Another skirmish in the gubernatorial campaign over the legal work one of the candidates has undertaken. Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack is attacking his Republican opponent for taking a case that seeks to overturn the state law banning meatpacker ownership of livestock. Des Moines lawyer Doug Gross is managing partner of the firm that filed the lawsuit for Smithfield Farms.Vilsack says Doug Gross, on the campaign trail, has “emotionally testified to his support for family farmers and his concern for rural Iowa” while “cooly and with detachment” directing legal work on behalf of a corporation that seeks to get rid of a bill designed to help family farmers.Vilsack says it raises the question of just exactly whose side Doug Gross is on.Gross took a leave of absence from the law firm the day before Smithfield’s lawsuit was filed against the state, but Vilsack says that doesn’t mean Gross didn’t have a hand in its preparation.The lawsuit seeks payment from the state for the legal fees racked up by Gross’ law firm, which Vilsack says raises more questions at a time when there’s a great deal of questions about corporate accountability.Vilsack says conglomerates like Smithfield need to be prevented from monopolizing the market. A spokesman for Gross’ campaign is not yet available.
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