Iowa Public Television

 

Congressman Jim Nussle

posted on June 12, 2006

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN JIM NUSSLE WANTS TO MOVE FROM THE NATION'S CAPITAL TO IOWA'S CAPITAL, FROM U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO GOVERNOR. WE DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN OF 2006 WITH THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR, JIM NUSSLE, 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, JUNE 9 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: IN THE ELECTION OF 2006, THE TOP-OF-THE-MARQUEE MATCH-UP IS NOW A DONE DEAL. REPUBLICAN JIM NUSSLE IS FACING OFF AGAINST DEMOCRAT CHET CULVER IN THE HIGH-PROFILE RUN FOR TERRACE HILL. NOW, NEXT WEEK AT THIS TIME, WE WELCOME CULVER, THE WINNER OF TUESDAY'S DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY, TO THE 'IOWA PRESS' TABLE. THIS WEEK WE WELCOME CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE, WHO IS WRAPPING UP A 16-YEAR CAREER REPRESENTING NORTHEASTERN AND EASTERN IOWA IN THE U.S. HOUSE. CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE, WELCOME BACK TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Nussle: IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

Yepsen: ALSO WITH US AT THE 'IOWA PRESS' TABLE ARE KAY HENDERSON, NEWS DIRECTOR WITH 'RADIO IOWA,' AND MIKE GLOVER, SENIOR POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE REPORTER WITH THE 'ASSOCIATED PRESS.'

Glover: CONGRESSMAN, AS DAVE MENTIONED, YOU ARE THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE. THE FIGHT FOR GOVERNOR IS NOW SET. IT'S YOU VERSUS CHET CULVER. MAKE THE CASE AT THE OUTSET WHY YOU AND NOT CHET CULVER.

Nussle: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THIS IS ABOUT IOWA'S FUTURE, AND I WANT TO ENERGIZE IOWA'S FUTURE. THIS ISN'T ABOUT CHET CULVER. THIS IS ABOUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO PROVIDE SOME ENERGY FOR IOWA THAT IT HAS NOT HAD FOR QUITE SOME TIME. WE NEED WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION. WE NEED TO OPEN IOWA FOR BUSINESS, AND WE NEED TO HAVE MUCH BETTER ACCESS TO THE KIND OF QUALITY HEALTH CARE THAT WE'RE USED TO. WE NEED TO CLEAN UP THE GOVERNMENT SCANDALS HERE IN DES MOINES. WE NEED TO, I BELIEVE, USE IOWA'S QUALITY OF LIFE AS A TRADEMARK. AND WE NEED A NEW KIND OF LEADERSHIP. I'M LAUNCHING A WEB SITE TODAY CALLED 99IOWAIDEAS.COM. WHAT THIS IS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL IOWANS TO BE PARTICIPANTS, BE LEADERS, BE IDEA RAISERS, IF YOU WILL, OF GOOD THINGS THAT WE CAN DO IN ORDER TO ENERGIZE IOWA'S FUTURE, ENERGIZE IOWA'S EDUCATION, ENERGIZE IOWA'S ECONOMY. I WANT PEOPLE TO SEND ME THEIR IDEAS. WE NEED THREE MILLION IOWANS PARTICIPATING IN THE FUTURE LEADERSHIP AND ENERGY OF OUR STATE. AND I WANT TO BE AN INCLUSIVE LEADER WHO LOOKS FOR THOSE IDEAS AND NOT JUST THROWS MUD AROUND THE TABLE.

Glover: AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU ENDED UP NOT HAVING A PRIMARY. THAT SAVED YOU SOME MONEY. YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY RUNNING TELEVISION ADS AND FIGHTING OFF A PRIMARY CHALLENGE, BUT YOU ALSO KIND OF DROPPED OUT OF THE PICTURE FOR A WHILE. WAS IT A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING TO NOT HAVE A PRIMARY?

Nussle: I DON'T FEEL LIKE I DROPPED OUT OF THE PICTURE AT ALL, UNLESS YOU THINK THAT TRAVELING TO A HUNDRED IOWA COMMUNITIES IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE PRIMARY, TRAVELING OVER, 2,000 MILES -- IN FACT, WE WERE ONLY ON AN INTERSTATE I THINK FOR ONE EXIT. THE REST OF THE TIME WE WERE ON A LOT OF GOOD OLD-FASHIONED, IOWA TWO-LANE ROADS TALKING TO IOWANS, TALKING TO FARMERS, TEACHERS, MOMS AND DADS, ABOUT IOWA IDEAS, WHAT WE CAN DO TO PROVIDE ENERGY, CAMPAIGNING IN PLACES WHERE -- I HAD ONE IN CENTERVILLE WHO TOLD ME -- WE WALKED IN THE FRONT DOOR, AND HE SAID, 'WE HAVEN'T SEEN A GOVERNOR DOWN HERE SINCE HAROLD HUGHES.' WELL, THAT'S BEEN A LONG TIME. I THINK IT'S HIGH TIME THAT WE TALK TO PEOPLE IN CENTERVILLE AND WE TALK TO PEOPLE AROUND THE STATE ABOUT THEIR IDEAS AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO ENERGIZE IOWA.

Henderson: LET'S TALK ABOUT YOU. WHAT IS YOUR POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY? ARE YOU A CENTRIST OR ARE YOU A CONSERVATIVE?

Nussle: I'M A GET-IT-DONE KIND OF REPUBLICAN. I BELIEVE THAT WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO IS WE OUGHT TO WORK TOGETHER AS A STATE, WORKING WITH THE LEGISLATURE, WORKING WITH THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, WORKING WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS, WORKING WITH ALL IOWANS TO TRY AND PROVIDE THE KIND OF ENERGY THAT WE NEED IN ORDER TO REVITALIZE EDUCATION, MAKE US NUMBER ONE AGAIN, TO PROVIDE A MUCH BETTER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SOLUTION THAN JUST THROW MORE MONEY AT IT THE WAY THAT WE'VE SEEN FROM THE VILSACK ADMINISTRATION, CLEAN UP GOVERNMENT, AND HAVE MORE OPENNESS AND HONESTY AS OPPOSED TO THE SECRECY AND NEPOTISM AND CRONYISM THAT APPEARS TO BE GOING ON. SO I WANT TO BE A GET-IT-DONE KIND OF RESULTS ORIENTED REPUBLICAN, BUT ALSO A LEADER THAT INCLUDES ALL IOWANS IN PULLING THE WAGON TOWARD A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE.

Henderson: WELL, LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO THE CONSERVATIVES IN YOUR PARTY, ABORTION. SOUTH DAKOTA'S GOVERNOR SIGNED A BILL THAT OUTLAWS NEARLY EVERY ABORTION IN THAT STATE. WOULD YOU SIGN A SIMILAR LAW IN IOWA?

Nussle: WELL, IOWA WON'T PROVIDE A SIMILAR LAW TO THE GOVERNOR. THERE'S NO QUESTION AT ALL RIGHT NOW THAT THE LEGISLATURE IS TERRIBLY SPLIT ON THAT ISSUE.

Henderson: BUT THERE'S AN ELECTION COMING UP, AND SO WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. IF THAT BILL LANDED ON YOUR DESK, WOULD YOU SIGN IT?

Nussle: WELL, I'M NOT GOING TO SPECULATE ABOUT THAT, BUT I WILL PROPOSE SOMETHING WITH REGARD TO THAT. I REALLY BELIEVE THAT IN IOWA, WHERE YOU DON'T NEED PERMISSION -- TO GO GET A TATTOO OR GET YOUR EARS PIERCED, YOU KNOW, IN ORDER TO GO AND DO THOSE KINDS OF SIMPLE THINGS, YOU'VE GOT TO GET YOUR MOM AND DAD TO SAY IT'S OKAY, TO SIGN A PERMISSION SLIP. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO ABORTION, YOUR PARENTS DON'T HAVE TO BE INVOLVED IN THAT FOR TEENAGERS. I THINK PARENTAL CONSENT IS NECESSARY, NOT JUST PARENTAL NOTIFICATION. SO I WOULD PROPOSE TO THE LEGISLATURE THAT WE HAVE A PARENTAL CONSENT LAW. I THINK THAT'S THE WAY YOU WORK WITH THIS LEGISLATURE, WHICH WON'T DO WHAT SOUTH DAKOTA DID. THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THEY WOULD. AND I DON'T THINK SPECULATING ABOUT IT MAKES MUCH SENSE.

Glover: PARENTAL CONSENT, IS THAT AS FAR AS YOU WOULD GO IN SIGNING LEGISLATION? CAN ASSURE FEMINISTS, FOR INSTANCE, THAT THAT'S AS FAR AS YOU'LL GO?

Nussle: WELL, I'M NOT SURE I NEED TO ASSURE FEMINISTS AS MUCH AS I NEED TO ASSURE IOWANS WHAT I WOULD DO. AND I BELIEVE IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO MAKE ABORTION LESS LIKELY IN THIS CULTURE, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE I THINK OUR QUALITY OF LIFE AND WHAT WE STAND FOR HERE IN IOWA IS IMPORTANT. IT'S THE REASON WHY I'VE ALSO SUGGESTED THAT WE NEED A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO DEFINE MARRIAGE AS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. AGAIN, I DON'T THINK IT'S -- I DON'T THINK THAT'S EXTREME TO SUGGEST THAT OUGHT TO BE THE CASE. IT'S THE JUDGES THAT HAVE TAKEN THAT TO WHAT I THINK IS A MORE EXTREME MEASURE. I THINK THAT DEMONSTRATES WHAT KIND OF QUALITY OF LIFE WE HAVE IN IOWA, AND I THINK THAT'S A SELLING POINT IOWA OUGHT TO USE.

Glover: LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT. YOU HAVE PROPOSED AND SUPPORTED A FEDERAL AMENDMENT DEFINING MARRIAGE AS BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN AND A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT DEFINING MARRIAGE BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN AND, AS YOU JUST SAID, DEFINE IT AS A QUALITY-OF-LIFE ISSUE. HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN IOWA?

Nussle: WELL, I THINK MARRIAGE IS CERTAINLY A FOUNDATIONAL ISSUE. HOW WE TREAT THAT IS CERTAINLY IMPORTANT. HOW WE DEFINE IT, WHETHER WE WOULD DEFINE IT OR PROTECT IT IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT I THINK IOWANS, TELL ME AT LEAST, THAT THEY HOLD PRETTY DEAR AND THEY THINK IS PRETTY IMPORTANT FOR THE SIGNAL WE SEND OUR KIDS AND THE SIGNAL WE SEND PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN COMING TO IOWA. SO I THINK IT'S PART OF A QUALITY -- I DON'T THINK IT'S THE ONLY THING. I THINK SAFETY -- HOW WE TREAT PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THAT. I THINK HOW WE TREAT OUR ENVIRONMENT, HOW WE TREAT EDUCATION, ALL OF THAT IS PART OF WHAT KIND OF QUALITY OF LIFE OR WHAT KIND OF IOWA WE USE AS A TRADEMARK, BECAUSE I REALLY THINK OUR QUALITY OF LIFE IS SOMETHING WE OUGHT TO SELL. WE DON'T HAVE MOUNTAINS. WE DON'T HAVE OCEANS OR THEME PARKS OR THINGS LIKE THAT. WHAT WE HAVE TO SELL AND WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR ALL OVER THE NATION RIGHT NOW IS A SAFE, CLEAN, HEALTHY PLACE TO RAISE THEIR FAMILIES, TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL, TO START A BUSINESS, TO HAVE A GOOD JOB, TO BE ABLE TO HAVE QUALITY OF LIFETIME NOT ONLY FOR THEMSELVES BUT THEIR FAMILY. AND THAT'S WHAT IOWA SELLS AND I THINK WE OUGHT TO SELL IT AS OUR TRADEMARK.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, WE ALWAYS TALK POLITICS ON THIS SHOW, AS YOU KNOW, SO I HAVE A POLITICAL QUESTION FOR YOU. CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SAYS IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY TOUGH YEAR FOR REPUBLICANS. IT'S AN OFF-YEAR IN THE WHITE HOUSE. IS PRESIDENT BUSH A DRAG ON YOUR PROSPECTS FOR GOVERNOR?

Nussle: THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT ACROSS THE COUNTRY REPUBLICANS HAVE HAD A TOUGH YEAR, IN PART BECAUSE I THINK WE HAVE NOT HAD THE CHANCE REALLY TO DEMONSTRATE WHAT OUR IDEAS ARE ALL ABOUT. WHAT I'VE TRIED TO DO IN THIS PRIMARY SEASON AND WHAT I INTEND TO CONTINUE TO DO IS TO DEMONSTRATE WHAT OUR IDEAS ARE ABOUT, WHAT WE WANT TO DO, WHAT OUR VISION OF THE FUTURE IS ABOUT. AND I THINK WHEN IOWA VOTERS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A LOOK AT THAT, TAKE A LOOK AT OUR PLANS FOR WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION OR TAKE A LOOK AT OUR PLANS FOR CLEANING UP GOVERNMENT OR PROMOTING OUR QUALITY OF LIFE OR ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE, THESE ARE THINGS THAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT FOR IOWA. AND THEY'RE TIRED OF THE REPUBLICAN VERSUS DEMOCRAT. THEY'RE TIRED OF ALL THAT KIND OF MUD SLINGING JUNK THAT GOES ON. THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE IDEAS ARE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO.

Yepsen: SO CAN YOU SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE 'WASHINGTON REPUBLICAN'? YOU ARE A CONGRESSMAN AND YOU HAVE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME.

Nussle: YEAH, BUT SEE, I NEVER MOVED TO WASHINGTON. YOU KNOW, IT'S ALWAYS INTERESTING WHEN PEOPLE SAY, 'WELL, YOU'RE FROM WASHINGTON.' WELL, NO, I GUESS I'M FROM MANCHESTER ON NORTH SIXTH STREET. AND THAT'S WHERE I'VE LIVED AND THAT'S WHERE MY KIDS GO TO SCHOOL. THAT'S WHERE WE SHOP. THAT'S WHERE I MOW MY LAWN. I MEAN THAT'S WHERE I LIVE. AND, YEAH, I'VE GOT TO COMMUTE TO WASHINGTON, BUT I NEVER MOVED OUT THERE BECAUSE I REALLY FELT JOB ONE WAS BEING IN IOWA, LISTENING TO IOWANS, GETTING THEIR IDEAS LIKE I'M TRYING TO DO WITH THIS NEW 99IOWAIDEAS.COM. AND I'M TRYING TO LISTEN TO THEM FIRST AS OPPOSED TO OBVIOUSLY NEEDING TO GO TO WASHINGTON TO REPRESENT THEM WITH VOTES.

Glover: ONE OF THE QUESTIONS I HEAR A LOT -- AND I HEAR IT A LOT FROM REPUBLICANS. YOU'RE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE, A VERY IMPORTANT POSITION IN WASHINGTON AND ONE WHICH REQUIRES YOUR PRESENCE THERE QUITE A LOT. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME, 'WHY IS HE STILL CHAIR OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE? THAT KEEPS HIM PINNED DOWN IN WASHINGTON INSTEAD OF OUT IN IOWA CAMPAIGNING.' HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT QUESTION?

Nussle: WELL, AS YOU KNOW, THE BUDGET PROCESS IS A FRONT-LOADED PROCESS. IT'S A PROCESS THAT STARTS VERY EARLY IN THE YEAR AND, BY AND LARGE, BY THIS POINT AND TIME IT IS COMPLETED. WHAT TAKES OVER AT THIS POINT AND TIME IS THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, WITH REGARD TO TAX LEGISLATION, AND THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE WHERE TOM LATHAM SERVES IN THE HOUSE SIDE AND WHERE CHUCK GRASSLEY SERVES ON THE TAX WRITING COMMITTEE AND IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THAT COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE. THEY DO MOST OF THE WORK AFTER THE BUDGET COMMITTEE SETS AT LEAST THE FIRST PLAN ON THE TABLE FOR HOW THE YEAR OUGHT TO OPERATE. SO BY AND LARGE, THE WORK OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE IS MORE FRONT-LOADED. AND AS A RESULT, I BELIEVE I CAN DO AND SERVE IN BOTH CAPACITIES. AND I THINK IT'S GOOD FOR IOWA BECAUSE IOWA STILL DOES NEED A VOICE ON THOSE ISSUES. AND WHEN I CAN PROVIDE IT, I CERTAINLY AM VERY INTERESTED IN MAKING SURE THAT THAT VOICE IS HEARD.

Henderson: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. THIS PAST WEEK YOU PROPOSED THAT TEACHER PAY IN IOWA SHOULD VAULT TO BETTER THAN AVERAGE. THE PACKAGE OF TEACHER PAY THAT THE JUST-CONCLUDED LEGISLATURE APPROVED WON'T EVEN GET CLOSE TO AVERAGE. WILL YOU HAVE TO RAISE TAXES TO REACH THAT GOAL?

Nussle: OH, NO. IN FACT, IT'S INTERESTING, I JUST TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS VISITING A HUNDRED IOWA COMMUNITIES. AND NOT ONCE DURING THAT TIME DID I HAVE ANYONE SAY DES MOINES DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY YET, WE REALLY NEED TO RAISE TAXES. WHETHER IT'S PROPERTY TAXES OR SALES TAXES OR INCOME TAXES, NO ONE SAID LET'S RAISE TAXES. THERE IS AN ISSUE, THOUGH, THAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT WITH REGARD TO THE NEXT STATE BUDGET. FIRST OF ALL, AS YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR -- THE CURRENT GOVERNOR PROPOSES THAT NEXT BUDGET, AND IT WON'T BE UNTIL THE NEXT CYCLE WHERE THE NEW GOVERNOR WILL HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY. BUT WHEN THAT HAPPENS, I THINK WE AS A STATE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT OUR TEACHERS ARE NOT PAID WHAT THEY DESERVE. IF WE WANT QUALITY EDUCATION, IT STARTS WITH A GOOD TEACHER. AND THAT GOOD TEACHER HAS TO BE RECRUITED, HAS TO BE TRAINED, HAS TO BE RETAINED. WE'RE LOSING TEACHERS OUT OF THE CLASSROOM WHO ARE EXPERTS IN SCIENCE AND MATH BEING RECRUITED TO OTHER STATES RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE'RE NOT --

Henderson: SO WHAT IS YOUR PROPOSAL AND WHAT DOES IT COST?

Nussle: I'M GETTING TO THAT BECAUSE THIS IS IMPORTANT. BUT THE PRIORITY NEEDS TO BE PAYING THEM AVERAGE ISN'T GOING TO GET YOU THERE. PAYING THEM AVERAGE JUST MEANS THAT MORE STATES CAN STILL COME INTO IOWA AND STEAL THEM.

Yepsen: WHERE DO YOU COME UP WITH THE MONEY?

Nussle: WELL, I'M GETTING TO THAT, AND THAT IS WE HAVE NOW THE SIXTH HIGHEST PAID STATE BUDGET IN THE NATION, SIXTH HIGHEST PER CAPITA. THE MOST SPENDING, THE BIGGEST GOVERNMENT. SO I KNOW WITHIN THE PRIORITIES OF STATE GOVERNMENT, WE CAN FIND THE MONEY. I KNOW THAT AND I'M GOING TO WORK WITH THE LEGISLATURE TO GET THAT DONE.

Henderson: SO WILL YOU CLOSE A STATE AGENCY?

Nussle: WELL, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENS. WHEN YOU HAVE A GOVERNOR THAT GOES IN AND FOR THREE MONTHS NEGOTIATES AN EDUCATION BILL AND NEGOTIATES THAT PRIORITY AND THEN NOT A MONTH LATER PULLS THE RUG OUT FROM THAT AGREEMENT BY VETOING PART OF THE BILL -- AND LINE-ITEM VETOING PART OF THE BILL, BREAKING THE AGREEMENT WITH THE LEGISLATURE, THERE'S NO WONDER WHY THE STATE LEGISLATURE IS NOT WILLING TO GO ANY FURTHER THAN WHAT THEY HAVE. I WILL WORK WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE WITHIN THE BUDGET CONSTRAINTS, BUT RECOGNIZING THIS IS GOING TO BE A TOP PRIORITY. IT'S THE REASON I LED WITH THE ISSUE. I BELIEVE EDUCATION IS THE FOUNDATION OF EVERYTHING WE DO. AND IN ORDER FOR EDUCATION TO BE THE FOUNDATION, WE HAVE GOT TO HAVE QUALIFIED, WELL-PAID, ABOVE-AVERAGE TEACHERS, BECAUSE I WANT ABOVE-AVERAGE IOWA EDUCATION, AND I DON'T THINK AVERAGE IS GOOD ENOUGH IN IOWA.

Glover: IT COSTS $400 MILLION TO DO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, SO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS YOU'LL CUT $400 MILLION ELSEWHERE IN THE STATE'S BUDGET.

Nussle: WELL, NO. FIRST OF ALL, THAT MONEY IS ALREADY THERE. THAT STARTS THE PROCESS. WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS COME UP WITH 400 MORE IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THAT.

Henderson: NO, THERE WAS $210 MILLION THERE, NOT 400.

Nussle: BUT TO START THE PROCESS, YOU HAVE TO AT LEAST FACTOR IN THE FACT THAT THE BUDGET HAS ALREADY TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHAT GETS US FROM 41ST TO I THINK 32ND. BUT WE NEED TO GO EVEN FURTHER. AND UNDER GOVERNOR BRANSTAD, WE WERE ABLE TO MAKE THAT A PRIORITY AND KEEP IOWA ABOVE AVERAGE WHEN IT CAME TO TEACHER PAY. WE HAVE NOT HAD THAT UNDER GOVERNOR VILSACK. I BELIEVE WORKING WITH THIS LEGISLATURE, WE CAN MAKE THAT A PRIORITY TO BE ABOVE AVERAGE. I DON'T THINK AVERAGE IN IOWA WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION IS JUST -- IT'S JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Glover: MR. NUSSLE, ONE OF THE CRITICISMS YOU'RE GETTING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL IS YOUR OPPONENT SAYS THAT IN THE FLOOD OF 1993, YOU DELAYED FEDERAL AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

Nussle: WELL, IT'S NONSENSE AND IT'S MORE MUD SLINGING. HE OBVIOUSLY EITHER DOESN'T REMEMBER IT OR DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE AT THE TIME. THE MONEY FLOWED. THE VICTIMS WERE TAKEN CARE OF AS PART OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. IN FACT, THAT WAS A SITUATION WHERE FEMA ACTUALLY DID A FAIRLY GOOD JOB IN CONCERT WITH STATE GOVERNMENT IN MAKING SURE THAT THE VICTIMS OF THAT SITUATION WERE TAKEN CARE OF. THE MONEY FLOWED. WHAT WE DO WHENEVER WE TALK ABOUT FEMA IS WE FORWARD FUND. AND WHAT I SAID WAS I THOUGHT THAT WE OUGHT TO START HAVING A RAINY DAY FUND IN WASHINGTON, THE SAME WAY WE DO HERE IN IOWA. AND THE GOOD NEWS FOR ME IS THAT NOT ONLY DID WE START THAT PROCESS IN 1993, BUT AS BUDGET CHAIRMAN, I'VE BEEN ABLE TO SET ASIDE RAINY DAY FUNDS FOR NATURAL DISASTERS. AND THIS YEAR THE HOUSE PASSED THAT FINALLY, AND NOW WE HAVE A RAINY DAY FUND FOR NATURAL DISASTERS SO THAT THERE WON'T BE ANY POLITICS OR ANY QUESTION ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS WHENEVER THERE'S A NATURAL DISASTER, BE IT A FLOOD LIKE '93 OR THE TORNADOS THAT JUST HIT IOWA CITY.

Glover: ANOTHER ROOT CRITICISM OF YOUR CAMPAIGN THAT YOU HEAR FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE IS THAT AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS, YOU DON'T DEAL WITH THE ISSUES THAT ARE DEALT WITH AT THE STATE LEVEL ON A DAILY BASIS AND DON'T HAVE A FULL UNDERSTANDING OF ALL THE ISSUES FACING A GOVERNOR AND A LEGISLATURE AND A STATE GOVERNMENT. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

Nussle: WELL, YOU KNOW, I REALIZE THAT THAT'S A NICE ARGUMENT FROM CHET'S HANDLERS TO START MAKING THAT POINT, BUT I LIVE IN IOWA. I LIVE THE ISSUES THAT IOWA HAS TO DEAL WITH ALL THE TIME. I HAVE KIDS IN SCHOOL -- IN SCHOOLS THAT ARE UNDERCHALLENGED BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T HAD GOOD TEACHER PAY AND WE HAVEN'T HAD THE KIND OF QUALITY EDUCATION THAT WE NEED. I LIVE THE ISSUES OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE I WAS A CHAMBER PRESIDENT AND LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN THAT HAS BEEN DECIMATED AS A RESULT OF THE CHALLENGES OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. I LIVE IN A TOWN THAT'S HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS ARE UNDER SIEGE BECAUSE WE NOW HAVE 40 COUNTIES IN IOWA THAT CAN'T PRODUCE DOCTORS TO DELIVER BABIES. I MEAN I LIVE IN IOWA. I LIVE THESE ISSUES AND I THINK EVERY IOWAN WHO LIVES THESE ISSUES UNDERSTANDS THEM FULL WELL.

Henderson: YOU PROPOSED DURING THE CAMPAIGN THAT THE IOWA PUMPS THAT DISPENSE GASOLINE SHOULD ONLY DISPENSE ETHANOL BLENDED FUEL. REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE REJECTED THAT. DO YOU INTEND TO PURSUE THAT COURSE IF YOU'RE ELECTED?

Nussle: YES, I DO. I REALLY BELIEVE THAT IOWA ENERGY IS IMPORTANT HERE. WE SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE. AND THE REASON I DID WAS NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF 10 PERCENT ETHANOL; AS YOU MAY RECALL, MY IOWA ENERGY PLAN, WHICH I PUT OUT LAST YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME AHEAD OF EVERYBODY ELSE, IS BECAUSE I WANTED TO GET E85 PUMPS IN THESE GAS STATIONS. AND WHAT WE'VE LEARNED IN EXAMINING WHAT'S HAPPENED IN ILLINOIS AND MINNESOTA AND NEBRASKA AND SOUTH DAKOTA IS THAT WHEN YOU FREE UP WITH A MANDATE -- AND YEAH, THAT'S WHAT IT IS, HAVING A 10-PERCENT MANDATE. WHEN YOU FREE UP ONE OF THOSE UNDERGROUND TANKS FROM HAVING TO CARRY PETROLEUM-ONLY PRODUCTS, FOSSIL-FUEL-ONLY PRODUCTS, WHEN YOU FREE UP THAT TANK, IT ALLOWS IT TO BE USED FOR E85. I WANT A DISTRIBUTION NETWORK FOR E85 ALL ACROSS THE STATE. I DROVE AN E85 FLEX FUEL VEHICLE ON THIS 2,000-MILE TRIP, AND I CAN TELL YOU, THERE AREN'T MANY E85 STATIONS. WE HAD TO DO A LITTLE SEARCHING TO BE ABLE TO FIND THOSE PUMPS THAT THEY'RE NOW ADVERTISING ARE OUT THERE IN THE STATE OF IOWA.

Henderson: GOVERNOR VILSACK ACCUSES YOU OF BEING A JOHNNY-COME-LATELY ON ETHANOL. HE SAYS THAT WHEN ETHANOL WAS A FLEDGLING INDUSTRY WHEN YOU WERE A MEMBER OF CONGRESS, YOU DIDN'T SUPPORT PRO-ETHANOL INITIATIVES THAT WERE MOVING FORWARD --

Nussle: THAT'S NONSENSE. AND IT'S A SHAME THAT THE GOVERNOR WHO -- IT'S NOW VERY FASHIONABLE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE TO BE THERE FOR ETHANOL. YOU ASK CHUCK GRASSLEY WHO HAS BEEN THERE FIRST WHEN IT COMES TO ETHANOL. CHUCK GRASSLEY AND I WORKED TOGETHER NOT ONLY FIFTEEN YEARS AGO FOR THE FIRST TAX CREDIT BUT TEN YEARS AGO WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO GET THE TAX CREDIT THAT GOT US ALL OF THESE ETHANOL PLANTS THAT ARE UP AND GOING NOW IN THE STATE OF IOWA. WE SAW THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT JUST FOR AGRICULTURE, ALTHOUGH CERTAINLY IT'S BEEN A BENEFIT THERE, BUT BECAUSE WE SAW WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A REAL CHALLENGE WITH REGARD TO FOREIGN OIL. AT THAT TIME IT WAS ABOUT 50 PERCENT OF OUR RESOURCES WHEN IT CAME TO ENERGY WERE COMING IN FROM FOREIGN SOURCES. NOW THEY'RE UP TO 60. WE STARTED TO PLAN AHEAD BECAUSE WE THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY IMPORTANT TO DO THAT. AND I HAD TO BUCK MY OWN LEADERSHIP ON THAT. AND IN FACT, AS YOU MAY REMEMBER, I GOT -- I GOT PUT IN AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OVER THE CHAIRMAN -- THE ACTUAL CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE. I BUMPED HIM OUT OF THE WAY BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO CONVINCE OUR LEADERSHIP THAT ETHANOL WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT I SAT ON THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND SENATE TO ACTUALLY NEGOTIATE THIS FINAL PRODUCT THAT NOW IS RESULTING IN SO MUCH ETHANOL.

Glover: THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ON THIS SHOW, YOU SAID THAT WHILE THERE SHOULD BE STATE STANDARDS FOR LOCATING HOG LOTS THAT SITING DECISIONS ARE BEST MADE BY LOCAL OFFICIALS. YOU SPENT THE REST OF THAT WEEKEND BACKING AWAY FROM THAT. WHERE ARE YOU NOW ON THAT ISSUE?

Nussle: WELL IT WAS A NICE -- WELL, I THOUGHT IT WAS A NICE QUESTION, AND I GOT A GOOD ANSWER OUT THERE. AND WHAT I MEANT AT THAT TIME AND WHAT I SAID VERY QUICKLY AFTERWARDS IS THAT LOCAL INPUT IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND THAT'S WHAT I -- I STILL BELIEVE THAT. LOCAL INPUT IS IMPORTANT. I NEVER SAID THAT THE SITING -- THE SPECIFIC SITING DECISION SHOULD BE MADE BY LOCALS, BUT TO NOT HAVE ANY INPUT BY LOCAL PEOPLE AS PART OF THIS MASTER MATRIX I THINK WOULD BE A MISTAKE. AND TOO OFTEN I THINK WE DON'T HAVE AS MUCH OF THAT LOCAL INPUT AS WE NEED IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN MAKING SURE THAT NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE A THRIVING LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY BUT THAT WE DO IT IN A RESPONSIBLE WAY, NOT ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE GROUNDWATER AND OUR ENVIRONMENT BUT ALSO FOR WHAT IS SOMETIMES A DELICATE BALANCE ON THE LOCAL LEVEL THAT ONLY LOCAL OFFICIALS COULD KNOW.

Glover: BEFORE THIS SHOW WE REVIEWED THE TRANSCRIPT OF EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID, AND YOU SAID SITING DECISIONS ARE BEST MADE BY LOCAL OFFICIALS.

Nussle: WELL, SITING DECISIONS WITH LOCAL INPUT --

Glover: NO, THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAID. YOU SAID SITING DECISIONS ARE BEST MADE BY LOCAL OFFICIALS.

Nussle: WELL, THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT, THEN. AND ON A HALF-HOUR PROGRAM, I GUESS WHEN QUESTIONS ARE BEING FIRED AT YOU, YOU CAN CERTAINLY -- YOU CAN MAYBE SAY SOMETHING YOU DON'T MEAN EXACTLY. BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CONSISTENT ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE NEED A STATE STANDARD. THEY NEED TO BE CONSISTENT. THEY NEED TO BE PREDICTABLE, AND THEY NEED TO BE MADE ON SOUND SCIENCE. AND I'LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW WHAT WE DON'T HAVE IS A CONSISTENT, PREDICTABLE, BASED-ON-SOUND-SCIENCE SYSTEM SO THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY BE ATTRACTIVE FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOR LIVESTOCK, WHICH IS ONE OF THE BEST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS FOR OUR RURAL AREAS.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, LET ME FIRE ANOTHER TOUGH QUESTION AT YOU. THERE IS A TENSION IN OUR STATE BETWEEN PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT -- AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS. HOW WOULD YOU AS GOVERNOR BALANCE TWO INTERESTS THAT ARE BOTH IMPORTANT?

Nussle: IT'S WHAT I JUST SAID. WHAT YOU HEAR CONSTANTLY FROM PEOPLE IN PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE, PARTICULARLY IN LIVESTOCK, IS THAT THEY WANT THE STANDARD TO BE TOUGH BUT THEY ALSO WANT IT TO BE PREDICTABLE. THEY WANT IT TO BE CONSISTENT. THESE ARE BUSINESS PEOPLE. THEY HAVE TO KNOW THAT THEY CAN MAKE AN INVESTMENT AND THAT IT'S GOING TO STICK AND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE CHANGED MONTH TO MONTH, WHICH IS WHAT WE HEAR OFTEN HAPPENS FROM THE DNR, WHICH IS WHY THIS WHOLE VETO WITH REGARD TO DIRECTOR DISCRETION IS SO IMPORTANT. WHAT THAT HAS DONE IS IT HAS COMPLETELY PULLED THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER AGRICULTURE IN THE STATE. WHAT TOM VILSACK DID WITH THAT VETO IS BASICALLY SAY WE ARE GOING TO LET ONE PERSON SET THE STANDARD. YOU TALK ABOUT LOCAL SITING DECISIONS OR LOCAL INPUT OR LOCAL CONTROL OR WHETHER OR NOT THERE'S CONSISTENCY, THERE IS A TOTAL INCONSISTENCY.

Yepsen: I'M CURIOUS ABOUT SOMETHING. SEVERAL TIMES ON THIS PROGRAM YOU'VE TAKEN MORE SHOTS AT TOM VILSACK THAN YOU HAVE AT CHET CULVER HERE. I MEAN WHO IS YOUR REAL OPPONENT IN THIS RACE?

Nussle: WELL, WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENED TO IOWA IN THIS LAST EIGHT YEARS, I REALLY BELIEVE THAT WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION -- WE HAVE NOW SLIPPED OUT OF THE TOP TEN WHEN IT COMES TO THE SMARTEST STATE SURVEY. WE'RE NOW 14TH. WE'RE BEHIND ALL OF OUR NEIGHBORS. WHEN IT COMES TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, WE'RE NOW LAST IN THE NATION WHEN IT COMES TO NEW BUSINESS STARTS AS A RESULT OF THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH CARE, WE NOW HAVE 40 COUNTIES IN IOWA WHERE YOU CANNOT FIND A DOCTOR WILLING TO DELIVER A BABY. WHEN IT COMES TO THE CIETC SCANDAL AND WHAT'S HAPPENED DOWN THERE, ALL THERE IS IS SECRECY AND HIDING THE BALL AND I DIDN'T READ THIS DOCUMENT AND I DIDN'T GET THIS E-MAIL. I REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE LAST EIGHT YEARS HAVE SHOWN US, WHETHER IT'S TOM VILSACK OR HIS ADMINISTRATION, THE MANAGERS THAT HAVE BEEN RUNNING IT, THAT WE'VE GOT A GOOD STATE WORK FORCE OF PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING. WE HAVE A GOOD STATE OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MOVE IOWA FORWARD. BUT WE HAVE NOT HAD THE LEADERSHIP OR THE MANAGEMENT TO GET THAT JOB DONE.

Henderson: ONE OF THE PREMIER ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE BRANSTAD -- OF THE VILSACK ERA, RATHER, IS THE VALUES FUND. WOULD YOU ABOLISH THAT, AS YOU PROMISED, OR DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING ELSE THAT YOU'LL REPLACE IT WITH?

Nussle: WELL, I QUARREL WITH JUST EVEN THE WAY IT'S PRESENTED IN YOUR QUESTION IN THAT IT'S ONE OF THE PREMIERE ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

Henderson: WELL, IT WAS CREATED BY A REPUBLICAN-LED LEGISLATURE, MANY OF WHOM VERY MUCH SUPPORT IT.

Nussle: WELL, IT WAS NOT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT, THOUGH. LET'S LOOK AT THE RESULTS. I MEAN 1,282 JOBS, AND THAT'S EVEN BEFORE YOU FACTOR IN WHAT HAPPENED TO MAYTAG. AND I DON'T REALLY BELIEVE THAT 1,282 JOBS FOR HALF A BILLION DOLLARS IS MUCH OF AN INVESTMENT. I DON'T THINK WE'VE SEEN THE GROWTH, PARTICULARLY ACROSS THE STATE. CERTAINLY THERE HAVE BEEN A COUPLE OF MARQUEE EXAMPLES OF WHERE SOMEBODY CAN SAY, YEAH, I CAME AND CUT THE RIBBON HERE OR I, YOU KNOW, TURNED THE SHOVEL OF DIRT THERE IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO ATTRACT ONE OR TWO OR A FEW COMPANIES. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO A VIBRANT ECONOMY, WHEN IT COMES TO ALL OF IOWA BEING PART OF AN ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR THE FUTURE, WHEN IT COMES TO KEEPING IOWA OPEN FOR BUSINESS WITH A COMPETITIVE TAX CODE, THERE ARE TOO MANY BUSINESSES THAT ARE STILL LEAVING OUR STATE. THERE ARE TOO MANY BUSINESSES THAT ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO OUR STATE, AND I DON'T THINK THE VALUES FUND HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL, AND THAT'S WHY I'M AGAINST IT.

Glover: THERE ARE TOO MANY QUESTIONS IN THE LITTLE TIME WE HAVE LEFT. BUT IF WE GET BACK TO THE SORT OF CORE --

Nussle: FIRE ANOTHER ONE. I'M READY.

Glover: WELL, MOVING TO THE CORE ISSUES THAT ARE BEING DEBATED BY BOTH CAMPAIGNS. SECRETARY CULVER SAYS THAT HE IS GOING TO SEEK TO HANG AROUND YOU WHAT THE DEMOCRATS CALL A CULTURE OF CORRUPTION IN CONGRESS, THE LOW RATINGS THAT CONGRESS HAS IN THE POLLS. YOU TALK ABOUT TRYING TO HANG THE CIETC JOB TRAINING SCANDAL AROUND CULVER'S NECK AS A DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL. WHAT DO EITHER OF THOSE HAVE TO DO WITH THE FUTURE OF THIS STATE?

Nussle: WELL, I'M NOT -- AND I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT THAT'S A DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL. I JUST THINK WE NEED BETTER MANAGEMENT IN STATE GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO CLEAN THAT UP. I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT NOR AM I PART OF ANY CULTURE OF CORRUPTION. I MEAN I THINK THAT'S BACKFIRED NOW WITH JEFFERSON AND KENNEDY AND A FEW OF -- SOME OF THE DEMOCRATIC SCANDALS THAT HAVE BEEN HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON. YOU KNOW, TOM VILSACK TRIED TO TAKE MY HEAD OFF THE OTHER DAY AND SAID I'M A BUDDY OF JACK ABRAMOFF. I'VE NEVER MET THAT GUY. HE NEVER CONTRIBUTED TO ME. WHAT A NONSENSICAL THING TO SAY. ALL IT IS IS MUD. I WANT IOWA IDEAS. I WANT TO BE POSITIVE. I'M GOING TO ENERGIZE IOWA'S FUTURE. I'M GOING TO INVITE ALL OF IOWA TO BE PART OF MAKING SURE THAT WE CAN ENERGIZE IOWA'S FUTURE WITH THIS NEW WEB SITE I'VE CREATED, AND I BELIEVE SHOWING THAT KIND OF POSITIVE LEADERSHIP IS WHAT IOWANS WANT AT THIS VERY IMPORTANT JUNCTURE.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, AS YOU NOTED, IT'S ONLY A HALF-HOUR SHOW, AND WE'RE OUT OF TIME.

Nussle: THANK YOU.

Yepsen: THANKS FOR BEING WITH US.

Nussle: MY PLEASURE.

Yepsen: NOW, AS I INDICATED EARLIER, TODAY'S EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS' IS THE FIRST OF TWO PROGRAMS TO FOCUS ON THE RUN FOR TERRACE HILL. NEXT WEEK SECRETARY OF STATE CHET CULVER, THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR, WILL JOIN US TO DISCUSS HIS CAMPAIGN. WE RETURN AT OUR REGULAR 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: FRIDAY AT 7:30 P.M. AND SUNDAY AT 11:30 A.M. I HOPE YOU'LL BE WITH US. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF 'THE DES MOINES REGISTER,' SITTING IN FOR DEAN BORG ON THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

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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