Iowa Public Television

 

The Bush Administration's Proposed Budget

posted on February 14, 2005

Borg: BUDGET DOWNLOADING… STATES SUCH AS IOWA COMPLAIN THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S PROPOSED BUDGET IS BIG ON RESPONSIBILITIES, SHORT ON FUNDING. IOWA COUNTIES AND CITIES HAVE THE SAME COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. IOWA POLITICAL REPORTERS SHARE THEIR INSIGHTS ON WHERE THE BUCK STOPS ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."


FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION… FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND BY NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: FIRST AN EXPLANATION: SENATOR TOM HARKIN WAS SCHEDULED FOR THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS"; HOWEVER, SENATOR HARKIN'S SCHEDULE FOR DEBATE AND VOTES IN THE SENATE TOOK PRECEDENCE AND WILL MAKE IT ANOTHER TIME. IN THE CONGRESS, THE WAR OVER POSSIBLE CHANGES IN SOCIAL SECURITY IS DIVERTING SOME ATTENTION FROM THE REAL WAR IN IRAQ. BOTH WARS ARE INTENSE POLITICAL STRUGGLES, AND BOTH HAVE ENORMOUS FISCAL IMPLICATIONS. IN IOWA, TAX REVISIONS ARE GETTING ATTENTION. THERE ARE PROPOSALS FOR TAX BREAKS FOR THOSE UNDER THIRTY YEARS OF AGE AND FOR OLDER IOWANS. AS FOR TOBACCO SMOKERS, TAX ON A PACK OF CIGARETTES IN IOWA COULD BE INCREASED TO PAY FOR HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR THE POOR. BUT THOSE SEEM TO BE ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. WE'LL FIND OUT HOW THEY CONNECT TO OTHER ISSUES AS WE TALK WITH: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN, "RADIO IOWA" NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON, "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER, AND "KUNI" PUBLIC RADIO STATEHOUSE REPORTER JENEANE BECK. KAY, TAXES. GOVERNOR VILSACK, IN THE CONDITION OF THE STATE ADDRESS, SAID LET'S GET INTO TAX AND REVISE THE TAX SYSTEM IN IOWA. I HEARD MAYOR PAUL PATE, A COUPLE OF NIGHTS AGO IN HIS CONDITION OF THE CITY ADDRESS, DECRY THE ARCHAIC, AS HE SAID, STATE TAX SYSTEM. REPUBLICANS HAVE SAID, AS THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION CONVENED, WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT TAXES THIS TIME. ALL RIGHT. IS IT GETTING DONE?

Henderson: WHAT'S GOING ON, DEAN IS THERE'S A LOT OF SOUND AND FURY. WE'LL ALL JUST WAITING TO SEE IF IT SIGNIFIES NOTHING OR SOMETHING. I THINK WHAT'S MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN IS THAT LEGISLATORS WILL ADDRESS THE PROPERTY TAX ISSUE BECAUSE THERE'S A HUE AND CRY FROM COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS INTERESTS IN THIS STATE THAT THEIR TAXES ARE TOO HIGH AND IT'S MAKING IOWA UNCOMPETITIVE WITH NEIGHBORING STATES IN REGARDS TO THE TAXATION OF BUSINESS PROPERTY. IN REGARDS TO INCOME TAXES, THERE'S NOT A CONSENSUS. THERE'S A LOT OF IDEAS OUT THERE. THE GOVERNOR HAS HIS IDEAS. LEGISLATORS OF ALL STRIPES ARE OFFERING THEIR OWN IDEAS AND THOUGHTS ON THAT. SO THERE'S NOT CONSENSUS ON THAT. IN REGARDS TO SALES TAXES, THE GOVERNOR HAS SUGGESTED EXPANDING THE NUMBER OF SERVICES WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE SALES TAX. OTHER LEGISLATORS ARE SUGGESTING OTHER MEANS OF EXPANDING THE AMOUNT OF SALES TAXES THAT THE STATE COLLECTS. THERE'S NOT CONSENSUS ON THAT YET. SO AT THIS POINT EARLY IN THE SESSION, I THINK THAT WE CAN SAY THAT WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE OUTCOME IS GOING TO BE. JUST OUR GUT INSTINCT MIGHT TELL US AS REPORTERS THAT THEY WILL DO SOMETHING BUT NOT EVERYTHING.

Glover: DEAN, IT'S LIKE THE OLD SAYING IS THE CURRENT TAX SYSTEM YOU HAVE IS OUT OF DATE, UNCOMPETITIVE, ARCHAIC AND WORTHLESS UNTIL YOU COMPARE IT TO THE OPTIONS, AND THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING AT NOW. EVERYBODY LOOKS AT IOWA'S PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM, IOWA'S INCOME TAX SYSTEM AND SAYS, OH, LOOK HOW HORRID THIS IS, AND THEN THEY FLOAT A SUGGESTED CHANGE AND THE WORLD EXPLODES WHEN THEY LOOK AT THE CONSEQUENCES OF MAKING THAT CHANGE. AT THE END OF THE DAY, DEAN, IT'S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR THESE LEGISLATORS TO DO ANYTHING MORE THAN, I THINK, DEAL WITH THE CIGARETTE TAX, WHICH IS A RELATIVELY MINOR TAX, BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THIS STATE, LEGISLATURES ARE ABLE TO GO IN AND REVISE THE TAX SYSTEM, WHATEVER KIND OF A TAX SYSTEM IT IS, WHEN THEY HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY OFF THOSE PEOPLE WHO LOSE, BECAUSE UNDER ANY CHANGE IN THE SYSTEM TAX SOME PEOPLE WIN AND SOME PEOPLE LOSE. WHEN YOU HAVE EXTRA MONEY, YOU BUY OFF THE PEOPLE THAT LOSE, AND THAT ALLOWS YOU TO CHANGE IT. THEY DON'T HAVE THAT MONEY THIS YEAR.

Borg: IT SEEMS TO ME, YOU KNOW, I LIKEN THIS TO THE FOOD CHAIN. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFLOADS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE. THE STATES OFFLOAD IT TO MUNICIPALS SUCH AS CEDAR RAPIDS. MAYOR PAUL PATE DECRYING THE ARCHAIC TAX SYSTEM AND IN USING IT AS AN EXCUSE THAT WE'VE GOT TO RAISE YOUR TAXES HERE IN CEDAR RAPIDS BECAUSE THEY DO THIS TO US.

Glover: "I'M NOT RAISING YOUR TAXES, THE LEGISLATURE IS MAKING ME RAISE YOUR TAXES."

Beck: AND THERE'S A PROPOSAL OUT RIGHT NOW WHERE THE SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THEY WOULD FREEZE PROPERTY TAXES FOR ANYONE OVER THE AGE OF 65. WELL, CITIES AND COUNTIES ARE GOING TO SAY, WHOA, THAT LIMITS OUR ABILITY TO GROW OUR BUDGETS AND EXPAND OUR BUDGETS. AND DOES THAT MEAN WE TAX THOSE WHO ARE UNDER 65 MORE? AND, OF COURSE, THOSE IN STATE GOVERNMENT SAY, NO, NO, YOU JUST LIVE AMONG LIMITED RESOURCES. WELL, YOU KNOW, CITIES AND COUNTIES AREN'T GOING TO LIKE THAT SO, AGAIN, THEY'LL POINT THE FINGER AT THE LEGISLATURE AND SAY WE HAVE TO RAISE TAXES ON THOSE THAT AREN'T OVER THE AGE OF 65. THAT'S WHY THOSE KIND OF PROPOSALS MAY NOT GO ANYWHERE.

Borg: THOSE ARE WHAT KIND OF TAXES?

Beck: THAT WOULD BE PROPERTY TAXES.

Borg: PROPERTY TAXES ONLY. ALL RIGHT.

Yepsen: CITIES AND COUNTIES LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LEGISLATURE, BUT THE FACT IS CITIES AND COUNTIES SET THEIR TAX RATES, SO THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT HOW HIGH THE PROPERTY TAX IS IN IOWA. IT ISN'T ALL THE FAULT OF THE PEOPLE IN DES MOINES. THE CITIES AND COUNTIES HAVE COME WITH THE PROPOSAL TO REFORM IOWA'S PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM. I DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO GO ANYWHERE BECAUSE IT BASICALLY GUARANTEES CITIES AND COUNTIES AN INFLATIONARY INCREASE IN THEIR BUDGETS. THAT'S A, YOU KNOW, 4-PERCENT EACH YEAR INCREASE ON PROPERTY. I DON'T HEAR A LOT OF SENTIMENT IN THE LEGISLATURE FOR HAVING MAYOR PATE HAPPY.

Borg: WHAT ABOUT -- SHE, JENEANE, REFERRED TO THE DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS, THOSE OLDER IOWANS AND THOSE YOUNGER, UNDER 30. IS THAT AT ALL, DAVE, A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE?

Yepsen: NO. I THINK THE IDEA -- THEY FLOATED THE IDEA OF TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR PEOPLE UNDER THIRTY TO KEEP THEM HERE. IT GOT A LOT OF PUBLICITY NATIONALLY, BUT IT'S A NONSTARTER. THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT IT WOULD COST FOR SURE. LAST WEEK THEY SORT OF BACKED OFF IT. I THINK IT IS AN EXAMPLE, THOUGH, OF THE IDEAS. THE PLACE IS BUBBLING WITH SOME IDEAS. I LIKEN THE LEGISLATURE AT THIS STAGE OF THE GAME TO MAKING A POT OF CHILI. ALL RIGHT, YOU THROW A LOT OF INGREDIENTS TOGETHER AND THEN IT'S GOT TO SIMMER FOR A WHILE BEFORE IT'S FIT TO EAT. AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE DOING NOW; WE'RE LOOKING AT THE INGREDIENTS. DO WE WANT TO THROW THIS IN THE MIX OR NOT. SO THEY ROLL OUT AN IDEA TO TAKE CARE OF SENIOR CITIZENS, TAKE CARE OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND, YOU KNOW, SEE WHERE IT GOES. BUT I DON'T THINK THE UNDER-THIRTY THING -- THAT'S NOT GOING TO GO.

Borg: WHAT ABOUT THE CIGARETTE TAX, MIKE?

Glover: THAT'S STILL AN OPEN QUESTION. I THINK KAY MENTIONED THE POINT THAT WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THAT. THE GOVERNOR HAS PROPOSED AN 80-CENT-PER-PACK INCREASE IN THE CIGARETTE TAX. IT'S ABOUT $129 MILLION A YEAR. HE'D USE PART OF THAT MONEY TO PAY FOR MEDICAID. IT PAYS FOR HEALTH CARE FOR THE POOR AND ELDERLY. I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO HAVE TO PASS SOME KIND OF A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. THE SENSE I GET AROUND THE PLACE IS THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF CONSERVATIVES WHO ARE STILL HOLDING THE LINE, SAYING WE DON'T NEED TO INCREASE TAXES TO PAY FOR THESE KIND OF PROGRAMS. BUT I'M STARTING TO HEAR SOME MODERATE REPUBLICANS AND MOST DEMOCRATS SAY, YEAH, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THIS, MAYBE NOT AT THE 80-CENT-PER-PACK LEVEL BUT AT SOME LEVEL. THE GOVERNOR, WHEN HE PROPOSED HIS BUDGET, HE LISTED THE HEALTH PROGRAMS HE WAS GOING TO COVER WITH THAT CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. AND WHAT HE SAID IS AT 80 CENTS A PACK, THESE ARE THE PROGRAMS WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR. YOU START KNOCKING MONEY OFF THAT, THESE ARE THE PROGRAMS THAT GO RIGHT IN THE SEWER.

Henderson: AND FOR SOME PEOPLE THIS CIGARETTE TAX HIKE IS NOT ABOUT RAISING MONEY FOR THE STATE. IT'S ABOUT DISCOURAGING CHILDREN FROM STARTING THE HABIT. IT'S ABOUT ENCOURAGING SMOKERS WHO HAVE BEEN SMOKING FOR YEARS TO SAY, HEY, I'M NOT SPENDING ANY MORE DOUGH ON THIS. SO THERE'S A CORE GROUP OF PARTICULARLY STATE SENATORS WHO ARE REPUBLICANS WHO ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE FOR THOSE VERY REASONS, THE HEALTH RELATED REASONS. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RAISING MONEY FOR THE STATE.

Borg: EXCEPT THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE MONEY THAT IT RAISES. AND THE OTHER RATIONALE IS IT WILL BE GOOD FOR US TOO.

Glover: AND THEY WOULDN'T GIVE THEM THE MONEY BACK.

Yepsen: THEY HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT THE CIGARETTE TAX TO DO. DO WE WANT IT TO BE A VEHICLE TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO STOP SMOKING? THEN YOU RAISE IT A BUCK. BUT THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET, AS YOU JUST MENTIONED, IS THEY RAISE ABOUT $88 MILLION A YEAR OFF THIS TAX, SO THEY NEED THE REVENUE. MY GUESS IS THAT IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS THEY'LL WIND UP DOUBLING IT. THEY'LL ADD 36 CENTS A PACK TO THE EXISTING 36 CENTS AND THEY WON'T DO THE 80 CENTS AND THAT THIS WILL GIVE THEM A LITTLE MORE REVENUE TO DEAL WITH THIS MEDICAID PROBLEM.

Glover: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S HAPPENING -- EXCUSE ME, DEAN. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S HAPPENING IS YOU'RE BEGINNING TO SEE PEOPLE START TO POSITION THEMSELVES FOR THE NEXT ELECTION. GOVERNOR VILSACK OUTLINED A SERIES OF PROPOSALS IN HIS CONDITION OF THE STATE. YOU'RE NOW SEEING LEGISLATIVE REPUBLICANS START TO COME UP WITH THEIR IDEAS. THEY'RE A LITTLE VAGUE AROUND THE EDGES BUT, OKAY, WE WANT TO ADDRESS THAT ISSUE BUT WE WANT TO ADDRESS IT LIKE THIS. THAT'S CAMPAIGN BROCHURE STUFF. THERE'S GOING TO BE AN ELECTION NEXT YEAR, AND WE HAVE A DEAD-EVEN TIED SENATE AND ALMOST DEAD-EVEN TIED HOUSE. AND THE PARTIES ARE STARTING TO BUILD THE CASE FOR THEMSELVES IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

Yepsen: AND IT'S REAL EASY FOR GOVERNOR VILSACK, WHO IS NOT SEEKING REELECTION, TO BREAK HIS PROMISE OF NO TAX INCREASES. IT'S ANOTHER THING TO ASK LEGISLATORS TO BREAK THEIRS. IT'S IMPORTANT, DEAN, TO REMEMBER I THINK IN THESE TAX DEBATES, 34 PERCENT OF IOWANS LIVE IN THE TIER OF COUNTIES AROUND OUR BORDERS. IF YOU JUST LOOK AT THE COUNTIES AROUND THE BORDERS, THAT'S A THIRD OF US LIVE OUT THERE. IT GETS REAL EASY TO TAKE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ACROSS A STATE LINE IF YOUR TAXES GET OUT OF WHACK. PEOPLE IN NORTHWEST IOWA ARE QUITE CONVERSIVE IN THE FACT THAT SOUTH DAKOTA HAS NO INCOME TAX. I MEAN YOU GET INTO DAVENPORT AND PEOPLE MOVE ACROSS THE LINE ON PENSIONS. CIGARETTES ARE A GOOD EXAMPLE OF WHERE LOCAL LEGISLATORS FROM THOSE AREAS, THEY SEE PEOPLE FROM OTHER STATES COMING INTO CONVENIENCE STORES BUYING GROCERIES AND OTHER THINGS, AND THEY DON'T WANT TO LOSE THAT. SO THE GOAL HERE IS TO RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX ENOUGH TO RAISE SOME MORE REVENUE, BUT NOT SO MUCH THAT YOU DRIVE AWAY PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING INTO IOWA TO BUY THEIR GROCERIES AND THEIR GASOLINE.

Borg: JENEANE, YOU HAD A COMMENT EARLIER.

Beck: WELL, I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY THAT I DO THINK THE GOVERNOR, WHEN HE SUGGESTED AN 80-CENTS-A-PACK HIKE, SET THAT ARBITRARILY HIGH, KNOWING THAT THEN HE WOULD HAVE SOME NEGOTIATING ROOM WITH LAWMAKERS. AND THEN IT GIVES THEM AN OUT IN SAYING, WELL, YES, WE RAISED IT BUT WE DIDN'T LET IT GO TO 80 CENTS HIGHER A PACK, AND THAT GIVES THEM SOME OUT.

Yepsen: THERE'S ONE OTHER DYNAMIC HERE, AND THAT IS -- I WAS TALKING TO A REPUBLICAN LEADER THE OTHER DAY, AND THEY MAY NOT NEED THE CIGARETTE TAX REVENUE THIS YEAR. THEY COULD PROBABLY GET BY. REVENUES ARE DOING PRETTY GOOD, BUT GIVEN WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH MEDICAID AND THE EXPENSE THERE, THEY'RE GOING TO NEED IT NEXT YEAR. POLITICALLY THEY'RE BETTER OFF TO RAISE THAT TAX THIS YEAR, -- IT'S NOT AN ELECTION YEAR -- TRY TO HOLD ONTO SOME OF THAT MONEY SO THEY CAN COVER THE BILLS THAT THEY KNOW ARE GOING TO COME DUE NEXT YEAR, WHICH IS AN ELECTION YEAR.

Glover: IT SOUNDS TO ME -- IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE'S A BARGAINING PROCESS GOING ON JUST LIKE JENEANE MENTIONED. I THINK VILSACK ASKED FOR AN INORDINATELY HIGH CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE, KNOWING HE MIGHT HAVE TO COMPROMISE DOWN. THE 50 SOME GROUPS THAT ARE FORMING THE HEALTH COALITION, THEY WERE IN FOR THE BUCK-A-PACK CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. YOU'RE NOW HEARING SOME REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS TALK ABOUT A LITTLE BIT LESS. WE'RE RAISING AND LOWERING HERE. IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE PEOPLE ARE STAKING OUT THEIR BARGAINING POSITIONS.

Borg: KAY, THIS ALL, THOUGH, TAKES PLACE PARTICULARLY IN THE SENATE. THE HOUSE IS MORE NARROWLY DIVIDED NOW TOO, WITH DEMOCRATS NEARLY HAVING AS MANY SEATS IN THE HOUSE AS THE REPUBLICANS, BUT IT IS EVENLY DIVIDED 25/25 IN THE SENATE. HOW IS THAT PLAYING OUT IN THE DIVISION OF POWER AND THE SHARING OF POWER AS FAR AS GETTING THINGS PASSED?

Henderson: WELL, WE ALL HAVE BEEN COVERING THE SENATE FOR JUST OVER A MONTH, AND WHAT IS REMARKABLE IS WHAT HAS NOT HAPPENED IN THE SENATE. IT'S VERY -- IT'S REALLY HARD TO GET ANYTHING THROUGH AN EVENLY DIVIDED LEGISLATURE -- SENATE. LAST WEEK WHEN WE CHECKED, THEY HAD ONLY PASSED FIVE BILLS OUT OF COMMITTEE. SO THAT TELLS YOU THAT IT'S REALLY HARD JUST FROM AN INSTITUTIONAL STANDPOINT TO GET AGREEMENT ON LEGISLATION FROM BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS TO MOVE THINGS THROUGH, SO I THINK IN THE END ANALYSIS WHAT I THINK THAT TELLS US IS THAT WHEN THIS LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS, SOMETIME PERHAPS IN APRIL OR EARLY MAY, THAT THEY WILL NOT HAVE ACCOMPLISHED A LOT OF LITTLE THINGS BUT THEY MAY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED A FEW BIG THINGS.

Glover: THIS LEGISLATURE IS SETTING ITSELF UP TO BE A DO-NOTHING LEGISLATURE, AND THERE ARE SEVERAL FORCES WORKING ON THAT. AND I DON'T MEAN DO NOTHING IN A PEJORATIVE SENSE. IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET THINGS PASSED BECAUSE IT'S TIED OR DEAD EVEN, BUT THERE'S A SUBSTANTIAL GROUP OF LEGISLATORS WHO SAY THAT'S JUST FINE. WHEN THEY WERE TELLING US THAT ONLY FIVE BILLS HAD COME OUT OF COMMITTEE, REPUBLICAN LEADERS WERE SAYING, AND WE THINK THAT'S A GOOD THING. SO THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE SAYING, OKAY, IT'S TOUGH TO GET THINGS THROUGH HERE, AND THAT'S NOT SUCH A BAD THING AFTER ALL BECAUSE MAYBE NOT DOING SOMETHING IS GOOD.

Yepsen: I NOTICED IN OUR LAST POLL, THE RIGHT-TRACK/WRONG-TRACK NUMBERS SHOW, YOU KNOW, 55 PERCENT OF IOWANS THINK THINGS ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. THE ECONOMY IS DOING PRETTY WELL. THE FARMERS HAD A VERY GOOD YEAR LAST YEAR. THEY DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT, BUT FARMERS NEVER DO THAT. BUT TIMES ARE PRETTY GOOD OUT THERE. THAT IS NOT A RECIPE FOR DOING A LOT THINGS IN THE LEGISLATURE. SO I DON'T -- I AGREE WITH MIKE. I THINK A DO-LITTLE LEGISLATURE IS --

Glover: AND WE'RE SETTING OURSELVES UP. THE EARLY STIRRINGS ARE IN PLACE -- AND THIS LOOKS BEYOND JUST THIS LEGISLATURE. THE EARLY STIRRINGS ARE IN PLACE FOR THE NEXT GOVERNOR'S ELECTION. PEOPLE ARE REALLY STARTING TO BELIEVE NOW THAT TOM VILSACK IS NOT RUNNING AGAIN. HE'S BEEN SAYING IT FOR A COUPLE YEARS. PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO BELIEVE HIM. SO THE POTENTIAL CANDIDATES TO REPLACE HIM ARE STARTING TO TAKE THOSE EARLY STEPS TO PUT THEIR CAMPAIGNS IN PLACE.

Borg: AND ARE YOU SAYING THAT THAT'S AFFECTING LEGISLATIVE PROGRESS?

Glover: THE STATE'S POLITICAL AGENDA IS WAITING TO SEE WHO THE NEXT GOVERNOR IS GOING TO BE.

Yepsen: THERE'S ANOTHER REASON WHY NOT MUCH IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. WE'RE STILL RELATIVELY EARLY IN THE SESSION. YOU HAVE THE GOVERNOR DOES HIS THING AND THEN HE GIVES HIS BUDGET AND THEN WE LOOK AT THE SALARY AGREEMENT THAT'S REACHED WITH STATE WORKERS. NOW LAWMAKERS HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THE CIGARETTE TAX. THEN THEY'LL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL APRIL TO SEE HOW THEIR REVENUES ARE DOING. AND THEN ALONG THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS IN APRIL, SOME REAL DECISIONS ARE GOING TO GET MADE ABOUT ALL THESE THINGS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Borg: ON THE TIMING -- AND, MIKE, I WANT TO GET BACK TO THAT GOVERNOR'S RACE LATER ON IN OUR DISCUSSION HERE. JENEANE, ONE OF THE LITTLE TEAPOTS THAT'S BEEN KIND OF BUBBLING AND BREWING DURING THE PAST FEW DAYS HERE IS AMONG THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND SOME RESIGNATIONS THERE THAT HAS REALLY CAUGHT ATTENTION IN THE LEGISLATURE. WHAT MIGHT BE THE FALLOUT, IF WE PUT IT THAT WAY, IN THE LEGISLATURE, WHERE NEW REGENTS HAVE TO COME AND BE QUESTIONED ABOUT BEING CONFIRMED?

Beck: WELL, THERE'S A COUPLE OF AREAS WHERE THERE COULD BE FALLOUT. OBVIOUSLY FOR THE NEW REGENTS THAT HAVE BEEN NOMINATED SO FAR, WHICH WOULD BE TERESA WAHLERT AND MICHAEL GARTNER, THE BOARD -- THE SENATE CONFIRMATION PROCESS COULD GO BADLY. I DON'T SUSPECT THAT'S GOING TO BE THE CASE. BUT IT COULD GO BADLY AND THEY COULD DECIDE THAT THESE TWO PEOPLE ARE NOT WHO THEY WANT TO SIT ON THE BOARD OF REGENTS. BUT THE MORE LIKELY SCENARIO IS THAT LEGISLATORS USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO TRY TO DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO BACK AWAY FROM A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE REGENTS UNIVERSITIES THAT THE REGENTS WOULD HOLD TUITION TO THE RATE OF INFLATION OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS IF EACH OF THOSE FOUR YEARS THEY GOT $40 MILLION IN INCREASED SPENDING FROM THE STATE. AND THE LEGISLATURE NEVER REALLY SIGNED OFF ON THAT, BUT THEY SORT OF SAID, YEAH, WE'LL LOOK AT THAT. AND NOW THEY'RE SAYING, WELL, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE -- THEY FELT THAT JOHN FORSYTH, WHO WAS THE BOARD CHAIR WHO STEPPED DOWN, WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND CHANGE AND COST SAVINGS AT THE UNIVERSITIES. AND THEY'RE SAYING, LOOK, IF WE DON'T FEEL THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE, THEN WE'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU A $40-MILLION INCREASE. I THINK IN -- AND THEY WILL GIVE THE REGENTS SOME SORT OF INCREASE. IT MAY NOT BE $40 MILLION, BUT THEY WANT TUITION TO SORT OF BE RATCHETED -- OR AT LEAST TO NOT INCREASE AT THE DOUBLE-DIGIT RATES IT HAS BEEN, AND I THINK THEY WILL GIVE THEM AN INCREASE.

Glover: THE DYNAMIC THAT WAS HAPPENING WAS THE BOARD OF REGENTS WAS BEGINNING TO IMPOSE SOME DISCIPLINE ON THE MAJOR PUBLIC COLLEGES, TELLING THEM: YOU'VE GOT TO STREAMLINE YOUR ACTIVITIES; YOU'VE GOT TO FIND WAYS TO CUT SOME OF THE BUREAUCRACY; WE'LL GET YOU SOME EXTRA MONEY; HOLD TUITION DOWN. IT'S A TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESS IS THE WAY THEY REFER TO IT AT THE LEGISLATURE. THERE'S SUSPICION IN THE LEGISLATURE THAT THE UNIVERSITIES WERE REBELLING AGAINST THAT, THAT THEY FOUND WAYS TO PUT PRESSURE ON MEMBERS OF THE REGENTS TO RESIGN. THAT WILL BE THE AREA THAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL TRY TO EXPLORE: DID THE UNIVERSITIES PUT PRESSURE ON PEOPLE TO FORCE THESE REGENTS OFF THE BOARD TO GET A MORE COMPLIANT BOARD OF REGENTS?

Yepsen: AND JUST AS UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS AND BUREAUCRATS AND PROFESSORS DON'T LIKE CHANGE, LEGISLATORS DON'T LIKE SURPRISES. AND THIS WHOLE BUSINESS WITH JOHN FORSYTH AND THIS TURNOVER THAT'S GOING ON IN THE REGENTS -- WE MAY GET A COUPLE MORE HERE SOON -- STRUCK A LOT OF LAWMAKERS WITH THE REACTION OF WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE. THEY'RE CONFUSED. THEY DON'T KNOW. AND I THINK THAT'S A BAD ENVIRONMENT FOR THE REGENTS TO BE IN.

Borg: WELL, YOU SAID THERE MAY BE OTHER RESIGNATIONS. THE TERM OF OWEN NEWLIN WHO HAS BEEN BOARD PRESIDENT EXPIRES --

Yepsen: EXPIRES. AND SO I MEAN HE HAS TO BE REPLACED YET. SO WE'VE GOT A COUPLE MORE REGENTS -- WE COULD HAVE FOUR NEW REGENTS BEFORE THIS IS OVER.

Beck: WE'VE HAD THREE AND THERE WILL BE TWO MORE.

Henderson: THERE WILL BE FOUR.

Beck: SO THERE WILL BE FOUR MORE.

Glover: AND ONE OF THE DYNAMICS THAT'S PLAYING OUT UNDER ALL OF THIS -- AND YOU CAN JUST FEEL IT. NOBODY SAYS IT BUT YOU CAN FEEL IT. IF YOU LOOK AT THESE UNIVERSITY TOWNS -- AMES, IOWA CITY, AND CEDAR FALLS -- THESE ARE PRETTY WELL-OFF PLACE. THESE UNIVERSITY PEOPLE MAKE PRETTY GOOD MONEY. THESE TOWNS ARE IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE ECONOMICALLY, AND THERE'S A LITTLE COLLEGE ENVY IN AREAS OF THE STATE THAT AREN'T DOING QUITE AS WELL, SOUTHERN IOWA, WESTERN IOWA, PLACES WHERE THEY'RE STRUGGLING. THEY LOOK AT THESE UNIVERSITIES AND SEE A BUNCH OF PEOPLE ARE PAID WELL. THEY SEE A BUNCH OF SHINY NEW BUILDINGS, AND THEY SEE A RELUCTANCE TO BE OVERSEEN. AND THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF RESENTMENT BUILT INTO THAT.

Borg: BUT WOULD YOU SAY THERE'S TROUBLE AHEAD FOR THE REGENTS IN THIS SESSION?

Yepsen: I THINK SO, DEAN, AND I THINK SO IN PART BECAUSE OF WHAT MIKE SAID, BUT ALSO BECAUSE MONEY IS STILL TIGHT AND LEGISLATORS DO SEE MORE VALUE IN SPENDING MONEY IN THE K-12 SYSTEM AT HOME OR THAT COMMUNITY COLLEGE. THAT'S MUCH CLOSER TO THEIR CONSTITUENCIES THAN WHATEVER IS GOING ON IN IOWA CITY OR AMES.

Glover: THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT. I MEAN IF I INCREASE ALLOWABLE GROWTH -- BASIC AID TO LOCAL SCHOOLS, MY HIGH SCHOOL IS GOING TO GET A NEW GYM OR MY HIGH SCHOOL IS GOING TO GET WHATEVER OR MY TEACHERS IN MY COMMUNITY ARE GOING TO GET PAID A LITTLE BIT MORE AND THEN THEY'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR THEM. SO THAT'S THE KIND OF THING I'M WORRIED ABOUT IF I'M A LEGISLATOR.

Henderson: YOU KNOW, IN THIS OUTCOME OF THIS PALACE INTRIGUE IN REGARDS TO GOVERNANCE OF THE UNIVERSITIES IS THAT THEY MAY END UP WITH A BOARD OF REGENTS PRESIDENT IN THE MAN OF MICHAEL GARTNER, WHO WAS THE VISION IOWA BOARD CHAIRMAN WHO WAS A VERY STERN NEGOTIATOR WITH CITIES AND COUNTIES ALL ACROSS THE STATE AND SURPRISED A LOT OF PEOPLE BY MAKING CITIES AND COUNTIES PONY UP A LOT OF LOCAL DOLLARS. SO IF THEY THINK THEY'RE GOING TO GET A PUSHOVER IN MICHAEL GARTNER, THEY'VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING. SO THERE COULD BE -- I MEAN THE OUTCOME OF THIS IS THAT THEY MAY FOLLOW JOHN FORSYTH, WHO THEY THOUGHT WAS A STRONG LEADER AND PERHAPS TAKING THEM DOWN A PATH TOWARD REALLY DEEP CUTS, TO ANOTHER GUY WHO'S GOING TO SAY, HEY, I WANT MORE.

Borg: A COROLLARY OF VISION IOWA, WAS OF THE VALUES FUND. THAT WAS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. VISION IOWA WAS FOR DEVELOPING TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. HOW IS THE VALUES FUND GOING TO BE FUNDED THIS TIME, KAY?

Henderson: WELL, THAT'S AN OPEN QUESTION. YOU HAVE SOME LEGISLATORS WHO WOULD LIKE TO BORROW MONEY AND USE IN THE FUTURE THE GAMBLING REVENUES THAT WILL COME FROM THESE NEW GAMBLING ENTERPRISES THAT THE RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION MAY CHOOSE TO GRANT TO PLACES AROUND THE STATE. SO THAT'S WHAT SOME LEGISLATORS WOULD LIKE TO DO. I THINK THE STUMBLING BLOCK, AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN IN THE PAST AND WILL BE THIS YEAR, IS SENATE REPUBLICANS, THAT GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY RELUCTANT TO, IN THEIR WORDS, PICK WINNERS AND LOSERS. THEY'VE ADVANCED THESE OTHER IDEAS THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT BEFORE, YOU KNOW, DOING TAXES SO THE INCOME TAXES FOR THE UNDER THIRTY SET. SOMETHING THAT SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO BE PRESSING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THAT VALUES FUND IS A TAX CREDIT FOR BUSINESSES THAT CREATE JOBS, IN OTHER WORDS, REWARDING A BUSINESS AS THEY MAKE THAT COMMITMENT RATHER THAN REWARDING A BUSINESS THAT PROMISES TO DO SOMETHING.

Yepsen: THE VALUES FUND HAS TWO PROBLEMS. ONE, THERE'S THIRD OF THE COUNTIES THAT HAVE GOTTEN NOTHING OUT OF THIS AND A LOT OF RURAL LEGISLATORS ARE SAYING, WAIT A MINUTE, THIS IS A BIG CITY DEAL. NOW, THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES THAT, BUT MIKE BLOUIN WAS ON THIS SHOW A COUPLE WEEKS AGO AND SAID, YOU KNOW, A THIRD OF THE COUNTIES ARE STILL LEFT OUT. SO THEY'VE GOT THAT PROBLEM. THE SECOND ONE IS POLITICS. MIKE BLOUIN IS A LEADING DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR. HE'S ALSO THE HEAD OF THE D.E.D. WHO'S UP THERE TRYING TO GET THIS THING PASSED. AND I THINK THEY'RE STARTING TO DEVELOP A RELUCTANCE ON THE PART OF REPUBLICANS TO DO THINGS THAT MIGHT MAKE MIKE BLOUIN LOOK GOOD. MIKE BLOUIN, HE WANTS TO POSTPONE DISCUSSION OF A RACE FOR GOVERNOR, WHICH IS WHAT HE SAID OUT HERE, UNTIL AFTER THE SESSION. I DON'T THINK HE HAS THAT LUXURY. I THINK MIKE BLOUIN IS GOING TO BE FORCED TO DECIDE PRETTY SOON WHETHER HE'S A CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OR WHETHER HE'S THE D.E.D. DIRECTOR, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

Glover: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR, EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO TALK ABOUT PUTTING THAT OFF. IN REALITY THAT CAMPAIGN IS WELL UNDERWAY, AND HE'S A PART OF IT. THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ARE OUT THERE DOING THEIR THING. SOME OF THEM HAVE FORMALLY ANNOUNCED. THE CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR IS UNDERWAY, AND IN A LOT OF WAYS THAT'S NOT A BAD THING. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION WE HAVE IN THIS STATE IS THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR. AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A TWO-YEAR LONG DEBATE AMONG THE CANDIDATES ABOUT WHERE THIS STATE OUGHT TO GO, AND THAT DEBATE IS UNDERWAY RIGHT NOW.

Borg: WELL, AS YOU SAY, YOU CAN'T POSTPONE -- I WAS GOING TO POSTPONE THAT COMMENT UNTIL LATER, BUT LET'S GET INTO IT BECAUSE WE HAVE. ALL RIGHT. ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, YOU'VE MENTIONED MIKE BLOUIN. WHO ELSE IS IN THE RACE POSSIBLY?

Yepsen: SECRETARY OF STATE CHET CULVER IS IN THE RACE. STATE REPRESENTATIVE ED FALLON IS IN THE RACE. SHENANDOAH MAYOR GREGG CONNELL HAS SAID HE'S THINKING ABOUT IT. AMONG RANK AND FILE DEMOCRATS, THOUGH, THERE'S SOME -- EACH ONE OF THESE CANDIDATES HAS A LIABILITY. MIKE BLOUIN IS PRO-LIFE. CHET CULVER IS NOT THE GREATEST PUBLIC SPEAKER. SO DEMOCRATS ARE STILL SEARCHING. THEY'RE STILL LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY WHO CAN REALLY, YOU KNOW, BE THE PERFECT CANDIDATE. AND I THINK IT'S POSSIBLE OTHERS COULD GET IN.

Borg: ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, WE KNOW THAT CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE IS MAYBE --

Glover: CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE HAS TAKEN THE EARLY STEPS TOWARDS RUNNING. PEOPLE ASSUME HE'S RUNNING TO THE POINT WHERE THERE ARE NOW CANDIDATES FOR HIS CONGRESSIONAL SEAT WHO'VE PUT THE WORKS IN MOTION. BOB VANDER PLAATS, A SIOUX CITY BUSINESSMAN WHO RAN TWO YEARS AGO HAS ALREADY FORMALLY ANNOUNCED THAT HE'S GOING TO SEEK THE NOMINATION AGAIN. DOUG GROSS, A DES MOINES LAWYER WHO WAS THE NOMINEE TWO YEARS AGO, HAS HIRED A COUPLE PEOPLE AND MOST PEOPLE ASSUME HE'S PROBABLY IN THIS, ALTHOUGH HE SAYS HE HASN'T MADE A DECISION. AND WE COULD HAVE OTHERS IN THERE AS WELL.

Borg: AND THAT HAS SOME IMPLICATIONS. EVERYTHING IS TIED, JENEANE, TO SOMETHING ELSE OVER IN THE FIRST DISTRICT. IF NUSSLE RUNS FOR GOVERNOR, THEN THAT OPENS THAT SEAT.

Beck: THAT'S RIGHT. AND TWO REPUBLICANS HAVE NOW ANNOUNCED THAT THEY ARE FORMING COMMITTEES TO LOOK AT THAT, AND THEY HAVE BEGUN ACCEPTING CAMPAIGN DONATIONS. REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE BILL DIX OF SHELL ROCK IS LOOKING AT THAT SEAT AND ALSO MIKE WHALEN OF DAVENPORT, WHO HAPPENS TO BE THE FOUNDER OF THE MACHINE SHED RESTAURANTS. SO THOSE ARE TWO REPUBLICANS THAT ARE SAYING, WELL, IF, YOU KNOW, CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE RUNS FOR GOVERNOR, THEN WE'LL THROW OUR HATS INTO THE RING.

Yepsen: DEAN, BEFORE WE LEAVE THIS, I WANT TO ALSO ADD MIKE GRONSTAL'S NAME TO THE LIST OF DEMOCRATIC POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FROM THE SENATE THAT HAS A DYNAMIC IN THE LEGISLATURE. SO SOUTHWEST IOWA COULD HAVE A CANDIDATE FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS IN MIKE GRONSTAL AND FROM SHENANDOAH IN MAYOR CONNELL.

Glover: AND THERE'S A STRATEGIC THING. SOME REPUBLICANS ARE GRUMBLING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT JIM NUSSLE'S DECISION. HE SEEMS TO BE STEPPING DOWN FROM CONGRESS BECAUSE HE'S GOING TO LOSE HIS SEAT, HIS CHAIR IN THE SENATE -- OR HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE. BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF REPUBLICANS WHO WORRY THERE ARE 17,000 MORE DEMOCRATS THAN REPUBLICANS IN THE FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. THAT IS A DEMOCRATIC LEANING DISTRICT THAT NUSSLE HAS MANAGED TO HANG ON. IF THAT BECOMES AN OPEN SEAT, THAT VERY WELL COULD BE A SEAT THAT DEMOCRATS TAKE AWAY FROM REPUBLICANS IN THE NEXT ELECTION. A LOT OF REPUBLICANS ARE GRUMBLING ABOUT THAT.

Borg: NOW BILL GLUBA RAN OVER IN THAT DISTRICT LAST TURNAROUND ON THE ELECTION. WHO ARE THE OTHER DEMOCRATS THAT MIGHT RUN THERE?

Yepsen: THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM THAT ARE THINKING ABOUT IT. EVERY -- EVERY DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATOR FROM THAT DISTRICT IS THINKING ABOUT RUNNING. I MEAN GLUBA RAN A REASONABLE RACE. HE'S TALKING ABOUT IT AGAIN BUT THERE'S ALSO A SENSE THAT HIS DAY HAS PASSED AND IT'S TIME TO LOOK AT SOMEONE ELSE.

Borg: I WANTED TO GO BACK -- WE'VE COVERED THE POLITICS. NOW LET'S GO BACK INTO THE LEGISLATURE. GOVERNOR VILSACK FORMED -- I DON'T KNOW IF HE FORMED IT BUT IT'S BEEN FORMED, AND HE'S SITTING IN ON SOME GOVERNMENTAL REORGANIZATION MEETINGS THAT AREN'T BEING HELD IN PUBLIC. HOW ARE THEY GOING?

Beck: THEY ACTUALLY ARE BEING HELD IN PUBLIC.

Borg: THEY ARE BEING HELD IN PUBLIC.

Beck: YEAH, THEY'RE EVERY MONDAY MORNING AT 10:00 AT THE STATEHOUSE, AND THEY HAVE OPEN DISCUSSIONS. LOBBYISTS COME, REPORTERS COME AND LISTEN TO THOSE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT HOW TO REFORM GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND GOVERNMENT TAXATION. THE QUESTION IS OUR PROPERTY TAXES PAY FOR THESE SERVICES; SHOULD THEY? AND THERE ARE AT LEAST A COUPLE OF LEGISLATORS WHO HAVE ARGUED LATELY THAT PROPERTY TAXES SHOULD NOT PAY FOR EDUCATION, THAT THAT'S NOT EFFECTIVE AMONG COMMUNITIES. THERE'S A DISPARITY THEN ON WHICH COMMUNITIES CAN RAISE MORE MONEY DEPENDING ON THEIR PROPERTY TAX BASE, AND THEY WANT OVER THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS FOR THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO PICK UP THE -- YOU KNOW, THE FULL COST OF EDUCATION FUNDING IN IOWA, WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, ANOTHER $350 MILLION.

Borg: IS THIS A COMMISSION, THOUGH, THAT REALLY WON'T HAVE MUCH EFFECT IN THIS CURRENT SESSION?

Yepsen: IT COULD HAPPEN, DEAN. I MEAN WE'RE IN MID FEBRUARY. THE LEGISLATURE WANTS TO GET OUT OF HERE THE FIRST OF MAY. THEY'RE LOOKING AT HUGE, VITAL, SEMINAL CORE ISSUES OF GOVERNMENT, HOW WE PAY FOR EDUCATION. THAT'S NOT A DEBATE THAT YOU SOLVE IN ONE MEETING A WEEK. SO I'M NOT OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS IS GOING TO PRODUCE A LOT. I DO THINK IT SETS A FORCE IN MOTION. A GOVERNOR SITTING DOWN WITH KEY LEGISLATORS, WE HAVEN'T SEEN THAT BEFORE AND WE'RE STARTING TO TALK. SO MAYBE IN ANOTHER COUPLE YEARS, IT WILL BEAR FRUIT.

Glover: AND I HATE TO GO BACK TO THIS, DEAN, BUT THE GOVERNOR'S ELECTION STARTS. AND I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR START LOOKING AT THESE KINDS OF ISSUES. AND ONE OF THEM IS GOING TO PICK UP PART OF THIS AND SAY, OKAY, I'M GOING TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR ON THE PLATFORM OF THE STATE OUGHT TO PICK UP ALL THE COST OF EDUCATION. THAT'S GOING TO BE MY MAIN CAMPAIGN THEME. IF THIS PERSON WINS -- AND THAT JUST MIGHT HAPPEN BECAUSE THEY'LL HAVE A MANDATE.

Borg: I GUESS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT THAT COMMISSION IS THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK SAID: GIVE US A BREAK; DON'T CRITICIZE SOME OF THESE IDEAS THAT ARE BEING THROWN OUT TOO SOON TOO EARLY. [ LAUGHTER ]

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." WE'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEKEND, REGULAR AIRTIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY; SUNDAY AT NOON. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. I'LL DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. CAPTIONS BY: MIDWEST CAPTIONING DES MOINES, IOWA FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION… FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND BY NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.

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