Iowa Public Television

 

Republican Doug Gross and Democrat Rob Tully

posted on April 24, 2006

Borg: THE NATION WATCHES IOWA POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS. INSIDERS' INSIGHT FROM REPUBLICAN DOUG GROSS AND DEMOCRAT ROB TULLY 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 21 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WITH THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY NOW IN OVERTIME AND STILL STRUGGLING WITH THE SHAPE OF THE NEW IOWA BUDGET, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A STEP BACK TODAY TO LOOK AT THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF WHAT'S HAPPENING. WE'VE INVITED DOUG GROSS, A REPUBLICAN FROM DES MOINES, FORMER G.O.P GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE. MR. GROSS ALSO SERVED ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFFS OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ROBERT RAY AND TERRY BRANSTAD. AND ROB TULLY, A DEMOCRAT FROM DES MOINES, FORMER CHAIR OF THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, NOW THE PARTY'S VICE CHAIR, AND HE'S ALSO A MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. MR. GROSS, MR. TULLY, WELCOME BACK TO 'IOWA PRESS.' YOU'VE BOTH BEEN HERE BEFORE.

Gross: GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

Borg: AND ACROSS THE TABLE, TWO GENTLEMEN, YOU KNOW WELL: DAVE YEPSEN, POLITICAL COLUMNIST WITH 'THE DES MOINES REGISTER'; AND MIKE GLOVER, HE'S THE SENIOR POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE REPORTER FOR THE 'ASSOCIATED PRESS.' AND, MIKE, I WANT -- YOU'RE UP AT THE STATEHOUSE EVERY DAY COVERING THE LEGISLATURE. I'VE JUST SAID THEY'RE IN OVERTIME. WHAT IS THE -- WE'RE IN AN ELECTION YEAR HERE. HOW ARE THOSE FALL ELECTIONS OVERSHADOWING WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW IN THE LEGISLATURE AND THE IMPASSE?

Glover: THE FALL ELECTION IS DRIVING EVERYTHING THAT'S HAPPENING AT THE STATEHOUSE. IT'S DRIVING THE POSITIONS THAT THE VARIOUS PEOPLE ARE IN. IT'S DRIVING THE STANCES THEY'RE TAKING. IT'S DRIVING THE RHETORIC THEY'RE DOING. IT'S DRIVING THE RELUCTANCE TO REACH A SETTLEMENT AND ALL THIS. IT'S DRIVING THE WHOLE THING. QUITE SIMPLY SPEAKING, BOTH SIDES THINK THEY CAN GET A BETTER DEAL AFTER THE ELECTIONS. THE DEMOCRATS I THINK ARE CONFIDENT THEY'RE GOING TO GET AT LEAST ONE CHAMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE COME NOVEMBER. THAT WAY THEY CAN GET A LITTLE BETTER DEAL. AND REPUBLICANS THINK THEY'VE GOT A REAL GOOD SHOT AT REPLACING A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR. THEY'RE FIGHTING ABOUT HOW MUCH TO SPEND TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY, AND THEY'RE NOT THAT FAR APART. THEY'RE FIGHTING OVER HOW MUCH AND HOW QUICKLY TO CUT TAXES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, AND THEY'RE NOT THAT FAR APART. THEY'RE APART ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. DEMOCRATS IN ALL CASES WANT TO SPEND A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN THEY DO.

Borg: MR. TULLY, I'M NOT SURE THAT YOU'RE INTO TRANSLATING FOR THE GOVERNOR -- [ LAUGHTER ] BUT I COVERED GOVERNOR VILSACK AS HE CAME BACK FROM IRAQ, AND HE WAS IN A NEWS CONFERENCE OVER IN THE CEDAR RAPIDS AIRPORT. ONE OF THE THINGS HE SAID THERE ABOUT THE BUDGET IMPASSE, HE SAID IT'S NOT -- IN CONTRAST TO PAST YEARS, IT'S NOT ABOUT NUMBERS, IT'S ABOUT PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES. TRANSLATE THAT.

Tully: WELL, I THINK WHAT HE'S SAYING IS THAT, YOU KNOW, THE DEMOCRATS HAVE -- PART OF THEIR AGENDA THIS YEAR HAS BEEN TO PUSH FOR HIGHER PAY FOR TEACHERS. AND HE'S ALSO LOOKING FOR SOME OTHER PROGRAMS THAT -- AND IT REALLY DOES COME DOWN TO A PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF THAT. PART OF IT IS, AS WE'VE ACTUALLY HEARD HERE, IS THAT THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THERE'S GOING TO BE A FIGHT OVER WHAT THE AMOUNT IS GOING TO BE. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S ACTUALLY PART OF WHAT'S HAPPENING AS WE SAW EVEN TODAY WHERE THE LINE WAS DRAWN IN THE SAND BY BOTH THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS AS TO -- AS THIS DEBATE GOES ON.

Borg: MR. GROSS, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ISSUES UP THERE THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO REPUBLICANS CARRYING INTO THE FALL ELECTION?

Gross: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T SEE THEM AS BIG, DEEP, PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES. WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SIX-YEAR COMMITMENT OR A TEN-YEAR COMMITMENT FOR A HUNDRED-MILLION-DOLLAR TAX CUT, AS JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES SAID, 'IN THE LONG RUN, WE'LL ALL BE DEAD.' SO THEY'RE DEBATING OVER SOMETHING THAT REALLY DOESN'T MEAN A LOT TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE UP THERE RIGHT NOW. I THINK IT'S ALL ABOUT POLITICS ALL THE TIME. I THINK MIKE'S GOT IT EXACTLY RIGHT. IT'S NOT JUST THIS YEAR, BUT IT'S LAST YEAR AS WELL. WHEN YOU HAVE A 25/25 SENATE, WHEN YOU HAVE A 51/49 HOUSE, AND YOU HAVE A GOVERNORSHIP UP IN A VERY COMPETITIVE YEAR, IT'S ALL ABOUT POSITIONING FOR THAT NEXT ELECTION. AND THE BAD THING ABOUT THAT, DEAN, IS THE PEOPLE OF IOWA GET LOST AS A RESULT, IN MY OPINION. WE HAD A GRAND OPPORTUNITY THIS YEAR FOR A MAJOR STEP FORWARD ON EDUCATION OR FORUM ON FUNDING FOR TEACHERS, AND I THINK WE'RE GOING TO LOSE IT. AND THAT'S TOO BAD.

Yepsen: WELL, LET ME FOLLOW THAT UP, DOUG, WITH A QUESTION, I GUESS TO BOTH OF YOU. I MEAN I AGREE EVERYBODY LOOKS BAD. THE GOVERNOR, THE REPUBLICANS, THEY ALL LOOK BAD. NOW, DO YOU THINK IN THE COMING -- IN THE NEXT WEEK SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO MAKE EVERYBODY REALIZE THAT? THE FACT IS, DOUG, YOUR PARTY DOESN'T WANT TO MAKE TOM VILSACK LOOK GOOD; DO THEY? I KNOW THAT IF THEY GIVE HIM A TEACHER PAY THING, IF THEY GIVE HIM A PREKINDERGARTEN THING, HE'S GOING TO GO OUT AND RUN FOR PRESIDENT WITH THAT. AND THE SAME QUESTION GOES TO YOU, MR. TULLY. DO DEMOCRATS WANT A TEACHER PAY RAISE, OR DO THEY WANT THE ISSUE FOR THE FALL CAMPAIGN?

Tully: NO, I THINK YOUR POINT IS WELL TAKEN. I MEAN THE REALITY IS -- AND DOUG SAID IT TOO -- THAT OUR POLITICIANS ARE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THE OTHER SIDE DOESN'T GET A LITTLE EXTRA ON THEIR SIDE, AND ESPECIALLY NOW THAT WE'RE GETTING CLOSER TO THIS PRIMARY THAT'S COMING UP IN JUNE. I MEAN THERE'S A QUESTION OF WHETHER WE'RE EXTENDING THIS LEGISLATURE SO THAT WE CAN KEEP MONEY FROM COMING TO THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES BECAUSE, AS MOST OF YOU KNOW AND THE VIEWERS KNOW, THAT YOU CAN'T TAKE MONEY UNTIL THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE SESSION IS OVER. AND DOUG KNOWS THAT FROM HAVING TO GO THROUGH THAT. AND IT MAKES IT DIFFICULT, BUT THE LONGER THE SESSION GOES ON, THE LESS CHANCE THAT THAT MONEY IS GOING TO FLOW IN PRIOR TO A PRIMARY.

Yepsen: OKAY. BUT WHAT ABOUT MY QUESTION, ROB, SPECIFICALLY? WOULD DEMOCRATS RATHER HAVE A MODEST PAY RAISE FOR TEACHERS OR NO RAISE AT ALL SO THEY CAN HAVE THE ISSUE IN THE FALL CAMPAIGN?

Tully: WELL, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE PROCESS THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING TO GO THERE, BECAUSE THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: THERE HAS TO BE SOME COMPROMISE, AND THE ONLY LINE IN THE SAND THAT I'VE SEEN DRAWN SO FAR IS CHRIS RANTS SAYING '10:00 MONDAY MORNING ALL BETS ARE OFF, WE'RE STARTING AT ZERO,' WHICH MAKES NO SENSE.

Gross: BUT TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I DON'T THINK IT'S ABOUT THE REPUBLICANS THINKING ABOUT HOW THIS LOOKS FOR TOM VILSACK AND HIS RUN FOR PRESIDENT AT ALL. I THINK IT'S ALL ABOUT REPUBLICANS THINKING ABOUT HOW THIS IS GOING TO LOOK ON A CAMPAIGN BROCHURE THIS FALL AGAINST THEIR OPPONENT IN THEIR RACE IN THEIR LOCAL DISTRICT, DAVID. IT'S VERY MUCH THAT WAY. IT'S LEGISLATIVE POLITICS. IT'S NOT GUBERNATORIAL POLITICS.

Yepsen: ARE THEY SPOOKED BY THE FACT THAT THEY'RE GOING TO LOSE SEATS IN THE LEGISLATURE?

Gross: I THINK -- WELL, THEY LOST SEATS FOR THE LAST TWO CYCLES AND, OBVIOUSLY, THEY'RE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT IT. IF YOU LOOK AT NATIONAL TRENDS AND YOU LOOK AT GENERIC BALLOT TESTS TODAY, THEY'RE NOT GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS. SO REPUBLICANS OUGHT TO BE SPOOKED, AND THEY ARE.

Glover: AND, DOUG, LET'S TAKE THIS QUESTION TO YOU. I'VE HEARD A LOT OF REPUBLICANS UP THERE. ONE OF THE FIGHTS THAT THEY'RE HAVING BOTH IN THE TEACHER PAY AND THE SENIOR TAX CUT IS HOW LONG THIS HAS TO BE STRETCHED OUT OVER. THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO STRETCH IT OUT FOR TEN YEARS FOR THE TAX CUT, AND THEY WANT A FIVE-YEAR COMMITMENT ON TEACHER PAY. I HAVE A LOT OF REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE TOLD ME, 'LOOK, JIM NUSSLE RAISED $2.5 MILLION BEFORE PRESIDENT BUSH CAME AND RAISED ANOTHER MILLION FOR HIM. WE'RE FEELING PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THAT RACE.' WHY SHOULD WE LOCK IN A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT ON TEACHER PAY THAT COULD HAMSTRING A FUTURE GOVERNOR, PARTICULARLY IF DEMOCRATS GET CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT LOGIC?

Gross: WELL, I THINK THAT LOGIC IS CORRECT. I MEAN NOT ONLY FROM A POLITICAL STANDPOINT, BUT ALSO FROM A PUBLIC POLICY STANDPOINT, MIKE. DO WE REALLY WANT THIS LEGISLATURE MAKING DECISIONS THAT THE LEGISLATURE IN 2016 HAS TO DEAL WITH IN TERMS OF TRYING TO FIND OUT HOW TO FUND SOMETHING? WE'VE NEVER DONE IT THAT WAY IN IOWA. THEY DO THAT THAT WAY IN WASHINGTON. IT'S NOT GOOD PUBLIC POLICY.

Glover: ROB, I'D LIKE TO TAKE A QUESTION TO YOU THAT I'VE HEARD DEMOCRATS SAY THIS WEEK, AND I'D LIKE TO GET YOUR TAKE ON WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT. A DEMOCRATIC SENATOR SAID THEY GOT IN CAUCUS AND SAT AROUND AND LOOKED AT EACH OTHER, AND SAID, 'YOU KNOW WHAT, IT'S TIME TO HAVE AN ELECTION.' WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT ARGUMENT?

Tully: WELL, I THINK THE ARGUMENT -- AND AGAIN, WE'RE GOING TO GET BACK TO PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES THAT WE HAVE. SEE, I THINK THAT WHAT -- THE POSITION THAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE TAKING IS IT'S LONG OVERDUE. TEACHER PAY HAS BEEN -- WE'RE 41ST IN THE COUNTRY AND WE ARE LONG OVERDUE FOR HAVING PAY RAISES THAT WE DO NEED TO LOCK IN. WE DO HAVE TO HAVE SOME SORT OF VISION THAT WE'RE GOING TO SAY THIS IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO BE COMMITTED TO DOING. NOW, THE DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING LET'S TAKE SOME TIME AND PAY FOR THIS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. LET'S NOT, YOU KNOW -- WHAT WE'VE RUN INTO IN THIS LEGISLATURE, AS WE'VE DONE NATIONALLY, IS A CONSISTENT NUMBER OF TAX CUTS OVER AND OVER AND OVER TO THE POINT THAT WE SIT THERE AND COMPLAIN TO OURSELVES AND SAY, HEY LISTEN, WE DON'T HAVE ANY MORE MONEY TO PAY FOR THIS STUFF. WELL, THAT'S RIGHT. THAT'S BECAUSE WE'VE TAKEN AWAY AND GIVEN THESE TAX CUTS, YOU KNOW, AND THERE'S NO MONEY TO PAY.

Borg: WHAT CONSTITUENCIES, DAVE, ARE WE LOOKING AT HERE? ARE THE DEMOCRATS LOOKING AT AN EDUCATION CONSTITUENCY AND THE REPUBLICANS ON THE OTHER SIDE LOOKING TOWARD OLDER IOWANS WHO ARE EYEING THAT RETIREMENT BENEFIT?

Yepsen: SURE. ABSOLUTELY. EVERYBODY PANDERS TO A BASE. IF YOU'RE A DEMOCRAT, YOU'VE GOT TO WHIP UP THE TEACHERS UNION. IF YOU'RE A REPUBLIC, AND PARTICULARLY REPUBLICANS FROM BORDER AREAS OF THE STATE WHERE SENIOR CITIZENS ARE -- SENIOR CITIZENS VOTE BIG-TIME, SO YOU WANT TO CURRY FAVOR WITH THEM. BUT I WANT TO GO BACK TO SOMETHING ROB SAID. I WANT TO ASK DOUG ABOUT THIS. ONE OF THE ISSUES UP THERE IS THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE GONE INTO THIS STALL BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT IT IS HURTING THE ABILITY OF PARTICULARLY MIKE BLOUIN TO RAISE MONEY FROM SOME OF THE LOBBYISTS UP THERE. IS THAT REALLY GOING ON UP THERE? ARE REPUBLICANS DELAYING THIS GAME BECAUSE AS LONG AS THE LEGISLATURE IS IN THIS SESSION -- IN SESSION, THE TOUGHER IT IS FOR MIKE BLOUIN TO RAISE MONEY?

Gross: I DON'T THINK IT'S ABOUT MIKE BLOUIN. I THINK IT'S MORE ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE CALLED CIETC, FRANKLY. I MEAN THE LONGER THE SESSION GOES ON, THE MORE DAYS THERE ARE GOING TO BE LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS ON CIETC AND THE SCANDAL THAT OCCURRED UNDER A DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION AT THE STATEHOUSE AND A DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION IN POLK COUNTY. THAT INURES TO THE PUBLIC.

Yepsen: DO YOU BUY THAT, ROB?

Tully: NO, I DON'T BUY IT BECAUSE THE REALITY IS THESE COMMITTEES CAN MEET IN THE OFF-SESSION. THEY CAN CONTINUE ON THEIR BUSINESS AFTER. THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE THERE. WE SHOULD BE CONCLUDING THIS PARTICULAR SESSION. WE OUGHT TO GET OUR LEGISLATION DONE SO THAT WE CAN MOVE THE STATE FORWARD.

Glover: NOW THAT WE'VE GOT THIS SMELLY OLD FISH ON THE TABLE, YOU'RE RIGHT --

Gross: IT DIDN'T TAKE ME LONG EITHER.

Glover: IT OCCURRED UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, AND A LOT OF THE PLAYERS ARE BIG-NAME POLK COUNTY DEMOCRATS. HOW BAD OF A PROBLEM IS THIS FOR DEMOCRATS?

Tully: WELL, YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK IT'S A GOOD DEAL FOR ANYBODY. OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE A LOT OF DEMOCRATS THAT ARE INVOLVED ON THE BOARD. BUT I MEAN, YOU KNOW, THERE'S ALWAYS PLENTY OF -- IF WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WATCHING THE BOOKS -- I MEAN, NO OFFENSE, BUT DAVID VAUDT ACTUALLY HAD THE MEMO IN 2004 -- ACTUALLY THE LETTER -- THE ANONYMOUS LETTER THAT WAS SENT AND DIDN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT UNTIL LAST FALL. AND THE REALITY IS THERE'S ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND FOR EVERYBODY. THE POINT BEING IS WE'VE GOT TO CLEAN THIS MESS UP. THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE INVOLVED WITH IT OUGHT TO BE OUT. I DON'T CARE IF THEY'RE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS.

Gross: THANK GOODNESS DAVID VAUDT DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT, OR WE STILL WOULDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT.

Glover: HOW BIG OF AN ADVANTAGE IS THIS FOR REPUBLICANS? I MEAN THIS IS SHAPING UP -- DAVID MENTIONED IT -- AS A PRETTY BAD REPUBLICAN YEAR. PRESIDENT BUSH'S NUMBERS ARE IN THE TOILET. THE CONGRESSIONAL NUMBERS ARE PRETTY BAD. HOW CAN YOU USE THIS?

Gross: WELL, THIS IS GOING TO BE, I THINK, INORDINATELY HELPFUL TO JIM NUSSLE IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE BECAUSE THE QUESTION THAT VOTERS WILL HAVE TO ASK THEMSELVES AS THEY GO TO THE POLLS IS DO WE REALLY WANT A DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTROLLING ALL LEVERS OF GOVERNMENT AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL, IN POLK COUNTY AND AROUND THE STATE, DURING THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. AND THE ANSWER TO THAT LIKELY WILL BE, NO, WE'RE GOING TO BE BETTER OFF IF WE HAVE A REPUBLICAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE.

Yepsen: NOW, WAIT A MINUTE. [ LAUGHTER ] JIM NUSSLE HAS BEEN CHAIRMAN OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE. LET ME MAKE YOU THE DEMOCRATIC ARGUMENT.

Tully: I WAS GOING TO SAY --

Yepsen: HOW CAN YOU SELL -- HOW CAN REPUBLICANS SELL THAT TO IOWA VOTERS WHEN JIM NUSSLE HAS BEEN BUDGET CHAIRMAN DURING THE TIME OF RECORD NATIONAL BUDGET DEFICITS?

Gross: YOU KNOW, THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT ALL THIS, THOUGH, WITH JIM NUSSLE IS THAT, ONE, HE'S RAISING A LOT OF MONEY. TWO IS IN MANY RESPECTS, DAVID, HE'S ALREADY CONTROLLING THE AGENDA, IT APPEARS TO ME. HE CAME OUT FIRST ABOUT TOUCH PLAY AND BANNING TOUCH PLAY. THE LEGISLATURE BANS TOUCH PLAY. JIM NUSSLE COMES OUT AND TALKS ABOUT ETHANOL. THE LEGISLATURE RACES TO DO SOMETHING ON ETHANOL. JIM NUSSLE TALKS ABOUT INSPECTOR GENERALS TO DEAL WITH CIETC. THE LEGISLATURE IS DEBATING THAT AS AN ISSUE. REMARKABLY JIM NUSSLE IS ALREADY CONTROLLING THE AGENDA.

Glover: ROB, TAKE THIS ISSUE THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE MAKING. THEY'RE SAYING JIM NUSSLE THIS WEEK JUST WENT UP WITH NEW TV ADS TARGETED RIGHT AT GENERAL ELECTION. REPUBLICANS ARE SAYING, 'WE'RE FREE -- WE'VE GOT NO PRIMARY. WE'RE FREE TO FOCUS ON THE GENERAL ELECTION. WE'VE GOT A LOT MORE MONEY THAN DEMOCRATS. WE'RE FEELING REAL GOOD, WHILE DEMOCRATS ARE RIPPING THEMSELVES APART IN A PRETTY HARD HITTING THE PRIMARY.' WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT ARGUMENT?

Tully: WELL, HERE'S THE THING. THE ARGUMENT THAT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT IS TO WHAT JIM NUSSLE IS GOING TO BE SAYING ON THOSE COMMERCIALS. I MEAN, LET'S FACE IT, HE HAS TO COME UP WITH -- HE HAS NO PRIMARY OPPONENT BUT YET HE'S GOING UP IN APRIL. WHY? BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE'S GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS BUDGET DEFICIT. THE ONLY THING THAT WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT AND EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BE ASKED ABOUT: BUDGET DEFICIT, BUDGET DEFICIT, BUDGET DEFICIT. THIS IS A GUY -- YOU KNOW, TALKING ABOUT PROMISES, THE GUY THAT GOES OUT AHEAD OF EVERYTHING. YOU KNOW, I KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT JIM NUSSLE. I'M STILL WAITING FOR THAT --

Gross: DID YOU RUN AGAINST HIM? [ LAUGHTER ]

Tully: I'M STILL WAITING FOR THAT --

Gross: I KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT TOM VILSACK. [ LAUGHTER ]

Tully: I'M STILL WAITING FOR THE BRIDGE TO BUILT ACROSS DUBUQUE THAT HE PROMISED THE PEOPLE AFTER -- A MONTH AFTER THE PRIMARY WAS OVER AND, YOU KNOW, HE STILL DIDN'T DELIVER ON THAT. SO JIM NUSSLE IS ALL ABOUT MAKING PROMISES AND TALKING BIG BUT NEVER DELIVERING.

Borg: WELL, WE SHOULD EXPLAIN, YOU RAN AGAINST JIM NUSSLE IN WHAT WAS THEN THE SECOND DISTRICT OF IOWA, OVER IN EASTERN IOWA.

Tully: CORRECT.

Yepsen: DEAN, NOW THAT EVERY -- THESE TWO GUYS HAVE HAD THE CHANCE TO GIVE US THEIR TALKING POINT FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE PARTIES, NOW I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE QUESTION MIKE RAISED EARLIER, AND THAT IS HOW BAD IS IT GOING TO BE FOR REPUBLICANS.

Gross: WELL, YOU KNOW, I WORRY ABOUT THE FALL FOR REPUBLICANS, VERY FRANKLY, BECAUSE ANYTIME YOU HAVE A NATIONAL GENERIC BALLOT WHERE WE'RE DOWN ANYWHERE FROM FIVE TO TEN POINTS ON A GENERIC BALLOT FOR CONGRESS, IT CAN BE VERY, VERY DIFFICULT. AND PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY, WELL, IT'S THE LOCAL ELECTIONS THAT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, BUT A GENERIC BALLOT WHERE YOU'RE THAT FOR DOWN CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN TIGHT RACES. SO IT'S A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FOR REPUBLICANS. AND YOU NEED ISSUES LIKE CIETC. YOU NEED ISSUES LIKE WHETHER OR NOT THE LEGISLATURE IS GOING -- AND THE GOVERNOR ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO REACH AN ACCOMMODATION ON TAX CUTS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT WE REINVIGORATE THE REPUBLICAN BASE AND MAKE CERTAIN WE WIN IN THE FALL.

Glover: ROB, IS IT ENOUGH JUST TO BE A DEMOCRAT IF IT'S AS BAD A YEAR AS DOUG IS SHAPING UP FOR REPUBLICANS? AND HOW DO YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS? THE CRITICISM I HEAR IS THAT IT'S SHAPING UP AS A REALLY GOOD DEMOCRATIC YEAR. BUT WHERE IS THE MESSAGE? WHERE IS THE THEME? AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S NOT GENERIC BALLOT AGAINST GENERIC BALLOT. IT'S JIM NUSSLE AGAINST THE WINNER OF THIS PRIMARY.

Tully: THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT AND I AGREE WITH THAT WHOLEHEARTEDLY. I THINK THAT FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO WIN, IT CAN'T BE JUST WE'RE THE OTHER GUYS. IT HAS TO BE -- THERE HAS TO BE A MESSAGE. THERE HAS TO BE ONE THAT IT'S A MESSAGE THAT'S UNIFIED. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB OVER THE YEARS OF, QUITE FRANKLY, HAVING ALL THEIR STATE REPS AND STATE SENATOR CAMPAIGNS SAY THE EXACT SAME THING. AND SO THERE HAS TO BE A MESSAGE OUT THERE, AND THERE HAS TO BE SOME LEADERSHIP.

Yepsen: WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE ANY DEMOCRATIC MESSAGE AT ALL, ROB? I MEAN WHEN REPUBLICANS ARE IN SUCH BAD SHAPE AS THEY ARE, FOR ALL THE REASONS WE TALKED ABOUT, ISN'T IT JUST ENOUGH TO SAY, 'I'M OUT AND THEY'RE IN, VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS'?

Tully: WELL, I WOULD HOPE THAT THAT COULD BE ALL WE HAD TO DO, BUT I KNOW FROM REALITY THAT ISN'T, AND ESPECIALLY ON LOCAL ELECTIONS LIKE THAT. WHEN YOU GO TO STATE REPS AND STATE SENATE RACES, THERE ARE A LOT OF LOCAL POLITICS THAT HAVE TO BE INVOLVED IN THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. AND IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT JUST DEMOCRATS VERSUS REPUBLICANS.

Yepsen: AND HOW WORRIED ARE YOU, ROB, ABOUT VOTER FALLOFF -- ABOUT THE FALLOFF IN TURNOUT? DEMOCRATS NEVER VOTE IN THE SAME NUMBERS THAT REPUBLICANS DO IN OFF-YEAR ELECTIONS, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE FED UP WITH, FRANKLY, BOTH PARTIES. I HEAR THIS EVERYWHERE I GO. THERE'S A PLAGUE ON ALL YOUR HOUSES. ARE YOU WORRIED, ROB, THAT DEMOCRATS -- THAT DEMOCRATIC VOTERS WILL BE MORE INCLINED TO JUST SAY TO HECK WITH IT ALL AND STAY HOME THIS YEAR?

Tully: NO, I DON'T, ONLY BECAUSE OF ONE OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, THE NUMBERS WITH BUSH. THERE IS SUCH AN ANGST OUT THERE AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH, THE WAR, THE DEFICIT, AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR A CHANGE AND THEY WANT TO START NOW. AND I JUST THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT MORE INVOLVEMENT IN THIS OFF-YEAR ELECTION THAN WE HAVE IN A LOT OF --

Borg: BUT HOW CAN YOU TRANSLATE THAT AND BRING THAT DOWN TO THE STATE LEVEL? THAT'S A FEDERAL ISSUE THERE.

Tully: WITHOUT QUESTION IT'S A FEDERAL ISSUE, BUT IT'S ALSO PEOPLE ARE PAYING MORE ATTENTION. AND I JUST THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS GUBERNATORIAL RACE -- I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THIS IS GOING TO BE A HOT RACE. REGARDLESS OF WHO THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE IS, THIS IS GOING TO BE A BIG RACE, AND IT'S GOING TO BE CONCENTRATED OVER IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE STATE WHERE MOST OF THE VOTES ARE. I TELL YOU, IT'S GOING TO BE --

Glover: DOUG, IS PRESIDENT BUSH -- YOU WERE HIS FINANCE CHAIRMAN --

Gross: RIGHT.

Glover: IS HE A LAME DUCK?

Gross: WELL, HE'S IN HIS LAST TERM. EXPLAIN YOUR DEFINITION OF LAME DUCK.

Glover: WELL, LAME DUCK IS AT THE POINT WHEN A PRESIDENT BEGINS TO LOSE INFLUENCE WITH THE COUNTRY, BEGINS TO LOSE INFLUENCE WITH THE CONGRESS. IS HE AT THAT POINT?

Gross: WELL, THE PRESIDENT HAS -- I SAW AN APPROVAL RATING POLL OUT THIS MORNING FROM FOX NEWS, WHICH YOU THINK WOULD BE RELATIVELY FAVORABLE TO THE PRESIDENT. IT HAD HIM LIKE AT 33 PERCENT. THAT'S HIS LOWEST HE'S BEEN YET. OBVIOUSLY THAT'S HAD IMPACT. AND THAT'S WHY THE PRESIDENT, FRANKLY, IS SHAKING UP HIS WHITE HOUSE STAFF. AND I THINK HE'S DOING THE RIGHT THING THERE. I THINK IF HE DOES THAT, RESEARCH CONTROL OVER A COUPLE OF KEY POLICY ISSUES, HE WILL NOT BE A LAME DUCK.

Yepsen: LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. DO YOU HAVE A CANDIDATE? ARE YOU SUPPORTING --

Tully: NO, I'VE DECIDED AS VICE CHAIR OF THE PARTY AT THIS POINT IN TIME I'M STAYING NEUTRAL.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT. SO GIVE US A HANDICAP.

Tully: I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THAT EVEN MONEY WOULD PROBABLY TELL YOU THAT CHET CULVER BECAUSE OF HIS LEAD IN MONEY IS GOING TO HAVE PROBABLY MORE MONEY TO DEAL WITH. DEPENDING ON WHEN THE LEGISLATURE GOES, MIKE BLOUIN CAN ACTUALLY EVEN THAT OUT PRETTY QUICKLY WITH THE MONEY THAT HE'S GOING TO GET FROM THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE PROMISED HIM --

Glover: IS IT ONE OF THOSE TWO THAT IS YOUR NOMINEE?

Tully: I THINK SO. OH, YEAH.

Gross: I'M SUPPORTING NUSSLE, BY THE WAY. [ LAUGHTER ]

Glover: YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN BUT YOU'VE BEEN AROUND IOWA POLITICS FOR A LONG TIME. LOOK AT THAT RACE. WHO DO REPUBLICANS WANT TO RUN AGAINST?

Gross: WHO DO THEY WANT TO RUN AGAINST? EITHER ONE. EITHER ONE. I MEAN I THINK MIKE IS HAVING SOME DIFFICULTY BECAUSE MIKE IS BEHIND IN THE MONEY RACE -- MIKE BLOUIN, IN THE MONEY RACE. HE'S GOT TO RAISE SOME MONEY QUICKLY TO GET HIS NAME IDENTIFICATION UP AS QUICKLY AS HE POSSIBLY CAN BECAUSE THAT'S REALLY A PROBLEM THAT HE HAS. IF HE DOESN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO DO THAT, HE WILL BE AT A GREAT DISADVANTAGE IN THAT PRIMARY.

Yepsen: ROB, WHY DO YOU DISMISS ED FALLON'S CHANCES? IF I -- AS I LOOK AT THESE POLLS, I'M STRUCK BY, FIRST OF ALL, THE PASSION INSIDE YOUR PARTY. I MEAN THE PARTY LEFT IS VERY ANGRY. THEY'RE ALL WITH ED FALLON. AND THE SECOND THING IS, IF YOU LOOK AT THE POLLS OF THE RACE, MIKE BLOUIN IS CLOSER TO ED FALLON FOR THIRD PLACE THAN HE IS TO CHET CULVER FOR FIRST. SO WHY DO YOU DISMISS ED FALLON?

Tully: I'M GOING TO DISMISS ED FALLON BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY MONEY. AND, YOU KNOW, THE WAY THE POLLS ARE NOW, THEY MEAN NOTHING. THE ONLY POLL THAT REALLY MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE IS TWO WEEKS AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY, AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF COMMERCIALS ON -- PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE INTRODUCED TO BOTH CULVER AND BLOUIN -- THAT ED FALLON IS JUST NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO.

Glover: ROB, I'D LIKE TO TAKE A CRITICISM OF CULVER, WHO YOU THINK IS GOING TO WIN, TO YOU. I'VE BEEN -- THIS IS THE SUGGESTION THAT'S BEEN MADE TO ME. CHET CULVER HAS GOT A GREAT DEMOCRATIC NAME. HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED STATES SENATOR AND CONGRESSMAN. HE STARTED EARLIER THAN ANYBODY ELSE. HE'S RAISED MORE MONEY THAN ANYBODY ELSE, AND HE'S WON TWO STATEWIDE ELECTIONS. WHY HASN'T HE PUT THIS THING AWAY?

Tully: WELL, LET ME JUST SAY THIS. I'M NOT SAYING THAT HE'S GOING TO WIN. WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT EVEN MONEY TODAY, BECAUSE OF HIS MONEY LEAD, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE ASKING ME TO HANDICAP IT TODAY, WHICH THEY DID, THAT'S WHO I WOULD TELL YOU. BUT I THINK WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT IS A SITUATION THAT'S TYPICAL OF MOST VOTERS, IS THAT EVEN THOUGH HE'S BEEN A STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL FOR TWO TERMS, THE REALITY IS MOST OF IOWANS REALLY DON'T KNOW WHO OUR SECRETARY OF STATE IS. AND THE ONLY POLITICIANS THEY ACTUALLY KNOW ARE TOM HARKIN, TOM VILSACK, AND CHUCK GRASSLEY. AND AFTER THAT, THERE'S A BIG DROP-OFF.

Borg: THEN SO WHY -- SO WHY HASN'T MIKE BLOUIN BEEN ABLE TO RAISE MORE MONEY WITHIN THE PARTY, THEN? HE HAS A BASE IN EASTERN IOWA. HE SPENT A GOOD SHARE OF HIS CAREER THERE IN DES MOINES. THE TWO HEAVIEST POPULATED AREAS.

Tully: I THINK THAT -- I THINK THAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT IT THAT HE ACTUALLY RAISED QUITE A BIT OF MONEY. IF YOU LOOK BACK AT THE ELECTION BACK IN '98, HIS NUMBERS ARE NOT VERY MUCH FAR OFF OF WHAT VILSACK DID, KEEPING IN MIND THAT JOHN CULVER HELPED OUT CHET QUITE A BIT WITH A LOT OF OUT-OF-STATE MONEY.

Glover: DOUG, LET'S GO TO A COUPLE OF CONGRESSIONAL RACES.

Gross: SURE.

Glover: MOST EXPERTS THINK THERE ARE ABOUT TWO DOZEN CONGRESSIONAL RACES IN AMERICA THAT ARE ACTUALLY COMPETITIVE. A COUPLE OF THEM APPEAR TO BE HERE. UP IN THE FIRST DISTRICT, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THERE?

Gross: NO, I'M NOT -- I'M NEUTRAL IN THAT RACE. WE'VE GOT THREE VERY COMPETITIVE CANDIDATES.

Glover: HANDICAP THEM FOR ME.

Gross: OKAY. AND IT'S REALLY HEATING UP, I MEAN, RIGHT NOW. YOU HAVE MIKE WHALEN, WHO I THINK INITIALLY WAS IN THE LEAD IN THAT RACE. PROBABLY STILL IS.

Gross: A DAVENPORT BUSINESSMAN.

Gross: A DAVENPORT -- HE OWNS THE MACHINE SHED RESTAURANTS AND BECAUSE OF THAT HAS SOME NAME IDENTIFICATION AND HAS SOME STAR POWER THAT, FRANKLY, THE OTHER TWO DID NOT HAVE. YOU'VE GOT BILL DIX, WHO HAS AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY, CASH ON HAND, THAT'S DONE A GREAT JOB OF RAISING MONEY. AND BILL IS A VERY GOOD ORGANIZATIONAL GUY. HE IS GOING ON THE AIR, I SUSPECT VERY SOON, TO GET HIS NAME IDENTIFICATION UP. AND THEN YOU HAVE BRIAN KENNEDY, WHO WAS A FORMER REPUBLICAN STATE SHARE HERE, WHO'S COME BACK, RAISED SOME MONEY OUT OF DAVENPORT, BETTENDORF AREA. BRIAN IS RUNNING SORT OF A GRASS-ROOTS -- GRASS-ROOTS ORGANIZATIONAL CAMPAIGN. RIGHT NOW IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S COMING DOWN TO WHALEN OR DIX LARGELY BECAUSE OF MONEY. I SUSPECT WHALEN IS AHEAD RIGHT NOW. I EXPECT THAT TO BE VERY, VERY CLOSE IN THE PRIMARY.

Glover: ROB, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. YOU'VE GOT A DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY UP THERE.

Tully: WE'VE GOT THREE CANDIDATES UP THERE. BILL GLUBA WHO, OF COURSE, RAN THE LAST TIME. GLUBA WILL PROBABLY DO WELL IN SCOTT COUNTY, ALTHOUGH THE IRONY OF IT WAS HE DIDN'T EVEN WIN SCOTT COUNTY IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. AND THEN YOU'VE GOT RICK DICKINSON FROM DUBUQUE, WHO IS GOING TO DO WELL IN DUBUQUE. I MEAN HE'S BEEN ENTRENCHED THERE FOR A LONG TIME. AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE BRUCE BRALEY, WHO EVERYBODY KNOWS HERE THAT I SUPPORT. BUT BRUCE OUT OF WATERLOO IS OBVIOUSLY GOING TO DO WELL IN WATERLOO. BRUCE HAS GOT A LITTLE BIT OF AN ADVANTAGE BECAUSE OF ALL THE UNION SUPPORT THAT HE HAS THAT WILL HELP HIM THROUGH THAT DISTRICT. BUT I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, THAT'S GOING TO BE A TIGHT RACE.

Borg: DAVE, LET ME ASK WHAT -- WHY HAS NUSSLE BEEN ABLE TO HOLD ONTO THAT DISTRICT SO LONG AND NOW IT'S A SWING DISTRICT?

Yepsen: FIRST OF ALL, HE'S AN INCUMBENT. WE ALL KNOW THAT INCUMBENCY IS IMPORTANT. HE ONLY NARROWLY WON THAT SEAT TO BEGIN WITH. AND SECONDLY, DEMOCRATS HAVE RUN SOME RATHER POOR CANDIDATES AGAINST HIM. MY APOLOGIZE, ROB. [ LAUGHTER ]

Tully: MAN!

Yepsen: IT'S MY ASSESSMENT THEY'VE JUST NOT BEEN ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER THE KIND OF OVERWHELMING CAMPAIGN THAT YOU NEED TO TAKE OUT AN INCUMBENT. THAT'S NOT AN ATTACK AGAINST YOU, ROB.

Tully: AND I DON'T TAKE IT AS THAT, BUT IT'S ALSO --

Yepsen: BUT DONNA SMITH WAS A VERY WEAK CANDIDATE. WHEN YOU DID HAVE A CHANCE TO GET JIM NUSSLE, YOU BLEW IT.

Tully: WELL, THAT'S UNDERSTOOD. BUT NOBODY THOUGHT THAT HIS PERSONAL PROBLEMS WERE GOING TO BE AS WELL -- OR ILL CONSIDERED AS THEY WERE. BUT IT'S ALSO A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT DISTRICT THE LAST TWO ELECTIONS. SO, YOU KNOW, AS YOU POINTED OUT EARLIER, THE DISTRICT DID CHANGE AND IT ACTUALLY IS A LITTLE BIT MORE DEMOCRATIC NOW THAN IT WAS --

Borg: DOUG?

Gross: I RAN TOM TAUKE'S FIRST RACE UP THERE IN 1978 WHEN WE BEAT TOM -- MIKE BLOUIN, WHO WAS AN INCUMBENT CONGRESSMAN BACK THEN. BUT I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU, THAT IS STRUCTURALLY A DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT. AND SO THE REASON WHY WE'VE WON IS BECAUSE WE'VE HAD AN INCUMBENT. CLEARLY DAVID IS RIGHT ABOUT THAT. BUT IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN RACE, THE ODDS ARE PROBABLY WITH THE DEMOCRATS.

Glover: AND THE OTHER THING THAT IS AT WORK IN THAT DISTRICT UP THERE, YES, THERE ARE MORE REGISTERED DEMOCRATS THAN THERE ARE REGISTERED REPUBLICANS. THEY'RE BOTH OUTNUMBERED BY REGISTERED INDEPENDENTS. AND A LOT OF THE DEMOCRATS UP THERE ARE TRADITIONAL OLD-LINE, BLUE-COLOR, SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS WHO GET MOVED BY ISSUES LIKE GAY MARRIAGE, ABORTION, --

Gross: ABSOLUTELY. PARTICULARLY IN DUBUQUE.

Borg: WE'VE ONLY GOT TWO MINUTES HERE, AND I WANT TO GO TO LAMBERTI AND BOSWELL. DAVE, YOU WANTED TO COMMENT ON THAT?

Yepsen: THAT TOO -- THAT TOO IS A CLOSE RACE. I MEAN LAMBERTI'S FUND-RAISING IS VERY IMPRESSIVE. LEONARD BOSWELL HAS GOT THESE HEALTH ISSUES THAT ARE DRAGGING HIM DOWN. BUT, DEAN, THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHERE I THINK THE DEMOCRATIC ENVIRONMENT THIS YEAR REALLY MEANS LEONARD BOSWELL HAS THE WIND AT HIS BACK BIG-TIME. IN A NORMAL YEAR, JEFF LAMBERTI MIGHT HAVE AN OUTSIDE SHOT AT KNOCKING OFF AN INCUMBENT. BUT GIVEN THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A HUGE YEAR FOR DEMOCRATS, I THINK YOU'VE GOT TO SAY LEONARD BOSWELL IS THE FAVORITE.

Gross: I THINK WE'RE GOING TO WIN THAT RACE.

Yepsen: WHY DO YOU SAY THAT?

Gross: I THINK WE'RE GOING TO WIN THAT RACE. AND I KNOW WE'VE GOT TO SWIM AGAINST THIS TIDE, DAVID. I DON'T DISAGREE WITH THAT. BUT WITH LAMBERTI, WE HAVE A VERY WELL-FUNDED CANDIDATE WHO ALSO, IF YOU LOOK AT HIM, HE'S DONE WELL IN THE EAST SIDE OF POLK COUNTY. HIS NAME -- HIS FAMILY COMES FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF POLK COUNTY, TRADITIONALLY DEMOCRATIC AREAS BOTH. HE'LL DO WELL IN THE SUBURBS AND DO WELL IN THE RURAL AREAS.

Yepsen: WHY DO YOU THINK A GUY WHO --

Gross: I THINK HE'LL WIN.

Yepsen: WHY DO YOU THINK A GUY FROM POLK COUNTY CAN DO WELL IN RURAL PARTS OF THE DISTRICT?

Gross: BECAUSE HE'S A REPUBLICAN.

Borg: ROB TULLY, YOU'RE GOING DOWN TO NEW ORLEANS I THINK FOR DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. YOU'RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT CAUCUSES THERE. DECISIONS THERE THAT MIGHT AFFECT IOWA EITHER POSITIVELY OR NEGATIVELY?

Tully: RIGHT NOW NO. WE'RE STILL GOOD. YOU KNOW, THE QUESTION IS REALLY GOING TO BE AND THE FIGHT CONTINUES OVER AS TO HOW MANY CONTESTS ARE GOING TO BE BETWEEN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE. AND YOU KNOW, NEW HAMPSHIRE IS STILL A WILD CARD, BECAUSE I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, EVEN AFTER EVERYTHING THAT THE DNC DOES THROUGH THE RULES AND BYLAWS COMMITTEE, WE MAY GET LEAPFROGGED COMPLETELY BY NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Yepsen: SO WE HAVE TO MOVE AHEAD --

Tully: SO WE'D HAVE TO MOVE AHEAD.

Gross: YOU MEAN BY THANKSGIVING?

Tully: THANKSGIVING OR CHRISTMAS. [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: A SMART DEMOCRATIC WOULD RESERVE A CAUCUS SITE FOR EVERY MONDAY IN JANUARY OF 2008.

Tully: ABSOLUTELY.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. AND THAT DECISION COMES THIS WEEKEND; IS THAT RIGHT?

Tully: IT DOES.

Borg: OKAY, GOOD. THANKS FOR BEING WITH US. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' THE FOCUS SHIFTS FROM LOCAL TO NATIONAL. AND JOINING US, NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WHO CONTINUES, OF COURSE, TO BE ACTIVE ON THE NATIONAL POLICY FRONT. THE FORMER CONGRESSMAN JOINS US NEXT WEEKEND, REGULAR 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: THAT'S FRIDAY NIGHT, 7:30; SUNDAY MORNING, 11:30. I HOPE YOU'LL BE WITH US. UNTIL THEM, 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.

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