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IOWA PRESS #2818 - Reporters Roundtable
December 31, 2000

Dean Borg: WE'RE ALL SET TO RING IN A NEW YEAR AS WE RECALL THE PAST YEAR'S HEADLINES AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE NEW YEAR. OUR TEAM OF REPORTERS IS HERE FOR THE ANNUAL HEADLINE REVIEW ON THIS EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

Narrator: FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS HAS BEEN 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; 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; 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, DECEMBER 31 EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WITHIN HOURS A NEW YEAR WILL BE HERE. A YEAR AGO AT THIS TIME, REMEMBER, 1999 CLOSED UNDER THE CLOUD OF CONSIDERABLE Y2K UNCERTAINTY. MOST OF THAT DOUBT, THOUGH, WAS ERASED WHEN THE LIGHTS STAYED ON AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT. SO MUCH OF THE UNCERTAINTY IS BEHIND US, THE UNKNOWNS ARE NOW AHEAD. THE YEAR 2000 PRODUCED SURPRISES, INCLUDING THE MOST CONVOLUTED ELECTION COUNT IN THE HISTORY OF THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. AND THAT ELECTION STORY MOST CERTAINLY TOPS OF NEWS OF 2000. OTHER ELECTION RESULTS OF THE PAST NOVEMBER WILL AFFECT EVENTS IN THE NEW YEAR, INCLUDING THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE CONGRESS. A BIT MORE BALANCED THERE, IN FACT ENTIRELY BALANCED, AND THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE REMAINING THE SAME. WHAT 2000 PRODUCED AND WHAT 2001 WILL BRING ARE THE TOPICS ON OUR IOWA PRESS TABLE TODAY FOR OUR TEAM OF REPORTERS. GATHERED HERE: DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER, KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA, MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, AND KATHIE OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS. KATHIE, WE TALKED ABOUT THE ELECTIONS IN THE INTRODUCTION HERE. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS HERE IN IOWA, AT LEAST FOR THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY?

Obradovich: WELL, DEAN, I THINK TWO BIG NEWS STORIES THAT ARE GOING TO HAVE A BIG REVERBERATION IN THE YEAR 2001: THE ELECTION, WHO WON IT; AND THEN THERE'S ALSO A BIG CRIMINAL CASE INVOLVING A CHILD ABUSE SITUATION IN IOWA, SORT OF A WHODUNIT. SO AS FAR AS THE ELECTION IS CONCERNED, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE SOME INTERESTING WAYS THAT PLAYS OUT IN IOWA. GOVERNOR VILSACK ALREADY HAS BEEN DOING A LOT OF QUOTING FROM GEORGE W. BUSH'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH... KIND OF A CALL FOR BIPARTISANSHIP THERE IN THE WAKE OF THIS ELECTION. I THINK WE'LL SEE THAT AS A BIG THEME.

Borg: KAY, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. HOW DO YOU SEE IT?

Henderson: THE INTERESTING THING TO ME ABOUT THIS ELECTION WAS, AFTER NOVEMBER 7, NETWORK NEWS, OUR NEWS ORGANIZATIONS FOCUSED A LOT OF ATTENTION ON THE ELECTION AND THE QUESTIONABLE OUTCOME. PEOPLE COULD HAVE CARED LESS. THEY WERE SICK TO DEATH OF IT. AL GORE, PARTLY BECAUSE HE'S NOT A VERY SYMPATHETIC FIGURE, EVIDENTLY, IN PUBLIC OPINION POLLS, DIDN'T REALLY ENGENDER A LOT OF SYMPATHY FROM THE PUBLIC; THEY JUST WANTED IT OVER. SO I THINK WHAT THIS ELECTION SHOWED US WAS THAT THERE IS A BIG DISCONNECT BETWEEN PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE THAT GOVERN THEM AND THAT THIS JUST EXACERBATED IT, IN MY OPINION.

Borg: MIKE, YOU TRAVELED AND LOGGED A LOT OF FREQUENT FLYER MILES WITH THE GORE CAMPAIGN.

Glover: THE BIGGEST THING THAT HAPPENED WITH THIS ELECTION IS THAT IT'S OVER. AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS THE NEXT ELECTION TO COME DOWN THE PIKE IS A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION IN IOWA. THE NEXT ELECTION IS TOM VILSACK'S FIRST REELECTION EFFORT, BECAUSE HE'S VIRTUALLY CERTAIN TO RUN FOR REELECTION. THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT THE HILL, BECAUSE WE TALK ABOUT THE PRESIDENCY, WE TALK ABOUT THE SENATE ELECTION THAT'S COMING UP IN 2002 AS WELL, THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN IOWA POLITICS IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN THE GOVERNOR'S ELECTION. THAT'S THE BIGGEST PRIZE IN THE STATE. THAT IS NOW THE NEXT PRIZE ON THE BALLOT. THAT'S GOING TO COLOR EVERYTHING. THAT'S GOING TO COLOR THE TENOR OF THIS UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION, PARTICULARLY THE NEXT UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE IN THE LEGISLATURE STARTING TO MAKE THEIR MOVES TO RUN AGAINST TOM VILSACK. THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LEGISLATURE. HE JUST MADE A BIG RUN AT THIS LEGISLATURE TRYING TO KNOCK OFF SOME REPUBLICANS, DID NOT GET CONTROL... THAT'S GOING TO SLOP OVER INTO THE TENOR OF THIS SESSION. SO THE BIGGEST THING IS THAT THIS ELECTION IN FACT HAPPENED AND SET THE STAGE FOR THE NEXT ELECTION.

Borg: WELL, DOES THAT SAY, DAVE, PAYBACK TIME?

Yepsen: YES. I MEAN, IT'S EASY FOR GOVERNOR VILSACK NOW TO TALK ABOUT BIPARTISANSHIP. A MONTH AGO HE WAS POKING REPUBLICANS IN AN EYE WITH A SHARP STICK, AND THEY REMEMBER THAT. MUCH OF WHAT WE SEE HAPPEN IN THIS SESSION, YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THROUGH THAT PRISM. THOSE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO SEND AT HIM ANY NUMBER OF THINGS TO MAKE HIM EITHER MAKE BAD VETOES OR THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE HIM LOOK BAD, THINGS TO UPSET PEOPLE: RIGHT TO WORK; GAY RIGHTS; TAX CUTS ON YOUR UTILITY BILLS; TAX CUTS ON SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME; PROPERTY TAX FREEZES ON COUNTY GOVERNMENT. ALL THOSE THINGS ARE GOING TO GO DOWN TO THE GOVERNOR. IF HE HATES THEM, HE'LL HAVE TO VETO THEM, MAKING HIM LOOK BAD. IT'LL BE A VERY POLITICAL SESSION WITH REPUBLICANS TRYING TO SOFTEN HIM UP A LITTLE BIT FOR THE ELECTION OF 2002.

Borg: MIKE, WOULD YOU SAY THAT ALL OF THOSE THINGS THAT DAVE TICKED OFF THERE ARE ITEMS THAT THE GOVERNOR WOULD VETO?

Glover: I THINK ALMOST ALL OF THOSE CASES ARE ITEMS THAT HE WOULD VETO. FOR ONE THING, YOU START OUT IN POLITICS -- THIS LAST ELECTION WE JUST FINISHED WAS WHAT MOST PEOPLE REFER TO AS A BASE ELECTION. GEORGE BUSH WON BECAUSE HE DID A SLIGHTLY BETTER JOB OF TURNING OUT HIS POLITICAL BASE THAN AL GORE DID AND, PLUS, HE DIDN'T HAVE A CANDIDATE ON THE RIGHT DRAINING OFF LIKE GORE DID ON THE LEFT. SO THE FIRST THING THAT A POLITICIAN HAS TO DO IS PROTECT THAT BASE, AND TOM VILSACK'S BASE CAN'T ABIDE BY THOSE SORTS OF THINGS. IT WOULD FORCE HIM TO DO THAT KIND OF A VETO. SO, YEAH, I THINK MOST OF THOSE THINGS WOULD LAND ON HIS DESK, AND I THINK MOST OF THOSE THINGS WOULD END UP IN A VETO. AND I THINK THE OTHER THING THAT'S KIND OF DRIVING THIS IS THERE REALLY ISN'T A BIG POLITICAL IMPERATIVE OUT THERE DRIVING THIS LEGISLATURE TO ACCOMPLISH MAJOR THINGS. THEY'VE ALL GOT THE SAME PRIORITIES. THEY WANT TO DO EDUCATION. THEY WANT TO PAY TEACHERS SOME MORE. THEY WANT TO MAKE STUDENTS A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABLE. THEY ALL WANT TO DO THAT, AND THEY'LL TINKER AROUND WITH HOW TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY. THEY ALL TO WANT BALANCE THE BUDGET. THEY ALL WANT TO DO THAT, SO THEY'LL COME UP WITH LITTLE WAYS TO DO THAT. BUT PHILOSOPHICALLY THERE AREN'T BIG DIFFERENCES HERE, SO THERE'S A LOT OF ROOM ON THE EDGES FOR THESE PEOPLE TO PLAY AND HAVE MISCHIEF.

Borg: WELL, KAY, WE'VE GOT BOTH SIDES HERE. HE SAYS THAT -- YOU JUST HEARD IT; I DON'T HAVE TO RECOUNT IT. IS IT GOING TO BE A CONTENTIOUS SESSION OR JUST AT POINTS IN THE SESSION?

Henderson: I THINK IT WILL BE A CONTENTIOUS SESSION. I THINK IT WILL BE GOOD FOR US. IT WILL MAKE GOOD COPY. IT MAY NOT BE GOOD FOR ACTUALLY GETTING LEGISLATION THROUGH. I THINK THERE WILL BE A NUMBER OF VETOES THIS SESSION. THERE WILL BE SOCIAL ISSUES DISCUSSED. THE REPUBLICANS INTEND TO BRING UP THE "ENGLISH ONLY" LEGISLATION, WHICH WOULD MANDATE THAT IOWA'S GOVERNMENT BUSINESS BE CONDUCTED IN ENGLISH ONLY AND THAT WILL BE A CONTENTIOUS ISSUE. VILSACK IS ALREADY STARTING TO TALK ABOUT HOW TO MAYBE REFASHION THAT IN A WAY THAT MIGHT BE PALATABLE TO HIM, SO HE RECOGNIZES THE REALITY OUT THERE IS THAT THAT'S A VERY POPULAR PROPOSAL. SO ON SOME ISSUES YOU MAY SEE HIM TRY TO NEGOTIATE WITH SENATORS WHO HE HAD A WORKING RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE HE'S A FORMER SENATOR TO TRY TO TAME THESE THINGS DOWN AND MAKE THEM MORE PALATABLE TO HIS BASE, TO HIS DEMOCRATIC BASE. BUT ON MOST OF THOSE THINGS, THEY'RE GOING TO BE AT LOGGERHEADS.

Obradovich: I DO THINK THAT WILL REDUCE THE NUMBER OF VETOES TO THE EXTENT THAT VILSACK IS ABLE TO WORK WITH SOME OF THE MORE MODERATES, ESPECIALLY IN THE SENATE, BUT THERE ARE A FEW IN THE HOUSE AS WELL ON ISSUES LIKE ENGLISH ONLY. I THINK THAT HIS RHETORIC HAS CALMED DOWN A LOT ON THAT. HE'S TALKING ABOUT RECOGNIZING THE CONCERNS THAT PEOPLE HAVE, AND I THINK ON TAX CUTS AS WELL. YOU MAY SEE HIM BE FORCED TO VETO SOME THINGS THAT REPUBLICANS WILL SEND UP EARLY IN THE SESSION JUST FOR THAT REASON.

Borg: ASIDE FROM WHAT HAPPENED IN THE ELECTION, KATHIE, THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING TO IOWANS NOW THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BE LOOKING I THINK TO POLITICIANS TO TRY TO SOLVE FOR THEM. ONE THING ARE THE HORRENDOUS ENERGY BILLS. IS THERE SOMETHING THAT THE IOWA LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO ON THAT?

Obradovich: ABSOLUTELY. I THINK ENERGY COSTS AND ENERGY ISSUES ARE GOING TO BE A BIG DRIVING ISSUE. ONE OF THEM PARTICULARLY IS A TAX CUT. REPUBLICANS WANT TO GO AND CUT THE SALES TAX ON HEATING BILLS. INITIALLY, DURING THE ELECTION, THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT TAKING THE WHOLE SALES TAX OFF, MAYBE AN $80 MILLION, $90 MILLION PROPOSITION. THEY'VE SCALED THAT BACK CONSIDERABLY TO SAY, WELL, LET'S JUST NOT GIVE THE STATE A WINDFALL. THAT'S ONE THING THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK HAS ARGUED IS THE STATE IS NOT GETTING A WINDFALL BECAUSE OTHER SALES TAX REVENUES WILL REDUCE, PROPORTIONALLY THE STATE'S OWN COSTS FOR HEATING ARE GOING TO GO UP, AND HE'S GOING TO ARGUE AGAINST THAT.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS OF STATE GOVERNMENT, DEAN, IS THAT WHEN ENERGY PRICES GO UP, STATE TAX REVENUES GO UP, AND THOSE POLITICIANS ALL LOVE TO SPEND THAT. ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I DON'T THINK MUCH WILL HAPPEN IN THIS SESSION IS THE FISCAL PICTURE. WE CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN IOWA. THE ECONOMY IS SLOWING DOWN. THAT'S GOING TO SLOW OTHER TAX REVENUES. THESE GUYS ALL COME INTO THIS SESSION WITH THEIR TAX REVENUES GOING DOWN, THE DEMANDS FOR GOVERNMENT SPENDING GOING UP, AND YOU LOOK AT WHAT THEY CALL "THE BUILT-INS," THING THAT ARE BUILT INTO THE BUDGET THAT ARE AUTOMATICALLY GOING TO GROW: SALARIES FOR STATE WORKERS AND PRISON COSTS AND ALL THAT SORT OF THING. IT'S JUST ABOUT A BALANCE. THEY HAVE SOME NET NEW MONEY AND ALMOST ALL OF THAT IS COMMITTED. SO THE BOTTOM LINE, IF I WERE AN EDUCATOR WITH ALL THESE POLITICIANS TALKING ABOUT A PAY RAISE, I WOULDN'T SPEND A DIME OF IT UNTIL I SEE IT IN MY CHECK.

Glover: I THINK WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THIS YEAR, DEAN, IF NOTHING ELSE, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THINGS LIKE RESOLUTIONS DEPLORING COLD WEATHER. THERE'S NOT A HECK OF A LOT THIS LEGISLATURE CAN DO ABOUT SOARING ENERGY PRICES. THEY CAN TINKER AROUND THE EDGES. THEY CAN DO A LITTLE THING HERE, DO A LITTLE SYMBOLIC THING, AND THEY WILL. BUT THERE'S NOTHING FUNDAMENTAL THAT THEY CAN DO TO ADDRESS THAT QUESTION, SO I'LL HAVE TO USE THIS SYMBOLISM. BUT DAVE'S TOUCHED ON WHAT I THINK MAY BE THE OVERARCHING ISSUE FACING BOTH THIS GOVERNOR AND THIS LEGISLATURE, WHICH IS THE ECONOMY IS GOING SOUTH. THEY'VE BENEFITTED OVER THE LAST FOUR OR FIVE YEARS BY AN ECONOMY THAT'S BOOMING PRETTY WELL, AND THAT'S CAUSED STATE TAX REVENUES TO SURGE, GIVING THEM A LOT OF MONEY TO PLAY WITH. THIS YEAR $60 MILLION HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE BUDGET ALREADY. THAT'S $60 MILLION THEY DON'T HAVE AVAILABLE TO SPEND FOR ANYTHING, AND THEY'VE ALL GOT BIG COMMITMENTS ON THE BOOKS FROM TEACHER PAY AND THOSE SORTS OF THINGS. SO IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY TIGHT SESSION.

Henderson: YOU KNOW, DEAN, THERE WAS A MILLENNIUM BUG AND IT BIT COMPUTER COMPANIES AND DOT-COMS, AND IT'S KIND OF SPREADING ACROSS THE WHOLE ECONOMY. THAT'S WHY YOU DIDN'T SEE STATEHOUSE REPUBLICANS OUT THERE PROMISING THE KIND OF TAX CUT THAT GEORGE W. BUSH WAS. THERE IS NOT A SURPLUS IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS PROJECTED FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND SO THAT'S WHY THE BELTS ARE GOING TO BE TIGHTENED AS WE GO THROUGH 2001. Glover: THE BIGGEST EVENT YOU MAY SEE ON TAXES IS THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH CONTINUES ON HIS PROMISE TO PUSH A FEDERAL TAX CUT. WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CUTS TAXES, THE STATE GETS A WINDFALL BECAUSE OF ITS TAX STRUCTURE. THERE WILL BE A DEBATE OVER WHETHER THAT WINDFALL OUGHT TO BE PASSED BACK TO IOWA TAXPAYERS. I THINK REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE WOULD FAVOR THAT. I'M NOT SURE IT'S CLEAR WHAT THE GOVERNOR FAVORS HERE.

Borg: IN ALL THIS FISCAL RESTRAINT, WITH DECLINING REVENUES AND THE ECONOMY AND SO ON, COMES AT A TIME WHEN I THINK LEGISLATORS AND THE GOVERNOR ARE LOOKING AT EVERY CORNER POSSIBLE TO BE ABLE TO GET THE MONEY TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY, WHICH IS ONE OF THE BIG PRIORITIES.

Yepsen: IT MAY BE ONE OF THESE DEALS WE PHASE IN OVER TEN YEARS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, AND IT WILL BE SO INCREMENTAL THAT IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE. IT'S NOT JUST A MATTER OF A PAY RAISE, BUT IT'S ALSO THE WAY YOU PAY TEACHERS. BUT, DEAN, IT'S A REAL PROBLEM. LAWMAKERS AND THE GOVERNOR ARE SPENDING MORE THAN THEY TAKE IN REVENUES. AND, SECONDLY, THEY'RE DOING THAT BY DIPPING INTO THE SURPLUS. NOW, THERE'S STILL A SURPLUS. THERE'S STILL SOME CASH RESERVES THERE. THEY'RE OKAY. BUT YOU CAN ONLY PLAY THAT GAME SO LONG BEFORE YOU'RE OUT OF MONEY.

Borg: KATHIE, BACK TO YOU AGAIN WITH A NEW TOPIC HERE, AND THAT IS THE DUIS CASE. THIS, AGAIN, WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS THRUST UPON US. IOWA DIDN'T DECIDE THAT IN AN ELECTION. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED AND NOW SOCIETY IS DEMANDING SOMETHING BE DONE ABOUT IT.

Obradovich: THERE'S PROBABLY NOT ANYBODY LEFT IN IOWA RIGHT NOW THAT DOESN'T KNOW THAT SHELBY DUIS WAS A TWO-AND-A-HALF-YEAR-OLD TODDLER IN SPIRIT LAKE. SHE WAS BEATEN TO DEATH. BOTH HER MOTHER AND HER MOTHER'S BOYFRIEND WENT ON TRIAL. THEY WERE BOTH FOUND NOT GUILTY OF MURDER CHARGES. THE MOTHER IS GOING TO PRISON FOR CHILD ENDANGERMENT. BUT THE BIG AFTERMATH OF THAT WHOLE CASE WAS THE STATE'S RESPONSE TO REPEATED ALLEGATIONS THAT THIS CHILD WAS BEING ABUSED AND NOTHING HAPPENED. WE'VE SEEN NOW THREE DIFFERENT REPORTS: ONE, AN INTERNAL DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES REPORT; ONE, THE STATE OMBUDSMEN REPORT; AND AN OUTSIDE GROUP THAT ALL POINTED OUT A NUMBER OF DEFICIENCIES IN THE DHS PROCESS. BUT THE SOLUTIONS ARE FAIRLY DIFFERENT. ONE SIDE WANTS TO PUT A LOT MORE MONEY IN FOR CASE WORKERS AND SOCIAL WORKERS AND STAFF. THE OTHER SIDE SAYS, WELL, LET'S TINKER AROUND WITH THINGS THAT WE CAN FIX INTERNALLY IN THE SYSTEM AND MORE MONEY IS NOT GOING TO CURE IT. SO I THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE PROBABLY A BIG FIGHT UP THERE.

Henderson: AND REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE SUGGEST THAT MAYBE ONE OF THE RESPONSES SHOULD BE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE OF VIOLENT PARAMOURS, WHEREBY THEY WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR THE DHS TO TAKE CHILDREN OUT OF A HOME IN WHICH A MOTHER WAS LIVING WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT THE CHILD'S BIOLOGICAL FATHER OR MOTHER IS NOT LIVING MARRIED TO THAT PERSON. THAT'S PROBLEMATIC. TWO WEEKS AGO THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF IOWA SAID, "YOU KNOW, IF WE START LOOKING IN PEOPLE'S HOUSES AND DETERMINING THEIR LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, THAT'S GOING TO BE PROBLEMATIC." AND SHE ADMITTED THAT SHE HERSELF LIVED WITH HER HUSBAND BEFORE THEY WERE MARRIED.

Glover: YOU KNOW ONE OF THE REASONS THIS CASE I THINK GOT THE ATTENTION IT DID IS THAT IT CRYSTALLIZED IN A VERY SYMPATHETIC FIGURE, A YOUNG CHILD, AN ISSUE THAT WAS RIGHT FOR DEBATE IN THE STATE. THE WHOLE ISSUE OF HOW WE STRUCTURE FAMILIES, HOW ACTIVE DID THE GOVERNMENT GET IN INTERFERING WITH THE FAMILY'S STRUCTURE, FAMILY'S DAILY LIFE; HOW CLOSELY DO WE PEEK INTO THEIR BEDROOMS TO SEE WHO THEY'RE LIVING WITH? THAT WHOLE ISSUE, I THINK WAS RIGHT FOR DEBATE AND I DON'T THINK, AT BOTTOM LINE, THIS LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO DO VERY MUCH ABOUT IT, BECAUSE I DON'T SENSE IN THIS LEGISLATURE A GREAT CONSENSUS OVER ANSWERING QUESTIONS LIKE THAT. HOW QUICKLY SHOULD WE JERK A CHILD FROM A HOME? SHOULD WE JERK A CHILD FROM A HOME IF A CHILD SHOWS UP AT SCHOOL WITH A WELT ON HIS ARM? SHOULD HE BE PULLED OUT OF THE HOME BECAUSE SOMETHING HAPPENED TO HIM, AND THEN WE'LL FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED? I DON'T SEE CONSENSUS ON THIS ISSUE.

Yepsen: I DISAGREE WITH MIKE. I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT THIS. ALL OF THESE LAWMAKERS WERE TALKING ABOUT IT DURING THE CAMPAIGN. THEY HAVEN'T REACHED A CONSENSUS YET; I AGREE WITH THAT. BUT BY THE END OF THE SESSION, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE A LITTLE BIT OF ALL OF THE ABOVE. THE FACT IS THERE'S NO ONE ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM. THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT LIVE-IN BOYFRIENDS. THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO SPEND MORE MONEY AT LEAST FOR CASE WORKERS IN THE TRENCH. I'M NOT SURE THEY WANT TO PAY FOR A LOT MORE NEW BUREAUCRATS ELSEWHERE IN THE SYSTEM. IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS, "ALL OF THE ABOVE," AND INCLUDING THINGS WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT HERE... LOCAL PROSECUTORS. LOCAL RURAL PROSECUTORS, THEY DON'T EXPERIENCE THESE CASES. THEY'RE IN OVER THEIR HEADS WITH THEM. THEY DON'T DO VERY WELL WITH THEM. URBAN PROSECUTORS DO A BETTER JOB. I THINK INDIVIDUALS AND CHURCHES HAVE TO HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN SOLVING THIS PROBLEM TOO.

Borg: MIKE, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, IF THE TAX CUT, AS BEING PROPOSED THERE, ACTUALLY COMES TRUE, IT MIGHT BE A WINDFALL -- OR WILL BE A WINDFALL FOR IOWA. BUT IS IT LIKELY THAT THE THOUGHT OF CUTTING TAXES HAS AN EPIDEMIC PROPORTION AND MIGHT BE CONTAGIOUS AND IOWA LAWMAKERS WANT TO ALSO GET IN THE GAME?

Glover: YOU KNOW, I HAVE HEARD VERY LITTLE DISCUSSION FROM IOWA LAWMAKERS OF EITHER STRIPE ABOUT WHAT WE WOULD CALL THE CAMPAIGN-BROCHURE TYPE TAX CUTS: THE BIG, BROAD, ACROSS-THE-BOARD, DEEP TAX CUTS THAT THEY CAN TAKE BACK AND CAMPAIGN ON. I'VE HEARD SMALL, SELECTIVE, TARGETED TAX CUTS... A LITTLE TWIXT HERE, A LITTLE TWIXT THERE, WE CAN GO HOME AND SAY, "YEAH, I CUT THIS TAX, I CUT THAT TAX." BUT I THINK IF THERE'S CONSENSUS UP AT THE HILL, THE CONSENSUS IS THERE'S NOT A LOT OF MONEY TO GO AROUND, NOT ENOUGH MONEY CERTAINLY TO SUPPORT A BROAD TAX CUT.

Borg: WELL, CERTAINLY ON THIS PROGRAM, FORMER IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT MARTIN JISCHKE, ON HIS WAY OUT, SAID IOWA HAS CUT TAXES TOO MUCH AND YOU'RE PINCHING US.

Yepsen: NO, THE GOVERNOR DIDN'T COME BACK AND SAY, YEAH, I'M GOING TO ASK TO REINSTATE THESE TAX CUTS. HE SAID, NO, THEY'RE GOING TO STAY IN PLACE. I THINK THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF CONSENSUS ON ONE ISSUE, AND THAT IS VENTURE CAPITAL. THE GOVERNOR WILL HAVE A PLAN TO PROVIDE START-UP INVESTMENTS TO NEW BUSINESSES, AND REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE HAVE AN IDEA TOO. IT MAY NOT INVOLVE A WHOLE LOT OF STATE MONEY, BUT I THINK IT WILL BE ONE TAX CHANGE THAT MIGHT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Obradovich: ONE OTHER TAX CUT THAT THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MAY BE ABLE TO FIND COMMON GROUND ON IS LIMITING THE GROWTH OF PROPERTY TAXES FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES. IT DOESN'T COST THE STATE A DIME, AND THEY CAN GO BACK AND TELL TAXPAYERS THAT WE DID SOMETHING ABOUT ONE OF THE TAXES THAT THEY HATE THE MOST. I THINK THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT THERE WILL BE HOUSE AND SENATE DEMOCRATS WHO ARE GOING TO FIGHT IT.

Borg: AS WE LOOK AT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, WHAT ARE SOME OTHER IMPLICATIONS FOR IOWA THAT YOU CAN THINK OF? AND LET IT SPILL OVER INTO THE CONGRESS TOO, IF YOU WILL, WITH SENATOR GRASSLEY, TOM HARKIN. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Glover: FREEDOM TO FARM. THAT MAY BE ONE OF THE FIRST TESTS THAT SEES HOW THIS ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO DEAL WITH IOWA AND A LOT OF STATES IN THE FARM BELT. THE FREEDOM TO FARM BILL IS COMING UP. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO HAVE A HEAVY HAND IN HOW THAT BILL GETS REWRITTEN. I THINK WE DON'T KNOW PRECISELY WHAT SORT OF CHANGE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL WANT TO MAKE. THE SENSE WE ALL GET IS THEY'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE RADICAL CHANGES AND THAT THEIR PHILOSOPHICAL OUTLOOK IS GOING TO BE ATTUNE TO KEEPING A FREEDOM TO FARM BILL IN SOME FORM OR FASHION ON THE BOOKS AND NOT GO BACK TO A SAFETY NET SORT OF SYSTEM FOR FARMERS. THAT WOULD BE THE BEST GUESS, ALTHOUGH I DON'T THINK WE KNOW. THERE'S A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY. THAT MAY BE THE FIRST TEST OF HOW THIS ADMINISTRATION RELATES TO A FARM STATE... AND AN INTERESTING TEST, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT AN ISSUE AT ALL IN THE CAMPAIGN, SO HE HAS NO CAMPAIGN DEBTS TO PAY.

Henderson: ANOTHER ISSUE ON WHICH IOWANS WILL BE WATCHING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS ETHANOL, THE CORN-BASED ADDITIVE WHICH IS PUT INTO FUEL TO MAKE IT BURN CLEANER. CALIFORNIA HAS REPEATEDLY ASKED TO GET A WAIVER FROM CLEAN AIR ACT RULES, AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND PERHAPS CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, WHO IS THE GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY, AS THE EPA DIRECTOR WOULD ADDRESS THAT ISSUE, AND IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THEY ADDRESS THAT. DEMOCRATS DURING THE CAMPAIGN ATTACKED MR. BUSH AND MR. CHENEY AS THE TEXACO TWINS BECAUSE OF THEIR TIES TO THE OIL INDUSTRY, AND SO IOWANS WHO ARE IN THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY WILL BE WATCHING THAT WITH A LITTLE NERVOUS STOMACH.

Yepsen: I THINK THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS TO TEND ITS POLITICS IN THE MIDWEST. IF YOU LOOKED AT THE MAP IN THE COUNTRY ON ELECTION NIGHT, THERE WAS A LOT OF VOTES FOR GEORGE W. BUSH IN THE HEARTLAND, AND SO BEFORE THEY GO BLOWING OFF ETHANOL OR NOT RESPONDING TO THE PROBLEMS OF FREEDOM TO FARM, THEY MIGHT WANT TO THINK, "WHERE DID WE WIN THIS ELECTION?" THERE'S HARD TIMES IN THE FARM BELT AND HARD TIMES NOW IN THE COUNTRY, AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HEADING INTO MIDTERM ELECTION, I FRANKLY THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY GOOD ELECTION YEAR IN 2002 FOR DEMOCRATS. IT IS HERE IN IOWA. YOU'LL HAVE SENATOR HARKIN. YOU'LL HAVE GOVERNOR VILSACK SEEKING REELECTION. REPUBLICANS WILL LOSE SOME OF THEIR NATURAL ADVANTAGES THAT THEY HAVE IN THE LEGISLATURE AND ADVANTAGES OF INCUMBENCY THERE. YOU'RE IN THE MIDTERM ELECTION. I THINK IT WILL BE A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR DEMOCRATS IN 2002.

Glover: HISTORY WOULD TEACH THAT LESSON THAT FIRST MIDTERM ELECTION OF THE NEW PRESIDENT IS ALMOST ALWAYS A DISASTER FOR THAT PRESIDENT'S PARTY. LOOK, IN 1994, WITH BILL CLINTON, WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM. THERE IS A CASE LIKELY TO BE OF BUYER'S REMORSE, AGGRAVATED BY THE REALITY THAT AL GORE MAY ACTUALLY HAVE WON THE ELECTION. SO I THINK THERE WILL BE A SET OF BUYER'S REMORSE SETTING IN. AND I AGREE, I THINK 2002 IS GOING TO BE A GOOD YEAR FOR DEMOCRATS. THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE AROUND ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE GOT THE SECRET SMILE ON THEIR FACE, TOM HARKIN AND TOM VILSACK. [ LAUGHTER ]

Obradovich: ONE MORE THING, TOO, THAT IOWANS, I THINK, WILL BE LOOKING FOR OUT OF THIS ELECTION, IT WAS A BIG PART OF THE CAMPAIGN, WAS GOODIES FOR THE ELDERLY. I MEAN, IOWA IS A VERY AGING STATE; PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS; WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITH SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. PEOPLE IN IOWA ARE DEFINITELY CONCERNED ABOUT THAT AND ARE GOING TO BE WATCHING. I HAVE A FEELING THAT IT'S GOING TO BE SO CONTENTIOUS IN THE FIRST SESSION THAT SOME OF THOSE LOCK-BOX ISSUES MAY NOT GET ADDRESSED.

Borg: WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DOES THE EXACT BALANCE IN THE SENATE MEAN FOR TOM HARKIN COMING UP FOR REELECTION? DOES THAT PUT HIM IN A LITTLE LESS OF MINORITY STATUS AND MAYBE MORE OF A PIVOTAL ROLE?

Yepsen: YES, HE'S GOING TO BE MUCH MORE POWERFUL IN THE SENATE IN A POSITION TO DO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT HERE, PARTICULARLY ON THAT FREEDOM TO FARM BILL. YOU KNOW, IOWA IS IN A REAL UNIQUE AND I THINK A PRETTY GOOD POSITION HERE. YOU'VE GOT TWO VERY POWERFUL SENATORS NOW. IF THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD TAKE THE SENATE, TOM HARKIN WILL BE CHAIRMAN OF THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE; SENATOR GRASSLEY ON FINANCE. THERE ARE A LOT OF STATES WITH NOT THAT MUCH SENIORITY. AND I THINK REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU THINK OF THE POLITICS, THE PERSONALITIES OF THESE TWO MEN, WE'VE GOT TWO SENATORS IN PLACE OUT THERE WHO ARE IN A GOOD POSITION, NO MATTER WHO IS IN POWER ELSEWHERE, TO TAKE CARE OF WHATEVER WE NEED TO GET DONE IN THIS STATE. Borg: MIKE, DO YOU HAVE A COMMENT ON THAT OR NOT?

Glover: WELL, I THINK SO. HARKIN, IN PARTICULAR, HAS WORKED FOR A LOT OF YEARS IN THE MINORITY IN THE SENATE, AND AS THAT MINORITY HAS NARROWED AND NARROWED AND NARROWED, HE'S BURROWED HIMSELF INTO A PRETTY POWERFUL ROLE. NOT ONLY THAT, BUT I THINK, PARTICULARLY ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, ANY DEMOCRAT, BEFORE HE PLANS ANYTHING IN CONGRESS OR ANYTHING POLITICALLY, WHO IS HE GOING TO TALK TO? HE'S GOING TO PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL TOM HARKIN AND SAY, "TOM, I'M GOING TO BE SPENDING A LITTLE TIME IN YOUR STATE OVER THE NEXT THREE OR FOUR YEARS; WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS IDEA?"

Borg: GREG GANSKE IS RUMORED, MORE THAN THAT, TO BE RUNNING AGAINST HIM. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE OUT OF GREG GANSKE, DO YOU THINK, KAY?

Henderson: A LOT OF FUND-RAISING. HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO RAISE A LOT OF MONEY TO MOUNT A CAMPAIGN AGAINST SENATOR HARKIN. IT'S BEEN TRIED BEFORE BY CONGRESSMEN BY THE NAME OF TAUKE AND OTHERS. IT'S AN UPHILL CLIMB FOR ANY REPUBLICAN ESPECIALLY IN AN OFF-YEAR ELECTION.

Glover: ONE THING REPUBLICANS ARE DOING THIS TIME THAT I GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR IS SOMETHING THEY'VE NEVER DONE AGAINST TOM HARKIN BEFORE. THEY'VE ALWAYS RUN AGAINST TOM HARKIN FROM THE RIGHT. TOM TAUKE RAN AS A SHARP CONSERVATIVE. JIM LIGHTFOOT RAN AS A SHARP CONSERVATIVE. THEY'VE NEVER THROWN A MODERATE AT TOM HARKIN. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THAT PLAYS OUT WITH A MODERATE RUNNING AGAINST HIM.

Borg: ONE OF THE THINGS FACING THE IOWA LEGISLATURE, KATHIE, IS REAPPORTIONMENT IN THIS SESSION. WE'VE BEEN TALKING HERE THAT REDISTRICTS, ALSO, THE FEDERAL CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS. WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE? IS THAT GOING TO BE AT ALL CONTENTIOUS OR IS THAT PRETTY MUCH BIPARTISAN AT THIS POINT?

Obradovich: WELL, IT ALWAYS HAS THE POTENTIAL. TEN YEARS AGO THEY PASSED THE FIRST PLAN THAT CAME TO THEM, AND IT WAS A PRETTY BIPARTISAN EFFORT. IOWA'S SYSTEM IS SUCH THAT IT TAKES QUITE A BIT OF THE PARTISANSHIP OFF THE LEGISLATIVE FLOOR AND MAYBE PUTS IT IN A MORE SUBTLE WAY IN THE BACK ROOM. AND SO I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT WANT TO KEEP THAT TRADITION GOING, BUT THE OTHER THING IS THAT THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT AT THE VERY END OF THE SESSION AND MAYBE HAVE TO EXTEND THE SESSION. THAT MAY LIMIT SOME OF THE DEBATE BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WANT TO GO HOME.

Yepsen: HERE AGAIN, DEAN, REAPPORTIONMENT WILL HELP DEMOCRATS AT THE CONGRESSIONAL LEVEL. YOU'VE GOT FOUR REPUBLICANS AND ONE DEMOCRAT IN THE DELEGATION RIGHT NOW. ONE OF THOSE REPUBLICANS IS THINKING ABOUT RUNNING FOR THE SENATE -- WELL, TWO OF THEM, INCLUDING CONGRESSMAN LATHAM. YOU NEVER KNOW WHETHER JIM LEACH IS GOING TO RUN FOR REELECTION OR NOT. LEONARD BOSWELL IS GETTING UP THERE WHERE HE IS NEARING RETIREMENT AGE. ANYTHING THAT REDRAWS THE DISTRICT LINES IN IOWA IS GOING TO GIVE DEMOCRATS AN ADVANTAGE. ANYTHING THAT CREATES INCUMBENCY IS GOING TO GIVE DEMOCRATS AN ADVANTAGE IN AN OFF-YEAR ELECTION IN THE STATE THAT IS AS EVENTUALLY DIVIDED AS THIS. LOOK HOW CLOSE THAT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WAS. OUR DELEGATION OUGHT TO BE SPLIT 3:2, NOT 4:1.

Glover: DEAN, ONE PREDICTION: THE REAPPORTIONMENT PROCESS IS COMPUTER DRIVEN, WRITTEN BY LEGISLATIVE STAFFERS WHO ARE FORBIDDEN FROM USING ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHO LIVES WHERE OR PAST ELECTION RESULTS. MIRACULOUSLY, SOMEHOW THEY ALWAYS COME UP WITH A PLAN THAT MAKES A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE HAPPY AND IT ALWAYS GETS APPROVED THE FIRST TIME. I'LL PREDICT THAT HAPPENS AGAIN THIS TIME.

Borg: JANET METCALF, THE STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE, ON THIS PROGRAM LAST WEEK, PREDICTED THAT NEW PLAN, AT LEAST THE FIRST VERSION OF IT, WILL BE READY FOR THE LEGISLATORS BEFORE THEY ADJOURN THEIR REGULAR SESSION. I KNOW ALL OF YOU, MAYBE, ARE A BIT MORE CYNICAL THAN THAT. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Yepsen: JUST MECHANICALLY, I'M NOT SURE THEY CAN GET IT DONE PRIOR TO THE TIME THEY ADJOURN. YOU KNOW, WE BEAT UP POLITICIANS A LOT IN THIS STATE, BUT I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THEY PROBABLY DO RIGHT IS REAPPORTIONMENT. WE HAVE PEOPLE FROM OTHER STATES WHO COME IN HERE AND LOOK AT THIS SYSTEM. MIKE IS RIGHT; IT IS DRIVEN BY A COMPUTER. YOU'VE GOT A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR AND A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE. THAT WILL MINIMIZE PARTISAN GAME PLAYING. YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES THEY DO SOME THINGS RIGHT IN A CLEAN NONPARTISAN REAPPORTIONMENT. IT'S AN AWFUL LOT BETTER THAN THE WAY THEY DO IT IN ILLINOIS.

Borg: DO YOU SEE, MIKE, ELECTION LAW REFORM COMING OUT OF THIS NOVEMBER ELECTION?

Glover: NOT SWEEPING, NOT MAJOR ELECTION LAW REFORM. I DO SEE A LOT OF DEBATE ABOUT ELECTION LAW REFORM. I DO SEE SOME POTENTIAL CHANGES IN ELECTION LAW REFORM. I THINK THEY'LL DEBATE THE TIME THAT THE POLLS CLOSE IN THE STATE. I DOUBT THEY CHANGE THAT. I THINK THEY'LL MAKE SOME CHANGES. AT LEAST REPRESENTATIVE METCALF INDICATED LAST WEEK ON THIS SHOW, SHE'D LIKE TO MAKE SOME CHANGES IN THE WAY WE DO ABSENTEE BALLOTING. I THINK THAT WILL MEET A LOT OF RESISTANCE. IT'S FAR FROM CLEAR THAT'S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN. THERE WILL BE A LOT OF DISCUSSION ABOUT PUTTING SOME MORE MONEY INTO ELECTION SYSTEMS TO UPGRADE THE EQUIPMENT AROUND THE STATE SO WE DON'T FIND OURSELVES IN THE SAME SITUATION AS FLORIDA WHERE WE'VE GOT JUST OUTDATED EQUIPMENT THAT CAUSES A NIGHTMARE ON ELECTION NIGHT. THAT MAY BE THE MOST LIKELY RESULT OF THIS.

Henderson: ONE POSTSCRIPT ON MIKE'S COMMENTS IS THAT YOU'LL REMEMBER THAT THE IOWA CAUCUSES ARE ALWAYS THE PUNCHING BAG OF THE REST OF THE NATION AND EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO FIRST IN THE PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION PROCESS. AND IOWA ALWAYS ENDS UP FIRST BECAUSE THE STATUS QUO IS MUCH EASIER TO OPT FOR IF YOU'RE A POLITICIAN THAN ACTUAL CHANGE IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS.

Borg: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS LOOMING IN THE BACKGROUND IS GOVERNOR VILSACK AND OTHERS SAYING THAT WE NEED MORE IMMIGRATION TO IOWA. IS THAT AT ALL LIKELY TO COME UP IN THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION?

Obradovich: IT WILL ABSOLUTELY COME UP BUT MAYBE NOT IN A HUGE WAY. THE GOVERNOR HAS SOME PROGRAMS FOR MODEL CITIES TO START WORKING ON THESE PROBLEMS AND TRY AND FIGURE OUT WAYS TO DO IT. HE'S GOING TO WANT A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY FOR THAT, BUT I THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE THE BIG THRUST OF IMMIGRATION. ENGLISH ONLY IS ALSO, AGAIN, A DEBATE.

Yepsen: I GIVE CREDIT TO TOM VILSACK ON THIS. IT'S GOT TO BE DONE. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE. ALL THE ECONOMIC STUDIES SHOW THAT. IT'S VERY CONTROVERSIAL. IOWANS DON'T WANT TO DO IT, AND HE'S SHOWN SOME REAL POLITICAL COURAGE JUST IN GOING OUT AND TALKING ABOUT THIS ALL THE TIME. IT'S NOT SO MUCH IN THE LEGISLATURE. IT'S THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE GOING INTO COUNTY SEAT TOWNS AROUND IOWA AND SAYING, "LISTEN, WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT." HE GETS HIGH MARKS FOR POLITICAL COURAGE ON THIS ONE.

Borg: BUT IS HE MAKING ANY HEADWAY ON THAT, DO YOU THINK, MIKE?

Glover: SLOWLY BUT SURELY. IT'S NOT AN ISSUE THAT CAN BE SOLVED OVER NIGHT. IT'S NOT AN ISSUE YOU CAN WRITE A BILL AND SAY THIS IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO. IT'S NOT AN ISSUE WHERE YOU CAN PASS A RESOLUTION AND SAY THIS IS WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. IT'S AN ISSUE THAT HAS TO HAPPEN SLOWLY OVER TIME. PEOPLE HAVE TO GET USED TO IT; THEY HAVE TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA. I GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR GOING SLOWLY AND NOT PUSHING THIS FASTER, BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO TAKE PEOPLE TIME TO ADJUST. THIS IS AN INHERENTLY -- WHETHER IT'S A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRATIC STATE, IT'S A CONSERVATIVE STATE THAT DOESN'T LIKE TO RUSH INTO THINGS.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, THE FOCUS RETURNS TO THE IOWA STATEHOUSE WITH THE 79TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AS WE'VE SAID, CONVENES ON MONDAY, JANUARY 8. SPEAKER OF THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BRENT SIEGRIST WILL RAP THE GAVEL TO OPEN THAT 2001 SESSION. ON THE DAY BEFORE, HE'LL BE HERE. HE'LL JOIN US ON IOWA PRESS TO DISCUSS THE REPUBLICAN AGENDA. AIRTIME IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 7 AT NOON AND 7:00. AND WE LEAVE YOU WITH A PROGRAM REMINDER: GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK ADDRESSES A JOINT SESSION OF THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON TUESDAY MORNING, JANUARY 9, AND WE'LL BE THERE. IT'S THE GOVERNOR'S ANNUAL "CONDITION OF THE STATE MESSAGE" DEFINING THE PRIORITIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. AIRTIME LIVE ON TUESDAY MORNING, JANUARY 9. IT'S 10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING; REBROADCAST AT 6:30 THAT NIGHT. THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HAPPY NEW YEAR AND THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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