Franken stumps for Harkin, Culver at annual Steak Fry

Franken stumps for Harkin, Culver at annual Steak Fry

by Emily SchettlerEditor In Chief

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin wasted no time promoting health care reform in his new post as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee.

Health care was a hot topic at the Democrat’s 32nd Annual Harkin Steak Fry held Sunday at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Indianola.

During his speech to supporters, Harkin pledged to have a health reform bill passed before Christmas.

He also said the bill would include a public option.

“That strong health reform bill, mark my words, it’s going to have a strong public option,” Harkin said.

The keynote speaker, Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota also focused on health care, saying that leaving the current system alone was not an option.

“This year we have the chance to confront the single biggest threat to America’s future and the greatest unmet moral obligation in our history rolled into one,” Franken said.

Event organizers estimated about 1,500 people at the event, but not everyone at the fairgrounds agreed with Harkin’s message or his platform.

About 20 protestors stood outside the fairgrounds holding signs and waving to passing cars.

Jim Carley of Save Our American Republic helped to organize the protest.

Carley said he doesn’t support Harkin’s liberalism, high taxation or health reform proposals.

Simpson students also attended the event. Some students, including senior Becca Varner, setting up and serving food.

“It’s the biggest event that the Iowa Democratic Party puts on, so it’s fun to be a part of,” Varner said. “You meet a lot of interesting people.”