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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

Liz Mathis
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.

(Photo: Screen Capture)
(Photo: Screen Capture)

Young Democrats launch education campaign against Paul, GOP field

By Lynda Waddington | 10.31.11 | 11:11 am

The College and Young Democrats of Iowa are striking back specifically against U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s assertion that student financial aid is “a failed program,” and more generally against the whole of the Republican 2012 field’s proposed policies that will directly impact young people.

College & Young Democrats of Iowa President Austin Frerick holds a sign saying that he believes federal aid for education is an investment.

The group rolled out a new initiative late last week entitled, “Tell Rep. Paul what your education means to you.” They want supporters to send them videos or photos, like the one to the right, that will explain to Paul why “education is not a waste of money.”

Asked by Meet the Press host David Gregory about his exact plan for federal student aid, Paul said his plan would “eventually” eliminate it all, but the nation would “transition” into that.

“But that is your ultimate aim?” asked Gregory.

“Yes, because there’s no authority to do this. And just think of all this willingness to want to help every student get a college education. So they’re a trillion dollars in debt. We don’t have any jobs for them. The quality of education has gone down. So it’s a failed program,” Paul said.

Paul’s “Plan to Restore America” calls for cuts of $1 trillion during his first year as president as well as the elimination of five cabinet departments — energy, commerce, interior, education and housing and urban development. He would also end the Transportation Security Administration, handing security duty back to private property owners. He wants to abolish corporate subsidies, stop foreign aid, end foreign wars and return nearly all spending to levels during the Clinton administration.

“We chose to focus on Rep. Paul because his position on this issue represents a betrayal of the small but vocal following he has among college students, a constituency that has been vitally important to his moderate success in the past two presidential elections,” said William Casey Erixon, a student at Drake University and social media coordinator for the College and Young Democrats.

Although the initiative was only recently unveiled, Erixon reports that it has received a positive response.

“When you compare the position of the Republican field to the policies that President Obama announced on Wednesday, there is no question as to which side best represents the interests of young voters,” he said.

Speaking on a Denver campus last week, Obama pledged to move forward with student loan reforms. If members of Congress drag their feet, he pledged to move an executive order that would provide relief for individuals struggling with educational debt.

Although the Paul website does not have an issue area specific to education, there is one on homeschooling. In general, Paul seems poised to take government out of education.

Ron Paul believes no nation can remain free when the state has greater influence over the knowledge and values transmitted to the children than the family does.

And the truth is, no big government spending program can or will solve our nation’s education problems. …

Returning control of education to parents and teachers on the local level is the centerpiece of Ron Paul’s education agenda.

But the discussion of education — and specifically if the nation wants a president that views and values education as a future investment — isn’t only limited to Paul, Erixon noted.

“We are trying to shed light on the vast disparity between the interests and concerns of young people and the positions held by most in the Republican field,” he said.

“Paying for college is a difficult task under the best of circumstances, and the Republican field should take a cue from President Obama and start talking about ways to make it easier, not harder.”

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