Saturday News, September 20
King And Mowrer Agree To Debate
(Storm Lake) -- 4th District Congressional candidates Steve King, a republican, from Kiron,and Jim Mowrer, a democrat, from Boone, have agreed to meet for one debate. The debate will be held on the campus of Buena Vista University at Storm Lake and will be televised live on Iowa Public Television on October 23rd. Mowrer's campaign manager, Ben Nesselhuf says Mowrer had been asking for multiple debates, but King, the incombent, wouldn't agree to any of the proposed debate formats. King's campaign manager, Michael Stevens, confirmed the Congressman's acceptance in a news release. He says it's not wise or practical to negotiate debates through the media.
Brad Anderson Seeks The Position Of Iowa Secretary Of State
(Le Mars) -- Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of State Brad Anderson made a visit to Le Mars Thursday evening. Anderson, who hails from the Des Moines area, but grew up in Illinois, says his goal is to make voting registration easier, and to encourage more Iowans to vote.
Anderson says one reason why he is pursuing the office of Secretary of State is because he is frustrated with the wasteful spending of Iowa's tax dollars on what he calls, "trying to prove this wave of cheating, when it doesn't exist."
Anderson says low voter turnout should be a much larger concern for Iowans than voter fraud.
The Democratic candidate proposes on-line voter registration as a means to drive more people to vote.
Anderson says he would also like to change the long process of paperwork for start-up businesses.
Young Cancels Television Political Advertising
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican David Young has canceled some television airtime reserved for advertisements in his bid for Iowa's 3rd congressional district, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission this week.
Young, a former chief of staff for Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, is running against Democrat Staci Appel in one of the nation's closest congressional races. The seat is open because Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Latham is retiring in the district, which stretches from Des Moines to Council Bluffs.
Young's campaign cancelled airtime scheduled from Sept. 16 through Sept. 22 on WHO-TV and KCCI-TV, according to contracts the stations provided to the FCC. Young spokesman Tim Albrecht declined comment.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is spending heavily on advertising in the race. Spokesman Tyler Houlton said he didn't know why the ads were cancelled but expressed confidence about the race.
"It definitely does not raise any questions about his abilities," Houlton said.
Isaac Baker, with the Democratic firm AKPD Message and Media, called the move a "very troubling sign for a candidate locked in a tight race this close to the election."
Young had nearly $90,000 in his campaign account at the end of June. Appel, who didn't face a competitive primary, had more than $725,000.
Young finished fifth in a six-person primary, but won the nomination at a June 21 convention after five rounds of voting.
Akron Scarecrow Contest Scheduled For Saturday
(Akron) -- Scarecrows of all sizes and colors will be out in full force at the 14th annual Akron Scarecrow contest scheduled for Saturday. LeAnn Philips with the Akron Friendship and Service Club, the event's sponsor, says the competition is usually interesting.
Philips reflects back on how the contest first started, and says through the years the annual "fall festival" has expanded.
Philips says the scarecrow contest and fall festival has evolved to include more than just scarecrows...attendees will find many features including, crafts, artwork, games and food.
The Akron Friendship and Service Club member says anyone can submit an entry for the scarecrow contest.
The scarecrow contest is divided into three divisions: pre-school through 5th grade, 6th grade through high School, and an adult division. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in each category. There is no admission fee for the annual Akron Scarecrow Contest, and all activities take place at the Akron City Park.
Group Assisting Immigrant Children To Seek Homes
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The issue of unaccompanied immigrant children entering the U.S. has faded from the headlines, but an Iowa group is continuing to seek pledges from people willing to house and offer care to kids while their residency questions are resolved.
The 1,000 Kids for Iowa project has been collecting housing pledges since July, around the time when media attention focused on the thousands of unaccompanied children who were crossing the nation's southern border. Project organizers, concerned about where the children could stay as their cases worked through immigration court, have collected pledges to house about 300 children so far.
Now the group is traveling around Iowa to homes, libraries and churches to build a more organized network of communities, according to project director Jessica Brackett. Those smaller groups will push the overall initiative, which includes creating a network of doctors, social workers, translators and school tutors willing to provide their services.
The group plans to submit its housing pledges to federal officials once they hit the 1,000 goal.
Their effort is in contrast to Gov. Terry Branstad, who said earlier this summer that sheltering such children sends an incorrect message that those who enter the country illegally are welcome.
Iowans To Receive Refund Checks From Membership Clubs
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The state of Iowa has started mailing out 374,000 refund checks to residents who were tricked into signing up for buying club memberships, Attorney General Tom Miller said Friday.
Miller said he wants people to know the refund checks are legitimate, and not a scam. He said the green checks are labeled a "State of Iowa Warrant" and signed by the director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services.
Miller released the statement Friday after some recipients contacted state agencies seeking to verify that the payments were legitimate. He said he applauds their skepticism, adding that the state is not collecting personal information or sending emails or making calls related to the refunds.
It's expected to take the state's settlement administrator two months to mail out all the checks. Consumers were notified by a mailing in July that the refunds would be coming.
The refunds are going to residents who paid for memberships with Vertrue Incorporated and two other buying clubs over the last 25 years, as part of a $40 million legal settlement. Most of the refunds will range from $6 to $40, but some will be $1,000 or more.