Sunday, November 05, 2006

A response from an O'Brien supporter

Rob Sand, the O'Brien campaign manager, sent me this:

I have to respond to the vicious attacks on Denise O'Brien's family from the Republican Party. I am a farmer in Cass County, Denise's home county, and I've known Denise O'Brien for over 35 years, including in 1987 when she was fighting for family farms in Iowa and Washington D.C.

I've also known Larry Harris for years and believe him when he says this is the way it was.
The accusation that Larry willfully harmed livestock is just one of many distortions by her opponents to take away her lead. Please spread the truth about this situation that happened almost twenty years ago.

Here are the facts:

In 1987, like so many farmers during the farm crisis, Denise and Larry were working off the farm to make ends meet. Larry hired a neighbor to take care of some steers and he moved them to that hired hand's farm.

When Larry learned that the steers were being mistreated, he fired the farmer and took the steers into his own care. The steers were not in Larry's care when the reported neglect took place.

These attacks on Denise's family just shows the Republican Party has no shame. This is one of the many negative attacks waged by Denise's opponents in the last few weeks.

Her campaign depends on supporters like you to make sure that her vision of clean water, local control, and safe and healthy communities is not drowned by her opponent's mudslinging. Please continue spreading the word about Denise's message to help her win on Tuesday.

Connie Russell
Anita, Iowa


Blogger Jordan said...

No shame? How about O'Brien's constant attack on Northey about Brazilian ethanol?

Calves dying of starvation is perfectly relevant to her running for SOA. The fact that her campaign manager feels otherwise is telling.

I was actually going to vote for O'Brien, but that has changed now. I felt the candidates were fairly equal, but her lack of leadership in keeping her livestock safe is a deal breaker to me.

I would think it would diminish the image of the SOA if we elect a women who has mistreated her animals or didn't administrator enough oversight to make sure it didn't happen.

7:19 AM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

If the calves were truly in the care of the hired hand, then why not file animal cruelty charges against that person instead of Larry Harris? Apparently, after looking into the situation, the Cass County sheriff felt that the ultimate responsibility for the situation fell to Mr. Harris. Unless someone can prove that he's a rabid Republican partisan (with a time machine, so he can foresee the future consequences of his actions) similar to that Texas Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle (who's going after Republican Tom DeLay with everything but the kitchen sink), I'm going to take the word of the sheriff in this case.

Actually, in a perverted, political way, I believe that Ms. O'Brien is doing the right thing by digging in & not responding to this charge. The other option would be to attack Northey or parse the wording in the animal cruelty charge (or get up & tell baldfaced lies), which would diminish Ms. O'Brien in my eyes. If she holds tight, trusts in the Register to not cover this issue, and manages to win anyway, at least she'll keep some of her integrity by not lying or projecting blame onto Northey for the whole "brazilian ethanol" red herring.

7:32 AM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

bgunzy, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your work here. You're doing a great job, and you should enjoy having corn above $3.50 while you've got it. I came over from State 29, and your farmer's perspective is a perfect yin to the yang of his snarky suburban perspective.

4:48 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Thanks Russ, I appreciate it. State 29 has sent a lot of people my way. Sold 5K bu CZ07 open basis Dec delivery at $3.535 this morning- FIGURE THAT OUT YOU SUBURBANITES!

You ever run into Marvin Mitchell? I used to farm some ground he used to rent - had volunteer wheat strips where the custom harvesters windrowed the straw. Needless to say, those farms were raped.

Check out my articles in Wallaces Farmer as well.

4:58 PM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

Marvy? Yeah, he and his brothers sold me my first show pigs back in my 4H days, and his sister was a year older than me in school. I just waded into the feeder pigs and picked out six of them that "looked like they would have good frames" (I wasn't exactly a hard-working show jockey, but I always fed & watered them, unlike certain SoA candidates) and took them home to feed out. We didn't farrow hogs, just had cow/calf & sheep operations, with some row crop that my dad's cousin still farms for him on shares(along with the usual s*&tload of hay ground).

I used to get "runt" pigs from local farrowing operations & get small lots from the local salebarn (a couple of guys who worked there were family friends) when the prices weren't too bad. I could feed them out with corn from our farm, and the only REAL expense was getting protein pellets from M. Young & Company in Winterset (remember the general store from "Bridges of Madison County"? That was the place where I used to buy my feed.) The work wasn't too hard, compared to farrowing, and it was pretty good money for a middle school kid (early 80's, so I got anywhere from $25 to $60 for my hogs at the local buyer's station).

5:24 PM, November 06, 2006  

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