Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Many Faces of John McCain
McCain Hopes for Short Memories in Iowa

Washington, DC- Today Senator John McCain will open his campaign office in Iowa signaling the start of his bid for the GOP Presidential nomination. But the Arizona Senator is relying on Iowans having a short memory, hoping that they will forget his unwillingness to compete in the state in 2000. Perhaps McCain believes he can remake his record on ethanol, country of origin labeling, the packer ban and other agricultural issues that have put him at odds with Iowa Republicans in the past.

"If Senator McCain thinks Iowans will forget that he refused to campaign in the state because of his position on ethanol, then the 'Doubletalk Express' is already running on fumes," said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton. "Recently McCain has undergone an extreme make-over on tax cuts, campaign finance reform and now he's changed his position on ethanol. One thing is clear, John McCain's willingness to say or do anything just to win shows just how out of touch he is with Iowa's values."

See below for a DNC Research document on McCain's record:

McCain Didn't Compete In Iowa In 2000 Because Of His Opposition To Ethanol, But Committed To Play In The State In 2008. McCain "'knew that being against ethanol subsidies and with his support of campaign finance reform, he was not going to do well in Iowa [in 2000],' said Michael Dennehy, McCain's friend and his former New Hampshire campaign director." By skipping the caucuses in 2000, McCain "effectively ceding the state to George W. Bush," but in early 2006, Iowa RNC member Steve Roberts was chatted up by McCain aides, after which Roberts confirmed McCain's commitment to Iowa, saying, "I know they're going to play in Iowa. They said they were." [Union Leader, 10/23/03; National Journal, 2/4/06]

McCain Opposed Ethanol Subsidies, Called It "Corporate Welfare," "Highway Robbery," A "Hidden Gas Tax," And "Not Worth It." In 1999, John McCain said, "Well, on ethanol subsidies, obviously, I oppose that, have always opposed it, as I have most other subsidies." During his 2000 campaign, McCain called for eliminating the "corporate welfare doled out to" ethanol grants, and stated "ethanol is not right, the subsidies should be phased out." McCain, in 2003, "blasted the ethanol mandate as 'highway robbery perpetrated on the American public.'" McCain added that ethanol offered no benefits, saying, "Ethanol does nothing to reduce fuel consumption, nothing to increase our energy independence, nothing to improve air quality." In 2003, McCain labeled the ethanol provision in a pending Senate bill "a hidden gas tax." During a 1999 Presidential debate in Iowa John McCain said, "Ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer. Those ethanol subsidies should be phased out." [Fox News, 6/15/99; Houston Chronicle, 2/11/00; Associated Press, 1/3/00; Congressional Quarterly, 5/9/03; The Oregonian, 11/22/03; Fortune, 11/13/06; Des Moines GOP Primary Debate, 12/13/99; Des Moines Register, 12/19/99]

McCain Voted Against Ethanol in 2005, 2004, and 2003. In 2005, John McCain "voted with ethanol's critics" against Senate legislation which "would require 8 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended with U.S. gasoline by 2012." In 2004, John McCain voted against an amendment to Senate Bill S 150 to promote ethanol, declaring that ethanol was "a product that we have created a market for which has absolutely, under no circumstances, any value whatsoever except to corn producers and Archer Daniels Midland and other large agribusinesses." In 2003, John McCain voted to block a final vote to an "energy bill coveted by Iowa farm interests" that "would double use of corn-based ethanol." Also in 2003, McCain [AP, 6/18/05; USA Today, 6/20/05; H.R. 6, 6/14/05, Roll Call #137, 6/15/05, Roll Call #138, 139; Aberdeen American News, 5/2/04, S.Res. 150, 4/29/04, Roll Call #74; Des Moines Register, 11/22/03; H.R. 6, 11/21/03, Roll Call #456]

FLIP FLOP: McCain Softened Stance On Ethanol, Called For Increased Study And Investment. With his eye on 2008, McCain changed his tone on ethanol. Tim Russert called McCain's new stance of "embracing ethanol" as a "profound change," and pointed out that even when oil was $60 a barrel, he denounced it in a press release. McCain indicated while in Iowa "that he thinks ethanol can be competitive in an increasingly costly oil market." The Des Moines Register called McCain's adjusted position "a slight softening of his earlier opposition" to ethanol. In Iowa, McCain said, "At $10 a barrel [for oil], I don't think ethanol was a very viable option. At $60 or $70 a barrel, I think it needs to be examined." McCain added that "There's also national security implications but I was and remain opposed to subsidies . if ethanol is a viable option, it can compete, as it certainly can with $70-a-barrel oil. I think it ought to be something that ought to be carefully examined." Speaking at the Clean Cities Conference in Phoenix in May 2006, McCain called for "increased investment in the use of ethanol," to reduce the impact of climate change. [NBC News, 11/12/06; Des Moines Register, 4/13/06; Arizona Republic, 5/9/06]

McCain Voted Against The Packer Ban In 2002. John McCain voted against the Farm Bill in 2002, which contained a packer ban. McCain voted against Iowa's two Senators, Harkin and Grassley, on both the Senate bill and the conference report with the house of the Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act of 2002, also known as the Farm Bill. The Bill called for an increased $73.5 billion over 10 years for agriculture and included a ban on packer ownership. Grassley described the bill as beneficial to Iowa, saying, "this bill contains key measures that are good for Iowa's family farmers and taxpayers." Emily Eide, of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, "praised the packer ban as a 'huge issue' for farmers in Iowa and across the nation, and said the farm group also likes the bill's emphasis on conservation." [H.R. 2646, Vote #30, 2/13/02, Bill passed 58-40-2 (R: 9-38-2, D: 48-2-0; I: 1-0-0); H.R. 2646, Vote #103, 5/8/02, Conference Report passed 64-35-1 (R: 20-28-1, D: 43-7-0, I: 1-0-0); Des Moines Register, 2/14/02]

McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Country Of Origin Labeling. In 2003, McCain voted to kill an amendment offered by Tom Daschle that would have made a sense of the Senate resolution that conferees on the 2004 Agriculture bill insist on no limits on the use of funds to implement country of origin labeling requirements for meat or meat products. McCain voted to table Daschle's amendment, but the motion failed 36-58. In 1999, McCain also voted against country of origin labeling. McCain voted to table an amendment by Senators Daschle and Harkin that would have required country of origin labeling for beef and lamb. McCain voted for the motion, which passed 53-41 to kill the amendment. [H.R. 2673, Vote #443, 11/6/03, failed 36-58-6; S. 2237, Vote #267, 9/14/98, passed 53-41-6]

1 comment:

libhom said...

John "Keating Five" McCain's original opposition to ethanol is not the only instance of him carrying the water for Big Oil, energy independence be damned. John McCain has been on a jihad to defund Amtrak for years.