Scholten wants to fight for an economy that will work for everyone
By: RIMA AUSTIN
Pilot-Tribune News Staff
J.D. Scholten sat in a metal chair facing the audience of the Albert City Town Hall meeting. At six-foot, six inches, he seemed to not fit in the chair meant for shorter people. This did not appear to bother him, being at eye level with his constituents. In fact, he seemed to relish it. He began the meeting by thanking everyone who came out on such a cold and snowy night to listen to his speech.
Running for Iowa’s 4th District Congressional seat against U.S. Representative Steve King in the next Congressional election, this part of his “Don’t Forget About Us” campaign, Scholten explained that his Don’t Forget Movement was focused on visiting towns that had a population of 1000 people or less. He elucidated to the audience the three pillars of his campaign, Fix, Fight and Secure, are what his focus will be in this election. To elaborate, Scholten explained it means Fix healthcare, Fight for an economy that works for everybody and Secure a democracy.
When it comes to healthcare, he says almost every time he stops at a gas station, there is a donation box to help someone offset their healthcare costs. Scholten elaborated there are 20 to 21 people running for president on the democratic side and there are 21 different healthcare plans. Anything is better than what we have now, Scholten told the crowd.
Scholten said he thinks the most logical approach is that America should have universal healthcare as their goal but it will take steps to get there. Scholten suggests if America has a public option and does it right, that will be the best step.
“We shouldn’t have to have a choice between healthcare and bankruptcy,” said Scholten. “We’re the wealthiest country in the world and we have to beg for our medical expenses.”
Scholten moved on to his next point which was Fight for an economy that works for everyone. He stated that, as of today, America has a lot of special interests that dictate the nation’s democracy.
“Campaign tours, for instance like this one, are not the ones that get talked about in papers,” said Scholten. “For instance, we’ll talk about grocery stores and how a lot of towns are losing their grocery stores and things like that. I want to hear stories from you more than I want to hear me talking.”
Scholten went on to explain how he wanted to address losing important businesses in small towns which, in turn, forces consumers to have to drive to a bigger town mile down the road. He blamed America being ruled by a higher class and how that class dictates the economy through lobbyists.
Securing democracy, according to Scholten, basically means returning America to the basic principles of the Constitution. He stated there are too many special interest groups controlling the strings and he would like to see that puppet show end. Scholten said he used to be a paralegal. As a paralegal, he was working in Seattle when the 2016 election came along and knew then he wanted to do something different but didn’t really know what. He went on to say any time in his life when he wanted inspiration, he went to see hid grandmother. She suggested several things, then one day she said, “Move back to Iowa and take care of the farm.”
A month later she passed away and he started looking for a job in Sioux City. After a month the best job he could find was $15 an hour with no benefits. As he was looking around this district, he started thinking, “what’s next for this district? Where is it going?”
“In the beginning, I didn’t know if I could raise five dollars,” said Scholten. “But the one thing I did know was that I could get out there to the people.”
Around this time is when Scholten created his simple but powerful slogan, Fix, Fight and Secure. He said he had a clear picture in his mind of what the fourth district of Iowa needed and set out to achieve that goal.
“My goal is to get back to a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people,” stated Scholten. “The way we do that is to get money out of politics.”