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IA-01: Whalen vs. Braley

Iowa’s 1st District

With Rep. Jim Nussle leaving Congress to be the Republican candidate for governor of Iowa, the 1st District House seat he has held since 1990 is up for grabs. Businessman and pro-growth conservative Republican Mike Whalen and liberal Democrat Bruce Braley are battling for “one of the most closely watched congressional seats in the upcoming election as Democrats try to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives,” said the Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier.

The two candidates are polar opposites. Restaurant owner Whalen has no prior political experience and defeated two more established Republicans in the primary. Trial lawyer Braley has served on a governor’s task force on a volunteer basis and was a precinct coordinator in the Kerry-Edwards campaign two years ago.

“I don’t think that not having been in politics your whole life is a negative, I think it is a positive,” says Whalen. “I woke up every day for 28 years trying to make something positive happen. I didn’t get up trying to think about how I was going to raise the negatives of Red Lobster or try to create a spin in the public’s mind that Olive Garden wasn’t the place to eat. I got up every morning trying to say how do I make my restaurants and hotels better, how do I make this real estate project happen, how do I try to bring this person’s talents out. That’s a different mindset than what prevails predominantly in politics. I think we need more of that kind of mindset.”

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Whalen’s vision is “a new contract for American jobs.” He wants to lead the “global fight for jobs and capital” through the promotion of conservative values.

Like Ronald Reagan, the restaurateur-candidate would provide a new flavor to Washington’s present atmosphere. The nation’s capital, as Whalen sees it, “has way too many people who have spent way too little time in the private sector.”

“I’m confident I can win, but it isn’t going to be easy,” said Whalen “I’m confident that when my ideas are contrasted with Mr. Braley’s, I can win. I think that when people look at our records they’d rather have a doer than a suer.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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