Monday | September 09, 2002
Harkin wins support of GOP group
This is old news, by blogosphere standards (from Friday's Washington Post), but what the heck.
The Iowa Farm Bureau, a normally reliable GOP PAC, has endorsed Dem Sen. Harkin (IA) in his race against strong GOP challenger Rep. Gangske. Harkin is the only Democratic candidate to get the Farm Bureau's nod in any of the state's major races. Gangske's campaign was shocked:
Ganske's campaign released a statement that called the bureau's decision "puzzling," saying Harkin has a "far inferior" voting record on farm issues. Since the beginning of the 104th Congress, Ganske said, he has voted with the American Farm Bureau's position an average of 84 percent of the time, compared to Harkin's 57 percent.This so-called rating system seems to have been "must have a '(R)' attached to name". And as for the 'inferior voting record', Harkin was a major force behind May's (monstrous, pork-ladden) Farm Bill. Gangske voted against it, incurring the Farm Bureau's wrath. That massive bill clearly trumped any other of interest to the Farm Bureau.
This is a close race, and this endorsement will help Harkin innoculate himself against charges he is too liberal for Iowa.
On the flip sided, the Farm Bureau endorsed gubernatorial candidate Gross over Dem. Gov. Vilsack in the even tighter governor's race. However, Vilsack has never received the Farm Bureau's endorsement, so there's no surprise there. The Farm Bureau has also endorsed every single GOP candidate in the state's crucial congressional races (though one Dem candidate got a co-endorsement). Again, no surprise there. The surprise is the Harkin endorsement, and coming from a reliably GOP group, is a serious blow to Gangske's campaign.