By Joe Benedict
Election Day is eight days away and the candidates are making their final pushes for votes.
On Saturday, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks stopped at Lee County Republican headquarters on Sixth Street in Fort Madison to rally the troops one more time before it's decided on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
She said that she will be the first female member in Congress from Iowa and that it was time for it to happen. She said she's tired of incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack's Democratic rubber stamp.
"We need to put a stop the agenda of Nancy Pelosi and her puppet Dave Loebsack," she said. "I may be a small Mariannette, but I'm nobody's puppet."
The candidate has been spending some time knocking on doors and stopping at public places. She said fast food places are good spots to campaign. Recently she stopped at a McDonald's and argued with someone who kept saying she was in the "party of no." Finally she said she wasn't going to vote for bills that would hurt the people she is going to represent.
"The whole McDonald's burst into applause," she said.
One of Miller-Meeks' themes is that she isn't going to represent the Republican Party in Congress, she's representing all the people of the 2nd Congressional District. She said Loebsack has gotten away from that, but she will not.
She also said she has never suggested to raise taxes. There's a current campaign commercial linking Miller-Meeks to the Fair Tax, which is an idea to charge 23 percent sales tax on goods and services and eliminate the income tax.
Miller-Meeks said in Washington, D.C., there isn't a revenue problem, there is a spending problem. She wants to get taxes cut, including extending the Bush tax cuts, and control spending as a way to get the country back on track.
She said it is interesting that the only place in the country that didn't seem affected by the recession was D.C. She said it didn't have a decrease in employment, housing didn't get cheaper and there was in increase in the number of lobbyists and an in increase in wages.
She didn't mention Loebsack requested congressional pay be lowered for the first time in 70 years.
As a doctor, she's concerned with health care. She said the government needs to stop spending Medicare money in the general budget. She said Medicare started under Lyndon Johnson, but both parties have kept borrowing from Medicare to pay for other things and that should stop.
In an interview before she spoke to the crowd, she said she didn't agree with much of anything Loebsack was pushing, but said she did want to stay a strong advocate for education, especially creating more skills programs in middle and high schools.
She said four-year college isn't right for everyone, so there needs to be other options and help for community colleges as well.