Franken campaigns for health, education | News, Sports, Work

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Mike Franken, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at a campaign stop in Willow Ridge on Saturday morning. Franken is running against longtime U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.

According to Webster County Supervisor Nikki Conrad, Iowa’s unofficial motto is “Yes, of course, whatever you need.”

“How many times have you asked someone, a neighbor, for help?” Konrad asked. “And your neighbor, without even asking what it is, says, ‘Yeah, sure, sure, whatever you need.’

That’s the goal of U.S. Senate candidate Mike Franken, she said.

“Whenever his community asked him for something, whenever his neighbors asked him for something, whenever his country asked him, he said without question, ‘Yes, of course. Whatever you need,” Conrad said. “And that’s exactly the kind of person we need in the United States Senate.”

Franken, a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, stopped in Willow Ridge to meet with potential voters Saturday morning.

Franken told voters he wanted to “be part of the solution” lead to a brighter future.

“I believe this country is in serious trouble,” Franken said. “There are problems at the local level, at the national level, at the international level. So I need you to stop what you’re doing and be part of the solution.

The candidate said he thinks it’s time to vote U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley out of office. Grassley is the Republican nominee for the Iowa Senate race and is seeking his eighth term.

“We don’t need a senator for life or a senator who has been bought by special interests,” Franken said. “There was a time when it was crazy to go up against Chuck Grassley … it’s not today.”

One of the challenges facing Americans and Iowans is the rising cost of health care, Franken said. A challenge that Grassley contributed to, he added.

Earlier this year, Grassley voted against an insulin price cap for diabetes patients that was included in President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

“Why would you vote against the $35 per month cap? Why did you do this?” Franken said. “It may not affect you with your privileged health care system, but there are 240,000 Iowans who have diabetes, it could affect them.”

Franken also talked about what he says is the Republican plan to gut Social Security and Medicare.

“If you don’t think Social Security and Medicare are at the bottom, you’re wrong.” he said. “They want to privatize it, make it a poor return on investment and slowly degrade it for the next generation.”

If rural hospitals lose Medicare funding, Franken said, they will cease to exist.

“They’re toasted” he said.

Franken also said he wants to once again make Iowa known as one of the best states for education.

“There was a time when we were the standard, we were the North Star of academic excellence,” Franken said. “Today, that’s less… We’ve become pretty mediocre.”

That trajectory could change, he said, by electing lawmakers who put education at the forefront of their agenda.

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