Latham’s Bailout Vote Should Sit Well With Voters

Posted October 7, 2008 at 3:28pm

An online poll conducted by the Times-Republican newspaper in central Iowa may further inoculate Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) from political peril. The poll found a large swath of area voters resistant to re-electing a candidate who supported the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan that passed the House on Friday by a 263-171 vote.

Over a three-day period, the poll tapped the opinions of almost 900 voters; 68 percent said they would refuse to back a lawmaker who supported the plan, 21 percent would re-elect a candidate who favored the package and 11 percent said the plan would not affect their vote.

Latham opposed the rescue package, asking in a statement posted on his Congressional Web site, “Why is Washington so quick to focus on the needs of Wall Street at the cost of those responsible Iowans who have sacrificed, saved, and spent within their means?”

That question may not have been posed if Congress accepted the Congressman’s amendment to reduce the overall size of the bill from $700 billion to $250 billion. Latham said the package as passed ran counter to Iowans’ values.

Latham is favored in his race against Dallas County Democratic Party Chairwoman Becky Greenwald, who condemned the Congressman for opposing the rescue plan.

“I am disappointed that Tom Latham voted against fixing the financial mess he helped create,” Greenwald said in a statement, adding, “And to add insult to injury, this vote was also a vote against providing tax relief to middle income families and disaster victims in Iowa.”

At the behest of Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the bill allows victims of recent floods to use without penalty retirement nest eggs to rebuild damaged or destroyed homes.