From J.D. Scholten’s campaign:
Following Randy Feenstra’s refusal to debate, J.D. Scholten, congressional candidate for Iowa’s 4th district, appeared on Iowa Press on Friday discussing issues important to voters ranging from agriculture to health care to protecting Social Security. Overall, J.D. Scholten stressed that he’s fighting for regular people like our seniors, farmers, small business owners, and students; he’s not seeking to toe the party line or pad the bottom lines of multinational corporations.
On his style of retail campaigning, J.D. Scholten said:
“Last cycle, we moved the needle 24 points, which is third most in the nation and we got 25,000 more votes than there are registered Democrats. We do have this crossover appeal. One of the biggest strengths of our campaign, both last cycle and this cycle, is showing up. Whether it’s showing up on this show, and it’s also showing up in town to town. We went to all 39 counties at least three times last cycle. Last fall, we did the Don’t Forget About Us Tour, where we went into towns of under 1,000 people and did town halls there in every county. Now we’re going to every single town, all 374 towns in the district. In doing so, that’s where you connect with people. So many Iowans are free-thinkers, they vote on the person and not the party. That’s what we’re doing — going out and building relationships.”
On enforcing antitrust laws and empowering the Iowa farmer, J.D. Scholten said:
“You look at every single sector of agriculture and there’s just a handful of companies that control it. We had this same battle literally 100 years ago. In 1920, the big five meatpackers were broken up and they controlled 45% of the market share. Right now in hogs, 4 companies control 70% of the market share. Right now, in cattle, 4 companies control 85% of the market share. As a result, they’re pricing our farmers out. This pandemic has put a spotlight on this. We have consumers paying the most they ever have for meat, we have workers in Sioux City at the processing plants getting the same wage as when my family moved from Nevada to Sioux City in 1984, and we have farmers getting squeezed. My campaign is trying to build this coalition of consumers, workers, and farmers.
“Every politician, especially here in Iowa, loves to talk and say I’m pro-farmer. But you’re not pro-farmer, when you take all this money from these monopolies that are squeezing out people on the farm. Farmers have the largest debt they’ve ever had. And when you go the way we have, to all 374 towns, going town to town, farm to farm, talking to so many people that this affects, it doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum, whether you’re a Democrat, Independent, Republican, they have all said the same thing when I mention antitrust in agriculture. They say, ‘you’re exactly right.’ This Administration has ripped out GIPSA (Grain, Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration). It used to be a standalone entity, but now it’s under the division it’s supposed to be overseeing. We need to allow our farmers to stay on the land and make a dime and that’s by empowering the farmer.”
On expanding quality, affordable health care, J.D. Scholten said:
“It is clear that this system is not working. As we are going from town to town, almost every gas station has a donation box for someone who just got sick or someone who just got in the hospital, the amount of GoFundMes, the amount of pancake breakfasts that communities have to pay for medical expenses. My push is for universal health care. That is my goal. It may take steps to get there, including a robust public option.”
On protecting and expanding Social Security, J.D. Scholten said:
“I think it’s fair to scrap the gap, if not get rid of it. If you make a million dollars, the rest from $137,001 all the way to a million dollars is taxed into that. I’m not for [raising the retirement age]. If we scrap the cap, that will be plenty. We need to protect Social Security and expand it.”