By Craig Robinson
The Des Moines Register ranked Congressman Dave Loebsack as Iowa’s least influential members of Congress. Loebsack’s latest campaign television advertisement now proves that Loebsack isn’t just ineffective, but he’s also naive and out of touch.
Loebsack is locked in a tough re-election battle against John Archer, a Bettendorf businessman, who is also senior legal counsel for John Deere. A new Loebsack campaign ad takes a swipe at Archer and his employer for shipping 900 jobs to Mexico.
Blasting a Republican opponent who has ties to a business that has shipped jobs overseas is nothing new for a Democrat candidate, but when the company you are blasting is one of the largest in the state and employs thousands of Iowans in the district, the attack could blow up in your face.
The argument that John Deere is sending jobs overseas is completely off base. Deere is the largest employer in Davenport, Dubuque, and Waterloo. The company also has plants and operations in five other Iowa locations – Ankeny, Des Moines, Klemme, Ottumwa, and Rock Valley. Yes the company has operations in Mexico, but it has operations on every continent except Antarctica.
Not only should Congressman Loebsack be ashamed for attacking one of the great American success stories of all time, but he should also know better than to attack a major employer in his district. Loebsack may be new to eastern Iowa, but he has represented Ottumwa since being elected in 2006. The John Deere plant in Ottumwa is vital to the economic health of southeast Iowa.
Making matters even worse, Loebsack has taken money from John Deere’s Political Action Committee. In 2010, John Deere PAC made five $1000 contributions to Loebsack’s campaign. In 2008, John Deere PAC contributed $2000 to his campaign. Since Loebsack cashed John Deere’s checks, it’s safe to assume that he knew who they were in previous election cycles. It’s also apparent that Loebsack wasn’t overly concerned about John Deere’s foreign operations when they were giving his campaign money in previous elections.
Redistricting has put Loebsack in an unfamiliar district that now includes Clinton and Scott counties in the eastern part of the state, and Jasper, Marion, Clarke, and Decatur counties in the west. Getting to know a new district is hard enough, but insulting one of the main employers makes things all the more difficult. It’s not just the people that John Deere employs directly that Loebsack has offended, but also the people who proudly use their equipment, as well as the people who sell and service it.
John Deere is also a good corporate citizen. They sponsor a golf tournament in the Quad Cities and a race at the Iowa Speedway. Those things may seem trivial, but they fill up hotel rooms, sell merchandize, and keep restaurants busy. Liberals like Loebsack may think that “corporation” is a dirty word, but it’s scary to think what Iowa would be like without a company like John Deere.
Amazingly, Congressman Loebsack seems willing to disparage a great employer like John Deere just to keep his own job. That doesn’t sit well with me, and my only connection to the company is my John Deere lawn mower. I can’t imagine how I would feel if my congressman attacked the very company I worked for.
Attacking John Deere is like attacking Grandma’s apple pie. You just don’t do it. Dave Loebsack has made a fatal miscalculation that could cost him in November.
Below is the Loebsack ad:
Statement by John Archer:
Archer Responds to Loebsack’s Desperate Attacks on John Deere
Congressman Dave Loebsack attacks one of the 2nd District’s largest employers in political ad
(DAVENPORT) – John Archer today responded to a new attack ad that Dave Loebsack paid for that attacks one of the largest employers in the 2nd district.
“On the very day that over 400 people found out they are losing their job today at Siemens in Ft. Madison, Congressman Dave Loebsack attacks one of the 2nd District’s largest employers, John Deere. I’m proud to have spent more than a decade working at John Deere, alongside thousands of other Iowans. Dave Loebsack is so out of touch with what it takes to create real good-paying jobs, he attacks John Deere, while voting to spend our tax dollars for supposed job stimulus that ultimately stimulated jobs in China,” said Archer.
“Dave Loebsack’s desperate attacks are exactly why Washington has failed to get our economy back on track. Instead of trying to help put America back to work, Loebsack and his Washington friends are attacking John Deere, a global company that has helped thousands of employees raise their families in Iowa. While Loebsack has spent his time in Washington making it harder for businesses to grow, I will take my private sector experience to Washington and help job creators, not attack them.”
“Dave Loebsack certainly does not understand hard working Iowans,” concluded Archer.
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