Iowa Public Television

 

Rep. Christopher Rants & Sen. Mike Gronstal

posted on July 7, 2006

Rep. Christopher Rants & Sen. Mike Gronstal

posted on July 7, 2006

>>

Borg: A MOVE TO LIMIT AUTHORITY. IN SPECIAL SESSION, THE IOWA LEGISLATURE PONDERS WHETHER OR NOT TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK'S VETO RESTRICTING GOVERNMENT'S AUTHORITY TO OVERRIDE PROPERTY OWNERS. WE'LL DISCUSS THE SPECIAL SESSION WITH HOUSE SPEAKER CHRISTOPHER RANTS AND SENATE DEMOCRATIC COLEADER MIKE GRONSTAL 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 JULY 7 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: AT THE IOWA STATEHOUSE, IT'S TECHNICALLY KNOWN AS 'HOUSE FILE 2351,' BUT THAT'S WHERE THE GENERIC TERMINOLOGY ENDS. THE LEGISLATION DEALS WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S AUTHORITY TO SEIZE PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC USE. IT'S THE EMINENT DOMAIN CONDEMNATION PROCEDURE. BECAUSE OF A RECENT U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACQUIRING PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR RESALE TO DEVELOPERS, THERE'S A SCRAMBLE THROUGHOUT THE NATION TO LIMIT GOVERNMENT'S EMINENT DOMAIN POWERS. THE IOWA LEGISLATURE PASSED SUCH LEGISLATION WITH STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT DURING THE PAST SESSION. BUT AFTER THE LEGISLATURE ADJOURNED, GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK VETOED IT, SAYING THE RESTRICTIONS WOULD HAMPER LOCAL GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES. NOW THE LEGISLATURE IS CONVENING A SPECIAL SESSION ON THE ISSUE. AND WITH THE NOVEMBER ELECTION LOOMING, WHAT HAPPENS COULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS. SIOUX CITY REPUBLICAN CHRISTOPHER RANTS WILL CONVENE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND COUNCIL BLUFFS SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL IS THE DEMOCRATIC COLEADER IN THE SENATE, WHERE THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS, YOU RECALL, SHARE POWER EACH WITH 25 VOTES. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME BACK TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Gronstal: THANKS FOR HAVING US.

Borg: WE DIDN'T ANTICIPATE HAVING YOU HERE THIS SUMMER.

Rants: I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE FOR THE YEAR.

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

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, LET'S START WITH YOU. THE LEGISLATURE IS COMING BACK INTO SESSION TO DEAL WITH AN OVERRIDE OF THE GOVERNOR'S VETO. WILL THE HOUSE OVERRIDE THAT VETO?

Rants: I THINK THAT WE WILL. REMEMBER WE HAD OVER 80 VOTES -- ABOUT 89 VOTES TO PASS THIS LEGISLATION INITIALLY. THE NUMBER ON THE VOTE CART WENT UP FROM THE FIRST TIME THE HOUSE PASSED IT. THE SENATE MADE SOME CHANGES. WE ACCEPTED THE COMPROMISE AND IT GARNERED MORE VOTES. WE HAD OVER 80 PEOPLE SIGN THE PETITION TO CALL OURSELVES BACK INTO SPECIAL SESSION. I'M NOT EXACTLY RUNNING A BLUE CARD, A VOTE CARD TO FIND OUT WHERE THE VOTES ARE AT, BUT I FEEL OPTIMISTIC THAT THE VOTES WILL BE THERE TO OVERRIDE IT.

Glover: WILL IT BE --

Rants: THE PEOPLE EITHER VOTED FOR IT, YOU KNOW, BACK IN MAY WHEN WE PASSED IT -- THEY EITHER MEANT IT WHEN THEY VOTED FOR IT OR THEY DIDN'T. WE'LL FIND OUT NEXT FRIDAY IF THEY DID.

Glover: WILL IT EVEN BE CLOSE?

Rants: IF IT PASSES, I DON'T THINK IT WILL BE CLOSE.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION FOR YOU. THE BILL PASSED THE SENATE OVERWHELMINGLY. WILL THE SENATE OVERRIDE ITS VETO?

Gronstal: LOOK, AT THIS POINT AND TIME, I DON'T THINK WE'VE HAD A CAUCUS ON IT. I DON'T THINK I KNOW THE OUTCOME AT THIS POINT AND TIME, AND I THINK THAT'S -- I THINK THAT'S ESSENTIALLY AS IT SHOULD BE. WE ARE A DELIBERATIVE BODY THAT SITS DOWN AND TALKS ABOUT THESE ISSUES. I HAVE RULED OUT NO POSSIBILITY. I MEAN WE ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH THE GOVERNOR ON LEGISLATION THAT WOULD CLARIFY SOME AREAS. WE ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER A MORATORIUM, AND WE ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER A VETO OVERRIDE.

Glover: AREN'T YOU PUTTING --

Gronstal: SO -- SO -- SO I THINK -- I THINK ANY OF THOSE OPTIONS IS POSSIBLE. I WOULD SAY I THINK THE BEST OPTION, THE BEST OPTION IS TO HAVE A REASONABLE DISCUSSION WITH PEOPLE. ONE OF THE GOVERNOR'S CONCERNS IN PARTICULAR IS IN THE AREA OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SLUM AND BLIGHT, AND THE LEGISLATION SIGNIFICANTLY RESTRICTS CITIES' ABILITY TO USE EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SLUM AND BLIGHT.

Glover: WE'LL GET INTO THAT IN JUST A MINUTE. BUT FIRST, HOW MANY OF YOUR MEMBERS ARE YOU PUTTING AT POLITICAL RISK IN THIS?

Gronstal: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, MY MEMBERS GET A VOTE HOW THEY CHOOSE TO VOTE. I DON'T PUT ANY OF THEM AT RISK. THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE THEIR JUDGMENT, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT BOTH THE POLITICAL IMPACTS AND THE POLICY IMPACTS OF WHATEVER ACTION WE DECIDE TO TAKE. BUT I'VE GOT TO BE CLEAR; I THINK REPUBLICANS SEE THIS MORE AS A POLITICAL ISSUE THAN A POLICY ISSUE. THAT'S WHY -- I THINK THAT'S WHY THEIR ONLY COURSE -- AND I THINK CHRISTOPHER HAS INDICATED TO ME THAT THEY, IN ESSENCE, INTEND TO HAVE TWO VOTES, ONE ON VETO OVERRIDE AND ONE ON ADJOURNMENT.

Rants: THAT WOULD BE A FAIR STATEMENT.

Glover: AND IS THAT --

Rants: THAT IS A FAIR STATEMENT. TO ME IT'S NOT ABOUT THE POLITICS. I KNOW PEOPLE LIKE TO CAST EVERYTHING WE DO IN TERMS OF POLITICS.

Glover: LIKE US.

Rants: I WASN'T GOING TO NAME NAMES. BUT THE FACT IS THIS WAS A LENGTHY DEBATE IN THE HOUSE, AND I THINK THAT WOULD BE FAIR TO SAY IN THE SENATE AS WELL.

Gronstal: OH, ABSOLUTELY. AND I THINK A LOT OF WORK WAS PUT INTO THIS.

Rants: MIKE SAYS IT'S -- IT'S -- IT IS. DELIBERATIVE BODY. I STARTED TALKING TO MY MEMBERS, MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THE COMMITTEE PROCESS, THE SUBCOMMITTEE PROCESS. I WOULD VENTURE THAT IN THE HOUSE ALONE THERE'S OVER A HUNDRED HOURS IN COMMITTEE TIME, HEARINGS, MEETING WITH INTERESTED PARTIES, BE IT THE LEAGUE OF CITIES OR THE FARM BUREAU, DEBATE TIME ON THE FLOOR, IT HAS BEEN A DELIBERATIVE PROCESS.

Yepsen: BUT --

Rants: IT IS IMPORTANT AND IT MATTERS TO IOWANS. IT MATTERS TO IOWANS AND THAT'S WHY WHEN YOU HAVE 89 VOTES FOR A BILL IN THE HOUSE, THE GOVERNOR VETOES IT -- AND THIS IS 89 OBVIOUSLY BIPARTISAN VOTES -- IT'S WORTH TAKING THE TIME TO HAVE THE DEBATE AND HAVE THE OVERRIDE VOTE.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Borg: SENATOR GRONSTAL?

Gronstal: WELL, THERE'S A POINT ON THAT. EVEN ONE OF YOUR OWN KEY MEMBERS THAT WAS A KEY PLAYER IN THIS HAS TALKED WITH YOU ABOUT CHANGES TO THE SLUM AND BLIGHT DEFINITION. NOBODY -- NOBODY IS SAYING THIS BILL, JUST BECAUSE IT GOT 89 VOTES OR 43 IN THE SENATE, THAT EVERYTHING IN IT IS PERFECT. AND I THINK IT'S WORTH TAKING A LOOK AT SOME THINGS THAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE WILLING TO CHANGE. I'VE GOT TO REPEAT, THERE IS A REAL ISSUE ON SLUM AND BLIGHT.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT. LET'S STOP FOR A MINUTE HERE AND BRING THE READER -- OR THE VIEWER UP TO SPEED. WHAT DO YOU MEAN SLUM AND BLIGHT? TALK ABOUT --

Gronstal: CITIES HAVE LONG HAD THE POWER TO USE THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE SLUM OR BLIGHTED NEIGHBORHOODS, DECLINING NEIGHBORHOODS. AND LET'S BE SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT THAT'S ABOUT. THAT'S ABOUT A CITY WANTING TO GO INTO A RESIDENTAL NEIGHBORHOOD THAT'S FILLED -- THAT'S FILLED WITH PIMPS AND HORRIFIC DRUG PROBLEMS, AND TRY AND CLEAN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD UP AND PUT THOSE KINDS OF OPERATIONS OUT OF BUSINESS.

Yepsen: AND YOU'RE SAYING THAT THIS BILL WOULD ELIMINATE THAT ABILITY?

Gronstal: AND IT SEVERELY LIMITS CITIES' ABILITY TO USE THE SLUM AND BLIGHT STATUTE. I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS. THAT'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS TOO. IF YOU'RE THE NEIGHBOR THAT KEEPS YOUR LAWN MOWED AND KEEPS YOUR HOUSE PAINTED AND TAKES CARE OF IT AND YOUR OTHER NEIGHBORS AREN'T, THAT'S YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS BEING INJURED AS WELL. SO I EXPRESSED THIS CONCERN DURING THE SESSION. I THINK THIS BILL GOES TOO FAR ON LIMITING THE USE BY CITIES OF SLUM AND BLIGHT. OR THEY WANT TO GO INTO A COMMERCIAL NEIGHBORHOOD --

Yepsen: BUT YOU LOST THAT VOTE, SENATOR.

Gronstal: -- THAT'S FILLED WITH PAWN SHOPS AND STRIP BARS AND ADULT BOOK STORES, AND THEY WANT TO CLEAN THOSE KINDS OF PLACES UP AND GET THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS GROWING AGAIN.

Yepsen: BUT YOU LOST THAT VOTE, CORRECT? I MEAN YOU LOST THAT ARGUMENT. YOUR COLLEAGUES VOTED THIS BILL INTO LAW.

Gronstal: ACTUALLY I WAS WORKING LITERALLY ON THE LAST DAY OF THE SESSION TO TRY AND CONVINCE PEOPLE, AND THERE WERE SYMPATHETIC REPUBLICANS ON BOTH SIDES. LISTEN --

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Gronstal: DEMOCRATS ARE JUST AS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. IT'S OUTRAGEOUS FOR GOVERNMENT TO TAKE PROPERTY FROM ONE INDIVIDUAL AND GIVE IT TO ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL.

Yepsen: CAN I GET A QUESTION IN HERE?

Rants: I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THE SIDE OF THE CRACK HOUSES OR THE PIMPS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. IN SLUM AND BLIGHT AREAS, THE BILL DOESN'T -- DOES NOT ELIMINATE THE ABILITY TO CONDEMN THAT PROPERTY. BUT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES, YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN AREA WHERE THE CITY COUNCIL OR COUNTY SUPERVISORS LOOK AT IT. THEY HAVE TO SAY OF THIS AREA WE'RE GOING TO CONDEMN, 75 PERCENT OF IT HAS TO BE SLUM AND BLIGHT. NOW, AS THE BILL ORIGINALLY PASSED THE HOUSE, WE PASSED IT AT 90 PERCENT. THE SENATE THOUGHT THAT WAS TOO HIGH OF A THRESHOLD. WE UNDERSTOOD. AGAIN, WE COMPROMISED; WE SAID 75 PERCENT. WHAT THE GOVERNOR HAS PROPOSED OR WHAT SOME PEOPLE ARE PROPOSING NOW IS YOU TAKE IT DOWN TO 50. YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK AT NOT JUST THE SLUM AND BLIGHT SIDE. THAT MEANS YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO CONDEMN MORE PROPERTY THAT IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE SLUM AND BLIGHT. YOU WANT TO CONDEMN MORE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE KEEPING UP THEIR HOMES. MAYBE THEY'VE GOT A NICE, LITTLE SMALL BUSINESS GOING ON. THOSE ARE THE FOLKS THAT WE'RE INTERESTED IN PROTECTING.

Yepsen: YOU BRING UP THE GOVERNOR. HE HAS OFFERED A COMPROMISE PROPOSAL -- HE IS OFFERING A COMPROMISE PROPOSAL. MR. SPEAKER, YOU'RE SAYING NO WAY.

Rants: WE THINK IT'S A STEP BACKWARDS, ABSOLUTELY.

Yepsen: AND, SENATOR GRONSTAL, WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL?

Gronstal: AND WE'RE CERTAINLY MORE THAN WILLING TO ENGAGE IN THOSE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE GOVERNOR. AND IF THAT -- IF WE CAN'T REACH CONSENSUS ON THAT AND IF WE CAN'T REACH CONSENSUS ON A VETO OVERRIDE, I'M FOR A FULL-BLOWN MORATORIUM: NO CONDEMNATIONS FOR PRIVATE PURPOSES, NONE FOR NINE MONTHS.

Yepsen: BUT, SENATOR GRONSTAL --

Rants: BUT THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH THAT, THOUGH, IF I MAY. THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH SAYING THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A MORATORIUM FOR NINE MONTHS, BECAUSE WHEN YOU PUT A LIMIT ON IT, THAT BASICALLY EXCUSES THE LEGISLATURE OF DOING ANYTHING. I MEAN THERE IS NO GUARANTEE, MIKE, THAT WE COME BACK NEXT YEAR AND DO ANYTHING.

Gronstal: CHRISTOPHER, I GUARANTEE YOU THE ODDS ARE PRETTY DARN GOOD I'M GOING TO BE THE MAJORITY LEADER NEXT YEAR, AND I WILL GUARANTEE YOU WE'LL PASS EMINENT DOMAIN LEGISLATION.

Rants: BUT WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE; DO WE?

Borg: I SENSE THAT WE'RE GETTING INTO LEGISLATIVE DEBATE HERE, AND WE'D LIKE TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS. SO I'M ASKING, CHRISTOPHER RANTS, ARE YOU UNHAPPY THAT THE GOVERNOR DIDN'T COMMUNICATE EARLIER HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THIS BILL WHILE YOU WERE STILL IN SESSION?

Rants: TO BE FAIR TO THE GOVERNOR, HE COMMUNICATED ONE TIME TO ME, BEFORE THE BILL EVER CAME OUT OF COMMITTEE WHEN HE SAW THE ORIGINAL DRAFT, HE THOUGHT IT WAS TOO RESTRICTIVE. AND I TOLD HIM, 'GOVERNOR, YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND YOUR CONCERNS. I KNOW YOU'VE SEEN THE DRAFT. BE AWARE WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN COMMITTEE.' AND WE DID. AND WE MADE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE FLOOR. TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION THAT'S THE ONLY COMMUNICATION I HAD WITH THE GOVERNOR IN REGARDS TO THAT BILL. THAT'S OKAY. I MEAN IF HE CHOSE TO MAKE COMMUNICATIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE OR NOT ENGAGE US, THAT'S HIS DECISION. BUT WE WENT THROUGH A VERY DELIBERATIVE PROCESS. AGAIN, WE'VE MADE COMPROMISES ALL ALONG THE WAY, IN THE HOUSE, YOU KNOW, WITH THE SENATE. YOU CAN'T SAY IT'S LIKE WE TOOK A BILL OUT OF COMMITTEE, RAN IT THROUGH THE HOUSE 51/49, AND WE FOUND OURSELVES IN THIS SITUATION TODAY. I THINK THE TIME FOR COMPROMISE HAS COME TO AN END. THERE'S A POINT AND TIME WHEN YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING MEANINGFUL THAT YOU COMPROMISE IT ALL THE WAY, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO NOTHING AT ALL. AND I THINK WE'RE ABOUT TO THAT POINT.

Borg: SENATOR GRONSTAL, WHAT EXPRESSION DID THE GOVERNOR MAKE TO YOU DURING THE SESSION THAT HE MIGHT VETO THIS?

Gronstal: DURING THE SESSION -- WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE GOVERNOR DOESN'T ON A REGULAR BASIS, THIS GOVERNOR OR THE PREVIOUS GOVERNOR, INDICATE UP FRONT WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO ON LEGISLATION THAT'S PENDING IN THE LEGISLATURE. HIS OFFICE DID EXPRESS CONCERNS TO US ABOUT THE BILL, EXPRESSED CONCERN TO -- CONCERNS TO US ABOUT THE BILL AS IT RELATES TO AIRPORTS AND LAKES. AND WE WERE PRETTY CLEAR TO HIM WE'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO BE MOVING ON THAT SUBJECT. SO WE'VE HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH THE GOVERNOR ABOUT THIS.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, LET'S GO BACK TO THE MECHANICS AND WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT FRIDAY. MECHANICALLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE HOUSE?

Rants: WE'LL GAVEL IN. HOPEFULLY BOTH PARTIES WILL HAVE FINISHED UP WITH THEIR CAUCUSES EITHER THE NIGHT BEFORE OR THE MORNING BEFORE. THE MAJORITY LEADER WILL CALL UP THE BILL FOR RECONSIDERATION. AND WE WILL HAVE -- I MEAN IT'S A DEBATABLE MOTION, BUT YOU CAN'T AMEND IT OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. AND WE'LL HAVE A VOTE ON IT. IT SHOULD BE PRETTY QUICK. THE LAST TIME WE DID THAT WAS 1996. I HAPPENED TO BE THERE WHEN WE HAD A VOTE, AND I WAS ONE OF THOSE FEW REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED TO TRY TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S VETO. IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG. IT'S A PRETTY SHORT -- IT'S A PRETTY SHORT DEBATE.

Glover: AND THAT WILL BE THE ONLY THING THAT THE HOUSE WILL --

Rants: THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT I INTEND TO BRING UP FOR CONSIDERATION. IF THE MOTION TO OVERRIDE PASSES, WE'LL MOVE TO ADJOURN. IF THE MOTION TO OVERRIDE FAILS, AGAIN, WE'LL MOVE TO ADJOURN. WE'LL HAVE CONCLUDED ACTION ON THAT ISSUE.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. MECHANICALLY WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SENATE? YOU INITIALLY HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE HOUSE TO ACT.

Gronstal: THE SENATE -- SINCE THE BILL ORIGINATED IN THE HOUSE, THE VETO OVERRIDE ORIGINATES IN THE HOUSE AND THEN IT WILL COME TO THE SENATE. AND WE'LL MAKE THAT DECISION AT THAT POINT DEPENDING ON WHAT THE HOUSE DOES, DEPENDING ON WHAT THE COEQUAL REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE DECIDE TO DO. WE'LL MAKE THAT JUDGMENT WHEN THAT TIME COMES. THERE ARE OTHER REAL ISSUES HERE. IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS, YOU DON'T PURSUE A VETO OVERRIDE THAT HAS A LEGAL CLOUD HANGING OVER IT.

Glover: WELL, WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND. BUT FIRST OF ALL, IS THIS THE ONLY ISSUE --

Gronstal: IN THAT CASE YOU GO PASS NEW LEGISLATION. IF THERE'S A LEGAL CLOUD AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR'S VETO ACCORDING TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, IF YOU REALLY WANT A GUARANTEE THAT YOU'RE NOT BACK NEXT YEAR DEALING WITH THIS, CHRISTOPHER --

Rants: THERE'S NO LEGAL ESTOP RIGHT. WE WILL DISAGREE ON THAT.

Gronstal: I APPRECIATE YOUR LEGAL EXPERTISE BUT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE SAYS THERE IS A LEGAL CLOUD.

Rants: YOU DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE AN OFFICIAL ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OPINION FOR WHICH -- LIKE IN OTHER CASES, WHICH PEOPLE BASE DECISIONS UPON. YOU HAVE AN INFORMAL OPINION WRITTEN BY AN ATTORNEY IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE. THAT IS NOT DEFINING RULE OR LAW FOR THE LEGISLATURE. WHAT GOVERNS VETOES OR VETO OVERRIDES IS ESTABLISHED IN THE CONSTITUTION. THE IOWA CONSTITUTION GIVES GENERAL ASSEMBLIES THE ABILITY TO DO VETO OVERRIDES. IT SAYS NOTHING -- IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT SESSIONS. IT TALKS ABOUT GENERAL ASSEMBLIES, AND THIS IS THE SAME GENERAL ASSEMBLY THAT PASSED THE LEGISLATION THAT'S IN DOUBT.

Gronstal: YOU MAY BE RIGHT.

Rants: THERE'S NO CLOUD --

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE ARGUMENT --

Gronstal: YOU MAY BE RIGHT BUT THERE'S NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU'RE RIGHT.

Rants: ANYONE CAN SUE ON ANY ISSUE, AS WE BOTH KNOW.

Borg: DAVID?

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, MAY I ASK A QUESTION?

Rants: ABSOLUTELY.

Yepsen: WHAT I'D LIKE TO ASK IS ABOUT SENATOR GRONSTAL'S POINT THAT YOU CREATE A LEGAL CLOUD. IF THE LEGISLATURE DOES WHAT YOU PROPOSE TO DO, COME IN, OVERRIDE THE VETO, AND GO HOME, DO YOU NOT IN EFFECT HALT A LOT OF EMINENT DOMAIN PROCEEDINGS IN IOWA BECAUSE YOU HAVE RAISED THIS AMBIGUITY THAT ONLY THE SUPREME COURT CAN RESOLVE THAT -- ABOUT JUST WHAT IS LEGAL AND WHAT ISN'T? AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE SOME CASE, IT WILL TAKE A COUPLE YEARS FOR THAT CASE TO MAKE ITS WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT. DO YOU NOT PUT A CLOUD OVER ALL OF THIS EMINENT DOMAIN ACTIVITY IF YOU FOLLOW THE COURSE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

Rants: FIRST OF ALL, DAVID, IF THE LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES THE VETO, IT BECOMES THE LAW OF THE LAND. OKAY? END OF STORY. IF SOMEBODY CHOOSES -- IF A CITY COUNCIL DECIDES WE DON'T WANT TO FOLLOW THE LAW, THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ELSE, AND THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES ON THE CITY COUNCIL, THEY MAY CHALLENGE AND THEN IT MAY TAKE TIME. BUT EVEN IF WE DO THE BILL AND EVEN IF WE DID A BILL AS MIKE SUGGESTS, YOU PASS SOMETHING NEW, SOMEBODY COULD CHALLENGE THAT IN COURT ANYWAY. WE'VE SEEN THAT HAPPEN REPEATEDLY. THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR ARE CURRENTLY IN COURT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE -- WHO SUED US OVER THE LAST IOWA VALUES FUND DEBATE THAT WE HAD.

Yepsen: BUT, MR. SPEAKER, WOULD YOU NOT ELIMINATE THE AMBIGUITY? I MEAN ONE OF THE PROPOSALS THAT SITS HERE IS HAVE THE LEGISLATURE COME BACK AND PASS THE EXACT SAME BILL, SEND IT DOWN TO THE GOVERNOR, THE GOVERNOR VETOES IT, AND YOU GUYS HANG AROUND TOWN FOR THREE DAYS. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Rants: I DON'T THINK IT'S NECESSARY. IT'S NOT NECESSARY. SECONDLY, IT IS VERY TROUBLING TO ME THAT EITHER THE DEMOCRATS OR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BELIEVES AND IS ARTICULATING THIS POSITION THAT THE LEGISLATURE CAN'T DO THAT, BECAUSE IF THAT'S THE CASE, WE'RE GOING TO SET A BRAND-NEW PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE GOVERNORS AND FUTURE LEGISLATURES ON HOW WE DEAL WITH THEM, BECAUSE IN THE PAST WE'VE GIVEN THE GOVERNOR THE COURTESY OF ACCEPTING BILLS WHEN HE WANTS TO. THAT PRACTICE WILL END AND EVERY BILL ON THE DAY IT IS PASSED WILL BE TAKEN DOWN TO A FUTURE GOVERNOR TO BE TURNED OVER, AND THE LEGISLATURE WILL NEVER, EVER AGAIN ADJOURN UNTIL THE GOVERNOR HAS DONE THAT.

Yepsen: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Rants: SOME STATES HAVE VETO OVERRIDE SESSIONS --

Yepsen: SENATOR --

Rants: -- WHICH IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD LOOK AT.

Gronstal: ACTUALLY THE REPUBLICANS RELIED ON THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S ADVICE --

Rants: NOT THIS REPUBLICAN.

Gronstal: -- IN 1998 WHEN THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT OVERRIDING GOVERNOR BRANSTAD ON A VETO. REPUBLICANS RELIED ON THIS ADVICE AT THIS TIME. THERE WERE CLEARLY TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS THAT REQUESTED A SPECIAL SESSION. THEY REQUESTED IT FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF VETO OVERRIDE. WE REQUESTED IT TO PASS LEGISLATION ON IMPROVING EDUCATION. AND REPUBLICANS RELIED ON THIS ADVICE AT THE TIME AND WALKED AWAY FROM A SPECIAL SESSION, DID NOT HOLD A SPECIAL SESSION WHEN THE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLED BOTH CHAMBERS.

Yepsen: THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEY GENERAL TELLING A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHAT HE WANTS TO HEAR.

Gronstal: WELL, THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS BOUGHT IT EIGHT YEARS AGO, BOUGHT THE A.G.'S OPINION.

Borg: MIKE GLOVER HAS A QUESTION.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT THAT YOU OUGHT TO JUST WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR AND AVOID ALL THIS CLOUD, AVOID ALL THIS FIGHT, AVOID A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT, JUST COME BACK AND DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR? YOU'LL HAVE A DIFFERENT GOVERNOR.

Rants: WE'VE GOT A GOOD BILL. WE HAVE A VERY GOOD BILL. I DON'T KNOW WHO THE GOVERNOR WILL BE. I DON'T KNOW WHO THE 150 MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL BE, EXCEPT FOR MIKE. HE'S NOT UP FOR ELECTION THIS YEAR. SO I'D LIKE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO PUT IN PLACE A GOOD LAW. NOW AGAIN --

Gronstal: AND SO WOULD I.

Rants: -- IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT PASSED 51/49. IT WAS A GOOD BIPARTISAN MAJORITY. REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WORKED TOGETHER ON THIS BILL ALL SESSION LONG. I THINK THE GOVERNOR MADE A MISTAKE IN CASTING HIS VETO. THE PEOPLE OF IOWA GAVE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE RIGHT TO HAVE THAT CHECK AND BALANCE. THE PEOPLE OF IOWA PUT IN OUR CONSTITUTION THE ABILITY FOR A GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HAVE AN OVERRIDE VOTE WHEN THEY BELIEVE THE GOVERNOR HAS MADE A MISTAKE. WE'RE EXERCISING THAT.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WHY NOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR AND AVOID ALL THIS MESS?

Gronstal: I THINK DEMOCRATS ARE VERY INTERESTED IN PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. I THINK THEY DO SEE THE ABILITY OF DEVELOPERS AND THOSE WELL CONNECTED BEING ABLE TO BASICALLY LORD IT OVER THE WEAKER OR THE LESS POWERFUL IN OUR SOCIETY. PRIVATE PROPERTY IS JUST THAT, PRIVATE PROPERTY. I THINK DEMOCRATS STRONGLY SUPPORT THAT. THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK. BUT WE DON'T WANT TO -- BUT WE'VE GONE FROM THIS IS THE PERFECT BILL TO THIS IS A VERY GOOD BILL. MAYBE IT ISN'T QUITE PERFECT, MR. SPEAKER. MAYBE THERE ARE SOME CHANGES WHERE WE COULD MEET WITH -- AND AGAIN, MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN CAUCUS THAT WERE KEY IN THIS LEGISLATION HAVE APPROACHED ME ABOUT SOME DEFINITIONAL CHANGES THAT THEY THINK MAKE SENSE. YOU KNOW, THAT'S NOT -- THAT'S NOT DEMOCRATS PRESSING IT. IT'S AN EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE IT. AND WITH THE LEGAL CLOUD, WHY NOT TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND TALK TO EACH OTHER, HEAR ARE THE GOVERNOR'S CONCERNS? TELL THE GOVERNOR: NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE LAKE LANGUAGE; I'M SORRY, I APPRECIATE THE FACT YOU LIKE LAKES IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE STATE; I THINK THAT MAKES SENSE BUT THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT GOING ALONG WITH IT; NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO AIRPORTS BUT --

Borg: IS THAT AN ARGUMENT, WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, IN FAVOR OF COMPROMISE NOW AND CHANGING DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION, OR IS IT AN ARGUMENT OF WAITING UNTIL NEXT YEAR?

Gronstal: NO, I'M SAYING DO IT NOW. WE CAN DO IT NOW. I THINK THERE'S ROOM -- I THINK THERE'S ROOM FOR REASONABLE PEOPLE TO SIT DOWN AND TALK. MAYBE THE GOVERNOR SHOULD HAVE TOLD US EARLIER HE WAS THINKING ABOUT VETOING THIS. MAYBE A WHOLE BUNCH THINGS SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. BUT NOW WE'RE AT A PLACE WHERE WE'VE GOT A CHOICE. AND IF WE PURSUE A CHOICE THAT LEAVES A LEGAL CLOUD OVER WHETHER THIS IS THE LAW OF THE LAND OR NOT, I DON'T THINK THAT'S HELPFUL AND I DON'T THINK THAT PROTECTS PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL, ARE DEMOCRATS GOING TO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE PUT IN THE POSITION OF SEEN AS KILLING THIS RESTRICTION? CAN YOU POLITICALLY SURVIVE HAVING DONE THAT?

Gronstal: I THINK -- I THINK WHEN IT'S ALL SAID AND DONE, WE'RE GOING TO DO OUR BEST TO COME UP WITH GOOD, STRONG LEGISLATION THAT PROTECTS PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

Yepsen: I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE LEGISLATION, SENATOR. I'M TALKING ABOUT THE POLITICS OF THIS. THE POLITICS IS THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR AND, AS WE'VE ALL NOTED, WE'VE GOT DEMOCRATS IN A POSITION TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SENATE.

Gronstal: I HAVE --

Yepsen: REPUBLICANS SENSE THAT THEY CAN BEAT YOU GUYS ON THIS ISSUE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THAT. IS THIS AN ISSUE WHERE YOU MAKE VULNERABLE --

Gronstal: NO, I'M WORRIED ABOUT --

Yepsen: DEMOCRATIC SENATORS?

Gronstal: NO, I'M WORRIED ABOUT PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. THAT'S WHAT I'M WORRIED ABOUT. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO PURSUE IN A SPECIAL SESSION.

Yepsen: BUT IF YOU'RE SO WORRIED ABOUT IT, WHY DO YOU WANT -- WHY DO YOU WANT A LESS RESTRICTIVE BILL?

Gronstal: BECAUSE --

Yepsen: IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE MORE --

Gronstal: NO! YOU'RE NOT LISTENING, DAVID. BECAUSE I WANT TO PROTECT THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF THOSE PEOPLE IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE OWNED BY THE DRUG DEALERS AND THE PROSTITUTES AND THE PIMPS.

Yepsen: AND DO THAT BY PASSING A WEAKER BILL THAN WAS PASSED EARLIER?

Gronstal: YOU DO THAT BY STRENGTHENING THE HAND OF CITIES TO DEAL WITH SLUM AND BLIGHTED NEIGHBORHOODS. I THINK THAT MAKES SENSE AND I THINK THAT'S PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY TOO.

Yepsen: ARE THE DEMOCRATS FOR THIS WEAKER BILL BECAUSE YOU TAKE A LOT OF MONEY FROM DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS?

Gronstal: OH, DAVID, YOU -- DAVID, WHAT -- DAVID, WHAT DO YOU MEAN WEAKER BILL? WEAKER BILL.

Yepsen: YOU'RE PROPOSING A BILL THAT'S WEAKER THAN WHAT WAS PASSED BEFORE.

Gronstal: NO, I'M PROPOSING A BILL TO PROTECT --

Yepsen: THERE'S BLIGHT IN YOUR SLUM AND BLIGHT. MY QUESTION, SIR, IS ARE YOU FOR THAT BECAUSE YOU GET MONEY FROM DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS.

Gronstal: THAT ISN'T A WEAKER BILL. I DENY THAT. I REJECT THE VIEW THAT IT'S A WEAKER BILL TO SAY I'M GOING TO STAND UP FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE DECENT HOMEOWNERS IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT'S GOT SOME INDECENT HOMEOWNERS IN IT. I'M GOING TO STAND UP FOR THOSE PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS TOO.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE ARGUMENT THAT THIS BILL IS BEING DEBATED IN A SPECIAL SESSION AND IT'S NOT WAITING FOR NEXT YEAR PURELY FOR POLITICS?

Rants: NO, IT'S NOT. I MEAN, MIKE, IT'S A GOOD BILL. NOT PERFECT. THE HOUSE FILE WAS PROBABLY PERFECT, BUT WE COMPROMISED FOUR TIMES TO GET TO THIS POINT. [ LAUGHTER ]

Glover: BUT YOU ARE PUTTING A BUNCH OF DEMOCRATS IN A POSITION OF HAVING TO CAST A POLITICALLY --

Rants: ACTUALLY I DON'T THINK -- I DON'T THINK THE DEMOCRATS ARE IN A BAD POSITION, OKAY, AND HERE'S WHY. A LOT HAVE OF DEMOCRATS HAVE CALLED ME TO SAY 'I'M VOTING FOR THAT BILL.'

Glover: ALL RIGHT.

Rants: OKAY. THERE ARE A LOT OF DEMOCRATS THAT I THINK ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR THAT BILL, AND SO THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE IN A BAD POLITICAL POSITION. THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO SAY, 'HEY, WE PASSED A GREAT BILL. WE STOOD UP FOR PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.' SO THEY'RE NOT GOING TO TRY TO CREATE A FABRIC OR CURTAIN TO HIDE BEHIND TO SAY WHY THEY DIDN'T. I THINK A LOT OF THEM ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR IT. THEY PROBABLY ALL WON'T BUT I THINK MOST OF THEM WILL. AND IN THE END THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE SOMETHING THEY CAN POINT TO AND SAY, YOU KNOW, WE DID GOOD WORK.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, AREN'T YOU REALLY, GETTING BACK TO DAVE'S QUESTION, PUTTING PEOPLE AT POLITICAL RISK? I MEAN POLLS SHOW THIS IS NOT A VERY POPULAR POSITION. AND ARE WE COMING BACK INTO SPECIAL SESSION --

Gronstal: WAIT A MINUTE. WHAT HAVE YOU PRESUPPOSED DO YOU THINK I'M DOING? I'VE MADE IT CLEAR WHAT I THINK IS THE BEST APPROACH, NOT NECESSARILY THE ONLY APPROACH TO THIS LEGISLATION. I HAVE RULED OUT NOTHING, NO ALTERNATIVE. I THINK THERE ARE WISER ALTERNATIVES THAN A VETO OVERRIDE, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'VE RULED OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF VETO OVERRIDE. IT'S A WISER ALTERNATIVE TO REDRAFT A BILL. IT'S WISER FROM A POLITICAL -- OR FROM A POLICY CONTEXT, AND THERE'S NO CLOUD OVER WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN OVERRIDE A VETO. IT'S -- IT'S -- IF IT ENDS UP RESULTING IN THAT, MAYBE IT'S A WISER COURSE TO PURSUE A NINE-MONTH MORATORIUM, AND I GUARANTEE YOU WE'LL BE BACK NEXT YEAR TO PASS THE LEGISLATION. THIS ISSUE IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY. WE WANT TO PROTECT PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

Glover: HAVE YOU TALKED TO YOUR MEMBERS, AND WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM THEM?

Gronstal: I'VE TALKED WITH MANY OF MY MEMBERS.

Glover: WHAT ARE YOU HEARING?

Gronstal: I'VE HEARD A LOT. I'VE HEARD A LOT. IT'S GONE -- I'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF OVERRIDE. I'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF REWRITING A BILL. I'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF A MORATORIUM. I'VE GOT A WHOLE RANGE OF OPINION IN OUR CAUCUS.

Glover: WILL YOU LOCK YOUR MEMBERS UP ONE WAY OR THE OTHER?

Gronstal: I'VE NEVER LOCKED MY MEMBERS UP ON ANYTHING.

Yepsen: HOW -- SENATOR GRONSTAL, HOW DIFFICULT IS IT FOR DEMOCRATS TO VOTE TO OVERRIDE A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR? I MEAN ONE OF THE ISSUES HERE IS THE POLITICS OF DEMOCRATS STICKING IT TO TOM VILSACK.

Gronstal: NO, I'D SAY IT'S DIFFICULT. NO, I'D SAY IT'S DIFFICULT BUT I THINK -- I THINK IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR REPUBLICANS. AND WE'VE HAD -- I'M NOT SURE WHAT ONE YOU'RE REFERRING TO. I REMEMBER ONE WHERE WE PASSED A CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM LAW THAT BRANSTAD VETOED. AND WE HAD 38 VOTES FOR IT IN THE SENATE, AND ON THE VETO OVERRIDE, WE HAD 32. IT DROPPED BELOW THE 34 NECESSARY.

Glover: ARE YOU TRYING TO EMBARRASS A LAME DUCK GOVERNOR?

Rants: NO, NO, I'M NOT. LOOK, NO. I WISH THE GOVERNOR HADN'T VETOED IT, OKAY, TO BEGIN WITH. I WISH WE WEREN'T IN THAT SITUATION. I THINK HE MADE A MISTAKE. NOW, I UNDERSTAND HOW TOUGH IT IS TO PUT TOGETHER THE VOTES TO DO AN OVERRIDE. I WAS WORRIED THAT I WOULDN'T GET THE SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION TO DO IT. I REMEMBER '96. I WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S VETO. I WAS TOLD I'D NEVER SERVE IN A LEADERSHIP POSITION IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Rants: IT CAN BE DONE AND I THINK DEMOCRATS NEED TO REALIZE THAT THEY SHOULD VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE. THEY SHOULD VOTE THE WAY THEY DID BACK IN MAY --

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Rants: -- WHEN THEY TOOK THE FIRST VOTE ON THIS BILL.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT THIRTY SECONDS LEFT. WHY NOT DO WHAT SENATOR GRONSTAL IS SUGGESTING HERE AND FIND A COMPROMISE? YOU'RE A LEGISLATIVE LEADER. YOU'RE PAID TO CUT DEALS --

Rants: WE HAVE FOUND A COMPROMISE, DAVID. WE HAVE FOUND A COMPROMISE. WE'VE COMPROMISED FOUR TIMES TO GET TO THIS POINT. AS I SAID BEFORE --

Yepsen: IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE GOVERNOR, THOUGH, SO YOU HAVEN'T GOT THERE.

Rants: WELL, THAT'S OKAY. BUT THAT'S WHY THE CONSTITUTION CREATES CHECKS AND BALANCES. THE LEGISLATURE DOES NOT EXIST, REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS, TO DO THE BIDDING OF ANY GOVERNOR. WE ARE THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

Yepsen: SO YOU WANT THE ISSUE RATHER THAN THE BILL, CORRECT?

Rants: WE HAVE SPOKEN. NO, WE HAVE SPOKEN. WE PUT UP 89 VOTES IN THE HOUSE. THERE ARE OVER 40 VOTES IN THE SENATE. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. THE CONSTITUTION, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE GAVE US CHECKS AND BALANCES THAT GIVE US THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN OVERRIDE VOTE. WE SHOULD EXERCISE THAT.

Borg: ONE PREROGATIVE I HAVE IS TO OVERRIDE EVERYTHING ELSE HERE. [ LAUGHTER ]

Gronstal: I KNEW THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE TRANSITION.

Borg: THANKS FOR BEING WITH US. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' WE HEAD BACK OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. JOINING US IS SENATOR EVAN BAYH, A DEMOCRAT FROM INDIANA WHO IS TESTING THE PRESIDENTIAL WATERS HERE IN IOWA, MAKING HIS FIFTH TRIP TO IOWA IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS. SENATOR BAYH WILL DISCUSS THE PROMINENT ISSUES AND HIS PRESIDENTIAL POSSIBILITIES AT OUR REGULAR 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: THAT'S FRIDAY NIGHT AT 7:30 AND SUNDAY MORNING AT 11:30. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. 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.

>>

Borg: A MOVE TO LIMIT AUTHORITY. IN SPECIAL SESSION, THE IOWA LEGISLATURE PONDERS WHETHER OR NOT TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK'S VETO RESTRICTING GOVERNMENT'S AUTHORITY TO OVERRIDE PROPERTY OWNERS. WE'LL DISCUSS THE SPECIAL SESSION WITH HOUSE SPEAKER CHRISTOPHER RANTS AND SENATE DEMOCRATIC COLEADER MIKE GRONSTAL 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 JULY 7 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: AT THE IOWA STATEHOUSE, IT'S TECHNICALLY KNOWN AS 'HOUSE FILE 2351,' BUT THAT'S WHERE THE GENERIC TERMINOLOGY ENDS. THE LEGISLATION DEALS WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S AUTHORITY TO SEIZE PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC USE. IT'S THE EMINENT DOMAIN CONDEMNATION PROCEDURE. BECAUSE OF A RECENT U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACQUIRING PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR RESALE TO DEVELOPERS, THERE'S A SCRAMBLE THROUGHOUT THE NATION TO LIMIT GOVERNMENT'S EMINENT DOMAIN POWERS. THE IOWA LEGISLATURE PASSED SUCH LEGISLATION WITH STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT DURING THE PAST SESSION. BUT AFTER THE LEGISLATURE ADJOURNED, GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK VETOED IT, SAYING THE RESTRICTIONS WOULD HAMPER LOCAL GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES. NOW THE LEGISLATURE IS CONVENING A SPECIAL SESSION ON THE ISSUE. AND WITH THE NOVEMBER ELECTION LOOMING, WHAT HAPPENS COULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS. SIOUX CITY REPUBLICAN CHRISTOPHER RANTS WILL CONVENE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND COUNCIL BLUFFS SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL IS THE DEMOCRATIC COLEADER IN THE SENATE, WHERE THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS, YOU RECALL, SHARE POWER EACH WITH 25 VOTES. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME BACK TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Gronstal: THANKS FOR HAVING US.

Borg: WE DIDN'T ANTICIPATE HAVING YOU HERE THIS SUMMER.

Rants: I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE FOR THE YEAR.

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

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, LET'S START WITH YOU. THE LEGISLATURE IS COMING BACK INTO SESSION TO DEAL WITH AN OVERRIDE OF THE GOVERNOR'S VETO. WILL THE HOUSE OVERRIDE THAT VETO?

Rants: I THINK THAT WE WILL. REMEMBER WE HAD OVER 80 VOTES -- ABOUT 89 VOTES TO PASS THIS LEGISLATION INITIALLY. THE NUMBER ON THE VOTE CART WENT UP FROM THE FIRST TIME THE HOUSE PASSED IT. THE SENATE MADE SOME CHANGES. WE ACCEPTED THE COMPROMISE AND IT GARNERED MORE VOTES. WE HAD OVER 80 PEOPLE SIGN THE PETITION TO CALL OURSELVES BACK INTO SPECIAL SESSION. I'M NOT EXACTLY RUNNING A BLUE CARD, A VOTE CARD TO FIND OUT WHERE THE VOTES ARE AT, BUT I FEEL OPTIMISTIC THAT THE VOTES WILL BE THERE TO OVERRIDE IT.

Glover: WILL IT BE --

Rants: THE PEOPLE EITHER VOTED FOR IT, YOU KNOW, BACK IN MAY WHEN WE PASSED IT -- THEY EITHER MEANT IT WHEN THEY VOTED FOR IT OR THEY DIDN'T. WE'LL FIND OUT NEXT FRIDAY IF THEY DID.

Glover: WILL IT EVEN BE CLOSE?

Rants: IF IT PASSES, I DON'T THINK IT WILL BE CLOSE.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION FOR YOU. THE BILL PASSED THE SENATE OVERWHELMINGLY. WILL THE SENATE OVERRIDE ITS VETO?

Gronstal: LOOK, AT THIS POINT AND TIME, I DON'T THINK WE'VE HAD A CAUCUS ON IT. I DON'T THINK I KNOW THE OUTCOME AT THIS POINT AND TIME, AND I THINK THAT'S -- I THINK THAT'S ESSENTIALLY AS IT SHOULD BE. WE ARE A DELIBERATIVE BODY THAT SITS DOWN AND TALKS ABOUT THESE ISSUES. I HAVE RULED OUT NO POSSIBILITY. I MEAN WE ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH THE GOVERNOR ON LEGISLATION THAT WOULD CLARIFY SOME AREAS. WE ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER A MORATORIUM, AND WE ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER A VETO OVERRIDE.

Glover: AREN'T YOU PUTTING --

Gronstal: SO -- SO -- SO I THINK -- I THINK ANY OF THOSE OPTIONS IS POSSIBLE. I WOULD SAY I THINK THE BEST OPTION, THE BEST OPTION IS TO HAVE A REASONABLE DISCUSSION WITH PEOPLE. ONE OF THE GOVERNOR'S CONCERNS IN PARTICULAR IS IN THE AREA OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SLUM AND BLIGHT, AND THE LEGISLATION SIGNIFICANTLY RESTRICTS CITIES' ABILITY TO USE EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SLUM AND BLIGHT.

Glover: WE'LL GET INTO THAT IN JUST A MINUTE. BUT FIRST, HOW MANY OF YOUR MEMBERS ARE YOU PUTTING AT POLITICAL RISK IN THIS?

Gronstal: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, MY MEMBERS GET A VOTE HOW THEY CHOOSE TO VOTE. I DON'T PUT ANY OF THEM AT RISK. THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE THEIR JUDGMENT, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT BOTH THE POLITICAL IMPACTS AND THE POLICY IMPACTS OF WHATEVER ACTION WE DECIDE TO TAKE. BUT I'VE GOT TO BE CLEAR; I THINK REPUBLICANS SEE THIS MORE AS A POLITICAL ISSUE THAN A POLICY ISSUE. THAT'S WHY -- I THINK THAT'S WHY THEIR ONLY COURSE -- AND I THINK CHRISTOPHER HAS INDICATED TO ME THAT THEY, IN ESSENCE, INTEND TO HAVE TWO VOTES, ONE ON VETO OVERRIDE AND ONE ON ADJOURNMENT.

Rants: THAT WOULD BE A FAIR STATEMENT.

Glover: AND IS THAT --

Rants: THAT IS A FAIR STATEMENT. TO ME IT'S NOT ABOUT THE POLITICS. I KNOW PEOPLE LIKE TO CAST EVERYTHING WE DO IN TERMS OF POLITICS.

Glover: LIKE US.

Rants: I WASN'T GOING TO NAME NAMES. BUT THE FACT IS THIS WAS A LENGTHY DEBATE IN THE HOUSE, AND I THINK THAT WOULD BE FAIR TO SAY IN THE SENATE AS WELL.

Gronstal: OH, ABSOLUTELY. AND I THINK A LOT OF WORK WAS PUT INTO THIS.

Rants: MIKE SAYS IT'S -- IT'S -- IT IS. DELIBERATIVE BODY. I STARTED TALKING TO MY MEMBERS, MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THE COMMITTEE PROCESS, THE SUBCOMMITTEE PROCESS. I WOULD VENTURE THAT IN THE HOUSE ALONE THERE'S OVER A HUNDRED HOURS IN COMMITTEE TIME, HEARINGS, MEETING WITH INTERESTED PARTIES, BE IT THE LEAGUE OF CITIES OR THE FARM BUREAU, DEBATE TIME ON THE FLOOR, IT HAS BEEN A DELIBERATIVE PROCESS.

Yepsen: BUT --

Rants: IT IS IMPORTANT AND IT MATTERS TO IOWANS. IT MATTERS TO IOWANS AND THAT'S WHY WHEN YOU HAVE 89 VOTES FOR A BILL IN THE HOUSE, THE GOVERNOR VETOES IT -- AND THIS IS 89 OBVIOUSLY BIPARTISAN VOTES -- IT'S WORTH TAKING THE TIME TO HAVE THE DEBATE AND HAVE THE OVERRIDE VOTE.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Borg: SENATOR GRONSTAL?

Gronstal: WELL, THERE'S A POINT ON THAT. EVEN ONE OF YOUR OWN KEY MEMBERS THAT WAS A KEY PLAYER IN THIS HAS TALKED WITH YOU ABOUT CHANGES TO THE SLUM AND BLIGHT DEFINITION. NOBODY -- NOBODY IS SAYING THIS BILL, JUST BECAUSE IT GOT 89 VOTES OR 43 IN THE SENATE, THAT EVERYTHING IN IT IS PERFECT. AND I THINK IT'S WORTH TAKING A LOOK AT SOME THINGS THAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE WILLING TO CHANGE. I'VE GOT TO REPEAT, THERE IS A REAL ISSUE ON SLUM AND BLIGHT.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT. LET'S STOP FOR A MINUTE HERE AND BRING THE READER -- OR THE VIEWER UP TO SPEED. WHAT DO YOU MEAN SLUM AND BLIGHT? TALK ABOUT --

Gronstal: CITIES HAVE LONG HAD THE POWER TO USE THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE SLUM OR BLIGHTED NEIGHBORHOODS, DECLINING NEIGHBORHOODS. AND LET'S BE SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT THAT'S ABOUT. THAT'S ABOUT A CITY WANTING TO GO INTO A RESIDENTAL NEIGHBORHOOD THAT'S FILLED -- THAT'S FILLED WITH PIMPS AND HORRIFIC DRUG PROBLEMS, AND TRY AND CLEAN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD UP AND PUT THOSE KINDS OF OPERATIONS OUT OF BUSINESS.

Yepsen: AND YOU'RE SAYING THAT THIS BILL WOULD ELIMINATE THAT ABILITY?

Gronstal: AND IT SEVERELY LIMITS CITIES' ABILITY TO USE THE SLUM AND BLIGHT STATUTE. I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS. THAT'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS TOO. IF YOU'RE THE NEIGHBOR THAT KEEPS YOUR LAWN MOWED AND KEEPS YOUR HOUSE PAINTED AND TAKES CARE OF IT AND YOUR OTHER NEIGHBORS AREN'T, THAT'S YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS BEING INJURED AS WELL. SO I EXPRESSED THIS CONCERN DURING THE SESSION. I THINK THIS BILL GOES TOO FAR ON LIMITING THE USE BY CITIES OF SLUM AND BLIGHT. OR THEY WANT TO GO INTO A COMMERCIAL NEIGHBORHOOD --

Yepsen: BUT YOU LOST THAT VOTE, SENATOR.

Gronstal: -- THAT'S FILLED WITH PAWN SHOPS AND STRIP BARS AND ADULT BOOK STORES, AND THEY WANT TO CLEAN THOSE KINDS OF PLACES UP AND GET THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS GROWING AGAIN.

Yepsen: BUT YOU LOST THAT VOTE, CORRECT? I MEAN YOU LOST THAT ARGUMENT. YOUR COLLEAGUES VOTED THIS BILL INTO LAW.

Gronstal: ACTUALLY I WAS WORKING LITERALLY ON THE LAST DAY OF THE SESSION TO TRY AND CONVINCE PEOPLE, AND THERE WERE SYMPATHETIC REPUBLICANS ON BOTH SIDES. LISTEN --

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Gronstal: DEMOCRATS ARE JUST AS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. IT'S OUTRAGEOUS FOR GOVERNMENT TO TAKE PROPERTY FROM ONE INDIVIDUAL AND GIVE IT TO ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL.

Yepsen: CAN I GET A QUESTION IN HERE?

Rants: I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THE SIDE OF THE CRACK HOUSES OR THE PIMPS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. IN SLUM AND BLIGHT AREAS, THE BILL DOESN'T -- DOES NOT ELIMINATE THE ABILITY TO CONDEMN THAT PROPERTY. BUT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES, YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN AREA WHERE THE CITY COUNCIL OR COUNTY SUPERVISORS LOOK AT IT. THEY HAVE TO SAY OF THIS AREA WE'RE GOING TO CONDEMN, 75 PERCENT OF IT HAS TO BE SLUM AND BLIGHT. NOW, AS THE BILL ORIGINALLY PASSED THE HOUSE, WE PASSED IT AT 90 PERCENT. THE SENATE THOUGHT THAT WAS TOO HIGH OF A THRESHOLD. WE UNDERSTOOD. AGAIN, WE COMPROMISED; WE SAID 75 PERCENT. WHAT THE GOVERNOR HAS PROPOSED OR WHAT SOME PEOPLE ARE PROPOSING NOW IS YOU TAKE IT DOWN TO 50. YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK AT NOT JUST THE SLUM AND BLIGHT SIDE. THAT MEANS YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO CONDEMN MORE PROPERTY THAT IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE SLUM AND BLIGHT. YOU WANT TO CONDEMN MORE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE KEEPING UP THEIR HOMES. MAYBE THEY'VE GOT A NICE, LITTLE SMALL BUSINESS GOING ON. THOSE ARE THE FOLKS THAT WE'RE INTERESTED IN PROTECTING.

Yepsen: YOU BRING UP THE GOVERNOR. HE HAS OFFERED A COMPROMISE PROPOSAL -- HE IS OFFERING A COMPROMISE PROPOSAL. MR. SPEAKER, YOU'RE SAYING NO WAY.

Rants: WE THINK IT'S A STEP BACKWARDS, ABSOLUTELY.

Yepsen: AND, SENATOR GRONSTAL, WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL?

Gronstal: AND WE'RE CERTAINLY MORE THAN WILLING TO ENGAGE IN THOSE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE GOVERNOR. AND IF THAT -- IF WE CAN'T REACH CONSENSUS ON THAT AND IF WE CAN'T REACH CONSENSUS ON A VETO OVERRIDE, I'M FOR A FULL-BLOWN MORATORIUM: NO CONDEMNATIONS FOR PRIVATE PURPOSES, NONE FOR NINE MONTHS.

Yepsen: BUT, SENATOR GRONSTAL --

Rants: BUT THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH THAT, THOUGH, IF I MAY. THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH SAYING THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A MORATORIUM FOR NINE MONTHS, BECAUSE WHEN YOU PUT A LIMIT ON IT, THAT BASICALLY EXCUSES THE LEGISLATURE OF DOING ANYTHING. I MEAN THERE IS NO GUARANTEE, MIKE, THAT WE COME BACK NEXT YEAR AND DO ANYTHING.

Gronstal: CHRISTOPHER, I GUARANTEE YOU THE ODDS ARE PRETTY DARN GOOD I'M GOING TO BE THE MAJORITY LEADER NEXT YEAR, AND I WILL GUARANTEE YOU WE'LL PASS EMINENT DOMAIN LEGISLATION.

Rants: BUT WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE; DO WE?

Borg: I SENSE THAT WE'RE GETTING INTO LEGISLATIVE DEBATE HERE, AND WE'D LIKE TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS. SO I'M ASKING, CHRISTOPHER RANTS, ARE YOU UNHAPPY THAT THE GOVERNOR DIDN'T COMMUNICATE EARLIER HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THIS BILL WHILE YOU WERE STILL IN SESSION?

Rants: TO BE FAIR TO THE GOVERNOR, HE COMMUNICATED ONE TIME TO ME, BEFORE THE BILL EVER CAME OUT OF COMMITTEE WHEN HE SAW THE ORIGINAL DRAFT, HE THOUGHT IT WAS TOO RESTRICTIVE. AND I TOLD HIM, 'GOVERNOR, YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND YOUR CONCERNS. I KNOW YOU'VE SEEN THE DRAFT. BE AWARE WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN COMMITTEE.' AND WE DID. AND WE MADE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE FLOOR. TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION THAT'S THE ONLY COMMUNICATION I HAD WITH THE GOVERNOR IN REGARDS TO THAT BILL. THAT'S OKAY. I MEAN IF HE CHOSE TO MAKE COMMUNICATIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE OR NOT ENGAGE US, THAT'S HIS DECISION. BUT WE WENT THROUGH A VERY DELIBERATIVE PROCESS. AGAIN, WE'VE MADE COMPROMISES ALL ALONG THE WAY, IN THE HOUSE, YOU KNOW, WITH THE SENATE. YOU CAN'T SAY IT'S LIKE WE TOOK A BILL OUT OF COMMITTEE, RAN IT THROUGH THE HOUSE 51/49, AND WE FOUND OURSELVES IN THIS SITUATION TODAY. I THINK THE TIME FOR COMPROMISE HAS COME TO AN END. THERE'S A POINT AND TIME WHEN YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING MEANINGFUL THAT YOU COMPROMISE IT ALL THE WAY, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO NOTHING AT ALL. AND I THINK WE'RE ABOUT TO THAT POINT.

Borg: SENATOR GRONSTAL, WHAT EXPRESSION DID THE GOVERNOR MAKE TO YOU DURING THE SESSION THAT HE MIGHT VETO THIS?

Gronstal: DURING THE SESSION -- WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE GOVERNOR DOESN'T ON A REGULAR BASIS, THIS GOVERNOR OR THE PREVIOUS GOVERNOR, INDICATE UP FRONT WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO ON LEGISLATION THAT'S PENDING IN THE LEGISLATURE. HIS OFFICE DID EXPRESS CONCERNS TO US ABOUT THE BILL, EXPRESSED CONCERN TO -- CONCERNS TO US ABOUT THE BILL AS IT RELATES TO AIRPORTS AND LAKES. AND WE WERE PRETTY CLEAR TO HIM WE'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO BE MOVING ON THAT SUBJECT. SO WE'VE HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH THE GOVERNOR ABOUT THIS.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, LET'S GO BACK TO THE MECHANICS AND WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT FRIDAY. MECHANICALLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE HOUSE?

Rants: WE'LL GAVEL IN. HOPEFULLY BOTH PARTIES WILL HAVE FINISHED UP WITH THEIR CAUCUSES EITHER THE NIGHT BEFORE OR THE MORNING BEFORE. THE MAJORITY LEADER WILL CALL UP THE BILL FOR RECONSIDERATION. AND WE WILL HAVE -- I MEAN IT'S A DEBATABLE MOTION, BUT YOU CAN'T AMEND IT OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. AND WE'LL HAVE A VOTE ON IT. IT SHOULD BE PRETTY QUICK. THE LAST TIME WE DID THAT WAS 1996. I HAPPENED TO BE THERE WHEN WE HAD A VOTE, AND I WAS ONE OF THOSE FEW REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED TO TRY TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S VETO. IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG. IT'S A PRETTY SHORT -- IT'S A PRETTY SHORT DEBATE.

Glover: AND THAT WILL BE THE ONLY THING THAT THE HOUSE WILL --

Rants: THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT I INTEND TO BRING UP FOR CONSIDERATION. IF THE MOTION TO OVERRIDE PASSES, WE'LL MOVE TO ADJOURN. IF THE MOTION TO OVERRIDE FAILS, AGAIN, WE'LL MOVE TO ADJOURN. WE'LL HAVE CONCLUDED ACTION ON THAT ISSUE.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. MECHANICALLY WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SENATE? YOU INITIALLY HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE HOUSE TO ACT.

Gronstal: THE SENATE -- SINCE THE BILL ORIGINATED IN THE HOUSE, THE VETO OVERRIDE ORIGINATES IN THE HOUSE AND THEN IT WILL COME TO THE SENATE. AND WE'LL MAKE THAT DECISION AT THAT POINT DEPENDING ON WHAT THE HOUSE DOES, DEPENDING ON WHAT THE COEQUAL REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE DECIDE TO DO. WE'LL MAKE THAT JUDGMENT WHEN THAT TIME COMES. THERE ARE OTHER REAL ISSUES HERE. IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS, YOU DON'T PURSUE A VETO OVERRIDE THAT HAS A LEGAL CLOUD HANGING OVER IT.

Glover: WELL, WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND. BUT FIRST OF ALL, IS THIS THE ONLY ISSUE --

Gronstal: IN THAT CASE YOU GO PASS NEW LEGISLATION. IF THERE'S A LEGAL CLOUD AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR'S VETO ACCORDING TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, IF YOU REALLY WANT A GUARANTEE THAT YOU'RE NOT BACK NEXT YEAR DEALING WITH THIS, CHRISTOPHER --

Rants: THERE'S NO LEGAL ESTOP RIGHT. WE WILL DISAGREE ON THAT.

Gronstal: I APPRECIATE YOUR LEGAL EXPERTISE BUT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE SAYS THERE IS A LEGAL CLOUD.

Rants: YOU DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE AN OFFICIAL ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OPINION FOR WHICH -- LIKE IN OTHER CASES, WHICH PEOPLE BASE DECISIONS UPON. YOU HAVE AN INFORMAL OPINION WRITTEN BY AN ATTORNEY IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE. THAT IS NOT DEFINING RULE OR LAW FOR THE LEGISLATURE. WHAT GOVERNS VETOES OR VETO OVERRIDES IS ESTABLISHED IN THE CONSTITUTION. THE IOWA CONSTITUTION GIVES GENERAL ASSEMBLIES THE ABILITY TO DO VETO OVERRIDES. IT SAYS NOTHING -- IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT SESSIONS. IT TALKS ABOUT GENERAL ASSEMBLIES, AND THIS IS THE SAME GENERAL ASSEMBLY THAT PASSED THE LEGISLATION THAT'S IN DOUBT.

Gronstal: YOU MAY BE RIGHT.

Rants: THERE'S NO CLOUD --

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE ARGUMENT --

Gronstal: YOU MAY BE RIGHT BUT THERE'S NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU'RE RIGHT.

Rants: ANYONE CAN SUE ON ANY ISSUE, AS WE BOTH KNOW.

Borg: DAVID?

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, MAY I ASK A QUESTION?

Rants: ABSOLUTELY.

Yepsen: WHAT I'D LIKE TO ASK IS ABOUT SENATOR GRONSTAL'S POINT THAT YOU CREATE A LEGAL CLOUD. IF THE LEGISLATURE DOES WHAT YOU PROPOSE TO DO, COME IN, OVERRIDE THE VETO, AND GO HOME, DO YOU NOT IN EFFECT HALT A LOT OF EMINENT DOMAIN PROCEEDINGS IN IOWA BECAUSE YOU HAVE RAISED THIS AMBIGUITY THAT ONLY THE SUPREME COURT CAN RESOLVE THAT -- ABOUT JUST WHAT IS LEGAL AND WHAT ISN'T? AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE SOME CASE, IT WILL TAKE A COUPLE YEARS FOR THAT CASE TO MAKE ITS WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT. DO YOU NOT PUT A CLOUD OVER ALL OF THIS EMINENT DOMAIN ACTIVITY IF YOU FOLLOW THE COURSE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

Rants: FIRST OF ALL, DAVID, IF THE LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES THE VETO, IT BECOMES THE LAW OF THE LAND. OKAY? END OF STORY. IF SOMEBODY CHOOSES -- IF A CITY COUNCIL DECIDES WE DON'T WANT TO FOLLOW THE LAW, THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ELSE, AND THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES ON THE CITY COUNCIL, THEY MAY CHALLENGE AND THEN IT MAY TAKE TIME. BUT EVEN IF WE DO THE BILL AND EVEN IF WE DID A BILL AS MIKE SUGGESTS, YOU PASS SOMETHING NEW, SOMEBODY COULD CHALLENGE THAT IN COURT ANYWAY. WE'VE SEEN THAT HAPPEN REPEATEDLY. THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR ARE CURRENTLY IN COURT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE -- WHO SUED US OVER THE LAST IOWA VALUES FUND DEBATE THAT WE HAD.

Yepsen: BUT, MR. SPEAKER, WOULD YOU NOT ELIMINATE THE AMBIGUITY? I MEAN ONE OF THE PROPOSALS THAT SITS HERE IS HAVE THE LEGISLATURE COME BACK AND PASS THE EXACT SAME BILL, SEND IT DOWN TO THE GOVERNOR, THE GOVERNOR VETOES IT, AND YOU GUYS HANG AROUND TOWN FOR THREE DAYS. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Rants: I DON'T THINK IT'S NECESSARY. IT'S NOT NECESSARY. SECONDLY, IT IS VERY TROUBLING TO ME THAT EITHER THE DEMOCRATS OR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BELIEVES AND IS ARTICULATING THIS POSITION THAT THE LEGISLATURE CAN'T DO THAT, BECAUSE IF THAT'S THE CASE, WE'RE GOING TO SET A BRAND-NEW PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE GOVERNORS AND FUTURE LEGISLATURES ON HOW WE DEAL WITH THEM, BECAUSE IN THE PAST WE'VE GIVEN THE GOVERNOR THE COURTESY OF ACCEPTING BILLS WHEN HE WANTS TO. THAT PRACTICE WILL END AND EVERY BILL ON THE DAY IT IS PASSED WILL BE TAKEN DOWN TO A FUTURE GOVERNOR TO BE TURNED OVER, AND THE LEGISLATURE WILL NEVER, EVER AGAIN ADJOURN UNTIL THE GOVERNOR HAS DONE THAT.

Yepsen: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Rants: SOME STATES HAVE VETO OVERRIDE SESSIONS --

Yepsen: SENATOR --

Rants: -- WHICH IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD LOOK AT.

Gronstal: ACTUALLY THE REPUBLICANS RELIED ON THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S ADVICE --

Rants: NOT THIS REPUBLICAN.

Gronstal: -- IN 1998 WHEN THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT OVERRIDING GOVERNOR BRANSTAD ON A VETO. REPUBLICANS RELIED ON THIS ADVICE AT THIS TIME. THERE WERE CLEARLY TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS THAT REQUESTED A SPECIAL SESSION. THEY REQUESTED IT FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF VETO OVERRIDE. WE REQUESTED IT TO PASS LEGISLATION ON IMPROVING EDUCATION. AND REPUBLICANS RELIED ON THIS ADVICE AT THE TIME AND WALKED AWAY FROM A SPECIAL SESSION, DID NOT HOLD A SPECIAL SESSION WHEN THE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLED BOTH CHAMBERS.

Yepsen: THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEY GENERAL TELLING A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHAT HE WANTS TO HEAR.

Gronstal: WELL, THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS BOUGHT IT EIGHT YEARS AGO, BOUGHT THE A.G.'S OPINION.

Borg: MIKE GLOVER HAS A QUESTION.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT THAT YOU OUGHT TO JUST WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR AND AVOID ALL THIS CLOUD, AVOID ALL THIS FIGHT, AVOID A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT, JUST COME BACK AND DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR? YOU'LL HAVE A DIFFERENT GOVERNOR.

Rants: WE'VE GOT A GOOD BILL. WE HAVE A VERY GOOD BILL. I DON'T KNOW WHO THE GOVERNOR WILL BE. I DON'T KNOW WHO THE 150 MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL BE, EXCEPT FOR MIKE. HE'S NOT UP FOR ELECTION THIS YEAR. SO I'D LIKE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO PUT IN PLACE A GOOD LAW. NOW AGAIN --

Gronstal: AND SO WOULD I.

Rants: -- IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT PASSED 51/49. IT WAS A GOOD BIPARTISAN MAJORITY. REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WORKED TOGETHER ON THIS BILL ALL SESSION LONG. I THINK THE GOVERNOR MADE A MISTAKE IN CASTING HIS VETO. THE PEOPLE OF IOWA GAVE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE RIGHT TO HAVE THAT CHECK AND BALANCE. THE PEOPLE OF IOWA PUT IN OUR CONSTITUTION THE ABILITY FOR A GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HAVE AN OVERRIDE VOTE WHEN THEY BELIEVE THE GOVERNOR HAS MADE A MISTAKE. WE'RE EXERCISING THAT.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WHY NOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR AND AVOID ALL THIS MESS?

Gronstal: I THINK DEMOCRATS ARE VERY INTERESTED IN PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. I THINK THEY DO SEE THE ABILITY OF DEVELOPERS AND THOSE WELL CONNECTED BEING ABLE TO BASICALLY LORD IT OVER THE WEAKER OR THE LESS POWERFUL IN OUR SOCIETY. PRIVATE PROPERTY IS JUST THAT, PRIVATE PROPERTY. I THINK DEMOCRATS STRONGLY SUPPORT THAT. THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK. BUT WE DON'T WANT TO -- BUT WE'VE GONE FROM THIS IS THE PERFECT BILL TO THIS IS A VERY GOOD BILL. MAYBE IT ISN'T QUITE PERFECT, MR. SPEAKER. MAYBE THERE ARE SOME CHANGES WHERE WE COULD MEET WITH -- AND AGAIN, MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN CAUCUS THAT WERE KEY IN THIS LEGISLATION HAVE APPROACHED ME ABOUT SOME DEFINITIONAL CHANGES THAT THEY THINK MAKE SENSE. YOU KNOW, THAT'S NOT -- THAT'S NOT DEMOCRATS PRESSING IT. IT'S AN EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE IT. AND WITH THE LEGAL CLOUD, WHY NOT TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND TALK TO EACH OTHER, HEAR ARE THE GOVERNOR'S CONCERNS? TELL THE GOVERNOR: NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE LAKE LANGUAGE; I'M SORRY, I APPRECIATE THE FACT YOU LIKE LAKES IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE STATE; I THINK THAT MAKES SENSE BUT THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT GOING ALONG WITH IT; NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO AIRPORTS BUT --

Borg: IS THAT AN ARGUMENT, WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, IN FAVOR OF COMPROMISE NOW AND CHANGING DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION, OR IS IT AN ARGUMENT OF WAITING UNTIL NEXT YEAR?

Gronstal: NO, I'M SAYING DO IT NOW. WE CAN DO IT NOW. I THINK THERE'S ROOM -- I THINK THERE'S ROOM FOR REASONABLE PEOPLE TO SIT DOWN AND TALK. MAYBE THE GOVERNOR SHOULD HAVE TOLD US EARLIER HE WAS THINKING ABOUT VETOING THIS. MAYBE A WHOLE BUNCH THINGS SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. BUT NOW WE'RE AT A PLACE WHERE WE'VE GOT A CHOICE. AND IF WE PURSUE A CHOICE THAT LEAVES A LEGAL CLOUD OVER WHETHER THIS IS THE LAW OF THE LAND OR NOT, I DON'T THINK THAT'S HELPFUL AND I DON'T THINK THAT PROTECTS PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL, ARE DEMOCRATS GOING TO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE PUT IN THE POSITION OF SEEN AS KILLING THIS RESTRICTION? CAN YOU POLITICALLY SURVIVE HAVING DONE THAT?

Gronstal: I THINK -- I THINK WHEN IT'S ALL SAID AND DONE, WE'RE GOING TO DO OUR BEST TO COME UP WITH GOOD, STRONG LEGISLATION THAT PROTECTS PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

Yepsen: I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE LEGISLATION, SENATOR. I'M TALKING ABOUT THE POLITICS OF THIS. THE POLITICS IS THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR AND, AS WE'VE ALL NOTED, WE'VE GOT DEMOCRATS IN A POSITION TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SENATE.

Gronstal: I HAVE --

Yepsen: REPUBLICANS SENSE THAT THEY CAN BEAT YOU GUYS ON THIS ISSUE. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THAT. IS THIS AN ISSUE WHERE YOU MAKE VULNERABLE --

Gronstal: NO, I'M WORRIED ABOUT --

Yepsen: DEMOCRATIC SENATORS?

Gronstal: NO, I'M WORRIED ABOUT PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. THAT'S WHAT I'M WORRIED ABOUT. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO PURSUE IN A SPECIAL SESSION.

Yepsen: BUT IF YOU'RE SO WORRIED ABOUT IT, WHY DO YOU WANT -- WHY DO YOU WANT A LESS RESTRICTIVE BILL?

Gronstal: BECAUSE --

Yepsen: IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE MORE --

Gronstal: NO! YOU'RE NOT LISTENING, DAVID. BECAUSE I WANT TO PROTECT THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF THOSE PEOPLE IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE OWNED BY THE DRUG DEALERS AND THE PROSTITUTES AND THE PIMPS.

Yepsen: AND DO THAT BY PASSING A WEAKER BILL THAN WAS PASSED EARLIER?

Gronstal: YOU DO THAT BY STRENGTHENING THE HAND OF CITIES TO DEAL WITH SLUM AND BLIGHTED NEIGHBORHOODS. I THINK THAT MAKES SENSE AND I THINK THAT'S PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY TOO.

Yepsen: ARE THE DEMOCRATS FOR THIS WEAKER BILL BECAUSE YOU TAKE A LOT OF MONEY FROM DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS?

Gronstal: OH, DAVID, YOU -- DAVID, WHAT -- DAVID, WHAT DO YOU MEAN WEAKER BILL? WEAKER BILL.

Yepsen: YOU'RE PROPOSING A BILL THAT'S WEAKER THAN WHAT WAS PASSED BEFORE.

Gronstal: NO, I'M PROPOSING A BILL TO PROTECT --

Yepsen: THERE'S BLIGHT IN YOUR SLUM AND BLIGHT. MY QUESTION, SIR, IS ARE YOU FOR THAT BECAUSE YOU GET MONEY FROM DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS.

Gronstal: THAT ISN'T A WEAKER BILL. I DENY THAT. I REJECT THE VIEW THAT IT'S A WEAKER BILL TO SAY I'M GOING TO STAND UP FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE DECENT HOMEOWNERS IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT'S GOT SOME INDECENT HOMEOWNERS IN IT. I'M GOING TO STAND UP FOR THOSE PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS TOO.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE ARGUMENT THAT THIS BILL IS BEING DEBATED IN A SPECIAL SESSION AND IT'S NOT WAITING FOR NEXT YEAR PURELY FOR POLITICS?

Rants: NO, IT'S NOT. I MEAN, MIKE, IT'S A GOOD BILL. NOT PERFECT. THE HOUSE FILE WAS PROBABLY PERFECT, BUT WE COMPROMISED FOUR TIMES TO GET TO THIS POINT. [ LAUGHTER ]

Glover: BUT YOU ARE PUTTING A BUNCH OF DEMOCRATS IN A POSITION OF HAVING TO CAST A POLITICALLY --

Rants: ACTUALLY I DON'T THINK -- I DON'T THINK THE DEMOCRATS ARE IN A BAD POSITION, OKAY, AND HERE'S WHY. A LOT HAVE OF DEMOCRATS HAVE CALLED ME TO SAY 'I'M VOTING FOR THAT BILL.'

Glover: ALL RIGHT.

Rants: OKAY. THERE ARE A LOT OF DEMOCRATS THAT I THINK ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR THAT BILL, AND SO THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE IN A BAD POLITICAL POSITION. THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO SAY, 'HEY, WE PASSED A GREAT BILL. WE STOOD UP FOR PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.' SO THEY'RE NOT GOING TO TRY TO CREATE A FABRIC OR CURTAIN TO HIDE BEHIND TO SAY WHY THEY DIDN'T. I THINK A LOT OF THEM ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR IT. THEY PROBABLY ALL WON'T BUT I THINK MOST OF THEM WILL. AND IN THE END THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE SOMETHING THEY CAN POINT TO AND SAY, YOU KNOW, WE DID GOOD WORK.

Glover: SENATOR GRONSTAL, AREN'T YOU REALLY, GETTING BACK TO DAVE'S QUESTION, PUTTING PEOPLE AT POLITICAL RISK? I MEAN POLLS SHOW THIS IS NOT A VERY POPULAR POSITION. AND ARE WE COMING BACK INTO SPECIAL SESSION --

Gronstal: WAIT A MINUTE. WHAT HAVE YOU PRESUPPOSED DO YOU THINK I'M DOING? I'VE MADE IT CLEAR WHAT I THINK IS THE BEST APPROACH, NOT NECESSARILY THE ONLY APPROACH TO THIS LEGISLATION. I HAVE RULED OUT NOTHING, NO ALTERNATIVE. I THINK THERE ARE WISER ALTERNATIVES THAN A VETO OVERRIDE, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'VE RULED OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF VETO OVERRIDE. IT'S A WISER ALTERNATIVE TO REDRAFT A BILL. IT'S WISER FROM A POLITICAL -- OR FROM A POLICY CONTEXT, AND THERE'S NO CLOUD OVER WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN OVERRIDE A VETO. IT'S -- IT'S -- IF IT ENDS UP RESULTING IN THAT, MAYBE IT'S A WISER COURSE TO PURSUE A NINE-MONTH MORATORIUM, AND I GUARANTEE YOU WE'LL BE BACK NEXT YEAR TO PASS THE LEGISLATION. THIS ISSUE IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY. WE WANT TO PROTECT PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

Glover: HAVE YOU TALKED TO YOUR MEMBERS, AND WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM THEM?

Gronstal: I'VE TALKED WITH MANY OF MY MEMBERS.

Glover: WHAT ARE YOU HEARING?

Gronstal: I'VE HEARD A LOT. I'VE HEARD A LOT. IT'S GONE -- I'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF OVERRIDE. I'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF REWRITING A BILL. I'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF A MORATORIUM. I'VE GOT A WHOLE RANGE OF OPINION IN OUR CAUCUS.

Glover: WILL YOU LOCK YOUR MEMBERS UP ONE WAY OR THE OTHER?

Gronstal: I'VE NEVER LOCKED MY MEMBERS UP ON ANYTHING.

Yepsen: HOW -- SENATOR GRONSTAL, HOW DIFFICULT IS IT FOR DEMOCRATS TO VOTE TO OVERRIDE A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR? I MEAN ONE OF THE ISSUES HERE IS THE POLITICS OF DEMOCRATS STICKING IT TO TOM VILSACK.

Gronstal: NO, I'D SAY IT'S DIFFICULT. NO, I'D SAY IT'S DIFFICULT BUT I THINK -- I THINK IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR REPUBLICANS. AND WE'VE HAD -- I'M NOT SURE WHAT ONE YOU'RE REFERRING TO. I REMEMBER ONE WHERE WE PASSED A CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM LAW THAT BRANSTAD VETOED. AND WE HAD 38 VOTES FOR IT IN THE SENATE, AND ON THE VETO OVERRIDE, WE HAD 32. IT DROPPED BELOW THE 34 NECESSARY.

Glover: ARE YOU TRYING TO EMBARRASS A LAME DUCK GOVERNOR?

Rants: NO, NO, I'M NOT. LOOK, NO. I WISH THE GOVERNOR HADN'T VETOED IT, OKAY, TO BEGIN WITH. I WISH WE WEREN'T IN THAT SITUATION. I THINK HE MADE A MISTAKE. NOW, I UNDERSTAND HOW TOUGH IT IS TO PUT TOGETHER THE VOTES TO DO AN OVERRIDE. I WAS WORRIED THAT I WOULDN'T GET THE SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION TO DO IT. I REMEMBER '96. I WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S VETO. I WAS TOLD I'D NEVER SERVE IN A LEADERSHIP POSITION IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Rants: IT CAN BE DONE AND I THINK DEMOCRATS NEED TO REALIZE THAT THEY SHOULD VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE. THEY SHOULD VOTE THE WAY THEY DID BACK IN MAY --

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Rants: -- WHEN THEY TOOK THE FIRST VOTE ON THIS BILL.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT THIRTY SECONDS LEFT. WHY NOT DO WHAT SENATOR GRONSTAL IS SUGGESTING HERE AND FIND A COMPROMISE? YOU'RE A LEGISLATIVE LEADER. YOU'RE PAID TO CUT DEALS --

Rants: WE HAVE FOUND A COMPROMISE, DAVID. WE HAVE FOUND A COMPROMISE. WE'VE COMPROMISED FOUR TIMES TO GET TO THIS POINT. AS I SAID BEFORE --

Yepsen: IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE GOVERNOR, THOUGH, SO YOU HAVEN'T GOT THERE.

Rants: WELL, THAT'S OKAY. BUT THAT'S WHY THE CONSTITUTION CREATES CHECKS AND BALANCES. THE LEGISLATURE DOES NOT EXIST, REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS, TO DO THE BIDDING OF ANY GOVERNOR. WE ARE THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

Yepsen: SO YOU WANT THE ISSUE RATHER THAN THE BILL, CORRECT?

Rants: WE HAVE SPOKEN. NO, WE HAVE SPOKEN. WE PUT UP 89 VOTES IN THE HOUSE. THERE ARE OVER 40 VOTES IN THE SENATE. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. THE CONSTITUTION, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE GAVE US CHECKS AND BALANCES THAT GIVE US THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN OVERRIDE VOTE. WE SHOULD EXERCISE THAT.

Borg: ONE PREROGATIVE I HAVE IS TO OVERRIDE EVERYTHING ELSE HERE. [ LAUGHTER ]

Gronstal: I KNEW THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE TRANSITION.

Borg: THANKS FOR BEING WITH US. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' WE HEAD BACK OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. JOINING US IS SENATOR EVAN BAYH, A DEMOCRAT FROM INDIANA WHO IS TESTING THE PRESIDENTIAL WATERS HERE IN IOWA, MAKING HIS FIFTH TRIP TO IOWA IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS. SENATOR BAYH WILL DISCUSS THE PROMINENT ISSUES AND HIS PRESIDENTIAL POSSIBILITIES AT OUR REGULAR 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: THAT'S FRIDAY NIGHT AT 7:30 AND SUNDAY MORNING AT 11:30. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. 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: Iowa