Iowa Public Television

 

Statehouse Reporters

posted on March 23, 2007

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Borg: THE RECORD REFLECTS; IOWA'S NEW LEGISLATURE'S EMERGING PERSONALITY HINTS FUTURE DECISIONS. INSIGHT FROM IOWA POLITICAL JOURNALISTS 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, MARCH 23 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: A LITTLE MORE THAN A MONTH REMAINING NOW FOR IOWA'S 82ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SCHEDULED 110-DAY SESSION. LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TARGETING FRIDAY, APRIL 27. IN WHITTLING PRIORITIES, EITHER ADOPTING OR REJECTING PROPOSED LEGISLATION OR DECLINING TO EVEN DEBATE SOME ISSUES, MAJORITY DEMOCRATS ARE ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR POWER BASE AND THAT TRANSLATES INTO DOLLARS DOWN THE ROAD AS LEGISLATORS CRAFT THE STATE'S BUDGET. EVEN THOUGH THE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY LIST AND AGENDA HAVE BEEN WHITTLED DOWN, THERE IS SOME HEAVY LIFTING TO BE DONE YET, INCLUDING FORGING A NEW IOWA BUDGET. THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL 2008 GOING INTO EFFECT ON JULY 1. STATEHOUSE JOURNALISTS ARE WATCHING AND INTERPRETING THE IMPLICATIONS, AND TODAY WE'RE GETTING THEIR INSIGHTS FROM: 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN, 'LEE NEWSPAPERS' CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF TODD DORMAN, 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER, AND 'IOWA PUBLIC RADIO' STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JENEANE BECK. TODD, I'M GOING TO ASK YOU, FIRST OF ALL, JUST FOR AN UMBRELLA QUESTION HERE. HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE PROGRESS OF THE CURRENT LEGISLATURE, AND ARE THE MAJORITY DEMOCRATS ABLE TO HOLD THAT MAJORITY TOGETHER TO, IN MOST INSTANCES, GET THEIR PRIORITIES PASSED?

Dorman: YES, SO FAR THE FIRST HALF OF THE SESSION HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH WHATEVER THE GOVERNOR WANTS THE GOVERNOR GETS. HE'S GOTTEN A MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE. HE WANTED A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE; HE GOT THAT. HE WANTED TO FIGHT BULLIES IN SCHOOL; HE GETS TO TO FIGHT BULLIES IN SCHOOLS. HE'S HAD SOME NICE PEP RALLIES BILL SIGNINGS ALREADY, AND HE'S MADE REPUBLICANS MAD. SO ESSENTIALLY THEY'VE CHECKED EVERYTHING OFF THEIR TO-DO LIST SO FAR.

Glover: I THINK WHAT YOU'LL FIND, DEAN, IS SO FAR IN THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION, THE THINGS THAT DEMOCRATS CAMPAIGNED ON THAT TODD MENTIONED -- THEY CAMPAIGNED ON RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX. THEY TOLD VOTERS WE'RE GOING TO RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX AND USE THAT MONEY FOR HEALTH PURPOSES; WE'RE GOING ON RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN RAISED IN A LONG TIME. THEY CAMPAIGNED ON THOSE THINGS. THEY GOT ELECTED AND THOSE THINGS WENT PRETTY QUICKLY AND PRETTY EASILY. OTHER THINGS THAT THEY DIDN'T CAMPAIGN ON, THEY'RE HAVING A LITTLE TROUBLE WITH.

Borg: AND SOME OF THOSE WE'LL GET TO. I GUESS LITTLE LATER ON, I WANT TO ASK YOU SOME OF THOSE. JENEANE?

Beck: WELL, I JUST THINK, YEAH, ANOTHER ONE WE HAVEN'T MENTIONED WAS STEM CELL RESEARCH. YOU KNOW, THAT WAS A CLEARLY PARTISAN ISSUE, BUT DEMOCRATS HELD FIRM ON THAT. AND EVEN THOUGH THERE WERE MAYBE SOME PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS WHO FELT SOME CONCERN IN CASTING THAT VOTE, THEY HELD TOGETHER AND APPROVED THAT. YOU KNOW, THE ISSUES THAT WILL REMAIN TO BE COMPLETED MIGHT BE HEALTH CARE. CAN DEMOCRATS HOLD TOGETHER TO DO SOMETHING ON HEALTH CARE BECAUSE THEY DID CAMPAIGN ON THAT AND MAYBE MAKING SURE THAT MORE IOWANS HAVE ACCESS TO IT.

Yepsen: DEAN, THEY'VE PICKED THE LOW HANGING FRUIT, THE EASY STUFF IN THE FIRST PART OF THE SESSION, THE THINGS, AS MIKE SAID, THAT THEY CAMPAIGNED ON. BUT IT'S IMPORTANT I THINK FOR PEOPLE TO REMEMBER AS THEY LOOK AT THIS LEGISLATURE AND WHAT IT'S DOING THAT THE SMALLEST HOLE THAT EVERYTHING HAS TO GO THROUGH IS IN THE IOWA HOUSE, AND DEMOCRATS THERE HAVE A 56/46 MAJORITY. AND IT ONLY TAKES -- ONE OF THE DEMOCRATS IS SERVING IN IRAQ. SO LEADERS THERE REALLY ONLY HAVE 53 DEMOCRATS. AND ON ANY GIVEN DAY, ONE OR TWO OF THEM GETS SICK OR IS GONE OR OBJECTS TO A BILL, THEY CAN'T GET ANYTHING PASSED. AND THEY'RE HAVING DIFFICULTY -- THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO LOCAL CONTROL OF HOG LOTS BECAUSE MANY RURAL DEMOCRATS, SOME OF THE THESE NEW ONES, THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THAT. FAIR SHARE THAT THE UNIONS WANT TO CHANGE SOME OF THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW, THAT'S IN DIFFICULTY. AND SOME OF THE GAY RIGHTS LEGISLATION IS IN DIFFICULTY. SO AS PEOPLE LOOK AT THIS SESSION, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT THE IOWA HOUSE AND REALIZE THAT THE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY IS PRETTY THIN ON SOME KEY ISSUES.

Glover: AND THE GAINS THAT DEMOCRATS MADE IN THE LAST ELECTION IN THE LEGISLATURE LARGELY CAME FROM DEMOCRATS WHO GOT ELECTED FROM RURAL KIND OF TRENDING TOWARDS REPUBLICAN SEATS. SO THOSE DEMOCRATS AREN'T EAGER TO JUMP INTO A UNION BILL. THEY AREN'T EAGER TO JUMP INTO A GAY RIGHTS BILL. YOU CAN'T -- IF I'M A DOLORES MERTZ, FOR EXAMPLE, I DON'T GO BACK TO OTTOSEN AND CAMPAIGN ON GAY RIGHTS. I'M A RURAL CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRAT, AND THAT'S NOT SOMETHING I'M EAGER TO JUMP INTO.

Yepsen: BUT DOLORES MERTZ IS AN ESTABLISHED DEMOCRATIC FIGURE BACK HOME. I MEAN SHE COULD PROBABLY DO THAT AND SURVIVE. MCKINLEY BAILEY, SOME OF THESE NEW LEGISLATORS, AS MIKE SAID, FROM THE REPUBLICAN DISTRICTS, BOY, THEY HAVE A TOUGH TIME GOING BACK AND SAYING TO PEOPLE, 'WELL, YOU KNOW, I DO WANT TO CHANGE THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW.'

Dorman: WELL, THEY DREW A LOT OF THESE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES FROM -- I MEAN THEY'RE MODERATES. THEY SERVED IN CITY GOVERNMENT. THEY DID THINGS LIKE THAT. THEY PROBABLY DON'T AGREE WITH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ON THESE ISSUES, AND THAT'S ANOTHER FACTOR.

Yepsen: SOME OF THEM WERE EVEN REPUBLICANS.

Borg: BACK TO MY QUESTION, MIKE, I ASK TODD, ARE THE DEMOCRATS ABLE TO HOLD THAT MAJORITY TOGETHER GIVEN THE FACT THAT SOME OF THEM COME FROM REPUBLICAN -- TRADITIONALLY REPUBLICAN DISTRICTS?

Glover: AND THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION IS NOT ON EVERY ISSUE. ON A LOT OF ISSUES THEY'RE HAVING TROUBLE CODDLING THAT MAJORITY TOGETHER. ON SOMETHING LIKE RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE, NO, IT'S NOT A PROBLEM. ON SOMETHING LIKE RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX, NO, IT'S NOT A PROBLEM. BUT ON THESE OTHER ISSUES, YEAH, IT IS A PROBLEM, AND IT IS A PROBLEM IN -- EXCUSE ME, JENEANE. BUT PAT MURPHY, I WAS TALKING TO HIM DURING THE LAST CAMPAIGN ABOUT HIS CANDIDATE RECRUITMENT AND HE ACTUALLY, HORROR OF HORRORS, HAD GONE OUT AND RECRUITED SOME PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS. AND SOME LIBERALS IN THE PARTY WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT. AND HIS ARGUMENT WAS, YEAH, THEY'RE PRO-LIFE BUT THEY'LL VOTE FOR ME FOR SPEAKER.

Borg: JENEANE, WHAT -- YOU WERE GOING TO --

Beck: WELL, I JUST THINK THAT THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE FAIR SHARE PROPOSAL, THE LEGISLATION THAT ALLOWS UNIONS TO TACK ON A FEE TO NONUNION EMPLOYEES FOR THINGS LIKE SALARY NEGOTIATIONS. YOU KNOW, THAT PASSED OUT OF THE SENATE, BUT IN THE HOUSE WHERE YOU HAVE A 54 MAJORITY WITH ONE MEMBER IN IRAQ, ANOTHER MEMBER ON MATERNITY LEAVE, THEY'VE GOT A ONE-VOTE MARGIN. AND THE DAY THEY WANTED TO BRING THAT OUT UP, DOLORES MERTZ, A MEMBER, WAS HAVING SOME HEALTH CONCERNS, AND THEY JUST KNEW SHE WASN'T ABLE TO DO AN ALL-NIGHT DEBATE IF SHE WAS HAVING HEALTH CONCERNS THAT DAY. SO YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE TO HAVE ALL THEIR MEMBERS ACCOUNTED FOR, AND THEY CAN'T HAVE ANY OF THEM FLAKING OFF TO VOTE WITH REPUBLICANS. AND THERE ARE CERTAIN BILLS WHERE THEY'RE GOING TO PICK UP SOME REPUBLICAN VOTES, LIKE A CIGARETTE TAX, BUT ON BILLS THAT DEAL WITH UNIONS, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO PICK UP ANY G.O.P VOTES.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THEY'RE HAVING, DEAN, IS THEY CAMPAIGNED -- DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS MOSTLY CAMPAIGNED FOR LOCAL CONTROL OF HOG CONFINEMENTS. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT NOW. ON THE OTHER HAND, MOST OF THEM DID NOT CAMPAIGN FOR CHANGING THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW, AND YET THE UNIONS ARE PUSHING THEM HARD TO DO EXACTLY THAT. SO THEY'RE ON A LITTLE BIT OF THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA. WHAT THEY CAMPAIGNED ON, THEY'RE NOT DOING. WHAT THEY DIDN'T CAMPAIGN ON, THEY'RE GETTING PRESSURE TO DO.

Beck: AND UNION LEADERS THAT I'VE TALKED TO, AT LEAST ONE IN PARTICULAR, SAID HIS BIGGEST CONCERN WAS THAT THIS HAD BECOME SO PARTISAN THAT HE FEARED THIS WOULD HURT THEIR PROSPECTS DOWN THE ROAD OF MAINTAINING CONTROL, ESPECIALLY OF THE HOUSE, THAT IF THEY PUSH IT TOO HARD AND THEY GET THIS VOTE THEY WANT, DOES THAT MEAN IN TWO YEARS THEY DON'T HAVE DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF THAT CHAMBER ANYMORE.

Glover: AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES, AND IT'S ALMOST A GENETIC DIFFERENCE. I REMEMBER THE MOST TIGHTLY DISCIPLINED CAUCUS I'VE SEEN AT THE LEGISLATURE WAS WHEN THE REPUBLICANS HAD A 51-49 CONTROL. THEY HAD NO VOTES TO SPARE. THEY'D ONLY HAD THE ONE-VOTE MARGIN. AND THEY TOOK IT AS AN ARTICLE OF FAITH THAT THEY HAD TO STICK TOGETHER, EVEN IF THEY DIDN'T LIKE AN ISSUE, TO MAINTAIN CONTROL, AND THEY WERE VERY GOOD AT IT THROUGHOUT THE SESSION. DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF INTERNAL PARTY DISCIPLINE. THEY DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO SAY, OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO THIS WAY EVEN IF WE DON'T LIKE IT. DEMOCRATS TEND TO SAY, NO, I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT.

Borg: TODD, GIVEN THE DYNAMICS NOW -- DAVE HAS ALREADY USE THE METAPHOR 'LOW HANGING FRUIT IS GONE.' LET'S GO CLIMB UP THE TREE JUST A LITTLE BIT AND SEE WHAT'S LEFT AND WHAT MIGHT BE SOME TROUBLE THERE.

Dorman: WELL, SOME OF THE THINGS HAVE BEEN MENTIONED. HEALTH CARE IS STILL OUT THERE, AND THAT'S A QUESTION OF HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU WANT TO SPEND, HOW MUCH CAN YOU DO, HOW MUCH MONEY IS OUT THERE. THEY'VE GOT CIGARETTE TAX MONEY; HOW DO YOU TO SPEND THAT? REPUBLICANS ARE SCREAMING THAT DEMOCRATS AREN'T GOING TO SPEND ALL THAT ON HEALTH CARE, SO THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN. THEY'VE GOT A SITUATION WHERE THE STATE'S ROAD FUND IS SHRINKING AND THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO FIX THAT AND THAT'S TO RAISE SOME SORT OF TAX OR FEE TO DO THAT, MAYBE THE GAS TAX, RAISE PICKUP TRUCK REGISTRATION FEES. THOSE ARE TOUGH POLITICAL CALLS AND NO ONE HAS REALLY BEEN TOO EXCITED ABOUT STEPPING OUT ON THAT. YOU'VE GOT THE GAY RIGHTS LEGISLATION THAT WAS MENTIONED IS GOING TO BE DEBATED IN THE SENATE SOON THAT WOULD ADD SEXUAL ORIENTATION TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS CODE. THAT'S GOING TO BE A LONG DRAG-OUT DEBATE SO, YEAH, THE TOUGHER STUFF IS AHEAD, THE LESS EASY, LESS, YOU KNOW, CAMPAIGN DRIVEN ISSUES.

Borg: JENEANE, THEN LET'S START WITH SOME OF THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED, AND START WITH THE ASSAULT, IF YOU WILL, AS SOME HAVE CALLED IT ON 14B, WHICH IS IOWA'S RIGHT TO WORK LAW, AND IT'S CALLED FAIR SHARE.

Beck: WELL, THAT'S ALREADY SEEN -- THAT BILL HAS SHRUNK AS IT'S MOVED THROUGH THE PROCESS. IT CAME EITHER -- THE INITIAL ATTEMPT BY THE UNIONS WAS TO HAVE IT TO APPLY TO EVERYBODY, ALL PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS AS WELL, AND THEY JUST COULDN'T GET ENOUGH SUPPORT FOR THAT. SO WHEN IT CAME OUT OF COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE AND CAME OUT OF THE SENATE, IT ONLY AFFECTS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES. SO THE BILL HAS SHRUNK ONCE AND NOW, YOU KNOW, IN THE HOUSE, AS I MENTIONED, THEY HAD TO POSTPONE DEBATE BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH VOTES FOR IT. SO I THINK WE'LL SEE IT WILL BE A LIMITED BILL WHATEVER COMES OUT.

Borg: WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS, MIKE, DO YOU SEE IN THE CUTBACK BY THE DEMOCRATS TO HAVE IT APPLY? AND WHY -- AND THEY COULDN'T HAVE IT APPLY BROADLY, SO NOW IT APPLIES ONLY TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, IF IT PASSES AT ALL. WHAT'S THE STRATEGY THERE?

Glover: THE STRATEGY IS A COMPLETELY PRAGMATIC ONE. LET'S PUT SOMETHING OUT THERE THAT WE CAN PASS. WHEN YOU TAKE IT OUT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND ONLY HAVE IT APPLY TO PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, YOU'RE LIMITING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE IMPACTED BY IT, YOU'RE LIMITING THE SCOPE OF THE BILL, YOU'RE LIMITING THE POLITICAL RISK OF PASSING IT. SO IT MAKES IT AN EASIER VOTE.

Yepsen: IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF A TWO-STEP. IF YOU WANT -- IF THE LEGISLATURE WANTS TO TINKER AROUND WITH THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW AND COVER PRIVATE WORKERS, THEN THEY HAVE TO CHANGE THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. THEY HAVE TO GO IN AND HAVE TO SAY PART OF THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW NO LONGER APPLIES. WELL, THEY ALL PLEDGED -- A LOT OF THEM PLEDGED NOT TO MESS WITH THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. BUT IF THEY JUST CONFINE THIS TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES AND MAKE NONUNION PUBLIC EMPLOYEES WHO BELONG IN -- WHO WORK IN DEPARTMENTS THAT HAVE A UNION, THEN THEY CAN DO THAT UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE CONTRACT OF CHAPTER 20. SO THE DEMOCRATS COULD SAY, 'WE DIDN'T FOOL AROUND WITH THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW,' BUT IN FACT THEY HAVE CREATED A HUGE ISSUE THAT REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO BEAT THEM OVER THE HEAD WITH IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

Beck: YOU KNOW, THAT'S SUCH A LEGISLATIVE NUANCE TOO. IT'S DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THIS BIG CODE BOOK THAT WE CARRY AROUND. WELL, THE AVERAGE IOWAN DOESN'T CARE WHICH PART OF THE CODE BOOK YOU MESSED IT. THEY WANT TO KNOW DOES IT AFFECT THEM AND DOES IT AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO GET A JOB AND KEEP A JOB.

Yepsen: IT IS TRUE THAT THOSE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS PROVIDE 80 PERCENT OF THE LABOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO DEMOCRATS, SO THAT'S WHAT THIS IS REALLY ABOUT.

Glover: AND IT HAS YET TO BE SEEN JUST HOW BIG OF AN ISSUE THIS IS OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. I MEAN IT IS A HUGE ISSUE AT THE STATEHOUSE WHERE YOU HAVE BUSINESS GROUPS, LABOR GROUPS WHO THINK THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IN OUR LIFETIME. I'M YET TO BE CONVINCED THAT WHEN YOU GET OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN BYWAYS PEOPLE REALLY CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT THIS.

Dorman: YEAH, IT'S DEFINITELY A CLASH OF THE TITANS BETWEEN THE BIG DEMOCRATIC GROUPS AND THE BIG REPUBLICAN GROUPS. AND REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN FAIRLY EFFECTIVE THUS FAR AS PAINTING THIS AS BEING SOMETHING ABOUT TAKING LIBERTIES AWAY FROM PUBLIC WORKERS WHO DON'T JOIN UNIONS AND THEY'RE WRAPPING THEMSELVES IN THE IOWA FLAG AND SAYING, YOU KNOW, 'OUR LIBERTIES WE PRIZE AND OUR RIGHTS WE WILL MAINTAIN' AND STUFF LIKE THAT ON THE FLOOR. SO FAR THEY SEEM TO HAVE WON THAT IDEOLOGICAL DEBATE, BUT THE DEMOCRATS ARE STILL PRETTY ADAMANT ABOUT DEBATING IT.

Borg: YOU SPOKE EARLIER OF THE HEAVY LIFTING YET TO BE DONE IN A CIVIL RIGHTS BILL. I'D LIKE TO HAVE YOU EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT THAT WOULD DO, BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ELEMENT OF GAY RIGHTS AND PUTTING THAT AS A PROTECTED CLASS INTO THE BULLYING LEGISLATION FOR SCHOOLS THAT HAS ALREADY PASSED.

Dorman: RIGHT. AND THAT WAS SEEN AS THE FIRST STEP KIND OF LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS PROTECTIONS THAT ARE NOW IN THE BILL THAT'S COMING UP. IT WOULD ADD SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS CODE, MEANING THAT YOU WOULD BE BARRED FROM DISCRIMINATING IN THE WORKPLACE, IN JOBS, HOUSING AGAINST GAYS AND LESBIANS.

Borg: WELL, THE BULLYING, THOUGH, PASSED. IS THIS ONE GOING TO HAVE ANY TROUBLE?

Dorman: THESE KIND OF ISSUES ALWAYS -- THEY DON'T CUT NEATLY ALONG PARTY LINES. THEY CUT GENERALLY ALONG PARTY LINES, BUT THERE ARE DEMOCRATS -- MORE CONSERVATIVE MODERATE DEMOCRATS THAT ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THIS SORT OF THING. BUT IT'S -- IT'S SOMETHING -- IT'S A DEMOCRATIC ISSUE THAT'S BEEN OUT THERE A LONG TIME. REPUBLICANS HAVEN'T ALLOWED THIS TO BE DEBATED WHILE THEY CONTROLLED IT. IT'S KIND OF ONE OF THOSE PENT-UP ISSUES. IN THE SENATE PARTICULARLY, WHERE YOU HAVE A LARGER MAJORITY, THEY'RE DETERMINED TO PUSH THIS THROUGH.

Beck: WHILE THE BILLS DO ESSENTIALLY A SIMILAR THING, PROTECTING CERTAIN GROUPS OF CITIZENS FROM HARASSMENT AND BULLYING. ONE IS IN SCHOOLS AND AFFECTS CHILDREN; THE OTHER AFFECTS ADULTS. AND IT IS AN EASIER VOTE TO CAST TO PROTECT CHILDREN THAN IT IS ADULTS, SO I DO THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE ONE PASSED DOESN'T MEAN THE OTHER ONE WILL.

Borg: DAVE, THE GAS TAX INCREASE, IS THAT A LIKELY THING?

Yepsen: IT'S STILL BEING DECIDED. LEGISLATIVE LEADERS ARE WALKING AROUND TO DIFFERENT MEMBERS, SEEING HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT IT. LOOK, IOWA DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO FIX THE ROADS THE WAY WE WANT THEM TO. THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO GET THAT MONEY, AND THAT'S TO RAISE TAXES OR FEES OR SOMETHING. GAS TAX, REGISTRATION FEES, PICKUP TRUCK FEES, ALL OF THOSE ARE VERY TOUGH ISSUES. AND SO THE POLITICS OF THIS IS THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SAID TO THE REPUBLICANS, 'IF WE CAN COME TOGETHER ON SOME PACKAGE HERE THAT WE CAN ALL VOTE FOR, THEN WE'LL DO IT. IF NOT, THIS IS NOT GOING TO BECOME A PARTISAN ISSUE WHERE DEMOCRATS ARE VOTING TO RAISE THE GAS TAX AND REPUBLICANS ARE OPPOSING IT.' A LOT OF NUANCES. THE ROAD FORMULA. WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS IN OUR NEXT SHOW, I BELIEVE, IS GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS SUBJECT, JUST TO GIVE US A LITTLE PLUG. I DON'T KNOW, IT'S 50/50.

Beck: I THINK THERE'S SOME DESIRE TO WAIT AND SEE, YOU KNOW, MAYBE LET MOMENTUM BUILD AMONG THE PUBLIC THAT, YOU KNOW, MAYBE IF THERE WAS MORE OUTCRY BY LOCAL DEVELOPMENT LEADERS WHO SAID WE REALLY NEED THIS MONEY, THEN THEY WOULD HAVE MORE REASON TO PASS IT AND FEEL A LITTLE MORE SECURE.

Yepsen: YEAH, THIS IS POLITICALLY TOUGH, DEAN, BECAUSE THEY VOTED TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE, THEN THEY VOTE TO RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX, AND NOW THEY'RE GOING TO VOTE TO RAISE THE GAS TAX. WELL, THERE'S A LOT OF TAXPAYERS OUT THERE, THIS IS GOING TO BE JUST ABOUT A WASH BY THE TIME THEY PAY THE HIGHER CIGARETTE AND THE GAS TAXES. SO JENEANE IS RIGHT, THIS MAY TAKE A COUPLE YEARS TO EDUCATE IOWANS, WHO ARE ALREADY PAYING SOME PRETTY HIGH GAS PRICES, THAT WE REALLY OUGHT TO ADD ANOTHER NICKLE TO 9 CENTS.

Glover: AND PART OF WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THIS, I SENSE, IS THAT THERE IS A LOT OF PARTISAN TENSION IN THE LEGISLATURE. I MEAN THE LEGISLATURE HAS ROLLED OVER. DEMOCRATS NOW CONTROL BOTH CHAMBERS. REPUBLICANS ARE STILL SMARTING ABOUT THAT LOSS OF CONTROL AT THE STATEHOUSE. SO THEY'RE WANTING TO BE SPOILERS RIGHT NOW, AND THEY'RE WANTING TO CAUSE TROUBLE. THEY'RE WANTING TO STOP THINGS. THEY'RE WANTING TO RAISE A RUCKUS AND CAMPAIGN FOR THE NEXT ELECTION, SO THEY'RE A LITTLE RELUCTANT TO SIT DOWN WITH DEMOCRATIC LEADERS AND SAY, OKAY, WE REALLY NEED TO FIX OUR ROADS, MAYBE WE DO NEED -- I DON'T SENSE RIGHT NOW A MOOD FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.

Yepsen: AND THE ROAD LOBBY MADE A HUGE MISTAKE ON THIS ISSUE, DEAN. THEY DIDN'T TAKE THIS ISSUE TO THE PEOPLE IN THE ELECTION. REMEMBER THE CIGARETTE TAX? BIG CAMPAIGN ABOUT IT. EVERYBODY WAS ASKED ABOUT IT. PEOPLE IN IOWA AREN'T STUPID. BUT THE ROAD LOBBY SAYS -- WE DON'T HEAR ANYTHING AND TWO WEEKS AFTER THIS ELECTION, BANG, THERE'S THIS BIG STUDY THAT COMES OUT, WE NEED MONEY FOR ROADS. THEY SHOULD TAKE THIS CASE TO THE PEOPLE, MAKE THE CASE, AND IF IOWANS -- WE LOVE OUR ROADS; WE PAVE THE STATE WITH THEM -- THEN THEY'LL SUPPORT IT.

Glover: AND I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO HAVE TO HAPPEN. THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT ELECTION, AND I DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN BEFORE THEN.

Dorman: THIS IS ANOTHER ISSUE. THE GOVERNOR HAS REALLY NOT DONE MUCH ABOUT THIS. HE'S JUST KIND OF SAT BY THE SIDELINES. AND YOU ASK HIM ABOUT WHETHER HE WANTS A GAS TAX INCREASE: 'WELL, IF THE LEGISLATURE CAN WORK THIS OUT.' SO THERE'S BEEN KIND OF A LACK OF LEADERSHIP, AND THAT SUGGESTS TO ME THAT MAYBE THIS ISN'T GOING TO BE THE YEAR.

Borg: IS HE LEADING ON THE HEALTH CARE ISSUES THAT ARE BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE?

Dorman: THEY WERE -- THEY WERE ITEMS THAT HE CAMPAIGNED ON. HE DEFINITELY WANTS SOMETHING DONE TO EXPAND HEALTH CARE. THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS THAT HE ASKED FOR A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. AND SO, YEAH, BY THAT TOKEN HE HAS LED ON IT.

Borg: AND LIKELY TO PASS, THEN, WITH THAT DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY, DO YOU THINK?

Glover: NIBBLING AROUND THE EDGES. THEY'LL DO THINGS LIKE -- THEY'LL GIVE A TAX CREDIT TO SMALL BUSINESSES WHICH OFFER HEALTH CARE TO WORKERS, LITTLE THINGS LIKE THAT, BUT NOTHING THAT'S GOING TO ACTUALLY ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE HEALTH CARE.

Yepsen: THEY'LL DO A HEALTH CARE BILL. EVERYONE WILL GET A LINE ON THEIR BROCHURE SAYING THEY WERE GIVEN HEALTH CARE, AND YET THE PROBLEM OF HEALTH CARE WILL STILL BE WITH US IN IOWA BECAUSE IT'S BIGGER THAN WHAT THIS LEGISLATURE CAN SOLVE.

Borg: THAT CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE THAT WAS JUST MENTIONED HERE IS PUTTING A LOT OF MONEY AVAILABLE INTO THAT NEW BUDGET, JENEANE. AND THAT -- IT'S GOING TO BE CHANNELED A LOT OF IT TOWARD HEALTH CARE, OR IS IT GOING SOMEPLACE ELSE?

Beck: WELL --

Borg: I KNOW WHAT THE PROMISES WERE.

Beck: THE DEMOCRATS PROMISED TO PUT IT IN HEALTH CARE. IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU LOOK AT IT. THEY WILL SPEND IT ON MEDICAID. THEY WILL SPEND IT ON PROGRAMS THAT TINKER AROUND THE EDGES WITH HEALTH CARE. SO SOME REPUBLICANS WILL SAY, WELL, NOW, THAT'S NOT TRULY HEALTH CARE. I THINK IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHETHER ALL OF THAT WILL GO TO HEALTH CARE. AND EVEN IF IT DOES, THERE WILL BE SOMEONE THAT SAYS THAT IT DIDN'T BECAUSE THERE WILL BE A NUANCE TO IT THAT THEY WANT TO EXPLOIT THAT SAYS, YOU KNOW, IT WENT TO ANOTHER FUND, IT WASN'T QUITE ONLY FOR HEALTH CARE.

Borg: MIKE'S GETTING RESTIVE HERE. I KNOW HE HAS SOMETHING --

Glover: THE POINT BEING THE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE WILL BRING IN ABOUT $130 MILLION A YEAR OR SO, AND EVERYBODY SAYS YOU'RE GOING TO USE THAT MONEY FOR HEALTH CARE. AND MOST PEOPLE TAKE THAT PROMISE AND SAY, OKAY, YOU'RE GOING TO PROVIDE HEALTH COVERAGE FOR EVERYONE. HOW MUCH WOULD IT TAKE TO OFFER HEALTH COVERAGE TO IOWANS WHO DON'T HAVE IT? A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN $130 MILLION.

Yepsen: DEAN, WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT IT WILL GET SPENT. ONE OF THE ISSUES WITH THIS BUDGET IS THEY ARE SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY. STATE REVENUES ARE PRETTY GOOD. THE GOVERNOR PROPOSES A BUDGET THAT'S BETWEEN 5- AND 7-PERCENT INCREASE, DEPENDING UPON HOW YOU FIGURE IT OUT. I THINK ONE OF THE CONCERNS THAT I'M HEARING PRIVATELY AMONG SOME LEGISLATORS IS THIS LEVEL OF SPENDING IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. YES, THEY HAVE MONEY. YES, THEY OWE ALL THE DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENCY GROUPS A LITTLE PAYOFF FOR THE WORK THEY DID IN THE ELECTION. BUT IF THIS ECONOMY SHOULD TURN SOUTH, AS IT INEVITABLY DOES IN IOWA, THEN WE'RE GOING TO FACE A PERIOD OF BUDGET CUTS AND RETRENCHMENT AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF PAIN. AND SOME DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT THEY SPENDING INCREASES THAT WE DO APPROVE ARE SUSTAINABLE.

Borg: MIKE, YOU ALSO, IN ADDITION TO ALL THE TIME YOU SPEND AT THE STATEHOUSE, ALSO ARE OUT ON THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TRAIL. I'D LIKE TO JUST ASK AN OVERVIEW QUESTION THERE WITH ALL THE CANDIDATES COMING THROUGH IOWA. AS YOU LOOK AT THE NATION, WHICH -- LET'S LOOK AT IOWA FIRST UP. WHICH ARE DOING WELL IN IOWA?

Glover: WELL, IF YOU LOOK ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU THAT IT'S ABOUT THE SAME IN IOWA AS IT IS NATIONWIDE IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE POLLS. ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, YOU HAVE SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON FROM NEW YORK, YOU HAVE SENATOR BARACK OBAMA FROM ILLINOIS, AND YOU HAVE SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS FROM NORTH CAROLINA -- FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS. THAT'S THE TOP TIER OF THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD. THAT'S PROBABLY THE TOP TIER OF THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD IN IOWA. ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, YOU HAVE FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, YOU HAVE ARIZONA SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN. AND THOSE REPRESENT KIND OF THE TOP TIER OF THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. HOWEVER, AS I'M TALKING TO MORE AND MORE REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS, RUDY GIULIANI LEADS IN MOST POLLS AMONG REPUBLICAN HOPEFULS, BUT I'M TALKING TO MORE AND MORE REPUBLICAN ACTIVISTS WHO SAY THAT ONCE REPUBLICANS BECOME FAMILIAR WITH RUDY GIULIANI'S RECORD, HE'LL HAVE A TOUGH TIME IN IOWA AND MAY END UP DECIDING TO SKIP IOWA. HE'S PRO CHOICE. HE'S PRO GAY RIGHTS. HE'S PRO GUN CONTROL, AND HE DOESN'T DO WELL WITH THE KIND OF RETAIL CAMPAIGN THAT WORKS IN IOWA. SO I THINK HE HAS A TOUGH ROAD TO GO.

Borg: DAVE, YOU WERE JUST OUT AT A HARVARD CONFERENCE ON THIS, AND YOU SAW SOME OF THE CANDIDATES, AT LEAST STAFF, DEBATING SOME OF THESE THINGS AND TRYING TO POSITION THEMSELVES.

Yepsen: THERE IS A REAL TENSION ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE BETWEEN SENATOR CLINTON'S PEOPLE AND SENATOR OBAMA'S PEOPLE. HILLARY CLINTON IS IN A BIND HERE. I MEAN SHE WON'T ADMIT HER VOTE FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS A MISTAKE, AND SO SHE GETS POUNDED ON THIS AT EVERY STOP. AND THE CLINTON PEOPLE HAVE STARTED TO PUSH BACK AND ARE SAYING, 'WELL, BARACK OBAMA ISN'T AS TOUGH AGAINST THE WAR.' I THINK IT'S A LOOSING ARGUMENT FOR THE CLINTON PEOPLE. I THINK LAST WEEK'S NEWS OF SENATOR EDWARDS AND HIS WIFE BATTLING HER CANCER WAS A REAL PLUS FOR SENATOR EDWARDS BECAUSE HE'S ABOVE THIS FRAY BETWEEN CLINTON AND OBAMA ON THE WAR, AND HE'S ALSO SEEN AS A -- AND THEY'RE ALSO SEEN AS A FAMILY COMING TOGETHER AROUND A REAL PERSONAL CRISIS. AND I THINK IN THE SHORT TERM, I THINK THAT ACTUALLY HELPS JOHN EDWARDS IN IOWA.

Glover: I THINK -- I THINK THAT'S A GOOD POINT AND I THINK IT GOES TO ONE OF MY BASIC ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT POLITICS IS PEOPLE I THINK ARE ATTRACTED TO POLITICIANS BECAUSE THEY LIKE THEM, NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR POSITIONS ON ISSUES. YOU'VE GOT HILLARY CLINTON AND BARACK OBAMA KNIFING EACH OTHER IN A FIGHT OVER WHO DID WHAT FOR THE WAR AND WHAT VOTE WAS HERE AND JOHN EDWARDS OVER HERE COMFORTING HIS WIFE WITH BREAST CANCER, TRYING TO KEEP HIS FAMILY TOGETHER, ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF. THAT'S AN INHERENTLY MORE LIKABLE SITUATION THAN WHAT YOU'VE GOT WITH OBAMA AND CLINTON.

Borg: JOHN EDWARDS -- EXCUSE ME FOR INTERRUPTING. BUT JOHN EDWARDS HAD SPENT A LOT OF -- THE LAST FOUR YEARS -- THREE, I SHOULD SAY, SINCE THE LAST ELECTION, SPENT THAT OUT CAMPAIGNING. AND YET HE SEEMS TO BE ALL OF A SUDDEN OVERSHADOWED -- EXCEPT FOR WHAT HAS JUST HAPPENED, OVERSHADOWED BY THE TWO OTHER CANDIDATES.

Yepsen: YEAH, THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF A ROCK STAR FLAVOR TO THE CLINTON AND OBAMA THING. I MEAN BARACK OBAMA IS GETTING THESE HUGE CROWDS ALL OVER THE STATE, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE SHOWING UP AT HIS EVENTS. INITIALLY THAT'S GOOD FOR BARACK OBAMA, BUT THE QUESTION IS CAN HE BOTTLE AND CAN THOSE PEOPLE AND GET THEM OUT TO A CAUCUS ON CAUCUS NIGHT, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK THE JOHN EDWARDS CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN DOING.

Beck: WELL, IOWANS ARE NO DIFFERENT IN SOME WAYS THAN THE REST OF THE NATION IN LIKING TO SEE WHAT THE NEW FLAVOR OF THE MONTH IS AND TRY IT ON FOR SIZE, AND THAT'S KIND OF WHAT'S GOING ON RIGHT NOW. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT SOME OF THEM WON'T RETURN TO EDWARDS, BUT THEY WANT TO SEE THESE FRESH FACES. AND EDWARDS WAS THE BENEFICIARY OF THAT IN THE CAUCUSES THE LAST TIME AROUND. HE WAS THE FRESH FACE, SO HE'S GOT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE.

Dorman: WHAT HAPPENED WITH EDWARDS THIS WEEK REMINDED A LOT OF IOWANS WHAT THEY LIKED ABOUT HIM. HE'S SINCERE. HE'S PERCEIVED AS BEING KIND OF A REAL GUY, EVEN THOUGH HE'S A FAIRLY WEALTHY TRIAL ATTORNEY, OF COURSE. BUT THEY LIKE THE SINCERITY AND THE FACT THAT HE'S A FAMILY GUY AND HE -- I MEAN THOSE KIND OF THINGS CAME THROUGH DURING THIS EPISODE.

Beck: I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY THE ONE THING THAT STRIKES ME IS -- I KNOW EVERYONE SEEMS TO THINK THIS WOULD BE A POSITIVE FOR HIM, BUT MAYBE I'M ALONE IN THIS -- I WONDER IF THIS COULD HURT HIM AT ALL. AREN'T THERE GOING TO BE SOME PEOPLE -- I LIKEN IT TO ATHLETES THAT ALWAYS STAY AN EXTRA SEASON OR TWO AFTER BECOMING INJURED, AND PEOPLE ARE SAY, 'WELL, WHY ARE THEY STILL PLAYING? THEY COULD BE CRIPPLED FOR LIFE.' WELL, MOST OF US DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT DESIRE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. MOST OF US DON'T WANT TO BE PRESIDENT. SO WHEN YOU SEE SOMEBODY WHO HAS WEALTH AND SMALL CHILDREN AT HOME AND A WIFE WHO IS SICK, SOME PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY WHY ISN'T THIS MAN GETTING OUT. THERE ARE GOING TO BE THOSE THAT QUESTION THAT.

Dorman: YEAH, IT'S INTERESTING. PEOPLE THAT I TALKED TO THAT ACTUALLY SAW THE ANNOUNCEMENT, THAT SAW THE PRESS CONFERENCE THOUGHT IT WAS A VERY GOOD DECISION. THEY LIKED WHAT HE SAID. SOME PEOPLE THAT I'VE TALKED TO THAT DIDN'T SEE THE ANNOUNCEMENT, THAT AREN'T INTO POLITICS, THEY QUESTION WHY IS HE STILL RUNNING IF HIS WIFE IS SICK. SO THAT IS A LEGITIMATE -- THAT'S A LEGITIMATE CONCERN.

Yepsen: JUST TO SWITCH GEARS QUICKLY TO THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. I THINK I DISAGREE A BIT WITH MIKE ON THE GIULIANI THING. GIULIANI DOES HAVE A PROBLEM, AS MIKE SAYS, ON THE SOCIAL ISSUES, BUT REPUBLICANS HAVE KNOWN THIS NOW FOR SOME TIME. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THIS, AND YET HIS POLL RATINGS ARE STILL HOLDING UP. ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT'S OUT THERE IN THIS CAMPAIGN IS DOES GIULIANI'S STATUS AS AMERICA'S MAYOR AND HIS PERFORMANCE ON 9/11 TRANSCEND THE HISTORIC POLITICAL PROBLEMS THAT HE WOULD ORDINARILY HAVE WITH THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES. YOU KNOW, REPUBLICANS ARE LOOKING INTO THE GRAVE HERE. THIS COULD BE A VERY DIFFICULT ELECTION YEAR FOR THEM. THERE'S NOT A LOT OF EXCITEMENT ABOUT THEIR OTHER CANDIDATES. RUDY GIULIANI IS REALLY THE ONLY ROCK STAR CANDIDATE THEY'VE GOT LEFT. MAYBE GIULIANI'S STAR STATUS CAN ENABLE HIM TO TRANSCEND SOME OF THESE OTHER POLITICAL PROBLEMS.

Glover: MAYBE AND, AT THE END OF THE DAY, I DON'T THINK SO. AND MAYBE WE'LL DISAGREE ON THAT. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT I'M SEEING IS A LOT OF REPUBLICANS LOOK AT RUDY GIULIANI, HE IS KIND OF A ROCK STAR, HE DID HAVE SUPER HIGH RATINGS AFTER 9/11. BUT ONCE IOWA ACTIVISTS START TO SEE HIM, START TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT ISSUES, START TO LISTEN TO WHERE HE IS, WHERE HE WANTS TO GO, I THINK HE'S GOING TO HAVE SOME PROBLEMS. I THINK IT'S POSSIBLE HE COULD OVERCOME IT BECAUSE THE ONLY TWO CANDIDATES WHO REALLY FIT THE MOLD OF THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT ARE SAM BROWNBACK AND MIKE HUCKABEE. SAM BROWNBACK IS A SENATOR FROM KANSAS. MIKE HUCKABEE A FORMER GOVERNOR IN ARKANSAS, AND THEY'RE JUST NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

Yepsen: THEY'RE EACH AT 2 PERCENT. RUDY GIULIANI'S LINE TO REPUBLICANS, DEAN, IS -- TO SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES: YOU MAY NOT AGREE WITH ME ON GAY RIGHTS, BUT YOU'LL LIKE MY JUDICIAL APPOINTEES A LOT BETTER THAN PRESIDENT HILLARY CLINTON'S.

Borg: JUST LET ME CHANGE THE SUBJECT HERE IN THE LAST 45 SECONDS THAT WE HAVE. WHAT ABOUT ALL THE FLUIDITY IN THE DATES FOR PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES? HOW'S THAT GOING TO SHAKE OUT, MIKE?

Glover: WE DON'T KNOW YET. WE DON'T KNOW AND WE WON'T KNOW UNTIL NEXT FALL WHEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE SETS THE DATE FOR THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY. WHAT WE DO KNOW IS A LOT OF STATES ARE MOVING UP TO FEBRUARY 5 OR EVEN A LITTLE EARLIER, RIGHT AFTER IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE. AND THAT'S GOING TO HAVE THE PERVERSE EFFECT OF MAKING IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO TIME TO RECOVER FROM A BAD SHOWING THERE.

Borg: SO IT COULD MAKE IOWA EVEN MORE IMPORTANT.

Yepsen: ABSOLUTELY. ALL THOSE -- ALL THOSE CANDIDATES ALL THE CANDIDATES ARE SHOVING IN THE STACK IN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE. IF THEY DON'T WIN HERE, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO CALIFORNIA.

Borg: THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. ON OUR NEXT EDITION, AS DAVE SAID, WE'RE EXPLORING THE PROSPECTS FOR IOWA'S GASOLINE TAX. AND WE'LL GET COMMENTS FROM HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE CHAIR, ALTOONA DEMOCRAT GERI HUSER, AND THE COMMITTEE'S RANKING REPUBLICAN, DAVE TJEPKES OF GOWRIE. YOU'LL SEE THE PROGRAM 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT, 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. AND I'D LIKE TO REMIND YOU THAT TRANSCRIPTS OF 'IOWA PRESS' ARE AVAILABLE AT THE INTERNET. ALSO VIDEO AND AUDIO AT THAT SAME WEB SITE. THE ADDRESS IS WWW.IPTV.ORG AND THEN JUST CLICK ON 'IOWA PRESS.' 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.


Tags: Iowa