Three to vie for Loebsack’s second district spot


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At least three people have enlisted to challenge U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack in 2012. Each of the potential Republican opponents will focus on economic issues during the primary race.

Richard Gates

Tea Party activist and production machinist Richard Gates takes a conservative role in challenging Loebsack.

Gates, 52, is primarily concerned with the current problems with the economy— specifically unemployment and federal tax reform.

He believes there needs to be a greater tax reform at the federal level to ensure that the public has more jobs, new businesses, and living wages.

“The people in Iowa are pretty smart folks,” he said. “We must make the message clear that we are not aiming to take Medicare or Social Security away, but reforming these policies will have a long-lasting effect for further generations.”

His wants to do away with the income tax, the payroll withholding for Social Security and Medicare, and corporate and investment taxes and replacing them with a “transparent” consumption tax.

The Keokuk resident said he believes current legislation is wasting valuable resources and is taxing the public on hard work and savings.

“I know they are working on extending this, but we can change this to ensure citizens can afford the important things,” Gates said. “We need to work on getting federal budget within these means.”

Gates also told The Daily Iowan the federal unemployment rate, currently at 9.1 percent, needs to be improved.

Gates, a veteran of the Air Force and Army, has been involved in the political process since 2009, when he said he became frustrated with the direction the nation was headed in.

Dan Dolan

Housing developer Dan Dolan promises to focus his efforts on the nation’s accumulation of debt and a domestic energy policy.

“We need to get spending under control,” he said. “The main problem is professional politicians are unable or unwilling to step up and make decisions. Things need to be cut.”

Dolan said the $60 billion in tax cuts that were implemented for 2012 only represent a small fraction of the total deficit.

“This money will only account for a very small amount of the year 2012, but what about the portion of the year,” he said. “To change this, I am willing to do the right thing, which will take sacrifices from everyone and make sure Iowa will sacrifice less.”

As a father of five children, Dolan said he wants the best possible future for young generations, noting that the next generation is facing a number of taxes — specifically for voters ages 19, 20, and 21 — who will have 50 more years of paying higher taxes.

“Young generations are being grossly taken advantage of by current legislators,” Dolan said.

The 51-year-old said a priority of his campaign will be to tackle current petroleum exploration, specifically in the Gulf of Mexico, where, he says, foreign competitors rather than American companies are taking the oil.

Dolan said he thinks lawmakers are not taking advantage of the U.S. energy resources and instead of supplying companies along the coast with necessary resources, policymakers are killing energy sources and allowing small business to die.

The rural Blue Grass native said the country could build up the U.S. energy sources with the construction of Iowa’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plants, and the United States will be able to utilize American resources.

“Natural gas bridges a gap and takes us from oil to the next best thing,” Dolan said. “Every one of our ethanol plants can convert parts of plants such as corncobs and switchgrass into energy, meaning we won’t be reliant on food sources as a base for our own ethanol. The opportunities are exciting.”

John Archer

Bettendorf attorney and School Board member John Archer will also challenge Loebsack in the newly configured districts.

Archer is the second Republican candidate to challenge Rep. Dave Loebsack.

He has taken the first step by filing the necessary paperwork and creating an official campaign committee, according to a press release on July 7.

“We can no longer accept congressional representation that spends us into bankruptcy or a president who sees business regulation as the solution to the nation’s ills,” Archer said in the announcement.

According to the Quad-City Times, Archer plans to focus on issues such as solving the budget problem and fixing Medicare.

“We need to find a way to work together to fix Medicare without hurting those individuals who are currently reliant on it,” he said.

Archer also told the Times he believes the country needs an energy policy that would include on- and off-shore drilling, renewable fuels, and nuclear power.

His stances on foreign policy includes bringing profits overseas back to the United States in order to help the unemployment rate.

Archer said he would be willing to address lowering taxes on businesses and job creation in the 2nd District, which has some of the state’s highest unemployment rates.

Working as the senior legal counsel for John Deere, Archer has traveled through the 2nd District in order to promote his ideas, according to his website.

“The reception and support has been great thus far,” Archer said in his announcement. “Iowans are anxious for new representation in Congress that will focus on creating good paying jobs, halting out-of-control spending, and defending our constitutionally protected freedoms.”

Archer could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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