrop
A change clearly is needed in the office. While Sen. Charles Grassley has become a power broker in the Senate, few Iowans can be all too satisfied with the results. Despite that Grassley heads the Finance Committee, the United States has amassed a $7.4 trillion debt. Most of it went to tax cuts for the nation's wealthiest and for pork, including $50 million to the Coralville rain forest that Grassley was instrumental in guiding through Congress despite his campaign trail effort to distance himself from it. Regarding the quagmire in Iraq, Grassley thinks America's exit strategy simply should be the training of and turning over of that nation to Iraqi forces -- or Vietnamization, by another name.
"We just need to keep doing what we're doing," Grassley told the Press-Citizen editorial board last week, even though that costs $25,000 every 15 seconds and a life every other day. In addition, his solutions to health care are lacking. His work in the Senate has led to dramatic increases in Medicare costs while preventing states from negotiating for lower prescription costs.
"We can't do much about that," Grassley said of health care. Meanwhile, 45 million Americans go without health insurance as premiums see four straight years of double-digit increases.
Common sense solutions
In contrast, Northrop offers common-sense solutions to these problems. To end the deficit, he backs repealing the recently passed tax cut for those earning more than $200,000 annually, creating a new Social Security payroll tax bracket for the superwealthy, closing corporate tax loopholes and stopping wasteful military spending, such as a proposed $100 billion missile-defense system at a time when terrorists are more likely to attack us with a nuclear bomb in a suitcase or backpack. On Iraq, he favors broadening the peacekeeping forces in that nation to include our allies and the United Nations; this comes from the simple realization that the entire world has a stake in seeing a peaceful Iraq and that America-Britain going it alone acts as a catalyst for violence. Finally, on health care Northrop wants to develop a system in which patients can receive care from whomever they like and that allows patients and their caregivers, rather than insurance companies and government bureaucrats, to make medical decisions. As Northrop wisely recognizes, a major reason for high health care costs is a bureaucracy that solely exists to divert costs to the patients themselves.
Vigor and energy
While Northrop's positions aren't that different from Democratic candidate Art Small, Northrop would bring vigor and energy to the Iowa congressional delegation. The 32-year-old financial adviser for a Des Moines insurance company speaks intelligently and passionately on the issues. Fed up with gridlock in Washington and Des Moines, he co-founded the Polk County Green Party in 2000; Small, in contrast, has been rather silent since leaving the General Assembly several years ago. In addition, Northrop accepts no PAC dollars and limits personal campaign contributions to $200 a person a year. While Small also refuses PAC money, he accepts larger contributions, as federal law allows. Among Grassley's largest campaign contributors are DCI Group and Amgen Inc., the first a Washington, D.C., public relations firm representing the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the second a California pharmaceutical company. Finally, if elected as the lone candidate from his party, Northrop will have to reach across party lines and seek compromise. We're not sure Small would, given his strong Democratic background. Grassley, meanwhile, demonstrates the kind of arrogance that fosters partisanship and gridlock in Washington. Indeed, during the campaign Grassley repeatedly has refused to appear in public forums with his competitors.
Grassley certainly deserves Iowans' gratitude for his service to the state these past 30 years. But it's time for change. It's time to set aside self-interest for the vital interest of this nation and the state. And we can start with change in the U.S. Senate.
David Cobb is the 2004 Green Party Candidate for President.
Raised in a small shrimping village in San Leon, Texas, David worked as a construction worker for several years before attending college. He saw up close and personal how the system is designed to prevent working class people from getting ahead; how working hard usually just got you calluses. Waiting tables to put himself through college, he graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993. The grandson of a Baptist preacher, David received awards in Moot Court and Mock Trial competitions, served on the Law Review and worked in the Public Interest Law Clinic.
He had a successful law practice until early 2000, when Ralph Nader asked him to manage the Green Party effort in Texas. He coordinated the ballot access drive in Texas that collected over 76,000 signatures in 75 days. When he ran for Attorney General there were 4 local chapters of the GPTX. At the conclusion of his campaign, there were 26 chapters.
David lectures and facilitates "Rethinking Corporations/ Rethinking Democracy" seminars and workshops across the country, exploring the social, legal and historical context of how corporations have become the dominant institution of our times. These seminars focus on how corporations have become unelected governing institutions, and how we can provoke (and win) a nonviolent democratic revolution in response.
David moved to Northern California last year. He serves on the Steering Committee of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County and was the Campaigns Director for ReclaimDemocracy.org, which are both citizen's groups dedicated to contesting and challenging the illegitimate corporate usurpation of our Constitution and our government. When not campaigning, David can be found renovating his 100-year old Victorian house with his partner, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap.
He serves on the Steering Committee of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (www.duhc.org), and as Campaigns Director for ReclaimDemocracy.org which are both citizen's groups dedicated to contesting and challenging the illegitimate corporate usurpation of our Constitution and our government. He also served as the General Counsel for the Green Party of the United States until declaring his candidacy and was the Green Party of Texas (GPTX) candidate for Attorney General in 2002.
David is an impassioned and eloquent crusader for the rights of minorities, women and the working poor.
For more information, see www.votecobb.org.