One of the Democrats who’s running for governor plans a different kind of fundraiser on the same day President Bush will be in Iowa to help G-O-P gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle raise campaign cash. Democrat Mike Blouin says the extravagance of the congressman’s fundraiser shows Nussle’s out of touch with Iowans. “Instead of $10,000 a person for a picture (with the president), we want folks to come in for $5 a head or $10 a head or whatever they can afford with the money going to the soup kitchens or food pantries in different parts of the state to help folks understand that there are a lot of human beings who’ve been left behind,” Blouin says.
Blouin’s campaign will hold soup dinners around the state on April 11th to raise money for the needy. “We think there’s a real opportunity here to spotlight some very real and stark differences between the Nussle approach to government…and our approach,” Blouin says. According to Blouin, the federal budget decisions Nussle has made as chairman of the House Budget committee have caused hardships for many who must accept charity in order to eat.
“They could no more afford a $10,000 picture with the president than they could afford a shiny picture of the tooth fairy,” Blouin says. “It doesn’t work that way for them. They’re just trying to make ends meet.” President Bush will campaign for Congressman Nussle in Des Moines on April 11th, and 10-thousand dollars will buy the donor two tickets to the banquet and a photo with the president. Tickets to the dinner itself cost as little as two-hundred-50 dollars or as much as five-thousand dollars for “preferred seating.”
Blouin’s campaign will stage its charity fundraisers in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines that evening. Maria Comella, a spokesman for the Nussle campaign, says Nussle “has been traveling to communities across the state, championing the issues important to Iowans – education, health care, job creation, and renewable energy” and Comella says Blouin’s “nasty, negative and partisan rhetoric is disappointing (because) Iowans want a Governor who will lead the state in a positive direction, not tear others down in a desperate attempt to grab headlines.”