Joyce Schulte positioned herself squarely against U.S. Congressman Steve King last Tuesday at the Buena Vista County Democrats' fall fund-raiser. Schulte, who lost to King in the fall 2004 general election, seemed undaunted by a repeat of last year's campaign.
"It's an absolute pleasure to be running against Steve King," Schulte said.
Schulte defended Social Security as a retirement rather than an investment system. King has endorsed President Bush's proposal to privatize investment of a portion of Social Security benefits.
"Social Security was always intended to be an insurance program, not an investment scheme," Schulte said. She recalled when she was widowed at 31.
"Without Social Security I don't know where we would have been," Schulte said. Thanks to Social Security, said Schulte, she was able to return to college to gain the skills to support her family.
"That's what government should be doing, to help us up, not allow us to fall into the cesspool of poverty," Schulte said.
Schulte contrasted government waste in the Pentagon with the crisis in education. She also focused on King directly.
"He lied to the Head Start people of Northwestern Iowa," Schulte said. "He turned Iowans away from his office. I think we need somebody who will not only work on these issues but who will respect you."
Schulte called for renewed vision in dealing with America's problems.
"This is the 21st century," Schulte said. "We can do better with your help."
Schulte questioned King's support of Iowa agriculture, saying, "Mr. King wants the Brazilian ethanol tax free, duty free-it's cheaper than Iowa ethanol."
"We'll send Mr. King back to digging the dirt of Iowa," Schulte said, referring to King's career as a contractor before being elected to Congress.