Iowa Public Television

 

Senator Mary Lundby

posted on April 20, 2006

Borg: IN THE IOWA SENATE, AN ELEVENTH-HOUR CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP. SENATOR MARY LUNDBY IS THE NEW REPUBLICAN COLEADER. WE'LL TALK WITH HER 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, APRIL 14 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS SHARE CONTROL OF THE IOWA SENATE, EACH WITH 25 SENATORS. THOSE INTERESTING DYNAMICS GOT A WHOLE LOT MORE INTRIGUING THIS PAST WEEK WHEN, WITH JUST A LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK TO GO IN THE CURRENT SESSION, REPUBLICANS DECIDED TO REPLACE VETERAN LEADER STEWART IVERSON OF CLARION. THE REPUBLICANS DECIDED SENATOR MARY LUNDBY OF MARION SHOULD LEAD THE FINAL NEGOTIATIONS ON KEY LEGISLATION. SENATOR LUNDBY IS ALSO A VETERAN LEGISLATOR, SERVING FOUR TERMS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND NOW SHE'S IN HER THIRD TERM IN THE SENATE. WELCOME TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Lundby: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. IT'S NICE TO BE HERE TODAY.

Borg: AND YOU KNOW THE GENTLEMEN ACROSS THE TABLE.

Lundby: I DO.

Borg: THEY ARE 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: SENATOR LUNDBY, I THINK EVERYONE USED A TERM LIKE STUNNING OR SURPRISING OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO DESCRIBE THE CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP IN THE IOWA SENATE. WHAT HAPPENED?

Lundby: THERE HAD BEEN A GROWING DISCONTENT WITH THE DIRECTION OF THE CAUCUS, AND WE FELT -- OBVIOUSLY A MAJORITY OF THE SENATORS IN THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS FELT THAT WE NEEDED A STRONGER MESSAGE AND A MORE CONSISTENT MESSAGE AND A MESSAGE THAT ADDRESSED ALL OF IOWANS' CONCERNS. AND WITH THAT THEY WERE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE.

Glover: AND WHY NOW? AS DEAN MENTIONED, WE ONLY HAVE MAYBE A FEW DAYS LEFT IN THIS SESSION, MAYBE A FEW WEEKS. WHY RIGHT NOW AT THE END OF A SESSION WHEN YOU'RE IN VERY COMPLICATED BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE GOVERNOR?

Lundby: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN POLITICS, AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE TIME. WE HAD THE VOTES. WE WERE CONFIDENT THAT -- I'M NOT A NOVICE AT THIS. I'M A TWENTY-YEAR VETERAN LEGISLATOR. I'M ALSO A LEGISLATOR I THINK THAT HAS PAID A LOT OF ATTENTION TO THE BUDGET OVER THE YEARS, AND I KNOW A LOT ABOUT GOVERNMENT. AND THEY WERE CONFIDENT THAT EVEN THOUGH WE PICKED A TIME THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN STUNNING OR UNUSUAL THAT THE TIMING WAS RIGHT AND THAT I WAS PERFECTLY -- THAT I WAS CAPABLE OF PROCEEDING WITH THE NEGOTIATIONS.

Yepsen: SENATOR, WHAT WAS THE VOTE COUNT? I'M TOLD IT WAS A ONE-VOTE, 13-12 VICTORY THAT YOU HAD OVER SENATOR IVERSON.

Lundby: THEN YOU WERE TOLD MORE THAN I WAS, MR. YEPSEN. I DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW. I HAD ENOUGH AND THEY ANNOUNCED THAT I WAS THE LEADER AND I REALLY DIDN'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS AFTER THAT.

Yepsen: SO YOU CAN'T CONFIRM WHAT TOTAL WAS AT ALL.

Lundby: NO, I CAN'T.

Yepsen: WHAT DOES -- SENATOR, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THIS SESSION?

Lundby: THE TRANSITION HAS GONE WELL. WE ALL CAME BACK TO CAUCUS. WE PUT THE THINGS ASIDE WE NEEDED TO PUT ASIDE. I THINK THERE WAS ONLY ONE PERSON THAT WAS A LITTLE GRUMPY WITH ME AFTER THE COUP. EVERYONE ELSE SAID LET'S DO THE JOB. I WENT TO THE NEGOTIATIONS A COUPLE DAYS -- THE FIRST DAY OF NEGOTIATIONS, ASKED SOME QUESTIONS, BASICALLY STAYED QUIET, AND DEPENDED ON THE PEOPLE THAT HAD BEEN THERE WITH MR. IVERSON. AND CAME OUT OF THAT, PUT FORTH SOME OF THE AGENDA ITEMS I THOUGHT WERE SIGNIFICANT FOR THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS IN THE SENATE. AND BY THE SECOND DAY, WE WERE IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE.

Yepsen: AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN, SENATOR, FOR THE CAMPAIGN? YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY NOW IN CHARGE OF THE REPUBLICAN EFFORT TO HOLD ONTO SEATS AND WIN SEATS IN THE IOWA SENATE. WHAT'S IT MEAN FOR THE CAMPAIGN?

Lundby: WELL, I HAD TO TELL MY CAUCUS THAT I WASN'T THE SILVER BULLET THAT SOME HAD IMPLIED. I DIDN'T PICK ANY OF THESE CANDIDATES, AND SOME PEOPLE ARE WORRIED THAT I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY IN THE BANK. BUT IT'S STILL SIX, SEVEN MONTHS TILL THE ELECTIONS. I HAVE IN -- IN THE LATE '80S AND EARLY '90S, I TOOK A REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT HAD NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT, HAD BEEN IN THE MINORITY FOR MANY, MANY, MANY YEARS. AND I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING JUST BECAUSE I'VE GOTTEN A LITTLE OLDER.

Borg: YOU JUST CALLED IT A COUP, AND I'M GOING TO COME BACK TO THAT. WAS IT AN AMBUSH ON SENATOR IVERSON? AND THAT LEADS ME TO ASK, WHAT INDICATION DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU HAVE A UNIFIED CAUCUS BEHIND YOU.

Lundby: I'VE BEEN GOING TO CAUCUSES FOR TWENTY YEARS. YOU CAN TELL. YOU CAN TELL IF THEY'RE PLOTTING OR PLANNING. MY MEMBERS WANT TO GO HOME. THEY WANT A BUDGET DEAL. THEY WANT TO GO HOME. AND IF -- IF MY REIGN AS REPUBLICAN LEADER IS THE SHORTEST IN HISTORY, I HAD A LIFE BEFORE I GOT THERE. I'M GOING TO GO OUT, I'M GOING TO DO THE BEST JOB I CAN, AND I'M GOING TO HANG TOUGH IN THOSE NEGOTIATIONS ALONG WITH THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS, AND I'M GOING TO DELIVER TO THE PEOPLE OF IOWA, WITH MY CAUCUS BEHIND ME, A FAIR BUDGET WITHOUT EXCESSIVE SPENDING, A STRONG TAX RELIEF PACKAGE FOR IOWANS. AND THEN I'M GOING TO GO OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AND DELIVER A MESSAGE OF UNITY, AND I'M VERY CONFIDENT ABOUT THAT.

Borg: YOU CALLED IT A WHILE AGO A STRONGER MESSAGE THAT REPUBLICANS WANTED IN THE SENATE. WHAT KIND OF A SHIFT IN DIRECTION DOES THAT MEAN?

Lundby: NOT SO MUCH A SHIFT IN DIRECTION BUT AN EMPHASIS ON ISSUES THAT ALL OF IOWANS LOOK TO. NOT CONSERVATIVE IOWANS, NOT LIBERAL IOWANS, IF THEY CALL -- IF WE WANT THAT, BUT ISSUES THAT REPUBLICANS KNOW BETTER THAN ANYONE: PUBLIC SAFETY. TAX RELIEF, BUDGET -- GOVERNMENT BUDGETS THAT ARE FAIR BUT CONTAINED.

Glover: AS YOUR NEW POSITION, HEAD OF THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS IN THE SENATE, YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE FACE AND THE VOICE OF THE REPUBLICAN IN THE SENATE. THAT'S A VERY HIGH PROFILE POSITION. MOST IOWANS DON'T KNOW YOU. TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF. WHAT SHOULD IOWANS KNOW ABOUT THIS PERSON THAT'S GOING TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE POLITICAL LADDER?

Lundby: WHEN YOU HEAR MY MESSAGE, YOU WILL KNOW THAT IT'S THE TRUTH. I AM NOT A BIT TIMID. I WON'T SHY AWAY FROM CONTROVERSY. I AM STRONG, DETERMINED. AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT I'M BLESSED IN WHAT I DO, AND THAT WILL SHINE THROUGH.

Glover: AND THERE'S ONE OTHER ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE THAT COULD BE OF INTEREST TO IOWANS. YOU'VE HAD A BOUT WITH CANCER.

Lundby: I HAVE.

Glover: ARE YOU OKAY?

Lundby: MY DOCTORS IN THE LAST REPORT TOLD ME THAT I'M A CANCER SURVIVOR. I HAVE ANOTHER SET OF DOCTORS VISITS TO COME UP. IN FACT, I KNOW MORE DOCTORS NOW THAN I'VE KNOW IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, AND I'M HOPING FOR -- I'M CONFIDENT -- I FEEL SO GOOD -- PHYSICALLY FEEL SO GOOD AFTER AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT SUMMER LAST YEAR. I FEEL SO GOOD THAT I'M CONFIDENT THAT I'M STILL CANCER-FREE.

Yepsen: SENATOR, ARE YOU THE FIRST WOMAN TO BE A FLOOR LEADER IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE? AS FAR AS ANY OF US KNOW, YOU ARE. BUT HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO RESEARCH THAT QUESTION?

Lundby: I HAVEN'T. PEOPLE HAVE TOLD ME THE SAME THING THEY'VE TOLD YOU; IT'S THE FIRST ONE. BUT I WAS THE FIRST WOMAN SPEAKER PRO TEM THAT HAD EVER BEEN ELECTED IN THE HOUSE FOURTEEN YEARS AGO IN 1992, AND I HADN'T RESEARCHED THAT EITHER. I WENT AFTER IT NOT TO BE IN THE RECORDS BOOKS; I WENT AFTER IT BECAUSE I THINK I CAN DO THE JOB.

Yepsen: DOES YOUR ELECTION MEAN ANYTHING FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS IN IOWA, TAKING ANOTHER WHACK AT THE GLASS CEILING? THERE'S ONLY ABOUT 20 PERCENT OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT ARE WOMEN. WILL YOU BE RECRUITING MORE WOMEN TO RUN FOR THE LEGISLATURE? WHAT'S IT MEAN FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS?

Lundby: I HOPE IT INSPIRES YOUNG WOMEN TO BE INTERESTED IN POLITICS AND I HOPE IT INSPIRES THE WOMEN CANDIDATES AND I HOPE TO ADD ANOTHER ONE HERE PRETTY SOON. I HOPE IT INSPIRES THE WOMEN CANDIDATES TO COME BACK TO CAUCUS AND TO WIN IN NOVEMBER AND COME TO THE CAUCUS AND TO BE UNITED AND TO WORK WITH OUR OTHER REPUBLICANS.

Yepsen: WHY DID YOU GET INTO POLITICS?

Lundby: I ACTUALLY GOT INTO POLITICS IN COLLEGE BECAUSE I WANTED TO SKIP A SEMESTER OF WORK BECAUSE I WAS BORED WITH COLLEGE. I ACTUALLY STARTED OUT AS A YOUTH COORDINATOR, A FANCY TITLE FOR A VOLUNTEER JOB, FOR HUBERT HUMPHREY IN MINNESOTA. AND AFTER I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE AND WENT OUT INTO THE WORK-A-DAY WORLD AND STARTED PAYING TAXES AND LOOKING AT GOVERNMENT, I DECIDED THAT PHILOSOPHICALLY FROM A FISCAL PERSPECTIVE THAT I BELONGED BETTER IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THAN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY.

Glover: WE'RE COMING DOWN TO WHAT MOST SEE, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE CLOSING FEW DAYS OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION, ALTHOUGH WE DON'T KNOW PRECISELY HOW MANY DAYS REMAIN. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT UP UNTIL NOW HAD SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN SETTLED BUT ARE STILL KIND OF RATTLING AROUND OUT THERE. I'M WONDERING IF YOUR ELECTION HAS CHANGED THAT. LET'S START WITH ONE.

Lundby: ALL RIGHT.

Glover: THE WHOLE TOUCH PLAY QUESTION, THAT ISSUE HAD BEEN SETTLED, YOUR PREDECESSOR SAID. IS THAT STILL IN PLAY?

Lundby: I DO NOT SEE ANY MOVEMENT IN THE REPUBLICAN SENATE CAUCUS TO CHANGE OUR MIND ON TOUCH PLAY. BUT YOU TALK ABOUT THINGS RATTLING AROUND -- YOU'VE BEEN AROUND LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT EVERYTHING IS ALIVE UNTIL THAT GAVEL GOES DOWN.

Glover: BUT AS OF RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE NO -- YOUR POSITION HAD BEEN THEY'RE GOING TO BE OUT OF THERE IN EARLY MAY, AND THAT'S THE WAY THINGS WOULD STAND.

Lundby: I GET NO INDICATION FROM ANYONE IN MY CAUCUS THAT THAT WILL CHANGE.

Yepsen: WELL, SENATOR, WHAT DO YOU SAY -- I MEAN SENATOR GRONSTAL IS SAYING WE'VE GOT TO HELP -- YOUR DEMOCRATIC COUNTERPART IS SAYING THE LEGISLATURE HAS TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP ALL THESE BUSINESSES THAT ARE LEFT ON THE HOOK. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A SMALL-BUSINESS PERSON WHO INVESTED IN TOUCH PLAY MACHINES AND IS NOW ON THE HOOK FOR THIS?

Lundby: MY CAUCUS MEMBERS AND MYSELF, WE FEEL VERY BADLY ABOUT THAT, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO REPRESENT THE OTHER 99 PERCENT OF IOWANS THAT WERE DISGUSTED WITH THE TOUCH PLAY MACHINES. THAT'S PART OF AN ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE'S DUTY AS WELL. I KNOW THAT THERE HAS BEEN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT REIMBURSEMENTS, ET CETERA. THERE'S BEEN A PLAN BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. BUT MY CAUCUS FEELS STRONGLY THAT IOWANS DIDN'T WANT THEM EVERYWHERE. THAT HASN'T CHANGED.

Yepsen: CIGARETTE TAX. YOU'RE MORE AMENABLE TO RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX THAN SENATOR IVERSON WAS. WHAT DOES YOUR ELECTION MEAN FOR THAT DEBATE? DOES THIS MAKE IT MORE LIKELY THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE AN INCREASE IN THE CIGARETTE TAX IN IOWA?

Lundby: THE SENATE PASSED IT LAST YEAR. CHRISTOPHER RANTS, THE SPEAKER IN THE HOUSE, SAID THAT THE TOUCH PLAY ISSUE IS IN THE SENATE AND HE DOESN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT. THE CIGARETTE TAX ISSUE IS IN THE HOUSE. THE SENATE PASSED IT. IT'S THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THAT.

Yepsen: BUT DO YOU SEE THE CIGARETTE TAX AS PART OF THESE END-OF-SESSION NEGOTIATIONS AND DEALS, OR DO YOU THINK THE HOUSE HAS COMPLETELY TAKEN IT OFF THE TABLE?

Lundby: I THINK IT'S OFF THE TABLE.

Glover: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT'S BEEN OUT THERE AND KIND OF RATTLING AROUND IS A PROPOSAL TO INCREASE THE STATE'S MINIMUM WAGE. YOU'VE BEEN KNOWN TO FAVOR THAT IN THE PAST.

Lundby: I HAVE.

Glover: IS THAT ON THE TABLE?

Lundby: NO ONE HAS TALKED TO ME ABOUT THAT, NOT THE DEMOCRAT SENATORS, NOT THE DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP, NOT THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS HAVE TALKED TO ME OR ASKED ME TO CONSIDER THE MINIMUM WAGE. SO AT THIS POINT, IT'S REALLY NOT ON THE TABLE, THAT I KNOW OF.

Glover: IF SOMEONE CAME TO YOU AND PROPOSED AN INCREASE IN THE MINIMUM WAGE AS A PART OF THE SESSION IN A PACKAGE, WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO TALK TO THEM?

Lundby: I'LL ALWAYS TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING. I'M TELLING YOU MY CAUCUS PROBABLY WOULDN'T TALK ABOUT IT. AND WHEN I MOVED FROM CAUCUS MEMBER TO CAUCUS LEADER, I HAVE A DIFFERENT SET OF RESPONSIBILITIES. AND I -- AND PART OF MY JOB IS TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE PUBLIC AND TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE NEGOTIATIONS.

Yepsen: SO IS YOUR ELECTION MORE OF A STYLISTIC THING THAN A SUBSTANTIVE THING? CAN WE LOOK TO -- SO FAR I HAVEN'T HEARD ANY CHANGE IN REPUBLICAN POSITIONS ON ISSUES AS A RESULT OF YOUR ELECTION. ARE THERE ANY?

Lundby: NO, NOT REALLY.

Yepsen: SO IT IS MORE OF A STYLISTIC CHANGE?

Lundby: YEAH. THERE'S A LOT OF STYLE INVOLVED WITH IT, YES.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT'S UP THERE IS THE QUESTION OF RAISING TEACHER PAY IN IOWA. REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE HAVE SAID TO THIS POINT THAT THEY WERE WILLING TO DO THAT, PROVIDED THERE WERE SOME PERFORMANCE MEASURES TIED TO THAT, WHICH EDUCATORS DO NOT LIKE. WHAT'S THE REPUBLICAN POSITION TODAY?

Lundby: THE REPUBLICAN POSITION TODAY IS WE WILL HAVE PAY FOR PERFORMANCE.

Yepsen: AND WHAT'S THAT PERFORMANCE SYSTEM GOING TO LOOK LIKE?

Lundby: IT'S ACTUALLY A SYSTEM THAT WILL SPREAD OUT OVER SEVERAL YEARS, AND IT WILL INCLUDE SEVERAL DIFFERENT PIECES ON MEASURING TEACHERS AND THEIR STUDENTS' ACHIEVEMENTS UNDER THEIR TUTELAGE. AND THAT PAY FOR PERFORMANCE WILL BE MANAGED BY A COMMISSION, WILL BE EVALUATED EACH STEP ALONG THE WAY, AND THEN WE'LL ROLL OUT THE FIRST TEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT WILL BE UNDER THE PAY FOR PERFORMANCE MEASURES.

Yepsen: IS THIS GOING TO SOLVE THIS ISSUE OF TEACHER PAY IN IOWA? LAWMAKERS THOUGHT YOU HAD DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT IN 2001. YOU HAD A PERFORMANCE PLAN THEN. THERE WASN'T MONEY TO FUND IT. A LOT OF EDUCATORS ARE SAYING, YOU KNOW, WE WERE CONNED THE LAST TIME. SO IN YOUR MIND, SENATOR, IS THIS PACKAGE THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF TEACHER PAY IN IOWA?

Lundby: WE DON'T PASS VERY MANY LAWS THAT WE DON'T THINK WON'T SOLVE PROBLEMS. THAT'S WHY WE PASS LEGISLATION. CAN I PROMISE AND PUT MY HAND ON THE BIBLE AND RAISE MY OTHER HAND AND SAY I PROMISE THIS WILL WORK PERFECTLY? NO. BUT YOU CAN'T QUIT TRYING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER JUST BECAUSE YOU TRIED IT BEFORE AND IT WASN'T QUITE RIGHT.

Glover: IF THE FIRST PART OF THIS SESSION WAS SORT OF OVERWHELMED BY THE WHOLE ISSUE OF THESE THOUSANDS OF TOUCH PLAY MACHINES OUT THERE, THE LAST PART OF THE SESSION HAS BEEN KIND OF OVERWHELMED BY AN INVESTIGATION OF A CENTRAL IOWA JOB TRAINING PROBLEM WHERE THE EXECUTIVES WERE PAID VERY HIGH SALARIES. THE LEGISLATURE'S OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IS INVESTIGATING THAT RIGHT NOW. WHERE DOES THAT GO AND HOW HARD DO REPUBLICANS PUSH? AND A LOT OF THE PLAYERS IN THIS SCANDAL ARE POLK COUNTY DEMOCRATS.

Lundby: THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, BOTH DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN, WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH THIS ISSUE AND CONTINUE TO PEEL THE ONION UNTIL YOU GET TO THE PROBLEM. THAT WON'T CHANGE WITH WE'RE OUT OF SESSION. OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEETS IN THE INTERIM USUALLY TWO DAYS A WEEK. IF THEY NEED TO MEET MORE THAN TWO DAYS A WEEK TO CONTINUE THE INVESTIGATION INTO GOVERNMENT AND CONTRACTS AND HOW WE DO CONTRACTS, WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

Glover: AND WHAT'S THE END RESULT? WHAT'S THE GOAL?

Lundby: THE END RESULT OR GOAL WILL BE WHEN WE SEND MONEY OUT TO ORGANIZATIONS NOT FOR PROFIT OR FOR PROFIT OR WHATEVER, THE END GOAL WILL BE TO HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM THAT PROTECTS THE TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

Glover: IS THERE LEGISLATION TO BE CONTEMPLATED AT SOME POINT? IS THERE A DIFFERENT KIND OF AN OVERSIGHT SYSTEM TO BE CONTEMPLATED? WHAT'S THE END RESULT THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE PRODUCED BY THIS LEGISLATURE?

Lundby: LEGISLATION. WE ARE WORKING ON LEGISLATION.

Glover: AND WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

Lundby: WE'VE HAD A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT IDEAS COME ABOUT. ONE IS FROM CANDIDATE NUSSLE. HE HAS AN IDEA ABOUT AN INSPECTOR GENERAL KIND OF POSSIBILITY, AND HE'S ALLOWED PEOPLE TO SEE THAT. WE'VE LOOKED AT IT -- OR AN ORGANIZATION SUCH AS -- MUCH LIKE THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT USES, THAT CONGRESS USES, THAT LOOKS AT GOVERNMENT SPENDING. WE'VE LOOKED AT A MODEL LIKE THAT. AND I PERSONALLY WOULD LIKE TO GIVE ADDITIONAL POWERS AND STAFF TO THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE. I THOUGHT HE DID AN PHENOMENAL JOB WITH THIS INVESTIGATION. AND RIGHT NOW HE TRULY IS THE MOST TRUSTED FINANCIAL OFFICER IN GOVERNMENT TODAY.

Borg: I WAS INTRIGUED BY YOUR ANALOGY THERE, PEEL THE ONION. DOES THAT MEAN THAT YOU EXPECT THERE ARE MORE REVELATIONS TO COME?

Lundby: I THINK THE REVELATIONS ARE REALLY ONLY JUST BEGUN.

Yepsen: WHY DO YOU SAY THAT, SENATOR?

Lundby: BECAUSE I THINK THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THIS ORGANIZATION HAS A LOT MORE INFORMATION AND A LOT MORE THINGS THAT HAVE GONE WRONG OVER THE YEARS THAN JUST THE THIRTY-MONTH SALARIES.

Glover: CAN THIS BE AN ISSUE IN THE NEXT CAMPAIGN? AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, A LOT OF THE PLAYERS IN THIS ORGANIZATION OR RELATED TO THIS ORGANIZATION ARE PROMINENT POLK COUNTY DEMOCRATS. CAN THIS BE AN ISSUE IN THE NEXT ELECTION?

Lundby: ANY GOVERNMENT DEBACLE LIKE THIS CAN BE AN ISSUE.

Glover: SO THE ANSWER IS YES.

Lundby: YES.

Yepsen: SENATOR, BEFORE YOU WERE ELECTED LEADER LAST WEEK, YOU WERE THE REPUBLICAN CHAIR IN THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? YOU SAT THROUGH A LOT OF THOSE HEARINGS. WHAT'S YOUR ASSESSMENT AS TO WHY THIS CAME ABOUT?

Lundby: WELL, ACCORDING TO THE WHISTLE BLOWER, HE BECAME MORE AND MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE EXPENDITURES AT THAT ORGANIZATION. AND WHEN IT FINALLY REACHED THE POINT WHERE HE COULD DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT THOSE EXPENDITURES WERE AND WHEN THEY TRIED TO -- ACTUALLY TRIED TO DO SOME ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATION AND WERE STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS, HE BECAME VERY CONCERNED. AND AT THAT POINT, HE DECIDED I'VE GOT TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE THAT CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Yepsen: SO IS THIS JUST GREED THAT WAS AT WORK HERE?

Lundby: WELL, YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER THIS IS ONLY MY PERSONAL OPINION, ACTUALLY. I THINK IT'S JUST GREED AND POWER AT ITS VERY WORST.

Yepsen: WHERE DOES THIS -- YOU MENTIONED THE LEGISLATION AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IDEA THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. HOW WOULD THAT PREVENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS FROM HAPPENING?

Lundby: JUST BY CONTINUED OVERSIGHT AND CONTINUED REVIEW. IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS PARTICULAR ORGANIZATION -- THIS CIETC ORGANIZATION, THAT WE RUN THE PROMISE JOBS MONEY, WHICH IS A FEDERAL/STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM FOR HELPING POOR PEOPLE FIND JOBS. WE RUN THAT PROGRAM STATEWIDE OUT OF 15 OR 16 DISTRICTS. IN THE OTHER DISTRICTS, WE DO IT THROUGH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES. HERE WE DID IT THROUGH CIETC. AND WHY WASN'T THERE AN RFP, WHICH IS STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, THAT REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL? WHY WASN'T THAT DONE? WHY WAS THE MONEY SENT DIRECTLY TO THE IOWA WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO CIETC. IT'S NOT DONE THAT WAY IN THE REST OF THE STATE.

Glover: IS THERE A DANGER OF ANOTHER KIND OF A POLITICAL FALLOUT? I'M HEARING FROM DEMOCRATS, AND HAVE BEEN FOR MONTHS, THIS LINE ABOUT THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON AND ALL THE SCANDAL IN WASHINGTON WITH REPUBLICANS UNDER INDICTMENT, BEING FORCED FROM OFFICE AND SO FORTH AND SO ON, AND NOW A DEMOCRATIC AGENCY IN DES MOINES, OF GREED, CORRUPTION, AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF. IS THERE A DANGER THAT VOTERS WILL JUST SAY A POX ON ALL THEIR HOUSES AND STAY HOME IN NOVEMBER?

Lundby: THAT'S ALWAYS POSSIBLE. I MEAN WE SEE VOTING EBB AND FLOW EVERY SINGLE YEAR FOR DIFFERENT KINDS OF REASONS. IN FACT, WE'VE PROBABLY SEEN A MORE STEADY DECLINE IN THE VOTERS THAN ANYTHING ELSE. BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THESE ISSUES. YOU CAN'T BE AFRAID OF LOOKING FOR BETTER SOLUTIONS JUST BECAUSE IT MIGHT AFFECT THE VOTERS' TURN OUT. YOU STILL HAVE TO EXPOSE THE CORRUPTION, AND YOU STILL HAVE TO GO OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AND TALK ABOUT THE SOLUTIONS.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT CAME UP LAST WEEK IS THE QUESTION OF CONFIRMATIONS. THE SENATE REPUBLICANS TOLD GOVERNOR VILSACK THAT THEY WERE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO CONFIRM HIS NOMINEE FOR INDUSTRIAL COMMISSIONER. THERE WAS A LITTLE DUST UP THERE. WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?

Lundby: THE REPUBLICANS HAD CONCERNS ABOUT HIS LAW PRACTICE WORK BEFORE COMING TO THE -- TO THE WORKERS COMP -- COMMISSIONERS. AND THEY HAD CONCERNS THAT IN HIS PAST EXPOSURE IN THE BUSINESS AND LAW FIELD THAT HE WAS MORE BIASED AGAINST BUSINESS THAN NEUTRAL, AND THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT.

Yepsen: ARE THERE ANY OTHER CONFIRMATIONS THAT ARE IN JEOPARDY, OR HAVE EVERYBODY BEEN CONFIRMED?

Lundby: WE HAVE TWO LEFT THAT WE DIDN'T MEET A DEADLINE, AND WE'VE PASSED A RESOLUTION TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE. BUT THERE ARE NO CONTROVERSY WITH EITHER OF THOSE CONFIRMATIONS.

Glover: ANOTHER ROLE THAT YOU'LL HAVE AS REPUBLICAN LEADER OF THE SENATE IS SERVING AS A LIAISON TO NEGOTIATE WITH VILSACK. YOU'VE HAD SOME SHARP THINGS TO SAY ABOUT HIS TESTING THE WATERS TO SEEK THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND THE GOVERNOR?

Lundby: I THINK IT'S GREAT. I ADMIRE HIM VERY MUCH. DO I THINK HE NEEDS TO BE HERE A LITTLE MORE OFTEN IN THE CLOSING DAY OF SESSIONS? I HOPE HE CAN CHANGE HIS SCHEDULE AND BE HERE. WE NEED HIM HERE TO NEGOTIATE.

Glover: WELL, HOW IS HIS POTENTIALLY SEEKING THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION GOING TO AFFECT THAT RELATIONSHIP? BECAUSE HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO DO THINGS, IF HE DOES THAT, THAT ARE GOING TO BRING HIM UNDER FIRE FROM YOU, AND YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A PARTISAN RESPONSIBILITY TO SCUFF HIM UP A LITTLE BIT. IS THAT GOING TO GET IN THE WAY OF THAT RELATIONSHIP?

Lundby: THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN SCUFFED UP BY THE BEST OF US FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. [ LAUGHTER ] MY SCUFFING UP I DOUBT VERY MUCH WILL CAUSE HIM MUCH CONSTERNATION, TO BE VERY TRUTHFUL. WILL I DO MY JOB? ABSOLUTELY. WILL I QUESTION THE THINGS I NEED TO QUESTION? ABSOLUTELY. BUT HE'LL DO THAT OF ME AS WELL.

Yepsen: SENATOR, YOU ARE, AS MIKE MENTIONED, IN THE PROCESS OF NEGOTIATING A BUDGET HERE. WHAT ARE THE ISSUES? WHAT ARE THE STICKING POINTS THAT EXIST RIGHT NOW TO GETTING A STATE BUDGET SO YOU CAN ADJOURN THE SESSION?

Lundby: REALLY MOST OF THE ISSUES -- MOST OF THE MINOR BUDGET BILLS HAVE BEEN DECIDED. WE REACHED AN AGREEMENT ON JUSTICE THIS WEEK, WHICH WAS AN IMPORTANT PIECE. WE HAVE EDUCATION AND THE STANDINGS BILL LEFT. MOST OF THE AGREEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE ON EVERYTHING ELSE. EDUCATION, OF COURSE, IS THE BIGGEST PIECE. THAT'S ALWAYS THE BIGGEST HURDLE.

Yepsen: WHAT'S THE HANGUP THERE ON EDUCATION? IS IT THIS PERFORMANCE PIECE? IS THERE SOME OTHER PART OF THE PUZZLE THAT --

Lundby: I THINK THERE'S SOME ON PERFORMANCE. THERE'S SOME ON THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WE NEED TO PAY TEACHERS, ADDITIONAL TEACHER PAY. AND THEN THERE'S A WHOLE LIST OF SMALLER INITIATIVES, AND ONE OF THEM BEING EARLY CHILDHOOD. IT'S MOSTLY A MATTER OF HOW MUCH WE SHOULD BE SPENDING.

Glover: FROM A PRAGMATIC STANDPOINT, YOUR MONEY -- YOUR PAY -- YOUR PER DIEM IS SCHEDULED TO END ON TUESDAY. YOU'RE GOING TO COME BACK IN SESSION ON MONDAY. HOW LONG IS IT GOING TO TAKE YOU TO WRAP UP THIS BUDGET?

Lundby: LOGISTICALLY IT ALMOST WILL TAKE US TWO WEEKS TO PRINT; TO PASS BETWEEN THE HOUSES; TO HAVE PEOPLE REVIEW, PROOF, THOSE THINGS TAKE A WHILE. IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE GOVERNOR IS PROBABLY NOT BACK IN TOWN UNTIL LATE TUESDAY OR EARLY WEDNESDAY, SO THE NEXT NEGOTIATION SESSION CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TILL WEDNESDAY. WELL, WE'RE PAST PER DIEM DAY BY THEN ANYWAY.

Yepsen: SENATOR, WE ALWAYS, AS YOU KNOW, SAVE TIME TO TALK POLITICS ON THIS PROGRAM.

Lundby: YEP.

Yepsen: WHAT DO YOU DO TO TURN AROUND THE FORTUNES OF REPUBLICANS IN THE IOWA SENATE? EVERYBODY IS CONVINCED YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE SEATS IN THE COMING ELECTION. WHAT DO YOU DO TO TURN THAT AROUND?

Lundby: WE COUNT ON THE FACT THAT NOW THEY'RE UNPREPARED FOR US. THEY THINK IT'S A DONE DEAL, AND YOU ALWAYS GET SURPRISES WHEN YOU THINK IT'S A DONE DEAL. I HAVE LOOKED AT OUR CANDIDATES. I VISITED WITH SOME OF THE CANDIDATES. I WILL PUT TOGETHER A FINANCE TEAM THAT WILL BE STRONGER THAN ANY OTHER FINANCE TEAM WE'VE EVER SEEN. I HAVE ASSIGNED EACH INDIVIDUAL FINANCE MEMBER -- AND BY THE WAY, THEY'LL FIND OUT ABOUT THIS ON MONDAY OR TUESDAY, BECAUSE I'LL BE TELLING THEM -- OR I'LL BE ASKING FOR THEIR HELP, ACTUALLY. BUT I HAVE PUT TOGETHER -- THEY WILL BE ASSIGNED TO SPECIFIC CANDIDATES. THEY WILL RAISE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT THOSE CANDIDATES NEED TO GET OUR MESSAGE OUT. I WILL TRAVEL EXTENSIVELY TO BE WITH CANDIDATES. I WILL HELP THEM DOOR KNOCK. I WILL HELP THEM RAISE MONEY. I WILL HELP TRY -- DO THE BEST I CAN TO RAISE THEIR PROFILE. AND WE KNOW THE ISSUES THAT WE RUN ON STRONGEST. WE WILL BE PRESENTING THOSE ISSUES.

Glover: AND YOU'VE GOT FOUR INCUMBENT REPUBLICANS WHO ARE NOT RUNNING FOR REELECTION. IS THAT YOUR MAJOR FOCUS, THOSE FOUR SEATS?

Lundby: THE OPEN SEATS ARE ALWAYS THE MAJOR FOCUS, BUT WE HAVE AT LEAST THREE OTHER SEATS THAT WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT WE WILL -- WE WILL HAVE THE FOUR OPEN SEATS AND THREE OTHER SEATS THAT WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT TODAY THAT WE WILL BE PUSHING HARD TO BEGIN.

Glover: AND EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT THE REPUBLICANS THAT ARE STEPPING DOWN. ARE THERE DEMOCRATS YOU CAN KNOCK OFF?

Lundby: I THINK THERE ARE.

Glover: WHO?

Lundby: I THINK THAT SENATOR DENNIS BLACK -- HIS OPPONENT WILL BE AN ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING STRONG OPPONENT. I KNOW THAT SENATOR BLACK, WE'VE THROWN THE BOOK AT HIM EVERY FOUR YEARS FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. BUT -- BUT YOU ALWAYS KEEP TRYING. AND WE HAVE AN OUTSTANDING --

Borg: WHAT'S THE HOMETOWN THERE?

Lundby: NEWTON.

Borg: NEWTON. ALL RIGHT.

Lundby: I'M ALWAYS CONFIDENT --

Borg: GO ON WITH THE OTHERS.

Lundby: OKAY. WE HAVE A GREAT CANDIDATE IN SIOUX CITY AGAINST SENATOR WARNSTADT. AND SHE IS AN OUTSTANDING CANDIDATE, HIGHLY THOUGHT OF IN HER COMMUNITY, ARTICULATE, WILLING TO WORK HARD. SENATOR WIECK FROM THE SIOUX CITY AREA WILL BE HELPING WITH HER CAMPAIGN. I FEEL THAT WE HAVE A GOOD SHOT THERE. LAMETTA WYNN FROM CLINTON, FIRST BLACK WOMAN MAYOR IN CLINTON. MIGHT EVEN BE THE FIRST WOMAN MAYOR IN CLINTON. OUTSTANDING WOMAN, TEN CHILDREN OF HER OWN, KIND OF LIVE AROUND THE AREA. PEOPLE RESPECT HER. THEY KNOW HER. THEY KNOW HER OUTSIDE OF CLINTON. THEY KNOW HER IN THE SENATE DISTRICT. OUTSTANDING CANDIDATE.

Glover: AND THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE IS COMING OPEN THIS YEAR, AND THAT'S A HIGH PROFILE RACE.

Lundby: IT ESPECIALLY HELPS US GREATLY IN EASTERN IOWA.

Glover: AND SO -- WELL, I WAS GOING TO SAY, WILL THAT HAVE AN EFFECT ON SOME OF THESE RACES.

Lundby: OF COURSE IT WILL. IN MY OWN COUNTY, RENE SCHULTE, OPEN SEAT FOR CHUCK LARSON -- SENATOR CHUCK LARSON'S SEAT: ARTICULATE, YOUNG, ENERGETIC, WELL-SPOKEN, OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER NETWORK.

Yepsen: SENATOR, HOW TOUGH WILL THE MONEY BE? I MEAN SENATOR IVERSON HAD CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE LOBBY. IOWANS FOR TAX RELIEF, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT CONTRIBUTES TO REPUBLICANS. YOU'VE THROWN HIM OUT. ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE TROUBLE RAISING MONEY FROM HIS OLD FRIENDS?

Lundby: THOSE PEOPLE HAVE A JOB TO DO, AND THAT'S TO GET LEGISLATION PASSED. IN ORDER TO GET LEGISLATION PASSED, THEY NEED LEADERS. I'M STILL THE LEADER. ARE THEY AS COMFORTABLE WITH ME AS THEY WERE WITH SENATOR IVERSON? NO. HE WAS THEIR -- HE WAS THERE FOR TEN YEARS. YOU GET A COMRADERY AFTER TEN YEARS. DO I INTEND TO GO OUT AND SEEK THEIR HELP AND ADVICE? ABSOLUTELY. AND I AM PERFECTLY CONFIDENT THAT THEY'LL COME ABOUT.

Yepsen: WE'VE ONLY GOT ABOUT TEN SECONDS LEFT. WILL REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HELP YOU LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD ON MONEY? WILL THEY BE ABLE TO --

Lundby: THEY WILL. THEY WILL. IOWA IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THAT PROCESS. THEY WILL.

Borg: WE'LL BE WATCHING CLOSELY.

Lundby: SO WILL I.

Borg: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY AND TAKING TIME TO DO IT.

Lundby: THANK YOU ALL.

Borg: THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' WE'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEKEND, REGULAR AIRTIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT; SUNDAY MORNING AT 11:30. AND FROM ALL OF US HERE AT IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, WE WISH YOU A PLEASANT EASTER WEEKEND. I'M 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.

Tags: Iowa