The two candidates for Iowa’s First District Congressional seat met today in their first joint appearance of the campaign. Bettendorf Mayor Ann Hutchinson, the Democrat candidate, accused Republican Congressman Jim Nussle of Manchester of being out of touch with Iowans and in the pocket of special interests.Hutchinson says Nussle backed the prescription drug bill which would require the elderly to get private insurance rather than government-guaranteed benefits through Medicare, and as a result, Hutchinson says Nussle is backed by the major drug companies Nussle says Hutchinson is off base.Nussle says the entire Iowa Congressional delegation, including Democrat Leonard Boswell, supported the House-passed prescription drug benefit plan. Nussle calls Hutchinson’s allegations “ridiculous” but typical from a politician “who has no plan of her own.” Nussle says Hutchinson has flip-flopped on the abortion issue several times.Nussle says he understands people can change their minds, but he says Hutchinson has changed her mind on just about every issue there is, including her switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party. Hutchinson says, as Bettendorf’s Mayor, she helped block construction of a Planned Parenthood there due to zoning concerns rather than an opposition to abortion. Nussle opposes abortion in all circumstances. The two candidates’ joint appearance will be broadcast tonight on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program.
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