Second Congressional District candidate Dave Franker promises a stronger commitment to veterans and education if he’s elected. Franker, a democrat who is challenging Iowa City Republican Jim Leach’s re-election bid, is a Lutheran minister and instructor at Kirkwood Community College. He served 16 years as chaplain for the Iowa V.A. Medical Center. Franker says Leach voted “no” last year on a bill that would have given full pension and disability benefits to veterans. Franker says HE would have voted “yes” on that bill. Franker says the federal government should provide more generous and reliable funding for veterans. Franker also called the Medicare prescription-drug benefit nothing but a “sham.” He says it’s “crumbs” compared with tax cuts for the wealthy, and says it’s not the way to honor our elderly. Franker says Congress also needs to do a better job investing in education, charging that the “No Child Left Behind” Act punishes schools that have large populations of struggling students. He says those schools may be serving low-income or immigrant families who need extra help, not less. Franker says this is part of the reason he thinks he can beat Jim Leach this November. Franker says people were voting for “continuity” in 2002, re-electing incumbents as they reeled from the terrorist attacks of September 2001, but Franker hopes they’ll voting for change this year. Franker spoke to reporters Monday before appearing at the Des Moines Register’s “soap box” on the state fairgounds.
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