President Bush will meet privately with residents of a Des Moines facility that cares for the elderly this (Tuesday) afternoon before speaking at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle tonight.
Tickets to the fundraiser range as high as 10-thousand dollars a pop if you want to pose for a picture with the president. That prompted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Blouin’s campaign to organize soup suppers in four Iowa cities with the goal of raising money for the homeless and others who Blouin says have been hurt by the fiscal policies advanced by Bush and by Nussle, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee.
“It’s a fundraiser for soup kitchens and food pantries in the four communities where these events are being held,” Blouin says. “It’s an effort to spotlight the basic differences between George Bush and Jim Nussle on the one hand and all of us who are running for governor on the other.”
Ed Fallon, one of Blouin’s rivals for the Democratic party’s gubernatorial nomination asked to join the effort. “Jim Nussle has done some awful things as a U.S. Congressman in terms of his fiscal responsibility…and his inattention to the needs of average Iowans who are struggling,” Fallon says.
Fallon says all three Democrats in the race for governor are united in their opposition to his budgeting practices. “This is also a very concrete way to generate some support to some of the facilities in our state that are struggling.”
The soup suppers are scheduled in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, and Iowa City.
Nussle campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella dismisses the soup suppers as “nasty, negative and partisan” and a desperate attempt to grab headlines. Tickets to the Bush fundraising dinner are two-hundred-50 dollars or as much as five-thousand dollars for “preferred seating.” The 10-thousand dollar donation buys you two tickets and that photo with the president.
Former Dubuque Mayor Terry Duggan, a Democrat, supports Nussle and will serve as emcee of the event.