Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Caucuses are Today - Where the Candidates Stand on Ag

The Iowa caucuses are today, here is a brief roundup of where the candidates stand on agricultural issues:

Republicans:

Rudy Giuliani: “I think they’ll find someone in me who is a very big advocate of the private economy, understands how important agriculture is as an industry for the United States both domestic and foreign. We have to have free trade but it has to be fair. I’m someone who from the very beginning has been a supporter of ethanol and one of the major commitments I made to the American people when I laid out my 12 commitments in Iowa, was the idea that we have to, with a tremendous amount of attention and a tremendous amount of emphasis, we have to move toward energy independence. And ethanol is a big part of that.”

Mitt Romney: Opening Markets Is Pro-Iowa Agriculture. At $4.2 billion per year, Iowa exports more agricultural products than any other state than California. However, per capita, Iowa's exports amounted to $1,412 while California's was only $287. Ensuring that Iowa's agricultural products can reach foreign markets is essential to economic security for Iowa's farmers.

John McCain: Senator John McCain said, "Farming and agriculture production is part of the backbone of our great country. As president, I will support addressing the larger needs of the farming community abiding by the same standards of common sense and fiscal restraint as demonstrated by our nation's hardworking families." McCain added, "My national advisory team will play a critical role in developing farm and agriculture policy as we continue to build support for my campaign across the country."

Mike Huckabee:
A nation must provide its citizens freedom and security. To accomplish this, a nation must be able to defend itself and feed itself. We have learned how disastrous it is to be dependent on other countries for our energy needs – we must never be dependent for our food needs. Being able to feed ourselves is not just sound economic and agricultural policy, it is wise national security policy.

Fred Thompson
: I could find nothing on his presidential campaign site about agriculture. This is language from his old Senate site: Senator Thompson recognizes that Tennessee farmers work hard to produce outstanding agricultural products. With approximately 80,000 farms covering 43 percent of the state, Tennessee is a major producer of agricultural commodities such as cattle, lumber, dairy products, tobacco, cotton, nursery products, soybeans, poultry, and hogs.
During his tenure in the Senate, Senator Thompson has been a strong proponent of trade policies that open foreign markets for our farmers goods. He supports Trade Promotion Authority and other policies that will open new export markets for Tennessee's agricultural products.

Ron Paul
: Nothing specific on agriculture on his presidential campaign site, but he mentions farming in this statement about property rights:

We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches. Today, we face a new threat of widespread eminent domain actions as a result of powerful interests who want to build a NAFTA superhighway through the United States from Mexico to Canada. We also face another danger in regulatory takings: Through excess regulation, governments deprive property owners of significant value and use of their properties — all without paying “just compensation.”


Democrats:

Barack Obama
: “We are at that critical and urgent moment. If Washington continues policies that work against America's family farmers, our rural communities will fall further behind — and so will America. But if we reject the politics that has shut ordinary folks out, we can create a new story for rural America… The dreams of rural Americans are familiar to all Americans — to make a good living, to raise a healthy and secure family, and to leave our children a future of opportunity. It's time for real leadership for rural America to extend that American dream. That's the dream of opportunity that I've spent my life fighting for. And that's what our rural agenda will do.”

Hillary Clinton: Today, Hillary Clinton highlighted her agenda to support rural America. Hillary understands the importance of rural communities to America's economy and way of life. She understands that rural America face challenges in economic development, agriculture, education and health. But she also knows that with the right policies in place, rural communities can thrive and can help America solve pressing national problems, like providing a safe and health food supply, producing renewable energy to move us toward energy independence, creating vibrant rural communities and jobs, and helping to tackle global warming.

John Edwards: As a native of a small rural town, John Edwards knows that America cannot turn its back on rural areas. Small towns and rural areas are the keepers of American values like family, work, community, and freedom. America depends on rural communities for a strong manufacturing base, reliable and affordable food, and increasingly for clean energy as well. To make sure they share in our prosperity, we must fight corporate greed and turn the tables on runaway economic disparity. Today, Edwards outlined initiatives to restore economic fairness and create new jobs and businesses in rural America, help struggling counties and towns, and protect the rural people and their way of life.

Bill Richardson
: Our country requires a vision for rural America and the farm sector that will give American agriculture a new direction, one suited to a new era shaped by the global economy. This vision must include an appreciation of the growing demand for renewable energy sources, an urgent need for conservation, a market with true competition and support for family farmers, and an increased emphasis on health and safety. Governor Bill Richardson has this vision, and the experience to make it a reality.

2 comments:

barb michelen said...

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CresceNet said...

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