Democratic congressional candidate Becky Greenwald of Perry says her opponent — Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Ames — has too little to show for his 14 years in congress. Greenwald says Latham failed to use his influence in the first 12 years when he and his fellow Republicans controlled the debate agenda in congress.
"I’ve got to ask Tom Latham why he isn’t shouldering he some of the responsibility for the situation we’re in," Greenwald says. "Why didn’t he do something about this energy crisis before prices gasoline hit $4 a gallon? Why didn’t the Republican Party when they were in the majority in congress do something and instigate immigration reform and crack down on employers before we had raids at Marshalltown and Postville?"
Greenwald has worked for two leading seed businesses — Garst and Pioneer — and during a Tuesday afternoon appearance at The Des Moines Register’s "Soap Box" at the Iowa State Fair, Greenwald told fairgoers that "life experience" is what qualifies her for congress. "I’ve spent 22 years in production agriculture actually listening to farmers and producers, listening for unmet needs and then working on solutions and ways to fill those needs," Greenwald said, "and that’s exactly what we need in congress is we need a congressman who will listen to us and go to work to get the job done and bring back the changes and policies that we can feel and that will impact us positively here in the fourth district."
While Latham is a member of the family that started the Latham Seed Company, Greenwald is a member of the family that started the Garst Seed Company and she stressed her farm background in her speech to fairgoers. "My favorite time of year is in the fall when I get to jump up into the jump seats of combines and sit there as our farmers going through their fields bringing in the harvest," she said, "and watching the yields jump across on the yield monitors."
Greenwald also reminisced about her start in politics, back in 1972, when she was an Iowa State University student who opposed the Vietnam War. "I was knocking doors that year with the hopes that by electing a new member to congress we’d soon be able to bring an end to that war and bring our troops home from Vietnam, "Greenwald said, "and now this year, I have a college junior of my own. My son Zach is knocking doors for his mother, with the hopes that we can bring an end to the war in Iraq and bring his classmates home safely." Greenwald told fairgoers she worked for the Red Cross after college, helping returning Vietnam soldiers adjust to life back home.