Iowa Public Television

 

Republican Copresident Jeff Lamberti & Minority Leader Pat Murphy

posted on April 3, 2006

Borg: IOWA'S GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS AGREE ON A TIMETABLE TO ADJOURN THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEFORE EASTER, BUT THERE'S NO BUDGET AGREEMENT BRIDGE ON THE ROAD TO ADJOURNMENT. INSIGHT FROM SENATE REPUBLICAN COPRESIDENT JEFF LAMBERTI AND HOUSE DEMOCRATS' MINORITY LEADER PAT MURPHY 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, MARCH 31 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: DURING THIS PAST WEEK, GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEADERS APPARENTLY AGREED ON A TIMETABLE TO ADJOURN THE SESSION BEFORE EASTER, AND THAT WILL BE A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE LEGISLATORS' PAY ENDS ON APRIL 18. WHAT WASN'T AGREED TO IS HOW TO RESOLVE MAJOR DIFFERENCES ON NEXT YEAR'S STATE BUDGET. BRIDGING THOSE DIFFERENCES IS MOST CHALLENGING IN DETERMINING EDUCATION FUNDING, PARTICULARLY HOW TO BOOST TEACHER SALARIES AND WHAT ACCOUNTABILITY TO DEMAND. WE'LL GET RATIONALE FROM THE TWO SIDES TODAY. JEFF LAMBERTI OF ANKENY IS THE SENATE'S REPUBLICAN COPRESIDENT, AND DUBUQUE'S PAT MURPHY LEADS IOWA HOUSE MINORITY DEMOCRATS. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME BACK TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Murphy: THANK YOU, DEAN.

Lamberti: GOOD TO BE BACK.

Borg: AND ACROSS THE TABLE: 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR LEGISLATIVE REPORTER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: SENATOR LAMBERTI, LET'S START WITH YOU. AS DEAN MENTIONED, THERE ARE PRETTY INTENSE NEGOTIATIONS GOING ON AT THE HILL OVER A NEW BUDGET FOCUSING ON TEACHER PAY. WHERE ARE WE ON THAT?

Lamberti: WELL, WE'RE STILL QUITE A WAYS APART. I THINK IF -- BY CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES, WE'RE PROBABLY -- REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ARE PROBABLY $150- TO $180-MILLION APART. THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE WHEN COMPARED TO LAST YEAR, WHERE I THINK WE WERE $20 MILLION APART WHEN WE STARTED TO HAVE NEGOTIATIONS. WE ARE COMMITTED TO A PROCESS. WE ARE COMMITTED TO CONTINUING TO MEET. I STILL BELIEVE WE COULD GET DONE BY THE APRIL 13 DATE, BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF WORK. WE ARE -- WE'RE FAR APART RIGHT NOW.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WHERE ARE WE ON THESE NEGOTIATIONS?

Murphy: WELL, I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE SENATOR. I'D SAY RIGHT NOW THAT WE'RE PROBABLY BETWEEN $150- AND $180 MILLION APART. I THINK THAT THE BIG ISSUE FOR DEMOCRATS IS HOW WE ADDRESS EDUCATION BEFORE WE CAN ADJOURN. WE FEEL AS IF THE EDUCATION BILL THAT PASSED THE HOUSE IS WOEFULLY INADEQUATE ON HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING. WE THINK TEACHER QUALITY NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE SMART START OR THE EARLY CHILDHOOD FOR FOUR YEAR OLDS. WE THINK THOSE ARE THE MAJOR CRITERIA THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE EDUCATION BUDGET. BUT WE THINK THAT THERE'S STILL A TIME LINE -- OR THERE'S STILL TIME AVAILABLE FOR US TO REACH AGREEMENTS BY THE 13TH.

Glover: SENATOR LAMBERTI, I'D LIKE YOU TO STEP BACK JUST A SECOND AND GET BEYOND SORT OF THE INS AND OUTS OF THESE NEGOTIATIONS. AND A COUPLE OF MONTHS FROM NOW, WHAT WILL THIS LEGISLATURE BE REMEMBERED FOR?

Lamberti: WELL, I HOPE WE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING TEACHER PAY. WE'VE TALKED ABOUT IOWA TEACHER PAY RIGHT NOW IS 41ST IN THE NATION. I THINK WE ALL AGREE THAT THAT'S NOT SATISFACTORY. BUT I HOPE WE'LL BE REMEMBERED FOR MORE THAN JUST SPENDING ADDITIONAL DOLLARS. I THINK THE PEOPLE OF IOWA ARE WAY AHEAD OF THE LEGISLATURE ON THIS ISSUE. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT IT DOES TAKE RESOURCES. BUT TO GET IOWA BACK TO FIRST OR SECOND IN THE NATION IN EDUCATION IS GOING TO REQUIRE MORE THAN SIMPLY SPENDING MONEY. LAST WEEK WE PROPOSED $450 MILLION FOR TEACHER PAY. THAT WOULD BE THE SINGLE LARGEST INCREASE OVER FIVE YEARS IN TEACHER PAY IN THE HISTORY OF IOWA, BUT WE ALSO SAID THAT WE NEED TO START IMPLEMENTING OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD A PROGRAM TO PAY GOOD TEACHERS MORE. I THINK WE NEED REAL REFORM, NOT JUST MORE MONEY. BUT WE'RE COMMITTED TO INCREASING TEACHER PAY IN IOWA.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN THE DUST SETTLES AND THAT BUDGET AGREEMENT IS REACHED, AS IT WILL BE, WHAT WILL THIS LEGISLATURE BE REMEMBERED FOR?

Murphy: I THINK THERE'S THREE THINGS THAT THIS LEGISLATURE WILL BE JUDGED BY. I THINK, FIRST OF ALL, HOW WE DEAL WITH EDUCATION, AND I THINK THAT IS A BIG ISSUE. FIRST OF ALL, WE WENT FROM 17TH IN PER-PUPIL SPENDING IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS AMONG THE 50 STATES TO 37TH. TEACHER PAY IS NOW 41ST. WE ARE NOW COMPETING AGAINST EVERY OTHER STATE IN THE NATION FOR OUR TEACHERS THAT ARE GRADUATING FROM UNI AND FROM OUR PRIVATE COLLEGES. PEOPLE AT UNI THAT ARE GRADUATING THIS YEAR CAN GO 60 MILES TO THE NORTH, 90 MILES TO THE EAST, AND MAKE $5-, $6-, $7,000 A YEAR MORE. WE HAVE OTHER STATES THAT ARE BASICALLY OFFERING A FORM OF FREE AGENT SIGNING WHERE, IF YOU SIGN TO COME TO THEIR STATE, THEY'RE OFFERING A $5,000 BONUS. SO WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KEEP GOOD YOUNG TEACHERS IN THE STATE, ESPECIALLY WITH ALL OF THEM THAT ARE RETIRING. I THINK THE OTHER TWO ISSUES THAT THIS LEGISLATURE COULD BE JUDGED BY IS, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT WE DO IN THE AREA OF RENEWABLE FUELS. IOWA CAN BE A WORLD'S LEADER, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT $3-A-GALLON GAS THAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS SUMMER. AFTER WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR, AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA, IOWA CAN BE A WORLD'S LEADER. AND THE BILL THAT WE PASSED IN THE HOUSE JUST THIS PAST WEEK, WE'RE TRYING TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT. AND WE CREATED INCENTIVES. WE DIDN'T MAKE MANDATES BUT WE TRIED TO CREATE INCENTIVES FOR PEOPLE TO USE MORE ETHANOL. I THINK THAT'S THE DIRECTION WE NEED TO GO.

Yepsen: AND THE THIRD THING?

Murphy: THE THIRD THING IS HEALTH CARE. LAST YEAR THE SENATE PASSED A BILL THAT'S YET TO BE DEBATED IN THE HOUSE, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS GET HEALTH INSURANCE AND WE'VE GOT TO SEE WHAT THE HOUSE IS GOING TO DO IN THAT AREA.

Yepsen: WE'LL GET TO SOME OF THOSE BUT, SENATOR LAMBERTI, I WANT TO GO BACK TO YOU ON EDUCATION AND THIS PERFORMANCE PLAN THAT YOU REPUBLICANS ARE TALKING ABOUT. THE DEAL IS YOU GET -- YOU AGREE TO RAISE -- TO SPEND $450 MILLION, AND IN RETURN THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TO GO ALONG WITH WHAT'S CALLED THIS PERFORMANCE PLAN. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THIS WORKS.

Lamberti: WELL, HOW IT WORKS IS WE UNDERSTAND YOU CANNOT GO TO A PERFORMANCE-BASED SYSTEM OVERNIGHT. IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME. AND ACTUALLY WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS BUILD ON THE RECOMMENDATION FROM THE INSTITUTE FOR TOMORROW'S WORK FORCE, A GROUP THAT STUDIED THIS, SAID WE NEED TO MOVE TO A MODEL WHERE WE PAY GOOD TEACHERS MORE. SO WE'RE GOING TO START SMALL. WE'RE GOING TO START WITH TEN PILOT PROJECTS AND RAMP IT UP OVER FIVE YEARS, WHERE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE DOLLARS IN THE EARLY YEARS WILL SIMPLY GO TO RAISE TEACHER PAY. BUT OVER THE COURSE OF FIVE YEARS, WE ARE GOING TO MOVE TO A SYSTEM THAT SAYS WE'RE GOING TO PAY GOOD TEACHER MORES. YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT SATISFACTORY FOR US TO SIMPLY SPEND MORE MONEY. WE HAVE TO BE TALKING ABOUT REAL REFORMS.

Yepsen: MR. MURPHY, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Murphy: WE'RE NOT ARGUING ABOUT THAT. I THINK THE BIG ISSUE I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT IS YOU NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT OUR TEACHERS HAVE DONE IN THIS STATE OVER THE LAST TWENTY OR THIRTY YEARS. WE RANK IN THE TOP THREE OR TOP FIVE ON HOW KIDS PERFORM IN ACT, SAT. YOU LOOK AT OUR HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT RATE; IT'S ONE OF THE LOWEST DROPOUT RATES IN THE COUNTRY. YOU TAKE A LOOK AT HOW OUR EIGHTH GRADERS PERFORM COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE NATION; THEY'RE ALWAYS IN THE TOP FIVE OR TEN --

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME. WHAT'S WRONG WITH WHAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE PROPOSING BY WAY OF A PERFORMANCE PLAN? WHY WON'T THAT PACKAGE WORK?

Murphy: WELL, ACTUALLY IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT IT, THE LEGISLATURE DID START ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE WITH THE TEACHER QUALITY PACKAGE THAT WAS PASSED FIVE YEARS AGO. I THINK THE PART THAT YOU'LL SEE EDUCATORS BE UPSET ABOUT IS WE PASSED A FIVE-YEAR PLAN TO FUND $30 MILLION A YEAR TO PUT MORE INTO TEACHER SALARIES FOR TEACHER PERFORMANCE, BUT WE HAVEN'T COME UP WITH THE MONEY. SO I COULD SEE WHERE THEY BALK AT IT BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T KEPT OUR PROMISES TO THEM IN THE PAST.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF COMPENSATION FOR TEACHERS? IS PART OF THIS DEBATE -- WE'RE NOT HAVING A DEBATE OVER WHAT SHOULD THE LEVEL BE AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET THERE. SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS HOW -- HOW SHOULD WE PAY TEACHERS, WHAT SHOULD OUR RANK BE, AND HOW MANY YEARS IS IT GOING TO TAKE US TO GET THERE?

Lamberti: WELL, I CERTAINLY THINK WE OUGHT TO HAVE AS A GOAL TO BE AT LEAST AT THE NATIONAL AVERAGE, IF NOT ABOVE. THAT OUGHT TO BE A STANDARD THAT WE SET. BUT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE MARKETPLACE. WE HAVE TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE. SO IT'S NOT JUST TRYING TO MEET SOME NUMBER ON A SCALE; IT'S WHAT DOES THE MARKET DEMAND FOR US TO KEEP THE BEST TEACHERS HERE AND ATTRACT THE BEST TEACHERS IN IOWA. I DON'T THINK YOU CAN JUST SAY WE WANT TO BE 25TH OR 26TH. WE HAVE TO FACTOR IN WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE MARKET. IF WE IMPLEMENT OUR PLAN AT $450 MILLION OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, I THINK WE WILL MEET OR EXCEED THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. THAT IS A HUGE INVESTMENT BY THIS STATE.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, ARE YOU AT ALL -- WE'RE TALKING HERE ABOUT K-12 TEACHERS. WHAT ABOUT FACULTY SALARIES? ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THAT AT THE STATE UNIVERSITIES?

Murphy: OH, I THINK THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT FACULTY SALARIES, AND I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT'S OCCURRING AT THE REGENT UNIVERSITIES TO SEE WHAT -- PART OF THE PROBLEM WILL BE BEING ABLE TO KEEP GOOD TEACHERS IN THE STATE. DUE TO THE LACK OF FUNDING AT THE REGENTS UNIVERSITIES, WE'VE SEEN DOUBLE-BUDGET INCREASES ALMOST EVERY YEAR NOW FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. AND THEN YOU -- 'THE DES MOINES REGISTER' DID A STORY HERE THIS PAST WEEK WHERE THE AVERAGE STUDENT NOW WALKING OUT OF IOWA STATE ALMOST HAS TWICE THE DEBT OF THE AVERAGE AMERICAN STUDENT. YOU CAN'T START AS A TEACHER AT $25,000 A YEAR WHEN YOU'VE GOT $29,000 WORTH OF DEBT. THEY'RE SAYING THAT THE TYPE OF JOB YOU NEED IS A $40,000 A YEAR JOB. YOU AREN'T GOING TO BE ABLE TO BECOME A TEACHER. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR. SO YOU'RE SORT OF IN A CATCH 22. IF WE WANT GOOD TEACHERS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT MORE MONEY ON THE TABLE.

Borg: SENATOR LAMBERTI, FACULTY SALARIES?

Lamberti: WELL, YOU KNOW, LAST YEAR WE MADE A COMMITMENT ON A TRANSFORMATION PROCESS WITH THE UNIVERSITIES, AND WE SAID WE'LL TRY TO GET YOU $30- TO $40 MILLION A YEAR.

Borg: BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Lamberti: YEAH, IT DID HAPPEN, ACTUALLY. IT DID HAPPEN AND NOW THIS YEAR WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT HOW DO WE MAKE THAT SECOND YEAR COMMITMENT. I THINK THE HOUSE ONLY PUT ABOUT $6 MILLION IN THE BUDGET. I BELIEVE WE WILL SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THAT AS WE GO THROUGH THESE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS.

Glover: SENATOR LAMBERTI, YOU'RE A LEADER IN THE SENATE, WHICH IS DIVIDED AT 25/25. WALK ME THROUGH THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS. MECHANICALLY HOW DOES THIS WORK?

Lamberti: WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME TALKING. AND I THINK THAT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET TO A RESOLUTION UNLESS WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME TALKING AND BEING WILLING TO NEGOTIATE. WE ARE $150- TO $180 MILLION APART, AND THERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT. TEACHER COMPENSATION WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON. THE HOUSE BUDGET WAS ABOUT A 5.5-PERCENT INCREASE IN SPENDING. THAT SEEMS TO ME TO BE A PRETTY HIGH LEVEL. I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO GO TO 7-, 8-, 9-PERCENT INCREASE. SO WE'RE GOING TO FIND SOME MIDDLE GROUND BETWEEN WHERE THE HOUSE BUDGET CAME OVER AND WHERE WE'RE GOING TO END. WE BELIEVE THERE'S ROOM TO ADJUST PRIORITIES WITHIN THAT BUDGET. AND WE'RE ALSO GOING TO FIGHT FOR TAX RELIEF FOR LOW INCOME SENIORS. WE BELIEVE WE CAN DO THAT WITHIN THE REVENUES WE HAVE. OUR ECONOMY IS STRONG. AND I ALWAYS FIND IT INTERESTING -- WE'RE TALKING HERE ON THE DEMOCRAT SIDE ABOUT SPENDING $3- TO $400 MILLION, AND WE DON'T HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT HAVING TO GO SOMEWHERE INTO THE BUDGET TO FIND THOSE DOLLARS. IT'S SIMPLY ADDITIONAL SPENDING. BUT WHEN WE WANT TO GIVE SOME MODEST TAX RELIEF TO LOW INCOME SENIORS TO ALLOW THEM TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES, WE THEN HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE NEED TO CUT SPENDING ELSEWHERE OR RAISE SOME OTHER TAX. TO ME THAT'S AN ABSURDITY. WE CAN DO BOTH, MEET OUR PRIORITIES AND GIVE SOME REAL TAX RELIEF TO SENIORS.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? HOW DO THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS PLAY OUT?

Murphy: WELL, I THINK THE FIRST THING -- I THINK THE WAY IT'S GOING TO PLAY OUT IS I THINK THE BIG ISSUE THAT'S GOING TO BE THE STICKING POINT I THINK AT THIS POINT IS EDUCATION FUNDING SENATOR LAMBERTI JUST MENTIONED. THE TRANSFORMATION PROPOSAL THAT THE GOVERNOR PUT OUT THERE WAS $30 MILLION FOR THE REGENT UNIVERSITIES, AND THIS IS FOR THEM TO MAKE MAJOR CHANGES AT THOSE REGENT UNIVERSITIES. AND THEY CAN'T ACCESS THAT MONEY UNTIL THEY MAKE THOSE CHANGES. BUT YET LAST YEAR WE ONLY GAVE THEM ABOUT $22- OR $24 MILLION OF THE 40 THEY REQUESTED. THIS YEAR THE GOVERNOR IS REQUESTING 30, AND WE'RE GIVING THEM 6. THAT ISN'T THE MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE THAT WE NEED WITHIN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR HIGHER ED. AND I THINK THE OTHER PART, TOO, IS I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SEE SOME GIVE AND TAKE. BUT I THINK THE BIG ISSUE AT THE END OF THE DAY IS WHAT ARE WE GOING TO PUT INTO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, TEACHER QUALITY, AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO ADDRESS EARLY CHILDHOOD BECAUSE THAT STILL IS A MAJOR COMPONENT? MOST OTHER STATES NOW ARE AGREEING THAT THREE AND FOUR YEAR OLDS NEED TO BE BETTER PREPARED FOR WHEN THEY ENTER SCHOOL, AND WE AREN'T DOING ENOUGH IN THAT AREA.

Yepsen: MR. MURPHY, LAST WEEK THE GOVERNOR SUGGESTED THAT THE STATE RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX. AND INSTEAD OF SPENDING THE REVENUE, HE WOULD SAY -- HE WOULD ALLOW THE LEGISLATURE TO WHAT HE CALLS BACK FILL TAX CUTS. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU WOULD COVER THE MONEY THAT THE STATE WOULD LOSE IF YOU HAD REDUCED THE PENSION TAXES OR YOU COULD DO THE PROPERTY TAX BREAK THAT SENATOR LAMBERTI WAS TALKING ABOUT. HOW DO DEMOCRATS FEEL ABOUT THAT IDEA?

Murphy: ABOUT SETTING UP THE ACTUAL FUND FOR --

Yepsen: ABOUT RAISING CIGARETTE TAXES AND THEN GIVING THE MONEY BACK TO TAXPAYERS.

Murphy: AND I THINK THE GOVERNOR IS DOING THIS AS AN OLIVE BRANCH TO SAY, 'I'M WILLING TO WORK WITH YOU ON THE ISSUES THAT THE LEGISLATURE SEES AS IMPORTANT.' AND I DON'T THINK DEMOCRATS ARE OPPOSED TO THAT, BUT I DON'T THINK THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE IS GOING TO TAKE THAT UP. HE CREATED A 527 THAT, QUITE FRANKLY, HAS TAKEN A LOT OF MONEY FROM LARGE TOBACCO. HE HAS 60,000 REASONS NOT TO TAKE IT UP. I THINK THE BIG ISSUE, THOUGH, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT IF YOU WANT TO DO THE TAX CUT TO PASS THE HOUSE, YOU HAVE TO ADDRESS -- THE ORIGINAL BILL THAT THE REPUBLICANS INTRODUCED DID PENSIONS. THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE, LIKE FARMERS AND SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE, WHO DON'T HAVE PENSIONS, AND WE WANT TO ADDRESS ALL INCOME UP TO A CERTAIN LEVEL. AND I THINK THAT'S THE WAY YOU GIVE IT; YOU GIVE TAX RELIEF TO EVERY IOWAN, NOT JUST TO THE FEW THAT ARE LUCKY.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, HOW DO THE SENATE REPUBLICANS FEEL ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S OFFER?

Lamberti: WELL, YOU KNOW, LAST YEAR THE SENATE DID PASS AN INCREASE IN THE CIGARETTE TAX. WE DOUBLED IT BUT WE PUT IT TOWARDS PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, SO I THINK WE AT LEAST DEMONSTRATED SOME WILLINGNESS TO DO THAT. BUT AS WE'RE GOING THROUGH THESE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS THIS YEAR, I THINK THE THING THAT IS IMPORTANT -- IN ORDER TO FUND OUR PRIORITIES AND TO PROVIDE THE PENSION AND SOCIAL SECURITY TAX RELIEF FOR LOW INCOME SENIORS, WE DON'T NEED TO RAISE THE TAX. WE CAN DO IT. AND THE BILL THAT CAME OVER FROM THE HOUSE HAD MORE THAN 80 VOTES, HAD A MAJORITY OF BOTH CAUCUSES IN THE IOWA HOUSE. IT'S A GOOD BILL AND WE OUGHT TO PASS IT.

Yepsen: SO WHAT I HEAR FROM BOTH OF YOU IS THE IDEA OF RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX IS DEAD, RIGHT, SENATOR?

Lamberti: I THINK IT PROBABLY IS, YEAH.

Murphy: I WOULD AGREE THAT IT PROBABLY IS, ALTHOUGH HOUSE DEMOCRATS HAVE HAD A POSITION FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS THAT IF THEY WANT TO BRING IT UP, WE'LL HELP THEM -- WE'LL WORK TO HELP GET IT PASSED. BUT IT'S NOT SOMETHING THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE UP -- OR I'D BE HIGHLY SKEPTICAL THAT IT'S COMING UP.

Glover: SENATOR LAMBERTI, EARLIER REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY MENTIONED A RENEWABLE FUELS BILL WHICH PASSED THROUGH THE HOUSE. THAT BILL HAS INCENTIVES FOR RETAILERS TO OFFER ETHANOL AND RENEWABLE FUELS, BUT IT ALSO HAS SOME PENALTIES IN IT, SOME INCREASES IN GASOLINE TAXES IF CERTAIN TARGETS AREN'T MET. WHAT'S THE VIEW IN THE SENATE ON THAT?

Lamberti: WELL, IN GENERAL, I THINK WE LIKE THE BILL. I THINK IT'S A PRETTY GOOD BILL THAT WILL HELP TAKE THIS INDUSTRY TO THE NEXT LEVEL. I HAVE TWO ISSUES THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS. I'M NOT SURE WE NEED THE PENALTY IN TERMS OF RAISING THE GAS TAX IF WE DON'T MEET CERTAIN LEVELS, BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE IT IS GOING TO HELP US REACH THOSE LEVELS ANY MORE QUICKLY, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO LUMP KIND OF EVERYBODY IN TOGETHER. SO WE MAY HAVE ONE RETAILER WHO'S DOING A VERY GOOD JOB IN MARKETING E85 AND BIODIESEL AND ANOTHER RETAILER WHO'S NOT, BUT WE PUNISH EVERYBODY BY RAISING THE GAS TAX. I'M NOT SURE I WANT TO GO THERE. THE SECOND THING, I THINK WE NEED ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON E85 INFRASTRUCTURE. TO GET TO CRITICAL MASS, WE ARE REALLY GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTMENT SO THAT, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN DRIVE TO YOUR LOCAL STORE AND THERE IS AN E85 PUMP. SO I WOULD LIKE TO FIGHT FOR SOME ADDITIONAL DOLLARS. I THINK IT'S A GOOD BILL OVERALL. I THINK IT WILL TAKE US TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

Glover: AND ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, YOUR FAMILY IS CLOSELY INVOLVED WITH CASEY'S GENERAL STORE -- CONVENIENCE STORE CHAIN. CAN YOU BE INVOLVED IN THIS? IS THERE A CONFLICT THERE?

Lamberti: I DON'T BELIEVE I HAVE ANY CONFLICT. I DON'T HAVE ANY MORE CONFLICT DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE THAN A TEACHER DOES VOTING FOR AN INCREASE IN TEACHER PAY. I DON'T WORK FOR THE COMPANY. I NEVER HAVE. AND IF IT'S THE FACT THAT MY DAD DID, HE'S BEEN RETIRED FOR THREE YEARS. AND, QUITE FRANKLY, I SUSPECT THERE'S A LOT OF LEGISLATORS IN IOWA THAT PROBABLY OWN STOCK IN CASEY'S GENERAL STORES.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, THE BILL THAT PASSED IN THE HOUSE, IS THAT OR SOME FORM OF THAT GOING TO BE A BILL THAT GOES TO THE GOVERNOR?

Murphy: I THINK IT WILL BE. I THINK THE BIG PART THAT SENATOR LAMBERTI BROUGHT UP THAT SOME PEOPLE HAD A CONCERN IN THE HOUSE WAS THE $2 MILLION TO HELP THE CONVERSION FOR THE E85 THAT NEEDS TO BE OFFERED, BECAUSE IT DOES CAUSE THE RETOOLING OF PUMPS AT GAS STATIONS. AND YOU DO HAVE A PROBLEM OF HOW DO YOU GET -- HOW DO YOU GET GAS STATION OWNERS TO SWITCH TO AN E85 PUMP WHEN THERE'S NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE EVEN AWARE OF WHAT'S GOING ON. SO WE'RE TRYING TO CREATE THE INCENTIVE AND HELP COVER SOME OF THAT COST. I THINK THAT WILL BE A MAJOR PORTION OF THE BILL.

Glover: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO CRITICS WHO SAY WHY SHOULD WE SPEND $2 MILLION A YEAR TO GIVE TO RETAILERS TO HELP THEM MAKE MORE MONEY?

Murphy: I'LL TELL YOU REAL SIMPLY. YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE FACT THAT WE'VE LOST 2,000 LIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST. THAT'S THE FIRST REASON. NUMBER TWO, THE SECOND REASON IS THIS IS GREAT FOR THE ECONOMY OF THE STATE OF IOWA. AND THE REASON I SAY THAT IS WE HAVE -- YOU DON'T LOOK AT YOUR CORN FIELDS AND THINK OF FEEDING THE WORLD ANYMORE; YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE VALUE ADDED TO THE AGRICULTURE. AND THE FACT THAT WE CAN GET MORE CORN USED AND CREATING MORE ETHANOL PLANTS, YOU LOOK AT THE ISSUE WITH BIODIESEL, AND YOU LOOK AT THE ABILITY THAT NOW CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK ARE JUST TRYING TO GET AS MUCH ETHANOL AS THEY CAN BECAUSE OF THE MTBE ISSUE. WE ARE GOING TO BECOME AN EXPORT STATE OF THIS. THIS IS ONE OF THE NATURAL WAYS WE CAN GROW THE ECONOMY, SO I THINK IT'S AN ABSOLUTE NO-BRAINER FOR US TO BE DOING IT.

Yepsen: MR. MURPHY, ANOTHER ISSUE THAT HAS VEXED THIS LEGISLATURE IS THE QUESTION OF TOUCH PLAY MACHINES. THE LEGISLATURE VOTED IT FOR AND THE GOVERNOR AGREED AND SIGNED A BAN ON THESE MACHINES. THEY'LL HAVE TO BE OUT BY MAY 9. THERE IS TALK, HOWEVER, OF EXTENDING THAT DEADLINE TO, SAY, MAKE IT JULY OR SEPTEMBER. IS THE LEGISLATURE GOING TO CHANGE THE DROP DEAD DATE HERE?

Murphy: WELL, IN THE HOUSE WE WERE WILLING TO DO THAT. IN THE HOUSE WE PASSED THE BILL THAT BASICALLY THE SENATE SENT OVER TO US AND SENT IT DOWN TO THE GOVERNOR. THE HUGE ISSUE IN THAT DEBATE WAS HOW DO WE MAKE SMALL BUSINESSES WHOLE ON THIS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY INVESTED LATE LAST FALL AND THEY'VE GOT A SIX-FIGURE INVESTMENT IN THESE TOUCH PLAY MACHINES. SO LEGISLATIVE LEADERS HAVE GOTTEN TOGETHER WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. WE'VE LEFT HIM WITH THE CHARGE OF FIGURING OUT WHAT THE ACTUAL LOSSES ARE. BUT WE DID CREATE AN AVENUE WITH THE BILL WE PASSED, AND THE BILL THAT WE PASSED BASICALLY SAID WE'LL EXTEND THAT DEADLINE TO SEPTEMBER 1.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT THAT, SENATOR? IS THE SENATE GOING TO BUY INTO THE SEPTEMBER 1 DATE?

Lamberti: WELL, I THINK WE'RE WILLING TO LOOK AT THE NUMBERS THAT COME FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SEE IF WE CAN GET A REAL HANDLE ON SOME SMALL DISTRIBUTORS AND OTHERS THAT MAY BE SUFFERING A LOSS, AND WE'LL BE WILLING TO CONSIDER IT. I DON'T BELIEVE WE'LL GO TO SEPTEMBER 1, BUT I WOULDN'T SAY THAT WE WOULDN'T CONSIDER DOING SOMETHING. BUT RIGHT NOW I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY CONSENSUS IN THE SENATE ON A PARTICULAR DATE, AND IT COULD END UP THAT WE DO NOTHING.

Glover: SENATOR LAMBERTI, IT WOULDN'T BE AN OFFICIAL 'IOWA PRESS' SHOW IF WE DIDN'T TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT POLITICS. YOU HAVE SOME INTEREST IN POLITICS THIS YEAR. YOU'RE RUNNING FOR CONGRESS. THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS THIS IS A PRETTY BAD YEAR FOR REPUBLICANS. THE PRESIDENT'S APPROVAL RATINGS ARE IN THE TOILET. CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL RATINGS ARE IN THE TOILET. HOW BAD OF A YEAR IS IT?

Lamberti: WELL, I THINK IT'S A BAD YEAR TO BE AN INCUMBENT IN WASHINGTON BECAUSE I DON'T THINK PEOPLE ARE HAPPY WITH WHAT'S GOING ON, AND I DON'T KNOW THAT IT'S NECESSARILY DIRECTED AT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. IN WASHINGTON, THERE IS NOTHING BUT PARTISAN POLITICS. THERE'S NOT A -- PEOPLE AREN'T SITTING DOWN AND SOLVING REAL PROBLEMS. THAT'S WHAT I HEAR WHEN I'M ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. THEY WANT PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO SIT DOWN AND SOLVE REAL PROBLEMS THAT AFFECT REAL PEOPLE AND NOT MAKE EVERY ISSUE A PARTISAN ISSUE. THINGS AREN'T GETTING DONE IN WASHINGTON. THAT'S WHY WE'RE GOING TO ARGUE FOR CHANGE HERE IN THE THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

Glover: HOW BIG OF A DRAG IS PRESIDENT BUSH?

Lamberti: YOU KNOW, I BELIEVE THE PEOPLE OF THE THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN IOWA ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE TWO CANDIDATES AND MAKE THEIR DECISION BASED ON WHO THEY THINK CAN LEAD, WHO CAN GET THINGS DONE. AND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A NATIONAL ELECTION HERE IN THE 12 COUNTIES THAT COMPRISE THE IOWA THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

Glover: SO YOU'RE GOING TO TRY TO TAG YOUR OPPONENT WITH A WASHINGTON LABEL.

Lamberti: WELL, LISTEN, THINGS AREN'T GETTING DONE. I THINK THEY ALL SHARE THE BLAME. EVERYTHING IS A PARTISAN ISSUE. IT USED TO BE THAT PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON COULD SIT DOWN AND SOLVE PROBLEMS. PROBLEMS ARE NOT GETTING SOLVED. I'M IN A 25/25 SENATE. IF I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO WORK WITH THE OTHER SIDE, NOTHING WOULD GET DONE. THAT'S WHAT I CAN BRING TO THIS CAMPAIGN.

Yepsen: MR. MURPHY, HOW ARE DEMOCRATS GOING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPENING? IT IS GOING TO BE A BAD YEAR FOR THE REPUBLICANS. HISTORY DICTATES THAT, THE POLLING DATA ALL TELL US THAT. HOW MANY HOUSE SEATS ARE YOU GOING TO TARGET TO TRY TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE HOUSE?

Murphy: WELL, I'M NOT GOING TO SHARE ALL THAT HERE ON 'IOWA PRESS' TODAY.

Yepsen: WE HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT FOR OURSELVES?

Murphy: I LIKE TO KEEP PEOPLE GUESSING, BUT I FEEL AS IF THE MOMENTUM IS WITH US. WE PICKED UP -- WHEN DICK MYERS WAS THE LEADER, WE PICKED UP TWO SEATS IN 2002. IN 2003 THERE WERE THREE SPECIALS IN THE HOUSE. WE WON ALL THREE OF THOSE, INCLUDING A REPUBLICAN SEAT. WE PICKED UP THREE SEATS AGAIN IN 2004. WE FEEL AS IF THE MOMENTUM IS WITH US. WE FEEL -- WE HAVE 47 INCUMBENTS RUNNING FOR REELECTION. REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE ONLY HAVE 46. ON THE SENATE SIDE, BECAUSE OF SENATOR LAMBERTI AND SOME OTHER RETIREMENTS, DEMOCRATS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PICK UP TWO OR THREE OPEN SEATS. SO I MEAN GENERALLY DEMOCRATS FEEL VERY GOOD ABOUT OUR OPPORTUNITIES THIS YEAR. BUT I ALWAYS WARN PEOPLE, FOUR YEARS AGO IN THE OFF-YEAR ELECTIONS, EVERYBODY THOUGHT THAT WE WERE GOING TO DO VERY WELL THAT YEAR IN PICKING UP SEATS AND WE DIDN'T. SO I THINK YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC. I THINK A LOT OF IT STILL WORKS DOWN TO GETTING GOOD CANDIDATES THAT REPRESENT THEIR DISTRICTS AND GETTING PEOPLE THAT PEOPLE KNOW IN THOSE DISTRICTS THAT WILL VOTE FOR THEM.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, IS YOUR PARTY GOING TO LOSE CONTROL OF THE SENATE?

Lamberti: YOU KNOW, I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE THAT, BUT I WOULD AGREE THAT WHAT -- CAMPAIGNS COME DOWN TO WHO RECRUITS THE BEST CANDIDATES, WHO ARE THE BEST FIT FOR THE DISTRICT. WE HAVE RECRUITED SOME OUTSTANDING CANDIDATES, AND I FEEL VERY GOOD ABOUT WHERE THE IOWA SENATE IS GOING TO BE.

Borg: GO AHEAD.

Yepsen: I WAS GOING TO SAY, SENATOR, IF YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LOSE THE SENATE, WOULD YOU TELL ME?

Lamberti: NO. [ LAUGHTER ]

Borg: CAN I FOLLOW UP, MR. LAMBERTI, ON YOUR COMMENT 'IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A GOOD YEAR FOR INCUMBENTS'? DOESN'T THAT CUT BOTH WAYS? I KNOW YOU'RE RUNNING AGAINST AN INCUMBENT, SO I KNOW WHY YOU'D SAY THAT. BUT IF PRESIDENT BUSH WOULD COME IN TO CAMPAIGN ON YOUR BEHALF, THERE'S AN INCUMBENT. IS HE DRAGGING YOU?

Lamberti: I'M NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THAT BECAUSE, AGAIN, I'M RUNNING MY OWN CAMPAIGN AND, YOU KNOW, I'VE GOT TO CONVINCE THE VOTERS OF THE THIRD DISTRICT TO ELECT ME. I DON'T THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO TURN THIS INTO SOME KIND OF NATIONAL REFERENDUM. IT'S GOING TO BE BETWEEN TWO CANDIDATES, AND I FEEL VERY CONFIDENT THAT I'VE GOT A GOOD MESSAGE THAT I CAN GO OUT AND SELL TO THE PEOPLE. SO I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT THAT.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, THERE IS NO PRIMARY ON THE REPUBLIC SIDE IN THE GUBERNATORIAL RACE. ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, YOU HAVE A PRETTY SPIRITED PRIMARY. MY UNDERSTANDING IS YOU'RE A MICHAEL BLOUIN SUPPORTER.

Murphy: MM-HMM.

Glover: HANDICAP THAT RACE FOR ME? WHO WINS THAT PRIMARY?

Murphy: WELL, YOU JUST TOLD EVERYBODY WHO I'M SUPPORTING, SO YOU KNOW WHO I'M GOING TO PREDICT IS GOING TO WIN.

Glover: TELL ME HOW THAT WORKS OUT. I MEAN THE SECRETARY OF STATE CHET CULVER STARTED EARLIER, HAS RAISED MORE MONEY, AND THE POLLING IS SHOWING HIM WITH THE LEAD. HOW DOES BLOUIN OVERCOME THAT?

Murphy: WELL, I WOULD JUST REMIND YOU OF WHAT HAPPENED ABOUT EIGHT YEARS AGO AT THIS TIME. MARK MCCORMICK LOOKED LIKE A SOLID FRONT-RUNNER. AND BACK THEN I SUPPORTED WHO IS NOW THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF IOWA, TOM VILSACK. AND IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT THIS IS A MARATHON: IT'S NOT WHO'S IN FRONT TODAY; IT'S WHO'S IN FRONT IN JUNE. AS YOU REMEMBER, HE HAD A VERY CLOSE PRIMARY, BARELY WON THAT, AND NOBODY GAVE HIM ANY HOPE OF WINNING IN THE GENERAL. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN IN NOVEMBER, WE ELECTED THE FIRST DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR IN THIRTY YEARS. I THINK A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE MOMENTUM, THE ENDORSEMENTS YOU GET, HOW YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE, AND PEOPLE GETTING TO KNOW THE CANDIDATES. AND I THINK CHET CULVER HAS A HUGE ADVANTAGE BECAUSE HE'S BEEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EIGHT YEARS AND BECAUSE OF THE FAMILY NAME, BECAUSE OF HIS DAD AND WHAT A GREAT JOB HE DID AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR. BUT I THINK MIKE BLOUIN HAS BEEN A CONGRESSMAN. HE HASN'T BEEN IN THE PUBLIC EYE FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, BUT I THINK HE'S SHOWING A VERY SPIRITED CAMPAIGN AND I EXPECT HIM TO DO -- I EXPECT HIM TO WIN IN JUNE.

Yepsen: HOW WORRIED ARE YOU, MR. MURPHY, ABOUT DIVISIONS INSIDE YOUR PARTY? YOU HAVE A SPIRITED THREE-WAY PRIMARY. YOU SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY FIGHTING EACH OTHER. AND THEN YOU'RE GOING TO FACE JIM NUSSLE, WHO'S GOING TO BE SITTING ON SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS IN THE BANK.

Murphy: TWO THINGS, FIRST OF ALL, WE WOULDN'T BE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY UNLESS WE HAD DIVISIONS, SO THAT JUST -- THAT JUST SHOWS EVERYTHING IS NORMAL. BUT THE SECOND PART I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT IS I THINK CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE IS GOING TO HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME EXPLAINING THE FACT THAT WHEN HE TOOK OVER AS BUDGET CHAIRMAN IN 2000, BILL CLINTON LEFT HIM WITH A -- WITH A SURPLUS OF FUNDS -- RECORD SURPLUS OF FUNDS IN THIS COUNTRY. AND IN THE SIX YEARS THAT HE WAS BUDGET CHAIRMAN, THEY HAVE RECORD DEFICITS. HE HAS TO EXPLAIN. AND BECAUSE OF THINGS THAT THEY'VE DONE IN THE LAST YEAR, IT'S GOING TO AFFECT PROGRAMS IN THIS STATE WITH CUTS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS THAT THE STATE CAN'T OFFSET. AND I KNOW THAT HAS TO DO WITH HURRICANE KATRINA, BUT HE'S STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR IT AND HE'LL HAVE TO TAKE --

Glover: SENATOR LAMBERTI, WE'VE CHASED REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY AROUND THE TREE ON THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. HOW IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND JIM NUSSLE, IN PARTICULAR, GOING TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS?

Lamberti: WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S ACTUALLY KIND OF A FUNDAMENTAL WEAKNESS FOR DEMOCRATS: ON ONE HAND, ARGUE ABOUT THE BUDGET DEFICIT, AND THEN WHEN SOMEBODY TRIES TO REDUCE THE FEDERAL DEFICIT, THEY YELL AND SCREAM THAT WE CAN'T CUT ANYTHING. SO I THINK IT'S A LITTLE BIT INCONSISTENT. THEY HAVE NO PLAN FOR HOW YOU REDUCE THE DEFICIT, SO I THINK THAT CREATES SOMETHING OF A PROBLEM FOR THEM TO ATTACK JIM NUSSLE. AND TO ATTACK ONE MEMBER IN CONGRESS AS BEING, YOU KNOW, SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT IS, I THINK, A LITTLE MUCH. YOU KNOW, JIM NUSSLE IS A STRONG CANDIDATE. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS UNITED BEHIND HIS CANDIDACY. I THINK HE'S GOING TO RUN VERY WELL.

Yepsen: BUT VERY QUICKLY, IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ON CRUISE CONTROL? AREN'T YOU WORRIED THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO COME OUT OF THEIR FIGHT WITH A LOT OF MOMENTUM AND MEDIA ATTENTION?

Lamberti: WELL, YOU'VE GOT TO CONTINUE TO WORK AND YOU DON'T -- BECAUSE THE PRIMARY IS GONE, YOU DON'T SIT ON YOUR HANDS AND NOT DO ANYTHING. YOU CONTINUE TO WORK AND I THINK JIM WILL CONTINUE TO WORK.

Borg: WE CAN'T RUN A DEFICIT ON TIME HERE. WE'RE OUT OF IT. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' WE TURN TO IOWA'S EXECUTIVE BRANCH. GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK WILL BE HERE TO PROVIDE HIS ASSESSMENTS OF THE 2006 LEGISLATIVE SESSION AND OTHER POLITICAL TOPICS, AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT. YOU'LL SEE OUR VISIT WITH GOVERNOR VILSACK NEXT WEEKEND AT THE USUAL 'IOWA PRESS' TIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT; AND REBROADCAST SUNDAY AT NOON. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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.

Tags: Iowa Republicans