The planned-out pace of campaigning for a pair of Democrats who’re running for president was disrupted a bit yesterday. North Carolina Senator John Edwards was in Waukee Sunday morning to launch a “Main Street” tour of Iowa towns, focusing on his own tax cut proposals, but as he walked across a street he got blindsided by complaints from Jerry Burger, who farms down the road and objects to Edwards’ call for new federal rules that’d limit air and manure emissions from large-scale livestock confinements. Burger says all Edwards wants “is more regulations” and Burger says every time there’s more regulation, more farmers quit the business. Edwards says he’s worked hard to ensure farmers can stay in business. Afterwards, Burger told reporters he votes for Republicans most of the time, and he said Edward’s ideas were “wack-o stuff.” Edwards says he’d “respectfully disagree” with Burger. Edwards says it’s important to “manage” the environmental impact of corporate livestock operations, because there can be enormous environmental damage. Meanwhile, Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt appeared at a televised forum in Dubuque on Sunday afternoon, and members of the audience questioned Gephardt for supporting the resolution that gave President Bush authority to wage war in Iraq.Gephardt said if he had been President, he would have let the U-N inspectors continue their fact-finding in Iraq as long as possible to convince the world there was a problem to be solved, and he would have put together an “international coalition” to do what needed to be done. But one audience member said Americans and Iraqis had died unnecessarily because of lack of courage on the part of politicians like Gephardt, and Gephardt responded. Gephardt said he did the best he could do to “keep our people safe.” Gephardt was asked whether he thought he’d made a mistake by giving the go-ahead for an Iraq invasion when some of the intelligence data President Bush cited is now being called into question. Gephardt said it was time for a public, bipartisan investigation. Gephardt said every fact needs to be uncovered, and when all the facts are on the table, then folks can decide whether they made the right decision. Edwards made stops in Waukee, Marshalltown, Ames, Boone, Rippey and Carroll Sunday. Today, Edwards campaigns in Sioux City. Gephardt made stops in Clinton, Dubuque and Manchester yesterday, and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich appeared at a peace forum in Des Moines and made stops in Grinnell and Ames, too.
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