Crossroads uses local report to further attack Iowa Rep. Boswell

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Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm | More from The Iowa Independent

Noting The Iowa Independent’s report on the Iowa Democratic Party’s and U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell’s responses to a new attack ad, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative group continued to press for answers as to why the 3rd District congressman supported government stimulus plans.

The move is the latest in the back-and-forth action since The Iowa Independent noted on Tuesday the new ad and airtime purchase by Crossroads GPS, a conservative policy and advocacy group founded by Karl Rove.

“Despite the flowery statements pouring out from Leonard Boswell and the Iowa Democratic Party, Leonard Boswell fails to explain why he voted to waste $830 billion on Obama’s first stimulus bill and now enthusiastically supports another round of stimulus spending tied to a $450 billion tax hike,” Nate Hodson, director of state and regional media relations, said in a Crossroads statement.

“Iowans deserve to know why Leonard Boswell continues supporting Obama’s failed policies which waste taxpayer dollars without creating jobs.”

The remarks from Hodson followed responses from the Iowa Democratic Party and Boswell’s campaign regarding the new ad, which were also published by The Independent on Tuesday and linked to in the Crossroads release.

“This morning Karl Rove’s shadowy corporate special interest group American Crossroads, began running ads blaming Congressman Boswell for America’s economic crisis. This blatant attempt to smear and distort the Congressman’s record is downright shameful,” wrote Joshua Sulier in an email from the Boswell for Congress campaign.

The campaign is asking for contributions to raise an additional $10,000 for the campaigns “rapid response fund” to fight attack ads. …

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said the ad shows Karl Rove, who’s behind the Crossroads GPS, is trying to help U.S. Rep. Tom Latham (R-Ames) defend a “record of supporting corporate loopholes and opposing a plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.” …

“Tom Latham and Karl Rove think they can buy this election with anonymous, special interest money. They should know better,” Dvorsky said. “Iowans take a serious look at the candidates and the issues facing our state. On all accounts, Congressman Boswell has been a fighter for this state and has the record of fiscal responsibility and leadership to prove it.” …

Latham campaign spokesman James Carstensen didn’t respond to the IDP and Boswell campaign’s attacks on Crossroads and Latham, or on whether the ad is a precursor for a potentially nasty 3rd Congressional District race.

“Congressman Latham is focused on fighting for and advancing policies that will foster job and economic growth,” Carstensen said. “We will wait to focus on politics and elections next year.”

Boswell, a Des Moines Democrat, appeared along with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Des Moines earlier this month to promote the American Jobs Act, and specifically the $50 billion earmarked within the plan for transportation infrastructure like bridges and roads. Earl Agan, president of the Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council, estimates the nearly $500 million that would come into Iowa as a part of the proposal would fund more than 6,500 construction workers.

Boswell indicated that at a time when Americans are searching for employment and the nation’s infrastructure needs repair, the Obama proposal could fill both needs.

“I will be doing all I can to push for this much-needed relief. Iowans are counting on us to come together, do the right thing and get people working again,” Boswell said in an Oct. 14 briefing.

“I remain committed to taking care of our middle class and will support legislation that creates jobs and provides Iowa’s families and workers with the tools and assistance they need to get back on their feet and contribute to the recovery of our national and local economies.”

In early September, shortly after Obama’s jobs address to the nation, Boswell said, “In order to invest in job creation, Washington must get on the same page as the rest of America and stop putting corporations and special interests above everyday workers and small businesses. It is clear to most Americans that oil companies are doing just fine without the taxpayer’s help. It is clear to most Americans that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can afford to pay the same percentage of payroll taxes that their own secretaries pay. It is clear to most Americans that our nation will never recover if the federal government keeps offering tax breaks to companies that outsource U.S. jobs.

“Let’s redirect the taxpayer dollars that fund these luxury handouts and corporate incentives to put Iowans back to work, repair our roads and bridges, update our public buildings, and get Americans making things again. I look forward to the hard work ahead.”

According to an analysis of the stimulus — known officially as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — in relation to job creation by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the government plan, during the second quarter of 2010 alone, increased employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million people, compared with what employment would have been otherwise. The CBO also states that well over half a million jobs were funded in each of the other three quarters of 2010. Subsequent analysis by the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center, which runs FactCheck.org, finds Republican and conservative claims of the plan’s failure to be a matter of opinion and not fact.

“Simply put, more people would be unemployed if not for the stimulus bill,” the analysis reads. “The exact number of jobs created and saved is difficult to estimate, but nonpartisan economists say there’s no doubt that the number is positive.”

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