Home

Iowa Press Transcripts

Iowa Press Links

 

Iowa Press #2722 - Reporters Roundtable
January 30, 2000

Yepsen: UNDER THE DOME AT THE IOWA STATEHOUSE, THE 2000 LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS A FOURTH WEEK OF DELIBERATIONS, AND THE PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUSES HAVE CLEARED OUT OF IOWA. WE'LL DISCUSS IT ALL WITH OUR TEAM OF STATEHOUSE REPORTERS, ON THIS EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND 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.

THIS IS THE SUNDAY, JANUARY 30th EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: THE IOWA CAUCUS OF 2000 IS NOW SOME SIX DAYS BEHIND US, AND IT'S BACK TO WORK FOR THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. IN REALITY, IOWA'S 150 ELECTED SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES HAVE BEEN BACK TO WORK SINCE THE GAVEL WENT DOWN ON JANUARY 10, BUT YOU MIGHT HAVE LOST TRACK OF THAT FACT IN THE BLIZZARD OF CAUCUS NEWS THAT HAS CROWDED BOTH FRONT PAGES AND NEWSCASTS IN IOWA. SO WE'LL DO A POST SCRIPT TO THE 2000 CAUCUSES AND LOOK AT THE LEGISLATURE THIS WEEK. JOINING US ARE: JOYCE RUSSELL OF WOI PUBLIC RADIO, AND KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA. ALSO WITH US AT THE IOWA PRESS TABLE ARE JENEANE BECK OF KUNI PUBLIC RADIO AND KATHIE OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS. KATHIE, THE CAUCUSES, NEW HAMPSHIRE, WHAT EFFECT DID THE IOWA CAUCUSES HAVE ON THE VOTING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE?

Obradovich: WELL, YOU KNOW, DAVID, NEW HAMPSHIRE FOLK PRIDE THEMSELVES ON BEING INDEPENDENT. I THINK GOING INTO THE CAUCUSES, THERE WAS A LOT OF SPECULATION THAT MAYBE THEY WOULDN'T HAVE VERY MUCH IMPACT AT ALL. BUT, IN FACT, I THINK WE DID SEE AN IMPACT. THE FRONT-RUNNERS WENT IN AND IMPROVED THEIR POLL MARGINS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, BOTH BUSH AND GORE DID WIDEN THEIR LEADS THERE, AND WE ALSO PERFORMED OUR NORMAL WINNOWING FUNCTION -- ORRIN HATCH MISSED THE PLANE TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. SO I THINK WE DID HAVE AN EFFECT.

Henderson: THEY ALWAYS TALK ABOUT HOW NEW HAMPSHIRE -- NEW HAMPSHIRITES, IS THAT WHAT WE CALL THEM -- ARE CONTRARIAN. BUT I THINK IN THIS INSTANCE BOTH OF THE WINNERS ON THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT SIDE DID GET THE IOWA BOUNCE, AS WE CALL IT, BUT THERE, OF COURSE, IS THE IOWA SPLAT. AND I THINK IT MAY HAVE SPLATTERED A LITTLE BIT ON MR. MCCAIN AS WELL. HIS POLL NUMBERS HAVE BEEN GOING DOWN THERE SIMPLY BECAUSE HE DIDN'T COME HERE AND COMPETE, AND HE DIDN'T GET THE NEWS COVERAGE THAT ALL THE REST OF THE CANDIDATES IN THE FIELD DID ON CAUCUS NIGHT.

Yepsen: JOYCE, WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON IT?

Russell: WELL, AND THEN IN BETWEEN THE FRONT-RUNNERS AND THE ONES IN THE END WHO DIDN'T MAKE IT, ARE THE ONES IN THE MIDDLE. STEVE FORBES, WHO BY MOST PEOPLE'S ESTIMATION, GETS A BOUNCE OUT OF IOWA WITH A 30-PERCENT FINISH HERE.

Yespen: JENEANE?

Beck: WELL, I THINK THAT WHAT'S INTERESTING, TOO, IS THOSE LIKE GARY BAUER HAVEN'T REALLY SHARPENED THEIR MESSAGE SINCE. I'VE SEEN HIM IN NEW HAMPSHIRE DURING THE DEBATE, AND HE'S REALLY FOCUSING ON THE SAME THINGS HE FOCUSED ON IN IOWA. SO, RATHER THAN LETTING THAT BE A LEARNING PROCESS, I'M NOT SURE IT HAS BEEN FOR HIM, AND I THINK HE'LL CONTINUE TO STAY WHERE HE'S AT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Yepsen: JENEANE, LET'S FOCUS ON SOME OF THESE INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES. TEXAS GOVERNOR GEORGE W. BUSH, THE REPUBLICAN FRONT-RUNNER, WHAT DID HE GET OUT OF IOWA? WHAT DID HE NOT GET?

Beck: WELL, HE GOT A BIG WIN, WHICH WAS GOOD FOR HIM, WHICH HE WAS HOPING FOR. PEOPLE DID COME OUT. THEY DIDN'T STAY HOME LIKE HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT, DESPITE HIS LARGE LEAD IN THE POLLS. AND I THINK HE JUST COMES OUT OF IT LOOKING CONFIDENT, AND HE CAN FLY INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE AND GET OFF THE PLANE AS A WINNER AND LOOK RADIANT. AND THAT'S WHAT HE'S DONE ALL ALONG IS LOOK MORE CONFIDENT THAN THE REST OF THEM, AND THIS ALLOWS HIM TO CONTINUE TO DO THAT, WHICH MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A LEADER, REGARDLESS.

Yepsen: KAY, IS 40 PERCENT A BIG WIN OR IS THAT A WEAK FINISH FOR A FRONT-RUNNER?

Henderson: HE CAME OUT AND SPUN THAT REALLY QUICKLY ON CAUCUS NIGHT. I DON'T THINK IT WAS THAT BIG OF A WIN, PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU HAD FORBES ONLY ELEVEN POINTS BEHIND HIM. SO I THINK HIS PEOPLE KNEW THAT WAS A WEAK FINISH FOR HIM, PARTICULARLY SINCE THAT MEANS ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF PEOPLE DIDN'T WANT GEORGE W. BUSH.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT FORBES? WHAT'S HE GET OUT OF THIS?

Henderson: HE GETS A HUGE BOUNCE OUT OF IOWA. HE PERFORMED WAY ABOVE EXPECTATIONS. OF COURSE, WE ALL KNEW THAT HE HAD A VERY CREDIBLE ORGANIZATION HERE. HIS PROBLEM WAS THAT HE DIDN'T FORM THAT SAME SORT OF NETWORK IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. SO HE'S REALLY GOT A TOUGH JOB THIS PAST WEEK TO TRY TO TURN OUT THE VOTE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, BUT HE CERTAINLY DID GET A BOUNCE. WE'RE TOLD BY THOSE WHO OBSERVED THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY THAT THERE AREN'T A GREAT DEAL OF VOTERS WHO MAKE THEIR DECISION BASED ON SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE ISSUES. SO FORBES HAS BEEN FOCUSING ON HIS FISCAL CONSERVATIVE ISSUES, THE TAX ISSUE. IN PREVIOUS ELECTIONS THAT TAX ISSUE REALLY HAS RAISED THE FLAG FOR A NUMBER OF NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTERS. THERE'S NOT A LOT OF EVIDENCE, THOUGH, THAT IS, THIS YEAR, THAT PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT EDUCATION, THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT HEALTH CARE. TAXES IS KIND OF ON DOWN THE RADAR SCREEN FOR PEOPLE THIS TIME AROUND.

Yepsen: JOYCE, ALAN KEYES FINISHED A SURPRISINGLY STRONG FINISH IN THIRD. WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR THE RACE? WHY DID THAT HAPPEN?

Russell: WELL, IT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF THE STRENGTH OF CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VOTING HERE IN IOWA. THOSE LAST FEW RALLIES THAT HE HAD WERE EXTREMELY WELL ATTENDED; HE HAD OVER A THOUSAND PEOPLE IN WEST DES MOINES. THAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST TURNOUTS FOR ANY CAMPAIGN EVENT FOR ANY CANDIDATE.

Yepsen: IT WAS ALSO THE FIRST TIME A CANDIDATE HAD EVER GOTTEN INTO A MOSH PIT.

Russell: THAT'S TRUE. AND CAME OUT WITH HIS TIE STILL STRAIGHT.

Yepsen: FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT A MOSH PIT IS, I GUESS IT'S A CROWD AT A ROCK CONCERT AND THEY HOIST PEOPLE UP ON TOP AND CARRY THEM AROUND. I'VE NEVER SEEN A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GET MOSHED BEFORE.

Russell: I THINK IT MIGHT BE A FIRST.

Obradovich: I THINK THAT HELPED HIM ACTUALLY BECAUSE IT SHOWED THAT HE HAD A PERSONALITY BEYOND BEING THE FINGER WAGGING, STRAIGHT ARROW THAT HE'S ALWAYS SHOWN. I MEAN IT SHOWED THAT HE CAN HAVE A LITTLE FUN. I THINK THAT YOU'VE HEARD SOME OF ALAN KEYES' SCHTICK THAT IS NOT ALL PREACHING. HE ACTUALLY HAS KIND OF A FUNNY SENSE OF HUMOR, BUT WE DIDN'T SEE THAT VERY MUCH IN IOWA UNTIL THE VERY END.

Yepsen: LIGHTEN HIM UP A LITTLE BIT. KATHIE, GARY BAUER AND ORRIN HATCH, YOU MENTIONED ORRIN HATCH IS SORT OF ROAD KILL HERE IN IOWA. WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE GARY BAUER?

Obradovich: GARY BAUER, ALAN KEYES, AND STEVE FORBES, AND ORRIN HATCH TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, WERE ALL COMPETING FOR THE SAME KIND OF BLOCK OF VOTERS, THE CONSERVATIVE VOTERS. AND BAUER AND KEYES, I THINK, MAYBE GOT THE ONES WHO WERE EVEN FURTHER TO THE RIGHT OF FORBES. NOT ALL CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES TRUSTED FORBES' ABORTION MESSAGE BECAUSE HE DIDN'T EMPHASIZE IT IN '96. NOW, GOING INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE, THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT WHAT FORBES NEEDS TO DO IS GET BAUER AND KEYES' VOTES. AND IF HE DID THAT, HE'D HAVE 55 PERCENT IN IOWA, WHICH WAS MORE THAN GEORGE W. BUSH GOT. PROBABLY NOT LIKELY TO HAPPEN BECAUSE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES AREN'T NEARLY AS BIG OF A FACTOR IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. ORRIN HATCH CAME INTO THE RACE LATE. HE DIDN'T REALLY SPEND ANY MONEY HERE. HE DID A FEW TV PROGRAMS AND HE DID OKAY IN THE DEBATES, BUT HE REALLY DIDN'T BUILD MUCH OF AN ORGANIZATION.

Russell: I THINK IT'S SIGNIFICANT THAT THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VOTE IS AS DIVIDED AS IT IS SO THAT THEIR INFLUENCE IN SELECTING THEIR PARTY'S NOMINEE HAS BEEN DILUTED, WHILE THEIR AGENDA IS STILL OUT THERE FRONT AND CENTER. EVERY ONE OF THE CANDIDATES HAD TO BE PRO-LIFE AND CAME OUT AS PRO-LIFE, SOME STRONGER THAN OTHERS. THEY TALKED ABOUT THEIR PRAYER LIFE. THEY TALKED ABOUT THEIR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.

Yepsen: JOYCE, WAS THERE TOO MUCH OF THAT? AS YOU SAY, THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES ARE A DOMINANT FORCE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, BUT YET WE KNOW FROM THOSE POLLS THAT ABORTION AND SOME OF THOSE ISSUES RANK WAY DOWN THE LIST OF PRIORITIES FOR AN AWFUL LOT OF VOTERS. DID THEY TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT ABORTION IN THE LAST WEEK OF THE CAMPAIGN?

Russell: WELL, IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AHEAD TO THE GENERAL ELECTION AND HOW THAT MIGHT HURT THE EVENTUAL NOMINEE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION, IT WAS VERY STRIKING THE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION THAT THEY GAVE TO RELIGIOUS MATTERS.

Henderson: AND ALSO, I THINK IT DEPRESSED REPUBLICAN TURNOUT. REPUBLICAN TURNOUT HAD BEEN PROJECTED TO BE 100,000, 120,000. IT WAS, YOU KNOW, 10,000 BELOW THAT; IT WAS ABOUT 90,000 PEOPLE. AND I TALKED TO A LOT OF DEMOCRATS WHO WERE JUST AMAZED THAT THERE WERE SO MANY REPUBLICANS AT THEIR PRECINCT CAUCUS FOR BILL BRADLEY. I THINK REPUBLICAN MODERATES WERE TURNED OFF BY ALL THAT DISCUSSION ABOUT ABORTION, PARTICULARLY IN THE LAST WEEK OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND IT SORT OF SOLIDIFIED THEIR IDEA THAT THEY'RE GOING TO GO TO THE CAUCUS FOR BILL BRADLEY BECAUSE HE REPRESENTS TO THEM THIS MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD MODERATE AND HE TALKS ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT THEY'RE INTERESTED IN. THESE ARE VOTERS WHO SWITCHED OVER AND VOTED FOR VILSACK FOR EXACTLY THE SAME REASON. LIGTHFOOT, IN THE LAST ELECTION, SPENT TOO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT ABORTION TO THEIR TASTE.

Beck: BUT NOT JUST ABORTION BUT ALSO THE ISSUE OF MENTIONING JESUS CHRIST OR GOD OFTENTIMES IN THE DEBATES. FOR SOME PEOPLE, THEY LIKE TO HEAR THAT, BUT FOR OTHER PEOPLE, THAT IS A PRIVATE MATTER OR MATTER THAT THEY'D RATHER NOT HEAR TALKED ABOUT ON TV. IT ALMOST HAS TOO MUCH OF AN EVANGELICAL MESSAGE THEN, AND I THINK THEY WOULD PREFER THAT THEY KNOW THEIR CANDIDATE HAS A FAITH, BUT THAT THEY DON'T NECESSARILY DISCUSS IT.

Obradovich: I THINK THAT HAS ALSO AN IMPACT ON MAYBE WHY FORBES WAS AT THE TOP OF THE PACK. HE HAD A MUCH MORE DIVERSIFIED MESSAGE IN HIS CASE IN TALKING ABOUT TAXES AND OTHER THINGS BESIDES JUST ABORTION. BOTH BAUER AND KEYES CAME UP AS FAIRLY ONE-NOTE CANDIDATES UNTIL THE VERY END OF THE RACE WHEN BAUER TRIED TO PORTRAY CHINA AS THE EVIL EMPIRE AND TRY TO EXPAND HIS MESSAGE A LITTLE BIT.

Yepsen: JENEANE, JOHN MCCAIN WAS MISSING IN ACTION HERE IOWA. WAS IT SMART FOR HIM TO STAY OUT OF IOWA OR WAS IT A MISTAKE?

Beck: I'M NOT SURE WE'LL KNOW EXACTLY UNTIL AFTER THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY, AND WE SEE HOW HE DOES THERE, AND WHETHER THIS HURT HIM. IF HE CAN WIN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND DO VERY WELL, MAYBE IT WON'T HAVE HURT HIM, BUT HIS NUMBERS HAVE DROPPED A BIT THERE SINCE THE IOWA CAUCUSES. AND IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE BECAUSE IOWA VOTERS THAT I TALKED TO AT SOME OF THE DEBATES SAID THEY WOULD HAVE SUPPORTED HIM REGARDLESS OF HIS VIEW ON ETHANOL AND NOT SUPPORTING THE SUBSIDY AND REGARDLESS THAT HE WOULD HAVE ENDED UP GETTING THE RACE HERE VERY LATE. BUT IF HE HAD COME AFTER THAT FIRST DEBATE AND STARTED SHOWING UP IN IOWA, I THINK HE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER.

Henderson: I TALKED TO A LOT OF BUSH SUPPORTERS, AND MCCAIN WAS THEIR NUMBER TWO CHOICE. IF HE HAD COME HERE AND MADE A FIGHT OF IT, HE COULD HAVE PUT A SERIOUS DENT IN THAT FRONT-RUNNER STATUS OF GEORGE W. BUSH FROM THE GIT-GO RATHER THAN THE SECOND CONTEST, NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Yepsen: AND WE KNOW FROM THE TRACKING POLLS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE THAT WHILE SOME CANDIDATES GET A BOUNCE FOR WHAT THEY DO IN IOWA, IN MCCAIN'S CASE, IT'S A REVERSE BOUNCE. HE'S SORT OF FALLEN OFF THE RADAR SCREEN A LITTLE BIT.

Russell: WELL, THERE WAS A DEFICIT OF NEWS ATTENTION ON MCCAIN WHILE EVERYONE WAS HERE.

Beck: EXCEPT FOR THE DAY OF. I NOTICED LISTENING TO THE RADIO THE DAY OF THE CAUCUSES WHEN THEY DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO COVER OTHER CANDIDATES TOO MUCH SO THAT THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TIME TO RETORT TO EACH OTHER, BUT MCCAIN WAS GETTING A LOT OF NEWS DURING THE DAY ON THE CAUCUSES.

Obradovich: ON THE OTHER HAND, SKIPPING A STRAW POLL WAS A GOOD MOVE FOR HIM BECAUSE HE DID GET A LOT OF ATTENTION WHILE THE OTHER CANDIDATES WERE HERE IN AUGUST. HAD HE HAD AS MUCH ATTENTION ON THE CAUCUS SIDE, HE WOULD HAVE PROBABLY DONE BETTER.

Yepsen: I WANT TO MOVE TO THE DEMOCRATS, KAY. AL GORE WON. WHAT'S HE GET?

Henderson: I THINK HE GETS A LOT. I THINK AL GORE IS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING CANDIDATES THIS CYCLE. HE REALLY WENT THROUGH A DEATH MARCH IN JULY AND IN AUGUST. BRADLEY WAS GAINING ON HIM. THE MEDIA, WHICH HAD SORT OF BEEN -- THE NATIONAL MEDIA, THAT IS -- WHICH HAD SORT OF BEEN WONDROUS AT THIS WONDER KID FROM TENNESSEE ALL THROUGH HIS CAREER, STARTED ASKING SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIM AS A CANDIDATE. AND HE WENT THROUGH A DRAMATIC CHANGE, INCLUDING CHANGING HIS CLOTHES, AND HE WAS INCREDIBLY VIBRANT THE LAST WEEK OF THE CAMPAIGN. I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER SEEN A CANDIDATE HOP SCOTCH AROUND THE STATE LIKE THAT, SPEAK AT RALLIES, YELL, CAJOLE. I THINK IT WAS QUITE REMARKABLE. ALSO, SOME OF THE EXIT AND ENTRANCE POLLING THAT WAS DONE BY VOTER NEWS SERVICE FOR A NUMBER OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS SHOWED THAT 85 PERCENT OF THE DEMOCRATS WHO WENT TO CAUCUS MEETINGS ON LAST MONDAY NIGHT APPROVE OF THE CLINTON-GORE RECORD. SO I THINK HE BUILT ON THAT AND SORT OF CAME OUT OF THIS SMELLING LIKE A ROSE.

Yepsen: JOYCE, BILL BRADLEY, HE LOST ALMOST 2 TO 1 TO GORE. SO, BAD NEWS?

Russell: I THINK THAT WE'RE SEEING A DIFFERENT BILL BRADLEY NOW IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THAT POOR SHOWING IN IOWA. HE IS MUCH MORE ON THE DEFENSIVE NOW, IF YOU SAW HIM IN THE DEBATE THE OTHER NIGHT FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE. HE IS COMING ACROSS AS MORE NEGATIVE, AND BORDERING ON MAKING PERSONAL ATTACKS ON HIS OPPONENT, AND THIS IS A BIG CHANGE FROM THE WAY THAT HE STARTED OUT. I MEAN, HE STARTED OUT AS THE DIFFERENT-KIND-OF-CAMPAIGN GUY, AND HE'S DEFINITELY BEHAVING DIFFERENTLY NOW.

Yepsen: SO WHAT'S THE VIEW OUT HERE? WHO'S THE ALPHA MALE AND WHO'S THE BETA MALE IN THAT CAMPAIGN RIGHT NOW?

Henderson: YOU KNOW IT'S AN INTERESTING THING -- A GUY SAID THAT TO ME, A GUY WHO WAS A SPORTS NUT. HE SAID BILL BRADLEY WOULD NEVER HAVE BEHAVED LIKE HE DID IN THE CAUCUSES AND THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AS HE BEHAVED ON THE HARD WOOD. HE WAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLAYER WHEN IT CAME TO POLITICS AS OPPOSED -- HE WOULD HAVE BEEN SCRAPPY, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT BACK AT GORE IF HE'D BEEN PLAYING ON THE HARD WOOD.

Obradovich: WELL, AND THE THING IS TOO THAT YOU MENTIONED HOW VIBRANT LOOKED -- BILL BRADLEY WITH HIS LAID-BACK DEMEANOR LOOKED, YOU KNOW, LETHARGIC BY COMPARISON -- AND THEN AT THE END WHEN ALL THE NEWS CAME OUT WITH THE QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS HEART, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT HE WAS SLOW AND HE LOOKED TIRED AT THE END. JIM ROSS LIGHTFOOT LOOKED THAT WAY RIGHT BEFORE HIS LOSS TOO. I THINK THAT PLAYED INTO PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS OF HIM.

Yepsen: NOT GOOD FOR A CANDIDATE. KATHIE, TURNOUT, KAY MENTIONED THAT IT WAS A RECORD LOW TURNOUT. WHY WAS THE TURNOUT SO POOR IN BOTH PARTIES?

Obradovich: I THINK THAT THERE'S A COUPLE OF REASONS ON THAT. ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, WHICH WE ACTUALLY KNOW FOR SURE WHAT THE TURNOUT WAS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE... LIKE KAY SAID, SHY OF 90,000. A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE EXPECTING IT TO BE AT LEAST 100,000 OR MORE. THERE WAS, PERHAPS, A LITTLE BIT OF COMPLACENCY ON THE SIDE OF PEOPLE WHO WERE FOR BUSH; THEY FIGURED HE HAD IT SEWN UP. I THINK THAT THE FACT THAT THE CHRISTIAN COALITION FOLKS WERE DIVIDED OUT, THAT MAYBE THEY COULDN'T MAKE UP THEIR MINDS. AND, I THINK THAT THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE WE SAW BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL TURNOUT. PEOPLE IN THE URBAN AREAS SEEMED MORE ENGAGED, PERHAPS BECAUSE THE CANDIDATES SPENT MORE TIME IN URBAN AREAS AND ALSO BECAUSE OF, PERHAPS, THE FACT THAT THE FARM ECONOMY'S IN THE TANK AND PEOPLE OUT IN THE RURAL AREAS ARE DEPRESSED, AND FEEL LIKE THEY CAN'T DO ANYTHING.

Yepsen: JENEANE, ONE LAST CAUCUS QUESTION THAT I HAVE IS BOTH PARTIES ARE LOOK LOOKING AT WHETHER IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE SHOULD REMAIN FIRST. HOW DO YOU SEE THAT? WILL IOWA BE FIRST IN 2004?

Beck: AGAIN, THAT MIGHT BE SOMETHING THAT'S TOO EARLY TO TELL, BUT WHAT'S ON OUR SIDE IS THAT THERE IS NO OTHER VIABLE PLAN OUT THERE RIGHT NOW, AND SO THAT WORKS FOR US BECAUSE IT TAKES A LOT OF EFFORT TO PUT ANOTHER SYSTEM IN PLACE. THEY'VE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT REGIONAL PRIMARIES BUT ALLOWING IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE TO REMAIN FIRST. AND UNTIL SOMEBODY COMES UP WITH SOMETHING BETTER AND IF GORE OR BUSH WINS IT AND THEY WERE THE WINNERS HERE, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO WANT TO CHANGE IT BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION CYCLE. SO WE MIGHT STAY FIRST BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING ELSE OUT THERE.

Yepsen: WELL, I WANT TO SWITCH GEARS HERE NOW, JOYCE, AND TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE LEGISLATURE. THE LAWMAKERS HAVE BEEN UP THERE SINCE THE FIRST OF THE MONTH. GOVERNOR VILSACK LAID OUT AN AMBITIOUS AGENDA FOR THIS SESSION, A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR LAYING OUT AN AMBITIOUS AGENDA FOR OUR REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE. WHAT WILL THE GOVERNOR GET?

Russell: WELL, HE HAS NEW INITIATIVES -- OVER 100 NEW INITIATIVES IN EDUCATION, THE ENVIRONMENT, HEALTHCARE, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. SOME OF THESE ARE PRIORITIES FOR THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE AND SOME OF THEM ARE NOT. THERE WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY BE NEW INITIATIVES IN THE ENVIRONMENT. EVERYONE SEEMS TO CARE ABOUT WATER QUALITY, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE. WE'LL SEE SOMETHING THERE. AND WE'LL SEE SOMETHING ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. THE LABOR SHORTAGE IN IOWA IS ON EVERYONE'S MINDS.

Yepsen: KATHIE, WHAT WILL BE THE POINTS OF CONTENTION OVER HERE?

Obradovich: THE BUDGET IS THE BIG ONE. VILSACK'S PLAN, NOT JUST IN THE REGULAR PROGRAM BUDGET BUT ACROSS THE BOARD, SPENDS PROBABLY MORE THAN 5 PERCENT MORE THAN THE PREVIOUS YEAR. AND REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS ARE JUST -- THEY'RE PRACTICALLY PARALYZED BY THE THOUGHT OF SPENDING THAT MUCH MONEY -- AND THEY ALSO DON'T LIKE SOME OF THE WAYS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS STRUCTURED HIS BUDGET. THEY DON'T LIKE WHERE SOME OF THE MONEY IS COMING FROM TO PAY FOR THINGS. THAT HASN'T BEEN DONE IN THE PAST. SO I THINK THE BUDGET IS GOING TO BE THE OVERRIDING THING. THEY ARE, AS JOYCE SAID, GOING TO LOOK AT SOME OF HIS PROPOSALS, BUT THEY'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO SPEND AS MUCH, AND THEY'RE NOT GOING TO MAYBE PAY FOR IT THE WAY THE GOVERNOR SUGGESTED.

Henderson: ANOTHER REASON THEY'RE PARALYZED IS BECAUSE THEIR BUDGET-CUTTING MUSCLES HAVEN'T BEEN USED FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS. THE STATE HAS BEEN FLUSH WITH EXCESS CASH, AND REPUBLICANS REALLY HAVEN'T TOWED THE LINE ON PRESENTING A BUDGET THAT'S REALLY WITHIN THE RATE OF INFLATION. THE STATE BUDGET HAS REALLY BEEN GROWING. SO THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A TOUGH TIME, IN AN ELECTION YEAR, SAYING NO TO PEOPLE.

Yepsen: WELL, HASN'T THE GOVERNOR SET THEM UP WITH THIS? HE PROPOSES AN AMBITIOUS AGENDA, KAY, WITH SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY AND NOW LEAVES THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE IN THE POSITION OF HAVING TO SAY NO, NO, NO TO A WHOLE BUNCH OF GROUPS.

Henderson: EXACTLY.

Yepsen: PRETTY SMART ON THE GOVERNOR'S PART.

Henderson: EXACTLY.

Yepsen: JENEANE, ONE OF THE PROPOSALS OUT THERE IS FOR -- THE GOVERNOR PROPOSED WAS A $300-MILLION BONDING PROJECT TO TAKE CARE OF MAJOR, ONE-TIME, CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROJECTS AROUND THE STATE. WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS FOR THAT?

Beck: WELL, THE REPUBLICANS HAVE INTRODUCED A SIMILAR PLAN, SO THE FACT IS THEY BOTH WANT TO DO THIS. SO THE PROSPECTS ARE SOMEWHAT GOOD. WHAT THEY RUN INTO IS, ONE, THE MECHANISM. THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT BONDING MECHANISMS THAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT, AND SO THEY HAVE TO FIGHT OVER THE DETAILS. ALSO, THERE MIGHT BE RURAL LAWMAKERS WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS WHO SAY, WELL, THE HOG PRICES LAST YEAR WHEN WE ENTERED THE SESSION WERE HORRIBLE, AND WE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. SO WHY DO I WANT TO SET ALL THIS MONEY ASIDE FOR BIG URBAN AREAS TO COME DIP INTO TO BUILD AN ARENA OR RAIN FOREST OR ANY PROJECT LIKE THAT. AND WHAT THE URBAN LAWMAKERS WILL TRY TO EXPLAIN TO THEM IS THAT, WELL, IF THE BIG CITIES GROW, IT HELPS ALL OF THE STATE. SO WE'LL SEE HOW THAT FAIRS.

Yepsen: IOWA HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN A PAY-AS-YOU-GO STATE. WE HAVE SOME OF THE LOWEST LEVELS OF PUBLIC DEBT OF ANY STATE IN THE COUNTRY, AND A LOT OF IOWANS LIKE THAT. DO YOU THINK LAWMAKERS ARE NOW GOING TO CHANGE THAT ATTITUDE AND MAYBE START, BE WILLING TO BORROW SOME MONEY FOR SOME PROJECTS FOR THE FUTURE?

Beck: WELL, THEY THINK THAT THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO MAKE US MORE OF AN ATTRACTION STATE AND MORE OF A DESTINATION STATE SO THAT MORE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL STAY OR MOVE BACK TO THE STATE. THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS, AS YOU SAID, THE MAJORITY OF IOWANS LIKE TO BE SORT OF DEBT FREE. BUT THEY SAY EVEN IF THEY PASS THIS THAT IOWA WILL STILL RANK LOW AMONG OTHER STATES IN OUR DEBT CAPACITY.

Obradovich: ANOTHER THING IS, TOO, THAT THESE ARE PROJECTS FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES WHO ARE TRYING TO BUILD AN ESTATE -- IS OFFERING ITS ASSISTANCE IN THE BONDING POWER. THERE ARE SOME OTHER AREAS WHERE THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID WE SHOULD BOND FOR STATE PROJECTS, LIKE FOR THE REGENTS, THINGS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN STARTED ON A PAY-AS-YOU-GO BASIS. I THINK THAT REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO BALK AT ADDING TO THE DEBT IN THAT WAY.

Yepsen: WHAT'S WRONG WITH BORROWING TO BUILD BUILDINGS? WE ALL BORROW MONEY TO BUY A HOME, TO BUY A FARM. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE STATE BORROWING A LITTLE MONEY TO BUY SOME BUILDINGS?

Obradovich: I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT EXCEPT TO LOOK AT THE EXTENT THAT THEY'RE DOING IT. IN THE PAST THE STATE HAS HAD A LOT OF BONDING AND HAS PUT A LOT OF MONEY INTO INTEREST, AND THEY STARTED TO GET AWAY FROM THAT. IF YOU'VE GOT A BUNCH OF MONEY IN THE BANK, WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO BORROW?

Yepsen: KAY, SPEAKING OF MONEY IN THE BANK, THE STATE IS GETTING A CHUNK OF DOUGH FROM THE TOBACCO SETTLEMENT. HOW'S THAT ALL GOING TO GET SPENT?

Henderson: IT'S GOING TO GET SPENT ON, PERHAPS, THE LAST NIGHT OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THERE WILL BE MAYBE BE FIVE, SIX, PEOPLE IN A ROOM, AND THEY'LL FINALLY DECIDE HOW TO SPEND IT. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS RECOMMENDED THAT A BULK OF IT, ABOUT $20 MILLION, BE SPENT ON SMOKING CESSATION PROGRAMS, AN AD CAMPAIGN THAT ENCOURAGES YOUNG PEOPLE NOT TO SMOKE; ENHANCED ENFORCEMENT OF PEOPLE BUYING UNDER AGE. THE TOBACCO-FREE GROUP, WHICH HAS FORMED AROUND THIS ISSUE, SORT OF ENDORSES THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PLAN. GOVERNOR VILSACK CAME OUT WITH THIS WILD IDEA OF SPENDING IT ON A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT HEALTH-RELATED PROJECTS, EVEN CRIME INTIATIVES, AND DOING IT IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY LEVERAGE A HUGE CHUNK OF FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS. REPUBLICANS ARE VERY RELUCTANT TO DO THAT BECAUSE YOU CREATE A NEW PROGRAM, YOU SPEND SOME MONEY ON IT, ONCE THE FEDERAL MONEY DRIES UP, THEN YOU GET A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHINING, KEEP MY PROGRAM GOING, AND THEN THE STATE HAS TO PONEY-UP THE MONEY. SO I THINK THE GOVERNOR'S IDEA IS IN REAL JEOPARDY. I DON'T THINK REPUBLICANS YET HAVE COME UP WITH THEIR OWN IDEA OF WHAT TO DO WITH THIS MONEY. AND AGAIN, I DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO GET DECIDED ANYTIME SOON.

Russell: THEY HAVEN'T COME UP AS A GROUP WITH WHAT TO DO WITH THIS MONEY. THERE'S DOZENS OF IDEAS.

Yepsen: JOYCE, THE GOVERNOR ALSO IS ASKING FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO SHIFT SOME OF THE MONEY AROUND FOR THINGS, WE'LL CALL IT INFRASTRUCTURE, ONE-TIME SPENDING PROGRAMS. SOME CONTROVERSY OVER THAT. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH THAT?

Russell: WELL, THE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND IS LARGELY MADE UP OF GAMBLING MONEY, AND IT WAS SET ASIDE FOR, AS YOU SAID, ONE-TIME PROJECTS. THE GOVERNOR SORT OF STRETCHES THE DEFINITION A LITTLE MORE THAN IT'S BEEN STRETCHED IN THE PAST FOR WHAT CONSTITUTES INFRASTRUCTURE. LAST YEAR HE PUT SOME ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS IN THAT, AND THE REPUBLICANS WENT ALONG WITH THAT. THIS YEAR HE'S CALLING SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION -- HE SAYS THAT'S OUR MOST BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE. SO YOU CAN STRETCH IT AND KEEP STRETCHING IT, AND REPUBLICANS ARE RESISTING THAT A BIT.

Yepsen: THE REPUBLICANS SAY WELL, THIS FUND WAS PUT TOGETHER FOR BRICKS AND MORTAR PROJECTS.

Russell: RIGHT.

Yepsen: THE GOVERNOR'S SAYING WELL, COMPUTERS ARE ONE-TIME THINGS AND SOFTWARE. IT'S NOT JUST BRICKS AND MORTAR; IT'S BRICKS AND CLICKS. WHO'S GOING TO PREVAIL IN THAT ARGUMENT DO YOU THINK?

Russell: WELL, IT'S HARD TO SAY. PART OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL TO HAVE TECHNOLOGY COME OUT OF THAT ACTUALLY INVOLVES CREATING NEW STATE POSITIONS AND THE SORTS OF THINGS THAT AREN'T ONE-TIME POSITIONS, AREN'T ONE-TIME SPENDING --

Beck: IT'S INTERESTING TO NOTE, TOO, THAT REPUBLICANS MAY HAVE SOME AMMUNITION ON THEIR SIDE. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT BRICKS AND MORTAR, THERE WAS A REPORT RECENTLY RELEASED THAT SAID WE HAD OVER $400 MILLION WORTH OF IMMEDIATE REPAIRS NEEDED TO STATE BUILDINGS. SO THEY CAN SAY, WELL, IF YOU WANT TO SPEND THIS ON TECHNOLOGY, MAYBE WE NEED TO REPAIR OUR BUILDINGS FIRST. SO THEY HAVE SOME AMMUNITION IF THEY WANT TO USE IT.

Yepsen: KATHIE, LEGISLATURE IS ALWAYS KNOWN FOR WHAT IT DOES, AND IT'S ALSO KNOWN FOR WHAT IT DOES NOT DO. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THIS LEGISLATURE WON'T DO?

Obradovich: THEY'VE BEEN SHOVING A LOT OF STUFF OFF THEIR PLATE ALREADY, IN FACT. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO LET PEOPLE HUNT DOVES IN IOWA. THAT WAS A BIG POWDER KEG OF CONTROVERSY THAT EVEN PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED THAT BILL DIDN'T WANT A DEBATE. SO THEY'VE GOT THAT ONE OFF THEIR PLATE. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU $6.5-MILLION LOAN TO ACCESS AIR, WHICH IS A START-UP AIRLINE THAT HAS NOW GONE BANKRUPT. THERE WAS JUST TOO MUCH -- I THINK TWO THINGS AT PLAY THERE: ONE, PEOPLE OUT IN THE STATE ARE WONDERING WHY THEY SHOULD HELP DES MOINES AGAIN WITH AN AIRLINE. AND ALSO, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SAYING, WELL, YOU KNOW, THIS AIRLINE'S ALREADY BANKRUPT. WHY SHOULD WE THROW GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD? SO THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT. AND I THINK THAT PROBABLY SOME OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSALS, FOR EXAMPLE, LIKE LOCAL CONTROL FOR HOG LOTS, SOME OF THE THINGS HE HASN'T GOT IN THE PAST, ARE NOT EVEN GOING TO REACH THE TABLE.

Henderson: ALSO THIS WEEK, THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE LOOMING TEACHER SHORTAGE IN IOWA, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS OF MATH AND SCIENCE. BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ANY SUBSTANTIVE PROPOSALS THAT THEY'RE GOING TO ENACT THIS YEAR TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. THE GOVERNOR HAS SORT OF TALKED ABOUT THIS TAX CREDIT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS, ALSO A TAX CREDIT FOR ENGINEERS. THAT'S NOT GOING TO DO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO. THEY NEED TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO STRUCTURE SALARIES, TO MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE, NUMBER ONE, FOR IOWA-EDUCATED STUDENTS TO STAY HERE ONCE THEY EARN THAT TEACHING CERTIFICATE. MOST OF THEM GO OUT OF STATE. AND THEY ALSO NEED TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PAY MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS MORE THAN THE SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER.

Russell: IT WAS INTERESTING IN THE GOVERNOR'S CONDITION OF THE STATE ADDRESS THAT DREW THE LOUDEST APPLAUSE AND THE MOST SUSTAINED BIPARTISAN APPLAUSE WAS "WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT TEACHER PAY." BUT THERE'S VERY LITTLE THAT HE'S ACTUALLY PROPOSING, AND HE CALLS HIS TAX CREDIT FOR TEACHERS "A FINGER IN THE DIKE." I THINK HE ACTUALLY USED THAT EXPRESSION.

Yepsen: JENEANE, WHY ISN'T HE GOING TO GET AT THIS? WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE THIS PROBLEM IN IOWA, SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH TAX CREDITS FOR TEACHERS AND ENGINEERS?

Beck: I DON'T KNOW THAT -- THAT MAY NOT COME UP JUST BECAUSE REPUBLICANS MIGHT THINK THAT THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO PAY TEACHERS MORE. THEY THINK THAT SINGLES OUT A CERTAIN SECTOR OF THIS SOCIETY THAT DESERVES BETTER PAY, AND I DON'T KNOW THAT THEY TO WANT GO THERE. PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY'RE LOOKING AT A COMPENSATION FEE FOR TEACHERS THAT'S OLD, ARCHAIC, THAT HAS TRADITIONALLY KEPT YOU AT A CERTAIN LEVEL UNTIL YOU'VE REALLY BEEN IN THE SYSTEM A LONG TIME. AND SO THOSE THAT ARE JUST GETTING INTO THE SYSTEM SAY, WHY DO I HAVE TO WORK TWENTY YEARS BEFORE I'M GOING TO MAKE WHAT MY FRIEND MAKES FIVE YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE? SO THEY HAVE TO RESTRUCTURE THAT SYSTEM. ANYTIME THERE'S A BIG BLOCK OF WORK LIKE THAT AHEAD OF THEM, THEY POSTPONE IT BECAUSE IT'S TOO DIFFICULT TO START.

Yepsen: KAY, THE MONTH OF JANUARY MARKED GOVERNOR VILSACK'S FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE. HOW DID HE DO? WHAT'S THE GRADE OUT THERE?

Henderson: I THINK HE GETS A HIGH GRADE. I THINK HE GETS PROBABLY A B+ OR AN A-, BECAUSE HE GOVERNED IN THE MIDDLE WHERE MOST IOWANS WERE. ON A COUPLE OF OCCASIONS HE VEERED FROM THE PATH, BUT I THINK OVERALL, HE GETS A GOOD GRADE. HE TRIED TO WORK WITH LEGISLATORS. HE HAD ALREADY TIES WITH THEM BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN A STATE SENATOR; HE BUILT UPON THOSE. I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES WE ALL TREKKED DOWN TO HIS OFFICE AND THEY WERE ALL ANNOUNCING SOMETHING THEY HAD ALL AGREED TO TOGETHER. THAT WAS VERY UNUSUAL TO HAVE A DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR ABLE TO WORK WITH A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE IN THAT MANNER.

Obradovich: THAT'S NOT GOING TO LAST EITHER. WE'VE ALREADY SEEN A LOT OF SPLITS GROWING BETWEEN THE REPUBLICANS. BOTH SIDES WANT TO GO INTO AN ELECTION WITH SOME CLEAR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEM. SO PERHAPS VILSACK'S JOB RATING WILL BE TARNISHED A LITTLE BIT IF REPUBLICANS DO THEIR JOB.

Beck: BUT I THINK HE'S PROVED VERY ADEPT AT SORT OF MANIPULATING THE LAWMAKERS, IN A SENSE, OF EITHER ANNOUNCING A PLAN THAT'S TOO BIG AND HAVING TO FORCE THEM TO CUT IT OR LAST YEAR ANNOUNCING SOMETHING THAT WAS HALF THE PLAN ALLOWING THEM TO ADD TO IT AND THEN HAVING THIS WONDERFUL BIPARTISANSHIP. HE'S BEEN SKILLFUL AT GETTING THEM TO WORK WITH HIM, AND THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT THAT.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT JUST A MINUTE LEFT. IT'S BEEN MENTIONED HERE A COUPLE TIMES, THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR. JOYCE, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PROSPECTS THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE FOR RECAPTURING THE LEGISLATURE THIS FALL? GOOD? BAD?

Russell: I THINK THAT WILL BE A TOUGH SELL. I DON'T SEE ANY ISSUES ON THE TABLE RIGHT NOW THAT THEY CAN REALLY GRAB AND RUN WITH AT THE POLLS THIS FALL.

Yepsen: KAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Henderson: I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST COMPETITIVE STATES THERE IS IN TERMS OF REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, AND I DON'T SEE A SCENARIO WHEREBY THEY CAN GAIN THE SEATS NECESSARY TO WIN EITHER THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE, PARTICULARLY THE SENATE.

Yepsen: JENEANE?

Beck: AND I THINK THEY LIKE THE SPLIT IN CONTROL RIGHT NOW. I THINK IT'S WORKING FOR THEM. THE VOTERS LIKE THE SPLIT OF DEMOCRATS IN THE TOP SEAT AND REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE.

Obradovich: THEY SHOWED THAT IN '98 WHEN THEY ELECTED VILSACK, AND THEN THEY KEPT -- THEY LET THE REPUBLICANS RETAIN CONTROL IN THE LEGISLATURE. LIKE I SAID, I THINK THE HOUSE IS GOING TO BE COMPETITIVE AND, IN FACT, THE DEMOCRATS WILL PROBABLY GAIN SOME SEATS, BUT THEY'VE GOT A HARD ROAD TO GO TO GET TO THE MAJORITY SEAT.

Yepsen: WE ARE OUT OF TIME. THANK YOU ALL FOR THIS DISCUSSION. I APPRECIATE IT. WELL, MANY OF THESE SAME TOPICS AND MORE WILL BE ON THE TABLE NEXT SUNDAY ON IOWA PRESS. GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK WILL JOIN US TO DISCUSS THE BUSINESS OF THE 78TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND TO DISCUSS THE PARTICULARS OF THE CONDITION OF THE STATE ADDRESS HE GAVE EARLIER THIS MONTH. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. DEAN BORG WILL BE REJOINING US NEXT WEEK AT THIS SAME TIME, AND I HOPE YOU WILL TOO AS WELL. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER. THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. AND 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.