Iowa Public Television

 

Reporters' Roundtable

posted on December 29, 2006

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Borg: THAT PAST IS PROLOGUE. AS 2006 GIVES WAY TO 2007, IOWA POLITICAL REPORTERS SCAN THE PAST YEAR FOR INSIGHT INTO THE NEW YEAR. IT'S OUR YEAR-ENDING REPORTERS ROUNDTABLE 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: LOOKING BACK OVER 2006, THERE'S PLENTY OF NEWS AND NEWSMAKERS WHO WILL BE INFLUENCING EVENTS IN THE NEW YEAR. PROBABLY THE BEST EXAMPLE, NOVEMBER'S GENERAL ELECTION, WHICH SWEPT DEMOCRATS INTO MAJORITY STATUS IN CONGRESS AND THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. BUT THAT'S ONLY A BASIC ANALYSIS. FOR THE REAL INSIGHT, WE'RE GOING TO BE CALLING ON 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN, 'RADIO IOWA' NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON, 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER, AND 'RADIO IOWA' STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JENEANE BECK. RIGHT TO YOU, KAY, RIGHT AWAY. WE'RE PREPARING FOR THE CULVER ADMINISTRATION. WHY? WHAT HAPPENED? WHY DID HE WIN?

Henderson: THE SMART-ALEC ANSWER IS HE GOT MORE VOTES THAN JIM NUSSLE DID. THE REASON HE GOT MORE VOTES IS BECAUSE HE WAS A LIKABLE CANDIDATE. HE TOOK THE TERRY BRANSTAD PATH TO TERRACE HILL. HE WORKED HARD. HE STARTED THIS CAMPAIGN WAY IN ADVANCE OF ELECTION YEAR ITSELF. HE CAMPAIGNED EXTENSIVELY. HE WON 61 COUNTIES. AND I THINK THE MARGIN OF HIS VICTORY IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE A LESSON TO FOLKS, BECAUSE HE NOT ONLY CARRIED THE URBAN AREAS THAT DEMOCRATS TRADITIONALLY CARRIED, HE DID VERY WELL IN RURAL AREAS TOO.

Glover: AND HE WAS A CANDIDATE WHO GREW THROUGHOUT THE CAMPAIGN OVER THE COURSE OF A COUPLE YEARS OR MORE THAT HE WAS RUNNING FOR THIS, BUT HE ALSO HAD SOME HELP FROM HIS OPPONENT, JIM NUSSLE. JIM NUSSLE WAS CARRYING A LOT OF BAGGAGE IN WHAT WAS A PRETTY GOOD DEMOCRATIC YEAR. JIM NUSSLE WAS A VETERAN MEMBER OF CONGRESS IN A YEAR WHEN POLLS TOLD US VOTERS HATED CONGRESS. HE WAS TIED TO A REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT IN CONGRESS THAT POLLS SHOWED VOTERS DIDN'T LIKE. HE WAS PART OF RUNNING UP A BIG BUDGET DEFICIT THAT VOTERS DIDN'T LIKE. SO CHET CULVER DID DO A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF RUNNING A LIKABLE CAMPAIGN, BUT JIM NUSSLE GAVE HIM PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITY.

Borg: DAVE, WHAT THAT SEEMS TO SAY IS THAT JIM NUSSLE WAS UNABLE TO DISASSOCIATE HIMSELF FROM CONGRESS AND AN UNPOPULAR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

Yepsen: THAT'S RIGHT. I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS CHET CULVER WON AND JIM NUSSLE LOST IS IRAQ. THIS WAS A DEMOCRATIC YEAR. PRETTY HARD FOR A DEMOCRAT TO LOSE THIS TIME WITH THAT KIND OF WIND AT THEIR BACK. AND WE FORGET THAT A MONTH OUT, THE RACE WAS TIED IN MOST POLLS. IT DIDN'T BREAK TILL LATE. CULVER'S RACE BROKE WHEN THE NATIONAL TIDE BROKE FOR THE DEMOCRATS. I THINK TWO OTHER REASONS WHY CULVER WON, ONE WAS HE HAD A PRIMARY. CHET CULVER GOT A GOOD WORKOUT FROM MIKE BLOUIN AND ED FALLON. AS MIKE POINTED OUT, HE GREW. AND SECONDLY, GOVERNOR VILSACK. IT'S HELPFUL TO HAVE AN INCUMBENT GOVERNOR. WHAT VILSACK DID NOT ONLY RAISED MONEY AND ALL THAT SORT OF THING, BUT VILSACK SPENT THE LAST FEW YEARS SORT OF TAKING ISSUES OFF THE TABLE -- IOWANS WEREN'T AS CONCERNED ABOUT THE ECONOMY -- TRYING TO TAKE ISSUES OFF THE TABLE SO REPUBLICANS COULDN'T USE THEM AGAINST CULVER. INSTEAD, IT WAS CULVER WHO HAD ISSUES TO USE AGAINST NUSSLE AND THE REPUBLICANS.

Borg: I HAVEN'T HEARD FROM YOU, JENEANE.

Beck: WELL, I MEAN JUST TO SORT OF TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY'VE TALKED ABOUT BEFORE AND EXPOUND ON IT A LITTLE BIT IS THAT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT CULVER GROWING, THIS IS A MAN WHO SPENT EIGHT YEARS AS SECRETARY OF STATE WHO USED THAT OFFICE TO THE FULLEST ADVANTAGE A CANDIDATE COULD, YOU KNOW, REALLY WORKING WITH STUDENT GROUPS AND FORMING A STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS WHERE HE WENT INTO HIGH SCHOOLS. THESE WERE LATER VOTERS AND IT WAS A SMART THING TO DO. YOU ALSO SAW AS HE GREW AS A CANDIDATE, I THINK NUSSLE SORT OF DIMINISHED AS THE CAMPAIGN WENT ON. HE WAS ABLE TO START VERY CONFIDENT. AND AS THINGS LOOKED BAD FOR CONGRESS AND FOR NATIONAL CANDIDATES, I THINK HE MAY HAVE SEEN THAT. AND I THOUGHT AT THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DEBATES, HE SEEMED A LITTLE SHRILL AND A LITTLE NEGATIVE, AND I THINK IT HURT HIM.

Yepsen: I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HURT JIM NUSSLE WAS HIS DIVORCE. IT DIDN'T GET TALKED ABOUT MUCH, BUT IT WAS OUT THERE. IT WAS A WHISPER CAMPAIGN, THE SUB ROSA, THE UNDER RADAR, PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT IT. WE HAVEN'T HAD MANY GOVERNORS WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH A DIVORCE PRIOR TO THEIR FIRST ELECTION AS GOVERNOR. I THINK IT WAS A CONCERN THAT PEOPLE HAD, AND HE COULDN'T ADDRESS IT BECAUSE HE COULDN'T TALK ABOUT IT PUBLICLY, BUT I THINK IT WAS A REAL FACTOR IN THE RACE.

Beck: I HAD A WOMAN --

Glover: IT WAS ALSO A FACTOR I THINK BECAUSE NOT ONLY DID -- THERE WAS A WHISPERING CAMPAIGN GOING ON ABOUT JIM NUSSLE HAVING GOTTEN A DIVORCE, BUT IT TOOK AWAY A POTENTIAL ASSET. ONE OF THE POTENTIAL ASSETS THAT ANY CANDIDATE HAS IS THEIR SPOUSE. WHEN BILL CLINTON RAN FOR PRESIDENT, HE SAID YOU GET TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE. JIM NUSSLE WAS UNABLE TO USE THAT.

Beck: WELL, THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY. I HAD A WOMAN COME UP TO ME AND SAY: WELL, WHY DIDN'T HE TALK ABOUT HIS IOWA FAMILY MORE; WHY DIDN'T HE EXPLAIN THAT HE STILL HAS FAMILY IN MANCHESTER. AND I SAID BECAUSE IN TALKING ABOUT THAT, HE HAS TO TALK ABOUT THE DIVORCE, AND THAT FOR HIM WAS A NEGATIVE.

Yepsen: YOU'LL NOTICE HE DIDN'T CARRY MANCHESTER BY MUCH EITHER.

Borg: KAY, BUT WE WERE SAYING THE FEDERAL ISSUES AFFECTED THE GUBERNATORIAL RACE IN IOWA.

Henderson: CORRECT.

Borg: BUT THE DEMOCRATS ALSO CARRIED THE SENATE AND THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DO YOU THINK THE UNPOPULARITY OF IRAQ AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INFLUENCED THAT TOO?

Henderson: WELL, I THINK THERE WERE A LOT MORE STRAIGHT-TICKET VOTERS THIS TIME AROUND THAN THERE ARE -- ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE. SECONDARILY, REPUBLICANS COULD NOT GENERATE A LOT OF ENTHUSIASM FROM THEIR BASE, PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE TOP OF THE TICKET, PARTLY BECAUSE IRAQ, PARTLY BECAUSE A LOT OF CONSERVATIVES WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAVE BECOME DISILLUSIONED WITH NATIONAL LEADERSHIP. AND SO THOSE WERE FACTORS AS WELL. BUT TRULY, DEMOCRATS HAD BEEN SETTING THEMSELVES UP FOR THIS. THE SENATE WAS 25/25. THE WAY THE SEATS FELL, IT WAS VERY EASY FOR THEM TACTICALLY TO PREPARE TO TAKE OVER THE SENATE. THE HOUSE REALLY DID BENEFIT FROM THE TACTICAL SELECTION OF INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES.

Yepsen: I THINK THIS DISCUSSION OF THE REPUBLICAN BASE IS WORTH HAVING HERE FOR A MOMENT, DEAN. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT REPUBLICANS HAD NATIONALLY, THEY HAD IT IN IOWA, AND THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE GOING FORWARD IS TO WHAT EXTENT DO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES HAVE TO COURT THEIR BASE VOTERS, RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES, AND TO WHAT EXTENT ARE THEY FREE TO GO OUT AND GET MODERATE AND INDEPENDENT VOTERS. ONE REASON JIM NUSSLE LOST WAS EARLY ON HIS CAMPAIGN GOOFED UP A QUESTIONNAIRE ABOUT HIS POSITION ON ABORTION AND HE SPENT A WHOLE WEEK TRYING TO FINESSE THAT ISSUE, BASICALLY WINDS UP ON A VERY CONSERVATIVE POSITION ON THAT QUESTION. BUT AT THE SAME TIME HE WAS TAKING THAT NO-EXCEPTIONS POSITION ON ABORTION, HE WAS SCARING INDEPENDENT AND DEMOCRATIC WOMEN PARTICULARLY WHO ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THAT KIND OF POSITION. SO REPUBLICANS HAVE GOT TO FIGURE THIS OUT: TO WHAT EXTENT DO THEY COURT THEIR BASE AND SEEK SUPPORT FROM THEIR BASE; AND TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THAT BASE ALLOW REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES THE FREEDOM TO COURT INDEPENDENTS AND DEMOCRATS?

Glover: AND ANOTHER PROBLEM THEY'VE GOT WITH THEIR BASE IS THEIR BASE IS NOT ENTIRELY HAPPY. YOU LOOK AT THE CONSERVATIVE BASE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, YOU HEAR A LOT OF THEM COMPLAINING ABOUT THE POLICIES OF A REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATIONS. IF I'M A FISCAL CONSERVATIVE -- AND THAT'S PART OF BEING A SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE -- AM I REALLY HAPPY WITH THESE DEFICITS CONGRESS IS RUNNING? IF I'M A HARD-LINED HAWK ON THE WAR IN IRAQ, I'VE GOT ONE QUESTION FOR YOU: WHY HAVEN'T WE WON IT? WE'VE BEEN IN IRAQ LONGER THAN WE WERE IN WORLD WAR II, AND WE HAVEN'T WON YET. SO THEY'RE SAYING WHAT'S WRONG THERE. SO YOU SEE -- AND THEY'RE ALSO STARTING TO SEE SOME FACTUALISM WITHIN THE RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVE BASE. THEY'RE STARTING TO FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER. THERE ARE LITTLE STRUGGLES FOR POWER AND SO FORTH. SO THAT'S A REAL LONG-TERM PROBLEM FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Yepsen: AND THAT STRUGGLE IS PLAYING OUT RIGHT NOW IN THE RACE FOR REPUBLICAN STATE CHAIRMAN.

Glover: YES, YES.

Borg: EXPAND ON THAT A LITTLE BIT MORE.

Yepsen: WELL, RAY HOFFMANN IS THE CURRENT REPUBLICAN STATE CHAIRMAN. HE'S UP FOR ELECTION IN JANUARY. AND OTHER REPUBLICANS, STATE REPRESENTATIVE BILL DIX, PEOPLE ARE IN AND OUT OF THAT RACE ALL THE TIME. IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE STATE CHAIR OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS GOING TO HAVE TO RUN THE CAUCUSES, RUN A STRAW POLL IN AUGUST, TRY TO ADDRESS SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS ABOUT GOING INTO '08, ABOUT HOW YOU BALANCE A TICKET WITH ELECTABLE CANDIDATES WHO CAN STILL FIRE UP THE BASE OF THE PARTY. AND SO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS HAVING THIS DISCUSSION RIGHT NOW.

Glover: AND YOU LOOK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN AS IT PLAYED OUT IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE, LOOK AT THE DEMOCRATIC BASE. THE DEMOCRATIC BASE WASN'T ALL THAT HAPPY WITH CHET CULVER. REMEMBER MOST OF ORGANIZED LABOR ENDORSED MIKE BLOUIN IN THE PRIMARY, AND SO THEY WERE NOT ALL THAT CLOSE. TOM VILSACK, CHET CULVER WASN'T HIS FIRST CHOICE TO BE THE NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR, BUT THAT BASE SWALLOWED ITS PRIDE AND WHEN IT CAME TO GENERAL ELECTION TIME, PUT THEIR SHOULDER TO THE WHEEL, AND WENT TO WORK. THE SAME THING DIDN'T HAPPEN ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. AND THAT'S A LONG-TERM PROBLEM --

Borg: YOU WERE MENTIONING TOM VILSACK, AND WE'VE ALLUDED TO THIS EARLIER BUT I JUST WANT TO GET IT OUT ON THE TABLE HERE FOR YOUR COMMENTS. A WEEK AGO ON THIS PROGRAM, WE TALKED WITH TOM VILSACK AND HE CLAIMED CREDIT FOR CHANGING IOWA FROM A RED STATE TO A BLUE STATE. DAVE, YOU'RE ROLLING YOUR EYES.

Yepsen: WELL, IOWA WENT DEMOCRATIC FOR A LOT OF REASONS, NONE OF WHICH HAVE TO DO WITH TOM VILSACK. AND I JUST SAID ONE OF THEM WAS IRAQ. BUT I DO HAVE TO GIVE -- YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE GOVERNOR SOME CREDIT. I MEAN HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A LOT OF THE BLAME IF IT HAD GONE REPUBLICAN. YOU DO HAVE TO GIVE HIM SOME CREDIT, AND IT GOES BACK TO WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT EARLIER. HE WAS ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY HELP CULVER AND DEMOCRATS TAKE ISSUES OFF THE TABLE, RECRUITING DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES, RAISING MONEY FOR THESE CANDIDATES. SO I GIVE THE GOVERNOR A LITTLE CREDIT.

Beck: WELL, AND AFTER EIGHT -- OR SIXTEEN YEARS, RATHER, WITH THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR PRECEDING THAT, HE SHOWED I THINK TO IOWANS THAT A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR ISN'T SUCH A SCARY THING, THAT THE WORLD DIDN'T END, THAT DEFICITS DIDN'T GO UP IN IOWA, THAT ACTUALLY THE ECONOMY STARTED TO IMPROVE AFTER A DOWNTURN, AND THAT A DEMOCRAT COULD HANDLE THE POSITION. SO IN SOME CASES HE MADE IT NOT SCARY.

Borg: WELL, AND IN THE END OF THE VILSACK ADMINISTRATION AND THE BEGINNING OF CULVER, CULVER IS COMING IN NOT ONLY WITH A DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE BUT KIND OF A NICE BALANCE IN THE STATE TREASURY.

Yepsen: IT'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAY. I MEAN IF YOU COMPARE CULVER IN 2007 TAKING OFFICE TO WHAT VILSACK DID IN 1983 -- I'M SORRY, 1999, AND TERRY BRANSTAD IN 1983, WHEN THEY CAME INTO OFFICE: CULVER HAS GOT MONEY IN THE BANK; HE'S GOT A LEGISLATURE OF HIS OWN DOING; HE'S KEEPING A LOT OF THE SAME ADMINISTRATIVE PEOPLE. I MEAN YOU CAN SORT OF SENSE THERE IS NOT THE LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT AND ENERGY ABOUT GETTING A NEW GOVERNOR THAT THERE WAS IN THE TWO PRIOR -- WHEN WE GOT A NEW ONE THE LAST TWO TIMES.

Glover: I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH A VILSACK AIDE NOT TOO LONG AGO WHO SAID, 'OUR TIMING IS GREAT. WE SPEND EIGHT YEARS IN OFFICE WITH A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE AND BUDGET DEFICIT AFTER BUDGET DEFICIT AND WE REDUCE THE STATE WORK FORCE BY 10 PERCENT. WE LEAVE OFFICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATURE COMES IN AND THEY'VE GOT MONEY TO PLAY WITH. OUR TIMING IS GREAT.'

Borg: OKAY. WHAT DOES THAT PORTEND? WHAT DO YOU FORESEE AS A RESULT OF WHAT WE JUST TALKED ABOUT? GO AHEAD, MIKE.

Glover: WELL, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IS THERE'S GOING TO BE A BILL THAT WILL PASS ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE BY MORE THAN $2 AN HOUR OVER A COUPLE YEARS.

Borg: DOES IT COST STATE GOVERNMENT?

Glover: PARDON?

Borg: DOES IT COST STATE GOVERNMENT?

Glover: THERE WILL BE SOME PRESSURE TO COME UP WITH SOME KIND OF TAX BREAKS OR SOME KIND OF ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. IT'S UNCLEAR HOW FAR THAT WILL GO, BUT THAT WILL BE ONE OF THE FIRST ISSUES DEBATED. ONE OF THE SECOND ISSUES THAT'S GOING TO BE DEBATED IS WHEN CULVER SENDS HIS BUDGET TO THE LEGISLATURE IN LATE JANUARY, IT'S ALMOST CERTAIN TO INCLUDE AN INCREASE IN THE STATE CIGARETTE TAX. DEMOCRATS DIDN'T CAMPAIGN ON THAT, BUT THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THAT.

Henderson: THERE WILL ALSO BE A DEBATE ABOUT TEACHER PAY IN THE COMING YEAR. CULVER HAS PROMISED AN ADDITIONAL $20 MILLION TO BOOST TEACHER SALARIES. DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE BEEN DOING SOME OF THE MATH THINK IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN THAT TO GET TO 25TH IN THE COUNTRY. IOWA TEACHERS, IT CAME OUT IN RECENT WEEKS, ARE PAID 40TH AMONG THE 50 STATES. SO THERE WILL BE A PUSH TO PUT MORE MONEY INTO TEACHER PAY.

Yepsen: THE GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE OF US IN THE MEDIA, DEAN, IS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF NEW ISSUES TO CHEW ON AND CONTROVERSIES. BEFORE THE BALLOT IN IOWA WAS ALWAYS BETWEEN THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE. NOW THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF BATTLES INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AMONG THE VARIOUS FACTIONS. YOU HAVEN'T HAD THE DEMOCRATS HOLDING THE TRIFECTA FOR 42 YEARS, AS WE'VE ALL MENTIONED BEFORE.

Borg: THAT IS, TRIFECTA --

Yepsen: THE HOUSE, SENATE, AND THE GOVERNORSHIP. SO NOW WE'VE GOT EVERY DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENCY GROUP OUT THERE WITH ITS LIST OF DEMANDS SAYING, 'I GET MINE, I GET MINE.' WELL, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR CHET CULVER TO DO THAT, AND THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR THEM TO DO IT. SOME OF THIS STUFF IS PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL. I'LL GIVE YOU A GOOD EXAMPLE. ORGANIZED LABOR WANTS A THING CALLED FAIR SHARE, WHICH IS TINKERING AROUND WITH THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. VERY CONTROVERSIAL TO HAVE WORKERS WHO DON'T BELONG TO UNIONS PAY UNIONS FOR SERVICES THE UNIONS DO. WELL, DOES THE NEW GOVERNOR IMPALE HIMSELF ON THAT ISSUE RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, OR DOES HE TALK ABOUT OTHER THINGS? HE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX. HE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT HIGHER TEACHER PAY. SO WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF INTERMURAL FIGHTS IS WHAT I'M SAYING, DEAN, INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Borg: ARE THERE SOME ISSUES THAT WE SAW DURING THE 2006 YEAR THAT WILL REVERBERATE AND HAUNT, IF YOU WILL, THE DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION? I'M THINKING ABOUT TOUCH PLAY GAMBLING MACHINES, CIETC SCANDAL, THE BOARD OF REGENTS QUESTIONS ON GOVERNANCE. TAKE YOUR CHOICE, JENEANE.

Beck: WELL, I DON'T THINK TOUCH PLAY WILL HAUNT THEM. I THINK THAT TOUCH PLAY, YOU KNOW, SORT OF WAS THE BIG STORY. IT CAUSED A LOT OF HASSLE, AND IT HELPED DEMOCRATS TAKE CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE. REPUBLICANS ACTED SHOCKED WHEN PEOPLE CAME OUT AND CAMPAIGNED AGAINST THEM OVER TOUCH PLAY. WELL, THE REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE WOULDN'T AGREE TO A DEAL TO GIVE TOUCH PLAY INVESTORS SOME SORT OF BREAK AFTER THEY PULLED THE PLUG ON THE MACHINES, AND SO THEY WENT OUT AND CAMPAIGNED AGAINST THEM. THAT'S POLITICS. THAT'S THE WAY IT WORKS.

Borg: BUT IS THERE A SUIT STILL PENDING?

Beck: THERE'S A SUIT STILL PENDING, BUT I THINK THAT THE LEGISLATURE DOESN'T WANT TO HAVE ANY PART OF THAT. THEY WANT TO LET THE COURTS DECIDE, AND I THINK THAT CULVER IS OF THE SAME MIND: YOU KNOW, LET'S NOT TOUCH THAT WITH A 10-FOOT POLE; LET'S LET THE COURTS DECIDE. AND I THINK CIETC HAS BURNED ITSELF OUT. I DO THINK THE ONE THING YOU MAY SEE IS THAT COUNTY AND CITY GOVERNMENTS ARE DISCOVERING THAT ONE OF THE FALLOUTS OF CIETC WAS THAT THE LEGISLATURE WANTS ALL THESE OPEN RECORDS AND PUBLICATIONS. AND IT'S A FINANCIAL BURDEN TO COUNTIES AND CITIES TO DO IT, AND THEY WANT THEM TO REVIEW THAT LAW AND TAKE THAT BURDEN AWAY.

Yepsen: I'D SAY JUST QUICKLY, TOUCH PLAY I THINK IOWANS SHOWED THEY ARE FED UP WITH GAMBLING. THEY'VE HAD ENOUGH AND THAT COULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR OTHER TOWNS TO GET CASINOS. CIETC, I AGREE IT DIDN'T HAVE MUCH ELECTORAL IMPACT, BUT IT DID MAKE PEOPLE VERY CYNICAL ABOUT GOVERNMENT, AS IF THAT'S POSSIBLE TO ADD TO THAT. THE REGENTS GOVERNANCE, DEAN, THAT STORY I THINK IS FADING BECAUSE THE REGENTS HAVE STARTED THE NEW SEARCH PROCESS. THEY'RE GOING TO WIND UP WITH A NEW PRESIDENT. PEOPLE IN IOWA CITY ARE ALWAYS UPSET ABOUT SOMETHING, AND THIS WILL COOL OFF. YOU MISSED ONE AND THAT WAS EMINENT DOMAIN. HUGE BATTLE OVER THAT. FIRST OVERRIDE OF A GOVERNOR'S VETO. THE EFFECT OF THAT IS GOING TO BE THIS: THEY'VE GOT A TOUGH LAW ON THE BOOKS; YOU WAIT UNTIL SOME TOWN COMES IN AND SAYS, GEE, WE'VE GOT THIS GREAT BUSINESS THAT WANTS TO COME HERE BUT WE CAN'T DO IT BECAUSE OF THIS EMINENT DOMAIN LAW. WE'RE GOING TO BE RIGHT BACK INTO TINKERING AROUND WITH EMINENT DOMAIN.

Henderson: AND ONE REASON WE MAY IS BECAUSE THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY IS A HUGE CONSUMER OF WATER. AND I THINK THOSE LAKE PROJECTS THAT WERE SO CONTROVERSIAL AND WHICH ENGENDERED SUCH ANGER AMONG PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY CAME TO THE STATEHOUSE IN JULY LAST YEAR AND SAID, 'DON'T DO THIS TO US, DON'T TAKE OUR HOMESTEAD, DON'T TAKE MY HOUSE,' I THINK THOSE LAKE PROJECTS ARE WHAT ARE GOING TO BE THE TURNING POINT IN TERMS OF EMINENT DOMAIN. YOU ALSO MENTIONED THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND YOU THINK THIS IS KIND OF FADING AS AN ISSUE. I SAT DOWN WITH GOVERNOR-ELECT THIS WEEK, AND HE SAID HE'S GOING TO APPOINT FOUR NEW MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF REGENTS IN THE FIRST NINETY DAYS OF HIS TERM. SO THAT WILL CHANGE THE MAKEUP OF THE BOARD AND MAKE IT CHET CULVER'S BOARD OF REGENTS. HE GAVE SORT OF AN OBLIQUE ANSWER SUGGESTING THAT IF MICHAEL GARTNER DIDN'T WANT TO STAY ON DURING THE CULVER ADMINISTRATION, THAT MIGHT BE OKAY. SO I MEAN HE'S GOING TO -- IT'S GOING TO BE HIS BOARD. THEY HAVE STARTED A NEW SEARCH. AND WHEN WHEN THEY FIND A NEW UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESIDENT, THIS WILL BE --

Yepsen: THOSE NEW REGENTS WON'T GO ON THE BOARD UNTIL APRIL 1, AND BY THEN THE SEARCH WILL BE WELL UNDERWAY. SECONDLY, A GOVERNOR HAS ALMOST NO POWER TO GET RID OF REGENTS. THE REASON WHY IS THE IOWA CODE IS SET UP TO PROTECT REGENTS FROM POLITICIANS TINKERING AROUND WITH THE STATE UNIVERSITIES. SO IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET RID OF A BOARD OF REGENT. CULVER CAN HUFF AND PUFF, BUT HE'S JUST PLAYING TO THE SEATS IN IOWA CITY.

Glover: AND WHAT HE'S GOING TO FIND IS, ONCE THE PROBLEM BECOMES HIS, THAT HE'S GOING TO HAVE ALL THE PROBLEMS THAT TOM VILSACK HAD WITH PEOPLE IN IOWA CITY BECAUSE PEOPLE IN IOWA CITY WANT TO RUN THE UNIVERSITY THE WAY THEY WANT TO RUN IT. THEY DON'T WANT ANYBODY TINKERING AROUND WITH THEM, SO THAT PROBLEM IS GOING TO BE HIS TOO.

Borg: ONE THING THAT DID ARISE HERE -- WELL, THE MAYTAG CLOSING, IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. BUT THE OTHER THING I'D JUST LIKE YOUR FEEDBACK ON -- YOU MAY WANT TO SAY, NO, IT'S A FEDERAL ISSUE -- IMMIGRATION. YOU KNOW, ANYBODY WANT TO COMMENT ON THAT?

Glover: YEAH, IMMIGRATION IS GOING TO BE ONE OF I THINK THE COMING ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE IN IOWA POLITICS. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER THE STATE REALLY HAS A LOT TO DO WITH AN ISSUE AS TO WHETHER THAT ISSUE IS IMPORTANT IN STATE POLITICS. FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT DOES THE STATE HAVE TO DO WITH THE WAR IN IRAQ? BUT, DAVE, YOU'RE RIGHT; THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS A MAJOR FACTOR IN THIS LAST ELECTION. WHAT DOES THE STATE HAVE TO DO WITH IMMIGRATION POLICY? NOT VERY MUCH BUT PEOPLE IN IOWA ARE UPSET ABOUT IMMIGRATION. THEY'RE UPSET ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE IT. THEY'RE UPSET ABOUT HOW TO REGULATE IT, AND THAT WILL HAVE AN EFFECT. THEY'LL TAKE THAT ANGER OUT ON PEOPLE.

Henderson: AND IF YOU HAD ANY QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER THIS IS AN ISSUE IN IOWA, THE SWIFT MEATPACKING RAIDS EARLIER THIS MONTH OF DECEMBER DROVE THAT HOME. THERE WERE ARRESTS IN MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA, A COMMUNITY WHOSE MAKEUP CHANGED DRAMATICALLY BECAUSE OF A LATINO SURGE IN POPULATION THERE. MARSHALLTOWN IS GOING TO BE A POSTER CHILD IN MANY NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS OF IMMIGRATION BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT SMACK-DAB IN THE COUNTRY, IT'S NOT CLOSE TO THE BORDER, AND YET IMMIGRATION POLICY REALLY BECAME THE FOCUS OF MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA.

Beck: YOU ONLY HAVE TO LOOK BACK TO THE VILSACK ADMINISTRATION TO SEE WHAT A STICKY WICKET THIS IS FOR A GOVERNOR BECAUSE, IF YOU REMEMBER EARLY IN HIS FIRST TERM, HE TALKED ABOUT OPENING IOWA UP, THAT WE HAVE NOT HAD GROWTH, AND THE ONLY GROWTH WE DO HAVE IS OF NEW IOWANS OF DIFFERENT IMMIGRATION BACKGROUNDS.

Borg: AND HE HIT A BRICK WALL.

Beck: HE DID AND HE FOUND OUT IOWANS WERE SCARED OF IT AND WEREN'T READY FOR IT AND HE BACKED OFF COMPLETELY. SO CULVER HAS TO WALK A FINE LINE ON THIS ISSUE.

Yepsen: I THINK, DEAN, THE EFFECT -- ONE OF THE EFFECTS OF THE MARSHALLTOWN RAID IS TO MAKE IMMIGRATION MORE OF A NATIONAL ISSUE BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE THE CAUCUSES ARE, AND WE'VE JUST HAD A HUGE DOSE OF THIS ISSUE. I DON'T CARE WHAT SIDE YOU'RE ON; IT'S BEEN SHOVED TO THE FRONT OF THE IOWA POLITICAL AGENDA. AND EVERY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FROM BOTH PARTIES COMING INTO THIS STATE IS GOING TO BE ASKED MORE ABOUT IT, BE ASKED TO TAKE A POSITION, WHICH IS WHY I THINK ALL THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN BOTH PARTIES ARE VERY HOPEFUL THAT THE NEW DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS WILL PASS PRESIDENT BUSH'S PROGRAM FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM OR SOMETHING LIKE IT SO THAT THEY CAN AT LEAST START TO GET THIS ISSUE OFF THE TABLE BECAUSE IT IS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL DIVISIVE ISSUE THAT MOST POLITICIANS DON'T LIKE FOOLING AROUND WITH IT.

Glover: THAT'S RIGHT. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES WHO COME TO IOWA SOMETIMES THINK ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS BE PRO ETHANOL TO GET BY IN IOWA, AND THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE THE CASE THIS TIME. THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES BUBBLING AROUND OUT THERE THAT THOSE CANDIDATES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ADDRESS AND, THUS, BE MADE PART OF THE NATIONAL --

Yepsen: AND IT IS RELATED TO THE MAYTAG THING IN THIS REGARD, DEAN, AND THAT ONCE AGAIN HIGHLIGHTS THE ISSUE OF OUTSOURCING OF U.S. JOBS, THE OFFSOURCING OF U.S. JOBS. IT'S INTERESTING THAT BRUCE BRALEY AND DAVID LOEBSACK, WHO WERE JUST ELECTED TO CONGRESS FROM IOWA IN THIS LAST ELECTION, THEY'RE NOT THE FREE TRADERS THAT DEMOCRATS A GENERATION AGO WERE. THEY'RE MUCH MORE INTERESTED IN PROTECTING U.S. JOBS, AND I THINK PART OF THAT IS DRIVEN BY WHAT HAPPENED AT MAYTAG. WE SAW THIS IOWA ICON SOLD OFF AND MANY OF THESE JOBS HAVE MOVED TO MEXICO AND THAT MAKES THAT AN ISSUE IN THE NEXT CAMPAIGN.

Borg: UNQUESTIONABLY THE ELECTION CHANGED POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS AND CAREERS. BUT DID THEY ALSO IDENTIFY SOME RISING OR FALLING STARS?

Glover: ONE THAT COMES TO MIND ALMOST IMMEDIATELY IS KEVIN MCCARTHY, A STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF DES MOINES WHOSE FATHER, THE POLICE CHIEF OF THE CITY OF DES MOINES, A CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRAT COMPLETING HIS SECOND TERM, AND HE'S GOING TO BE THE NEW MAJORITY LEADER OF THE IOWA HOUSE. CLEARLY SOMEONE WHO IS ON THE RISE. SOMEONE WHO I THINK IS ON THE RISE MUCH MORE QUIETLY ACROSS THE WAY IN THE SENATE IS TOM COURTNEY, A SENATOR FROM BURLINGTON, A KIND OF A QUIET BEHIND-THE-SCENES KIND OF A GUY WHO'S BECOMING A REAL FORCE IN SENATE DEMOCRATIC POLITICS. AND CLEARLY THEY'RE GOING TO BE A MAJORITY PARTY THERE.

Beck: WELL, I MEAN IF YOU SEE THOSE WHO MIGHT SEE THEIR TRAJECTORY CHANGING, ONE MIGHT BE THE OUTGOING HOUSE SPEAKER, CHRISTOPHER RANTS. MANY OF US WONDER IF HE WOULD EVEN STAY. ONCE YOU'VE BEEN A LEADER, IT'S NOT FUN TO GO TO THE MINORITY. AND SO SOME OF US WONDERED IF HE WOULD JUST FIND A PRIVATE SECTOR JOB AND GET OUT OF THE LEGISLATURE. HE'S GOING TO BE THE MINORITY LEADER, BUT I DON'T THINK HE'LL ENJOY IT NEAR AS MUCH AS BEING, YOU KNOW, THE SPEAKER. AND IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW LONG HE REMAINS IN THE HOUSE.

Glover: AND AS THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, HE WAS IN CHARGE OF REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE POLITICS. HE RAN REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGNS. HE TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGNS, AND HE WILL FALL ON THE SWORD BECAUSE OF IT.

Yepsen: I THINK ANOTHER RISING STAR IS MIKE GRONSTAL, THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER. HE'S THE GUY WHO I THINK -- WE'VE TALKED ABOUT HIM BEFORE AS BEING A POWERHOUSE, AND HIS STAR IS ALREADY PRETTY HIGH. HE'S THE GUY WHO'S GOING TO HAVE TO BROKER ALL THESE LITTLE INTERMURAL FIGHTS INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. HE'S ALSO RESPECTED BY THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND SO HE'LL HAVE TO TAKE CHET CULVER'S PROGRAM AND MESH IT WITH THE PARTY LIBERALS AND THE PARTY CONSERVATIVES AND TRY TO KEEP THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY HAPPY. HIS STAR HAS RISEN. HE'S GOT A LOT OF POWER, BUT HE'S GOT A LOT OF RESPONSIBILITY ON HIS SHOULDERS.

Glover: ONE OF THE THINGS WE OFTEN SAY IS THAT YOU DON'T WISH FOR THINGS, YOU MIGHT GET THEM. AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS OF SOME OF THE BIGGEST FIGHTS I'VE SEEN IS WHEN YOU HAVE A GOVERNOR OF ONE PARTY AND THE LEGISLATURE OF THE SAME PARTY. SOMETIMES THAT'S NOT THE EASIEST THING TO DO BECAUSE OF ALL THE INNER-NESTING WARFARE.

Henderson: DEAN, I MIGHT SUGGEST A FALLING STAR -- AND I DON'T THINK THIS IS A NEGATIVE -- BUT CONGRESSMAN LEONARD BOSWELL WON REELECTION. HE SUFFERED THROUGH A HEALTH PROBLEM. IF YOU LOOK AROUND AT A LOT OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE RISEN THROUGH THE RANKS: JOHN NORRIS WAS A BOSWELL PERSON; CHET CULVER'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER CUT HIS TEETH WITH BOSWELL; YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN KEY POSITIONS. IF THOSE PEOPLE IN KEY POSITIONS WITHIN THEIR PARTY CAN TALK TO LEONARD AND SAY, 'LEONARD, I THINK SOMEONE ELSE'S TURN,' I THINK THAT MAY HAPPEN.

Beck: WELL, IF HE DOESN'T GET A CHAIRMANSHIP OUT OF THIS AFTER HAVING BEEN IN THE HOUSE AS LONG AS HE HAS AND BEING A DEMOCRAT AND NOW IN CONTROL OF THE HOUSE, I DO THINK IT PORTENDS THAT DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO START TO LOOK FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

Yepsen: DEAN, I'LL GIVE YOU ANOTHER RISING STAR IS DAVID LOEBSACK, THE NEW CONGRESSMAN FROM EASTERN IOWA. HE WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE OF ELECTION NIGHT. THERE'S A WHOLE GENERATION OF REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS OVER THERE THAT HAVE BEEN WAITING AROUND FOR JIM LEACH TO RETIRE WHO NOW CAN GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO WITH THEIR POLITICAL CAREERS. AND DAVID LOEBSACK WAS A BIG SURPRISE. I MEAN WE ALL KNEW HIM AS THIS BEARDED, DEANIAC COLLEGE PROFESSOR WHO HAD THE BRAINS TO PUT HIMSELF ON THE BALLOT, WORKED VERY HARD, AND CAUGHT THAT WAVE WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. HE'S A RISING STAR.

Glover: IT WILL BE INTERESTING. WE TALKED EARLIER ABOUT A CANDIDATE GROWING. HE WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, BUT THAT'S A VERY DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT. AND IF HE DOES THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF GROWING, GROWS IN THE RIGHT WAYS, HE'S GOING TO BE IN THAT DISTRICT FOR A LONG, LONG TIME.

Henderson: AND HE IS POSITIONED UNIQUELY IN THE HOUSE TO BE PART OF THE DEBATE ABOUT THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND LAW. THE TEACHERS UNION HAS PROVEN VERY EFFECTIVE BOTH IN STATE ELECTIONS AND NATIONALLY FOR DEMOCRATS, AND HE IS GOING TO BE HELPING TO REWRITE THAT LAW IN A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS. SO I THINK HE'S POSITIONED WELL FOR THE NEXT GO-AROUND.

Borg: WHAT ISSUES DO YOU THINK ADVANCED AS A RESULT OF THAT DEMOCRATIC SWEEP? WHICH ONES ARE OFF THE TABLE?

Glover: WELL, OFF TABLE ON THE STATE LEVEL, ANY EFFORT TO PUT ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION I THINK IS GONE. THAT'S OFF THE TABLE. WE NOW HAVE A PRO-CHOICE GOVERNOR. EVEN THOUGH THE INCOMING SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OFTEN VOTES PRO-LIFE, HE SAID THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. ANY EFFORT TO REINSTATE THE DEATH SENTENCE IS OFF THE TABLE. WE HAVE A GOVERNOR WHO CAMPAIGNED AGAINST THE DEATH SENTENCE. THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE ON THE TABLE. AND I DON'T -- THEY COULDN'T EVEN GET THAT THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE WHEN WE HAD A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE AND A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR WHO WOULD HAVE SIGNED IT. NOW YOU'VE GOT A DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATURE AND A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHO'S LEARY ABOUT IT. THAT'S OFF THE TABLE.

Borg: JUST IN THESE FINAL COUPLE OF MINUTES THAT WE HAVE, INCREASING ATTENTION DURING 2006, PROBABLY MORE THAN WE'VE EVER HAD BEFORE THIS FAR AHEAD IN THE CAUCUSES, DON'T YOU THINK, AS FAR AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE INTEREST? AND SOME HAVE TESTED THE WATERS AND SAID, NOPE, DON'T LIKE THE TEMPERATURE.

Yepsen: IT GETS EARLIER EVERY CYCLE BECAUSE IOWA IS FIRST, BECAUSE ALL THESE OTHER STATES JAM UP AGAINST IT. HERE'S NEVADA IS IN THIS THING, AND THEN THERE'S NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SOUTH CAROLINA. AND AS JOHN KERRY PROVED, IF YOU CAN WIN IOWA, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO LIGHT THE ROCKET THAT TAKES YOU ALL THE WAY TO THE NOMINATION.

Glover: IT'S THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. EVERY -- EVERY ELECTION CYCLE, EITHER DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS TRY TO MOVE ANOTHER STATE UP CLOSER TO IOWA TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF INFLUENCE IOWA HAS ON THE PROCESS. AND WHAT IT HAS IS JUST EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE EFFECT; YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO STUMBLE HERE.

Yepsen: I HOPE, DEAN, THAT IOWANS ENJOYED THEIR HOLIDAY SEASON, BECAUSE THIS TIME NEXT YEAR WE'RE GOING TO BE IN THE MIDST OF THIS, HIP DEEP IN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND TV COMMERCIALS, AND YOUR ROBOCALLS WILL BE BACK ON YOUR TELEPHONE.

Beck: WELL, IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S TIGHTENING EVEN EARLIER TOO. NOT ONLY ARE THEY HERE EARLIER BUT, AS YOU SAID, PEOPLE ARE GETTING OUT OF THE RACE EARLIER. THEY DON'T HAVE ANY TIME TO EVEN SORT OF TEST THE WATERS VERY LONG. THEY'VE EITHER GOT TO HAVE A TON OF MONEY OR THEY WATCH THE SPOTLIGHT GO TO A COUPLE OF NATIONAL LEADERS AND THEY'RE DONE.

Yepsen: AND PART OF THAT INTENSITY, DEAN, IS DRIVEN BY THE FACT THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION IN 2008 IS GOING TO BE A PRIZE WORTH HAVING. I THINK THIS ELECTION THAT WE JUST WENT THROUGH MAY BE A HARBINGER OF BAD THINGS TO COME FOR THE REPUBLICANS. THEY'VE GOT TO GET THIS WAR OVER WITH AND THE TROOPS HOME, OR I THINK YOU WILL HAVE A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT.

Glover: AND I DON'T THINK THERE'S -- I SEE ANY SIGN OF ANY OF THAT HAPPENING. I SEE PRESIDENT BUSH FIXATED ON THE COURSE THAT I THINK WILL BE THERE THE REMAINDER OF HIS TERM. I THINK THAT'S BAD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS. I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT, 2008 COULD BE A VERY GOOD DEMOCRATIC YEAR.

Borg: JUST IN THE FINAL SECONDS THAT WE HAVE, IS EVERYTHING ALL SET AS FAR AS DATES NOW OR IS THERE STILL MANEUVERING?

Yepsen: NO, THAT COULD CHANGE. THE NEW HAMPSHIRE SECRETARY OF STATE IN THE FALL OF 2007 WILL DECIDE -- WILL SET THE DATE FOR THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY. AND IF HE MOVES THAT DATE, THAT WILL PROMPT A DEBATE HERE IN THIS STATE OVER THE DATE OF THE CAUCUSES.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS' -- IT COMES ON THE EVE OF THE CONVENING OF THE 82ND IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY -- WE'LL GET PERSPECTIVE FROM THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP, AS WE SAID NOW IN THE MINORITY STATUS, SIOUX CITY REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER RANTS AND THE SENATE'S REPUBLICAN MINORITY LEADER MARY LUNDBY OF MARION. YOU'LL SEE RANTS AND LUNDBY AT OUR USUAL 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT AND 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. I'M DEAN BORG. WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE OLD YEAR AND THE NEW YEAR, AND NOW IT'S TIME TO WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US HERE AT 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.


Tags: Iowa politics