Iowa straw poll news briefs
August 13, 1999
Web posted at: 2:07 p.m. EDT (1807 GMT)
No Iowa debate
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Plans for a live debate on the eve of Saturday's Iowa straw poll have been canceled after only three candidates -- former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, commentator Pat Buchanan and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah -- agreed to participate. WOI-TV agreed to hold the debate only if six candidates signed on. It was also to be carried by KCAU-TV in Sioux City
and WHBF-TV in the Quad Cities. "Obviously, we're very disappointed given the fact that many of these candidates in their appearances throughout the state in recent times have stated that there ought to be forums, there ought to be debates for the candidates to air their views," Jim Parker, WOI news director said. "When push came to shove and we presented a forum ... many of the candidates balked or simply didn't respond."
Bush courts the students population
DES MOINES, Iowa -- As the GOP White House hopefuls scramble to shore up the votes of Iowans, Texas Gov. George W. Bush is offering to donate $500 to charity in the name of the Iowa State University fraternity or sorority that turns out the most student votes for him Saturday. "It is not like we are trying to bribe them with beer," Eric Woolson, a Bush spokesman, said Friday in confirming the offer by the Republican presidential front-runner. "This is a way to encourage students to participate in the Iowa straw poll, and give them a chance to contribute money to charity," Woolson said. "The governor will give the money to the charity of their choice."
Dems plan straw poll rally
AMES, Iowa -- With media and political attention focused on the Republicans' straw poll, Democrats are planning their own rally across the street from the Hilton Coliseum where the event will take place Saturday. Democrats are complaining about the glitz and big money that have overpowered the down-home feel of campaigns in the past. Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Rob Tully blasted the "toxic effect the fund-raiser and big-money participants like George Bush
are having on the grassroots image of the Iowa Caucuses."
"We are in danger of losing our first-in-the-nation status because Iowa's image of being accessible to candidates with little money and little name recognition is being destroyed by the George Bush Money Machine and undemocratic practices like the Ames straw poll," Tully said. "The Iowa caucuses are supposed to be about picking the candidates with the best ideas, not the most money."