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Iowa Press #2934
April 19 and 21, 2002

Borg: GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK HAS SUMMONED IOWA'S 150 SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES BACK TO THE STATE CAPITOL FOR A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINNING MONDAY. WE'LL REVIEW THE BUDGET EXPECTATIONS AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS WITH STATEHOUSE REPORTERS ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

ANNOUNCER: 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; BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA... THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY IOWA NETWORK SERVICES AND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT TELEPHONE COMPANY... IOWA NETWORK SERVICES, YOUR CLOSEST CONNECTION.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, APRIL 19 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: THERE'S A STANDOFF IN IOWA'S STATE GOVERNMENT. THE EXECUTIVE AND THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF IOWA GOVERNMENT HAVE SOME PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES CONCERNING THE 2003 STATE BUDGET, WHICH TAKES EFFECT JULY 1. DURING ITS 89-DAY SESSION, THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE SHAVED PROGRAMS AND SHIFTED MONEY AMONG THE BUDGET LINE ITEMS TO APPROPRIATE THE SHARPLY REDUCED REVENUE EXPECTED TO COME IN DURING THIS YEAR. BUT DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK WANTS MORE MONEY FOR EDUCATION AND SOME HEALTH ITEMS. SO FIVE DAYS AFTER THE LEGISLATURE ADOPTED A BUDGET AND ADJOURNED, THE GOVERNOR CALLED A SPECIAL SESSION, SO MONDAY IT'S BACK TO THE LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS FOR LEGISLATORS AND THE JOURNALISTS WHO REPORT THEIR ACTIONS. SO WE'LL GET A PREVIEW TODAY FROM "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN, KUNI STATEHOUSE REPORTER JENEANE BECK, "ASSOCIATED PRESS" POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER, AND WOI PUBLIC RADIO STATEHOUSE REPORTER JOYCE RUSSELL. JOYCE, AS I LOOK AT IT, IT SEEMS LIKE HATFIELD AND MCCOY COMES INTO MIND. IT SEEMS LIKE A FAMILY REUNION COMING UP THAT EVERYONE IS DREADING. IS IT LIKELY TO PRODUCE ANYTHING?

pRussell: NO, IT'S GOING TO BE SHORT AND SWEET. THERE IS NO AGREEMENT ON THE TABLE. GOVERNOR VILSACK HAS REVISED HIS BUDGET REQUEST, BUT REPUBLICANS HAVE NOT AGREED TO IT. THEY'RE LIKELY TO COME IN, MAYBE CAUCUS BRIEFLY. THEY'VE PROMISED TO AT LEAST PUT THE PROPOSAL TO THEIR CAUCUS MEMBERS, BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT'S GOING TO GET APPROVED, SO IT SHOULD PROBABLY BE A QUICK DAY.

Glover: DEAN, THERE'S SHARP DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WHAT'S GOING ON AT THE STATEHOUSE AND THE HATFIELD AND MCCOY FEUD. THESE PEOPLE AREN'T ARMED, WE DON'T THINK. JOYCE IS RIGHT. NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND HAD THIS BEEN A SERIOUS PROPOSAL THAT THE GOVERNOR HAD COME UP WITH, THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED DURING THE REGULAR SESSION. THERE WAS A LOT OF TIME IN THE LAST WEEK OF THE SESSION WHEN THEY WERE DOING SOME BUDGET BARGAINING. NOT MUCH WAS GOING ON. THIS COULD HAVE PERHAPS BEEN AN ITEM FOR NEGOTIATION THEN. SINCE THE SESSION HAS ENDED, THE GOVERNOR REALLY DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF LEVERAGE OVER THIS BUNCH UPSTAIRS. HE CAN'T FORCE THEM TO DO THINGS, AND THEY DON'T SEEM INCLINED TO DO THIS. I THINK THE ONE THING THEY MIGHT DO WHEN THEY COME TO TOWN IS SPEND AN HOUR OR SO TAKING POTSHOTS AT THE GOVERNOR. SO IN ESSENCE, HE'S CALLED THEM BACK TO TAKE SHOTS AT HIM.

Beck: AND YOU SAID NOT NECESSARILY A SERIOUS PROPOSAL. I THINK HE ACTUALLY WANTS THEM TO TELL HIM NO AND TO GO HOME, BECAUSE HE DIDN'T GIVE THEM TIME TO SORT OF SETTLE DOWN, RELAX, COOL OFF. HE DIDN'T GIVE THEM TIME TO EVEN GET BEAT UP OVER THIS ISSUE IN THEIR HOME DISTRICTS. NOT THAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED, BUT IT COULD HAVE, AND THAT WOULD HAVE GIVEN HIM MORE LEVERAGE. SO CALLING THEM BACK THIS EARLY, IT SEEMS LIKE HE'S READY FOR THEM TO TELL HIM NO.

Yepsen: I THINK IT MIGHT BE WORTH DESCRIBING JUST WHAT IT IS THE GOVERNOR HAS PLACED ON THE TABLE HERE. DURING THE REGULAR SESSION, HE WAS ADAMANT THAT THE STATE DIP INTO THE EMERGENCY FUND. NOW IN THIS LAST PROPOSAL THAT HE MADE JUST A DAY AGO, HE IS SUGGESTING THAT THE STATE TAKE PART OF THE ROAD FUND AND SPEND IT FOR GENERAL FUND PURPOSES. SPECIFICALLY WHAT HE WANTS TO TAKE IS SOMETHING CALLED THE USE TAX. THAT'S THE SALES TAX WE PAY ON NEW CARS AND TRUCKS. AND THOSE DOLLARS GO INTO THE ROAD FUND BY TRADITION, BUT THEY ARE NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED IN THE SAME WAY GASOLINE TAXES ARE. THE CONSTITUTION OF IOWA, DEAN, SAYS YOU CAN'T USE GAS TAX MONEY FOR GENERAL FUND PURPOSES. SO THERE'S $60 MILLION HERE IN THIS USE TAX MONEY. THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO TAKE IT AND SPEND IT FOR OTHER THINGS. THAT'S ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH HIS PROPOSAL. HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY SPECIFIC PROPOSALS ON EXACTLY HOW HE WANTS TO SPEND THAT MONEY.

Borg: SO IT'S NOT JUST A MATTER OF NOT BUILDING A ROAD OR TWO OR FIXING SOME ROADS, IT IS A PHILOSOPHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THEY TAKE MONEY FROM THE ROAD USE TAX FUND.

Yepsen: WELL, IT'S NOT A LEGAL ISSUE. THEY CAN LEGALLY DO THIS AND THEY HAVE DONE THIS IN THE PAST. IT'S AN ACCOUNTING GIMMICK. DURING THE BUDGET CRISIS OF THE '80S, THE STATE -- GOVERNOR BRANSTAD AND DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS TOOK DOLLARS -- TOOK THIS MONEY AND USED IT FOR THESE OTHERS PURPOSES.

Glover: THE BEST THING AT THE STATEHOUSE, DEAN, IS WHAT WAS GOING ON IS PERHAPS A POLITICAL STRATEGY GONE AFOUL. WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN HAPPENING HERE WAS THE GOVERNOR ATTEMPTING TO TAKE A LESSON FROM FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON: FORCE A SHOWDOWN AT THE STATEHOUSE, BRING A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN TO BE. THAT PLAYED VERY WELL FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON. HE BROUGHT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO A SHUTDOWN, AND IT ENDED UP THE PUBLIC RECOILED AGAINST REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS. THERE ARE SOME WHO SUGGEST THE GOVERNOR WAS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING AT THE STATEHOUSE, BUT THE STATE GOVERNMENT JUST WORKS DIFFERENTLY AND THE GOVERNOR DID NOT HAVE A NEWT GINGRICH AS A FOIL SO IT DIDN'T WORK.

Borg: JOYCE, IF IT IS, AS THE REST OF YOU SUGGEST, AS LIKELY THAT THE LEGISLATURE COMES INTO SESSION, CAUCUSES, REPUBLICANS, AND DECIDES TO ADJOURN, WHAT COMES NEXT? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THEY DID PASS AN APPROPRIATION BILL. THE GOVERNOR HAS THAT AS A FALLBACK. HE CAN ALWAYS ACT ON THAT.

pRussell: WELL, HE CAN EITHER VETO IT OR HE CAN DO NOTHING, AND THE EFFECT WOULD BE THE SAME. NO, NOT THE EFFECT -- THE EFFECT WOULD BE THAT HE'S NOT GOING TO CALL THEM BACK, SO HE'S LIKELY TO NOT DO ANYTHING AND THAT LAW WILL GO INTO EFFECT WITHOUT HIS SIGNATURE.

Glover: THE BUDGET THEY SENT HIM WILL BE THE BUDGET THAT GOES ON THE BOOKS BECAUSE HE CAN'T FORCE THEM TO ADOPT A NEW ONE. SO HE'LL EITHER, WHAT I'M TOLD, IS HE'LL LET IT GO INTO LAW WITHOUT SIGNING IT. IF HE DOESN'T SIGN IT, IT GOES INTO LAW OVER HIS SIGNATURE OR SIGN IT RELUCTANTLY WITH A STATEMENT ATTACKING IT. I THINK THE FORMER.

Yepsen PART OF WHAT'S GOING ON HERE, DEAN, IS THE GOVERNOR HAS ALIENATED A LOT OF PEOPLE IN HIS SPACE. I MEAN HE'S HAD TO CUT STATE PAYROLL. AND HE ALIENATED FEMINISTS BY FOOLING AROUND WITH THIS ABORTION NOTIFICATION. HE ALIENATED GAYS. HE'S ALIENATED STUDENTS BY SAYING WE HAD TO RAISE TUITIONS. THERE'S JUST A LOT OF THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC BASE THAT'S KIND OF TICKED OFF AT TOM VILSACK. AND SO HE HAS TO DO SOMETHING HERE TO SHOW GOOD FAITH WITH THEM THAT IN FACT HE TRIED TO GET THEM ALL THE MONEY HE COULD AND HE JUST CAN'T DO ANY BETTER. SO I THINK THAT'S A BIG PIECE OF WHAT HAS GONE ON. IT'S CALLED -- DEAN, IN POLITICS IT'S CALLED "YOU DANCE WITH THE ONE THAT BRUNG YA."

Glover: AND I THINK DAVE IS RIGHT. I THINK THAT'S A TACTIC THE GOVERNOR IS PLAYING. I THINK IT'S A DEAD-WRONG TACTIC. FOR A DEMOCRAT AT THIS POINT TO BE PLAYING TO HIS BASE IS TO ADMIT THAT HE'S GOT SERIOUS POLITICAL TROUBLE. AT THIS POINT IN AN ELECTION CYCLE, A DEMOCRAT HAS TO TAKE HIS BASE FOR GRANTED, ASSUMING THAT THE REPUBLICAN OPPONENT IN THE FALL WILL DRIVE THAT BASE HOME AGAIN. HE OUGHT TO BE WORRIED ABOUT MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD VOTERS, NONALIGNED VOTERS, SUBURBAN WOMEN. HE OUGHT TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THOSE VOTERS. IF HE'S WORRIED ABOUT ORGANIZED LABOR AT THIS POINT, HE'S GOT SERIOUS POLITICAL TROUBLES.

Borg: JENEANE, BEFORE WE GET INTO THOSE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS THAT MIKE HAS HINTED AT HERE, LET'S GO BACK. HOW DID THE STATE GET INTO THIS PREDICAMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Beck: WELL, IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU TALK TO. IF YOU TALK TO THE GOVERNOR, HE'LL SAY IT'S BECAUSE REPUBLICANS CUT TAXES TOO DEEPLY OVER THE LAST SEVEN YEARS OR SO. BUT ALSO, THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN WE'VE SEEN. I MEAN THERE ARE TAX CUTS BUT THERE ARE ALSO JUST A SLOWING ECONOMY, SO LESS REVENUE COMING IN. AND FOR SEVERAL YEARS THEY SPENT ABOVE THE RATE OF INFLATION AND DID PROJECTS THAT WERE ONGOING. SO THEY HAD BUILT-IN INCREASES IN THE BUDGET, AND THEN WHEN THE ECONOMY WENT SOUTH, THEY HAD NO MONEY TO PAY FOR THEM.

Yepsen: AND THIS, DEAN, I THINK IS WHERE IT'S ARGUABLY BAD PUBLIC POLICY TO DO WHAT THE GOVERNOR IS PROPOSING TO DO BECAUSE IT'S ONE-TIME -- HE'S DONE A LOT OF ONE-TIME MONEYS OUT HERE TO TRY TO SOLVE THIS RECURRING PROBLEM. THE LEGISLATIVE FISCAL BUREAU LAST WEEK SAID THE STATE, THEY'RE PROJECTING A $280-MILLION DEFICIT FOR 2004. WE'RE TALKING HERE ABOUT THE 2003 BUDGET. LISTEN, THE STATE BUDGET CRISIS IS NOT OVER. WE'RE IN THIS FOR A COUPLE MORE YEARS.

pRussell: WHEN THE GOVERNOR PUT HIS COMPROMISE ON THE TABLE, HE MADE THE ARGUMENT THAT REPUBLICANS SHOULD ACCEPT THIS BECAUSE IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY INCREASE THE SPENDING. "THE MONEY IS GOING TO BE SPENT ON ROADS. LET'S NOT SPEND IT ON ROADS. LET'S SPEND IT ON SCHOOLS AND HEALTH CARE." THE FALLACY WITH THAT ARGUMENT IS THAT THE MONEY THAT THAT WOULD GO INTO WOULD HAVE TO BE REPEATED THE NEXT YEAR. YOU KNOW, IF YOU PUT IT INTO SALARIES -- ESPECIALLY INTO SALARIES -- AND THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS HE WANTS IS MORE MONEY FOR THE SALARY PACKAGE. WELL, YOU CAN'T TAKE THOSE SALARIES BACK THE NEXT YEAR. THAT'S AN ONGOING EXPENSE THAT YOU'RE BUILDING INTO THE BUDGET.

Glover: THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, DEAN, IS THEY GOT SPOILED. THEY GOT SPOILED BY ABOUT SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS OF A REALLY SOLID -- REALLY SOLID SPECTACULAR ECONOMY, IF YOU LOOK BACK ON IT. THE ECONOMY WAS GROWING SO FAST THAT THEY WERE GETTING SO MUCH MONEY, THEY COULD DO THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. THEY COULD CUT TAXES. THEY CAN IMPROVE NEW SCHOOL SPENDING. THE REPUBLICANS UPSTAIRS COULD HAVE THEIR WAY AND HAVE THE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES CUT TAXES, DA-DA-DA-DA-DA. LIBERAL DEMOCRATS COULD, YOU KNOW, "LET'S SCRATCH EACH OTHER'S BACKS AND HAVE A NEW PROGRAM" AND GET AWAY WITH IT, BECAUSE THEY WERE GETTING ALL THIS EXTRA MONEY FROM A SOLID ECONOMY. THEY DIDN'T BUILD A SOLID ECONOMIC BASE FOR WHEN TIMES WENT SOUTH, AND THEY DID.

Borg: AS WE LOOK AT THE CONSTITUENCIES, THOUGH, THERE ARE SOME VERY VOCAL AND INFLUENTIAL CONSTITUENCIES THAT YOU MENTIONED, DAVE, AND OTHERS HAVE ALLUDED TO TOO, WHO ARE -- THERE ARE SOME POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS HERE FOR THE REPUBLICANS. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT'S LESS GLAMOROUS TO SAY WE WERE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE AND WE'RE GOING TO HOLD THE LINE ON THIS WHEN IT COMES TO SPENDING MONEY, BECAUSE IT'S MORE POPULAR TO PROVIDE THE PROGRAMS.

Yepsen: WELL, THAT'S TRUE BUT MOST OF THOSE GROUPS THAT TAKE GOVERNMENT MONEY ARE PRETTY MUCH DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENCIES, DEAN. SO WHILE IT'S GOOD POLITICS FOR THE GOVERNOR TO PANDER TO THEM AND TRY TO GIVE THEM MORE MONEY, IT'S ALSO GOOD POLITICS FOR REPUBLICANS TO SAY WE WANT TO CUT BUDGETS. WE WANT TO HOLD THE LINE. IOWA FAMILIES ARE HAVING TO DO THIS. IOWA BUSINESSES ARE HAVING TO DO THIS. YOU KNOW, DEAN, MOST PEOPLE DON'T HAVE KIDS IN SCHOOL. MOST PEOPLE IN IOWA ARE NOT ON WELFARE. MOST PEOPLE ACCORDING TO POLLS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS BUDGET CRISIS. SO WHILE WE'RE ALL INTERESTED IN IT AND WE COVER IT AND WRITE A LOT ABOUT IT, THE AVERAGE VOTER OUT THERE IS SAYING, "WELL, YOU KNOW, MAYBE A 1- OR 2-PERCENT CUT IN STATE SPENDING, THAT'S NOT ALL BAD. I'VE HAD TO CUT MORE IN MY OWN LIFE."

pRussell: AT THE VERY LEAST, THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE BANKING ON AND THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE LIKELY TO BE CAMPAIGNING ON. THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE PROMISING TO BE CAMPAIGNING ON IS WE DIDN'T RAISE TAXES AND WE WERE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE.

Glover: YOU STEP BACK AND YOU LOOK AT THE IOWA ELECTORATE, YOU KNOW, IT'S PRETTY EVENLY DIVIDED BETWEEN INDEPENDENTS, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, AND IT'S PRETTY EVENLY DIVIDED ALONG PHILOSOPHICAL LINES. \ BUT THERE'S A COMMON THREAD THAT I THINK AFTER A FEW YEARS HAVE SEEN RUNS THROUGH THE IOWA ELECTORATE. IT'S A PRETTY COMMON SENSE AND FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE ELECTORATE. THIS IS AN ELECTORATE THAT BALANCES ITS CHECKBOOK. THIS IS AN ELECTORATE THAT DOESN'T LIKE DEBT, DOESN'T LIKE BORROWING, THEY WANT TO PAY AS YOU GO. THAT'S A COMMON THEME I THINK THAT RUNS ALL THROUGH THE ELECTORATE, BE IT DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, OR INDEPENDENT. I THINK THAT NOTION OF WE KEPT WATCH ON THE CHECKBOOK IS SOMETHING THAT SELLS WELL. AND I THINK THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT TOM VILSACK MAY RUN INTO IS A PERCEPTION THAT HE CAN'T RUN THE STORE.

Yepsen: WELL, IT'S ALSO AN ELECTORATE THAT LIKES ITS ROADS TOO. AND IT WAS SIGNIFICANT THAT THE GOVERNOR DIDN'T SPECIFY WHICH ROAD PROJECTS HE'S GOING TO SHUT DOWN BY THIS. HE'S GOING TO LEAVE THAT UP TO THE D.O.T. I BET THEY DON'T BYPASS AROUND MT. PLEASANT, DO THEY?

Borg: ARE WE LIKELY IN THE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY TO SEE THIS ISSUE THAT IS NOW A LEGISLATIVE GUBERNATORIAL STANDOFF, ARE WE LIKELY TO SEE THIS EMERGE IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY, JENEANE?

Beck: WELL, THE CANDIDATES ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE ARE ALREADY USING IT AGAINST THE GOVERNOR, BUT THEY DON'T APPEAR TO BE USING IT AGAINST EACH OTHER. I DO GET PRESS RELEASES FROM STEVE SUKUP AND DOUG GROSS ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THAT HE CAN'T MANAGE THE STORE, THAT HE HAS ALLOWED THE BUDGET TO BECOME TOO BIG AND IT'S FORCED CUTS IN SPENDING. BUT THEY DON'T APPEAR TO BE, AT THIS POINT, USING IT AGAINST EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM ON THIS ISSUE.

Glover: DEAN, ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS IN WHAT I THINK IS GOING TO BE A PRETTY INTERESTING REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY IS FOR THOSE FOLKS TO SOMEHOW CLEAVE SOME DIFFERENCES WITH EACH OTHER. IF YOU LOOK AT THEM, IT'S BOB VANDERPLAATS OF SIOUX CITY, STEVE SUKUP FROM DOUGHERTY IN NORTH CENTRAL IOWA, AND DOUG GROSS, A LAWYER IN DES MOINES. THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND SOME WAY TO DIFFERENTIATE THEMSELVES FROM EACH OTHER. IF YOU LOOK AT THEM, THEY'RE ALL FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE, THEY'RE ALL MIDDLE-AGED WHITE MEN, THEY ALL COME FROM THE SORT OF RIGHT CENTER OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. THERE ISN'T A LOT OF DIFFERENCE. WHEN YOU GO TO THESE DEBATES AND YOU HEAR THEM, IT'S SORT OF LIKE A ME TOO, ME TOO, ME TOO. BUT ONE ARGUMENT THAT COMES OUT OF IT IS WHO CAN WIN, AND MAYBE THAT'S WHAT THE ELECTION WILL BE SETTLED BY.

Borg: IS THERE LIKELY -- TALKING ABOUT CAMPAIGN MONEY HERE. IS THERE LIKELY -- BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A VERY HIGH PROFILE SENATE RACE COMING UP TOO. IS THERE LIKELY TO BE A SHORTAGE OF CAMPAIGN MONEY FOR THE REPUBLICANS, BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT THE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY, THEY'VE GOT A PRIMARY NOW FOR THE SENATE TOO?

pRussell: NO, QUITE THE OPPOSITE BECAUSE SOME OF THESE RACES, ESPECIALLY THE SENATE RACE, IS GATHERING ATTENTION NATIONWIDE AND REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO BE -- AND DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO BE POURING MONEY INTO THE RACE FOR THE U.S. SENATE WITH THE MAJORITY IN THE U.S. SENATE AT STAKE. THAT'S WHY PRESIDENT BUSH IS TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY CAMPAIGNING FOR THESE PEOPLE.

Yepsen: DEAN, I DON'T THINK REPUBLICANS HAVE EVER NEEDED FOR CAMPAIGN MONEY. I MEAN, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S INTERESTING GOING ON, TALKING ABOUT THE PRIMARIES, THOUGH, AND THAT'S THE U.S. SENATE RACE, GREG GANSKE VERSUS BILL SALIER. BILL SALIER IS A VERY CONSERVATIVE GUY FROM NORA SPRINGS, A FARMER, A YOUNG GUY. HE'S NOT BEEN ON THE RADAR SCREEN. HE IS REALLY DOING WELL. HE IS IMPRESSING A LOT OF REPUBLICANS. AND GANSKE NEEDS TO GET OFF HIS DUFF BECAUSE I'M HEARING A LOT OF REPUBLICANS WHO ARE SAYING THIS SALIER IS COMING ON. AND I THINK IT'S SIGNIFICANT THAT NOW GREG GANSKE HAS WHEELED UP CHUCK GRASSLEY OF ALL PEOPLE TO START ATTACKING BILL SALIER. YOU'VE HAD THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES COME INTO EASTERN IOWA LAST WEEK TO RAISE MONEY FOR GREG GANSKE. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ESTABLISHMENT IS WORRIED.

Beck: WELL, AND GREG GANSKE REALLY POSITIONED HIMSELF AS A MODERATE IN THE U.S. SENATE AND THAT, AS WE'VE SAID ON THIS PROGRAM MANY TIMES, DOESN'T SELL THAT WELL IN PRIMARIES IN IOWA, WHERE THE ELECTORATE IS CONSERVATIVE.

Borg: SO HOW HARD OF A HIT WAS THE GRASSLEY MOVE TO GANSKE AND BUSH BEING IN CEDAR RAPIDS THIS WEEK? HOW HARD OF A HIT WAS THAT TO BILL SALIER?

Glover: WELL, IT WAS A HIT TO BILL SALIER, BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I THINK IT WAS ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT HE'S A PROBLEM. IT'S AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT GANSKE HAS NOT BEEN A STRONG CANDIDATE AS EVERYONE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO BE. I THINK THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT IS STARTING TO RUN A LITTLE SCARED. I DON'T THINK ANYONE WILL MAKE A SERIOUS ARGUMENT THAT BILL SALIER IS GOING TO BEAT GREG GANSKE IN THAT REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. I MEAN, BILL SALIER IS UNDERFINANCED. HE'S LESS WELL KNOWN. THE ESTABLISHMENT IS WITH GANSKE, BUT SALIER IS THROWING A SCARE INTO HIM. AND THE ONE THING IT'S SHOWING, I THINK, IS THAT GREG GANSKE IS BEING A LESS GOOD CANDIDATE FOR THE SENATE THAN EVERYONE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO BE.

Yepsen: I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I SEE STARTING TO HAPPEN IS A LOT OF REPUBLICAN INSIDERS ARE SAYING, "YOU KNOW, I'M NOT SURE WE CAN BEAT HARKIN. I'M NOT SURE GANSKE CAN TAKE HARKIN. WE'VE GOT A SHOT AT TAKING VILSACK." AND SO I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO START SEEING REPUBLICAN -- UNLESS GANSKE CAN GET SOMETHING GOING HERE, YOU'RE GOING TO START SEEING THIS REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT START TO SAY, LET'S FOCUS OUR RESOURCES ON TOM VILSACK. I MEAN AFTER ALL, HAVING A GOVERNORSHIP IS AN AWFUL LOT MORE IMPORTANT IN POLITICS THAN HOLDING A U.S. SENATE SEAT IN IOWA. YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF PATRONAGE JOBS. IT MAY BE A BIG DEAL IN WASHINGTON WHETHER GREG GANSKE OR TOM HARKIN WINS, BUT TO A LOCAL REPUBLICAN HERE IN IOWA, THEY WANT THE GOVERNORSHIP.

Borg: WHAT WILL BE THE HARBINGER OF THAT, DAVE? WHAT SHOULD WE BE LOOKING FOR TO SEE THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE BEGINNING TO SHIFT AND SAY LET'S CONCENTRATE ON GOVERNOR?

Yepsen: LOOK AND SEE -- WATCH THE MONEY BUT ALSO LOOK AND SEE HOW BIG A VOTE SALIER GETS IN THE PRIMARY. IF SALIER COMES CLOSE TO GANSKE, THAT'S GOING TO BE A SIGN THAT GANSKE IS A WEAK CANDIDATE, AND THE REPUBLICANS HANDLERS WILL SAY, "GANSKE CAN'T TAKE IT, WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON GOVERNOR."

Glover: THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IN THIS STATE AND BY THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IN THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF BOTH PARTIES, THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM HAS FLIPPED IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS. SIX MONTHS AGO YOU WOULD HAVE SAID THAT IOWA'S U.S. SENATE RACE WAS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE TOP FIVE IN THE COUNTRY AND ONE OF THE ONES THAT ARE GOING TO DECIDE CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND TOM VILSACK CAN'T BE BEAT. THAT WAS THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SIX MONTHS AGO. IT'S FLIPPED AS OF RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS THAT THE GOVERNOR'S RACE IS GOING TO BE PRETTY DARN COMPETITIVE AND THE SENATE RACE MAY NOT BE COMPETITIVE.

Borg: JOYCE, OVER IN THE FIFTH DISTRICT, QUITE A REPUBLICAN PRIMARY THERE FOR CONGRESS.

pRussell: QUITE A REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. FOUR CANDIDATES, FOUR VERY CREDIBLE CANDIDATES. THREE OF THEM COMING RIGHT FROM THE STATE LEGISLATURE, WHICH MADE THIS YEAR'S SESSION KIND OF INTERESTING BECAUSE WHAT WE SAW WAS SENATOR JOHN REDWINE FROM SIOUX CITY, STATE SENATOR; AND STATE SENATOR STEVE KING; AND THEN HOUSE SPEAKER BRENT SIEGRIST, ALL THREE OF THEM RUNNING FOR THAT CONGRESSIONAL SEAT. SO WHAT WE SAW IN THE LEGISLATURE WAS ESPECIALLY SENATOR KING AND SENATOR REDWINE REALLY GETTING BEHIND THE BILLS THAT ARE ESPECIALLY ATTRACTIVE TO THE CONSERVATIVE WING OF THE PARTY. SENATOR REDWINE ESPECIALLY WAS RIGHT OUT FRONT ON THE ABORTION ISSUES AND OTHER CONSERVATIVE BILLS.

Glover: THE FOURTH CANDIDATE OVER THERE, JEFF BALLINGER, IS A BUSINESSMAN FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS. AND THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THAT ELECTION IS THE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO ELECT A CONGRESSMAN ON JUNE 4. THERE ARE ABOUT 58,000 MORE REPUBLICANS THAN DEMOCRATS IN THAT CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. IT'S A HUGE DISTRICT. THIRTY-TWO COUNTIES, IN ESSENCE, ACCOUNTS FOR THE WESTERN THIRD OF IOWA, AND IT'S AN OVERWHELMING REPUBLICAN DISTRICT. THE PERSON WHO WINS THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY JUNE 4 GOES TO CONGRESS UNLESS LIGHTNING STRIKES. AND I'M TOLD THAT IT'S BOILING DOWN TO A RACE BETWEEN JOHN REDWINE, THE SENATOR FROM SIOUX CITY, AND BRENT SIEGRIST. WHOEVER CAN EMERGE BETWEEN THOSE TWO PROBABLY WILL BE THE NEXT CONGRESSMAN FROM WESTERN IOWA.

Borg: IN THE OTHER CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, JENEANE, WHICH RACE ARE YOU WATCHING MOST CLOSELY?

Beck: WELL, THE PRIMARIES ARE TOM LATHAM AND HIS NEWER DISTRICT DOES FACE A PRIMARY FROM A MARSHALLTOWN GENTLEMEN, GAIL BOLIVER. HOWEVER, THAT'S NOT EXPECTED TO GENERATE AS MUCH INTEREST AS THE ACTUAL RACE ONCE THE PRIMARY IS OVER. AND I THINK I'M VERY INTERESTED TO SEE HOW TOM LATHAM FACES JOHN NORRIS. JOHN NORRIS MAY NOT BE THAT WELL KNOWN, BUT HE HAS A LOT OF POLITICAL BACKGROUND. HE'S BEEN CHIEF OF STAFF FOR CONGRESSMAN LEONARD BOSWELL, GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK, AND HE'S RAISED A LOT OF MONEY BECAUSE OF THAT. AND TOM LATHAM HAS NOT HAD TOUGH RACES IN THE PAST. SO THAT, ONCE THE PRIMARY IS OVER, WILL BE INTERESTING, BUT MAYBE NOT SO MUCH NOW.

Yepsen: GO AHEAD.

Borg: I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY IS THAT TO TRANSLATE THAT TOM LATHAM IS IN TROUBLE THIS TIME?

Beck: I THINK IT MIGHT BE TOO EARLY TO TELL IF HE'S IN TROUBLE, BUT I THINK THAT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT JOHN NORRIS HAS ALREADY BEEN ABLE TO RAISE SHOWS IT'S GOING TO BE VERY TIGHT.

pRussell: AND WE SHOULD SAY THAT TOM LATHAM WAS ELECTED IN ALL OF HIS ELECTIONS BEFORE IN A SHARPLY DIFFERENTLY DRAWN DISTRICT, WHICH WAS MUCH MORE STRONGLY REPUBLICAN THAN THE ONE THAT HE'S IN NOW, WHICH REACHES DOWN AND GETS STORY COUNTY AND --

Yepsen: THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION "IS TOM LATHAM IN TROUBLE" IS YES. AND THIS IS ONE OF THE TARGETED RACES IN THE COUNTRY. I THINK THERE'S A PIECE OF TOM LATHAM, HE'S SORT OF ALMOST KIND OF A LAZY CANDIDATE. HE JUST ISN'T AS AGGRESSIVE AS NORRIS. AND THERE'S A SLEEPER RACE THAT I THINK WE NEED TO KEEP OUR EYE ON OUT IN EASTERN IOWA, AND THAT'S DR. JULIE THOMAS FROM CEDAR RAPIDS RUNNING AGAINST JIM LEACH. LEACH IS AN ICON. EVERYBODY THINKS HE'S GOING TO WALTZ BACK INTO CONGRESS.

Borg: LOW-KEY CAMPAIGN.

Yepsen:, YEAH. AND HE'S SORT OF -- EVERYBODY IN JOHNSON COUNTY VOTES FOR JIM LEACH AS SORT OF THEIR PET REPUBLICAN TO SAY THEY ARE INDEPENDENT VOTERS. BUT THE REALITY IS THAT'S A 56-PERCENT DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT. AND THIS IS AN OFF YEAR. THE ECONOMY IS TOUGH. SHE IS A GOOD CANDIDATE. SHE IS WORKING HARD. JIM LEACH IS NOT EXACTLY LIGHTING FIRES WITH HIS CAMPAIGN. HE NEVER DOES. SO I THINK LET'S KEEP AN EYE ON THAT RACE AS A SLEEPER RACE.

Glover: THERE'S ANOTHER ONE THAT'S GOING ON THAT IS OF SOME INTEREST ALSO IN EASTERN IOWA. IN THE FIRST DISTRICT, THERE'S A DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. ANN HUTCHINSON, A SEVEN-TERM MAYOR OF BETTENDORF, FORMER REPUBLICAN, I THINK SHE CONCLUDED SHE HAS NO FUTURE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, BECAUSE A MODERATE REPUBLICAN WOMAN JUST AIN'T GOING ANYWHERE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. SHE IS RUNNING IN A PRIMARY FOR CONGRESS OUT THERE AGAINST DAVID NAGEL, FORMER CONGRESSMAN, FORMER IOWA DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN. AN INTERESTING RACE. CAN A MODERATE REPUBLICAN WOMAN FROM THE SUBURBS STAND OFF A HARSHLY PARTISAN, URBAN DEMOCRAT? I THINK PROBABLY SHE WOULD HAVE A BETTER CHANCE AGAINST NUSSLE IN THE FALL BECAUSE SHE WOULD BE AN INTERESTING CONTRAST TO HIM, ALTHOUGH THAT'S GOING TO BE A VERY TOUGH RACE FOR DEMOCRATS TO WIN. NUSSLE WAS CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE. THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT IS NOT GOING TO LET A MAJOR COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN GET BEAT WITHOUT SPENDING EVERY LAST DIME.

Borg: AND THEN WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT LEONARD BOSWELL. JENEANE, ANY OBSERVATIONS THERE?

Beck: WELL, THE RACE HAS TIGHTENED A BIT. THE AUDITOR DICK JOHNSON GOT OUT OF THE RACE IN THE PRIMARY RACE WITH STAN THOMPSON. SO IT'S A YOUNGER CHALLENGER AND I THINK ACTUALLY NOW THAT THE AUDITOR IS OUT OF THE RACE, IT WILL BE A MORE INTERESTING RACE BECAUSE HE'S REALLY PLAYING THE CONTRAST OF -- HE WON'T SAY YOUNG VERSUS OLD, BUT HE SAYS THINGS LIKE "I'M ENERGETIC" AND "YOU NEED NEW, FRESH IDEAS" SO HE'S SORT OF PLAYING THAT YOUNG CARD.

Yepsen: I THINK BOSWELL STARTED TO OPEN THIS UP A LITTLE BIT, THOUGH, DEAN. HE'S RAISED A LITTLE MORE MONEY. HE'S DOING A LITTLE MORE VISIBILITY WORK HERE IN POLK COUNTY, WHICH IS REALLY THE NEW COUNTY FOR HIM. SO I THINK WHILE STAN THOMPSON DID PROFIT FROM DICK JOHNSON'S DEPARTURE FROM THE RACE, I THINK YOU'VE GOT TO GIVE AN EDGE TO BOSWELL IN THIS THING AT THIS POINT.

Borg: GO BACK TO WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT JIM LEACH'S DISTRICT AND THE FACT THAT THAT MAY BE A SLEEPER. HE'S IN A NEWLY CONFIGURED DISTRICT, NUMBER ONE. HE'S GOT SOME NEW CONSTITUENCIES TO APPEAL TO THERE, AND I JUST HAVE TO THINK DICK GEPHARDT WAS IN ON BEHALF OF JULIE THOMAS LAST WEEK. WE HAD HIM ON THIS PROGRAM, AND THEN HE WENT OVER TO CEDAR RAPIDS AND IOWA CITY AND MADE APPEARANCES. THAT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING JIM LEACH MAY BE ABLE TO BE BEATEN.

Yepsen: THAT'S CORRECT. I MEAN, DEAN, IF YOU'RE A NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC LIKE DICK GEPHARDT AND YOU'RE LOOKING AT THIS BIG PICTURE HERE, THERE ARE REALLY ONLY MAYBE 20 OR 30 U.S. HOUSE SEATS AROUND THE COUNTRY THAT ARE TRULY COMPETITIVE. SO IF HE WANTS TO WIN A MAJORITY AND BECOME SPEAKER, HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE SOME UPSETS LIKE LEACH, LIKE LATHAM, IN ORDER TO GET THERE. REMEMBER HE SAID THIS IS THE EPICENTER OF THAT BATTLE. AND WE JUST TALKED ABOUT THREE OR FOUR OF THESE RACES THAT COULD BE COMPETITIVE.

Glover: AND YOU LOOK AT IT AND DAVE IS RIGHT. THERE ARE 20, MAYBE 30 COMPETITIVE CONGRESSIONAL RACES IN THE COUNTRY, AND YOU COULD HAVE FOUR COMPETITIVE CONGRESSIONAL RACES HERE IN IOWA. SO THAT'S -- IF YOU STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE A LITTLE BIT, WHICH I THINK WE DON'T DO OFTEN ENOUGH, THAT'S REMARKABLE.

Borg: JUST A QUICK COMMENT AS WE LOOK AHEAD, WE HAVE PLENTY OF TIME BETWEEN NOW AND THE GENERAL ELECTION, BUT ANY IMPLICATIONS IN THE GENERAL ELECTION THAT WE OUGHT TO BE COVERING IN THIS CONVERSATION HERE? BECAUSE I WANT TO GO BACK AND TALK ABOUT THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION JUST CONCLUDED TOO.

Yepsen: WELL, I THINK REDISTRICTING, DEAN. I MEAN I THINK THE DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE THAT'S GOING IN IOWA, WHICH DROVE A LOT OF THE THINGS THAT WENT ON IN THE SESSION, A LOT OF THE POLITICKING; IOWA IS A LOT MORE URBAN AND A LOT LESS RURAL. I THINK THAT HAD A BIG EFFECT. THERE ARE A LOT OF OPEN SEATS IN THE LEGISLATURE. WE'RE GOING TO SEE ABOUT A THIRD -- AT LEAST A THIRD OF THE LEGISLATURE WILL BE NEW. I THINK DEMOCRATS HAVE A REAL SHOT AT TAKING ONE OR BOTH HOUSES IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. AND ALL OF THAT SORT OF SERVED AS A BACKDROP FOR THE REGULAR SESSION.

Glover: IT WAS DRIVEN HOME IN A RATHER GRAPHIC FASHION ON THE LAST DAY OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THEY GO OFFERING THESE CEREMONIAL THINGS AS THEY'RE WRAPPING UP A LEGISLATIVE SESSION. SO IN THE HOUSE, THEY DECIDED TO GIVE A LITTLE PLAQUE TO THE LEGISLATORS WHO WERE LEAVING THE HOUSE, NOT COMING BACK AFTER THIS YEAR'S ELECTION. SO THEY CALLED THEM DOWN INTO THE WELL OF THE HOUSE TO GET THEIR LITTLE PLAQUE. THEY EMPTIED THE CHAMBER. I MEAN, IT WAS PHYSICALLY A REMARKABLE SIGHT TO SEE ALMOST HALF THE CHAMBER GET UP AND COME DOWN TO GET THEIR LITTLE AWARD. THERE IS GOING TO BE A HUGE TURNOVER. AND THAT DROVE A LOT OF THE POLITICKING OF THIS YEAR'S LEGISLATIVE SESSION. IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO PUT THE ARM ON SOMEBODY WHO IS NOT RUNNING. WHAT KIND OF PRESSURE CAN YOU PUT ON SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS THAT THEY'RE LEAVING, GOING BACK HOME, AND GETTING OUT OF POLITICS?

pRussell: YOU CAN'T SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, AS THEY WOULD IN ANY OTHER YEAR, PUT THE THREAD OR THE IMPETUS OF HELPING THEM WITH THEIR CAMPAIGN IN THE FALL, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT CAMPAIGNING IN THE FALL.

Borg: GO AHEAD.

Beck: WELL, NOT JUST THAT, I THINK EVEN ON CERTAIN SPECIFIC ISSUES, SPEAKING OF THE HOG CONFINEMENT ISSUE, THERE WERE RURAL LEGISLATORS WHO, THOUGH THEY WERE HEARING FROM MANY FARM CONSTITUENTS THAT THEY DIDN'T LIKE THIS BILL, WERE THINKING, ONE, MAYBE I'M NOT RUNNING AGAIN, AND TWO, IT MIGHT BE A MORE URBAN LEGISLATURE NEXT TIME AND IF WE PASS THIS NOW WE HAVE A BETTER SHOT OF PROTECTING PRODUCERS THAN WE DO A YEAR OR TWO FROM NOW WITH A MORE URBAN LEGISLATURE.

Yepsen: I THINK THAT JENEANE MAKES A VERY GOOD POINT, AND THAT REALLY RESULTED IN THE PASSAGE OF THAT HOG LOT LEGISLATION. I MEAN EVERYBODY -- THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAW A CHANCE TO GET A GOOD PIECE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION. THE FARM COMMUNITIES, THE AGGIES UP THERE SAID, "WE BETTER SETTLE THIS DEAL NOW BECAUSE IT AIN'T GONNA GET ANY BETTER NEXT YEAR," SO THEY CAME TO THE TABLE. AND REALLY, THIS LEGISLATURE, FOR ALL THE CRITICISM THAT WE MAKE OF IT, THEY DID TWO THINGS THAT TRULY WILL MEAN SOMETHING IN TEN YEARS: THE HOG LOT LEGISLATION IS A BEGINNING AT SOLVING THAT PROBLEM; AND THE VENTURE CAPITAL LEGISLATION THAT THEY PASSED EARLY IN THE SESSION -- AND WE DON'T REMEMBER MUCH NOW -- I THINK WILL MEAN A BIG DIFFERENCE IN STARTING NEW COMPANIES IN IOWA. AND I THINK THE FACT THEY DIDN'T RAISE TAXES AND THE FACT THAT THEY'RE STARTING NOW TO REORGANIZATION STATE GOVERNMENT IS A HEALTHY THING TOO.

Glover: YOU HAVE TO SOMETIMES STEP BACK AND, AS I'VE MENTIONED EARLIER, LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. WE SPEND A LOT OF OUR TIME TALKING ABOUT THE FIGHTS THAT GO ON AT THE HILL, AND THAT'S PART OF WHAT JOURNALISM IS ALL ABOUT. WE COVER CONFLICT. WE DON'T COVER AGREEMENT. STEP BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT THEY AGREE ON. THEY BOTH AGREE, BOTH BEING A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, THEY AGREE THAT THE ECONOMY HAS GONE SOUTH AND IT'S CAUSED THE STATE TO HAVE A BUDGET PROBLEM. THEY AGREE ON ROUGHLY THE SIZE OF THE BUDGET PROBLEM. THEY AGREE THAT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE TAXES TO SOLVE IT. THEY AGREE THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CUT SPENDING TO SOLVE IT. THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO DIP INTO SOME SPECIAL FUNDS A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN THEY DO; THEY WANT TO CUT SPENDING A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN HE DOES. BUT THE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM FAR OUTWEIGH THE DISAGREEMENTS.

Borg: WHEN YOU SAY DIPPING IN, THAT REMINDS ME, IN THE GOVERNOR'S LATEST COMPROMISE PROPOSAL, HE DOESN'T DIP INTO THE RAINY DAY FUND ANY LONGER.

Glover: HE DOES NOT AND SOME OF HIS KEY CONSTITUENTS WANTED HIM TO. IN FACT, SOME OF HIS KEY CONSTITUENTS, LIKE LABOR AND TEACHERS, WERE RUNNING ADS URGING LEGISLATORS TO GET INTO THE RAINY DAY FUND BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT IT WAS CREATED FOR.

Beck: WELL, LET'S NOT FORGET THAT THEY HAVE GOTTEN INTO THE RAINY DAY FUND. IT'S NOT LIKE THEY HAVEN'T TOUCHED IT ALL ALONG. THEY BORROWED FROM IT TWICE NOW, ONE LAST NOVEMBER AND AGAIN THIS SPRING. SO THEY'RE NOT TOUCHING IT A THIRD TIME.

Yepsen: I THINK PART OF THAT IS TOM VILSACK UNDERSTANDS HE MAY HAVE TO GET IN THAT RAINY DAY FUND AGAIN. WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE SOUP YET IN THIS STATE, AND THEN THERE MAY BE A NEED TO HAVE SOME CASH ON HAND. THE OTHER REASON THE GOVERNOR DIDN'T GET IN IT, FRANKLY -- HE TALKS ABOUT IOWA VALUES AND THAT SORT OF THING. DEAN, FRUGALITY IS AN IOWA VALUE TOO.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS AND WE'LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS, BUT I'M SURE WE'LL BE BACK AROUND THIS TABLE AGAIN VERY SOON. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH "IOWA PRESS" NEXT WEEK, 6:30 FRIDAY EVENING, NOON ON SUNDAY. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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