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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

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By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

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Updated: Boswell, IDP respond to Crossroads ad

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 10.25.11 | 2:22 pm

The Iowa Democratic Party struck back at Crossroads GPS today, a 501(c)4 organization that’s begun running ads against U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Des Moines). Meanwhile, Boswell’s campaign is asking for contributions to help respond to the ad, which attacks Boswell for supporting President Obama’s stimulus plan and jobs bill.

“This morning Karl Rove’s shadowy corporate special interest group American Crossroads, began running ads blaming Congressman Boswell for America’s economic crisis. This blatant attempt to smear and distort the Congressman’s record is downright shameful,” wrote Joshua Sulier in an email from the Boswell for Congress campaign.

The campaign is asking for contributions to raise an additional $10,000 for the campaigns “rapid response fund” to fight attack ads.

“Faceless millionaires will not sway this election! Please add $10 to our grassroots fund today,” Sulier wrote. “Together we can prove the people are stronger than the special interests.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said the ad shows Karl Rove, who’s behind the Crossroads GPS, is trying to help U.S. Rep. Tom Latham (R-Ames) defend a “record of supporting corporate loopholes and opposing a plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.”

Latham opted to move and take on Boswell in the state’s newly drawn 3rd Congressional District rather than stay in the 4th District and battle U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron). National political observers say the race could be a bellwether for which party gains control of the U.S. House, and may be one of the most expensive in the country.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Crossroads GPS spent $15.1 million against Democrats in the 2009-10 cycle and $479,619 for Republicans. It spent another $1.1 million on electioneering communications. The group doesn’t disclose its donors.

The group has spent $85,125 so far at KCCI, the local CBS affiliate in Des Moines and the state’s largest network TV station. The group has run ads since late June, and recently spent $13,472 for ads running between Oct. 25 and Nov. 3. At least a portion of the ads being run in Iowa target Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell.

American Crossroads, a related “super PAC,” raised $26.5 million in 2010 and spent $21.5 million. It raised and spent the most out of any independent expenditure-only committees in 2010. The super PAC, which must disclose its donors, has raised $6.6 million so far this cycle.

“Tom Latham and Karl Rove think they can buy this election with anonymous, special interest money. They should know better,” Dvorsky said. “Iowans take a serious look at the candidates and the issues facing our state. On all accounts, Congressman Boswell has been a fighter for this state and has the record of fiscal responsibility and leadership to prove it.”

Latham has not yet responded to a request for comment on the ads.

A spokesman for Latham’s office did not directly respond to whether Latham supports an extension of Social Security payroll tax cuts, a major part of the American Jobs Act. On Latham’s website it says he “will oppose — and fight against — any increases in Social Security payroll taxes.”

But the spokesman, Fred Love, said most Americans don’t agree with the tax increases that are also a part of Obama’s jobs plan.

“Even the president acknowledged just a few months ago that raising tax rates while the economy is in such a fragile condition is counterproductive,” Love said. “On this matter, Congressman Latham agrees with the president and believes that raising taxes at this time will only put us in an even deeper hole and further stifle an environment needed for job creation.”

And Latham campaign spokesman James Carstensen didn’t respond to the IDP and Boswell campaign’s attacks on Crossroads and Latham, or on whether the ad is a precursor for a potentially nasty 3rd Congressional District race.

“Congressman Latham is focused on fighting for and advancing policies that will foster job and economic growth,” Carstensen said. “We will wait to focus on politics and elections next year.”

(Editor’s note: This report was updated at 3:35 p.m. to include comments from U.S. Rep. Latham’s office.)

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