Republican Congressman Jim Leach is bristling at his democratic opponent Dave Franker’s suggestion that Leach marches in lock-step with republican conservatives who control the debate agenda in Congress. Leach and Franker met in a face-to-face radio debate on K-M-G-O in Centerville yesterday, and Franker said Leach was wrong to support all the Bush-era tax cuts. “It’s time to say to the wealthiest two percent who don’t even live in Iowa, don’t live in the second district with rare exceptions, that you’ve had enough of a tax cut,” Franker said. And Franker said on four occasions in the past year Leach voted against ending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Leach shot back. “I have tried to carve out a record of independence,” Leach said. “I have one of the most independent voting records in the United States Congress on tax issues as well as spending issues as well as foreign policy issues.””Is there any position that you’ve taken that is away from the liberal wing of the democratic party, David?” Leach asked. Franker replied.”I reject your use of labels, Mr. Leach,” Franker said. “I’m not a doctrinaire person in any respect. I’m a pragmatist. I believe in results. I believe in working with people across the aisle.” The second congressional district covers southeast to southcentral Iowa, including Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Ottumwa. Leach, who now lives in Iowa City, was first elected to Congress in 1976. Franker, who lives in North Liberty, has been an Iowa City school board member and a hospital chaplain.
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