Mauro hopes to restore Americans’ trust in government in Senate race

In an interview with The Daily Iowan, Democrat Eddie Mauro, businessman and candidate for the U.S. Senate in Iowa, condemned current Republican Sen. Joni Ernst on multiple fronts, saying that she “lacks courage” in sticking up to President Trump.

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Mauro hopes to restore Americans’ trust in government in Senate race

Julia Shanahan, Politics Editor

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Eddie Mauro, Democratic challenger to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, aims for a campaign of fairness and wants to restore Americans’ trust in government.

“I think [voters are] looking for somebody who can really do something meaningful and really stand with Iowans, and Joni Ernst hasn’t done that,” Mauro said in an interview with The Daily Iowan. “She’s been a senator for special interest, for big industry, for fat cats like the Koch brothers, and they support her very well. She doesn’t represent the people of Iowa.”

Mauro, a former educator and baseball coach, is a Des Moines businessman with a commercial insurance company that he said reaches all 99 counties in Iowa.

He wants to make college more affordable, he said, pointing out he has twins who are 24 and accumulated some student debt. But, he said, he would not support a complete elimination of all outstanding student-loan debt — a policy that some presidential-nomination candidates have been campaigning on in Iowa.

“I know a lot of parents who worked really hard, and then some people didn’t work as hard and then spent their money somewhere else,” Mauro said. “[There are] folks going, Wait a minute, I worked three jobs to help send my kids to college, and now you’re going to sit here and pay off somebody elses’ — how is that fair?”

He wants to eliminate interest rates on student-loan debt and restructure how students are able to pay back those loans, he said. He would support a policy that forgives student-loan debt for students going into certain jobs in rural areas, he said.

“The cost of college education and public education has gone up significantly as a result of bad policies on the federal and state levels in a lot of our state,” Mauro said. “We shouldn’t be trying to make money off the backs of young people trying to advance in our communities.”

Other issues that are important to Mauro during his campaign are climate change, expanding mental-health access, and creating antitrust legislation for pharmaceutical industries.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is reputed to be among the most bipartisan senators of the last quarter-century, but Mauro said Grassley and Ernst have not worked on any meaningful bipartisan legislation.

“Go do something meaningful about health care; go do something meaningful about gun safety,” he said. “If you want to talk about all of the innocuous bipartisan bills that everybody can agree on, that’s one thing, but go do something meaningful that actually helps out people and Iowans, and then I’ll say you’re actually bipartisan.”

The ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China has had a tremendous effect on Iowa’s farmers and agriculture sector, and Ernst has called for the removal of tariffs several times throughout the standoff.

“… the person who owns the day care in Rolfe, Iowa, the person who owns the laundromat in Preston, Iowa, the person who’s a plumber or a steamfitter in Fort Dodge, Iowa — they’re not getting any subsidies, and they’re being dragged down with farmers because of the trade war and the tariffs.”

Mauro said Ernst needs to try to pass a bipartisan resolution saying the tariffs are hurting farmers and she needs to speak more forcefully on the issue.

“The instability is a big issue that we have out there today, and Ms. Ernst and Mr. Grassley both have not done enough to help with the stability that we need around there, world both from a national security and a global and economic perspective,” Mauro said.

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