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Republican Party of Iowa
Growth and Opportunity Party
Varied Industries Building
Iowa State Fairgrounds
3000 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines

Saturday, October 31, 2015

"This Party will give Republican candidates a chance to speak with Iowa caucus goers almost exactly three months before our February 1 caucuses and only 3 days after the GOP debate on Wednesday." 

Candidates have 15 minutes to speak.  Rough schedule:

9 a.m. - Doors open to general public
10:20 – Program starts
10:35 - Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease - J.C. Watts
Rand Paul >
Ted Cruz >
Chris Christie >
Bobby Jindal
12:10 - Lunch
12:35 - Award presentation 
Marco Rubio >
Mike Huckabee
Lindsey Graham
Jeb Bush >
Chairman Kaufmann
Speaker-select Linda Upmeyer
Carly Fiorina
Rick Santorum

NOTE: The Sidewire/Iowa GOP Afterparty with complimentary beverages and food took place at Ricochet in downtown Des Moines (502 East Locust Street).

Iowa Democratic Party
October 30, 2015

GOP Presidential Candidates’ Spooky Policies for Iowa Families would mean Growth & Opportunity–For Those at the Very Top and People Like Them

DES MOINES –In advance of the Republican Party of Iowa’s “Growth & Opportunity (For Those at the Very Top and People Like Them)” Party tomorrow, IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire led a press conference this afternoon highlighting how the Republicans’ policies would leave most working Iowa families behind. McGuire was joined by Susan Deiker of Clive, Claudia Thrane of Des Moines, and Drake senior Riley Willman, who described how Republican policies would reduce growth and opportunity for Iowa working families, seniors, immigrants and college students.

Each day this week leading up to the Republican Halloween event, the Iowa Democratic Party has highlighted a different GOP policy that spooks the heck out of Iowa families. Read our summaries of their spooky policies on immigration reform, retirement security, tax breaks for the rich, paid family leave, and college affordability.

Below you will find excerpts as prepared for delivery:

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Dr. Andy McGuire
What struck me the most about the Iowa Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson dinner was that each of our candidates has a vision on how we can build an economy where all Iowans have a chance to succeed, and where each family and each individual has a chance to achieve their own American Dream.

I expect you will all see a stark contrast tomorrow for the Republican Party of Iowa’s “Growth & Opportunity” Party, just like you saw at Wednesday’s debate. Because when you delve into their policies, you see that the Republican presidential candidates only care about “Growth & Opportunity” for those at the very top.

All you need to do is look at the tax plans of the Republicans in Iowa today and tomorrow. They are all some variation of the failed “trickle down” economic ideas of the past that squeeze the middle class while benefiting the rich, and adding to the deficit and debt.
For example, Marco Rubio’s tax plan works best not for the rich, but for the super rich. The people who benefit the most from his tax plan are actually people who don’t have to work for a living, folks who can live off of stock dividends and capital gains.

Here’s the kicker though: While Republicans are offering these giveaways to the wealthy few, they are opposing a minimum wage increase, opposing equal pay, and opposing Paid Family leave. That’s not a plan to bring Iowa families growth and opportunity. It’s a plan that only grows the gap between the wealthy few and working families.

Susan Deiker, Clive
I fully recognize that my husband and I are lucky—we were able to save enough through our working lives and have access to good retirement plans that important programs like Social Security and Medicare are supplements in our retirement, not base necessities. But we know many, many people who are not so fortunate, who would be living in near poverty if not for Social Security and Medicare. One of those people is my cousin.

And let me be clear: my cousin worked her entire life, and she worked hard. She paid into Social Security and Medicare, and those are benefits she has earned. She deserves to have access to growth and opportunity in her retirement too.

So I don’t understand when I hear Republicans presidential candidates talking about privatizing Social Security and leaving Iowans’ retirement security up to the whims of Wall Street, or when Marco Rubio says programs like Medicare & Social Security have “Weakened us as people.” My cousin is not weak. I don’t get why Ted Cruz believes Social Security is a “Ponzi” scheme, or why many of the candidates voted to end Medicare as we know it and turn it into a voucher program.

We need to protect Iowans’ retirement security, and Iowans simply can’t trust Republicans to keep our promises to our seniors.

Claudia Thrane, Des Moines

Like so many Americans, I am an immigrant. Many of my family members still live in Mexico. And in my job, I get to work with so many amazing immigrant children—DREAMERs—who love this country and want to contribute to Iowa. These students are incredible people—they have dreams just like the rest of us, and want to be able to fulfill them in the country they consider their home.

But to hear the GOP candidates discuss immigration, it’s like they don’t even consider the immigrant families I work with to be people. They call them vile names, they use hateful language, they talk about rounding them up for deportation and tearing families apart by ending the President’s executive orders. And not one of the major candidates supports a pathway to citizenship. They would put the lives of millions of immigrants on hold at best. That’s not compassionate. And it’s not right.

Riley Willman, Drake University
Like almost everyone I know, I couldn’t be here without the combination of grants and loans I’ve been able to receive, many of them from the federal government.

I’m grateful to have these loans, and I’m grateful to be a Drake student. But I also know I’ll have more than $40,000 in student loan debt when I graduate. I know my story isn’t unique—most of my classmates have some form of financial assistance, and many of us will leave college with a student loan debt burden that makes it harder for us to see growth or go after opportunities we’re passionate about.

So I can’t understand why the Republican candidates would only make a college education even more expensive. You’ve got everyone from Rand Paul to Marco Rubio calling for us to eliminate the Department of Education, which would eliminate the Pell Grants and federal student loans many students need to go to college. Even worse, many of them supported a budget that would have cut Pell Grants for Iowa students and students across the nation. And when given an opportunity to allow college students to refinance their student loans, just like you can refinance a car or mortgage, they opposed it.