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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 12:16 PM
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Richardson Woos Iowans With Education
Richardson Woos Iowans With Education
And Farm Policy, and Some Advice on Mud
November 28, 2007; Page A8

Gov. Bill Richardson spent much of yesterday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, focusing attention on two topics near and dear to Iowans' hearts: education and farming.

The New Mexico governor, who is moving up in the polls but remains well behind Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York, needs a strong showing in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses. To that end, he unveiled a new ad for Iowa on education that spells out his ideas for American education, starting with ditching No Child Left Behind, President Bush's signature domestic program.

Mr. Richardson also advocates universal prekindergarten, an average national starting salary for teachers of $40,000 and a bunch of new math and science academies. The Richardson camp figures the cost at $60 billion, but his suggestion for paying the tab -- cutting Pentagon expenses for "outdated weapons systems" and shrinking the nuclear arsenal -- would be hard to accomplish.

At a farm outside of town, Mr. Richardson filled in details of his farm policy: limiting subsidy payments, encouraging development of renewable fuels and helping family farmers. He also promoted a "national rural jobs tax credit" and promised that broadband telecom service would be available throughout rural America.

And he tied the agriculture message to a plea for politeness in the Democratic presidential race. "Let's keep the mud where it belongs," said Mr. Richardson, who many speculate has his eye on the vice presidential slot.

--Mary Lu Carnevale (subscription)
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