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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2007

In Iowa, Brownback supports war effort

April 6, 2007

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Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., greets supporters during a campaign luncheon Thursday at the Drake Restaurant in Burlington, Iowa.

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., greets supporters during a campaign luncheon Thursday at the Drake Restaurant in Burlington, Iowa.

— Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said Thursday that pulling troops out of Iraq would be a defeat for the U.S. and that no deadline should be set for their withdrawal.

Brownback was in Burlington, where he met with about 30 people during lunch at a local restaurant. He was in Des Moines earlier in the day for a Holy Week prayer breakfast. He is schedule to attend another prayer breakfast in Cedar Rapids today as he tries to gain support among Iowa's religious conservatives.

Brownback broke with GOP leadership when he opposed President Bush's decision to increase troop levels in Iraq, but on Thursday he said U.S. forces must stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

"To set a deadline to pull out is to set a date that we are defeated," he said.

Brownback's plan for peace in Iraq includes dividing the country into three states bonded by a central government. That would give Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds their own territories, which would be loosely controlled by the central government.

Such a solution has worked in Bosnia, he said.

Brownback also talked about education, saying he supports changes to the No Child Left Behind Act to give greater decision-making power to states and local schools.

The Kansas senator said he opposes some Democrats' plans for universal health care. He said instead of increasing government's role in health care, people should be given more decision-making power, including control of their own health records and access to prices charged for certain medical procedures.

Brownback said he isn't worried about the attention being given to his GOP rivals, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

He said he trailed in the polls by 28 percentage points when he first ran for Congress but ended up with a double-digit win.

"I'm the tortoise in this race," Brownback said. "I don't like how those races start. I like how they finish."

Comments

Frank Smith 7 years ago

Washington Post Friday, December 12, 1997 (snip) Brownback, a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, which has been investigating campaign fund-raising abuses, wouldn't agree to be interviewed about Triad. His spokesman and Triad's lawyer say there was nothing improper about the array of aid provided by the group. Triad's nonprofit arm claimed it was running only educational "issue ads," not political campaign commercials advocating Brownback's election, meaning that it was not required to disclose its donors or spending. Docking, Brownback's Democratic opponent, said in an interview that the new evidence of Brownback's direct ties to Triad raises questions about his credibility in denying knowledge of the Citizens for the Republic Education Fund. "Over and over again he said he didn't have any idea where this was coming from . . . yet at the same time he was sitting down talking to them." After his primary victory, Brownback hosted a thank-you breakfast. Triad finance director Meredith O'Rourke estimated that about 25 Triad clients were present at the breakfast. Corporations are not supposed to make political contributions, including providing their services free.Brownback's in-laws, John and Ruth Stauffer, after contributing the legal maximum to his campaign, donated $32,500 to seven conservative political action committees that were on Triad's recommended list. Within days, those PACs sent $30,170 in donations to the Brownback campaign. Both the Stauffers and the PACs have said that the Stauffers did not earmark the funds to go to the Brownback campaign, something that would have violated federal election law. In her deposition, O'Rourke said she knew the Stauffers but was stopped by Triad lawyer Braden from answering additional questions. Then came the ads, $410,000 worth in a two-week period. Polls in October showed the Brownback-Docking race tight. In the end, Brownback won by a convincing 54 to 43 percent. In trying to determine the source of the last-minute advertising barrage, the Senate committee has obtained bank records showing that $1.2 million of the $1.3 million spent by Citizens for the Republic Education Fund came from a single source, an entity called the Economic Education Trust. Senate investigators believe, but can't definitively prove, that the Economic Education Trust is funded by Charles and David Koch, who have made billions in the oil business. The Kochs and other employees of Wichita-based Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the country, separately contributed $31,650 to Brownback's Senate campaign. The Kochs have refused to comment.

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