Home

Iowa Press Transcripts

Iowa Press Links

Iowa Press #2816 (12-17-00) - Wes Ehrecke and Tom Coates

David Yepsen: A REAUTHORIZATION OF MANY IOWA GAMBLING LICENSES IS TICKETED FOR THE ELECTION OF NOVEMBER 2002, AND BOTH SIDES ARE GEARING UP FOR AN EXTENDED DEBATE. HERE TO DISCUSS THE STATUS OF GAMBLING IN IOWA ARE WES EHRECKE OF THE IOWA GAMING ASSOCIATION, AND TOM COATES OF THE TRUTH ABOUT GAMBLING FOUNDATION, ON THIS EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

Narrator: 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, DECEMBER 17 EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: EVERY EIGHT YEARS GAMBLING GOES BACK ON THE BALLOT IN IOWA, AND BETWEEN NOW AND THE FIRST TUESDAY IN NOVEMBER 2002, THE PRO AND CON CAMPAIGNS ARE EXPECTED TO KICK UP QUITE A BIT OF DUST ... OR SNOW, OR WHATEVER THE CASE MIGHT BE, IN NINE IOWA COUNTIES. A YES OR NO VOTE WILL DETERMINE IF NINE CASINO OPERATIONS IN THREE PARIMUTUEL RACE TRACKS WILL CONTINUE TO BE LICENSED IN THOSE LOCATIONS. THE REAUTHORIZATION IS ANYTHING BUT AUTOMATIC. FOLLOWING A HUGE SURGE IN LEGALIZED GAMBLING IN THE LATE 1970S AND EARLY 1980S, THERE HAVE BEEN ROLLBACKS IN SOME TARGETED LOCALES NATIONWIDE. BUT NO ONE IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY TAKES MUCH FOR GRANTED IN THE BUSINESS OF LICENSING. THE PRO SIDE OF THE ISSUE SAYS THE REVENUE STREAMS TO COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES AND TO THE STATE OF IOWA ARE SIGNIFICANT AND ARE NOW AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN PUBLIC FUNDING. THE CON SIDE OF THE ISSUE SAYS THE NUMBERS REFLECT A FALSE CIRCULAR ECONOMY, ONE THAT REDISTRIBUTES MONEY WITH A HIGH SOCIAL COST. WELL, HERE TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH US TODAY ARE TWO INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WELL-VERSED IN BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE. WES EHRECKE IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE IOWA GAMING ASSOCIATION, AND TOM COATES IS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE TRUTH ABOUT GAMBLING FOUNDATION. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION AND TO IOWA PRESS. IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

Ehrecke and Coates: THANK YOU, DAVID.

Yepsen: AND ALSO WITH US AT THE IOWA PRESS TABLE ARE IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA AND JENEANE BECK OF KUNI PUBLIC RADIO.

Beck: MR. EHRECKE, LET'S START WITH US. WHEN THESE GAMBLING LICENSES COME UP IN 2002, WHY SHOULD WE RENEW THEM?

Ehrecke: I THINK IT'S BEEN PROVEN, AND IT'S REALLY BEEN A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS STORY, AND I'VE BEEN REALLY IMPRESSED, AND I THINK THE VOTERS HAVE BEEN IMPRESSED, WHEN THEY PUT THESE INTO PLACE IN THE FIRST PLACE, ABOUT HOW IT HAS BENEFITTED IOWA'S ECONOMY AND HOW IT'S ADDED TREMENDOUS VALUE TO THE STATE'S NEEDED ENTERTAINMENT AND TOURISM INDUSTRY. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE CREATION OF 10,000 JOBS, EXCELLENT BENEFITS, EXCELLENT ADVANCEMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES, HELPING PEOPLE TO GET OFF OF FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE SUPPORT OF HUNDREDS OF IOWA BUSINESSES IN OUR "BUY IOWA FIRST" PROGRAM TO THE TUNE OF ABOUT $100 MILLION AND SUPPORT THAT IT'S PROVIDED TO SUPPORT THE CASINO INDUSTRY. I THINK OF THE CARING AND COMMITTED SUPPORT THAT IS PROVIDED BY THE CASINOS TO THE CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF WORTHWHILE ORGANIZATIONS ARE ALL A PART OF THAT SUCCESS STORY. VOTERS HAVE INDICATED TIME AND AGAIN THAT THEY LIKE CASINO GAMBLING. THEY ENJOY THAT AS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT AND FUN. THEY APPRECIATE THE BENEFITS AND IT'S WORTHWHILE FOR THEM TO VOTE FOR IT AGAIN.

Beck: MR. COATES, WILL YOU URGE VOTERS NOT TO SUPPORT THOSE GAMBLING LICENSES?

Coates: OH, OF COURSE I WILL. THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT REVENUE IS GENERATED. THERE'S NO QUESTION AT ALL. THE QUESTION IS, WHERE'S THE MONEY COMING FROM? IN THIS STATE, WE GENERATE OVER A BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN NET LOSSES TO PEOPLE THAT AMOUNTS TO REVENUE GENERATED TO THE CASINOS. THAT MONEY, HOWEVER, PRIMARILY COMES FROM IOWA AND IOWANS. AND IF YOU COUNT IN THE NEIGHBORING COUNTIES OF THE STATES THAT ADJOIN US, WE ARE NOT GENERATING NEW REVENUE. SO IF YOU LOOK AT A SITUATION WHERE -- I'D LIKEN IT TO A NEW MOVIE THEATER COMING TO TOWN. A LOT OF TIMES THE OLD ONES WILL SHUT DOWN, AND THAT'S A REDISTRIBUTION, THAT'S A MARKET ECONOMY AT WORK. THE PROBLEM THAT I HAVE, AND MANY PEOPLE THAT I TALK TO HAVE, IS THAT IT ISN'T JUST A NEUTRAL. IT ISN'T TRANSFERRING MONEY FROM ONE BUSINESS TO ANOTHER, WHICH THIS OBVIOUSLY DOES. IT HAS A TREMENDOUS SOCIAL PRICETAG TO IT. IN MY BUSINESS, THE CREDIT COUNSELING BUSINESS, WE'VE NOTED OVER THE YEARS A LARGE INCREASE IN THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE LARGE AMOUNTS OF CONSUMER DEBT AND CREDIT CARD DEBT, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, THAT COME IN AND DISCHARGE EVENTUALLY THROUGH THE BANKRUPTCY COURTS. IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY HAS A STUDY, OUT TWO YEARS AGO, SHOWING THAT 19 PERCENT OF ALL BANKRUPTCIES FILED IN THE STATE OF IOWA ARE COMING PRIMARILY FROM GAMBLING DEBT, BEING DISCHARGED IN THE COURTS. THAT'S ONE ASPECT; THERE ARE MANY OTHERS.

Yepsen: MR. EHRECKE, WHAT ABOUT THAT? WHAT ABOUT WHAT HE JUST SAID? WHAT ABOUT THESE SOCIAL COSTS? WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?

Ehrecke: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, EVERYONE WANTS TO HAVE ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, OPTIONS FOR THAT. I BELIEVE WE'D ALL AGREE THAT WE WANT TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DECIDE HOW WE WANT TO SPEND OUR DOLLARS, OUR DISCRETIONARY DOLLARS. AND DISCRETIONARY MEANS NOT DOLLARS SPENT FOR FOOD, CLOTHING, SHELTER, YOU KNOW, CHILD SUPPORT, CHILD CARE. THE FACTS ARE THAT 97 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO GO TO A CASINO, CAN DO SO RESPONSIBLY AND SOCIALLY AND FOR FUN. AND SPECIFICALLY ON THE BANKRUPTCY ISSUE, I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO, YOU KNOW, CITE THE FACT THAT EVEN IN THE STUDY OF THE INTERACTION OF GAMBLING AND BANKRUPTCY PUT OUT BY THE U.S. TREASURY, ONE OF THE LINES SPECIFICALLY IN THEIR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY SAYS, "USING STATE LEVEL DATA, WE FIND NO CONNECTION BETWEEN STATE BANKRUPTCY RATES AND CASINO GAMBLING." IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, BANKRUPTCY RATES HAVE GONE DOWN 10 PERCENT HERE IN IOWA. AND IN EVERY SINGLE COUNTY WHERE THERE IS CASINO PROPERTIES, THEY HAVE GONE DOWN.

Yepsen: MR. COATES, WHAT ABOUT THAT?

Coates: WELL, NEARLY ALL OF THE LEADING BANKRUPTCY COUNTIES IN THIS STATE ARE EITHER HOUSING OR ADJOINING TO THE CASINOS. NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE THE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDY THAT SHOWS THAT 19 PERCENT OF ALL IOWA BANKRUPTCY ARE FILED TO DISCHARGE PRIMARILY GAMBLING DEBTS, WE ALSO HAVE ANOTHER STUDY CALLED THE SMR RESEARCH REPORT DONE BACK IN '97 THAT I WAS A PART OF. AND THAT INDICATED THAT IF YOU LIVED IN A COUNTY IN THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY THAT HAD ONE CASINO, YOU HAD AN 18 PERCENT HIGHER RATE OF BANKRUPTCIES THAN COUNTIES THAT HAD NONE. IT IS NOT COUNTERINTUITIVE TO ASSUME THAT PEOPLE THAT LOSE LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY -- WHICH IF WE START TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE THAT ARE PROBLEM OR PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLERS, WHICH IN THIS STATE WE'VE SEEN A TRIPLING IN THE NUMBERS IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME -- WOULD USE ALL OF THEIR RESOURCES, NOT ONLY THE CASH IN THEIR POCKET BUT LARGE LINES OF CREDIT. AND WE ALL KNOW THAT TODAY THE AVERAGE INDIVIDUAL WALKS AROUND WITH MANY CREDIT CARDS, AND THOSE CREDIT CARDS HAVE LARGE LINES OF CREDIT NOW ATTACHED TO THEM. SINCE I STARTED THE BUSINESS IN '87, WE'VE GONE FROM $100 BILLION TO $650 BILLION IN CREDIT CARD DEBT IN THIS COUNTRY. WITH THAT KIND OF POTENTIALITY, AND YOU HAVE A PROBLEM OR PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLER WHO THEN GENERATES A LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO COVER THEIR GAMBLING PROBLEMS, IT'S JUST LOGICAL TO ASSUME THAT MANY OF THE BANKRUPTCIES -- AND WE'RE NOT VERY FAR OFF WITH THE 1.4 MILLION NUMBER OF PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY WE SAW IN '98 RECORD -- WE'RE NOT VERY FAR OFF THAT NUMBER, AND WE'RE GOING TO GO HIGHER.

Henderson: MR. COATES, YOUR GROUP IS GOING TO BE, I GUESS, PRESENTED WITH EVIDENCE ON LOCAL AREAS. LET'S TAKE OSCEOLA. THE FOLKS DOWN IN OSCEOLA, A FEW OF THEM SAY WE'VE GOT A LOT MORE TRAFFIC ON MAIN STREET AND MAIN STREET BUSINESSES ARE BENEFITTING BECAUSE WE HAVE PATRONS GOING TO THAT GAMBLING FACILITY OUTSIDE OF OUR CITY LIMITS. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT ARGUMENT THAT THESE ARE AN ECONOMIC BOON TO THE AREA BECAUSE THEY'RE BRINGING PEOPLE IN WHO NOT ONLY GO TO THE CASINO, BUT THEY GO TO BUSINESSES IN THE AREA?

Coates: THAT'S AN EXCELLENT QUESTION AND THAT'S SOME OF THE CORE ARGUMENT HERE. THE RIVER TOWNS ORIGINALLY IN IOWA BACK IN THE LATE '80S SAID WE'RE DEPRESSED AND WE NEED HELP, AND THAT'S WHY THE RIVERBOATS CAME INTO BEING. THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT TRAFFIC PICKS UP. NOW, THAT NOT ONLY CAUSES POSITIVE ASPECTS TO THE ECONOMY IN SOME AREAS BUT IT CAUSES NEGATIVES. THE INCREASE IN THE TRAFFIC HAS ALSO INCREASED THE AREA OF CRIME THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT COMMUNITY AND SO SOME OF THE COSTS AS FAR AS POLICE PROTECTION HAVE TO BE INCREASED. WE ALSO HAVE THE FACT THAT -- FOR INSTANCE, IN OSCEOLA, PEOPLE ARE COMING TO THAT LOCATION TO GAMBLE. MANY TIMES, IN FACT, MOST OF THE TIME THEY DID NOT THEN GO ON INTO THE TOWNSHIP TO SPEND THEIR MONEY, THEY GO TO THE CASINO, THEY TURN AROUND AND THEY GO BACK, PRIMARILY TO POLK COUNTY. AND MANY OF THE BUSINESSES ARE NOW STARTING TO REPORT THAT THEY'RE SEEING A DROPOFF IN THEIR BUSINESSES LOCALLY BECAUSE THE PATRONS NO LONGER HAVE SOME OF THE DISPOSABLE EARNINGS TO SPEND IN THEIR BUSINESS SHOPS, THEY'RE SPENDING IT OUT AT THE CASINO EITHER FOR RESTAURANTS, GAS, OR THE GAMBLING.

Henderson: MR. EHRECKE, A QUESTION TO YOU. THE ECONOMIC BOON THAT YOU GUYS SAY THAT THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY HAS CREATED IN IOWA AND REALLY SUSTAINED COMMUNITIES LIKE THE QUAD CITIES, WHICH WAS TERRIBLY DEPRESSED, CRITICS SAY IS REALLY NOT THE CASE. IT'S THE OVERALL ECONOMY THAT HAS HELPED BUOY PEOPLE. IT'S NOT JUST THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY THAT SHOULD BE CREDITED WITH RESURRECTING THOSE DEPRESSED AREAS.

Ehrecke: I THINK YOU HAVE TO PUT A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON THAT. I THINK FROM THE STANDPOINT THAT IN EACH OF THESE CASINO PROPERTIES, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONAL FACILITIES THAT WE HAVE. THERE'S CONVENTION CENTERS BEING BUILT. THERE'S FOUR-STAR HOTEL. THERE'S STATE-OF-THE-ART MEETING ROOMS, IN ADDITION TO THE TOP-NAME ENTERTAINMENT. PEOPLE WANT RECREATION AND ENTERTAINMENT. THEY SHOULD HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DECIDE HOW THEY WANT TO PROVIDE -- WHAT ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS THEY HAVE. AND WHAT THIS HAS CREATED -- AN EXAMPLE, I THINK IT WAS DOWN IN FORT MADISON IN THE BURLINGTON AREA, THEY ATTRIBUTED A $17.5-MILLION INCREASE FROM THE TOURISM THAT COMES IN. I DON'T AGREE WITH TOM THAT IT'S ALL JUST COMING FROM IOWANS. WE ATTRACT NOW -- WE'RE BRINGING IN PEOPLE FROM SEVERAL SURROUNDING STATES AND THE CASINO INDUSTRY IS JUST A PART OF THAT, BRINGING THE PEOPLE TO THOSE COMMUNITIES. THAT'S BEEN A REAL SUCCESS STORY.

Beck: MR. COATES, THERE IS THE ARGUMENT THAT IF THE STATE GETS OUT OF THE GAMBLING BUSINESS THAT GAMBLING WILL CONTINUE. THAT PEOPLE ENJOY IT, THEY FIND WAYS TO DO IT, WHETHER IT'S BETTING AT THE OFFICE, BETTING AT THE LOCAL PUB, BUT THEY FIND WAYS TO GAMBLE. SO SHOULD THE STATE NOT GET A PROFIT FROM THAT AND REGULATE IT? ISN'T THERE AN INTEREST IN THE STATE DOING SO?

Coates: WELL, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE SAME ARGUMENT IS MADE WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE LEGALIZATION OF DRUGS. IT WASN'T JUST BUT A FEW YEARS AGO THAT GAMBLING, CASINO GAMBLING WAS ILLEGAL IN VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NEVADA AND NEW JERSEY. THE IDEA THAT NOW WE ARE GAMBLING AND THAT PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS GAMBLE, WHICH IS TRUE -- WE GO BACK TO, YOU KNOW, THEY GAMBLED FOR CHRIST'S CLOAK AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. GAMBLING HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH MAN. BUT IN THE STATE OF IOWA, IT'S THE ONLY STATE I KNOW OF THAT COMMISSIONED A TIME LINE PREVALENCY STUDY. BACK IN 1989, JUST AT THE ONSET OF GAMBLING IN THE STATE, THEY SAID "HOW MANY IOWANS ARE PROBLEM OR PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLERS IN THE STATE AT THAT POINT?" PRIOR TO THE ONSET, 1.7 PERCENT OF THIS STATE'S ADULT POPULATION WERE PROBLEM OR PATHOLOGICAL LIFETIME GAMBLERS AT THAT POINT. NOW THEY JUMP AHEAD TO 1995, SIX YEARS LATER AFTER WE'VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO INSERT CASINO GAMBLING IN THE STATE OF IOWA, AND NOW WE SHOW A 5.4 PERCENT RATE OF ADULT IOWANS THAT CAN BE PROPERLY CATEGORIZED AS PROBLEM OR PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLERS, WHICH GOES TO YOUR QUESTION. IF WE LEGALIZE SOMETHING AND WE TAX IT AND WE REGULATE IT, DO WE CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE BEAST? I DON'T THINK SO. AND I THINK OUR FOREFATHERS RECRIMINALIZED GAMBLING IN THE LATE 1800S, MADE IT ILLEGAL THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY FOR GOOD REASON. NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE PRUDISH OR WANTED TO DENY PEOPLE FUN, BECAUSE THEY RECOGNIZED THERE'S A TREMENDOUS SOCIAL PRICE TAG TO THIS. ONE OF THE PRICE TAGS THAT CAME OUT VERY PROMINENTLY WAS PUBLIC CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION IN THE AREA OF THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS. AS NIGHT FOLLOWS DAY, THERE IS SO MUCH MONEY INVOLVED IN GAMBLING. AGAIN, WE'RE NOT GOING TO ARGUE THAT THERE ISN'T A PROFIT TO BE MADE HERE. BUT THE BENEVOLENCE OF THE REGULATORS AND THE ELECTED OFFICIALS IS SUCH THAT THE IDEA IS THAT YOU HAVE TO GET ONE TO FOLLOW THE OTHER AND SO THE ASPECT OF CORRUPTION WILL FOLLOW AND IT IS NOW.

Yepsen: HAS THERE EVER BEEN ANY CORRUPTION ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING IN IOWA? HAVE ANY PUBLIC OFFICIALS BEEN CORRUPTED HERE IN IOWA?

Coates: LET'S LOOK AT THE SITUATION --

Yepsen: I MEAN, I DON'T RECALL --

Coates: I UNDERSTAND.

Yepsen: HAVE ANY PUBLIC OFFICIALS BEEN CORRUPTED IN THIS STATE AS A RESULT OF GAMBLING?

Coates: NO ONE, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, HAS BEEN INDICTED, BUT LET'S LOOK AT THE ISSUE.

Yepsen: WELL, I KNOW. I THINK YOU'RE PAINTING WITH A PRETTY BROAD BRUSH THERE, MR. COATES.

Coates: I AM. BUT LET'S LOOK AT THE ISSUE.

Yepsen: AND I THINK IN FAIRNESS TO THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS OF THIS STATE, I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT, AS FAR AS I KNOW, NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER BEEN CHARGED OR CONVICTED WITH ANYTHING RELATED TO BRIBES OR KICKBACKS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Coates: I STARTED OFF BY SAYING HISTORICALLY THAT WAS THE CASE, THAT PUBLIC CORRUPTION WAS WHAT HELPED RECRIMINALIZE GAMBLING AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY. LET'S LOOK AT THE SITUATION WITH PRAIRIE MEADOWS. WE HAD AN INSTITUTION WITH COUNTY SUPERVISORS THAT PUT IN WHERE THE OBVIOUS WAS THAT A HORSE RACING TRACK WAS NOT GOING TO BE VIABLE. I THINK AS YOU LOOK AT THAT AND THEN AS YOU STARTED TO DIG INTO WHAT HAPPENED WITH SOME OF THE SUPERVISORS, YOU HAVE AT LEAST THE APPEARANCE OF A PROBLEM HERE. NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD HAVE CONCEIVED OF A HORSE RACING TRACK IN THE LATE 1980S AS A VIABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE DES MOINES AREA.

Yepsen: MR. EHRECKE, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO ALL OF THIS?

Mr. Ehrecke: I THINK SOME OF THESE CHARACTERIZATIONS THAT TOM HAS PROVIDED ARE SORT OF EXTREME AND SORT OF UNCOMPREHENDIBLE TO ME. I THINK THAT IF YOU THINK ABOUT -- THE REALITY IS, IS THAT THERE ARE CERTAIN PEOPLE THAT ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS. THERE IS COMPULSIVE SHOPPING, COMPULSIVE EATING, COMPULSIVE SPENDING, COMPULSIVE USE OF CREDIT CARDS. AND THE REALITY IS -- PROVIDED BY THE IOWA GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM, THE NATIONAL OPINION REFERENCE COUNCIL, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL -- THAT 97 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE CHOOSING TO GO TO VISIT A CASINO CAN DO SO RESPONSIBILITY AND DO THIS SOCIALLY AND FOR THE FUN THAT IT'S INTENDED TO BE. WITHIN THE IOWA GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM SPECIFICALLY, THEY INDICATE THAT 1 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE A PATHOLOGICAL PROBLEM. LET ME DRAW AN ANALOGY HERE. JUST WHAT I TALK ABOUT WITH THIS COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR AND WHAT TOM IS TALKING ABOUT WITH HIS CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICE. HE'S BEEN ON THE NEWS AND QUOTED IN THE PAPER IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS TALKING ABOUT THE CREDIT CARD DEBT. AND IT REALLY IS RELATED TO SHOPPING AND THE AMOUNT OF STORES THAT ARE PROVIDING THESE CARDS. HE WAS JUST IN THE PAPER A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO WITH THAT. I NEVER HEARD TOM EVER SAY, "LET'S BAN SHOPPING. LET'S BAN CREDIT CARDS." BUT REALLY WHAT HE'S TRYING TO DO WITH HIS SERVICE IS TRY TO HELP PEOPLE. AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE IS SOME EXCELLENT PREMIER PROGRAMS TO HELP THOSE PEOPLE THAT NEED THE HELP. AND TYING THAT BACK TO THE PRAIRIE MEADOWS, WE HAVE NOW ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING HORSE-BREEDING STATES IN THE COUNTRY AS A RESULT OF THE EFFORTS GOING ON TO HELP SUPPORT A NEW AGRICULTURAL ENDEAVOR HERE, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK WE CAN ALL BE PROUD OF.

Yepsen: MR. EHRECKE, I WANT TO PUT A POINT ON THIS. I MEAN, WHAT DO YOU SAY -- THERE ARE TWO ARGUMENTS I HEAR MADE AGAINST GAMBLING. ONE IS THAT IT'S A LOUSY WAY TO TAX PEOPLE. IT'S A REGRESSIVE TAX, POOR PEOPLE ARE TAXED BY IT. AND SECONDLY, IT'S SINFUL, THAT GAMBLING IS IMMORAL. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE ARGUMENTS?

Ehrecke: CAN I COME BACK TO THE IDEA THAT WE SHOULD ALL HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DECIDE HOW WE USE OUR DISCRETIONARY DOLLARS THAT WE EARMARK FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND FOR FUN. EVERYBODY HAS THAT BUDGET. THEY SHOULD DO IT RESPONSIBLY, NOT USE DOLLARS THAT ARE EARMARKED FOR FOOD, CLOTHING, SHELTER, CHILD CARE, AND CHILD SUPPORT. AND WITH -- I THINK THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF IOWANS AND EVEN PEOPLE AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE VOTED AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT THEY LIKE CASINOS, THEY LIKE TO VISIT THEM AS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT AND FUN, AND IF THEY CAN DO IT RESPONSIBLY, THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT, AND 97 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE CAN INDEED DO THAT WHEN THEY GO.

Beck: MR. EHRECKE, ABOUT THOSE 3 PERCENT THAT YOU SAID THAT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO DO IT RESPONSIBLY. SHOULD THE STATE PROFIT OFF OF THOSE PEOPLE, AND IS THE STATE SPENDING ENOUGH TO HELP THOSE PEOPLE? DOES THE GAMBLING TREATMENT FUND HAVE ENOUGH MONEY? THERE HAVE BEEN EFFORTS TO REDUCE THAT FUND IN THE PAST BECAUSE SOME LEGISLATORS FELT THERE WERE TOO MANY ADVERTISEMENTS FOR 1-800-BETS-OFF ON THE TELEVISION. ARE WE SPENDING ENOUGH ON THAT?

Ehrecke: WELL, THE GAMING INDUSTRY, THROUGH OUR TAXES THAT WE PAY, PAYS THREE TENTHS OF A PERCENT TOWARD A GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM. WE PAY ABOUT $2.7 MILLION, AND I THINK THE LOTTERY PUTS IN ABOUT ANOTHER HALF A MILLION. WE'D LIKE TO SEE 100 PERCENT OF THE FUNDS THAT ARE EARMARKED FOR THE IOWA GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM BE USED FOR HAVING A PREMIER PROGRAM. NOT ONLY TO HELP THE TREATMENT PROVIDERS -- AND THEY'RE DOING A GREAT JOB. I THINK THERE'S ABOUT JUST LESS THAN A THOUSAND PEOPLE THAT GOT ADMITTED IN THE LAST YEAR. THERE'S PROBABLY 7,000 CALLS THAT CAME TO THE HOTLINE. TOM RUNS THE 1-800-BETS-OFF HOTLINE, WHICH IT'S GREAT TO SEE THAT THAT'S WORKING. THE BENEFITS THAT WE HAVE BY RESTORING THE FUNDS TO 100 PERCENT IS THAT WE CAN DO MORE WITH RESEARCH, WE CAN DO MORE WITH OUTREACH AND PREVENTION AND AWARENESS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DON'T HAVE ANY MORE PEOPLE THAT WOULD GET INTO TROUBLE -- DO THE PREVENTION UP FRONT.

Henderson: MR. COATES, DO YOU THINK MONEY IS BEING APPROPRIATELY SPENT ON THE GAMBLING TREATMENT PROGRAM?

Coates: YES, FOR THE MOST PART, AND WE ARE A STATE THAT IS PREEMINENT IN OUR POSITION WHERE WE TIE -- SEE, INITIALLY, WE TIED THREE TENTHS OF A PERCENT OF THE GAMBLING REVENUE INTO THIS THING. IF YOU'RE GOING TO CREATE THE PROBLEM -- AS I INDICATED WITH THE PREVALENCY STUDY, WE HAVE CREATED A PROBLEM. WE HAVE JUMPED UP ON THE NUMBER OF PROBLEM AND PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLERS, AND WE DO TIE THAT BACK TO THE REVENUE. SO NEARLY $3 MILLION SHOULD BE GOING TO THAT PROBLEM. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WES JUST INDICATED THAT I'D LIKE TO MENTION, HE SAYS THAT 97 PERCENT OF IOWANS CAN GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY. FIRST OFF, THE STUDY SHOWS THAT CLOSE TO 30 PERCENT OR MORE OF IOWANS NEVER ENTER A CASINO. THE STUDY SHOWED TWO-THIRDS TO MAYBE 80 PERCENT OF THE CASINO'S REVENUES ARE GENERATED FROM THE 10 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION THAT MOST GAMBLES IN THIS SOCIETY, AND MANY OF THOSE ARE PROBLEM AND PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLERS. AS I SAY, THE STUDY WAS DONE BY THE STATE OF IOWA IN 1995 SHOWING 5.4 PERCENT OF OUR STATE'S POPULATION, AND THAT WAS BEFORE THE TWO COUNCIL BLUFFS' BOATS OPENED AND OSCEOLA. SO IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 6 AND 7 IF YOU DID THE STUDY AGAIN TODAY. I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT, JENEANE. I THINK THAT THE CASINOS ARE UNFAIRLY BENEFITTING FROM WHAT BECOMES AN ADDICTION FOR MANY PEOPLE. AND THAT'S WHERE I START TO HAVE SOME OF MY SEVEREST PROBLEMS. 15 PERCENT OF OUR TRAFFIC IS GENERATED THROUGH MY OFFICE WITH PEOPLE WITH LARGE AMOUNTS OF CREDIT CARD DEBT. NOW, SOME PEOPLE SAY I OUGHT TO SHUT UP BECAUSE SOME OF MY BUSINESS IS GENERATED FROM THE CASINOS. YET, I CAN'T. I CAN'T SIT THERE WITH THE SPOUSE OF A GAMBLER WHO'S JUST COMMITTED SUICIDE AS I DID A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND SAY, "OH, WELL. IT'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR EVERYONE ELSE. YOU KNOW, YOU AND YOUR KIDS JUST NEED TO SUCK IT UP AND TAKE A BROADER VIEW HERE."

Henderson: THERE'S BEEN A TAX RULING THIS WEEK BY THE COURTS IN REGARDS TO A REQUEST FROM THE THREE TRACKS IN IOWA. UNDER STATE LAW, THE AMOUNT OF TAX THEY PAY TO THE STATE WILL CONTINUE TO ESCALATE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, AND THE TRACKS ARGUE THAT THAT'S JUST TOO BURDENSOME. WHAT'S YOUR NEXT STEP THERE? HAVE YOU HIT THE WALL? YOU TRIED IN THE LEGISLATURE TO CHANGE THE TAX STRUCTURE. ARE YOU AT A DEAD END, MR. EHRECKE?

Ehrecke: WELL, THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT INVOLVES THREE OF OUR MEMBERS WITHIN THE GAMING ASSOCIATION. THE IGA HAS NOT TAKEN A POSITION ON THAT AT THIS TIME. I THINK THE FOCUS, THOUGH, IS THAT THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF TAXES THAT SHOULD BE PAID BY A BUSINESS, YOU KNOW, IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE ADDRESSED BY ANY BUSINESS. AND I THINK THAT WE SHOULD BE VERY IMPRESSED BY THE INNOVATIVE WAYS, THE VISIONARY WAYS THAT THE TAXES ARE BEING USED, YOU KNOW, THAT ARE BEING PAID BY THE GAMING INDUSTRY.

Henderson: MR. COATES, DO YOU HAVE THE VOTES TO STOP THAT TAX QUESTION IN THE LEGISLATURE AGAIN THIS YEAR?

Coates: WELL, WE DON'T KNOW WE NECESSARILY WANT TO STOP IT. AND THE PROBLEM THAT WES HAS IS THAT SOME OF HIS MEMBERS ARE BEING SUBJECTED TO THIS INCREASINGLY HIGHER-RATCHETED TAX, AND THE MAJORITY ARE LEVELED OUT AT 20 PERCENT. NOW, THE ALTERNATIVE MIGHT BE THAT WE RAISE EVERYBODY TO A HIGHER LEVEL, AND THAT'S WHY HIS GROUP IS SPLIT ON THIS ISSUE. THEY DON'T NECESSARILY WANT TO STEP IN HEAVY, BECAUSE RATHER THAN LOWERING THE TAX JUST FOR SOME, THEY MIGHT RAISE IT FOR THE MAJORITY.

Beck: LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CHARITABLE GIVING THAT COMES FROM THESE INDUSTRIES, AND ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS ABOUT THIS EVER-RATCHETING-UP TAX FROM THE LAND-BASED CASINOS IS THAT IT'S GOING TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT THEY CAN GIVE TO CHARITY. IS THAT A CONCERN OR ARE WE TAKING FROM ONE GROUP OF THE POPULATION TO GIVE TO ANOTHER, IN YOUR OPINION, MR. EHRECKE?

Ehrecke: I THINK AS YOU ADDRESS THE CHARITABLES, I THINK THAT IS ONE OF THE SIGNIFICANT SUCCESS STORIES THAT WE HAVE SEEN. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND THE AMBULANCE SERVICES RECEIVING THEIR LIFE-SAVING EQUIPMENT, SCHOOLS GETTING LAPTOP COMPUTERS AND EQUIPMENT FOR THE SCIENCE LABS AND CHURCHES GETTING NECESSARY FUNDS AND THE CANCER SOCIETY AND THE RED CROSS AND THE MAKE A WISH AND ALZHEIMER'S AND UNITED WAY -- THOUSANDS OF ORGANIZATIONS BENEFITTING FROM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BEING PROVIDED ANNUALLY. AND I THINK THIS IS JUST REALLY A TRUE SUCCESS STORY THAT IS BENEFITTING -- I THINK THE PEOPLE REALLY APPRECIATE. YOU KNOW, THERE NEEDS TO BE THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF TAXES BEING PAID. ANY BUSINESS NEEDS TO HAVE THAT, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO HAVE THE MONEY NECESSARY FOR YOUR ONGOING CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, FOR THE CHARITABLES THAT YOU WANT TO PROVIDE

 

TO THE COMMUNITY, AS WELL AS THE PAYROLL. YOU KNOW, THERE'S OVER A $200 MILLION PAYROLL WITH 10,000 EMPLOYEES. SO THESE ARE ALL PART OF THAT.

Henderson: LET'S TALK ABOUT DEBT SERVICES. IF THESE THINGS CLOSE TOMORROW, ARE THERE DEBTS THAT PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE SURROUNDING COUNTIES WILL BE SHOULDERED WITH OR ARE ALL OF THESE ENTITIES DEBT FREE AT THIS POINT?

Ehrecke: I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THE ANSWER TO THAT. I THINK SOME OF THEM ARE DEBT FREE, BUT THEY'RE ALWAYS LEVERAGING IMPROVEMENTS. WHEN YOU HAVE MILLIONS OF VISITORS COMING THROUGH YOUR PROPERTY EVERY YEAR, YOU'RE ALWAYS UPGRADING AND UPDATING. YOU HAVE TO GIVE WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS OR THE CUSTOMER WON'T COME BACK. THIS IS AN ENTERTAINMENT OPTION AND THEY HAVE TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUALLY HAVE THAT. BUT I DON'T KNOW THE SPECIFIC ANSWER TO WHETHER THEY'RE DEBT FREE ON THAT.

Yepsen: I WANT TO GIVE MR. COATES A CHANCE TO RESPOND TO SOMETHING YOU SAID EARLIER, MR. EHRECKE, AND THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT ABOUT CHARITABLE DONATIONS. I MEAN THESE INSTITUTIONS DUMP A LOT OF MONEY BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY FOR CHARITABLE THINGS AND PAYROLLS. NOW, WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?

Coates: WELL, THEY NEED TO BECAUSE, AGAIN, I THINK IT WAS POINTED OUT, IT'S A REGRESSIVE TAX. THE IDEA IS -- AND I THINK THE POINT OF THIS DISCUSSION IS, IN 2002 WILL SOME OF THE COUNTIES BE ABLE TO THROW OFF THE YOKE OF THE CASINOS THAT ENCOMPASS THEM NOW AND GO BACK TO A GAMBLING-FREE ENVIRONMENT. THE ONLY HOPE THAT WE REALLY HAVE -- IF RECENT HISTORY IS AN INDICATION -- AND WE LOOK AT ALABAMA AND SOUTH CAROLINA -- IS TO GET THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE CHURCHES. AND THE CHURCHES IN THIS STATE, AND IN THE OTHER STATES, ARE STARTING TO WAKE UP AND REALIZE THIS ISN'T JUST AN ECONOMIC OR A FINANCIAL DEBATE. IT'S AN AREA THAT HAS A SPIRITUAL COMPONENT; NOT ONLY A COMPONENT, BUT IT IS, AT ITS CORE, A SPIRITUAL ISSUE. AS YOU MENTIONED EARLIER, DAVE, THAT THIS IS AN AREA OF SIN. AGAIN, JUST BECAUSE IT'S THE YEAR 2000 DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE'VE CHANGED THE NATURE OF THE BEAST. THE IOWA CODE REFLECTS GAMBLING NOW RIGHT ALONGSIDE OF PROSTITUTION AND DRUGS AS A VICE. AND JUST BECAUSE WE'VE LEGALIZED IT, REGULATED IT, AND TAXED IT, THAT DOES NOT CHANGE THE NATURE OF THAT BEAST.

Yepsen: BUT, WE'VE ALWAYS HAD GAMBLING. YOU YOURSELF ADMIT THAT. SHOULDN'T WE AT LEAST --

Coates: WELL, WE'VE HAD GAMBLING, BUT AGAIN IN SMALL AREAS. IF WE LEGALIZE DRUGS TOMORROW, WE WILL, IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, HAVE A MUCH GREATER PREVALENCE OF THE DRUGS, AND YOU'LL HAVE GREATER NUMBERS OF PEOPLE BECOMING ADDICTED. NOW, THAT DOESN'T -- AGAIN, THAT SITUATION IS VERY SIMILAR TO GAMBLING. NOW, WHEN THE GAMBLING WAS ILLEGAL AND YOU WENT TO THE BACK ROOM FOR YOUR CARD GAME OR YOU WENT TO YOUR LOCAL BOOKIE, IT WAS THERE, BUT IT WASN'T ANY DEGREE THE PREVALENCE THAT WE HAVE TODAY.

Yepsen: WE DIDN'T GET ANY CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE LOCAL BOOKIE, DID WE?

Coates: BUT WE DIDN'T NEED THEM BECAUSE WE WEREN'T PLUCKING MONEY REGRESSIVELY OUT OF PEOPLE'S POCKETS THE WAY WE ARE.

Beck: MR. EHRECKE, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER A BLOSSOMING HORSE INDUSTRY. PART OF THE REASON THAT PARIMUTUEL GAMING WAS ALLOWED WAS TO SUPPOSEDLY SPUR THIS HORSE INDUSTRY IN IOWA, WOULDN'T THAT BE WONDERFUL? HAS THAT HAPPENED? COULD IT STAND ON ITS OWN OR, I MEAN, DOES IT STILL NEED TO BE SUPPORTED BY SLOT MACHINES?

Ehrecke: WELL, IF YOU TRY TO COMPARE WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO START AN INDUSTRY LIKE THIS, IT TAKES TIME TO GET THE BREEDING AND THE RAISING GOING. I THINK THAT THE STATISTICS PROVE THAT IT IS BECOMING A SUCCESS. WHEN YOU TRY TO COMPARE YOURSELF TO, LIKE, KENTUCKY AND CALIFORNIA AND OTHER PLACES THAT HAVE HAD THIS AROUND FOR GENERATIONS, AND THE FACT THAT WE ARE THE FASTEST GROWING BREEDING STATE IN THE COUNTRY, THE FULL CROP HAS INCREASED FOURFOLD SINCE 1995. THE AVERAGE COST TO RAISE A HORSE FROM THE TIME IT'S BORN TILL IT GETS INTO THE GATE IS ABOUT $15,000, SO YOU TALK ABOUT MORE SUPPORT IN THE ECONOMY WITH HAY, FEED, YOU KNOW, VET CARE. IN FACT, FARMS THAT ARE THAT WERE ONCE HOG AND BEEF FARMS ARE NOW CONVERTING TO HORSE FARMS OR ADDING THIS AS A PART OF THAT. SO IT'S AN ADDITIONAL ASPECT TO OUR IOWA AGRICULTURAL PICTURE. I THINK IT'S BEEN A REAL SUCCESS.

Henderson: MR. COATES, ANTIGAMBLING FORCES HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN WINNING ANY CREDIT CARD RESTRICTIONS AT THE CASINOS. WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS IN 2001 WITH THE NEW IOWA LEGISLATURE?

Coates: WE BELIEVE THAT THE IOWA LAW ALREADY PROHIBITS WHAT'S GOING ON, AND THE RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION, NOT THAT LONG AGO, AGREED WITH US. THEY SAID THAT THE PROHIBITION ABOUT CASINOS BEING INVOLVED IN THE CREDIT CARD ADVANCEMENT ON THE CASINOS WAS ENOUGH TO STOP IT. THEY WENT TO COURT TO BLOCK THAT, AND IT ENDED UP WE LOST THREE OF THE FIVE RACING AND GAMING COMMITTEE MEMBERS. THEY WERE TERMINATED BY GOVERNOR VILSACK PRIMARILY FOR THAT ISSUE, I BELIEVE, THE ISSUE OF THE BLOCKING OF THE CREDIT CARDS. IT'S A BIG-DOLLAR ISSUE. IF YOU LOOK AT THE STATISTICS AND THE POLLS, THREE-FOURTHS OF IOWANS SAY THEY DON'T THINK PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO WALK ONTO THE GROUNDS OF THE CASINO, SLAP DOWN THEIR CREDIT CARD, CASH ADVANCE, AND END UP PASSING THE BUCK TO THE REST OF US. BUT THE CASINOS KNOW THIS IS A VERY HEAVY AREA OF THEIR PROFITABILITY, AND THEY HAVE FOUGHT LIKE RATS IN A CORNER ANYTIME THIS HAS COME UP IN THE LEGISLATURE, IN THE COURTS, OR ANYWHERE ELSE.

Henderson: WELL, LET'S TURN TO THE RAT IN THE CORNER THERE. WHY SHOULD PEOPLE BE ABLE TO GO IN, USE A CREDIT CARD, AND ESSENTIALLY BORROW TO GAMBLE?

Ehrecke: WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE IDEA OF WHEN PEOPLE TRAVEL, YOU TRAVEL OFTENTIMES WITH AN ATM CARD AND A CREDIT CARD. YOU KNOW, YOUR FREEDOM TO DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO CHOOSE TO, YOU KNOW, SPEND YOUR DOLLARS, YOUR DISCRETIONARY DOLLARS, WHETHER IT'S ON ENTERTAINMENT, FOR SPORTING EVENTS, YOU KNOW, BROADWAY SHOWS OR WHATEVER, SHOPPING --

Beck: BUT THEY ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. WITH AN ATM CARD, YOU HAVE THAT MONEY IN YOUR BANK.

Ehrecke: SO WHEN YOU GO TO A -- WHEN TOURISTS COME, YOU KNOW, THEY CAN HAVE THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, AGAIN, TO UTILIZE THEIR DOLLARS, AND 97 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE ARE INDICATED THAT THEY CAN, INDEED, YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY CHOOSE TO GO TO A CASINO, DO SO RESPONSIBLY. ONLY REALLY 1 PERCENT ARE IDENTIFIED AS PATHOLOGICAL. AND WE TALK ABOUT OTHER COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS, THERE'S PROBABLY HIGHER PERCENTAGES IN SOME OF THOSE OTHER AREAS. AND I BELIEVE THAT THE CASINO PROPERTIES DID A VERY PROACTIVE MOVE IN TAKING THE CREDIT CARD MACHINES OFF THE GAMING FLOORS. THEY'RE NOT ON THE GAMING FLOORS. SO THEY RECOGNIZE THAT THEY'RE AVAILABLE FOR THE TOURISTS AND THE PEOPLE THAT COME IN THAT WANT TO BE ABLE TO UTILIZE THEM. WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS ADVOCATED IS THAT ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO DO WITH WHAT YOUR MONEY AND DO IT RESPONSIBLY AND NOT USE FUNDS THAT ARE EARMARKED FOR OTHER THINGS AND BE RESPONSIBLE.

Yepsen: GENTLEMEN, THIS SHOW IS LIKE MY CREDIT CARD AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. IT'S MAXED OUT. THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

Ehrecke and Coates: THANK YOU.

Yepsen: WE APPRECIATE YOUR COMING OUT. THANK YOU. NOW, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, WE LOOK AT HOW WE RUN ELECTIONS IN IOWA, THE FUTURE OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND THE UPCOMING REDISTRICTING OF THE STATE AS A RESULT OF THE CENSUS OF 2000. JOINING US ARE REPRESENTATIVE JANET METCALF, THE HEAD OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA HOUSE, AND CHET CULVER, IOWA'S SECRETARY OF STATE. AIRTIME IS NOON AND 7:00 ON SUNDAY. WELL, THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. DEAN BORG RETURNS WITH US NEXT SUNDAY, AND I HOPE YOU WILL AS WELL. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER. THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

Narrator: 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.