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Iowa Press #2842 – Reporters' Roundtable
June 24, 2001

Dean Borg: THE IOWA LEGISLATIVE SESSION OF 2001 IS HISTORY, AND THE AGENDA FOR 2002 IS ALREADY TAKING SHAPE. IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS REVIEW AND PREVIEW 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, JUNE 24 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL SESSION OF THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMPLETED LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS FOR 2001, THE FIRST SESSION OF THE 79TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. IOWA'S 150 SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES MET FOR TEN HOURS ON TUESDAY TO COMPLETE UNFINISHED BUSINESS, INCLUDING WHAT SOME SAY IS ONE OF THE MOST CONTENTIOUS STATEHOUSE SESSIONS IN RECENT MEMORY. THE SPECIAL SESSION THIS PAST TUESDAY APPROVED REDISTRICTING PLAN NUMBER TWO, SET NEW REGULATIONS FOR UTILITY PLANT SITING, BUT PULLED BACK PROPOSALS THAT WOULD HAVE PERMITTED ELECTRICAL POWER PURCHASE CONTRACTS. IT RESTORED SURTAX FUNDING FOR IOWA'S WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM AND EXEMPTED FEDERAL INCOME TAX REBATES FROM IOWA'S INCOME TAXES. WELL, WE'VE GATHERED OUR TEAM OF IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS HERE TODAY TO PROVIDE PERSPECTIVE ON THOSE ACTIONS AND TO PREVIEW WHAT IT MEANS FOR NEXT YEAR. JOINING US: JOYCE RUSSELL OF WOI PUBLIC RADIO, MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA, AND KATHIE OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS. KATHIE, ONE OF THE THINGS I MENTIONED THAT THEY DID WAS PUT MORE MONEY BACK IN IOWANS' POCKETS. AMONG THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED THERE, IS THAT THE ONE THAT IOWANS ARE GOING TO NOTICE THE MOST?

Obradovich: WELL, IT'S ONE THAT THEY'RE PROBABLY GOING TO NOTICE RIGHT OFF THE BAT. IT'S ACTUALLY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT'S PUTTING THE MONEY BACK INTO IOWA'S POCKETS, BUT IT'S THE STATE OF IOWA THAT DECIDED YOU'RE GOING TO GET TO KEEP IT ALL IS ESSENTIALLY WHAT THEY DID. AND THEY DECIDED THAT THEY WOULD FOREGO THE $20 MILLION OF EXTRA STATE TAXES THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED ON THAT LITTLE EXTRA INCOME, $300 FOR MOST PEOPLE, $600 FOR COUPLES. ESSENTIALLY, IF THEY'D DONE NOTHING, THE STATE WOULD HAVE TAKEN MAYBE $14 OR SO OUT OF THAT NEXT YEAR WHEN YOU FILED YOUR TAX FORM.

Borg: KAY, REDISTRICTING PLAN NUMBER TWO IS ANOTHER THING I MENTIONED. HOW IS THAT GOING TO AFFECT IOWANS?

Henderson: WELL, IOWANS WILL HAVE DIFFERENT CONGRESSPEOPLE IF THEY LIVE IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THE STATE. SOME COUNTIES WILL HAVE THE SAME PERSON. THERE WILL BE A LITTLE BIT OF SHIFTING THERE. I THINK THE MOST NOTABLE THING TO HAPPEN DURING THE DEBATE ABOUT REDISTRICTING WAS THEY STARTED DEBATING THE REDISTRICTING PLAN TEN YEARS ON DOWN THE ROAD. THEY STARTED TALKING ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF ENSURING THAT CITIES AND THEIR SUBURBS ARE IN THE SAME CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, BECAUSE THIS PLAN THAT WAS APPROVED ON TUESDAY, AND THE GOVERNOR IS SIGNING, ENSURES THAT DES MOINES IS SEPARATED FROM ITS SUBURBS BOTH TO THE NORTH AND TO THE WEST AND TO THE SOUTH. SO THERE'S THIS TALK ABOUT HAVING AREAS OF ECONOMIC CONGRUOUSNESS TOGETHER. THERE'S ALSO TALK ABOUT LOOKING AT MORE THAN ONE MAP WHEN THEY VOTE ON THESE THINGS. THE WAY THE LAW IS WRITTEN NOW, THE LEGISLATIVE SERVICE BUREAU, A NONPARTISAN AGENCY, DRAWS UP A FEW MAPS, PICKS ONE AND PRESENTS IT TO LEGISLATORS, AND THEY CAN'T AMEND IT. THE WAY LEGISLATORS WERE TALKING THIS PAST WEEK, THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT CHANGING THE LAW, WHEREBY THE LEGISLATIVE SERVICE BUREAU WOULD GIVE THEM MAYBE FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT MAPS, AND THEY WOULD GET TO PICK AND CHOOSE AMONG THE VARIOUS PLANS THAT WERE PRESENTED TO THEM.

Glover: DEAN, WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT HERE, PARTICULARLY IN THE REDISTRICTING, IS LEGISLATORS ARE AFRAID AND THEY'VE LOST CONTROL. THEY DON'T LIKE LOSING CONTROL OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PROCESS CALLED "DRAWING THE DISTRICTS" BY WHICH THEY MUST LIVE AND DIE POLITICALLY, SO THEY'RE GOING TO MOVE. AT SOME POINT BETWEEN NOW AND THE NEXT REDISTRICTING TEN YEARS FROM NOW, THEY'RE GOING TO MOVE TO SCRAP THE PROCESS THEY'VE GOT BECAUSE IT GIVES SOMEBODY OTHER THAN THEM TOO MUCH CONTROL OVER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

Borg: BUT, MIKE, IT WORKED BEFORE. YOU KNOW, IT WORKED THE LAST TIME AROUND. EVERYBODY SAID THEY LIKED IT. HAVE WE CHANGED -- ARE THINGS CHANGING IN IOWA SO THAT WE DON'T LIKE IT NOW?

Glover: DEAN, STRICTLY SPEAKING, WE DON'T ALWAYS BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY -- [ LAUGHTER ] -- BUT, PRIMARILY, WHAT HAPPENED WAS, TWENTY YEARS AGO, IOWA FOUND ITSELF LOCKED UP IN A COURT BATTLE OVER DRAWING NEW DISTRICTS. IN A REACTION TO HAVING POWER TAKEN COMPLETELY OUT OF THEIR HANDS, TAKEN OVER BY THE IOWA SUPREME COURT, THEY WENT TO A NONPARTISAN THING TO GET A LITTLE BIT OF THE POWER BACK. THAT'S STARTING TO WEAR PRETTY THIN NOW, AND YOU'RE STARTING TO SEE PEOPLE WHO SAY, "OKAY, REDISTRICTING IS AN ESSENTIALLY PARTISAN PROCESS. WE WANT PARTISAN CONTROL OVER IT AGAIN." SO THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN I PREDICT BY THE NEXT TIME THIS HAPPENS.

Russell: THE ADDED DIFFICULTY NEXT YEAR - OF COURSE, WE DO THIS EVERY TEN YEARS - THE ADDED DIFFICULTY NEXT YEAR IS THERE ARE PREDICTIONS THAT WE WILL LOSE ANOTHER CONGRESS MEMBER AGAIN. TEN YEARS AGO WE WENT FROM SIX TO FIVE. THIS TIME WE'VE RETAINED THE FIVE.

Borg: YOU DON'T MEAN NEXT YEAR; YOU MEAN IN TEN YEARS.

Russell: I MEAN IN TEN YEARS, NEXT TIME WE DO THIS. SO THAT WILL ALSO MAKE THE PROCESS OF REDISTRICTING MORE DIFFICULT.

Glover: WHAT YOU HAVE IN IOWA IS THAT, IN IOWA, EACH OF THE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS HAS ABOUT 585,000 PEOPLE IN IT. NATIONALLY, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS ARE AVERAGING ABOUT 615,000, 618,000 PEOPLE. SO IOWA'S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS ARE ALREADY SMALLER THAN THE AVERAGE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AROUND THE COUNTRY. SO IF THAT TREND CONTINUES -- AND THERE'S NO REASON TO BELIEVE IT WON'T -- THE NEXT TIME AROUND, WE'LL GO TO FOUR SEATS.

Borg: I WANT TO COME BACK TO ALL THESE ISSUES AND SAY WHO WON AND WHO LOST ON EACH OF THEM. BUT, JOYCE, I HEARD THIS WEEK, YOU DID QUITE AN EXPANSIVE INSIGHT INTO THAT ELECTRICAL POWER CONTROVERSY, AT LEAST THE ACTION THEY TOOK. WHAT HAPPENED THERE AND WHO WAS THE WINNER?

Russell: WELL, A COMPROMISE BILL WAS PASSED THAT WILL ALLOW -- WILL PROBABLY RESULT IN NEW ELECTRIC GENERATION BEING BUILT IN IOWA, BUT PERHAPS NOT AS MUCH AS WOULD HAVE BEEN IF THE FULL BILL HAD PASSED. THE PREDICTIONS ARE, IF YOU WANT TO ASK WHO THE WINNERS ARE, THE PREDICTIONS ARE THAT MIDAMERICAN ENERGY WILL BUILD NEW ELECTRIC GENERATION IN IOWA AND THAT IOWA'S MUNICIPAL UTILITIES WILL JOINTLY FINANCE NEW ELECTRIC GENERATION. THE PREDICTION IS NOW THAT ALLIANT ENERGY WILL NOT BECAUSE THE OPTION THAT THEY HAD SOUGHT WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE BILL BECAUSE GOVERNOR VILSACK SAID HE WOULD VETO THE BILL IF THAT CHANGE WASN'T MADE.

Borg: SO IOWANS SHOULD NOTICE A DIFFERENCE IN THAT THE LIGHTS STAND A LESS CHANCE OF GOING OUT IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

Russell: WELL, IT WAS NEVER VERY CLEAR AND IT STILL ISN'T CLEAR THAT WITHOUT THIS BILL THERE WAS -- THERE WOULD ACTUALLY BE A CHANCE OF THE LIGHTS GOING OUT. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NEW ELECTRIC GENERATION IN THE STATE THREE OR FOUR YEARS DOWN THE LINE. THAT'S HOW LONG IT TAKES. THERE WERE PLENTY OF PEOPLE IN THIS DEBATE WHO SAID, "WHETHER OR NOT THESE PLANTS ARE BUILT IN IOWA, POWER CAN BE BUILT ANYWHERE AND POWER CAN BE BROUGHT INTO THIS STATE FROM ANYWHERE."

Glover: DEAN, THE SITUATION IS THIS: EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT RIGHT NOW THERE IS ENOUGH ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN IOWA TO MEET THE NEEDS AND THERE WILL BE FOR YEARS. IN A COUPLE OF YEARS THERE WON'T BE. THERE WILL BE A SHORTAGE OF ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN IOWA TO MEET THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE IN IOWA. SO IN A COUPLE YEARS, THEY'LL HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE: DO THEY BUILD MORE CAPACITY HERE; DO THEY BUY IT ON THE SPOT MARKET TO MEET THE NEEDS; OR HOW DO THEY DEAL WITH THAT? SO IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON, IT'S WHERE DO YOU GET THE POWER TO KEEP THOSE LIGHTS ON. THE ARGUMENT THAT BACKERS OF THIS BILL MADE WAS THAT IF WE BUILD TO CAPACITY HERE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF IOWANS, THAT YOU CAN CONTROL PRICING AND SO FORTH AND SO ON, AND WE WON'T GET OURSELVES IN A CALIFORNIA-TYPE SITUATION.

Obradovich: BUT THEY MANAGED TO SCARE A LOT OF PEOPLE BY TALKING ABOUT CALIFORNIA BECAUSE, REALLY, IT'S A MATTER OF HOW MUCH YOUR POWER IS GOING TO COST. IT'S NOT GOING TO COST LESS. IT'S GOING TO COST MORE AND BUILDING POWER PLANTS COSTS MONEY, AND THAT IS GOING TO ADD ONTO PEOPLE'S BILLS. THEY'RE GOING TO SEE THEIR BILLS GO UP. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER IT WOULD COST LESS TO BUILD THE POWER IN STATE OR TO GO OUT OF STATE. AND, REALLY, EVEN THAT WASN'T THE MAIN DEAL WITH THIS BILL. THE MAIN DEAL OF THIS BILL WAS TO LURE INDUSTRY INTO IOWA WHO WANT THE SECURITY OF HAVING POWER PLANTS DOWN THE ROAD, AS OPPOSED TO BEING A COUPLE STATES OVER WHEN THE NATION'S SYSTEM FOR TRANSMITTING ELECTRICITY IS SHAKY. IT WAS REALLY AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEAL. IT WASN'T REALLY ABOUT POWER AT ALL.

Henderson: IT WAS A GOOD TIME FOR THE UTILITY COMPANIES TO STRIKE, BECAUSE IN CALIFORNIA NOW, THE STATE IS CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION AND THE UTILITIES OUT THERE ARE GOING TO GET A BIG BLACK EYE. THIS PAST WEEK, UTILITY WORKERS WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW THE COMPANIES WERE SHUTTING DOWN PLANTS FOR MAINTENANCE WHEN THEY REALLY DIDN'T NEED MAINTENANCE. THEY WERE THROWING AWAY PARTS BECAUSE THEY WERE SHUTTING THE UTILITY PLANTS DOWN AND FAKING THE GENERATING CAPACITY OF THE PLANT. SO IT WAS A REALLY GOOD TIME FOR UTILITIES TO STRIKE BECAUSE THEY'RE GOING TO GET A POLITICAL BLACK EYE ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF WHAT UTILITIES IN CALIFORNIA DID, POST-DEREGULATION IN THAT STATE.

Borg: SO WHAT HAPPENED ON TUESDAY, THEN, THAT WILL AFFECT IOWANS?

Glover: THEY APPROVED A BILL WHICH, IN ESSENCE, DOES A COUPLE OF THINGS. ONE, WHEN YOU WANT TO BUILD A POWER PLANT, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF REGULATORY HURDLES YOU HAVE TO LEAP THROUGH. THEY SMOOTHED SOME OF THOSE HURDLES OUT, MADE IT A LITTLE BIT EASIER IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A PLANT TO BUILD. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THEY DID WAS -- THE BILL CREATES A PROCESS BY WHICH YOU CAN GO TO STATE REGULATORS AND SAY, "OKAY, I WANT TO BUILD A POWER PLANT. IT'S GOING TO COST 'X' AMOUNT. APPROVE FOR ME A NEW RATE STRUCTURE WHICH WILL ALLOW ME TO RECOUP THOSE COSTS." AND THAT'S WHAT THIS BILL DOES. YOU CAN SAY, "I'M GOING TO BUILD A PLANT; IT'S GOING TO COST THIS MUCH; I WANT APPROVAL FOR A RATE STRUCTURE THAT WILL GIVE ME THIS MUCH MONEY THAT WILL PAY FOR IT." THEN YOU CAN GO TO YOUR INVESTORS AND SAY, "OKAY, I WANT TO SPEND THIS MUCH MONEY ON A PLANT AND I HAVE APPROVAL TO PUT IN PLACE THIS RATE STRUCTURE, WHICH WILL RECOUP THOSE COSTS OVER THIS AMOUNT OF YEARS."

Obradovich: YOU HAVE WINNERS AND LOSERS, DEAN. AND I THINK, POLITICALLY, BOTH THE GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICANS CAME AWAY WITH SOMETHING POLITICALLY THAT THEY CAN HOLD ON TO. ONE, THE GOVERNOR ESSENTIALLY ISSUED A VETO THREAT THE DAY BEFORE THE SPECIAL SESSION WAS SUPPOSED TO START. AND REPUBLICANS, IN A SENSE, BELIEVED THAT HE WOULD VETO THE BILL, AND THEY COMPROMISED AND GAVE HIM THE BILL THAT HE WANTED TO SEE. THAT GAVE VILSACK A VICTORY. HE CAN GO TO HIS HOUSE AND THE UNIONS WHO DIDN'T LIKE THE BILL AND SAY, "LOOK WHAT I DID FOR YOU." REPUBLICANS ALSO CAME AWAY WITH SOMETHING, AND THAT IS THAT WHEN ALLIANT DECIDES -- IF THEY DECIDE TO BUILD A PLANT IN SOME OTHER STATE, WHICH, YOU KNOW, MAY HAVE BEEN IN THE CARDS ALL ALONG, THEY CAN BLAME VILSACK FOR IT. SO THEY TAKE A POLITICAL ISSUE AWAY AS WELL.

Borg: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT POINT THAT YOU BROUGHT UP HERE, THE TENOR OF THE SESSION, IN JUST A MOMENT. BUT BEFORE WE DO THAT, I WANT TO ALSO TAKE THIS OTHER ISSUE -- THAT JOB SERVICE OFFICES, KAY, THAT WAS THE OTHER ISSUE THAT CAME UP DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION. LET'S RESOLVE THAT SO THAT WE DON'T FORGET IT.

Henderson: WELL, I DON'T THINK IT'S AS MUCH OF A VICTORY AS IT IS A STAY OF EXECUTION. IF REPUBLICANS REMAIN IN CONTROL, THESE 56 OFFICES FOR JOB SERVICES WHICH ARE SPREAD ALL ACROSS THE STATE, THE NUMBER IS GOING TO DWINDLE. THEY ALSO REDUCED THE SURTAX. EVERY PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESS PAYS A TAX PER EMPLOYEE. IT RANGES IN PRICE NOW -- THEY SET IT AT $7 AN EMPLOYEE PER YEAR. THAT'S A LITTLE LESS THAN IT WAS. THAT MONEY IS GENERATED AND IT RUNS THOSE 56 OFFICES. THEY'VE ALSO ENSURED IN THE BILL THAT THEY PASSED THAT THERE WILL BE SOME STREAMLINING. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, THEY'VE MADE SOME VERY SPECIFIC GOALS IN THAT LEGISLATION FOR CONSOLIDATION AND FOR WHAT THE MONEY CAN INDEED BE USED FOR. THEY ALSO GAVE THE AGENCY PERMISSION TO CHARGE FEES FOR ITS SERVICES, WHICH IT DOESN'T NOW. SO I THINK THEY'RE TRANSITIONING THOSE OFFICES; THIS TRANSITION PERIOD IS GOING TO BE FOR TWO YEARS. AGAIN, IF REPUBLICANS RETAIN CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE, THEY'RE GOING TO WANT TO CLOSE THESE OFFICES.

Glover: DEAN, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A SCHOOL YARD AND SEEN A COUPLE KIDS... ONE OF THEM HAS GOT A LITTLE ROCK ON HIS SHOULDER AND SAYS, "KNOCK THAT ROCK OFF." THEY KIND OF GO BACK AND FORTH AND CROSS THIS LINE. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED WITH THESE JOB SERVICES OFFICES IN THE LAST DAY OF THE LEGISLATURE. THEY GOT MAD. THEY ACTED LIKE KIDS AND THEY CLOSED A BUNCH OF OFFICES THAT EVEN THEIR OWN CONSTITUENTS DIDN'T WANT CLOSED. THEY CAME BACK IN AND, SUDDENLY, A BILL THAT HAD NO CHANCE OF PASSING THE REGULAR SESSION PASSED 50/0 IN THE SENATE AND 95/1 IN THE HOUSE.

Borg: SPITE.

Glover: YEAH. ACTING LIKE KIDS.

Borg: AND SO NOW THEY THOUGHT BETTER OF IT IN THIS SPECIAL SESSION --

Glover: THEY GOT AWAY FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS, TEMPERS COOLED, THEY GREW UP, THEY TALKED TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS. "YEAH, I NEED THESE OFFICES. YEAH, I'VE GOT A SMALL BUSINESS IN RURAL IOWA, NEWTON, IOWA" --

Henderson: WELL, NEWTON, IOWA, SMALL BUSINESS, MAYTAG. THEY WERE PRETTY MUCH IN FAVOR OF THIS, SO THEY NOT ONLY HEARD FROM SMALL BUSINESSES BUT LARGE BUSINESSES.

Glover: SMALL AND LARGE AS WELL. BUT THEY HEARD FROM CONSTITUENTS WHO SAID, "WE KINDA LIKE THE IDEA OF HAVING THESE OFFICES AROUND. THEY'RE KIND OF HANDY FOR RECRUITING WORKERS. THEY'RE KIND OF NICE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS. SO YOU GUYS NEED TO GO BACK THERE AND TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS."

Borg: BUT KAY HAS INSINUATED, SHE SAID IF REPUBLICANS STAYED IN CONTROL, WE'D SEE EVEN MORE CUTS. WHY DON'T REPUBLICANS LIKE THE JOB SERVICE OFFICES?

Glover: SALVE ON WOUNDS. THEY PUT A BUNCH OF STUFF IN THE BILL TO MAKE IT LOOK AS THOUGH THEY WERE MAKING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR WHAT THEY HAD DONE EARLIER. THE OFFICES ARE GOING TO STAY OPEN. THEY LIKE THEM. IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE. THEY HAD TO DO SOMETHING TO KIND OF JUSTIFY WHAT THEY DID.

Russell: AND THEY OPPOSED THE METHOD OF FUNDING THE OFFICES, WHICH IS A SURCHARGE ON BUSINESSES.

Borg: I SEE. OKAY. JOYCE, WE'VE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT, KATHIE, ALLUDED TO THE TENOR OF THIS SESSION. THEY GOT A LOT DONE IN ONE DAY, AND THEY DID IT IN A FAIRLY FRIENDLY WAY. IS THIS GOING TO LAST?

Russell: WELL, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. IT WAS -- THERE WAS OBVIOUSLY BIPARTISAN COOPERATION FOR THAT TEN HOURS, BUT THERE WAS ALSO QUITE A BIT OF BITTERNESS IN THE FINAL HOUR OF DEBATE ON THAT ELECTRICITY BILL. THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP WAS REALLY IRRITATED THAT THE VETO THREAT WAS OUT THERE AND THAT THEY COULDN'T PASS WHAT THEY CALL THE FULL LOAF INSTEAD OF HALF A LOAF. SO IT WASN'T ALL SWEETNESS AND LIGHT EXACTLY.

Glover: AND IT'S NOT GOING TO CARRY OVER. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF FACTORS THAT WENT INTO POLITICALLY MAKING THESE THINGS HAPPEN IN THIS ONE-DAY SPECIAL SESSION. THOSE FACTORS WILL NOT BE AT WORK WHEN LAWMAKERS COME BACK IN JANUARY FOR NEXT YEAR'S REGULAR SESSION: A) IT'S GOING TO BE AN ELECTION YEAR; B) IT'S GOING TO BE A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION YEAR. C) I DON'T SEE ANY SIGN THAT THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO BE DOING A LOT BETTER BETWEEN NOW AND JANUARY, SO THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE BUDGET PROBLEMS WHEN THEY COME BACK. SO I THINK THERE'S NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION WILL BE ANYTHING EXCEPT MORE PARTISAN, MORE BITTER THAN THE ONE WE JUST EXPERIENCED.

Borg: KATHIE MENTIONED THE WARNING BY GOVERNOR VILSACK THAT HE WOULD VETO CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THAT ELECTRICAL PLANT SITING AND POWER PURCHASE BILL.

Obradovich: HE'LL VETO THE WHOLE THING.

Borg: THE WHOLE THING. HE WANTED A SEPARATE SECTION SO THAT HE COULD VETO SOME OF IT IF THEY PASSED IT DOWN TO HIM. WOULD YOU SAY THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK WAS IN CONTROL OF THIS SESSION?

Henderson: I HAVE A COLLEAGUE -- WE ALL HAVE A COLLEAGUE NAMED TODD DORMAN, AND HE WAS SITTING IN THE SENATE ON THE MORNING OF THE SPECIAL SESSION. HE SAID, "YOU KNOW WHAT HARRY CARAY USED TO SAY: "GOV WINS! GOV WINS!" HE REALLY DID WIN IN THIS INSTANCE ON THOSE TWO ISSUES, THE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND ON THE ELECTRICAL SITING, BECAUSE IT WASN'T CLEAR THAT THEY WERE GOING TO DO ANYTHING UNTIL HE BACKED THEM INTO A CORNER ON BOTH OF THESE.

Glover: THERE'S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FRUSTRATION -- AND WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE OUT HERE, UP IN THE LEGISLATURE. THE LEGISLATURE IS FIRMLY CONTROLLED, BOTH CHAMBERS, BY REPUBLICANS. THERE'S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FRUSTRATION BECAUSE THERE'S A DEMOCRAT SITTING IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, AND THEY'RE NOT USED TO THAT. IT'S BEEN THIRTY YEARS SINCE WE'VE HAD A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR. WHEN A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR ISSUES A VETO THREAT, THE REPUBLICANS KIND OF SIT THERE AND GOES, "HE'S GOING TO VETO THIS, AND THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?" WELL, I'M SORRY, WHEN YOU ELECT A GOVERNOR, THAT'S WHAT YOU GET. AND THEY DON'T -- THEY DEAL WITH IT ABOUT LIKE THAT.

Obradovich: AND THAT LEFT THEM -- THEY MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT THAT LEFT THEM WITH THE DECISION TO MAKE: WHETHER THEY REALLY WANTED TO HAVE PART OF THIS BILL AND GET SOME POWER PLANTS BUILT OR WHETHER THEY WANTED TO HAVE A POLITICAL ISSUE. THE WAY IT HAPPENED, THEY PROBABLY GET BOTH, SO THEY WERE ABLE TO SWALLOW THEIR PRIDE A LITTLE BIT AND ACCEPT THAT.

Borg: I WAS GOING TO DO IT LATER IN OUR CONVERSATION HERE, BUT I'LL BRING IT UP NOW. DO THE REPUBLICANS HAVE ANYBODY -- YOU SAY AN ELECTION YEAR IS AN ELECTION YEAR. IN 2002 DO THE REPUBLICANS HAVE ANYBODY TO CHANGE THAT? ARE THEY GOING TO BE ABLE TO TAKE BACK THE GOVERNORSHIP?

Glover: THEY HAVE A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE, STEVE SUKUP, A REPUBLICAN FROM DOUGHERTY, IN NORTH CENTRAL IOWA, WHO IS RUNNING. HE'S COMMITTED TO MAKING THE RACE AND HAS GENERATED SIGNIFICANT EARLY FINANCIAL ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT. THERE'S A LOT OF RUMBLINGS THAT DAN GABLE, THE WRESTLING COACH OVER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, MIGHT TRY IT. HE'S A GREAT NAME ID. BUT AS OF THIS MOMENT, THEY DON'T HAVE WHAT WE WOULD ALL CALL A HEAVYWEIGHT CANDIDATE: A MEMBER OF CONGRESS, A FORMER SENATOR, SOMEBODY -- A CHUCK GRASSLEY, SOMEBODY LIKE THAT WHO CAN BRING INSTANT CREDIBILITY TO THE RACE. SO AT THIS MOMENT, NO, THEY DON'T HAVE A SERIOUS HEAVYWEIGHT CANDIDATE.

Borg: AND I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE GOVERNOR IS IN FULL CAMPAIGN SWING RIGHT NOW. HE'S PLANNING A WALK ACROSS IOWA.

Glover: SURE.

Borg: HE'S GOT HIS --

Glover: HE'S RAISED A MILLION DOLLARS.

Borg: HIS WIFE IS OUT CRISSCROSSING IOWA AND THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IS OUT CRISSCROSSING IOWA.

Glover: HE'S RAISED A MILLION DOLLARS. HE'S RETAINED THE SAME CONSULTANT THAT HE USED LAST TIME, DAVE AXELROD FROM CHICAGO. HE'S GOT A CAMPAIGN TEAM PUT IN PLACE. HE'S GOT A POLLING OPERATION GOING. HE'S GOT A FUND-RAISING OPERATION GOING. YEAH, HE'S IN FULL CAMPAIGN MODE. AND THAT'S NOT MEANT AS CRITICISM; IT'S JUST MEANT THAT HE'S GEARING UP AND READY FOR NEXT YEAR.

Obradovich: THAT'S ONE PAGE OUT OF GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S PLAY BOOK THAT HE DEFINITELY KEPT THAT -- KEEPING THE CAMPAIGN GOING YEAR-ROUND.

Glover: THERE'S A LOT MORE SIMILARITIES THAN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THOSE TWO GUYS.

Borg: KAY, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS. NOW THAT THE REDISTRICTING PLAN NUMBER TWO IS LAW -- THE GOVERNOR HASN'T SIGNED IT YET, BUT HE SAID HE WILL. IS IT ANY CLEARER WHO'S GOING TO BE RUNNING IN THE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS? LET'S START WITH DISTRICT NUMBER ONE. WHAT DISTRICT IS THAT? IT'S OVER IN EASTERN IOWA.

Henderson: RIGHT, AND IT SORT OF STRETCHES FROM SCOTT COUNTY, WHICH IS DAVENPORT, UP TO DUBUQUE AND OVER TO WATERLOO. IT'S THE SMALLEST OF THE -- WELL, IT'S THE SECOND SMALLEST DISTRICT. IT'S A DISTRICT IN WHICH CONGRESSMAN LEACH AND CONGRESSMAN NUSSLE, THE TWO JIMs, LIVE RIGHT NOW. LEACH IS GOING TO MOVE OUT OF THAT DISTRICT, AND NUSSLE IS GOING TO STAY THERE AND RUN. IN THE SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHICH IS THE ECONOMIC BASE OF IOWA CITY AND CEDAR RAPIDS AND SORT OF DOWN TO KEOKUK, THAT IS A DISTRICT THAT LOOKS APPEALING TO JIM LEACH, AND IT LOOKS APPEALING ALSO TO LEONARD BOSWELL BECAUSE HE, FRANKLY, DOESN'T LIKE THE FIFTH DISTRICT IN WHICH HE IS STUCK LIVING RIGHT NOW. HE LIVES IN DAVIS CITY, WHICH IS SORT OF IN SOUTH CENTRAL IOWA. AND THIS FIFTH DISTRICT THAT THEY'VE DRAWN IS THIS WESTERN IOWA DISTRICT, EASTERN NEBRASKA DISTRICT, IF YOU WILL. IT'S 32 COUNTIES THAT STRETCHES FROM MINNESOTA DOWN TO MISSOURI.

Borg: LET'S STAY WITH THE FIRST JUST FOR A MOMENT. THAT RUNS UP ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI, AS YOU SAID, DAVENPORT, UP THROUGH THE DUBUQUE AREA. THAT WILL BE JIM NUSSLE TERRITORY NOW FOR THE INCUMBENT?

Henderson: CORRECT.

Borg: AND WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES?

Glover: WE HEAR PAT DELUHERY, STATE SENATOR FROM DAVENPORT, IS A POTENTIAL CANDIDATE IN THAT DISTRICT. IT'S A DISTRICT THAT YOU WOULD EXPECT AN INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN TO HOLD, BUT YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER IT HAS A PLURALITY OF DEMOCRATIC VOTERS. OF THE NEW DISTRICTS THAT WERE CREATED, THREE OF THE FIVE HAVE A PLURALITY OF DEMOCRATIC VOTERS, BUT TWO OF THOSE ARE LIKELY TO BE TAKEN BY REPUBLICANS BECAUSE OF INCUMBENCY.

Borg: KATHIE, GO BACK TO THAT SECOND DISTRICT THAT SHE DESCRIBED, THE CEDAR RAPIDS / IOWA CITY ON SOUTH.

Obradovich: RIGHT, AND THIS IS A DISTRICT THAT IS REALLY VERY ATTRACTIVE FOR DEMOCRATS. BUT AS SHE SAID, JIM LEACH IS PLANNING TO MOVE TO IOWA CITY AND TRY TO RUN IN THAT DISTRICT. LEACH IS CONSIDERED TO BE FAIRLY MODERATE. HE TYPICALLY DOES WELL AMONG DEMOCRATS IN THE CURRENT DISTRICT. BUT IT'S GOING TO BE A TOUGH DISTRICT FOR HIM TO WIN, AND HE'S VERY LIKELY TO FACE A VERY CREDIBLE DEMOCRAT. THERE'S A POSSIBILITY, AT LEAST AS WE'RE TALKING HERE RIGHT NOW, THAT MAYBE LEONARD BOSWELL MIGHT MOVE INTO THAT DISTRICT. WE DON'T KNOW THAT FOR SURE. SO HE'S LIKELY TO FACE A TOUGH RACE THERE IN THE SECOND.

Borg: NOW, JOYCE, YOU'RE IN THE THIRD. YOU LIVE, I THINK, PHYSICALLY IN THE THIRD DISTRICT NOW. CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG.

Russell: CURRENTLY I DO, BUT WITH THE NEW MAPS, I'LL BE IN THE FOURTH DISTRICT.

Borg: ALL RIGHT. TELL ME ABOUT THE THIRD DISTRICT.

Glover: WE'LL BE SEPARATED FROM JOYCE.

Borg: TELL ME ABOUT THE THIRD DISTRICT, THE NEW ONE.

Russell: THE NEW THIRD DISTRICT INCLUDES POLK COUNTY AND THEN STRETCHES EASTWARD, ALMOST TO JOHNSON COUNTY BUT NOT QUITE. THE CONTROVERSIAL THING ABOUT THE NEW THIRD DISTRICT IS THAT IT IS SEPARATED -- IT SEPARATES DES MOINES FROM ITS SUBURBS. THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE ABOUT COMMUNITY OF INTEREST, ABOUT HOW DES MOINES AND ITS SUBURBS, SOME WOULD ARGUE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME DISTRICT TOGETHER.

Borg: WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES THAT MIGHT RUN IN THERE?

Russell: WELL, AS WE SPEAK, AS KATHIE IS SAYING, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT LEONARD BOSWELL'S PLANS ARE, ALTHOUGH THEY COULD HAVE BEEN DECIDED BY THE TIME THIS PROGRAM AIRS. BUT MATT MCCOY - STATE SENATOR MATT MCCOY - IS GOING TO RUN ON THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET. HE COULD BE CHALLENGED BY JOHN NORRIS, WHO IS GOVERNOR VILSACK'S CHIEF OF STAFF. AND STATE AUDITOR RICHARD JOHNSON WILL BE RUNNING AS A REPUBLICAN IN THAT DISTRICT.

Glover: AND HE'S RUNNING AGAINST STAN THOMPSON, WHO IS A LAWYER FROM DES MOINES AND A REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST, A MEMBER OF THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE. AND I WAS TOLD LAST WEEK BY A REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT THAT THE BIGGEST STORY THAT WE'RE MISSING IS DICK JOHNSON GETTING BEAT IN THAT PRIMARY. DICK JOHNSON IS GETTING OUTWORKED AND DICK JOHNSON IS GOING TO LOSE THAT PRIMARY TO STAN THOMPSON, BECAUSE THOMPSON IS OUT WORKING HARDER, HE'S LESS KNOWN, HE'S NOT A PROMINENT FIGURE IN REPUBLICAN POLITICS, BUT HE'S OUTWORKING THE GUY. AND THAT MAY BE ONE OF THE SURPRISES THAT WE LOOK AT.

Borg: WHAT ABOUT THE FOURTH DISTRICT?

Glover: THE FOURTH DISTRICT IS AN INTERESTING DISTRICT. IT STRETCHES FROM FAR NORTHEAST IOWA, RUNS ALL ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF COUNTIES, COMES SOUTH, TAKES ALL THE NORTH -- AMES, STORY COUNTY -- THE NORTHERN SUBURBS OF DES MOINES, THE WESTERN SUBURBS OF DES MOINES IN DALLAS COUNTY, HOOKS AROUND DES MOINES AND CATCHES THE COUNTIES SOUTH OF DES MOINES AND INCLUDES AN AWFULLY DIVERSE PART THE STATE. JIM LIGHTFOOT CALLED THE CURRENT SOUTHERN IOWA DISTRICT A CANCEROUS CAMEL WITH A HUMP. I'VE HEARD THIS DISTRICT DESCRIBED AS A CANCEROUS CAMEL WITH A COMMA, BECAUSE IT KIND OF COVERS THE NORTHERN DISTRICT AND IT HOOKS AROUND DES MOINES LIKE THIS.

Borg: THAT WOULD BE TOM LATHAM --

Glover: TOM LATHAM CURRENTLY LIVES IN THAT DISTRICT AND HAS SAID HE WILL STAY IN THE DISTRICT. IT'S A DISTRICT WITH ABOUT AN 8,000-VOTE PLURALITY OF REPUBLICAN VOTERS. IT'S A REPUBLICAN LEANING DISTRICT BUT ONE THAT WOULD BE COMPETITIVE BECAUSE NO INCUMBENT LIVES THERE.

Borg: AND THEN OVER ON THE WESTERN SIDE IS THAT BIG DISTRICT THAT REPUBLICANS LIKE TO SAY -- WELL, IT'S THEIR -- THEY HOLD A MAJORITY THERE, BUT THEY SAY IT'S PART OF NEBRASKA.

Obradovich: WELL, IT IS THEIR TURF. IT TAKES UP THE WESTERN -- ALMOST THE WESTERN THIRD OF THE STATE, AND IT IS VERY SOLIDLY REPUBLICAN. I'D SAY IT'S LIKE A LITTLE BOOT, AND RIGHT NOW LEONARD BOSWELL IS BEING KICKED OFF THE TOE, BECAUSE HE'S GOING TO END UP GOING SOMEWHERE RATHER THAN RUN IN THAT HEAVILY REPUBLICAN FIFTH DISTRICT. REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO OWN THAT DISTRICT, SO EXPECT A PROBABLY HOTLY-FOUGHT PRIMARY SEASON FOR WHO IS GOING TO BE THE CANDIDATE. YOU'VE GOT HOUSE SPEAKER BRENT SIEGRIST PLANNING TO RUN. YOU'VE GOT A COUNCIL BLUFFS BUSINESSMAN NAMED JEFF BALLENGER WHO IS GOING TO BE PROBABLY WELL-FINANCED. SENATOR STEVE KING HAS SAID HE'S PROBABLY GOING TO RUN. I THINK THAT THERE'S A POSSIBILITY THAT ANOTHER SENATOR, JOHN REDWINE IN SIOUX CITY, MIGHT RUN. SO YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A BIG BALL OF REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES.

Borg: WHAT I'M HEARING IS THAT REPUBLICANS -- OR NOT REPUBLICANS BUT CANDIDATES ARE COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK RIGHT NOW.

Henderson: WELL, WHOMEVER WINS THAT PRIMARY WINS THE SEAT, BECAUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE -- ARE YOU SITTING DOWN -- 50,000 MORE VOTERS IN THAT DISTRICT THAN DEMOCRATS.

Glover: FIFTY-FIVE ACTUALLY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THAT RACE IS MONEY, AND ONE OF THE REASONS WE'RE TREATING THIS JEFF BALLENGER, THE BUSINESSMAN FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS, GIVING HIM SOME WEIGHT IS BECAUSE HE HAS THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY. IF YOU THINK BACK A FEW YEARS WHEN NOW CONGRESSMAN TOM LATHAM RAN FOR CONGRESS, THERE WAS NO REASON FOR HIM TO WIN THAT PRIMARY. HE WAS RUNNING AGAINST BRAD BANKS, WHO WAS A STATE SENATOR FROM SIOUX CITY, WHO WAS MORE FROM THE POPULATION BASE IN THE DISTRICT, WHO WAS MORE PHILOSOPHICALLY INCLINED WITH THE PRIMARY VOTERS' MAKEUP OF THAT DISTRICT, WHO SHOULD HAVE WON. TOM LATHAM WROTE A CHECK FOR $300,000 AND IS NOW IN CONGRESS. THIS GUY IS IN A POSITION TO WRITE THAT KIND A CHECK. HE CAN BLOW THE REST OF THEM AWAY.

Borg: ISSUES FOR 2002, KAY, IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. I PROMISED AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW THAT WE'D LOOK AND PREVIEW A LITTLE BIT. HAVE YOU GOT IN MIND WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE DEALING WITH UP THERE AS THEY CONSIDER --

Henderson: ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK, AND IT SORT OF FLOATED BY ON THE MARGINS, WAS THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK DIRECTED THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AT IOWA STATE AND THE COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, TO COME UP WITH GUIDELINES FOR LARGE-SCALE ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS. AND I PREDICT IF THEY DO COME UP WITH THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS, FOR INSTANCE, HOW FAR AWAY THESE THINGS SHOULD BE FROM A DOMICILE, A HOME, THAT WILL BE A POINT OF DEBATE IN THE LEGISLATURE, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK FARM GROUPS ARE GOING TO LIKE THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT COME FROM IOWA STATE.

Borg: BUT AS I OBSERVED FROM THE COLLEGE PRESIDENTS, THEY DIDN'T GET ANY MONEY TO DO THIS RESEARCH.

Glover: THEY GOT LESS MONEY THAN THEY GOT THIS YEAR TO DO EVERYTHING.

Borg: THEY GOT AN EXTRA JOB BUT THEY DIDN'T GET ANY MONEY TO --

Henderson: WOE IS THEM.

Glover: AND THAT'S GOING TO BRING UP ONE OF THE TOPICS THAT'S GOING TO DOMINATE NEXT YEAR. ONCE AGAIN, NEXT YEAR WE'RE GOING TO HEAD INTO A LEGISLATIVE SESSION WHERE THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO BE FAIRLY SOFT, STATE REVENUE IS NOT GOING TO BE ALL THAT GREAT. WE'RE GOING TO BE INTO BUDGET CUTTING ONCE AGAIN. THIS STATE -- IF YOU STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE, THIS STATE FOR SEVERAL YEARS HAS BEEN IN A SITUATION WHERE THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN GOOD, STATE REVENUE HAS BEEN INCREASING NATIONALLY EVERY YEAR. SO WITHOUT INCREASING TAXES, THEY WERE ABLE TO SPEND MORE MONEY ON NEW PROGRAMS, FIND NEW WAYS TO GIVE MONEY BACK IN THE FORM OF TAX CUTS WITHOUT HAVING TO ASK FOR ANY PAIN. NOW WE'RE IN A CYCLE WHERE I THINK IT'S BEEN SEVERAL YEARS CUTTING BUDGETS, NOT BEING ABLE TO GIVE MONEY BACK IN TAXES, AND FACING FISCAL PAIN EACH YEAR. NEXT YEAR IS GOING TO BE EVEN WORSE BECAUSE, IT'S NOT ONLY ONLY AN ELECTION YEAR, IT'S A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION YEAR.

Obradovich: ENERGY IS GOING TO BE BACK ON THE AGENDA AS WELL. THE GOVERNOR'S ENERGY TAX FORCE WILL BE SUBMITTING ITS RECOMMENDATIONS. THEY LEFT SOME THINGS ON THE TABLE, THE POWER PURCHASE CONTRACT ISSUE THAT THEY DUMPED FROM THIS YEAR'S BILL. IF REPUBLICANS STILL WANT THAT, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT DEMOCRATS WANT, LIKE ENERGY EFFICIENCY ISSUES, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, AND SOME AIR EMISSIONS ISSUES.

Borg: I GUESS WE BETTER BE HOPING THAT THE ECONOMY IMPROVES SO THAT THERE'S SOME MORE REVENUE, OR IT'S GOING TO BE VERY CONTENTIOUS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," THE FOCUS SHIFTS TO THE NATION'S CAPITAL AND THE U.S. CONGRESS. JOINING US FROM THE IOWA DELEGATION IN WASHINGTON, SENATOR TOM HARKIN HERE TO DISCUSS THE CURRENT SUMMER SESSION, WHERE SENATOR HARKIN'S PARTY HAS JUST TAKEN CONTROL OF THE SENATE. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY, IOWA SENATOR TOM HARKIN AT NOON AND 7:00 HERE ON "IOWA PRESS." THAT'S THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. UNTIL THEN, I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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