Evan Bayh stumps for Kressig
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 12:07 PM CDT
Bayh stumps for Kressig and Kelley; calls for national push on bio-fuels
By JEFF WILFORD, Assistant City Editor
CEDAR FALLS --- To end the United States' dependence on foreign oil, U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, said the country needs to do two things:
Put more emphasis on biofuels like E-85 and use tax credits to increase the number of pumps dishing it out in the short-term.
Put more money into research and development of new energy sources, like hydrogen or the liquification of coal.
Bayh spoke Tuesday night at a fundraiser for two Democrats running for the Iowa House --- Bob Kressig, the incumbent in House District 19, and Doris Kelley, who is running for the open seat in District 20.
He said the United States could take a lesson from other countries for alternative fuel policies.
"In Brazil, there's a requirement that every new vehicle be a flexible fuel vehicle," Bayh said. "We need to do that in this country as well."
Bayh said the United States imports more foreign oil now than it did five years ago on 9/11. It is just one example, he said, of how Republicans have weakened our national security --- a point Democratic candidates have to make as they look to unseat the Republican majority in Congress.
"Unfortunately, they're going to have to run a relentlessly negative campaign to tear down our standard bearers," Bayh said of Republicans. "What we need to do is not just roll over and take that stuff. Stand up, fight back ... show that they have weakened our national security."
Bayh is considering his own run for president, but won't announce that decision until the end of the year. In the meantime, he has made repeated visits to Iowa to test the political waters and help Iowa Democrats in their own campaigns.
Bayh gave $500 checks to each Kressig and Kelley. He dispatched 25 of his own staffers to Iowa to work on different Democratic campaigns. Two of those staffers will work for the Kressig and Kelley campaigns.
"There's so many things to do in a campaign; it helps me immensely," Kressig said of the staffer. "My race has been targeted --- by my party and the Republican Party."
"I think they're watching this campaign very closely and making sure Democrats regain control," Kelley said.
It also gives the staffers good experience, Bayh admitted, should he decide to run for president.
His father's experience in 1980 won't factor heavily into that decision, he said. Former Sen. Birch Bayh, another Indiana Democrat, was voted out of office in a Republican wave that washed out many Democrats.
"I've learned that losing an election is an occupational hazard," Bayh said. "I've learned through my father's experience that there are worse things than that. Like not doing all you can to help your country."
Kressig's challenger in District 19 is Republican Matt Reisetter. Kelley is running against Republican David Wieland, a Cedar Falls City Council member, for the District 20 being vacated by Republican State Rep. Willard Jenkins.
The election is Nov. 7.