Iowa Public Television

 

Sal Mohamed

posted on May 15, 2006

Borg: OUR SPECIAL EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS' CONTINUES NOW. WE'LL QUESTION ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL NOMINATION. HE'S SIOUX CITY ENGINEER SAL MOHAMED, 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, MAY 12 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: ENGINEER SAL MOHAMED BRINGS ETHNIC DIVERSITY TO CAMPAIGN 2006. MR. MOHAMED WAS BORN IN CAIRO, EDUCATED IN EGYPT AND IN SCOTLAND. HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER EXPERIENCES ENCOMPASS EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES. HE IMMIGRATED TO THE U.S. IN 1977, BECAME A CITIZEN IN 1983. AND TODAY SAL MOHAMED BRINGS IDEAS TO THE POLITICAL MARKETPLACE THAT HE BELIEVES NEED TO BE HEARD, SO HIS NAME IS ON THE PRIMARY BALLOT AS ONE OF FOUR CANDIDATES FOR THE DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL NOMINATION. WELCOME TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Mohamed: THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING ME HERE.

Borg: AND YOU'RE GOING TO BE QUESTIONED BY 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: MR. MOHAMED, A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DO NOT CONSIDER YOU A SERIOUS CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, AND THEY LIST A NUMBER OF REASONS. I'D LIKE TO GET YOU TO DEAL WITH THOSE REASONS, IF I COULD. FIRST OF ALL, THEY SAY YOU HAVEN'T GENERATED SUPPORT WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. CAN YOU NAME ME FIVE DEMOCRATS OF SOME SIGNIFICANCE WHO'VE ENDORSED YOUR CAMPAIGN?

Mohamed: THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION, AS A MATTER OF FACT. I RAN FOR CONGRESS IN 2004. I RAN FOR IOWA FIFTH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL SEAT IN 2004. AND I HAVE 16 PERCENT OF THE DEMOCRATS WHO VOTED FOR ME IN THE PRIMARY IN 2004. THAT'S IOWA'S FIFTH DISTRICT ONLY. MY CAMPAIGN IS DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER CAMPAIGN. AND THE PEOPLE IN THE STREET, REGARDLESS OF THE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS, THEY STOP BY ME AND THEY GIVE ME THEIR SUPPORT. SO, YES, CAMPAIGNED OUTDOORS. I CAN BE IN THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE PEOPLE WITH THE PEOPLE, AND THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY CAMPAIGN AND THE OTHER CAMPAIGNS.

Glover: LET'S DEAL WITH SOME OF THESE OTHER ISSUES THAT GET RAISED. ONE IS YOU HAVEN'T RAISED THE RESOURCES NECESSARY TO BE A SERIOUS CANDIDATE. WHAT'S THE BALANCE IN YOUR CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT RIGHT NOW?

Mohamed: THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION TOO, BECAUSE IT IS NOT ABOUT MONEY.

Glover: BUT WHAT IS --

Mohamed: MY APPROACH --

Glover: BUT WHAT IS --

Mohamed: MY APPROACH IS MUCH DIFFERENT THAN ANYONE. AS I SAID, WE CAN'T WEIGHT JUST ON THE MONEY. IT IS THE WHOLE PACKAGE. AND MY WHOLE PACKAGE REALLY IS VERY EFFECTIVE.

Glover: LET ME REPHRASE THE QUESTION. HAS ANYONE OUTSIDE OF YOUR FAMILY GIVEN YOU ANY MONEY?

Mohamed: OF COURSE, YEAH.

Glover: OVER THE PAST MONTH, HOW MANY EVENTS HAVE YOU ATTENDED THAT ARE CAMPAIGN EVENTS NOT ORGANIZED BY ANOTHER GROUP, SUCH AS CANDIDATE FORUMS?

Mohamed: I CAMPAIGNED EVERY DAY AFTER WORK. I WORK FROM 6:00 TO 4:00. AFTER WORK I CAMPAIGN IN THE STREET IN SIOUX CITY. AND IF FRIDAY -- I'M OFF ON FRIDAY. EVERY FRIDAY I DON'T WORK FRIDAY. EVERY FRIDAY I CAMPAIGNED OUTSIDE IN THE COUNTIES. SO I HAVE BEEN HERE CAMPAIGNING IN THE MORNINGS. THERE WAS NO EVENT OR SO HERE IN DES MOINES. I CAMPAIGNED HERE IN THE EVENING IN DES MOINES ALSO. SO I'M NOT TIED TO ANY ORGANIZATION OR SOMEONE TO CONTROL ME. AND THIS IS THE GOOD THING ABOUT MY CAMPAIGN. I HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DO WHAT I WANT TO DO, NO ONE TO DICTATE TO ME. AND THIS IS ALSO ABOUT THE MONEY TOO. I OWE NO ONE ANYTHING, AND THIS WILL MEAN MY DECISION COMES FROM MY CONSCIENCE AND FREE DECISION. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE THAN ANYONE ELSE.

Yepsen: MR. MOHAMED, YOU DID NOT ANSWER MIKE'S QUESTION. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE ENDORSED YOU? WHAT'S THE BALANCE IN YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT? A VOTER WOULD CONCLUDE YOU HAVEN'T GOT ANY MONEY. A VOTER WOULD CONCLUDE YOU HAVEN'T SHOWN MUCH SUPPORT. I MEAN 16 PERCENT IN A PRIMARY THAT YOU LOST IS HARDLY A BASE OF SUPPORT.

Mohamed: YEAH, BUT THIS IS REALLY MUCH DIFFERENT THAT AS A PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT -- AND I KNOW THAT THE PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR ME BECAUSE I AM ABOUT PROGRESSIVE REFORMS. AS I SAID ALSO ABOUT THE MONEY, YOU CAN'T PUT A DOLLAR SIGN ON THE OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT I DO, AND IT IS FREE. AND THIS IS WHAT I'M GOING TO BRING TO THE CAMPAIGN HALLS.

Glover: BUT OTHER CANDIDATES TELL US HOW MUCH MONEY THEY'VE RAISED. YOU WON'T.

Mohamed: NO, I CAN TELL YOU.

Glover: WELL, THEN DO.

Mohamed: I ALREADY PUBLISHED THAT INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD.

Glover: WELL, TELL US HERE TODAY.

Mohamed: I SPENT CLOSE MAYBE TO $6,000. BUT WITH THIS $6,000, I AM A RELEVANT CANDIDATE IN THIS PROCESS.

Yepsen: ANOTHER CONCERN DEMOCRATS HAVE ABOUT YOU AS A CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR IS THAT YOU'VE NOT HELD PUBLIC OFFICE BEFORE. WHY SHOULD THEY MAKE YOU GOVERNOR WHEN YOU'VE NEVER HELD ANOTHER PUBLIC OFFICE?

Mohamed: THAT IS NOT RELEVANT TOO. I CAN GIVE YOU OTHER EXAMPLES FOR PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T HOLD PUBLIC OFFICES BEFORE. AND AS A MATTER OF FACT, SOME OF THE PEOPLE ALSO IN POLITICS, THEY SAY IT IS BETTER NOT TO HAVE PUBLIC OFFICE, NOT TO HAVE POLITICAL EXPERIENCE. AND MY VISION ALSO IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT THAN IN THE PAST. WE'RE COMING NOW INTO A NEW CHANGE, A SEA OF CHANGE THAT I'M GOING TO BRING TO THE TABLE, AND THAT'S IMPORTANT.

Yepsen: LET ME SEE IF I UNDERSTAND YOU CORRECTLY, MR. MOHAMED. THROUGHOUT IOWA HISTORY MOST GOVERNORS HAVE HAD -- HELD SOME PREVIOUS POLITICAL OFFICE OR EVEN A HIGH OFFICE IN THEIR PARTY. YOU'VE NOT DONE EITHER. SO YOU EXPECT DEMOCRATS TO VOTE FOR YOU AND MAKE YOUR LACK OF EXPERIENCE AN ASSET?

Mohamed: WAIT. THE ANSWER FOR THIS COMES FROM THE PRIMARY I HAD IN 2004 --

Yepsen: WHERE YOU GOT 16 PERCENT OF THE VOTE.

Mohamed: YEAH, THAT'S NOT TOO BAD. THAT'S GOOD.

Yepsen: WELL, YOU LOST.

Mohamed: THAT'S GOOD. THAT'S OKAY TOO. BUT I GAINED EXPERIENCE.

Glover: IT'S ABOUT 35 PERCENT SHORT OF WINNING.

Mohamed: BUT I GAINED EXPERIENCE TOO AND ALSO THE PEOPLE HEARD MY MESSAGE. NOW I HAVE A MESSAGE AND THE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HEAR IT. AND NOT ONLY THAT; I AM PUTTING MY MARK ON THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN IOWA. NOW EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THE BENCHMARK HAS BEEN SET BY SAL MOHAMED THAT WE HAVE TO INCREASE -- COME THE YEAR 2010 WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT OUR PER CAPITA INCOME AND COMPARE IT WITH THE NATIONAL AVERAGE AND SEE HOW FAR IS THIS FROM EACH OTHER. AND IF IT IS LESS THAN WHAT I SAID, I SAID I'M GOING TO RAISE OUR PER CAPITA INCOME, ADVANCE OUR PER CAPITA INCOME TO REACH THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IN FOUR YEARS. SO BY THE YEAR 2010, OUR PER CAPITA INCOME FOR THE STATE OF IOWA SHOULD BE EQUAL TO THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. THAT IS NOW A BENCHMARK HAS BEEN SET. AND ANY GOVERNOR, REGARDLESS OF DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, IS GOING TO BE MEASURED AGAINST THIS BENCHMARK.

Glover: HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN?

Mohamed: MYSELF.

Glover: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT VOTERS IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS, BOTH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICANS DO, IS THEY PICK A CANDIDATE TO RUN IN THE GENERAL ELECTION TO WIN. THEY PICK A CANDIDATE NOT ONLY BASED ON WHAT THAT CANDIDATE CAMPAIGNS ON BUT ON THEIR ASSESSMENT OF THEIR ABILITY TO WIN THE OFFICE. WHY WOULD A DEMOCRATIC VOTER, GIVEN WHAT YOU'VE DESCRIBED AS YOUR CAMPAIGN, NOT BE WASTING THEIR VOTE BY VOTING FOR YOU?

Mohamed: WELL, THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION BECAUSE THE REPUBLICANS COME TO ME AND SAY WE'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR YOU. I WAS WORKING ON MY NOMINATION PETITION IN SIOUX CITY, AND A GENTLEMAN CAME TO ME AND SAID, 'I'M A REPUBLICAN BUT I'M GOING TO VOTE FOR YOU,' BECAUSE HE WORKS THREE JOBS AND HE CAN BARELY KEEP HIS HEAD ABOVE THE WATER. HE SAID, 'WE NEED A CHANGE AND I'M GOING TO VOTE FOR YOU.' NOW, THE GOOD REASON ALSO THAT'S GOING TO GET NOT ONLY DEMOCRATS BUT ALSO REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENTS TO VOTE FOR ME, BECAUSE I'M GOING TO RAISE THE PER CAPITA INCOME BY $2,000. THAT'S $2,000 FOR EVERY PERSON OF HIS FAMILY.

Glover: BUT, MR. MOHAMED --

Mohamed: LET ME EXPLAIN THAT.

Glover: MR. MOHAMED, BEFORE YOU CAN DO THAT --

Mohamed: IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY OF FOUR --

Glover: BEFORE YOU CAN DO THAT --

Mohamed: LET ME EXPLAIN THAT. IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY OF FOUR, THAT IS AN EXTRA $8,000 EVERY YEAR TO COME TO YOU AFTER 2010 WHETHER YOU ARE DEMOCRAT --

Glover: MR. MOHAMED, BEFORE YOU CAN DO THAT --

Mohamed: -- REPUBLICAN OR INDEPENDENT, YOU WANT THIS $8,000 TO YOUR FAMILY.

Glover: BEFORE YOU CAN DO THAT, YOU HAVE TO WIN ELECTION.

Mohamed: THAT'S RIGHT.

Glover: MAKE THE CASE FOR YOUR ELECTABILITY.

Mohamed: I AM GOING TO BE ELECTED. I AM GOING TO WIN THIS NOMINATION. AS I SAID, MY NOMINATION -- MY CAMPAIGN IS FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT THAN OTHER CAMPAIGNS. I AM TALKING THE LANGUAGE OF SCIENCE. AS I SAID BEFORE THIS DEBATE, I WANT TO GET POLITICS OUT OF OUR LIVES AND PUT SCIENCE IN.

Borg: I'M GOING TO TAKE YOU OFF THE DEFENSIVE AND ALLOW YOU TO GO ON THE OFFENSIVE RIGHT NOW.

Mohamed: THANK YOU.

Borg: AND I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DESCRIBED AS PROGRESSIVE REFORM. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Mohamed: THAT IS A VERY GOOD QUESTION. I AM A STUDENT OF HENRY WALLACE. HENRY WALLACE WAS A GREAT AMERICAN AND A GREAT IOWAN FROM ADAIR COUNTY HERE. HENRY WALLACE NOT ONLY WAS A SCIENTIST, BUT AN INVENTOR. HE WAS A RARE PROGRESSIVE REFORMER. AND HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HELPING THE WHOLE NATION TO DEVELOP. WE HELP THEM TO DEVELOP. WHAT THIS WAS GOING TO DO WAS IT WAS GOING TO GET AMERICANS AS CONSULTANTS WORKING OVERSEAS. THAT WAS GOING TO OFFER MAYBE 20- TO 30 MILLION JOBS -- GOOD PAYING CONSULTANT JOBS FOR AMERICANS OVERSEAS. NOW, PROGRESSIVE REFORM MEANS THAT WE NEED TO HELP OTHERS. WE NEED TO HELP THE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T EVEN HELP THEMSELVES. WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR ALL THE COMMUNITY, EVERY -- EVERY BROTHER OF THE COMMUNITY. AND THIS MY CAMPAIGN AND MY AGENDA IS REALLY A TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT THAT IS GOING TO LIFT EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF INDIFFERENCE, LIFT HIM OR HER TO A HIGHER LEVEL OF INCOME AND A STANDARD OF LIVING.

Borg: AND HOW IS THAT ACHIEVED? ARE YOU TAKING MONEY FROM THE STATE GENERAL FUND AND INVESTING IT IN IOWA?

Mohamed: THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION TOO. NO, I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT. WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO -- THE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE THAT I'M GOING TO BRING IS GOING TO BRING A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. AS I SAID, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A SEA OF CHANGE THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE THE ATTITUDE OF THE PEOPLE, THE CONFIDENCE OF THE PEOPLE, TRAINING OF THE PEOPLE. WE'RE GOING TO GIVE PEOPLE BETTER SKILLS FOR SURE, BUT IT IS BASED ON SCIENCE. THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. THAT IS LIKE MAGIC. IT IS SCIENCE BUT IT IS REALLY LIKE MAGIC.

Yepsen: MR. MOHAMED, GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THAT'S GOING TO WORK. YOU WANT TO RAISE EVERYBODY'S INCOME IN IOWA BY $2,000 A YEAR. A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT'S FINE. HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

Mohamed: WHEN YOU PUT THE SYSTEM TOGETHER -- I WILL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE FROM OUR HISTORY. WHEN PRESIDENT KENNEDY ANNOUNCED THAT WE WANT TO PUT A MAN ON THE MOON, WHAT WE DID, WE DID REALLY A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. HE PUT TOGETHER A SYSTEM THAT DOES THIS, AND HE SAID WE'RE GOING TO DO IT IN TEN YEARS. WE DID IT IN NINE YEARS. THE SYSTEM OF THE ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS THAT GET TOGETHER, THEY PUT THE PLAN, THEY DID THE IMPLEMENTATION, THEY DID CORRECTIVE ACTION, AND THEY DID MANAGEMENT REVIEW. AND THIS IS WHAT I'M GOING TO DO HERE. MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IS SCIENCE. I GAVE AN EXAMPLE BEFORE ABOUT A PEN. IF I LET THIS PEN DROP, LET IT GO, IT'S GOING TO DROP DOWN. EVERY TIME I DO THAT, IT'S GOING TO COME DOWN. THAT'S A SCIENCE. A POLITICIAN WILL SAY, NO, IT MAY GO UP OR GO TO THE LEFT OR GO TO THE RIGHT. THAT'S POLITICS. SO SCIENCE REPEATS ITSELF -- REPRODUCES ITSELF ALL THE TIME. A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WORKS EVERY TIME, AND WE'RE GOING TO DO THAT.

Yepsen: I'M SORRY, MR. MOHAMED, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. HOW WILL THIS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WORK TO RAISE EVERYBODY'S INCOME $2,000 A YEAR, MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD? HOW DOES IT DO THAT?

Mohamed: BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO -- AS I SAID, WE'RE GOING TO DO -- SAYING THIS IN A DIFFERENT WAY IN EVERY ASPECT. THERE'S GOING TO BE CHANGE. WE'RE GOING TO CUT COSTS IN EVERY ASPECT. THAT'S WHAT THE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DOES, JUST LIKE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. IT WILL CUT COSTS. IT WILL ADVANCE TRAINING FOR PEOPLE. IT WILL ADVANCE THEIR SKILLS. IT WILL BRING INDUSTRY HERE. WE WILL DO A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS THAT'S GOING TO ADVANCE OUR PER CAPITA INCOME AND HELP US TO REACH OUR GOALS.

Glover: MR. MOHAMED, YOU ARE AN IMMIGRANT TO THIS COUNTRY, AND THIS STATE HAS A CHECKERED HISTORY OF WELCOMING IMMIGRANTS. FIRST OF ALL, GOVERNOR VILSACK NOT TOO LONG AGO SAID HE HAD AS A GOAL TO INCREASE IMMIGRATION, AND HE GOT KICKED PRETTY HARD FOR IT. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THIS STATE'S ABILITY TO WELCOME IMMIGRANTS?

Mohamed: WELL, I HAVE BEEN WELCOMED HERE VERY MUCH. MY MESSAGE ABOUT -- IT DEPENDS ALSO UPON THE PERSON HIMSELF. I HAVE A VERY POSITIVE ATTITUDE, A VERY POSITIVE MESSAGE, AND PEOPLE OPEN THEIR ARMS TO ME ALL THE TIME. WHEN I CAMPAIGN IN THE STREET -- I CAMPAIGN IN THE STREET, PEOPLE COME TO ME AND SAY WE LOVE YOUR STYLE, WE ADMIRE YOUR COMMITMENT, AND WE'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR YOU. AND IN HOT DAYS WHEN I CAMPAIGN IN THE SUMMER, THEY BRING ME COLD DRINKS. SO PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VERY KIND AND VERY GENEROUS TOWARDS ME. AND I THINK THAT IS THE ATTITUDE FOR PEOPLE ALL OVER. SO PEOPLE WANT TO SEE A PERSON WHO COMES HERE AND DOES HARD WORK AND MADE A CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY.

Glover: BUT THERE ARE PORTIONS OF THIS STATE WHERE IMMIGRATION IS A VERY HOT ISSUE AND WHERE PEOPLE ARE NOT WELCOMING IMMIGRANTS THAT MUCH. WHAT DO YOU DO TO DEAL WITH THAT?

Mohamed: THAT IS A VERY GOOD QUESTION ALSO BECAUSE I WILL BE ABLE TO CONVINCE PEOPLE, WITH MY ATTITUDE, HOW THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE. AND THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. MY STYLE AND MY MANAGEMENT AND THE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IS GOING TO BE, AS I SAID, GOING TO BRING A SEA OF CHANGE. IT WILL BE OPEN. WE'LL HAVE OPENNESS. WE'LL HAVE A CONTRIBUTION OF OUR SHARING. WE WILL BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER. THERE IS GOING TO BE AN INCLUSION FOR THE PEOPLE. AND WE WILL DELEGATE. I WILL DELEGATE POWER TO EVERYONE. SO AS I SAID BEFORE, THE PEOPLE WILL BE IN CONTROL. MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DOESN'T WORK WITHOUT THE PEOPLE THAT WORK AS A SYSTEM BE IN CONTROL OF IT.

Yepsen: MR. MOHAMED, I WANT TO CONTINUE WITH THIS DISCUSSION OF IMMIGRATION FOR A MOMENT. YOU ARRIVED HERE, DID WELL, BECAME A CITIZEN. WHAT -- TALK ABOUT WHAT THE COUNTRY OUGHT TO DO ABOUT ITS IMMIGRATION PROBLEM IN THIS IMMIGRATION DEBATE.

Mohamed: THAT'S A BIG QUESTION ALSO BECAUSE IT RELATES TO THE WHOLE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS WELL AND SO ON.

Yepsen: BUT YOU HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE WITH THAT SYSTEM SO --

Mohamed: YEAH, FOR SURE. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO FOR THAT -- THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO DO IS TO IMPLEMENT THE POLICIES OF HENRY WALLACE. WE MISSED THE DREAM OF HENRY WALLACE, AS I SAID. IF WE LISTEN TO HENRY WALLACE AND APPLY HIS POLICY AND HIS VISION ABOUT PROGRESSIVE REFORMS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SO ON, AS I SAID, WE WILL HAVE 20- TO 30 MILLION AMERICANS OVERSEAS NOW WORKING AS CONSULTANTS, SPREADING AMERICAN GOOD WILL, ALL OF US -- AMERICA WILL BECOME THE MOST LOVED AND MOST RESPECTED NATION IN THE WORLD. AND WE WILL BE NEEDING THE PEOPLE TO COME HERE TO WORK BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE OVERSEAS.

Glover: WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, MR. MOHAMED, WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH AMERICA'S IMMIGRATION POLICY?

Mohamed: BECAUSE IMMIGRATION IS A TWO-WAY STREET, PEOPLE GOING OUT AND PEOPLE COMING HERE. IF YOU HAVE 30 MILLION AMERICANS WORKING OVERSEAS, YOU WILL HAVE A SHORTAGE OF MANPOWER HERE TOO. SO THE PROBLEM OF IMMIGRATION WILL NOT BE AS CRITICAL AS IT IS NOW BECAUSE YOU WOULD NEED PEOPLE TO WORK HERE TOO.

Yepsen: WHAT SHOULD IOWANS DO? WRITE SOME PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE REST OF US. MOST OF US WERE BORN HERE AND RAISED HERE. WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A MORE WELCOMING STATE FOR IMMIGRANTS?

Mohamed: WELL, THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR SURE. IT HAS -- IT HAS TO DO BY BEING HELPFUL FOR THE NEW IMMIGRANTS, SO WE CAN DO SOME KIND OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS FOR THEM. THERE ARE SOME PROGRAMS FOR SURE FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS SECOND -- FOR ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE THAT'S REALLY VERY HELPFUL TOO. MOST IMPORTANT IN WELCOMING THE PEOPLE IS ATTITUDE, THE ATTITUDE OF GREETING THEM IN DIFFERENT ASPECTS. SOME OF THEM ARE GETTING HERE OR THERE, BUT SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ALSO DOESN'T KNOW THE CUSTOMS AND DOESN'T KNOW HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS AND SO ON. SO WHEN YOU SEE A PERSON COMING FROM OVERSEAS AND SO ON AND MAKE A MISTAKE, WELL, DON'T LAUGH AT HIM. INSTEAD UNDERSTAND THAT HE DOESN'T KNOW THE SYSTEM AND YOU CAN HELP HIM.

Borg: IN THAT REGARD, WHAT SECTION OF THE STATE HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE MOST WELCOMING TO YOUR CAMPAIGN?

Mohamed: WELL, THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION, BUT I AM FROM THE WEST OF THE STATE. I CAMPAIGNED IN IOWA'S FIFTH DISTRICT. I COVERED THE DISTRICT FIVE TIMES WHEN I CAMPAIGNED FOR IT, AND EVERYONE WAS WELCOMING. I CAMPAIGNED IN SIOUX CENTER AND SIOUX CITY, IN SIOUX COUNTY, AND THIS IS THE MOST REPUBLICAN COUNTY. BUT PEOPLE WELCOMED ME THERE TOO. AND PEOPLE THERE SIGNED MY NOMINATION PETITION IN SIOUX COUNTY.

Borg: SO YOUR WHOLE AREA IS THE MOST AMENABLE TO YOUR CAMPAIGN?

Mohamed: NO, NOT THAT. I HAVE BEEN CAMPAIGNING IN DUBUQUE COUNTY ALSO, AND PEOPLE RECEIVED ME VERY WELL. SO ACTUALLY ALL OVER THE STATE, I HAVE BEEN RECEIVED VERY WELL. AND I CAN SEE -- I REALLY THANK THE WHOLE PEOPLE OF THE STATE BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS BEEN VERY KIND TO ME.

Yepsen: MR. MOHAMED, WE WANT TO SAVE A LITTLE TIME TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES. HOW WILL THIS NEW MANAGEMENT STYLE OR SYSTEM THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, WHAT WILL THAT MEAN FOR OUR TAX POLICIES IN IOWA?

Mohamed: AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT'S GOING TO HELP OUR TAXES BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO GET MORE PEOPLE WORKING AND GET PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE COMING TO WORK HERE.

Yepsen: WHAT WILL YOU DO TO OUR TAX SYSTEM? WHAT WILL YOU DO TO IT?

Mohamed: I THINK IT'S GOING TO DECREASE OUR TAXES, BECAUSE I AM AGAINST RAISING TAXES ALSO. SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I GET IN THE FORUM -- I THINK YOU WERE THERE -- ABOUT THE CIGARETTE TAXES. I'M AGAINST RAISING TAXES. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TAXED ENOUGH. WE WANT TO CUT THE COST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND WHEN WE CUT THE COST OF THE GOVERNMENT, WE'RE GOING TO GET THE PEOPLE RELIEF FROM TAXES.

Yepsen: AND IN ORDER TO CUT THE COST OF GOVERNMENT, WHAT WILL YOU ELIMINATE OR WHAT WILL YOU CUT FROM GOVERNMENT?

Mohamed: WE WILL IMPROVE EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY FOR THE GOVERNMENT. THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT. AND THIS IS GOING TO COME WITH A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TOO. THE PROBLEM WITH THE PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA IS THAT THEY REALLY DON'T KNOW THE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. AND I HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THE STATE AND TALKING WITH PEOPLE, JOURNALISTS AND SO ON. I FOUND THAT THEIR KNOWLEDGE IS REALLY ALMOST NONE WITH THE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND SCIENCE. WE NEED TO IMPROVE THAT. AND I TALKED ABOUT THAT ALSO IN IOWA BROADCAST ASSOCIATION AND AS WELL AS IOWA NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION. I SAID YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS REALLY TO INFORM US -- INFORM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE IMPORTANT INNOVATION IN SCIENCE, BECAUSE INNOVATION IS THE ONLY ONE ISSUE THAT'S GOING TO CAUSE US TO EITHER SWIM OR SINK. AND NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THAT.

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME. COULD YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF AN INNOVATION YOU WOULD LIKE TO IMPLEMENT RIGHT NOW IN STATE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE IT MORE EFFICIENT?

Mohamed: THERE IS A LOT AND AS I SAID --

Glover: PICK ONE. PICK ONE AND GIVE US AN EXAMPLE.

Mohamed: THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE ONLY MY IDEAS. THIS STATE IS VERY RICH IN TALENT, PEOPLE IN INDUSTRY, IN GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS LABOR UNIONS AND SO ON. THIS IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO GET TO FORM THIS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

Borg: SO YOU'D KEEP GOVERNMENT THE SAME SIZE AS IT IS NOW, BUT YOU THINK THAT IT CAN BE MORE EFFICIENT.

Mohamed: BUT ALSO WE'RE GOING TO DO CHANGE. AS I SAID, WE'RE GOING TO DO A SEA OF CHANGE. SO WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE EVERYTHING THAT'S EXISTING NOW AND DO A CONTINUE WITH THAT.

Glover: SO YOU'RE GOING TO REDUCE TAXES. WHICH TAX WOULD YOU PREFER TO REDUCE? PROPERTY TAXES? INCOME TAXES? SALES TAXES? WHICH TAX GETS REDUCED?

Mohamed: THE ONE MOST PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING NOW IS PROPERTY TAXES FOR SURE. THAT'S ONE POINT WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT, BUT WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE ASPECT OF TAXES TOO.

Glover: PROPERTY TAXES ARE LARGELY A LOCAL AFFAIR. THEY'RE SET AND LEVIED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT. HOW DOES THE STATE LOWER THEM?

Mohamed: BECAUSE WHEN WE DO THIS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, WE'RE GOING TO DIVIDE THE WHOLE STATE INTO A WHOLE DIFFERENT AREA -- WORKING AREA. AND EVERY WORKING AREA IS GOING TO CONTRIBUTE -- TO HAVE A GROUP OF COUNTIES, A NUMBER OF COUNTIES, AND THESE COUNTIES ARE GOING TO BE LIKE PART OF THE SYSTEM -- SUBSYSTEM. AND THESE PEOPLE WILL DO WORK THEMSELVES TO LOWER THEIR TAXES TOO. SO EVERYONE IS GOING TO BENEFIT FROM THAT. BUT ONCE WE PUT THE SYSTEM TOGETHER, THAT'S LIKE WHEN WE PUT A MAN ON THE MOON, WE'LL PUT A SYSTEM TOGETHER. WE NEED TO DO THAT FIRST.

Borg: A SYSTEM OF REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS IN IOWA?

Mohamed: NO, IT IS A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR THE WHOLE STATE.

Borg: I UNDERSTAND THAT BUT YOU SAID GROUPS OF --

Mohamed: IT'S GOING TO BE A SUBSYSTEM.

Yepsen: MR. MOHAMED, A LOT OF ISSUES CONFRONTING IOWA. WHAT'S THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM YOU SEE CONFRONTING OUR STATE, AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO ABOUT IT?

Mohamed: INNOVATION. AND I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT INNOVATION VERY MUCH AND PUTTING SCIENCE INSTEAD OF POLITICS, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW WE'RE FIGHTING EACH OTHER AND WE ARE STANDING STILL. WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT. WE NEED TO POOL ALL OUR ENERGY AND RESOURCES AND MOVE FORWARD IN THE SAME DIRECTION. AND IT WILL TAKE LEADERSHIP FROM THE GOVERNOR, AND I'M GOING TO DO THAT.

Glover: THERE ARE SEVERAL ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT IN DEMOCRATIC PARTY POLITICS. THEY'RE WHAT WE REFER TO AS HOT-BUTTON SOCIAL ISSUES THAT DEMOCRATS MAKE VOTING DECISIONS ON SOMETIMES. ONE OF THEM IS ABORTION RIGHTS. ARE YOU PRO-CHOICE OR PRO-LIFE?

Mohamed: NO, I AM PRO-CHOICE.

Glover: THE OTHER IS THE DEATH SENTENCE. DO YOU FAVOR THE DEATH SENTENCE IN LIMITED CASE?

Mohamed: NO, I'M AGAINST THE DEATH SENTENCE TOO.

Glover: IN ALL CASES?

Mohamed: YEAH.

Glover: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE FAMILIES OF LITTLE GIRLS IN CEDAR RAPIDS WHO GET ABUSED AND KILLED?

Mohamed: YEAH, I WILL DEAL WITH THAT. THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED FORGIVENESS, AND WHEN YOU FORGIVE, YOU REALLY FEEL BETTER, MUCH BETTER THAN REVENGE. I DON'T WANT TO DO REVENGE. I WANT TO -- I WILL TALK ABOUT THIS MORE IN THE CAMPAIGN ALSO, AND WHEN I GET TO THE OFFICE, I WILL TALK ABOUT SPIRITUALITY. WE NEED TO IMPROVE AND GET OUR SPIRITUALITY MUCH HIGHER THAN THAT, BECAUSE IT WILL HELP US EVEN IN HEALTH CARE. IT WILL GET RID OF DIABETES, OVERCONSUMPTION -- OVERCONSUMPTION OF FOOD. THAT WILL GET RID OF DIABETES TOO. SO SPIRITUALITY IS GOING TO ENHANCE OUR LIFE IN GENERAL.

Yepsen: AND DEAN MENTIONED YOU'RE AN ENGINEER. WHAT DO WE DO TO CLEAN UP OUR WATERS IN IOWA?

Mohamed: THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE NEED TO DO. AND MOST IMPORTANT, WE NEED TO ENFORCE THE REGULATION. WE NEED TO ENFORCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION. THE REGULATION REALLY DRIVES PEOPLE TO BE INNOVATIVE. I HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS MYSELF. THE REGULATION CAME TO US AND WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE OUR FOCUS FROM MAKING OUR PRODUCT INTO JUST WATCHING OUR EMISSIONS. WHAT WE DID, WE DID A NEW TECHNOLOGY. WE MOVED TO A NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT SAVED US MONEY AND THE TIME, AND WE EVEN INCREASED OUR REVENUE.

Yepsen: WE'VE ONLY GOT A MINUTE LEFT. I WANT TO GO BACK TO A QUESTION MIKE ASKED YOU. YOU TALK ABOUT SPIRITUALITY IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. DO YOU SEE A GOVERNOR AS A SPIRITUAL LEADER OF OUR STATE?

Mohamed: IT IS NOT A SPIRITUAL LEADER, BUT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT TALKS ABOUT IS IMPORTANT. NOW REMEMBER, SPIRITUALITY IS DIFFERENT THAN RELIGION. SPIRITUALITY IS PURITY OF THE HEART. THAT'S NOT RELIGION. AND I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT. I WANT TO GET PEOPLE TO FEEL MORE SPIRITUALITY AND APPLY SPIRITUALITY IN THEIR LIVES, BECAUSE IT WILL HELP THEM VERY MUCH. IT HELPS THEIR PSYCHIC AND THEIR PSYCHOLOGY.

Glover: YOU TALK ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, AND ONE VERY CONCRETE ISSUE THAT DEALS WITH THE ENVIRONMENT IS WHETHER LOCAL OFFICIALS OUGHT TO HAVE THE POWER TO DECIDE WHERE LIVESTOCK CONFINEMENT OPERATIONS ARE LOCATED. SHOULD THEY?

Mohamed: NO. I WANT TO HAVE THE REGULATION REALLY FROM CENTRAL -- FROM CENTRAL OFFICE. THAT'S THE STATE. I WANT THE STATE TO BE ABLE TO REDUCE THE REGULATIONS BECAUSE THE STATE HAS MORE EXPERTISE, MORE RESEARCH AND SO ON, RATHER THAN THE LOCAL -- AS THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT. BUT I WOULD PUT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN CONTROL BECAUSE EVERYONE WILL HAVE AN INPUT IN THIS PROCESS. IN THIS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, EVERYONE HAS AN INPUT.

Borg: I HAVE JUST A FEW SECONDS LEFT. WOULD YOU, IF YOU WERE ELECTED, RESTRICT YOURSELF TO ONE OR TWO TERMS?

Mohamed: YEAH, I WOULD RESTRICT MYSELF TO ONE TERM.

Borg: THANK YOU.

Mohamed: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Borg: MASSIVE CHANGE IN ONE TERM.

Mohamed: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Borg: THANK YOU. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' WE CONTINUE OUR PREVIEW OF SOME OF THE CANDIDATES WHO WILL BE ON THE JUNE 6 PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOT. IN IOWA'S FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, THAT'S IN EASTERN IOWA, GENERALLY ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, THERE'S NATIONAL ATTENTION NOW IN THE CAMPAIGN TO REPLACE CONGRESSMAN JIM NUSSLE, WHO'S GIVING UP THE SEAT TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR. WE'LL TALK WITH SIX CANDIDATES. REPUBLICANS MIKE WHALEN, BRIAN KENNEDY, AND BILL DIX ALL HOPE TO KEEP THE SEAT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE. YOU'LL SEE OUR CONVERSATION WITH REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES AT 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT AND AT 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THAT PROGRAM, WE'LL PICK UP THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE. THOSE CANDIDATES ARE BRUCE BRALEY, RICK DICKINSON, AND BILL GLUBA. THE FIRST DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE PROGRAM BEGINS AT 8:00 FRIDAY NIGHT, WITH A SUNDAY NOON REBROADCAST. NEXT WEEKEND'S 'IOWA PRESS' IS THE SECOND OF THREE ONE-HOUR 'IOWA PRESS' SPECIALS -- AND WE STARTED THIS WEEKEND -- LEADING UP TO THE JUNE PRIMARY ELECTION. AND ONE FURTHER PROGRAM REMINDER. 'THE DES MOINES REGISTER' IS SPONSORING A DEBATE AMONG THE DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES, AND IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION WILL HAVE THAT DEBATE FOR YOU, SATURDAY, MAY 20. YOU'LL SEE IT AS IT OCCURS, 1:00 SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MAY 20, WITH THE REBROADCAST ON THAT ONE THE FOLLOWING NIGHT AT 6:00, SUNDAY NIGHT, MAY 21. WELL, THAT'S THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF OUR 'IOWA PRESS' SPECIAL. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

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