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Schulte blasts King on diversity issues

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Joyce Schulte, the Democratic challenger for Republican Steve King's House seat, reacted to King's use of the term "cultural continuity," during her visit to Storm Lake Tuesday.

Schulte made her comments to students and staff at the Siebens Forum at Buena Vista University.

"Cultural continuity is not as bad a word as being against diversity," Schulte said. "He's (King) intending to use it in an unwise way. He's against diversity."

Schulte said America was comprised of people of myriad cultures and questioned which cultures could be considered as not being part of cultural continuity. "I don't know who he's saying should be in the pool," Schulte said.

Schulte also took King to task for his role in an English-only bill approved for Iowa that names English the state's official language.

"The English-only legislation he (King) pushed through here in Iowa was a real affront," Shulte said. "He's cutting the very threads that we're coming from and making light of it. It just seems like we're spurning our own historical roots."

Schulte also criticized King for backpedalling on his support for Head Start. After agreeing to support the program, Schulte said, "The very next week he went back and voted in the exact opposite direction."

Schulte said King also reneged on his pledge to not take money from political action committees and at the same time, February 2002, accepted $100,000 from a major PAC contributor. Instead, Schulte said King has accepted PAC contributions from Cargill and Smithfield.

"He said he wouldn't take PAC money and his pockets are filled with it," Schulte said. "My will and my vision is for people, ot for big PACs."

Schulte also said King voted against the child tax credit last week but voted instead for a corporate tax credit. Schulte contrasted that with herself, saying she was running because of "a sense of service to others."

"It's up to us to what type of government we have," Schulte said. "We can make it great or we can make it not so great."

Schulte said Democratic ideals are helping society. "There are times when government can legitimately give people a step up," Schulte said. She geared her remarks to her audience to address student financial aid.

Schulte said students could get up to $7,000 in PELL grants which have been capped at $4,050. "It's stuck there because that's all there's the will for."

Schulte said PELL grants originally paid for an average of 84 percent of the cost of students' education and now only pay an average of 35 percent. "We're making college much more for the rich," Schulte said.

Schulte also criticized cuts in federally subsidized work study programs. "That's been cut horribly in the last couple years," Schulte said.

Several questions and comments followed.

Carol Lytle said someone she knew was supporting Steve King because of what he has done for Storm Lake economic development.

Schulte said she strongly favors working hard on economic development throughout the district. "It doesn't take much to see that Storm Lake could be a beautiful destination spot," Schulte said.

Also regarding economic development, Schulte criticized what she said was King's inability to bring in more money for expanding Highway 20 to four lanes to the Nebraska border. She said King brought back $1 million of the $490 million needed to finish Highway 20 four-laning.

"Did he do much good? I don't think so," Schulte said. "There's minimal amounts of dollars that he's brought back. I think we can do better. I think we must do better."

"We're going to have to strengthen the family farmer," Schulte said. She said the Iowa Agriculture Development Authority, of which she is a board member, has been a big help in giving loans to beginning farmers. "There's not been one, single default on these loans," Schulte said. "More can be done. We have to have the vision."

Schulte said value-added ag products need more focus. "I want ethanol from Iowa. I want soy diesel from Iowa. Wouldn't that help our agricultural production?"

Schulte also said if elected she would like to address the problem with health care. She said there has been an average increase of 28 percent every year for health insurance. She said all of the uninsured in the United States could equal the population of 24 states.

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