Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Culver snubs western Iowa -- again

The Sioux City Journal correctly takes issue with Chet Culver, the Democratic candidate for the new state of East Iowa, for not wanting to schedule any debates in Sioux City or Council Bluffs or Carroll or anywhere west of I-35. Culver's Des Moines-centric and eastern-Iowa lean should be troubling to voters here in western Iowa.

Here is The Journal's editorial:

That Iowa Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver didn't want to include Sioux City as one of the sites for a debate with his Republican opponent, Jim Nussle, is a snub, plain and simple.

The three cities agreed to by the Culver and Nussle campaigns this week as debate host locations are Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines. Once again, the mindset appears to be that Iowa's borders are the Mississippi River and the city limits of West Des Moines. Residents of western Iowa have become accustomed to that way of thinking through the years, but that doesn't make it right.

In this case, the Culver camp gets the blame.

Nussle proposed eight debates, with one of them scheduled for Sioux City. Culver wanted only three and wasn't interested in including Sioux City. The final agreement reduced the number and locations to what Culver wanted, eliminating Sioux City from the mix…

…the proper strategy, it seems to us, would have been to divide the state into thirds, with each third - east, central and west - hosting one debate. The debates could have been scheduled in the largest population center in each section.

That the debates will be available statewide via television, as a Culver spokesman said in an effort to favorably spin the matter, isn't the point. Neither is the Culver campaign's proposal for a debate in Sioux City between running mates Patty Judge and Bob Vander Plaats.

By not agreeing to physically hold a debate in western Iowa between the candidates at the top of the ticket, the Culver campaign demonstrated a disappointing disrespect for this side of the state.

As a result, it seems, voters in these parts legitimately might ask how Culver would represent them and their interests and concerns as governor.”

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