Grassley and Judge debate genesis of Iowa’s wind energy industry

Source: By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa • Posted: Monday, November 7, 2016

Late Friday afternoon Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Patty Judge, his Democratic opponent, met in their second — and final — debate of the campaign.

Grassley is a six-term senator. Judge is a former Iowa lieutenant governor. They quarrelled over who could claim the most credit for spawning the state’s wind energy industry.

“I’m the father of the wind energy tax credit (in) 1992. It’s created 7000 jobs in Iowa,” Grassley said. “…It has cleaned up the environment at the same time.”

Judge replied: “I’m always amazed when I hear Senator Grassley take credit for wind energy development in this state…That industry took off in a big way and those windmills went up all over the state during period of the time Chet Culver and I were in office.”

Grassley said in response: “I’d like to say that the wind energy industry says that there would not be wind energy in Iowa if Chuck Grassley hadn’t got the wind energy tax credit passed in 1992, way before anything else was done in Iowa.”

Judge closed the discussion on this issue.

“The wind energy tax credit is one component,” she said. “…I think we all deserve some credit for what’s happened here.”

The live, hour-long debate was hosted by WHO Radio and also broadcast live from 4-5 p.m. on WHO TV. During the discussion, Grassley repeated his assessment that the Affordable Care Act is a “disaster.”

“It must be repealed and replaced and I don’t know how my opponent can support the disaster that it is,” Grassley said. “And it’s just one example of the disasters of the last eight years that she thinks is such a good deal going on.”

Judge defended the Affordable Care Act, calling it a “big step” that help reduce the number of uninsured Americans and had ended discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.

“We have got a good start. It is solid. We need to correct it. We don’t need to just posture,” Judge said. “…We have never seen a comprehensive plan that will provide insurance to people in this country without ObamaCare as it is today.”

The candidates also discussed water quality, Social Security reform and college debt relief.

They began by addressing this week’s ambush of two policemen in the Des Moines metro. Both expressed sympathy for the families and colleagues of the murdered officers. Judge said the case shows it’s time for careful scrutiny of gun laws. Grassley said in other, recent mass shootings, the suspect was found to have mental health issues and Grassley called for additional federal spending on mental health services.

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