Warren in Ottumwa

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speaks during a town hall event at Hotel Ottumwa Sunday.

OTTUMWA — Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s goal isn’t simply to win the 2020 presidential election. “My goal is to win by a Russia-proof majority,” she said Sunday during a town hall at Hotel Ottumwa.

“Our country is in a lot of trouble,” said the Massachusetts senator. “What happens in 2020 is going to set the course for the next generation and the generation after that.”

As Steve Davis sat in the crowd waiting to see the presidential candidate, he talked about how it’s important to choose a candidate that can beat President Donald Trump in the general election and do so with integrity.

“Elizabeth Warren has a lot of good things to say, and I think she’ll be a top contender,” he said.

“Get our democracy back, that’s what we need,” agreed Buster Curry.

Warren talked about getting rid of corruption in Washington during her speech. It was the first of three key points she presented to the crowd.

Her plan to attack corruption head-on involves “ending lobbying as we know it,” blocking the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, for the Supreme Court to follow ethics laws on conflicts of interest and make it a law for those who run for federal office to post their tax returns online.

She said the government is working great for drug companies but not the people filling a prescription, that it works great for giant oil companies but “not those who see climate change bearing down on us.”

“That is corruption, pure and simple, and we need to call it out out for what it is.”

Issues of the Supreme Court were of key interest to Darious Gordon. Finding out where she stands on the Supreme Court was what brought him out to see Warren. He worries recent judicial appointments will overturn Roe v. Wade and women’s rights, especially with the recent events in Alabama. “As men, we should stand up and support women,” he said.

Warren’s second key to her campaign focused on “structural changes in the economy.” She stumped for more power in the unions as well as for workers to have more rights to join unions.

The big economic focus, however, was what she calls a two-cent “wealth tax.” It calls for those whose worth is over $50 million dollars to pay a tax of two cents for every dollar they have over that amount.

That two cents, she said, will provide universal child care; fund pre-kindergarten for every 3 and 4 year old; pay for technical school, two-year or four-year college for those who want to attend; and cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of those who have it.

“I don’t want a government that works for giant multinational corporations. I want a government that works for our families,” she said as she explained why she chose to run.

Her third key point is protecting democracy by passing a constitutional amendment to roll back voter suppression laws and gerrymandering.

One audience question focused on voting rights for felons, one that has been the focus at the Iowa Statehouse. Warren said that once a felon has served their time, their full citizenship should be restored, “and that means the right to vote.”

Health care was the topic of a couple audience questions. Warren said it’s a complicated one and that various groups need to be represented in the discussions. The immediate focus, however, has to be protecting the Affordable Care Act and reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

“No one should have to go bankrupt over medical problems,” she said. “We’re looking for 100 percent coverage for everybody in this country for the lowest possible cost.”

As she closed, she noted how the entire Democratic Party needs to work together. “When we’re running as Democrats, we’ve got to be damn clear on what we’re running on. I know what I believe in and what I’m going to fight for.”

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed @CourierTracy.

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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.