David Rosenfeld, the Socialist Workers Party candidate running in the newly redrawn 3rd Congressional District, urged people to fight for the working class by rejecting a capitalist system that's in crisis.
Rosenfeld, who ran for governor in 2010, is the lone true challenger in a race that features incumbent 3rd District Democrat Leonard Boswell and incumbent 4th District Republican Tom Latham.
He said the nation's two-party system features Democrats and Republicans who want the votes of working class people, but serve the interests of billionaires. Rosenfeld called himself a unionist who has worked as a meat packer and is now a temporary print worker earning $10 an hour.
"We're telling the truth about what working people face. It's undeniable, we're in the midst of a deep, deep economic crisis," he said. "It's a crisis of the capitalist system, and it's worldwide and it's only at the beginning of it."
Rosenfeld on the hustings
CROWD: An elderly man and a young boy sat down on the hay bales about halfway through the speech. Several people paused to listen Rosenfeld speak.
ISSUES: Rosenfeld said he supports a massive federal program than employs millions of people to meet human needs. Workers would build hospitals, bridges and child care centers. Stronger unions would serve the growing number of temporary workers vulnerable to low wages, a lack of benefits and little job protection. Convicted felons who have served their time should not be disenfranchised. Immigrant workers should be given legal status.
QUOTE: "There was a small group of individuals yesterday who attempted to disrupt (Republican vice presidential candidate Paul) Ryan's speech and shout him down," he said. "Shouting down those you disagree with is not only counter-productive; ultimately it will undermine our ability to defend our free speech rights when they come under attack."
Rebecca Williamson, left, 2010 SWP candidate for U.S. Congress in Iowa, campaigns at shopping center. Socialists in Iowa collected more than 2,100 signatures to place candidates on ballot.
REACTION: Five campaign workers applauded Rosenfeld at the beginning and end of his speech. One man who paused to listen muttered an expletive toward the candidate, while another cheered Rosenfeld's defense of free speech.