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IOWA PRESS #2809 - Ralph Nader; Greg Ganske and Mike Huston
October 29, 2000

Borg: PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RALPH NADER IS SEEN BY SOME AS A POTENTIAL SPOILER IN THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 2000. AND THE CAMPAIGNS FOR CONGRESS BETWEEN INCUMBENT GREG GANSKE AND CHALLENGER MIKE HUSTON, ACCORDING TO SOME, IS CLOSER THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT. PRESIDENTIAL AND CONGRESSIONAL POLITICS ARE ON THE DISCUSSION AGENDA IN THIS SPECIAL ONE-HOUR EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY, THE VOICE OF IOWA BUSINESS, REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF OVER 1,500 IOWA BUSINESSES EMPLOYING 300,000 IOWANS.

THIS IS THE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29TH EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: HELLO AGAIN. WE'RE EXPANDING THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF IOWA PRESS TO ONE HOUR. IN OUR SECOND HALF HOUR, WE'LL BE DISCUSSING POLICY AND POLITICS AT THE CONGRESSIONAL LEVEL AS WE PRESENT THE FIFTH OF FIVE IOWA PRESS EDITIONS FOCUSING ON THE CAMPAIGNS FOR THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AT THAT TIME REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT CONGRESSMAN GREG GANSKE OF DES MOINES JOINS US, AS DOES HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER MIKE HUSTON. AND WE'LL QUESTION THEM ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN TO REPRESENT IOWA'S FOURTH U.S. DISTRICT IN CONGRESS. BUT, IN OUR FIRST HALF HOUR, WE TALK PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS WITH A CANDIDATE WHO'S BECOME A FAMILIAR VOICE IN CONSUMER ADVOCACY AND SPEAKING AGAINST WHAT HE IDENTIFIES AS CORPORATE IRRESPONSIBILITY. RALPH NADER, AUTHOR, LECTURER, AND REFORMER IS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT, REPRESENTING THE GREEN PARTY. AND CURRENT POLLS SHOW HIM LOGGING ABOUT 4 PERCENT OF THE POPULAR VOTE. THAT'S A FACT THAT HASN'T DETERRED MR. NADER AND HIS SUPPORTERS. THAT 4 PERCENT OR SO MAY NOT SEEM LIKE MUCH, BUT IT MAY PROVE TO BE THE MARGIN THE LOSER IN THIS ELECTION COULD HAVE USED, ESPECIALLY AS IOWA'S SEVEN ELECTORAL VOTES REMAIN IN THE TOSS-UP COLUMN. NADER'S PRESENCE IN THE RACE IS BOTH REAL AND SUBSTANTIAL. RALPH NADER, WELCOME TO IOWA PRESS.

Nader: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Borg: ACROSS THE TABLE POLITICAL REPORTERS DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER AND MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Glover: MR. NADER, YOU'VE BEEN AROUND POLITICS A FAIR AMOUNT, AND YOU CAN READ A POLL AS WELL AS THE NEXT PERSON CAN. TO BE DELICATE, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO WIN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?

Nader: TO BUILD A POLITICAL MOVEMENT IN THE FUTURE, AND TO COME OUT OF NOVEMBER 7 AS THE THIRD LARGEST PARTY IN THE UNITED STATES, THE GREEN PARTY, WHICH WILL FIELD MORE AND MORE CANDIDATES IN FUTURE ELECTIONS, BUT WILL BECOME AN IMMEDIATE WATCHDOG OVER THE TWO PARTIES IN WASHINGTON, SHOWING THAT IF THEY DON'T SHAPE UP, THEY'RE GOING TO SHRINK DOWN IN FUTURE ELECTIONS.

Glover: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SHAPE UP?

Nader: WELL, IF THEY DON'T PASS PUBLIC FUNDING OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS INSTEAD OF FIDDLING AND TALKING RHETORIC, ACTUALLY PRODUCE CLEAN ELECTIONS BECAUSE OF CLEAN MONEY; REPEAL OF TAFT-HARTLEY WHICH IS BLOCKING, IN SO MANY WAYS, TEN OF MILLIONS OF WORKERS WITH LOW PAY JOBS LIKE WAL-MART FROM LIFTING THEIR STANDARD OF LIVING TO A LIVING WAGE AT LEAST, THAT'S 47 MILLION WORKERS THAT DON'T HAVE A LIVING WAGE, THEY'RE MAKING UNDER TEN BUCKS AN HOUR IN A BOOM ECONOMY. AND UNIVERSAL HEALTH INSURANCE; ENDING CORPORATE WELFARE AS WE KNOW IT; AND SOME LAW AND ORDER AGAINST CORPORATE CRIME, FRAUD, AND ABUSE, WHICH NEWSPAPERS REPORT ON REGULARLY AROUND THE COUNTRY BUT NOTHING HAPPENS.

Yepsen: MR. NADER, WE WANT TO GET TO SOME OF THOSE IN A MOMENT. YOU'VE HEARD THIS CRITICISM THAT YOU'RE A SPOILER IN THIS ELECTION. YOU HEAR THIS NOW FROM DEMOCRATS. THE VICE PRESIDENT WAS TALKING ABOUT IT LAST WEEK THAT YOU COULD TAKE ENOUGH VOTES TO DENY HIM A MAJORITY AND WIND UP ELECTING GEORGE W. BUSH. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT CRITICISM?

Nader: YOU KNOW, THAT REFLECTS HOW LOW OUR EXPECTATION LEVEL IS IN THIS COUNTRY OF POLITICS WHEN THEY LOOK AT A NEW POLITICAL START, TRYING TO SURMOUNT STATUTORY BARRIERS THAT KEEP THIRD PARTIES FROM GETTING ON THE STATE BALLOT, TRYING TO SURMOUNT THE DOMINATION OF MONEY AND MEDIA BY THE TWO PARTIES, TRYING TO SURMOUNT THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE EXCLUSIONS OF SIGNIFICANT THIRD PARTIES, AND THEN THEY'RE CALLED A SPOILER. YOU KNOW, IN NATURE, NATURE CAN'T REGENERATE ITSELF IF IT DOESN'T ALLOW SEEDS TO SPROUT. AND IN BUSINESS, IF THEY DON'T ALLOW ENTREPRENEURS AND INNOVATORS TO THRIVE, BUSINESS CAN'T REGENERATE ITSELF. SOMEHOW IN POLITICS WE ARE STUCK WITH TWO MAJOR PARTIES? I DON'T SEE THAT IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. INSTEAD OF PEOPLE SAYING: "WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR; WHAT'S YOUR RECORD; WHAT'S YOUR STRATEGY; ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY; IT'S A BOOMING EFFORT AROUND THE COUNTRY; WE'RE GETTING THE BIGGEST POLITICAL RALLIES, OF THE PRESIDENTIAL YEAR, THEY ARE FILLING MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AND BOSTON GARDEN AND TARGET CENTER IN MINNEAPOLIS." INSTEAD OF SAYING THAT, EVERY QUESTION IS: "HOW DO YOU FEEL BEING THE SPOILER?" MY ANSWER IS JUST AS AUTOMATIC. YOU CAN'T SPOIL A POLITICAL SYSTEM SPOILED TO THE CORE.

Glover: BUT HOW DO YOU -- ARE YOU PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CANDIDACY WHICH, IF SOME OF THE POLLS ARE FOLLOWED, IT COULD MEAN THE ELECTION OF GEORGE W. BUSH, ARGUABLY FURTHER FROM YOUR POSITION ON MOST OF HIS ISSUES THAN THE DEMOCRATS?

Nader: I'M NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT TO HELP AL GORE WIN THE ELECTION. IF I WANTED AL GORE TO WIN THE ELECTION, I WOULDN'T BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. AL GORE HAS GOT TO WIN HIS OWN ELECTION. IF HE CAN'T BEAT THE BUMBLING TEXAS SENATOR WITH HIS HORRIFIC RECORD IN TEXAS, I DON'T KNOW WHETHER HE DESERVES TO BE PRESIDENT. NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO VOTES. YOU KNOW, DAVE LETTERMAN SAID A FEW WEEKS AGO, "PEOPLE SAY RALPH NADER IS GOING TO TAKE VOTES AWAY FROM AL GORE." HE SAID, "HECK, AL GORE IS TAKING VOTES AWAY FROM AL GORE."

Borg: LET'S FOCUS THAT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY ON SOME ISSUES. THIS IS FARM COUNTRY, FOOD GROWING COUNTRY. BUT FARMERS ARE BEING PAID LOW PRICES, SOMETIMES BELOW THE COST OF PRODUCTION AND, IN SOME CASES, CAN'T MARKET THEIR CROPS. WHAT WOULD RALPH NADER AS PRESIDENT OR RALPH NADER AS AN INFLUENCE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION LIKE TO DO?

Nader: WELL, WE HAVE A PRETTY DETAILED PROGRAM. THE PROBLEM WITH CITY FOLKS IS SUBURBAN FOLKS DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT AGRICULTURAL POLICY IN ANY DETAIL. WE HAVE AN AGRIBUSINESS MONITORING GROUP THAT WE HELPED FORM CALLED "ORGANIZATION FOR COMPETITIVE MARKETS." THEY'RE A GROUP OF ACADEMICS AND FARM ACTIVISTS TO TRY TO DEAL WITH THE WHOLE FOOD POLICY, FROM ITS PRESERVATION OF THE FAMILY FARM ALL THE WAY TO THE CONSUMER. BY THE WAY, THE WEB SITE IS "COMPETITIVE MARKETS.COM." HERE'S WHAT WE WOULD PROPOSE. ONE, RIGOROUS ENFORCEMENT OF THE ANTITRUST LAWS. YOU'VE GOT GIANT BUYERS SQUEEZING THE PRICES FOR FARMERS, WHEAT, CORN, SOYBEANS. YOU'VE GOT GIANT SUPPLIERS LIKE THE SEED COMPANIES RAISING THE PRICES. AS YOU SAY, WE'RE SEEING DISTRESS IN FARM COUNTRY THAT IS SO STRUCTURAL, I CALL IT THE GREATEST CRISIS IN SMALL FAMILY FARM AGRICULTURE IN OUR HISTORY. A DROUGHT COMES, A DROUGHT LEAVES. BUT INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE, FACTORY FARMING REPLACING SMALL HOG FARMS IN THIS COUNTRY, THESE GIANT HOG CONGLOMERATES, THEY'RE MOVING TO EITHER REDUCE THE FARMER TO CONTRACT AGRICULTURE, LIKE THE POULTRY FARMERS, OR TO TAKE OVER. AND THEY'RE SITTING IN WASHINGTON PASSING THE FAMILY FARM ACT -- FREEDOM TO FARM ACT, WHICH HELPED THIS CONCENTRATION INSTEAD OF ENFORCING THE "PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT" AND "THE SHERMAN ACT" AND "THE CLAYTON ACT" AND FACILITATING FARMERS TO MARKET OVER THE MIDDLE MAN TO THE CONSUMER AND PROVIDING FARMERS WITH NON-RECOURSE LOANS SO THEY CAN HAVE A BASE PRICE.

Borg: YOU SAY THAT JUST ENFORCEMENT OF CURRENT LAWS ON THE BOOKS WOULD SOLVE THE FARM PROBLEM?

Nader: NOT ENTIRELY BUT IT WOULD BE NICE IN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REPRESENTED SMALL FARMERS FOR A CHANGE, INSTEAD OF MONSANTO OR NOVARTIS OR CARGILL OR ADM OR TYSON FOODS. IT'S DISGRACEFUL. THAT'S WHY I SAY IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER BUSH OR GORE IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHEN IT COMES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. THEY'RE NOT SUPPORTING A BASE PRICE TO BEGIN WITH. THEY'RE NOT ADVANCING ORGANIC AGRICULTURE WHICH, BY THE WAY, SMALL FARMERS TELL ME IS ABOUT THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN MAKE MONEY NOW, WITH ORGANIC FARMING. THEY'RE NOT DEALING WITH LAND CONSERVATION SET-ASIDES. IT WAS QUITE INSTRUCTIVE THAT WILLIE NELSON'S BIG FARM GATHERING -- ONCE A YEAR, YOU KNOW, HE HAS A BIG ONE IN VIRGINIA -- GORE AND BUSH WERE INVITED. THEY DIDN'T SHOW UP. THEY HARDLY TALK ABOUT RURAL AMERICA. I CAN WAX ELOQUENT ABOUT WHAT RURAL AMERICA HAS GIVEN CITY FOLK HISTORICALLY. ONE OF, THEY GIVE US THE GREATEST POLITICAL REFORM MOVEMENT IN OUR HISTORY IN THE POPULOUS PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT OVER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

Yepsen: MR. NADER, SOME PEOPLE IN FARM COUNTRY THINK THAT THE BIOTECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION WILL HELP AGRICULTURE CREATE A PLANT SCIENCES INSTITUTE AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY AND DO MORE BIOTECHNOLOGY. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?

Nader: SERIOUS MISTAKE. BIOTECH IS MOVING TOO FAST, TOO FAR INTO THE FIELDS OF OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT ADDRESSING BASIC SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS. SCIENCE HAS TO BE THE GOVERNING DISCIPLINE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY. WHEN THE GAP GETS TOO BIG, THEY HAVEN'T ANSWERED -- WE HAD A MEETING, BY THE WAY, LAST NOVEMBER WITH THE CEO OF MONSANTO, BOB SHAPIRO, IN WASHINGTON. HE BROUGHT A LARGE CORN FARMER FROM IOWA, HAD 3,000 ACRES, TO SUPPORT HIS CASE. WE HAD SCIENTISTS FROM CAMBRIDGE WHO HAD STARTED THE COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE GENETICS. IT WAS A GOOD ROUNDTABLE. I ASKED THE FARMER, I SAID, "WHY DO YOU HAVE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CORN?" HE SAID, "WELL, IT ISN'T BECAUSE OF HIGHER YIELDS; IT ISN'T BECAUSE I'M SAVING MONEY; IT'S THAT I'M SPENDING MORE TIME WITH THE FAMILY, AND I DON'T HAVE TO WEED AS MUCH." WELL, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU START CHANGING THE NATURE OF NATURE AND YOU DEVELOP INTERSPECIES GENE SEQUENCES, YOU'RE RAISING ALL KINDS OF QUESTIONS THAT WE'RE NOT JUST KNOWLEDGEABLE AS A SOCIETY TO ANSWER. IT'S A HUGE ARROGANCE AND IT'S A HUGE RISK, AND YOU'RE SEEING THE BEGINNINGS OF IT NOW WITH THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY AND STARLINK.

Glover: BUT, MR. NADER, THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT COIN IS ADVOCATES OF THAT SAY THAT WE ARE ALWAYS BETTER OFF BY PURSUING NEW TECHNOLOGY AND NEW SCIENCE RATHER THAN BEING LUDDITES AND CLOSING OUR EYES TO THE POSSIBILITY OF CHANGING TECHNOLOGY. WHY SHOULDN'T FARMERS, AS OTHER INDUSTRIES, TRY TO PURSUE NEW TECHNOLOGIES WHERE THEY GO?

Nader: WELL, LET'S SAY THEY DO. WOULD MONSANTO BEAR THE LIABILITY IF A DISASTER OCCURS IN THE GENETIC CONVERSIONS FOR FARMERS? DID YOU EVER SEE THE ONE-PAGE CONTRACT THAT FARMERS HAVE TO SIGN WHEN THEY TAKE BT CORN, ET CETERA, FROM MONSANTO? IT BASICALLY SAYS, "YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN FARMERS; WE DON'T HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING." SO IF THEY'RE REALLY SO SURE THAT THEIR TECHNOLOGY IS SAFE AND IT'S NOT GOING TO MIGRATE AND IT'S NOT GOING TO DEAL WITH ALL KINDS OF OTHER PROBLEMS, MUCH LESS KEEP AMERICAN FARMERS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN MARKET, THEN WHY DON'T THEY ASSUME FULL LIABILITY FOR IT?

Borg: DO YOU THINK THAT THE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ARE SMART IN BANNING U.S. CROPS FOR THAT REASON, BIOTECH CROPS?

Nader: YES, THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, TOO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS LEADING TO RISKS THAT AREN'T COUNTERED BY BENEFITS. YOU'RE NOT GETTING ADDED YIELDS. THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NUTRITION DISEASE MIX IN THESE BIOENGINEERED CROPS AS WELL.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT A LOT OF OTHER ISSUES WE WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT, MR. NADER, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THE VOTER IN IOWA UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU'RE ALL ABOUT. WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON TO BE VOTING FOR RALPH NADER IN THIS ELECTION?

Nader: BECAUSE I'M GOING TO RESTORE DEMOCRACY TO THE PEOPLE, AND IT'S BEEN HIGHJACKED BY BIG BUSINESS. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE COVER STORY OF "BUSINESS WEEK," SEPTEMBER 11, TOO MUCH CORPORATE POWER WAS THE QUESTION. THEY ANSWERED "YES" IN SEVEN DEVASTATING PAGES ABOUT EXCESSIVE CORPORATE POWER OVER ALL ASPECTS OF OUR LIFE, ESPECIALLY GOVERNMENT. THEY ACTUALLY CALLED FOR CORPORATIONS GETTING OUT OF POLITICS. THIS IS A MAINSTREAM BUSINESS MAGAZINE POLLING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE; 72 PERCENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AGREED THERE'S TOO MUCH CORPORATE POWER. I THINK THAT'S THE CENTRAL ISSUE BECAUSE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT LABOR, CONSUMER, HEALTH CARE, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, THE SMALL FAMILY FARMER, INEQUITABLE TAX POLICIES, HUGE INEQUITIES IN WEALTH, CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT, THE DEVASTATION OF THE INNER CITY. A LOT OF THIS RELATES TO TOO MUCH POWER IN TOO FEW HANDS DECIDING FOR THE MANY.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WE'RE FACING IN THIS COUNTRY IS A FEDERAL BUDGET SURPLUS. SOME HAVE TALKED ABOUT PAYING OFF DEBT. SOME HAVE TALKED ABOUT TAX CUTS. SOME HAVE TALKED ABOUT NEW PROGRAMS. WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE DONE WITH THE FEDERAL BUDGET SURPLUS?

Nader: YOU MEAN IF IT TURNS OUT TO BE A SURPLUS.

Yepsen: THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO FORECAST THERE WILL BE ONE.

Nader: RIGHT. WELL, PART OF THAT, OF COURSE, IS THE SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS, WHICH PEAKS IN ABOUT 15 TO 16 YEARS. ONE, I WOULD REPAIR AMERICA. HERE WE HAVE BOOM ECONOMIC TIMES. YOU TRAVEL AROUND AMERICA, THERE'S SO MUCH DISREPAIR: SCHOOLS; LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING; PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEMS THAT ARE OUT OF DATE AND THEY'RE POLLUTING, LIKE BUSES, AND WE HAVE MODERN TRANSIT SYSTEMS; DECAYING DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS; LIBRARIES CLOSING BRANCHES. THE PUBLIC WORKS NEED PUBLIC INVESTMENT. THAT'S THE TRADITION IN OUR COUNTRY. THE SECOND, A MAJOR MISSION TO ABOLISH POVERTY IN AMERICA, STARTING WITH CHILD POVERTY.

Glover: YOU ARE RUNNING ON THE BANNER OF THE GREEN PARTY ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT THAT'S NOT BEING PROPOSED BY THE OTHER CANDIDATES?

Nader: ONE, EIGHT YEARS OF HOLIDAY FOR THE AUTO INDUSTRY. FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS NOW ARE 24.5 MILES PER GALLON, THE LOWEST SINCE 1980. IT'S GOING BACKWARDS INSTEAD OF FORWARDS. WE NEED REGULATION TO ACCELERATE THE ENGINEERS' AND SCIENTISTS' ABILITY TO GIVE US MORE FUEL EFFICIENT, THEREFORE, LESS POLLUTING MOTOR VEHICLES THAT SAVE THE FAMILY BUDGET. A MAJOR NATIONAL MISSION ON SOLAR ENERGY. IT'S READY TO GO. WIND POWER IS READY. PHOTOVOLTAICS ARE DROPPING FAST. THE PROBLEM IS THE ENERGY POLICY IN WASHINGTON IS STILL CONTROLLED BY THE FOSSIL FUEL GIANT, EXXON, AND BY THE NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY, WHICH GET A LOT OF TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES. THIRD, EXPAND ORGANIC AGRICULTURE. THAT'S NO LONGER PIE IN THE SKY, YOU KNOW, SOME LITTLE SUBURBAN GARDEN. IT'S A WAY FOR FARMERS CAN MAKE MONEY. FOURTH, LEGALIZE THE GROWTH OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP. WE CAN IMPORT INDUSTRIAL HEMP FROM FRANCE AND CANADA AND CHINA, BUT WE CAN'T HAVE OUR FARMERS GROW IT. FARMERS OVERWHELMINGLY WANT INDUSTRIAL HEMP TAKEN OFF THE DEA PRESCRIBED LIST THAT CLINTON KEEPS IT ON. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARIJUANA, OTHER THAN CROSS POLLINATING AND DILUTING MARIJUANA. IT'S THE GREATEST VERSATILE CROP: TEXTILES; PAPER, LESS TREES WILL BE CUT DOWN; LESS OIL WILL BE IMPORTED. THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE THINGS THAT CAN BE DONE TO ADVANCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND REDUCE TOXIC VIOLENCE. THE OTHER THING IS CRACKING DOWN ON TOXIC POLLUTION IN THE WORKPLACE. THAT'S OSHA'S JOB.

Glover: IS THERE THE POLITICAL WILL TO TAKE THOSE STEPS? SOME WOULD SUGGEST THAT THERE IS NOT A MOVEMENT OR A PUSH FROM THE ELECTORATE TO DO THOSE THINGS.

Nader: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE'RE DOING, ADDRESSING YOUR QUESTION. AS THOMAS JEFFERSON SAID, "WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS LOST TO THE PEOPLE AND THE MONEY AND INTEREST TAKE OVER, WE'VE GOT TO GO AND BUILD A NEW POLITICAL MOVEMENT." THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THAT ARE RESPONDING TO OUR WEB SITE, VOTENADER.COM... ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE. I THINK SOMETHING'S GOING ON AND I'M VERY PLEASED BY IT.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT AL GORE. AL GORE GETS CRITICIZED FOR BEING TOO STRONG ON THE ENVIRONMENT. WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIS RECORD ON THE ENVIRONMENT? WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIS PROPOSALS ON THE ENVIRONMENT?

Nader: IT'S JUST TALK. I'VE NEVER SEEN THE GAP BETWEEN WORD AND DEED IN A POLITICIAN. WE PUT ON OUR WEB SITE -- IF ANYBODY WANTS TO REFER TO IT, VOTENADER.COM -- ONE AREA AFTER ANOTHER, WHETHER IT'S THE EVERGLADES, WHETHER IT'S THE FOREST, WHETHER IT'S THE INCINERATORS, WHETHER IT'S BIOTECH, WHETHER IT'S THE MOTOR VEHICLE INDUSTRY, WHETHER IT'S SUPPORTING SUBSIDIES TO FOSSIL FUEL, WHETHER IT'S SUPPORTING WTO AND NAFTA, WHICH ARE VERY ANTIENVIRONMENTAL, WHETHER IT'S NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM, THE ASTHMA LEVELS OF POOR KIDS IN OUR CITIES, THE LEAD POISONING THAT HASN'T BEEN SCRAPED OFF TENEMENT WALLS. THIS MAN IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL AREA, I MUST SAY -- IT DOESN'T SOUND TOO HARSH WHEN YOU LOOK AT HIS RECORD -- HE TALKS WITH A FORKED TONGUE.

Yepsen: THIS IS THE THIRD OLDEST STATE IN AMERICA. A LOT OF PEOPLE IN IOWA ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY, BOTH FOR THEMSELVES OR FOR WHEN THEY GET OLDER. WHAT DOES THE GREEN PARTY WANT TO DO ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY?

Nader: KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS. THERE'S NO CRISIS, NO CRISIS WHATSOEVER. GEORGE BUSH IS TURNING IT INTO A CRISIS BECAUSE HE WANTS HIS WALL STREET FRIENDS TO GET THEIR HANDS ON BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO INVEST.

Yepsen: A LOT OF YOUNGER VOTERS THINK THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO BETTER IN THE STOCK MARKET.

Nader: WELL, THAT'S NOT TRUE. FIRST OF ALL -- I'LL GET TO THAT IN A MOMENT. AND WHY DOES AL GORE THINK THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH SOCIAL SECURITY? BECAUSE HE WANTS TO PARK THE SURPLUS IN A POLITICALLY INVULNERABLE LOCK BOX, AND THAT'S THE ONE. NOW, IF YOU LOOK CAREFULLY AT THE TRUSTEES FOR THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, THEY SAY TILL THE YEAR 2037 EVERY DOLLAR IS PAID OUT AND THEN IT STARTS TO DECLINE. BASED ON A 1.7-PERCENT ANNUAL GROWTH RATE -- YOU KNOW WHAT THE ANNUAL GROWTH HAS BEEN IN THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS IN OUR COUNTRY? OVER 3 PERCENT. AND IN RECENT YEARS 4.5 PERCENT. DEAN BAKER IS AN ECONOMIST IN WASHINGTON AND HAS WRITTEN A BOOK CALLED "SOCIAL SECURITY, THE PHONY CRISIS," THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS. THIS IS A PHONY ISSUE BEING EXPLOITED FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES BY AL GORE AND GEORGE W. BUSH, AND IT'S SCARING THE WITS OUT OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND MIDDLE-AGE PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GET THEIR BENEFITS. THEY'RE GOING TO GET THEIR BENEFITS.

Glover: THERE'S TOO MANY ISSUES AND TOO LITTLE TIME TO TALK ABOUT THEM, BUT LET'S GO TO ONE YOU BROUGHT UP JUST MOMENTARILY A LITTLE BIT AGO, AND THAT'S CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE RIGHTS OF FREE SPEECH THAT PEOPLE HAVE, FREE SPEECH EXPRESSED WITH THEIR MONEY, AND CONTROLLING THE FLOOD OF MONEY IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM? WHAT IS THE RALPH NADER CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM PLAN?

Nader: BASICALLY PUBLIC FUNDING OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS. HOW? ONE WAY IS A WELL-PROMOTED $250 MAXIMUM CHECKOFF THAT'S VOLUNTARY ON THE 1040 TAX RETURN. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GIVE A PENNY, YOU DON'T HAVE TO. YOU CAN GIVE UP TO $250. IT GOES INTO A PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCE FUND. ALL BALLOT QUALIFIED CANDIDATES FOR FEDERAL OFFICE WHO WANT TO TAP INTO IT CANNOT TAKE PRIVATE MONEY, AND THEY WILL BE GIVEN TIME ON RADIO AND TV. AFTER ALL, WE DO OWN THE AIR WAVES AND WE CAN CONDITION THE LICENSES BY OUR TENANTS, THE RADIO AND TV STATIONS, TO GIVE BACK A LITTLE BIT OF OUR PROPERTY. IF YOU SAID, "WHAT ABOUT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES, WHAT ABOUT A ROCKEFELLER SPENDING A BILLION DOLLARS," RIGHT NOW THE SUPREME COURT SAYS THEY CAN DO THAT UNDER BUCKLEY VERSUS VILLEIO. SO IF WE DON'T REVERSE BUCKLEY VERSUS VILLEIO, AS MANY LEGAL SCHOLARS THINK SHOULD BE DONE, WE'RE STUCK WITH THAT, SHALL WE SAY, ESCAPE HATCH. BUT STILL, IT WILL GO A LONG WAY TO GET CLEAN MONEY PRODUCING CLEAN ELECTIONS.

Glover: LET'S FLIP THAT ON ITS HEAD FOR A SECOND. LET'S ASSUME THAT THE TWO MAJOR CANDIDATES IN THE TWO MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES WILL SPEND, LET'S SAY, $250-, $300 MILLION ON THIS YEAR'S ELECTION. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO SUGGEST TO PICK THE NEXT LEADER OF THIS COUNTRY, THAT'S A FAIRLY SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY, A LOT LESS THAN IS BEING USED TO PROMOTE SOME NEW DIET SODA. WHAT'S WRONG WITH SPENDING THAT KIND OF MONEY TO DECIDE WHO'S GOING TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT?

Nader: BECAUSE MONEY ITSELF IS AN UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD. NEW CANDIDATES WHO DON'T HAVE MONEY DON'T EVEN BECOME CANDIDATES. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SAYING I'D LIKE TO RUN FOR OFFICE, I CAN'T RAISE THE MONEY, AND EVEN IF I COULD, IT'S TOO MANY COMPROMISES, TOO MUCH QUID PRO QUO. MONEY IS NOT SPEECH; ALTHOUGH THE SUPREME COURT HAS SAID THAT IN BUCKLEY VERSUS VILLEIO, SPLIT DECISION. TO ME MONEY TALKS. MONEY TALKS FOR THE RICH AND MONEY TALKS FOR CANDIDATES WHO DO THE DOINGS OF THE RICH. THAT'S WHY I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IF NECESSARY TO HAVE PUBLIC FUNDING OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS, PERIOD. PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE PUBLICLY FUNDED; PUBLIC PARKS ARE PUBLICLY FUNDED. FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, WHO EVER DREAMT UP THIS SYSTEM WHERE OUR POLITICIANS ARE PUT ON AN AUCTION BLOCK?

Yepsen: MR. NADER, ANOTHER ISSUE THAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT HERE IS HEALTH CARE. WHAT DO WE DO TO SOLVE THE NATION'S HEALTH CARE PROBLEM?

Nader: LET'S TRYING DOING WHAT EVERY WESTERN NATION DID IN THE 1950S AND '60S, EXCEPT THE UNITED STATES, EVEN THOSE COMING OUT OF WORLD WAR II: UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBLE HEALTH INSURANCE. SINGLE PAYER, LET'S CALL IT THIS WAY, FULL MEDICARE FOR EVERYBODY AND PRIVATE DELIVERY OF HEALTH CARE. SO YOU HAVE YOUR FREE CHOICE OF DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL, WHICH MOST PEOPLE NO LONGER DO BECAUSE OF HMOs AND EMPLOYER-BASED HEALTH PLANS, AND YOU HAVE CONSUMER WATCHDOGS AS PART OF THIS PLAN IN THE LOCAL LEVEL TO MONITOR THE QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE.

Glover: WOULD YOU MODEL YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN AFTER SOME OTHER SYSTEM, THE CANADIAN SYSTEM, THE BRITISH SYSTEM?

Nader: THE CANADIAN SYSTEM I THINK IS THE BEST. IT PRESERVES FULL CHOICE OF DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL, COVERS EVERYONE FROM CRADLE THROUGH NURSING HOME. AND BY THE WAY, IT DOES IT ON 11 CENTS ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE PER DOLLAR. -- WE DO 24 CENTS -- AND 11 PERCENT OF THEIR ECONOMY. WE'RE SPENDING 14 PERCENT OF OUR ECONOMY, AND 46 MILLION PEOPLE DON'T HAVE ANY HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.

Glover: A QUASI HEALTH CARE QUESTION THAT'S IMPORTANT TO A LOT OF PEOPLE: ABORTION RIGHTS. DO YOU SUPPORT ABORTION RIGHTS OR DO YOU OPPOSE THEM?

Nader: NO, I SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. I DON'T THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD TELL A WOMAN EITHER TO HAVE A CHILD OR NOT TO HAVE A CHILD. THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T PURSUE POLICIES THAT REDUCE THE NEED FOR ABORTION: FAMILY PLANNING, TEENAGE PREGNANCIES. YOU CAN'T HAVE THE STATE INVOLVED IN THIS. IT WON'T WORK.

Yepsen: MR. NADER, WHEN WE TAKE POLLS IN THIS STATE, VOTERS TELL US THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT'S ON THEIR MINDS RIGHT NOW IS THE CONDITION OF LOCAL SCHOOLS. WHAT DO GREENS WANT TO DO ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Nader: FIRST OF ALL, ACTUALLY GET THEM REPAIRED AFTER HEARING FOR YEARS -- THERE'S A WHOLE HIGH SCHOOL IN CLEVELAND, A FEW DAYS AGO, THE ROOF COLLAPSED. WE'RE NOT INVESTING IN THE SCHOOLS, ADEQUATE MATERIALS, ADEQUATE TEACHERS, AND ADEQUATE BUILDINGS; BUT THAT'S ONLY THE FIRST PART. THE REAL MAIN ISSUE IS WHAT DO THEY LEARN. WE FAVOR A CORE CIVIC CURRICULUM WHERE THEY LEARN ABOUT CIVICS; THEY LEARN ABOUT THEIR COMMUNITY; THEY DEVELOP CIVIC SKILLS; THEY LEARN HOW TO PRACTICE DEMOCRACY. AND GUESS WHAT... AS A BYPRODUCT, BECAUSE THEY'RE SO MOTIVATED, THEY LEARN READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC.

Glover: MR. NADER, DO YOU THINK THERE ARE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATES?

Nader: YES.

Glover: WHAT ARE THEY IN YOUR VIEW?

Nader: FIRST OF ALL, THE DIFFERENCES IN TEMPERAMENT AND CHARACTER. BUT APART FROM THAT, THE DIFFERENCES ARE THAT THEY THINK THEY'RE DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER. THE DIFFERENCES ARE THAT THEY ACTUALLY THINK THEY CAN MAKE DECISIONS IN WASHINGTON WITHOUT ASKING THE PERMANENT CORPORATE GOVERNMENT WHAT TO DO. THE DIFFERENCE IS, IN REALITY, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE ON THE ESTATE TAX. I THINK IN CIVIL LIBERTIES, CIVIL RIGHTS, THE DOCUMENTATION BY TONY LEWIS AND MATT HENTOFF AND OTHERS, THE CLINTON/GORE ADMINISTRATION IS ABYSMAL. THAT'S NOT BEEN ACTUALLY PUBLICIZED, BUT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE LAWYERS HAVE TOLD US THAT ON CIVIL RIGHTS, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, FOR EXAMPLE, WORSE THAN UNDER REAGAN/BUSH. THEY ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT IN SOME AREAS OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN REALITY. BUT YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO SAY THEY'RE GOING TO MAGNIFY THEIR DIFFERENCES NOW RHETORICALLY. BUT WHEN THEY GET IN WASHINGTON, 22,000 LOBBYISTS AND 9,000 POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES HAVE MORE SAY THAN EITHER OF THEM, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO CHANGE WITH THIS GREEN PARTY POLITICAL REFORM MOVEMENT.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT CONCERNS A LOT OF PEOPLE IN IOWA IS THE QUESTION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS. WHAT'S IN YOUR PROGRAM TO DEAL WITH THE NEED THAT MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOR HIGH-COST PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?

Nader: UNIVERSAL HEALTH INSURANCE WOULD REQUIRE -

Yepsen: THAT TAKES CARE OF IT?

Nader: YEAH. IT WOULD REQUIRE GOVERNMENT TO NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES. BUT IN THE MEANTIME, DO YOU KNOW THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES DOWN? THEY'VE DONE IT FOR YEARS. SO HAS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. WHY NOT MEDICARE? WHY HASN'T MEDICARE, WITH ITS HUGE BUYING CAPABILITY, NEGOTIATED PRICES DOWN? BECAUSE THERE'S NO FORTITUDE IN WASHINGTON. THEY TALK ABOUT HIGH DRUG PRICES. WE HAVE THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD, AND WE PRODUCE THE DRUGS, BECAUSE ALL THE REST OF THE WORLD HAVE CONTROLS AND THE COMPANIES MAKE PROFIT IN ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES. THEY JUST DON'T MAKE AS MUCH PROFIT AS THIS COUNTRY. SO I WOULD FAVOR IMMEDIATELY AND ASK GORE AND BUSH WHY DON'T THEY TAKE A STAND AND SAY MEDICARE SHOULD START NEGOTIATING DRUG PRICES.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT COMES UP OFTEN IN THE CAMPAIGN HERE IS MILITARY SPENDING. BOTH GOVERNOR BUSH AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE HAVE SAID WE OUGHT TO SPEND MORE ON THE NATION'S MILITARY. THEY QUARREL ABOUT THE AMOUNTS. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT QUESTION ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF THE U.S. MILITARY AND WHAT OUGHT TO BE DONE ABOUT IT?

Nader: THIS IS ANOTHER SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE TWO CANDIDATES, ALONG WITH DOING NOTHING ABOUT CORPORATE WELFARE OR CORPORATE CRIME. YOU KNOW, TEN YEARS AGO, THERE WAS NO MORE SOVIET UNION. OUR MILITARY BUDGET WAS GEARED TO THE SOVIET UNION OVERWHELMINGLY. NOW WE HAVE $320 BILLION, ANNUALLY, GROWING AND THERE'S NO SOVIET UNION. IT'S THE HIGHEST MILITARY BUDGET SINCE THE PEAK OF THE COLD WAR, ABOUT EQUAL. SO WHY DON'T WE LISTEN TO SOME RETIRED ADMIRALS AND GENERALS WHO DON'T GO TO WORK FOR THE MILITARY CONTRACTING COMPANIES, WHICH ARE DRIVING OUR MILITARY BUDGET RATHER THAN NATIONAL DEFENSE, WHO WANT TO CUT OUT HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF GOLD PLATED WEAPON SYSTEMS, LIKE F-22, LIKE A DECOYABLE MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM, BOONDOGGLE. LIKE MAYBE BRINGING SOME TROOPS BACK FROM WESTERN EUROPE AND EAST ASIA INSTEAD OF DEFENDING PROSPEROUS ALLIES AGAINST NONEXISTENT ENEMIES 55 YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR II. I ALWAYS REMEMBER DWIGHT EISENHOWER. REMEMBER THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX COMMENT HE MADE HIS LAST SPEECH? BUT IT WAS DOUGLAS MCCARTHUR WHO PUT IN 1957 WHEN HE SAID OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD STOP EXAGGERATING FOREIGN THREATS IN ORDER TO EXPAND THE MILITARY BUDGET. WE OUGHT TO LISTEN TO THOSE TWO MEN.

Glover: IF THE UNITED STATES ISN'T THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD, IF YOU USE THAT PHRASE, WHO STEPS IN TO FILL THAT VOID?

Nader: WE'LL STILL BE THE LEADER BUT WE DON'T NEED TO ADD TO WEAPONRY WHICH CAN NOW BLOW UP THE WORLD, TRIDENT SUBMARINES 150 TIMES AND MAKE THE RUBBLE BOUNCE.

Glover: WELL, LET'S DEAL WITH -- WE JUST HAVE A FEW MINUTES LEFT.

Nader: WE OUGHT TO BE THE LEADER IN ASSAULTING GLOBAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES, THE LEADER IN ENVIRONMENTAL PRESERVATION, IN SOLAR ENERGY, LOTS OF LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES WE'RE NOT TAKING.

Glover: LET'S TALK -- WE HAVE JUST A FEW MINUTES LEFT. LET'S DEAL WITH A COUPLE OF PROCESS QUESTIONS HERE. HOW IS IT THAT YOU THINK YOU CAN PULL OFF SOMETHING THAT THROUGHOUT THIS NATION'S HISTORY PEOPLE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO PULL OFF, WHICH IS CREATION OF A THIRD PARTY THAT'S SUCCESSFUL AND THREATENS THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES?

Nader: BECAUSE A LOT OF THE PEOPLE COMING INTO THE GREEN PARTY ARE SEASONED CITIZEN ACTIVISTS, WHO RAN CITIZEN GROUPS THAT ARE BEING CLOSED DOWN IN WASHINGTON BY THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENT AND THEIR TWO POLITICAL PARTY MINIONS. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE. CITIZEN ADVOCATES HAVE STAMINA, EXPERIENCE, THEY KEEP THEIR EYE ON THEIR OBJECTIVE. THEY'RE NOT POLITICAL CAREERISTS. THEY'RE NOT MONEY MACHINE MANIA. I THINK THAT'S THE BIG DIFFERENCE.

Glover: BUT EVEN BY COMPARING BY HISTORICAL STANDARDS, THE LAST SIGNIFICANT PERSON WHO CAME INTO IT WAS ROSS PEROT. HE GOT 19 PERCENT OF THE VOTES THE FIRST TIME HE RAN. YOU'RE AROUND 4 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL? IF THE RESERVOIR IS THERE TO BE TAPPED, WHY AREN'T THE NUMBERS HIGHER?

Nader: THE NUMBERS AREN'T HIGHER BECAUSE I'M NOT A MULTIBILLIONAIRE. HE WAS A MULTIBILLIONAIRE THAT IMMEDIATELY GETS MEDIA ATTENTION BECAUSE THEY KNOW HE CAN SPEND IT. HE DID SPEND ALMOST A HUNDRED MILLION BUCKS. ONCE HE GETS THAT MEDIA ATTENTION, HE GETS UP IN THE POLLS. GETS UP IN THE POLLS, HE GETS MORE MEDIA ATTENTION. OUR CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN TREATED AS A FEATURE. "HEY, LET'S GO OUT AND COVER NADER," SAYS THE L.A. TIMES, "WE HAVEN'T HAD ANYTHING ON HIM IN FOUR WEEKS." ROSS PEROT WAS COVERED EVERY DAY. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE. OUR DEMOCRACY, UNFORTUNATELY, IS TOO DEPENDENT ON A COMMERCIAL MEDIA. I'VE NEVER HAD A CONVERSATION LIKE THIS ON A COMMERCIAL MEDIA. THIS IS PUBLIC TELEVISION. SEE THE DIFFERENCE?

Yepsen: MR. NADER, WE'VE GOT LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT, AND WE ALWAYS LIKE TO GIVE THAT TO CANDIDATES TO GIVE VOTERS SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT THINGS THEY MIGHT WANT TO TAKE INTO THE VOTING BOOTH WITH THEM. SO WHAT FINAL IMPRESSIONS WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAVE WITH IOWA VOTERS?

Nader: OUR CAMPAIGN ESSENTIALLY IS TO GIVE PEOPLE POWER AS VOTERS, THROUGH PUBLIC FUNDING CAMPAIGNS; AS WORKERS, THROUGH TRADE UNION RIGHTS THAT THEY NOW DON'T HAVE TO LIFT THEIR STANDARD OF LIVING; AS CONSUMERS, TO BE ABLE TO USE COURTS, THE CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM, BAND TOGETHER AND NEGOTIATE WITH BANKS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES AND GET UNIVERSAL HEALTH INSURANCE; AND AS TAXPAYERS, TO RESPECT THEIR TAXES AND ELIMINATE CORPORATE WELFARE SUBSIDIES AND ALL THE OTHER HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WASTE. NOW, HOW DO WE DO THAT? WE DO THAT BY CAMPAIGNING WITH THE PEOPLE. WE DO THAT BY NOT LOOKING FOR PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES. WE DO THAT BY ASKING PEOPLE ONE QUESTION: "DO YOU WANT TO BE MORE POWERFUL AS A VOTER, WORKER, CONSUMER, AND TAXPAYER? ARE YOU TIRED OF BEING PUSHED AROUND? ARE YOU TIRED OF BEING CLOSED OUT?" THAT'S WHY WE ARE BUILDING A REFORMED POLITICAL MOVEMENT IN THE FUTURE, BECAUSE THAT MEANS DEMOCRACY, DEEP ROOTS, AND THE BEST WAY EVER DEVISED TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS AND HAND OUR COUNTRY PROUDLY TO FUTURE GENERATIONS.

Borg: THANK YOU, MR. NADER.

Nader: THANK YOU.

Borg: OUR ONE-HOUR SPECIAL EDITION OF IOWA PRESS CONTINUES. COMING UP IN JUST A MOMENT, WE'RE DISCUSSING THE CAMPAIGN TO REPRESENT SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN IOWA'S FOURTH U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. HERE AT THE IOWA PRESS TABLE IN JUST A MONENT, REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT REPRESENTATIVE GREG GANSKE OF DES MOINES AND HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER, ATTORNEY MIKE HUSTON, ALSO OF DES MOINES. THAT'S THE FIFTH OF FIVE IOWA PRESS EDITIONS FOCUSING ON THE CAMPAIGN TO REPRESENT IOWA IN THE CONGRESS. WE'LL BE BACK IN JUST A MOMENT.

THIS IS THE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29TH EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE AGAIN IS HOST AND MODERATOR DEAN BORG.

Borg: WELL, FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TO THE CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN. ON THE SECOND HALF HOUR OF THIS SPECIAL ONE-HOUR EDITION OF IOWA PRESS TODAY, WE DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN TO REPRESENT THE FOURTH U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. A BALANCE-OF-POWER IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS TO BE DETERMINED ON NOVEMBER 7TH, AND THE COMPOSITION OF THE 107TH U.S. CONGRESS TAKES SHAPE FROM THE BALLOT RESULTS. IN THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW, REPUBLICANS HAVE THE MAJORITY ADVANTAGE BY 12 SEATS; THAT'S 223 TO 211. AND THE G.O.P. SAYS IT'S TAKING NOTHING FOR GRANTED TO MAINTAIN THAT MAJORITY STATUS. THAT INCLUDES THE SEAT IN SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN IOWA'S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. THERE, REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN GREG GANSKE OF DES MOINES IS SEEKING HIS FOURTH TWO-YEAR TERM. HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER IS ATTORNEY MIKE HUSTON OF DES MOINES. HE'S MAKING A FIRST RUN AT PUBLIC OFFICE. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO IOWA PRESS. AND ACROSS THE TABLE, POLITICAL REPORTERS DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER AND MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN GANSKE, WE'D LIKE TO GIVE THE CANDIDATE A CHANCE TO MAKE THEIR CASE RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SHOW, SO LET'S START WITH YOU. WHY SHOULD THE VOTERS OF THE FOURTH DISTRICT GIVE YOU ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE?

Ganske: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I'M GLAD TO BE HERE. I GOT IN LAST NIGHT PRETTY LATE. WE'RE STILL WORKING OUT IN WASHINGTON, AND WE WILL BE NEXT WEEK TOO. SO THE SCHEDULING HAS BEEN A LITTLE TOUGH, AND I APPRECIATE WORKING WITH YOU TO GET THIS IN. I'M PROUD TO BE A REPUBLICAN. WHEN I WENT TO CONGRESS IN 1995, WE WERE FACING $250-BILLION-A-YEAR ANNUAL DEFICITS FOR AS FAR OUT AS YOU COULD SEE, AND WE HAD A WELFARE SYSTEM THAT WASN'T WORKING. AS A PHYSICIAN I'VE TAKEN CARE OF YOUNG WOMEN WHO HAVE BROUGHT THEIR CHILDREN IN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS WHO WERE ON WELFARE, AND THERE WAS NEVER A DAD THERE WITH THEM. WE REFORMED WELFARE. THE WELFARE ROLLS ARE DOWN 50 PERCENT ALL THE WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY. WE HAVE NOW PAID DOWN $354 BILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT IN THE LAST THREE YEARS. WE'RE LOOKING AT PAYING DOWN MORE DEBT NEXT YEAR. WE'VE TURNED THIS ECONOMY AROUND. THE PRESIDENT LIKES TO TAKE SOME CREDIT FOR IT, BUT CONGRESS DESERVES SOME CREDIT FOR IT TOO. SO I THINK I'VE BEEN AN INDEPENDENT AND EFFECTIVE VOICE FOR IOWA.

Glover: MR. HUSTON, WHY SHOULD THE VOTERS FROM THE FOURTH DISTRICT REPLACE CONGRESSMAN GANSKE WITH A NEWCOMER?

Huston: I'M A FOURTH-GENERATION IOWAN. I WENT TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS HERE IN DES MOINES. I GRADUATED FROM NORTH HIGH SCHOOL. I HAVE A LAW DEGREE FROM DRAKE UNIVERSITY, AS DOES MY WIFE, JANET. AND DURING THE PAST YEAR, WE'VE BEEN TRAVELING THE FOURTH DISTRICT, LISTENING TO IOWANS' CONCERN ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE STATE. WHAT WE HAVE BEEN HEARING, AND WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE TRUE, IS THAT WE DESERVE MORE EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION; THAT MANY OF THE CRITICAL ISSUES THAT PROFOUNDLY AFFECT THE FOURTH DISTRICT HAVE GONE WITHOUT SOLUTION. AND I'M READY TO WORK ALL DAY EVERY DAY ON ALL OF THOSE ISSUES, NOT JUST A COUPLE OF PET PROJECTS.

Yepsen: MR. HUSTON, FLUSH THAT OUT A LITTLE BIT. HELP THE VOTER. WHAT ARE THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES YOU HAVE WITH CONGRESSMAN GANSKE?

Huston: I THINK THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE THAT I WOULD HAVE IS IN TERMS OF PRIORITIES. AN ISSUE THAT WE CONSTANTLY HEAR OUT THERE IS THE CUTTING BACK OF SERVICES IN THE HOSPITALS AS A RESULT OF THE MISERABLE MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT LEVEL THAT IOWA HAS. WE'RE THIRD FROM THE BOTTOM THERE. COMPARED TO LOUISIANA, WE GET HALF FOR OUR PATIENTS WHAT THEY DO. WHAT HAPPENS IS THESE HOSPITALS ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY KEEPING UP THEIR SERVICES BECAUSE OF THAT LOW REIMBURSEMENT RATE, AND IT AFFECTS THE ACCESS TO CARE FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE, PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION TO BE IN OUT THERE. I THINK THAT, ALONG WITH THE HIGH COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, WHERE WE DO AGREE, AND WITH PROVIDING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE IN MEDICARE FOR ALL SENIORS ARE PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, SAME QUESTION. WHAT DIFFERENCES DO YOU SEE THAT YOU HAVE WITH YOUR OPPONENT?

Ganske: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD TO HELP WITH THE MEDICARE FAIRNESS IN PAYMENT SYSTEM. IN FACT, IN 1995 I GATHERED TOGETHER A GROUP OF ABOUT 30 REPUBLICANS THE NIGHT BEFORE A VOTE ON THE MEDICARE BILL, WENT INTO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE AND SAID, "MR. SPEAKER, YOU DON'T HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS THIS UNLESS WE CAN IMPROVE PAYMENT FOR RURAL HOSPITALS AND RURAL COUNTIES." AND WE GOT ABOUT A 35-PERCENT INCREASE AT THAT TIME. WE NEED TO DO MORE AND I'VE CONTINUED TO WORK ON IT. WE JUST PASSED THE APPROPRIATIONS BILL, WHICH HAD A PROVISION IN IT FOR ALLOWING THE REIMPORTATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. THAT WAS A PROVISION THAT I HAD WORKED ON IN ANOTHER BILL.

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME, BUT HOW IS ALL OF THAT A DIFFERENCE WITH YOUR OPPONENT?

Ganske: WELL, MY OPPONENT IS MAKING A STATEMENT THAT I HAVEN'T BEEN EFFECTIVE IN SOME WAYS, AND I JUST WANTED TO -- I'LL CLARIFY THAT A LITTLE BIT. ONE OF THE MAJOR THINGS THAT WE HAVE DISAGREED ON HAS BEEN ON AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR AGRICULTURE IN THE STATE OF IOWA. WE HAD A VOTE RECENTLY ON WHETHER TO EXTEND PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS WITH CHINA. I VOTED FOR THAT. CHINA LOWERS ITS TRADE BARRIERS TO OUR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, AS WELL AS MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS, HERE IN IOWA. WE DIDN'T HAVE TO GIVE AWAY ANYTHING IN THAT. I VOTED FOR THAT. SO DID SENATOR TOM HARKIN, CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL. GOVERNOR VILSACK SUPPORTED THAT. THE ENTIRE DELEGATION DID. I BELIEVE MY OPPONENT IS ON THE RECORD AS SAYING HE WOULD HAVE VOTED AGAINST THAT.

Yepsen: MR. HUSTON, IS THAT CORRECT?

Huston: THAT'S CORRECT.

Yepsen: WHY?

Huston: THE LABOR STANDARDS IN CHINA, THE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES THAT WE'VE SEEN THERE ARE NOT ANYTHING TO -- NOT ANY KIND OF BEHAVIOR TO REWARD. WHEN I FIRST MADE THE STATEMENT THAT I WOULDN'T VOTE FOR IT, IT WAS PRIOR TO THE VOTE. MY CONCERN AT THAT TIME WAS THAT THERE WAS PARALLEL LEGISLATION GOING ON THAT WOULD HAVE PERMITTED US TO KEEP A LITTLE BETTER TRACK OF THEIR PROGRESS IN LABOR STANDARDS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. AND I THOUGHT THAT NEEDED TO BE PASSED OR THEY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD THE PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATION VOTE GO THE WAY THAT IT DID. BUT NOW THAT IT HAS PASSED, IT'S UP TO US TO SHOW LEADERSHIP IN THOSE AREAS. IN MY VIEW, IT'S A HUGE MISTAKE TO HAVE OUR FARMERS AND WORKERS HAVE TO COMPETE ON A PLAYING FIELD THAT'S NOT LEVEL. SO WE'VE GOT TO PAY REAL CLOSE ATTENTION TO THAT NOW. THIS WASN'T AN ISSUE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT WE WERE GOING TO TRADE WITH CHINA. WE'VE BEEN DOING THAT FOR A LONG TIME. THE CONGRESSMAN IS RIGHT THAT SOME OF THE BARRIERS WERE LOWERED, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, I HOPE THIS ISN'T ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE THE FARMERS ARE PROMISED THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF IMPORTS OR EXPORTS AND IT DOESN'T HAPPEN. THEY HAD DIFFICULTY WITH THAT BEFORE.

Borg: CONGRESSMAN GANSKE, A REAL POCKETBOOK ISSUE NOW FOR IOWANS IS HIGH ENERGY PRICES: FILLING THE CAR UP WITH GAS; AS THE WINTER COMES ON, HEATING BILLS AND SO ON. WHAT CAN A CONGRESSMAN DO TO HELP IOWANS IN THIS REGARD? WHAT SHOULD BE DONE BY THE NATION?

Ganske: WELL, DEAN, WE ARE TOO DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN OIL. WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT 3 PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S OIL RESERVES IN UNITED STATES TERRITORY. WE NEED TO DO MORE FOR RENEWABLE FUELS. SO I HAVE A BILL IN CONGRESS THAT HAS 50 BIPARTISAN COSPONSORS NOW THAT WE CALL "THE CLEAN AIR AND ACT -- THE CLEAN AIR AND CLEAN WATER ACT OF 2000," WHICH BASICALLY WOULD BAN AN OIL CHEMICAL, MTBE, WHICH IS CONTAMINATING GROUNDWATER, AND PHASE IN ACROSS THE NATION THE USE OF ETHANOL. I EVEN HAVE SOME NORTHEASTERN CONGRESSMEN WHO HAVE SIGNED ONTO THIS BILL. BY PROMOTING ETHANOL, WE LOWER OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL. BUT THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE WE OUGHT TO DO. I SIT ON THE COMMERCE COMMITTEE. IT USED TO BE KNOWN AS "THE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE." WE HAD HEARINGS BEFORE OUR COMMITTEE, AND AN OFFICIAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SAID, YOU KNOW, IF WE COULD LOWER -- IF WE COULD INCREASE OUR EFFICIENCY BY 3 PERCENT, WE COULD LOWER OUR COST BY 25 PERCENT.

Borg: EFFICIENCY OF WHAT?

Ganske: EFFICIENCY OF ENERGY USE AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES. SO I HAVE BEEN STRONGLY IN FAVOR THROUGHOUT THE YEARS FOR INCREASING FUNDING FOR ENERGY RESEARCH -- ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

Borg: AS WE MOVE ON, MR. HUSTON, WHAT SHOULD BE DONE BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND AN INDIVIDUAL CONGRESSMAN REPRESENTING THIS DISTRICT?

Huston: I THINK THE CONSERVATION ISSUE IS PROBABLY THE FIRST BEST THING THAT WE CAN DO. THERE'S A LOT OF RESEARCH GOING ON WITH RESPECT TO, FOR EXAMPLE, SOY DIESEL AND THE EXPANSION OF ETHANOL. WE CAN'T LET -- I THINK CALIFORNIA IS TRYING TO GET A WAIVER ON THE ISSUE, BUT WE NEED TO HAVE ETHANOL BE THE ADDITIVE OF CHOICE THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTRY. THAT, ALONG WITH MORE RESEARCH WITH RESPECT TO DUAL FUEL AUTOMOBILES. ENCOURAGEMENTS -- SOME OF THE ENCOURAGEMENTS THAT WE DID BACK IN THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION WHEN WE HAD THE CRISIS. JUST PLAIN CONSERVATION WOULD HELP A LOT.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN GANSKE, THIS CONGRESS AND THIS PRESIDENT HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO COME TOGETHER ON A COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE PACKAGE. IF YOU COULD DESIGN A COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE PACKAGE FOR THE NATION, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?

Ganske: WELL, I THINK THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT WE WOULD ADD TO IT. I HAVE THIS BILL THAT HAD THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PART IN IT. IT ALSO HAD PROVISIONS IN TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE. I THINK THAT WE OUGHT TO HAVE 100-PERCENT DEDUCTABILITY FOR THE SELF-INSURED FOR HEALTH INSURANCE. I THINK THAT WE OUGHT TO -- YOU KNOW, WE PASSED A COUPLE YEARS AGO "THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM," THE CHIP PROGRAM, AND ALSO WE PASSED "THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY ACT" A FEW YEARS AGO. SO WE'VE MADE SOME PROGRESS BUT MANY STATES HAVE NOT FULLY IMPLEMENTED THAT CHIP PROGRAM. WE OUGHT TO DEVOTE SOME FEDERAL ENERGIES AND RESOURCES TO HELPING THAT. ONE OF THE PROVISIONS THAT WE GOT INTO THIS -- WE PUT INTO THIS BILL THAT THE PRESIDENT IS NOW THREATENING TO VETO WOULD BE A PROVISION THAT WOULD HELP IOWA PRESERVE THOSE CHIP FUNDS IN ORDER TO APPLY THEM TO HELP MORE CHILDREN GET COVERED WITH HEALTH INSURANCE. THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO.

Glover: MR. HUSTON, QUESTION TO YOU: IF YOU COULD DESIGN THE NATION'S HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN A COMPREHENSIVE FASHION, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE? IN WHAT WAYS WOULD IT DIFFER FROM WHAT CONGRESSMAN GANSKE HAS DESCRIBED?

Huston: IT WOULD BE A SITUATION WHERE WE NEED TO, I THINK, LOOK AT THE SITUATION ALL OVER AGAIN AND NOT TRY TO WORRY ABOUT MAYBE THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST AND CUMBERSOME PROGRAMS, ALTHOUGH THE CHIPS PROGRAM IS A FAVORITE ONE OF MINE THAT I THINK SHOULD BE EXPANDED. WE OUGHT TO TAKE A LOOK AT HOW CAN WE HAVE EVERY CHILD HAVE A HEALTHY START. HOW CAN WE HAVE EVERY PERSON HAVE AT LEAST AVAILABLE HEALTH CARE FOR THEIR NEEDS? IT'S GOING TO BE MORE THAN HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS. IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE INCENTIVES. IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE THE DEDUCTABILITY OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND THAT SORT OF THING. I DON'T KNOW THAT WE DIFFER AS MUCH IN THE END RESULT AS WE DO IN THE APPROACH TO IT. I THINK THE APPROACH HAS TO BE A BRAND-NEW LOOK AT THE WHOLE THING.

Glover: WELL, AS DAVE MENTIONED EARLIER, HELP THE VOTER OUT HERE.

Huston: SURE.

Glover: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE ON ALL THE POLLS TO A LOT OF PEOPLE. TELL THE VOTERS HOW YOU DIFFER FROM CONGRESSMAN GANSKE. IF THEY SEND YOU TO CONGRESS, WHAT WILL YOU DO THAT HE ISN'T?

Huston: WE WOULD -- I WOULD CHAMPION THE IDEA, THE AVAILABILITY OF HEALTH CARE FROM DAY ONE FOR CHILDREN. TAKE THE -- EXPAND THE CHIPS PROGRAM BEYOND THE LEVEL OF ENTRY TO MORE CHILDREN THAN THAT. I THINK WE'VE GOT TO START AT THE BASICS, AND STARTING WITH THE KIDS IS THE WAY TO DO IT. NOW, WITH RESPECT TO THE PARENTS AND THE DEDUCTABILITY AND SO FORTH, THAT'S ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. I WOULD -- I WOULD PROPOSE THAT PEOPLE WHO MAKE $30,000 OR LESS WOULDN'T PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAX AT ALL AND THEY WOULD HAVE THAT MONEY TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, YOU'RE THE DOCTOR OUT HERE. ANY QUARRELS WITH THAT? I'M JUST TRYING TO GET AT THE DIFFERENCES HERE, SIR.

Ganske: WELL, I'M NOT SURE THAT I'M HEARING THAT MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE. WE HAVE ABOUT 40 MILLION PEOPLE THAT ARE UNINSURED NOW. ABOUT 11 MILLION OF THOSE ARE CHILDREN. ABOUT 7 MILLION OF THOSE CHILDREN ALREADY QUALIFY FOR EXISTING PROGRAMS BUT ARE NOT ENROLLED BECAUSE MANY STATES HAVE SET UP BARRIERS TO THAT. THAT'S ONE VERY CONCRETE THING THAT WE COULD DO ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. IT WOULD NOT BE THE CREATION OF NEW FEDERAL PROGRAMS, BUT IT WOULD BE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE ONES THAT WE HAVE. THAT WOULD MORE THAN CUT IN HALF THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN THAT DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, WE'VE GOT WAY TOO MANY ISSUES AND NOT ENOUGH TIME, SO I WANT TO MOVE ON. MR. HUSTON, SPEAKER O'NEILL ONCE SAID THAT ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL, AND ONE OF THE HOTTEST LOCAL ISSUES IN THIS DISTRICT IS THE MISSOURI RIVER. WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THE QUESTION OF FLOWS ON THE MISSOURI RIVER, CHANNELIZATION ON THE MISSOURI RIVER? WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON THAT QUESTION?

Huston: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T THINK THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS STUDY IS COMPLETE. I'VE HEARD THAT IT'S IMPORTANT TO LEAVE IT ALONE BECAUSE OF BARGE TRAFFIC AND THE COMPETITION THAT THAT WOULD GIVE TO RAILROADS TO KEEP THEIR PRICES DOWN. BUT IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE BARGE TRAFFIC IS MAYBE LESS THAN 1 PERCENT IN TERMS OF MOVING GRAIN. THE THING THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IS IF THE STUDY SHOWS THAT THE FLOODING DOWNSTREAM IN THE SPRING WOULDN'T BE AS BAD AS IT WAS BEFORE, I'M LOOKING AT A RECREATIONAL AREA THAT WOULD COME TOGETHER WITH THE PRESERVATION OF THE LOESS HILLS, UTILIZING THAT AS A RECREATIONAL AREA DOWN THERE. I DON'T THINK ANYTHING I'VE HEARD WOULD AFFECT ANY OF THE ELECTRICAL DAMS AND SO FORTH UPSTREAM. THEY WOULDN'T BE HARMED BY THAT AT ALL.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, SAME QUESTION.

Ganske: DAVE, WHAT WE HAVE GOING ON IS A KIND OF A FOOD FIGHT BETWEEN SOUTH DAKOTA AND THE DOWN STATE -- DOWNSTREAM STATES. I WOULD SAY WE'VE ALL TALKED ABOUT GETTING SOME BIPARTISANSHIP IN CONGRESS. WELL, WE HAVE A BIPARTISAN COALITION OF ALL THE CONGRESSMEN FROM IOWA, NEBRASKA, AND MISSOURI, INCLUDING CONGRESSMAN GEPHARDT, WHO HAVE SINCERE AND DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT INCREASING THE FLOWS OF THE MISSOURI RIVER IN THE SPRINGTIME. THAT COULD RESULT IN FLOODING. WE HAD A BIPARTISAN MEETING BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATIC MAYOR OF COUNCIL BLUFFS AND THE REPUBLICAN MAYOR OF OMAHA SAYING: "DON'T DO THIS." WELL, SENATOR DASCHLE UP IN SOUTH DAKOTA WANTS TO. THAT WOULD HELP THEIR RECREATION INDUSTRY BEHIND THOSE DAMS. I THINK THAT WE NEED TO HAVE A DELEGATION THAT WILL BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL ABOUT CHANGING THE MISSOURI RIVER FLOW THAT IS GOING TO RESULT IN FLOODING ALONG OUR CITIES. I HELPED GET A DAM -- A PROTECTION FOR HAMBURG, WHICH HAS BEEN FLOODED MANY TIMES. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO KEEP GOING BACK TO THESE CITIES AND BUILDING MORE LEVEES BECAUSE WE'VE CHANGED THE MISSOURI RIVER FLOW.

Glover: MR. HUSTON, LET'S GET THE FOCUS ON LOCAL POLITICS. ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT'S VERY HOT IN THIS ELECTION IS AVIATION, AIRLINE PRICES. A LOT OF PEOPLE COMPLAIN THAT FLYING IN AND OUT DES MOINES IS EXTRAORDINARILY EXPENSIVE. WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO ABOUT THAT, IF ANYTHING?

Huston: WE DON'T NEED TO REREGULATE THE AIRLINES, I DON'T THINK, YET AT THIS POINT. I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED AT THE LOW PRICE OF A TICKET FROM HERE TO WASHINGTON, D.C. THAT I BOOKED RECENTLY. THE MIDWEST AIR AND THE ACCESS AIR PIECE SEEMS TO ME TO BE REDUCING THOSE PRICES SOMEWHAT. I THINK THE MORE COMPETITION WE CAN HAVE -- WHATEVER CONGRESS CAN DO TO FOSTER COMPETITION IN A CITY LIKE THIS WOULD BE A WAY TO KEEP THE PRICES DOWN.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN GANSKE, HAS THE MARKETPLACE SOLVED THIS PROBLEM?

Ganske: WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS COMPETITION IN THE MARKETPLACE. THAT'S WHY I HELPED GET SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN OUT HERE FOR A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON THAT. I THINK THERE ISN'T ENOUGH AND THAT'S WHY I AND SENATOR GRASSLEY AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE IOWA DELEGATION HAVE BEEN WORKING ON GETTING AN INCREASED NUMBER OF SLOTS FROM DES MOINES DIRECT ACCESS TO WASHINGTON, D.C., NEW YORK, AND OTHER PLACES SO THAT WE CAN GET ADDITIONAL AIRLINES TO FLY THOSE ROUTES. AS SOON AS THAT HAPPENS, YOU START TO SEE COMPETITION BRING DOWN THESE PRICES. WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE COMPETITION ON THOSE ROUTES, THEN YOU HAVE VERY HIGH AIRFARES.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, THE NEXT CONGRESS WILL DEAL WITH A PROJECTED SURPLUS. WHAT DO WE DO WITH IT? DO YOU WANT TO SPEND IT? DO YOU WANT TO PAY OFF THE DEBT? DO YOU WANT TO CUT TAXES? WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?

Ganske: DAVE, I THINK THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF THE MORNING. NUMBER ONE, I THINK WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT MAKING PREDICTIONS ON HOW BIG THIS SURPLUS IS GOING TO BE. THOSE PREDICTIONS WERE BASED ON I THINK UNREALISTIC LEVELS OF FEDERAL SPENDING THAT DIDN'T EVEN TAKE INTO ACCOUNT COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES. THEY DIDN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT EMERGENCY FUNDING, WHICH WE SEE FROM FOREST FIRES TO HURRICANES TO DROUGHTS. THEY DIDN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT SEGREGATING OUT THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND. IF YOU DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS, THEN THE SIZE OF THE PROJECTED SURPLUS IS MUCH LESS AND MAY BE IN THE RANGE OF 700 BILLION. MAYBE IT WILL BE MORE IF WE HAVE INCREASED GROWTH, BUT MAYBE IT WON'T.

Yepsen: BUT IF YOU DO HAVE ONE, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH IT?

Ganske: SO THIS IS WHAT -- WE NEED TO BE PRUDENT. NUMBER ONE, WE SHOULD WORK AT REDUCING THE NATIONAL DEBT. IT KEEPS INTEREST PAYMENTS DOWN. IT HELPS KEEP THE ECONOMY GOING. NUMBER TWO, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE SHORE UP MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY. NUMBER THREE, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES THE THINGS IT NEEDS TO DO, LIKE NATIONAL DEFENSE, CRIME PREVENTION. NUMBER FOUR, OKAY, WE NEED TO DO SOME TAX RELIEF, ESPECIALLY FOR THE MARRIAGE TAX PENALTY AND FOR THE DEATH TAX.

Yepsen: MR. HUSTON, SAME QUESTION.

Huston: ALMOST THE SAME ANSWER. TO THE EXTENT OF THE BUDGET SURPLUS, FIRST, PAY DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT. I THINK THAT'S HUGE. WE CAN'T SQUANDER THAT OPPORTUNITY. BEYOND THAT, THE PROMISE OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE NEED TO BE KEPT. I WOULD REALLY, REALLY SUGGEST THAT WE LOOK AT THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PIECE AND MAKE CERTAIN THAT AS WE SAVE MEDICARE THAT THERE'S A PLENIARY OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL SENIORS TO HAVE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. IT WAS JUST NOT ANYTHING THAT WAS LOOKED AT CAREFULLY 25 YEARS AGO. WE REALLY NEED TO HAVE THAT.

Glover: AS DAVE MENTIONED EARLIER, WE'VE GOT WAY TOO MANY ISSUES. LET'S GO ONTO ANOTHER ISSUE THAT'S GOING TO BE COMING UP FAIRLY QUICKLY, AND THAT'S A REWRITE OF THE FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL. WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED WHEN THAT BILL IS REWRITTEN?

Huston: YOU KNOW, THE FREEDOM TO FARM BILL HAS FAILED. IT JUST HAS. IT'S TIME TO LOOK AT NEW FARM POLICIES, THAT IT WILL PROVIDE ECONOMIC DIGNITY TO OUR FARMERS. I THINK WE HAVE TO EXPAND GREATLY THE CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM. I THINK WE NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE PROGRAMS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS HAD WITH RESPECT TO EXPORTS AND FOCUS ON THOSE. THE FARMERS HAVE BEEN PROMISED MORE EXPORTS, AND THEY JUST PLAIN HAVEN'T HAPPENED. EXPANDING WORLD MARKETS WILL ULTIMATELY BE THE REASON WHY OUR FARMERS WILL PROSPER.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN GANSKE, HAS FREEDOM TO FARM FAILED?

Ganske: THERE'S NO QUESTION THE COMMODITY PRICES ARE LOW. WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO DO I THINK IS RETURN TO THE DAYS WHEN THE GOVERNMENT WAS DETERMINING SET-ASIDES, BECAUSE WE FOUND OUT THAT WHENEVER THE GOVERNMENT TAKES PART OF OUR LAND OUT OF PRODUCTION, THAT OR MORE IS ADDED TO PRODUCTION SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. WE DO NEED TO SET ASIDE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRAGILE LAND, SO I THINK WE DO NEED SOME INCREASED CRP. YES, WE NEED TO INCREASE EXPORTS. THAT'S WHY THE PNTR VOTE ON CHINA WAS SO IMPORTANT. THAT'S WHY I'VE WORKED HARD TO OPEN UP AGRICULTURAL MARKETS IN CUBA, TAKING ON SOME RATHER POWERFUL SPECIAL INTERESTS AND AT TIMES MY OWN PARTY LEADERSHIP.

Borg: DEFINE PNTR.

Ganske: PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS.

Borg: GOT IT, WITH CHINA.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, LOCAL SCHOOLS. POLLS TELL US VOTERS CARE MORE ABOUT IMPROVING EDUCATION THAN ANY OTHER ISSUE. WHAT, IF ANYTHING, SHOULD THE NEXT CONGRESS DO TO IMPROVE LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Ganske: VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. EDUCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT IF WE'RE GOING TO MAINTAIN A VIABLE ECONOMY. I HAVE KIDS IN BOTH THE PAROCHIAL AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS HERE IN DES MOINES. I THINK THE NUMBER ONE THING WE SHOULD DO ON THE FEDERAL SIDE IS PAY FOR THE MANDATES THAT WE HAVE IMPOSED ON THE SCHOOLS. I AGREE WITH THE FACT THAT KIDS WITH DISABILITIES SHOULD HAVE AN EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY. I AGREE WITH THAT 100 PERCENT. THAT'S CALLED "THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATIONAL ACT" THAT CONGRESS MADE. IT MADE A LOT OF REGULATIONS FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS. PROMISED TO PAY 40 PERCENT. WHEN I WENT TO CONGRESS, IT WAS ONLY PAYING ABOUT 12 PERCENT. THAT WAS TAKING A LOT OF THOSE PROPERTY TAX DOLLARS AWAY FROM SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION OR TEACHER SALARIES AND MAKING THEM PAY FOR A FEDERAL MANDATE. SINCE I'VE BEEN IN CONGRESS, WE HAVE DOUBLED THE FUNDING FOR I.D.E.A. THAT FREES UP DOLLARS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL TO BUILD THOSE SCHOOLS, IMPROVE THOSE CLASSROOMS. AND I THINK THAT'S WHERE WE OUGHT TO FOCUS.

Yepsen: MR. HUSTON, WHAT DO WE DO TO HELP LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Huston: I THINK LOCALLY THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT WE CONFRONT IS THE LOSS OF TEACHERS DUE TO RETIREMENT AND HIGHER PAY ELSEWHERE. I THINK WITH THE -- WHAT IS IT, 5 OR 6 PERCENT OF THE EDUCATION DOLLARS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTROLS SHOULD PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR MORE TEACHERS SO THAT WE CAN HAVE LOWER CLASS SIZES AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM THAT WAY.

Glover: THE GOVERNOR OF THIS STATE HAS SAID HE WANTS TO USE INCREASING IMMIGRATION AS A WAY TO DIVERSIFY POPULATION. DO YOU SUPPORT THAT?

Huston: I DO.

Glover: MR. GANSKE?

Ganske: I THINK WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT INCREASING IMMIGRATION IN THIS COUNTRY. WE ALREADY HAVE 650,000 IMMIGRANTS LEGALLY COME INTO THIS COUNTRY A YEAR. THAT'S MORE GENEROUS THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. I AM IN FAVOR OF INCREASING SOME IMMIGRATION FOR HIGHLY SKILLED WORKERS. AT THE SAME TIME, THOUGH, IF YOU LOOK AT BOTH THE LEGAL AND THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT PROBLEM, WE'RE PLACING A LOT OF STRESSES ON COMMUNITIES THAT RESULT IN HIGHER COSTS FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

Yepsen: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT, MR. HUSTON?

Huston: THE IMMIGRANTS ARE -- THE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE THE ONES THAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT. THEY DON'T HAVE A USER FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT HERE. IN IOWA, AS YOU MAY KNOW, THERE ARE ABOUT 3 PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT THE PAPERWORK AND 30 PEOPLE WITH THE ENFORCEMENT. I THINK WE OUGHT TO REVERSE THAT NUMBER. I TALKED TO A LADY THE OTHER EVENING WHO HAS BEEN IN THIS COUNTRY FOR 23 YEARS, HAS SPENT $6,000 WITH LAWYERS TRYING TO GET HER PERMANENT RESIDENCY TURNED INTO HER CITIZENSHIP. THEY HAVE TO GO TO OMAHA TO GET THAT DONE. WE COULD BE A LOT MORE FRIENDLY WITH THE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS THAT WE HAVE AND WELCOME THEM TO IOWA.

Borg: WHAT ABOUT THE HIGHLY-SKILLED THAT CONGRESSMAN GANSKE PROPOSES?

Huston: I FAVOR THAT.

Ganske: AND LET ME JUST ADD ONE THING ON THIS. THE BILL THAT WE VOTED ON YESTERDAY, THE TAX BILL AND THE SAVING MEDICARE BILL, ALSO HAD A PROVISION IN THERE THAT WOULD PUT AT THE TOP OF THE LINE FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION FAMILY MEMBERS, AND SPOUSES IN PARTICULAR, SO THAT WE CAN GET FAMILIES BACK TOGETHER. I THOUGHT THAT WAS A POSITIVE PART OF THAT.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN GANSKE, LET'S GO TO SOME FUNDAMENTAL POLITICAL QUESTIONS THAT SURROUND EACH ONE OF YOU. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE CONSTITUENTS OF THE FOURTH DISTRICT WHEN THE ARGUMENT IS MADE THAT YOU'RE SIMPLY RUNNING FOR REELECTION TO POSITION YOURSELF TO RUN AGAINST TOM HARKIN IN TWO YEARS?

Ganske: HEY, I AM RUNNING AGAINST A WORTHY OPPONENT RIGHT HERE. I'M NOT TAKING ANYTHING FOR GRANTED ON THIS ELECTION. MIKE HAS BEEN OUT THERE ACTIVE. I'M NOT RUNNING FOR ANY OTHER OFFICE AT THIS MOMENT.

Glover: SO YOU'RE NOT RUNNING FOR SENATE IN TWO YEARS?

Ganske: I WOULD SAY THIS: BACK IN 1994 WHEN I FIRST RAN FOR CONGRESS, I SAID THAT I WOULD SERVE ONLY FIVE TERMS IN THE HOUSE. THIS WILL BE MY FOURTH TERM IF THE VOTERS RETURN ME TO OFFICE, AND THAT'S AS FAR AS I'VE MADE ANY DECISIONS.

Glover: MR. HUSTON, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE ARGUMENT THAT 98 PERCENT OF THE CONGRESSIONAL INCUMBENTS GET REELECTED AND THAT YOU'RE ON A FOUR-YEAR PLAN TO BE READY TO RUN FOR THE OPEN SEAT IN TWO YEARS?

Huston: THAT'S INCORRECT. I'M NOT ON A FOUR-YEAR PLAN. I INTEND TO WIN THIS TIME. THERE'S NO WAY TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT -- MY GUESS IS THAT IF I WOULD HAPPEN TO LOSE THIS TIME, YOU'D SEE A PRIMARY WITH 20 PEOPLE IN IT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: GENTLEMEN, WE'VE GOT LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT, SO LET'S GIVE EACH OF YOU ABOUT 20 SECONDS HERE. WE'LL START WITH YOU, MR. HUSTON. FINAL THOUGHTS: WHAT DO YOU WANT VOTERS TO REMEMBER ABOUT YOU AS THEY HEAD INTO THE VOTING BOOTH?

Huston: YOU KNOW, I WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT I'M GOING TO WORK ALL DAY EVERY DAY ON ALL OF THE ISSUES THAT IOWANS CARE ABOUT. I'M GOING TO MAKE THE FOURTH DISTRICT MY PRIORITY. I'VE TALKED TO A LOT OF VOTERS WHO ARE WAITING FOR CONGRESS TO MAKE A CHANGE. IF THAT'S THE CASE, THEN NOW'S THE TIME FOR THEM TO CHANGE CONGRESS.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, FINAL THOUGHTS FOR VOTERS.

Ganske: WELL, I WANT TO THANK THE VOTERS OF THE FOURTH DISTRICT FOR GIVING ME THE HONOR OF SERVING IN CONGRESS. I THINK IT IS A GREAT HONOR, AND I'M ALSO APPRECIATIVE OF MY OPPONENT FOR RUNNING FOR CONGRESS. WE NEED GOOD PEOPLE IN PUBLIC OFFICE. I'VE DONE MY BEST TO KEEP MY PROMISES. I'VE KEPT AN OPEN MIND AND LISTENED TO MY CONSTITUENTS IN THE FOURTH DISTRICT. I'M PROUD TO BE A REPUBLICAN, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN I'VE TAKEN AN INDEPENDENT STAND, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

Borg: AS LONG AS WE'RE EXPRESSING APPRECIATION, I'LL DO THE SAME AS WE CLOSE THIS PROGRAM. THANK YOU, BOTH OF YOU, FOR SHARING YOUR VIEWS WITH US TODAY. AND OUR THANKS, TOO, TO GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RALPH NADER FOR TAKING TIME FROM HIS CAMPAIGN TO JOIN US IN THE FIRST HALF HOUR. THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF IOWA PRESS IS THE FIFTH OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE IOWA PRESS PROGRAMS SPOTLIGHTING THE MAJOR-PARTY CONTENDERS SEEKING TO REPRESENT IOWA IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. NOW, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, THAT WILL BE ON THE EVE OF THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2000, WE'LL LOOK AT THE CAMPAIGNS AND THE ISSUES DRIVING THEM. OUR TEAM OF IOWA PRESS REPORTERS GATHERING HERE AT THE IOWA PRESS TABLE TO DISCUSS THE DYNAMICS OF THOSE CAMPAIGNS AND THE IMPACT OF THE LIKELY OUTCOMES. THAT'S SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00 NEXT WEEK ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. AND A PROGRAM REMINDER AS WE LEAVE THIS SUNDAY. IOWA PRESS NOW ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB. YOU'LL FIND TRANSCRIPTS THERE OF PAST EDITIONS AND MORE. YOU CAN CLICK ON. JOIN US AT WWW.IOWAPRESS.IPTV.ORG. THAT'S THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL ONE-HOUR EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT WEEK AT THE SAME TIME. UNTIL THEN, I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

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