Iowa Public Television

 

Secretary of State, Chet Culver

posted on June 19, 2006

Borg: ONE STEP CLOSER... SECRETARY OF STATE CHET CULVER WON IOWA DEMOCRATS' NOMINATION FOR GOVERNOR. WE'LL QUESTION HIM 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 16 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

 

Borg: CHET CULVER CARRIES IOWA DEMOCRATS' HOPES FOR RETAINING THE IOWA GOVERNORSHIP WHEN TOM VILSACK LEAVES OFFICE NEXT JANUARY. IF HE'S ELECTED, IT WILL BE A SHORT MOVE AT THE CAPITOL FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE, WHERE MR. CULVER IS COMPLETING NOW HIS SECOND FOUR-YEAR TERM. YOU'LL RECALL THAT LAST WEEK, THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE, CONGRESSMAN JIM NUSSLE, WAS HERE AT THE 'IOWA PRESS' TABLE. MR. CULVER, WELCOME TO THE TABLE TODAY.

Culver: GREAT TO BE WITH YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

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

Glover: SECRETARY CULVER, LET'S START OFF WITH THE CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL. WHY YOU AND NOT JIM NUSSLE AS IOWA'S NEXT GOVERNOR?

Culver: WELL, I HAVE A PLAN TO LEAD IOWA FORWARD. I BELIEVE IOWA IS UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO BECOME NUMBER ONE IN THE NATION IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS. AND I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS PLAN TO HELP FUEL THE WORLD SINCE LAST FALL WHEN I ANNOUNCED MY CANDIDACY FOR GOVERNOR. I THINK THAT'S WHAT VOTERS ARE LOOKING FOR IS DETAILS, VISION, ENERGY, AND I BRING THAT TO THIS RACE. AND WE'RE GOING TO CREATE JOBS IN EVERY CORNER OF THIS STATE. IOWA IS BETTER POSITIONED THAN ANY STATE IN THE NATION WITH RESPECT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS, AND I WANT TO CREATE THE SILICON VALLEY OF THE MIDWEST RIGHT HERE IN IOWA AND DO WHAT THEY DID IN CALIFORNIA WITH THE TECHNOLOGY BOOM. LET'S BRING THE RESEARCH, THE DEVELOPMENT, THE GREAT JOBS, THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE, AND BECOME A NATIONAL LEADER. AND I'M EXCITED ABOUT SHARING THAT VISION AND THAT PLAN WITH VOTERS THROUGHOUT THIS CAMPAIGN.

Glover: OF COURSE, THE DOT-COM INDUSTRY COLLAPSED. WE WON'T GO INTO THAT BUT -- [ LAUGHTER ] LET'S TALK ABOUT THE THEME OF YOUR CAMPAIGN. WHAT'S THE OVERARCHING THEME THAT YOU'LL OFFER TO VOTERS?

Culver: WELL, I THINK WE'RE TALKING ABOUT CREATING JOBS, IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE, CLEANING UP THE ENVIRONMENT, AND RESTORING EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION. I BELIEVE IOWA'S POTENTIAL IS UNLIMITED. WE HAVE WORK TO DO. WE'VE LOST TOO MANY MANUFACTURING JOBS. WE HAVE SLIPPED IN TERMS OF EDUCATION. SOME OF OUR LAKES AND RIVERS AND STREAMS NEED TO BE CLEANED UP, AND THAT'S AN IMPORTANT ISSUE. AND I -- I HAVE A PLAN TO MOVE IOWA FORWARD, TO LEAD THE STATE I LOVE TO THE GREATNESS THAT WE ALL KNOW IS POSSIBLE. IN ADDITION TO CREATING THE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES RELATED TO RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE IN IOWA, I WANT TO GIVE IOWANS THE SAME TYPE OF HEALTH CARE ACCESS THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE. AND I WANT TO GET BACK TO BEING NUMBER ONE IN EDUCATION BY EXPANDING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, INCREASING TEACHER PAY, AND MAKING COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE. THOSE ARE ALL ASPECTS OF THE CULVER PLAN TO LEAD IOWA FORWARD, AND I BELIEVE THAT MESSAGE OF HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY IS RESONATING WELL OUT THERE. BUT WE HAVE WORK TO DO, AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

Yepsen: MR. SECRETARY, FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR VICTORY IN THE PRIMARY. THE HOTTEST ISSUE IN IOWA POLITICS RIGHT NOW IS A THING CALLED EMINENT DOMAIN. GOVERNOR VILSACK VETOED A BILL THE LEGISLATURE PASSED. THERE'S TALK OF SPECIAL SESSIONS. IF YOU WERE GOVERNOR, WOULD YOU HAVE SIGNED OR VETOED THAT BILL?

Culver: YOU KNOW, I THINK THEY NEED TO GET BACK TO DES MOINES. I AM IN FAVOR OF HAVING A SPECIAL SESSION TO GET THIS RESOLVED. I HAVE ALWAYS ADVOCATED FOR THE RIGHTS OF PROPERTY OWNERS. I WILL DO THAT AS GOVERNOR OF THIS STATE. WE ABSOLUTELY NEED TO GET THIS REVOLVED, AND I EXPECT THAT THEY WILL. AND I REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS PROBLEM. AS I'VE TRAVELED THE STATE FOR MORE THAN THE LAST -- OVER THE LAST YEAR, PEOPLE ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR PROPERTY RIGHTS. AND I WANT TO FIGHT TO PROTECT THEM AS GOVERNOR.

Yepsen: SO WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE BILL THE LEGISLATURE PASSED?

Culver: WELL, I THINK ONE OF THE ISSUES APPARENTLY HAD TO DO WITH THE BLIGHTED NEIGHBORHOODS IN TERMS OF THE 75-PERCENT REQUIREMENT IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN THE URBAN AREAS IN PARTICULAR. THAT WAS A LITTLE OUT OF BALANCE COMPARED TO OTHER STATES. AND I AM CONFIDENT THAT THIS WILL GET RESOLVED. I THINK WE SHOULD REMOVE THE POLITICS FROM THIS ISSUE BECAUSE THIS IS ABOUT THE PROPERTY OWNERS OF IOWA. AND I KNOW THAT WITH LEADERSHIP AND PUTTING OUR PARTISAN DIFFERENCES ASIDE, THEY WILL GET THIS RESOLVED HOPEFULLY IN THE COMING WEEKS. AND IF NOT, IT WILL BE ONE OF MY TOP PRIORITIES AS GOVERNOR.

Glover: BUT DAVE'S QUESTION WAS AS GOVERNOR WOULD YOU HAVE SIGNED OR VETOED THAT PIECE OF LEGISLATION.

Culver: YOU KNOW, I HAVE NOT SEEN ALL OF THE PARTICULARS OF THAT BILL. AND WHAT I WANT TO DO IS MAKE SURE WE PROTECT, FIRST AND FOREMOST, THE PROPERTY TAX -- THE PROPERTY OWNERS OF THIS STATE. AND I BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEADERSHIP IN THE LEGISLATURE WILL GET THIS RESOLVED.

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME, MR. SECRETARY. SO YOU'RE UNWILLING TO SAY THAT YOU WOULD HAVE SIGNED OR VETOED THIS BILL?

Culver: WELL, I ACTUALLY SAID THAT I WOULD HAVE SIGNED IT WHEN THE -- WHEN IT WAS ON THE GOVERNOR'S DESK, BECAUSE HE WANTS TO STRIKE A BETTER BALANCE AND I AM CONFIDENT THAT THAT WILL GET DONE. BUT IN THE FUTURE, I THINK IF IT'S ON MY DESK, WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT, FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE PROPERTY OWNERS.

Glover: I'M NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND. YOU WOULD HAVE SIGNED THE BILL?

Culver: WHEN I WAS ASKED THE DAY THAT IT WAS ON HIS DESK, I SAID THAT I AGREED WITH THE GOVERNOR'S DECISION ON THE ISSUE AT THAT TIME BECAUSE HE WAS CONFIDENT THAT HE COULD BRING THEM BACK AND WORK OUT ANY DIFFERENCES.

Borg: A MOMENT AGO YOU SAID WE'RE GOING TO CREATE JOBS IN EVERY CORNER OF IOWA, AND YOU TIED THAT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY. I'M THINKING ABOUT CENTERVILLE REELING RIGHT NOW FROM THE LOSS OF SOME 200 JOBS, I THINK IT IS, IN THE CLOSING OF THE RUBBERMAID PLANT THERE. ISN'T THAT SORT OF AN INDICATION, THOUGH, THAT IOWA DOES NOT HAVE THE LABOR FORCE IN THE RURAL AREA TO SUPPORT AN INDUSTRIAL BASE, OR ARE YOU OF THE PHILOSOPHY 'IF WE BUILD IT, THEY'LL COME.'

Culver: WELL, ONE OF MY CONCERNS IS THAT WE'VE LOST TOO MANY GOOD JOBS IN THIS STATE, ESPECIALLY MANUFACTURING JOBS. SO MY PLAN IS TO BUILD ON OUR STRENGTHS IN EDUCATION, IN AGRICULTURE, IN MANUFACTURING, TO CREATE GOOD JOBS WITH GOOD BENEFITS. I THINK OUR OPPORTUNITY, DEAN, IS IN THE AREA OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS. WE HAVE TO MOVE TO THE NEXT -- THE NEXT GENERATION OF NEW JOBS. WE HAVE THE MANUFACTURING BASE. WE HAVE THE TALENTED WORK FORCE. WE JUST NEED THE IOWA-OWNED AND IOWA-GROWN PRODUCTS. FOR EXAMPLE, LET'S MANUFACTURE THE FLEX FUEL -- THE ALTERNATIVE PUMPS IN IOWA, THE E85 PUMPS, THE BIODIESEL PUMPS. THAT'S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR STATE. WE CAN DO IT. THEY'RE DOING IT IN INDIANA, AND WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO RELY ON OUR MANUFACTURING BASE BUT MOVE TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY.

Borg: BUT MY POINT IS CAN YOU DO THAT IN EVERY CORNER OF IOWA. THAT IS, IS THE LABOR FORCE THERE TO DO IT?

Culver: YES, I BELIEVE WE CAN. I BELIEVE -- YOU KNOW, IN WASHINGTON, IOWA, THEY HAVE NOT ONE BUT TWO BIODIESEL PLANTS GOING IN. WE HAVE BIODIESEL AND ETHANOL PLANTS UP IN EVERY CORNER OF THIS STATE, MORE THAN 30 OF THEM EITHER IN PRODUCTION OR ON LINE. WHAT I WANT TO DO IS CREATE THE RELATED INDUSTRIES AROUND THOSE CENTERS OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY. AND I REALLY BELIEVE WE HAVE THE MOST TALENTED WORK FORCE. AGAIN, MY HEART GOES OUT TO THOSE DISPLACED WORKERS IN CENTERVILLE, IN NEWTON, IN WEBSTER CITY. I HAVE A PLAN, IN FACT, TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE DISPLACED WORKERS TO MAKE SURE WE GET THEM THE RETRAINING THAT THEY NEED AND TO MATCH THEIR SKILL SET WITH THE JOBS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO KEEP THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THIS STATE. AND I COULDN'T BE MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE POTENTIAL HERE. WE ARE TOP TEN IN THE NATION IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CURRENTLY IN IOWA. WE'RE NEAR THE VERY BOTTOM IN TERMS OF VENTURE CAPITAL AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND KEEPING THOSE IDEAS IN THE STATE. THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO DO. AND WHEN WE DO IT, WE'LL CREATE NEW JOBS ALL OVER IOWA.

Glover: LAST WEEK ON THIS SHOW, YOUR REPUBLICAN OPPONENT, JIM NUSSLE, SAID IF HE'S ELECTED HE WILL END THE IOWA VALUES FUND, THE CENTERPIECE OF TOM VILSACK'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS. IF YOU'RE ELECTED, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE IOWA VALUES FUND?

Culver: WELL, WE'RE GOING TO MAKE SURE THE TAXPAYERS GET THEIR MONEY'S WORTH, FIRST AND FOREMOST. AND I HAVE SAID THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THIS CAMPAIGN THAT THOSE COMPANIES THAT DON'T LIVE UP TO THEIR END OF THE DEAL WILL PAY BACK THE IOWA TAXPAYERS WITH PENALTIES. I THINK WE NEED VERY TOUGH CLAWBACK PROVISIONS. AND I AM VERY CONCERNED THAT MANY OF THESE COMPANIES HAVE NOT DELIVERED ON THEIR PROMISES. AND THAT WILL BE MY FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS IS MAKING SURE THAT THESE COMPANIES COME THROUGH AND IN FACT DELIVER ON THE PROMISES THAT THEY MAKE.

Glover: BOTTOM LINE, DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?

Culver: IT HAS GREAT POTENTIAL. WE NEED TO MAKE IT BETTER.

Yepsen: MR. SECRETARY, WE TAPE THIS PROGRAM ON FRIDAY MORNINGS. MY PAPER TODAY, ONE HEADLINE TALKS ABOUT CENTERVILLE AND RUBBERMAID THAT DEAN MENTIONED. WE HAVE ANOTHER HEADLINE THAT SAYS 'RECORD LOW UNEMPLOYMENT.' SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM IN IOWA? WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT NEED TO DO ANYTHING IN A TIME WHEN THE ECONOMY IS COOKING AND PEOPLE ARE FINDING JOBS?

Culver: WELL, I THINK THAT GOVERNMENT DOES HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN JOB GROWTH, IN HELPING IN TERMS OF VENTURE CAPITAL AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. WE HAVE TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWS THOSE BUSINESSES TO EXPAND, TO GROW, AND TO START IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO I THINK THERE IS A ROLE TO PLAY AND THERE NEEDS TO BE A GOOD PARTNERSHIP. THE PROBLEM, DAVID, IS MOST OF THE NEW JOBS IN IOWA, MANY OF THEM I SHOULD SAY, ARE SERVICE INDUSTRY JOBS. WE NEED TO GIVE MORE YOUNG PEOPLE SOME OPPORTUNITY TO GO ON TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES, TO GO ON TO PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES. THAT'S WHY I'VE PROPOSED AN ALL-IOWA OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP. MANY OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE BEING SHUT OUT FROM HIGHER EDUCATION. WE HAVE THE NINTH HIGHEST COMMUNITY COLLEGE COSTS IN THE NATION. TUITION HAS GONE UP 62 PERCENT AT OUR REGENTS INSTITUTIONS. AND I HAVE A PLAN TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO CONTINUE THEIR EDUCATION AND STAY IN THE STATE AT THE SAME TIME, BUT WE NEED TO KEEP THEM IN IOWA IN THE FIRST PLACE WHEN IT COMES TO GOING ON TO HIGHER EDUCATION.

Glover: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME PROBLEMS YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO OVERCOME IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS CAMPAIGN. THE FIRST IS THE CENTRAL IOWA EMPLOYMENT TRAINING CONSORTIUM, THE TROUBLED JOB TRAINING AGENCY HERE IN DES MOINES WHERE OFFICIALS WERE PAID EXCESSIVE, HUGE, BLOATED SALARIES. IT'S A DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL. A LOT OF LOCAL DEMOCRATS ARE TIED INTO IT. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?

Culver: WELL, I THINK THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY A DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL.

Glover: REPUBLICANS TELL ME IT IS, AND THAT'S WHY THEY'RE GOING TO PUSH IT.

Culver: WELL, I'M SURE THEY'RE GOING TO LOOK FOR ANY OPPORTUNITY THEY CAN TO TALK ABOUT ETHICS, ESPECIALLY SINCE JIM NUSSLE HAS BEEN A PART OF THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. I MEAN HE HAS BEEN A LOYAL FOOT SOLDIER IN THE ARMY OF TOM DELAY AND GEORGE BUSH AND DICK CHENEY.

Glover: LET'S GET BACK TO CIETC.

Culver: WELL, BUT I THINK IT'S AN ATTEMPT TO PERHAPS DIVERT, AND THAT SHOULDN'T BE A PART OF A GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN. I THINK WHAT VOTERS ARE LOOKING TOWARDS CANDIDATES TO DO IS TO TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE: WHAT ARE THEIR PLANS; WHAT'S THEIR VISION; WHAT DO THEY WANT TO DO IF ELECTED? AND THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO FOCUS ON. I AM OUTRAGED ABOUT THE CIETC SCANDAL, AS EVERYONE IS. AND I'M GOING TO FIGHT TO GET THE MONEY BACK. WE'RE GOING TO RECOVER THE MONEY. WE'RE GOING TO ENCOURAGE THESE INVESTIGATIONS TO CONTINUE. WE'RE GOING TO LOOK INTO THE -- AND MAKE SURE WE FIND OUT WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE THINGS. AND ED FALLON, IN 1994, WHEN TERRY BRANSTAD WAS GOVERNOR AND CHRISTOPHER RANTS WAS IN THE LEGISLATURE, ACTUALLY OFFERED AN AMENDMENT THAT WOULD HAVE REDUCED THE DUPLICATION THAT WAS GOING ON. AND WE WERE -- THAT WAS A PROBLEM WAY BACK THEN. IT WAS IGNORED AT THE TIME BY THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP. SO WE NEED TO SET THE POLITICS ASIDE, GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS, AND MOVE FORWARD AND HOLD THOSE ACCOUNTABLE. AND UNLIKE JIM NUSSLE, I ACTUALLY HAVE A SOLUTION HERE. LET'S MOVE CIETC TO DES MOINES AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. LET'S START FRESH. I THINK THE GOVERNOR DID THE RIGHT THING. HE ASKED FOR RESIGNATIONS. HE FIRED SOME OF THOSE INVOLVED, AND WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO DEMAND THAT PEOPLE STEP DOWN THAT WERE INVOLVED AS WE LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS INVESTIGATION.

Yepsen: MR. SECRETARY, SHOULD DES MOINES CITY COUNCILMEN ARCHIE BROOKS AND TOM VLASSIS RESIGN THEIR POSITIONS?

Culver: I THINK THAT IT IS TIME FOR ARCHIE BROOKS TO STEP DOWN, YES. I THINK THAT THE PUBLIC TRUST IS AT STAKE HERE. HE'S BEEN INVOLVED WITH THIS FOR TWENTY YEARS. OBVIOUSLY HIS CONSTITUENTS HAVE VOICED A LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT THIS. AND I THINK WHEN IT COMES TO LEADERSHIP, YOU'VE GOT TO CALL THEM LIKE YOU SEE THEM. IN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, I THINK, YES, IT IS PERHAPS TIME FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.

Yepsen: FOR BOTH OF THEM, BROOKS AND VLASSIS?

Culver: I'M NOT -- I DON'T -- I THINK FOR CHAIRMAN BROOKS, THE CHAIRMAN OF CIETC IN PARTICULAR, GIVEN HIS TWENTY-YEAR INVOLVEMENT.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT YOU'RE CONFRONTING IN THIS CAMPAIGN IS YOUR RUNNING MATE, PATTY JUDGE, SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE. HER CRITICS HAVE SAID REPEATEDLY THAT ONE OF THEIR BIG PROBLEMS WITH HER IS THAT SHE WAS TOO PERMISSIVE ON HOG LOT QUESTIONS AND ON ANIMAL CONFINEMENTS AND DIDN'T STEP UP AND PROTECT IOWA'S ENVIRONMENT. HOW DO YOU RESPOND?

Culver: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE HAS NO ROLE IN TERMS OF SITING OF HOG LOTS -- OF LOTS. AND PATTY JUDGE ALSO HAS A RECORD IN THE STATE SENATE OF FIGHTING FOR THE FAMILY FARMER AND STANDING UP AND FIGHTING FOR AGRICULTURE IN THIS STATE. SO YOU KNOW WHAT, PATTY JUDGE IS THE BEST RUNNING MATE THAT I COULD HAVE. SHE'S THE FIRST WOMAN EVER ELECTED SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE. SHE'S A WINNER. SHE WAS A LEADER IN THE STATE SENATE FOR SIX YEARS. SHE GOT ELECTED TWICE. AND SHE IS A NATIONAL RECOGNIZED LEADER ON VALUE-ADDED AGRICULTURE. I BELIEVE WE ARE GOING TO BE THE WINNING TICKET IN PART BECAUSE OF A TERRIFIC RUNNING MATE WHO HAS DONE VERY WELL IN RURAL IOWA. BETWEEN THE TWO OF US, WE'VE WON FOUR STATEWIDE ELECTIONS. AND SHE IS A WINNER AND WILL BRING A LOT TO THE TABLE IN TERMS OF AGRICULTURE AND THE FUTURE OF IOWA. AND I'M PROUD TO HAVE HER SUPPORTING MY CANDIDACY AND RUNNING WITH ME.

Yepsen: TALK ABOUT THE BALANCING ACT THAT YOU HAVE TO DO HERE. THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF THIS STATE HAS TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT AGRICULTURE. IT'S OUR STATE'S LARGEST SINGLE INDUSTRY. AT THE SAME TIME IOWANS WANT A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT. HOW WOULD GOVERNOR CHET CULVER BALANCE THOSE TWO OFTEN CONFLICTING INTERESTS?

Culver: I THINK NUMBER ONE, WE HAVE TO FOCUS FIRST AND FOREMOST ON WATER QUALITY. THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE MADE A GOOD FIRST STEP THIS YEAR. THEY MADE A $50-MILLION COMMITMENT TO WATER QUALITY. SO OUR PRIMARY FOCUS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL NEEDS TO BE PROTECTING THE LOCAL WATERSHED. WE NEED EVERYONE TO COME TO THE TABLE ON THAT EFFORT AND BE COMMITTED TO DOING IT. THE STATE HAS PUT UP $50 MILLION TO DO IT. LAND USE, WE HAVE TO HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLAN: HOW ARE WE GOING TO IN THIS STATE USE THOSE VALUABLE RESOURCES; WHERE ARE WE GOING TO ALLOW THIS SITING TO OCCUR? I THINK THE KEY, THOUGH, IS WATER QUALITY AND BRINGING EVERYONE TO THE TABLE AND GETTING INPUT. AND IF PEOPLE ARE COMMITTED TO PROTECTING THE WATER IN THIS STATE, THEN WE CAN MOVE FORWARD. AND THAT'S MY -- THAT WILL BE A PRIMARY FOCUS OF MINE IN OUR ADMINISTRATION.

Glover: ANOTHER PROBLEM YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH DURING THIS CAMPAIGN IS YOU HAVE VOICED SUPPORT FOR A LIMITED DEATH SENTENCE. THAT GIVES A LOT OF LIBERALS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HEARTBURN. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?

Culver: YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK THAT WE HAVE PROBLEMS. I AM EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS STATE. I AM HONORED TO HAVE WON THE NOMINATION LAST WEEK.

Glover: AND HOW DO YOU ANSWER ANTI-DEATH PENALTY DEMOCRATS?

Culver: THE PARTY IS UNIFIED A HUNDRED PERCENT. I HAVE SAID AND I BELIEVE THAT IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS INVOLVING THE MOST HEINOUS CRIMES THAT THE DEATH PENALTY IS WARRANTED AND I WOULD SIGN A BILL THAT CAME TO MY DESK THAT HAD THE APPROPRIATE PROVISIONS: DUE PROCESS, POST-CONVICTION REVIEW, DNA. HOWEVER, I'M NOT RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR TO REINSTATE IT. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT MOVING THIS STATE FORWARD. AND I DON'T PERCEIVE THAT AS A WEAKNESS OR A PROBLEM. IN FACT, MOST IOWANS AND EVERY DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT SINCE 1988 WAS FOR A LIMITED DEATH PENALTY.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT IS HEALTH CARE. AND YOU'VE SAID -- YOU JUST SAID HEALTH CARE -- THE SAME HEALTH CARE THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE. THERE ARE PEOPLE INSIDE THE AFSCME UNION WHO SAY THE STATE CANNOT AFFORD THAT, THAT YOU'VE INDICATED THAT YOU WOULD HELP THE NEWTON WORKERS BY GIVING THEM STATE HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS. HOW WILL YOU PAY FOR ALL THIS?

Culver: YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO CREATE A POOL IN IOWA TO HELP 58,000 KIDS AND NEARLY 300,000 IOWANS THAT HAVE NO HEALTH CARE TODAY TO GET COVERAGE. I THINK ONE WAY TO DO THAT IS TO LOOK AT OPENING UP THE STATE POOL TO ALLOW PEOPLE WORKING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, ALLOWING THE UNINSURED TO GET INTO THE POOL TO GET THE SAME BASIC TYPE OF COVERAGE THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS GET.

Yepsen: ISN'T THAT GOING TO JEOPARDIZE THE QUALITY OF THE INSURANCE PROGRAM THAT'S AVAILABLE TO STATE EMPLOYEES?

Culver: NO. IN FACT, WE HAVE SAID THAT WE WILL HOLD THOSE BENEFICIARIES HARMLESS.

Yepsen: WHAT'S THE PRICE TAG?

Culver: WELL, THE PRICE TAG -- WE'RE PAYING FOR IT ANYWAY RIGHT NOW, TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A YEAR. SKYROCKETING PREMIUMS BECAUSE WE HAVE 300,000 PEOPLE THAT AREN'T COVERED. WE CAN'T AFFORD NOT TO DO SOMETHING QUICKLY TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS TO 300,000 PEOPLE. WITHOUT IT THEY'RE GOING TO EMERGENCY ROOMS, AND THAT IS COSTING THOSE THAT HAVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE MORE IN TERMS OF PREMIUMS, PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS. AND I THINK YOU NEED TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX HERE. AND WE NEED -- WE CAN'T WAIT ON WASHINGTON TO SOLVE THE HEALTH CARE PROBLEMS OR CHALLENGES IN IOWA. THIS IS A BIG IDEA. IT'S A BOLD ONE. I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH MY FRIENDS IN AFSCME ON THIS, BUT POOLING CAN WORK. WE WILL CONTINUE TO ALLOW THE PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PROVIDE THE HEALTH CARE, BUT WE NEED TO OPEN UP THE POOL. WE HAVE PEOPLE ON MAIN STREET, SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE GETTING HIT WITH 20-, 30-, 40-PERCENT INCREASES IN THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS. THIS IS A REAL CHALLENGE FOR EVERYONE. IT SHOULDN'T BE ABOUT POLITICS OR PARTISANSHIP. AS GOVERNOR OF THIS STATE, I WILL FIGHT TO ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE.

Glover: WE JUST TALKED ABOUT DEBT. LET'S GET THE OTHER HALF OF THE EQUATION, TAXES. AS GOVERNOR, WOULD YOU TAKE A NO NEW TAXES PLEDGE?

Culver: I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT ON ANY QUESTION ABOUT TAXES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE -- THAT THEY'RE FAIR, THAT THEY'RE EASY TO UNDERSTAND, AND THAT WE RAISE THE REVENUE THAT WE NEED TO PROVIDE THE SERVICES TO NEARLY THREE MILLION IOWANS.

Glover: LET ME REPHRASE THE QUESTION. DO WE HAVE THAT REVENUE BASE RIGHT NOW, OR DO YOU NEED MORE REVENUE?

Culver: WELL, WE'RE DOING VERY WELL RIGHT NOW. THE GOVERNOR HAS MANAGED OUR -- OUR FISCAL HOUSE IS IN ORDER. REVENUES ARE ACTUALLY UP RIGHT NOW, AND THEY'RE PROJECTED TO CONTINUE TO INCREASE.

Glover: SO RIGHT NOW YOU SEE NO NEED FOR A TAX INCREASE?

Culver: WELL, I THINK THE ONE TAX THAT I HAVE SAID WE NEED TO RAISE IS THE CIGARETTE TAX. AND I -- AND THAT'S AN ISSUE OF FAIRNESS. THAT WILL ALSO ALLOW US TO HAVE THE REVENUE WE NEED TO ADDRESS, AS DAVID SUGGESTED, SOME OF THE COSTS AND HAVE THE RESOURCES TO PROVIDE MORE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE TO IOWANS.

Yepsen: I WANT TO GO TO POLITICS. YOU CARRIED ABOUT 79 COUNTIES, AS I RECALL, IN THE PRIMARY, YET YOU LOST MANY OF THE STATE'S URBAN COUNTIES, THE MOST DEMOCRATIC COUNTIES. YOU LOST POLK COUNTY, FOR EXAMPLE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR TO REACH THOSE DEMOCRATIC VOTERS AND ORGANIZATIONS IN URBAN COUNTIES?

Culver: YOU KNOW, THIS WAS A SPIRITED PRIMARY. IT WAS A HEALTHY PRIMARY. I REALLY ENJOYED IT. THE PARTY CAME OUT IN RECORD NUMBERS, 147,000 PEOPLE.

Borg: BUT WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THE RESULTS, DAVE ASKS.

Culver: WELL, I WAS HONORED TO HAVE WON THE NOMINATION. WE WON 79 COUNTIES. THAT'S PERHAPS MORE THAN ANY CANDIDATE HAS EVER WON --

Yepsen: BUT NO DEMOCRAT WINS THE GOVERNORSHIP WITHOUT CARRYING IOWA'S 20 LARGEST COUNTIES.

Culver: YOU WIN THE GOVERNORSHIP BY WINNING IN EVERY CORNER OF THE STATE, SOMETHING THAT I'VE DONE AND MY RUNNING MATE, PATTY JUDGE, HAVE DONE FOUR TIMES. WE WON 70 COUNTIES IN -- BETWEEN THE TWO OF US. PATTY JUDGE WON TWICE AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE. I'VE WON TWICE AS SECRETARY OF STATE. AND I'M THE ONLY -- I WAS THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE THAT WAS BEATING JIM NUSSLE IN EVERY POLL. I HAVE A VERY STRONG STATEWIDE BASE OF DEMOCRATS, INDEPENDENTS, AND SOME REPUBLICANS. AND WE ARE IN A GREAT POSITION TO WIN ON NOVEMBER 7.

Glover: BUT IT IS A MATHEMATICAL FACT THAT OF THE 140 SOME THOUSAND DEMOCRATS WHO SHOWED UP TO VOTE IN THE PRIMARY, TWO-THIRDS VOTED FOR SOMEBODY ELSE. HOW DO YOU REACH OUT TO THOSE PEOPLE?

Culver: IT'S ALSO A FACT THAT OUR PARTY IS UNITED. WE HAD A UNITY RALLY LAST WEEK. MIKE BLOUIN AND ED FALLON SHOWED A LOT OF CLASS. THEY ENCOURAGED ALL THEIR SUPPORTERS TO GET BEHIND MY CANDIDACY FOR GOVERNOR. PAT MURPHY, MIKE GRONSTAL ARE A HUNDRED PERCENT ON BOARD, ALL THE LEGISLATORS. THIS WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S ABILITY TO RALLY AROUND A CANDIDATE THAT IS RUNNING AGAINST JIM NUSSLE. AND I COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITED ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN. AND THE PARTY IS STRONG. WE'RE GOING INTO OUR CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND. A LOT OF ENTHUSIASM AND A LOT OF UNITY.

Yepsen: THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SUPPORTERS OF BOTH ED FALLON AND MIKE BLOUIN WHO AREN'T AS EXCITED AS YOU SEEM TO INDICATE, BASED ON THE INTERVIEWS THAT I HAVE DONE WITH THEM. SO SPECIFICALLY IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, SAY, OR EMPHASIZE TO COURT ED FALLON SUPPORTERS, ISSUES THAT HE CHAMPIONED THAT YOU MIGHT TAKE UP AS YOUR CAUSE. HOW DO YOU COURT THE FALLON VOTER?

Culver: WELL, AGAIN, I THINK MIKE BLOUIN AND ED FALLON RAN GREAT RACES, AND I COMMEND THEM.

Yepsen: THEY DON'T CONTROL THE VOTES THAT THEIR PEOPLE GIVE. IT'S INDIVIDUAL FALLON SUPPORTERS WHO I'M ASKING YOU TO TALK ABOUT.

Culver: WELL, YOU KNOW, I'VE HAD TWO VERY GOOD CONVERSATIONS WITH ED, AND I WANT HIM TO PLAY A ROLE IN MY CAMPAIGN. I WANT MIKE BLOUIN TO PLAY A ROLE IN MY CAMPAIGN. I'M MEETING WITH MIKE NEXT WEEK. WE'VE HAD VERY GOOD CONVERSATIONS ON THE TELEPHONE. AND ABSOLUTELY WE'LL CONTINUE TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT WERE RAISED. FOR EXAMPLE, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. WE NEED CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM IN THIS STATE. WE NEED MORE DISCLOSURE, MORE TRANSPARENCY, AND I WILL ASK ED TO HELP ON THAT. AND MIKE BLOUIN PERHAPS CAN TAKE A ROLE IN TERMS OF JOB CREATION.

Yepsen: HE'S FOR PUBLIC FUNDING OF ELECTIONS. ARE YOU FOR PUBLIC FUNDING OF CAMPAIGNS?

Culver: NO, I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO GO THAT FAR. WE NEED DISCLOSURE, PERHAPS CAPS AT SOME POINT ON -- LIMITS ON HOW MUCH INDIVIDUALS CAN GIVE. AND I AM HAPPY TO HAVE BOTH OF THEM JOIN ME FOR THE NEXT 145 DAYS. THEY BOTH RAN GOOD RACES AND THEY TOUCHED ON IMPORTANT ISSUES. AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE KEEP THEM A PART OF THIS CAMPAIGN, AND I WANT TO DO THAT.

Glover: I'D LIKE YOU TO DEAL WITH ONE OF MIKE BLOUIN'S BIGGEST SUPPORTERS, AND THAT WAS THE HEFT OF ORGANIZED LABOR. ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF ORGANIZED LABOR WAS IN HIS CAMPAIGN. YOU'VE MET WITH THEM. THEY'VE ENDORSED YOU. BUT CAN YOU GET THE ENTHUSIASM AND THE ENERGY OUT OF ORGANIZED LABOR IN THE GENERAL ELECTION? BECAUSE YOU DON'T NEED THEM TO ENDORSE YOU, YOU NEED THEM WORKING TIRELESSLY FOR YOU.

Culver: I NEED THEM TO DO BOTH. I NEED THEIR ENDORSEMENT. I NEED THEM TO WORK TIRELESSLY. THERE'S NEVER BEEN NOR WILL THERE EVER BE A QUESTION ABOUT WHERE I STAND WITH WORKING MEN AND WOMEN. I WANT TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE. WE NEED TO GIVE A HUNDRED THOUSAND HARD WORKING IOWANS A RAISE. JIM NUSSLE IS NOT FOR THAT. IN FACT, HE'S VOTED AGAINST INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME HE GAVE HIMSELF A $36,000 RAISE AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. I WILL FIGHT FOR HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN. AND I WAS HONORED TO HAVE THE ENDORSEMENT OF 50,000 ACTIVE AND RETIRED UNION MEMBERS, INCLUDING THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS, WHO STEPPED UP STATEWIDE AND HELPED ME WIN THIS PRIMARY. AND NOW I'M HONORED TO HAVE THE FEDERATION OF LABOR AND OTHER ORGANIZED LABOR GROUPS GET BEHIND MY CANDIDACY. WE'RE CONTINUING TO MEET. THE MEETINGS HAVE GONE WELL. AND WE WILL BE UNITED A HUNDRED PERCENT.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT ABOUT THIRTY SECONDS LEFT. YOU MENTIONED MIKE BLOUIN. WOULD HE PLAY A ROLE IN A CULVER ADMINISTRATION?

Culver: ABSOLUTELY. MIKE BLOUIN --

Yepsen: WOULD YOU MAKE HIM YOUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR?

Culver: WELL, WE'LL MAKE THOSE DECISIONS AFTER NOVEMBER 7. BUT MIKE BLOUIN HAS GIVEN A LOT OF IMPORTANT SERVICE TO THIS STATE AT EVERY DIFFERENT LEVEL, AND I'D BE HONORED TO HAVE HIM HELPING ME NOT ONLY ON THIS CAMPAIGN BUT AS THE NEXT GOVERNOR AND IN OUR ADMINISTRATION.

Borg: WHERE MIGHT HE FIT?

Culver: MIKE BLOUIN HAS A LOT TO OFFER THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE. SO DOES ED FALLON AND COUNTLESS OTHERS, AND I AM EXCITED ABOUT PUTTING TOGETHER THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST TO MOVE IOWA FORWARD AND ACCOMPLISH OUR GOALS AND --

Borg: THANK YOU, MR. CULVER.

Culver: -- AND MOVE THE STATE FORWARD.

Borg: WE'RE OUT OF TIME. THANKS SO MUCH.

Culver: THANK YOU.

Borg: AND AS I SAID, THAT IS IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT WEEKEND, REGULAR 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT; 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND BY NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.


Tags: campaign 2006 Chet Culver Democrats governors Iowa Tom Vilsack