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The Des Moines Register endorsed Tom Fiegen in the Iowa U.S. Senate Democratic Primary on June 8th to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

Fiegen: Did his homework better on challenging national issues

THE REGISTER'S EDITORIAL • MAY 30, 2010

Iowa Democrats have three choices for a candidate to challenge Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley in November's election. All three deserve credit for the daunting task of trying to unseat a longtime incumbent. Yet none is an especially impressive choice for the job of U.S. senator.

Roxanne Conlin has name recognition, has raised the most money and is an accomplished attorney. She is engaging, dynamic, driven and clearly smart. But we were surprised and disappointed she was not knowledgeable about and so oversimplified the details of important policy.

 And she tends to come across as indecisive, most recently when she said during a debate she favored taxing all wages to fund Social Security - then off camera said she didn't support that.

Bob Krause has a wealth of professional experience in transportation and a passion for veterans' health care. He's cordial, but seems ill-prepared to tackle complicated issues.

Tom Fiegen is a bankruptcy attorney with a compelling personal story and friendly demeanor. But he also came across as unnecessarily argumentative by insisting on keeping his notes in a candidate debate in violation of established rules - though he finally backed down.
Iowa Democrats have to choose one of these three. They should reward Fiegen, 51, for preparing best to thoughtfully tackle issues.

He has been a state senator and holds not only a law degree but a master's degree in economics. In fact, he has given so much thought to how the country works, he has his own set of reforms he calls "Fiegenomics." Simply put, these are economic and other policy changes to ensure jobs for all who want to work, health care for Americans and financial reform.

But he's not simply a wonky attorney and economist. He has been a farmer, worked for an ethanol fuel company and was an apprentice electrician. He comes from a farm family of 11 children and worked his way through college.

Fiegen's early life experience - including his own parents' problems during the farm crisis - piqued his interest in bankruptcy law. And he talks with compassion about the difficulties average Iowans face, such as the pain endured during the floods of 2008. He said he has taken everything from chickens to sweet corn as payment for his legal work.

He can get riled up about an issue, but properly channeled that passion is an asset in politics. He generally does his homework on issues and is soft-spoken, good qualities for working across the aisle in Washington.

We have reservations about all three candidates, but fewer about Fiegen. He is relatively unknown and therefore a gamble. But we expect candidates to speak knowledgeably about the nation's issues, and he does.

Originally posted to Fiegen US Senate to Retire Grassley on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 04:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  so what are the tenets of "fiegenomics"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gilgaiiowa

      sounds interesting

      Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 04:43:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, this editorial (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gilgaiiowa, Cedwyn

        reminds me of the one here, where they give a nice little compliment to each candidate and then find a liability, and finally choose one for a vague reason you can't quite parse. Since our paper flat out lied about which candidate had the more precise and nuanced positions and clearly was simply looking for a reason to endorse a candidate they're already chosen, I'm leery of deciding a candidate is better based on a newspaper endorsement, written in classic useless newspaper-endorsement style. They tell you so little, and there's almost always an agenda beyond what they say. I too would prefer to know a lot more about Fiegen; at this point, Conlin still looks like the best candidate to me. Wish the Fiegen campaign had been here earlier.

        Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

        by anastasia p on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 05:09:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In fairness, the Des Moines Register tracks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn

          liberal and is a good newspaper (especially in comparison the to Omaha World Herald that always tracks new-conservative.)

        •  i'd like to know more too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JFinNe

          bummed my question got no response.

          as you say, though, i've also been a fan of conlin for a while.

          Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

          by Cedwyn on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 06:30:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I call a certain level of crap on the assessment. (0+ / 0-)

          Though I am not a die-hard Conlinite, to me she is the only candidate positioned among the three to give Grassley a credible run.  

          One thing last week about the "ill suited on issues" talk that Fiegan brought up was that Conlin didnt even know what #2 corn is.   So what does that have to do--at all--with being a U.S. Senator, even from the top corn producing states?  And I do know what #2 corn is, as a working agronomist dealing with, yes, corn and soybeans. Ag policy is far more than grading standards, and that said, I really doubt that any of the other candidates running, including the incumbent, could sit down cold and define the #2 corn standard.

          By the way, essentially it is a minimum of 54 pounds per bushel test weight, and maxima of 0.2% heat-damaged kernels, 5% total damaged kernels, and 3% broken kernels and foreign materials. All this without musty, sour or commercially objectionable foreign odors and is not heated or otherwise of disctinctly low quality.  

          Now, if you ever run for the Senate, remember you need to know this!

          All I am saying is I am calling bull on the primary buzz from Fiegen.  I doubt that he knew these definitions either to be honest.  

    •  Given Roxanne's strong, ongoing presence here (0+ / 0-)

      you probably should have started earlier. But I fixed your tags.

      Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

      by anastasia p on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 05:05:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •   The name of the game is Get Out The Vote (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadRuth, gilgaiiowa, DWG, ArthurPoet

    Put on your walking shoes, meet and greet, and get your people out to vote.  Good Luck!

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