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Zaun taking heat from both sides over ethanol subsidies
Last week, Republican 3rd District congressional candidate Brad Zaun drew fire from Democrats for opposing federal subsidies for renewable fuels.
Now, after saying he has changed his mind on the issue, tea party activists are beginning to wonder about his commitment to their issues.
During the GOP congressional primary, Zaun repeatedly said he opposed the subsidies. At a tea party candidate forum in May, Zaun made his position very clear.
“I just went up to Grundy Center here not too long ago, and a farmer said to me, ‘What are you going to do for me and the biofuels industry?’” Zaun said. “And I said, ‘Nothing.’”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee criticized Zaun and questioned why he was being supported by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a staunch advocate for the subsidies. In an interview with The Des Moines Register, Zaun said he would support extending the 45-cent tax credit for the ethanol industry, reversing his earlier position and citing “additional research” as the reason for the change.
Christian radio host Steve Deace said on his blog Monday that Zaun has been pressured to “back down on his Constitutional stance against ethanol subsidies.” Routinely, Deace wrote, Zaun “promised our audience during our spring candidate interview series he wouldn’t back down to special interest groups, and I heard him make a similar pledge to the aforementioned Independence Day Tea Party event I spoke at.”
My momma taught me if you make the mess you have to clean it up. Since support from Tea Partiers is crucial to Zaun’s campaign, and he was the only candidate they gave a platform to speak at their last major event, now would be a good time for them to ask him about his “additional research.”
Is it valid? Does this research prove the subsidy is Constitutional? Is any subsidy Constitutional? Should they be if they’re not? Does being Constitutional only matter as the standard when its spending that goes to groups we don’t approve of? Is this a good investment of taxpayer dollars or pork barrel spending for our state?
Deace, who said he has a Zaun campaign sign in his yard, said these questions “speak to the credibility” of the tea party movement, since the Urbandale Republican is now intertwined with the movement itself.