The Ottumwa Courier


September 5, 2012

Guest editorial: Who should speak at Labor Day rally?

‘Petty partisan politics’ should not taint event


OTTUMWA — On Sept. 1, I saw Steve and requested to know the final decision. He responded that I would not be allowed to attend. He went on to question why I would want to be at “his fundraiser.”

I believe it is my job to work for the citizens of Iowa and to listen to their concerns. Apparently, Steve does not understand what it means to be a public servant.

I did not attend the event because my goal is to promote Ottumwa. It it not to cause dissention. I understand from reading the Ottumwa Courier that Mr. Siegel spoke at the event and spent a generous amount of time attacking me. He complained about nine votes with wind energy tax credits named specifically.

I did vote against expanding the wind energy tax credits because it is in reality a SCAM. Iowa taxpayers give money to produce wind energy that is sent to Illinois where their taxpayers pay money to use the wind energy. Effectively the wind dealers are double-dipping taxpayer pockets. The wind industry exists only to spend tax money and buy political influence. It is important to note that I also do not support tax credits to oil companies, coal companies or any companies for that matter.

I live by a simple rule and teach it to my children. It takes courage to stand up to your enemies, and it takes integrity to stand up to your friends. Petty partisan politics should not have tainted the Labor Day event.

Mark Chelgren is a state senator from Ottumwa and business owner.

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