The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: Response to Conlin Article

This past Tuesday we spent some time with Roxanne Conlin, as well as thirty five supporters and local activists at Uncle Nancy’s Coffee Shop in Newton. During the question and answer period, Jordan Levine ’10 asked about how we can reform primary education, and whether merit pay and charter schools are good ideas. Characteristically, Roxanne put Jordan on the spot and asked him what he thought. It seems that on her 99 County “Fight to Fix It” Tour she has done almost as much listening as she has talking. With her visit to Jasper County, she has now heard the stories and policy predilections of Iowans in 73 counties across the state, a full eight months before the election.

The reason why we bring this up is that the article in last week’s edition, “Senatorial Candidate Visits Campus,” condensed this part of her Grinnell visit into one line. This entirely missed the point. Roxanne’s tour isn’t about drawing the biggest crowds or putting on a show. Instead, Roxanne calls on people individually, takes the time to hear what they have to say and comments candidly.

Certainly, incumbent Senator Chuck Grassley can draw a crowd at his town-hall meetings, but is that really what matters when he is telling us boldface lies such as the government wants to “pull the plug on granny”? Roxanne feels that Senator Grassley is out of touch and doesn’t understand the needs of the average Iowan—that’s why she’s running. While her events have yet to yield crowds the size of Grassley’s, that doesn’t make them “train wrecks.” As Kathie Obradovich wrote in the Des Moines Register last week: “It might be a waste if Conlin were just telling the same stories over again and checking the counties off her list. But time listening to voters is never wasted. It will make Conlin a better candidate and—if she gets the chance—a much better senator.”

Iowa needs someone to fight for us. With the advice the core of political activists who attended her February event, months in advance of the election, we are confident that she will adequately be able to. These are the people she needs to talk to before the rest of us become interested in the race. That’s why she made Grinnell the first college she visited in the state; she thinks our students and residents are an “inspiring bunch,” and she remembers that we nearly helped her win the governorship in ’82. If it wasn’t February, we would have been upset that a community that prides itself on its activism didn’t come to engage the greatest threat to Senator Grassley’s reign. But it’s early and the initial signs are positive. Even the author of the article we are responding to admitted himself that he was won over by her substance, even if that part of his article was edited out.

Grinnellians have never been afraid to stand up for what’s right, even if it’s unpopular. We hope in the future our newspaper won’t be afraid to follow our lead.
—Jordan Levine ’10, Colleen Osborne ’13, Austin Frerick ‘12, Joe Bear ’13, Matt Horowitz ’10, Emily Roberts ‘10

Editors’ Note: The S&B welcomes critique and thanks the authors for their response to our article. The phrase “train wreck” in context was meant to apply to the opening moments of the event itself, as expressed by several students, not Conlin’s performance or substance, and we apologize for the misinterpretation and lack of attribution. On that note, our opinions of Conlin vary as a staff, and were not inluded in the article. We do our best to report in our articles and opine in our Staff Editorials. As a staff, we had no strong opinion about Conlin’s campaign that would warrant a staff editorial on her candidacy. Furthermore, any reporter’s opinions on a political candidate themself are rightfully excluded in News articles in order to maintain journalistic integrity and provide readers with the news free from opinion where news is called for.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *