Tuesday, September 11

Harkin's A Fry, Baby

Exerpted From Iowa Politics (www.iowapolitics.com):

This weekend six declared Democratic candidates -- Obama, Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards and Richardson -- are set to join thousands of Iowans at the 30th anniversary of Harkin's trademark fundraiser. The event is set for 1 p.m. Sunday just east of Indianola.

"This will be a unique opportunity to see our candidates articulate their vision at one of Iowa's largest Democratic gatherings," Harkin said. "The Steak Fry has become my signature event of the year, and I look forward to celebrating 30 years of history and tradition."

When it comes to the Harkin event, presidential candidates and the top names in Democratic politics turn out to appear at the Warren County fundraiser. Leading up to the last presidential election more than 3,000 turned out for the 2003 steak fry, which featured former President Bill Clinton and a field of Democratic candidates that included Howard Dean, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Sen. John Kerry, Edwards and Carol Moseley-Braun.

General admission tickets for the steak fry are $30 apiece (students can get in for $15), while those wishing to give more can sign on as sponsors ($500) or hosts ($200). Harkin, who already had more than $2.6 million in the bank as of June 30, faces re-election in November 2008. Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje, who is making his first Senate run, is seeking the Republican nomination.

Harkin has yet to endorse any presidential candidate, and it does not appear an endorsement is coming in the future either. "Unlike my wife, I have not made a decision to support, nor do I plan to endorse, any of the Democratic presidential candidates," Harkin said in his campaign blog. "I have worked closely with many of them, and I am extremely proud of each of them for their commitment to public service. I remain focused on my own re-election campaign in 2008 and look forward to working with a Democrat in the White House."

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