Members challenge Paul Ryan at State Fair soapbox

Members challenge Ryan on pro-corporate, pro-1% policies

Almost one year to the day of when Mitt Romney famously uttered “Corporations are people, my friend,” Iowa CCI Action Fund members were back at the Iowa State Fair.

This time we were there to challenge Romney’s new running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on his terrifyingly pro-corporate, pro-1 % budget plan that would privatize Medicare and cut spending in order to pay for even more tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich.

It was Ryan’s first solo appearance as vice-presidential candidate and his first appearance at the Iowa State Fair. There were over 1,000 in the crowd.

As soon as Ryan took the stage, CCI Action Fund member Cherie Mortice, a retired teacher from Des Moines called out “Are you going to cut Medicare?”

Ryan, visibly flustered, tried to ignore the question, and Romney staffers moved in to silence her.

Two members, Jess Reznicek and Julie Brown, tried to get to the front of the stage and were in the process of unfurling a banner reading “Communities not Corporations” when state troopers roughly escorted them away.

Then Joe Fagan and Larry Ginter chimed in, “Stop the war on the common good! Stop the war on the middle class!”

Audience members then began to hound them and rip signs out of their hands or try to cover their faces (voices) with their Romney/Ryan signs.

As Iowa CCI members continued to challenge Ryan on vitally important issues to everyday Iowans, the staffers and troopers grew steadily more physical.

No one punched anyone, nor were there any arrests as many news outlets have mistakenly reported.  But tensions were definitely high as the the bickering from the crowd towards our “hecklers”  became as disruptive, if not more disruptive, than our chants and charges.

This continued for a good ten minutes – CCI members pointing questions and comments towards Ryan and the crowd toward them.

Ryan spoke for only twelve minutes, well under his allotment of twenty.

In an interview with Iowa Public Radio after after the speech Larry Ginter, CCI Action Fund member from Rhodes said, “I’m a Catholic, Ryan’s a Catholic, and his budget goes against Catholic social teaching.”

(Side note: while a few members were being interviewed by press, Romney/Ryan supporter reverse heckled us! Followed by one dumping  a bottle of water on a member’s head. Yep.)

It’s election season and people are passionate about their issues. And, that’s exactly why we chose to be there today.

Member Cherie Mortice says it best:

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are on a personal crusade to balance the budget on the backs of everyday people and hardworking families so their buddies on Wall Street can rake in even more corporate profits that they don’t need. Romney and Ryan want to cut Medicare and Medicaid so corporations and the super-rich can get more tax cuts, and that ain’t right.”

“We aren’t going to stand by and just let that happen.  We will stand and fight with our brothers and sisters across the country for a more just and democratic society that puts communities before corporations and people before profits.”

Ryan is most famous for his budget proposal that would cut taxes on the rich, raise taxes on the poor and middle class, and cut vital social programs while preserving obscene spending on the military. The Ryan budget is built on the failed trickle-down economic theories that have led to the vast income inequality present in the United States today. Ryan also wants to make permanent temporary Bush-era tax breaks for the richest 2% – a move our country can’t afford.

Romney’s choice of running mate shows that he is more serious about kowtowing to his core donors – right-wing billionaires and multinational corporations – rather than solving the problems facing everyday Americans.


Members Joe Fagan and Larry Ginter in the crowd













Ryan on at the State Fair soap box










On stage with Ryan: Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and IA Rep. Steve King












There’s more Iowa State Fair soap box to come! Click here for the schedule.

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