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Iowa Press #2942
June 14 and 16, 2002

Yepsen: THE SUMMER CAMPAIGN SEASON IS NOW FRONT AND CENTER, AND THE CAMPAIGNS OF 2002 ARE PICKING UP MOMENTUM FOR THIS FALL'S GENERAL ELECTION. WE'LL DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR OF IOWA AND MORE WITH DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT TOM VILSACK ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS" HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS" OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; 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, JUNE 14 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: LAST WEEK AT THIS TIME, YOU MIGHT RECALL THAT WE FOCUSED ON IOWA STATEHOUSE POLITICS AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR OF IOWA. THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR, DES MOINES ATTORNEY DOUG GROSS, JOINED US TO TALK ABOUT HIS RUN FOR TERRACE HILL. WELL, THIS WEEKEND THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEETS IN ITS STATE CONVENTION TO WRITE A PLATFORM AND BOOST ITS SLATE OF CANDIDATES IN THE GENERAL ELECTION OF NOVEMBER 5. AND ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THAT TICKET IS GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK, NOW SEEKING A SECOND TERM AS IOWA'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE. THE ONGOING BUDGET BATTLES BETWEEN THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND THE DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE HAVE CONSUMED MUCH OF GOVERNOR VILSACK'S TIME TO THIS POINT ON THE POLITICAL CALENDAR. BUT THE CAMPAIGN OF 2002 IS BOTH HERE AND NOW, AND RUNNING THE STATE'S BUSINESS AND A CAMPAIGN FOR REELECTION WILL MAKE THE NEXT FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS A BUSY TIME FOR GOVERNOR VILSACK. GOVERNOR, THANKS FOR GIVING US A LITTLE OF YOUR TIME THIS WEEKEND.

Vilsack: IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE, DAVID.

Yepsen: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND TO YOU.

Vilsack: THE SAME TO YOU.

Yepsen: ALSO WITH US AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE ARE KAY HENDERSON, NEWS DIRECTOR WITH "RADIO IOWA," AND MIKE GLOVER, POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE REPORTER WITH THE "ASSOCIATED PRESS."

Glover: GOVERNOR, THE IOWA SUPREME COURT, LAST WEEK, ISSUED A DECISION THAT IN EFFECT PUNCHED A WHOLE IN THE STATE'S BUDGET. THEY ISSUED A DECISION THAT HAD THE EFFECT OF REDUCING THE TAX RATE ON LAND-BASED CASINOS BY A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT, MAYBE $38-, $39-, $40 MILLION. HOW DOES THE STATE RESPOND TO THAT? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO?

Vilsack: WELL, MIKE, FIRST OF ALL, I THINK WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND FULLY AND COMPLETELY WHAT WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN. THE COURT CASE IS NOT COMPLETED YET. THE DISTRICT COURT MUST THEN GO BACK AND TAKE THE SUPREME COURT'S RULING AND DEFINE SPECIFICALLY WHAT THE STATE'S OBLIGATIONS ARE. I'M ENCOURAGED BY THE FACT THAT THOSE CONNECTED WITH THE GAMBLING OPERATIONS ARE INTERESTED IN VISITING WITH THE STATE TO MAKE SURE THAT WHATEVER IMPACT THERE IS, IT DOES NOT HARM THE CITIZENS OF THE STATE AND DOES NOT NECESSARILY COMPROMISE THE PROGRESS THAT WE'VE SEEN IN EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE. I THINK PEOPLE ALSO HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE IMPACT OF THIS DECISION REALLY WILL NOT IMPACT THE GENERAL FUND IN TERMS OF ITS ABILITY TO FUND EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE. WHERE THE IMPACT WILL COME IS IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND. AND HOPEFULLY WHAT WE CAN DO IS WORK WITH THE INDUSTRY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS STATE ARE HELD HARMLESS.

Glover: SO YOU'RE GOING TO START TALKS WITH THEM FAIRLY QUICKLY?

Vilsack: WELL, IT'S THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S RESPONSIBILITY TO START TALKS ON THIS ISSUE, BECAUSE HE'S HANDLING THE LITIGATION FOR THE STATE. ALL I'M CONCERNED ABOUT IS MAKING SURE THAT THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS STATE ARE HELD HARMLESS. I'M VERY INTERESTED IN MAKING SURE THAT THE PROGRESS THAT WE'VE SEEN IN EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE IS NOT COMPROMISED OR JEOPARDIZED BY THIS. AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE OPPORTUNITY OF WORKING WITH REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS AND DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS AS WE FASHION A LEGISLATIVE RESPONSE TO THIS.

Henderson: THIS WEEKEND YOU'LL BE SPEAKING TO DEMOCRATS AT THE STATE CONVENTION, WHERE YOU'LL BE RECEIVING THE PARTY'S NOMINATION. WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THOSE DEMOCRATS?

Vilsack: WELL, KAY, I WANT TO REMIND FOLKS THAT WE'VE PROVIDED FOUR YEARS OF TRUSTED LEADERSHIP THAT HAS ACTUALLY DELIVERED MEASURABLE RESULTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE AND THAT WE HAVE A CLEAR AND CONCISE VISION AS TO HOW TO BUILD ON THAT PROGRESS. I THINK THAT WHEN I RAN FOR OFFICE FOUR YEARS AGO, I PROMISED THE CITIZENS OF THIS STATE THAT WE WOULD IMPROVE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND WE'D EXPAND ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE, AND I WANT TO REMIND FOLKS THAT WE LIVED UP TO THOSE PROMISES. WE'VE SEEN BETTER TEST SCORES IN EARLIER YEARS BECAUSE OF OUR CLASS SIZE REDUCTION INITIATIVE. WE'VE SEEN AN EXPANSION OF HEALTH CARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE. AND WE HAVE BUILT THE FRAMEWORK FOR A CULTURE OF INNOVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY, WHICH I THINK WILL TAKE IOWA TO THE NEXT STEP IN TERMS OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.

Glover: PRESUMABLY YOU WILL GET, WHEN IT COMES AROUND TO NOVEMBER, THE VOTES OF MOST DEMOCRATS. PRESUMABLY DOUG GROSS WILL GET THE VOTES OF MOST REPUBLICANS. AND THIS ELECTION, LIKE ALL ELECTIONS, WILL BE SETTLED BY THOSE NOT ALIGNED CLOSELY WITH EITHER PARTY. WHAT'S YOUR MESSAGE TO THE INDEPENDENTS OF THIS STATE?

Vilsack: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, MIKE, I'M NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO CONCEDE ALL OF THE REPUBLICAN VOTES TO MY OPPONENT. TWO-THIRDS OF THE FOLKS WHO VOTED IN THE PRIMARY DIDN'T FEEL THAT MR. GROSS LIVED UP TO THEIR EXPECTATION AS GOVERNOR. HAVING SAID THAT, MY MESSAGE TO INDEPENDENT VOTERS AND DEMOCRATIC VOTERS AND REPUBLICAN VOTERS IS THAT WE HAVE DELIVERED ON THE PROMISES THAT WE'VE MADE. WE TALKED ABOUT IMPROVING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, AND WE'VE DONE THAT. WE TALKED ABOUT EXPANDING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE; WE'VE DONE THAT. WE TALKED ABOUT IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT; WE'VE DONE THAT. AND WITH THE STEPS TO EXPAND ENERGY IN THIS STATE, WITH THE VENTURE CAPITAL OPPORTUNITIES, WE'VE BUILT A FOUNDATION FOR PROSPERITY THAT WE WANT TO BUILD ON. WE WANT TO CREATE A CULTURE OF INNOVATION, A CULTURE OF PRODUCTIVITY IN THIS STATE, WHICH I THINK WE CAN DO. WE'VE PUT THE BUILDING BLOCKS IN PLACE, AND WE NOW NEED TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. AND WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT SOME OF THE IDEAS THAT WE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS TO DO THAT.

Glover: AND WHAT'S YOUR MESSAGE TO YOUR OPPONENT, DOUG GROSS?

Vilsack: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I THINK WE ALL HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAITS THAT ANY POLITICIAN MUST HAVE, ANY GOVERNOR MUST HAVE, YOU MUST EARN THE TRUST OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE LEADING. I THINK WE START THIS PROCESS BY ASKING MR. GROSS TO BE AS OPEN AND AS -- WITH AS MUCH CANDOR AS POSSIBLE. FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE SET A STANDARD DURING THE COURSE OF THE 1998 CAMPAIGN AND THROUGHOUT THIS TIME PERIOD UP TO THE POINT OF TIME OF COMPLETELY DISCLOSING OUR FINANCIAL INTERESTS. CHRISTIE AND I GIVE A COMPLETE COPY OF OUR TAX RETURNS AND HAVE FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS. WE'VE PROVIDED A NET WORTH STATEMENT, EVEN THOUGH THE LAW DOESN'T REQUIRE IT. I THINK THE FIRST STEP IN THIS PROCESS WOULD BE FOR MR. GROSS TO BASICALLY MATCH THE BAR THAT WE HAVE SET. I THINK HE SHOULD PROVIDE THE TAXPAYERS AND THE VOTERS OF THIS STATE A COMPLETE SET OF HIS TAX RETURNS FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS AND A NET WORTH STATEMENT SO WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT GIVES WITH HIS FINANCES.

Henderson: THIS WEEKEND YOU WILL ALSO BE ANNOUNCING THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE KEEPING YOUR RUNNING MATE, SALLY PEDERSON. LAST WEEKEND ON THIS PROGRAM MR. GROSS SAID THAT WHEN HE WAS PICKING A RUNNING MATE, HE WAS GOING TO CHOOSE SOMEONE WHO HAD THE ABILITY TO LEAD A STATE AGENCY. AND HE TOOK A SHOT AT SALLY PEDERSON, SAYING THAT WE CAN'T AFFORD, IN THIS TIME OF LEAN BUDGET TIMES, TO HAVE A CO-GOVERNOR. ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A DIFFERENT ROLE FOR HER IN THE COMING ADMINISTRATION, OR DO YOU THINK BEING CO-GOVERNOR IS FINE?

Vilsack: WELL, KAY, I THINK A LOT OF FOLKS DON'T FULLY APPRECIATE OR UNDERSTAND THE JOB OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AS IT IS TODAY. WE HAVE, AS IS THE CASE WITH THE BUSH-CHENEY ADMINISTRATION, LOOKED AT THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S JOB AS A JOB THAT IS MEANINGFUL AND IMPORTANT. THIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR STARTED HER TERM SEVERAL YEARS AGO, FOCUSING ON WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND COMING UP WITH A SERIES OF INNOVATIVE WAYS TO EXPAND OUR WORK FORCE AND TO BRING MORE PEOPLE INTO THE WORK FORCE. AND IN FACT, IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, OUR WORK FORCE HAS IN FACT GROWN. THIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR HAS BEEN ASKED TO HEAD OUR EFFORT TO TRY TO REDESIGN THE MENTAL HEALTH AND MENTAL RETARDATION SYSTEM IN THE STATE, WHICH IS A MAJOR UNDERTAKING. THIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR HAS BEEN A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR MENTAL HEALTH PARITY, WHICH IS A VERY IMPORTANT, UNFINISHED PART OF THE BUSINESS THAT WE MUST ATTEND TO IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. SO THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR HAS BEEN AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN ALL OF THE DECISIONS. AND I THINK IF PEOPLE FULLY UNDERSTOOD AND SPENT A DAY OR A WEEK OR A MONTH WITH HER, THEY WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF RESPONSIBILITY AND SHE'S CARRIED IT OFF EXTREMELY WELL. I HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT MR. GROSS'S PROPOSAL. I ENVISION A SENATE CONFIRMATION OF A DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR. WHAT WOULD THAT LOOK LIKE? WHAT MISCHIEF COULD BE PLAYED? WOULD LEE CLANCEY, FOR EXAMPLE, BE ABLE TO BECOME THE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR OF "X", WHATEVER DEPARTMENT IT IS? SO I THINK THAT THERE ARE REAL CONCERNS, SOME PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS. WHAT IF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DOESN'T DO A VERY GOOD JOB AS THE DIRECTOR OF WHATEVER DEPARTMENT HE OR SHE MIGHT BE CHOSEN FOR: HOW DO YOU FIRE THAT INDIVIDUAL; HOW DO YOU REMOVE THAT INDIVIDUAL; WHAT COMPLEXITIES ARE CREATED FROM THAT IDEA? SO I THINK THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT OF DISCUSSION ABOUT THAT CONCEPT, AND I THINK THERE'S SOME PRACTICAL PROBLEMS WITH IT.

Glover: GOVERNOR, LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE NEGATIVES THAT, OVER THE NEXT FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS, REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO TAKE AT YOU DURING THIS CAMPAIGN. LET'S START WITH THE STATE'S BUDGET? YOU'VE BEEN FORCED, AS THE ECONOMIC RECESSION HAS HIT THE COUNTRY, TO GO BACK INTO THE BUDGET TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN, CUTTING AND CUTTING AND CUTTING. HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM IS THAT?

Vilsack: WELL, 44 OTHER STATES THAT FACE THIS -- AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO BASICALLY COMPARE HOW IOWA HAS FAIRED RELATIVE TO THE OTHER 44 STATES. FIRST OF ALL, WE SIGNED A BUDGET LAST WEEK THAT BASICALLY IS ONLY $5 MILLION MORE THAN THE BUDGET THAT WE TOOK OVER WHEN I BECAME GOVERNOR IN FISCAL YEAR 1999. THAT'S UNPRECEDENTED. BUT YET WE'VE SEEN PROGRESS IN EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE, WE'VE SEEN PROGRESS IN THE ENVIRONMENT, AND WE'VE GONE INTO SOME FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES. HOW HAVE WE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT? WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO IT BY LEVERAGING AND BY BEING VERY -- MAKING SOME VERY, VERY TOUGH DECISIONS. WE'VE REORGANIZED THREE MAJOR DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT. WE'VE REDUCED THE WORK FORCE IN STATE GOVERNMENT TO A SIX-YEAR LOW. WE'VE ALSO -- AT THE SAME TIME WE'VE BEEN DOING ALL OF THIS, WE'VE PROVIDED THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS STATE WITH OVER $500 MILLION OF TAX RELIEF. WE ARE THE ONLY STATE THAT I KNOW OF THAT CONTINUES TO LOOK AT WAYS TO REDUCE THE TAX BURDEN ON WORKING FAMILIES BY TAKING THE SALES TAX OFF UTILITY BILLS. FOLKS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT OUR RESERVE ACCOUNTS ARE DOWN. THEY FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THAT THERE ARE OTHER RESOURCES THAT THE STATE HAS AVAILABLE TO IT. AND IF YOU ACCUMULATE ALL OF THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO IT, WE ESSENTIALLY HAVE PRETTY CLOSE TO $8- TO $900 MILLION AVAILABLE TO THE STATE IN VARIOUS FUNDS. SO WE HAVE DONE AN EXTRAORDINARY JOB UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES -- AND THEY'RE VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES -- WITH THIS BUDGET. I'M HAPPY TO COMPARE AND CONTRAST TO THE WAY OTHER STATES HAVE HANDLED THIS, BY RAISING TAXES AND SIGNIFICANTLY CUTTING SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION. I'M ALSO INTERESTED IN CONTRASTING AND COMPARING THIS TO THE WAY THIS WAS HANDLED IN THE MID 1980S, WHEN MR. GROSS WAS IN CHARGE. THERE WE HAD TAX INCREASES. THERE WE HAD CUTS TO EDUCATION. THERE WE HAD CUTS TO CRITICAL SERVICES. SO I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT DEBATE AND CONVERSATION.

Henderson: MR. GROSS DOES ACCUSE YOU OF FISCAL MISMANAGEMENT AND, THEREFORE, SETTING THE STATE UP FOR A TAX INCREASE, SHOULD YOU BE ELECTED. HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT CHARGE?

Vilsack: WELL, I WOULD ASK MR. GROSS AND THE VOTERS OF THIS STATE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THOSE OUTSIDE THE STATE WHO HAVE LOOKED AT AND EXAMINED THE WAY IN WHICH THIS HAS BEEN HANDLED. "MOODY'S," "STANDARD & POORS," "GOVERNING MAGAZINE," A VARIETY OF OUTSIDE SOURCES HAVE TAKEN A LOOK AT THE WAY IN WHICH WE'VE MANAGED THIS. OUR CREDIT RATING WOULD NOT BE "AA+" -- OR "AA1" IN THOSE CREDIT RATINGS IF WE HAD MISMANAGED THE BUDGET TO THE EXTENT THAT MR. GROSS HAS SUGGESTED. CLEARLY "GOVERNING MAGAZINE" WOULD NOT HAVE RATED OUR FISCAL STEWARDSHIP AS AN "A-," THE SECOND HIGHEST GRADE IN THE COUNTRY, IF IT HAD BEEN MISMANAGED. THE FACT IS WE'VE STILL BEEN ABLE TO SEE PROGRESS IN SCHOOLS. WE HAVE AN INCREASE IN TEST SCORES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TEN YEARS. WE HAVE CLOSE TO 60,000 CHILDREN WHO ARE INSURED WHO WEREN'T INSURED WHEN I TOOK OFFICE, 25,000 OF WHICH ARE COMING FROM FAMILIES OF WORKING FAMILIES. WE HAVE 17,000 SENIORS RECEIVING CARE THROUGH THE SENIOR LIVING TRUST. WE HAVE 900 WATER MONITORING STATIONS THAT ARE NOW DOING A BETTER JOB OF CONTROLLING OUR WATER QUALITY. WE HAVE SOME OF THE LARGEST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE STATE'S HISTORY WITH POWER PLANTS, $4 BILLION INVESTMENT, A BILLION IN VISION IOWA. THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT TO TALK ABOUT. AND AGAIN, I'D LIKE TO CONTRAST THAT TO THE WAY OTHER STATES HAVE HANDLED THIS. WE'VE NOT RAISED TAXES. WE HAVE NO INTENTION OF RAISING INCOME AND SALES TAX. THAT'S THE WAY IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST. WE HAVE REORGANIZED GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE STREAMLINED GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE LEVERAGED. WE HAVE BEEN CREATIVE. AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THAT.


Henderson
: WHAT ABOUT THE SUGGESTION THAT YOU WILL RAISE TAXES IF ELECTED.

Vilsack: I SAID FOUR YEARS AGO IN 1998 WE WEREN'T GOING TO RAISE TAXES, AND I'VE KEPT THAT PLEDGE. UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION THAT RAISED TAXES NOT ONCE BUT TWICE, THE SALES TAX WAS INCREASED BY 66 PERCENT UNDER THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION. GAS TAXES WERE RAISED AS WELL. INCOME TAXES WERE RAISED BY VIRTUE OF A PROCESS, WHEREBY RATES WERE REDUCED BUT DEDUCTIONS WERE ELIMINATED, AND SO INCOME TAX ACTUALLY WENT UP IN THE STATE. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED. WE HAVE HAD $500 MILLION OF TAX RELIEF PROVIDED TO THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS STATE. WE HAVE DONE THIS THE RIGHT WAY. WHAT WE HAVE DONE, KAY, IS WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A FOUNDATION SO THAT WHEN PROSPERITY RETURNS TO THE NATION AND WE GET THROUGH THIS NATIONAL RECESSION AND WE GO BACK TO THE LEVELS OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY THAT WE HAD IN THIS STATE, SAY, IN THE YEAR 2000, WE'VE BUILT A SUBSTANTIAL CUSHION THAT WILL ALLOW US TO PUT RESOURCES INTO INTO OUR UNIVERSITIES, PUT RESOURCES INTO OUR COLLEGES AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES, PUT RESOURCES INTO OUR K-12 SYSTEM TO IMPROVE AND TO BUILD UPON THE PROGRESS THAT WE'VE SEEN.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT THE LAST HALF OF KAY'S QUESTION: NO TAX INCREASES PROSPECTIVELY?

Vilsack: I HAVE NO PLAN WHATSOEVER FOR RAISING TAXES.

Yepsen: YOUR PARTY PLATFORM -- THE PROPOSED PLATFORM THE DEMOCRATS ARE CONSIDERING THIS WEEKEND DOES CALL FOR TAX INCREASES. IT CALLS FOR REPEAL OF RIGHT TO WORK; IT CALLS FOR LEGALIZING THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA; AND IT CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL, "REASONABLE AND RESPONSIBLE GUN LEGISLATION" IS THE LANGUAGE IT USES. DO YOU AGREE WITH ALL THOSE THINGS?

Vilsack: WELL, THE PARTY PLATFORM IS A COMBINATION OF STATEMENTS FROM A LOT OF DIFFERENT FOLKS IN OUR PARTY, AND THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS WE HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF VIEWS. FIRST OF ALL, WE'VE PUBLICLY SUGGESTED AND INDICATED I'M NOT PARTICULARLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE IDEA OF RAISING INCOME TAXES IN ORDER TO PAY FOR SCHOOLS. I DON'T THINK THAT'S THE WAY TO DO IT. WE HAD POINTED OUT AND ESTABLISHED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE STATE'S HISTORY THE FUNDING OF SCHOOLS THROUGH VISION IOWA. SCHOOL MODERNIZATION AND CONSTRUCTION, I THINK THAT IS A VEHICLE AND A PROCESS BY WHICH WE COULD BUILD ON.

Yepsen: HOW ABOUT RIGHT TO WORK, MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA, AND GUN CONTROL?

Vilsack: YOU KNOW, THE ISSUE OF GUN CONTROL IN PARTICULAR, DURING THE COURSE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, WE TRIED TO WORK WITH GUN OWNERS TO ESTABLISH A GUN LOCK PROGRAM. WE WERE PLEASED WITH THE FACT THAT SO MANY GUN OWNERS WERE WILLING TO CONSIDER A VOLUNTARY USE OF GUN LOCKS SO THAT WE COULD HAVE SAFE USE OF GUNS. OUR FAMILY HAS BEEN -- HAS A HISTORY OF HUNTING, AND I WOULD BE VERY, VERY CONCERNED ABOUT ANY GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION THAT WOULD RESTRICT THE ABILITY OF DADS AND SONS AND DADS AND WIVES AND DAUGHTERS GOING OUT AND HUNTING. I'D BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THAT.

Yepsen: IF DEMOCRATS GET CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE, THEN, WILL YOU SIGN A REPEAL OF THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW?

Vilsack: YOU KNOW, THERE WOULD HAVE TO BE A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS STATE FOR THAT TO OCCUR. BUT LET ME JUST SAY THIS: I THINK THE ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT RIGHT TO WORK; IT'S ABOUT WAGES IN THIS STATE. AND I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN CREATE A MORE PRODUCTIVE STATE OF IOWA. WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE THE BUILDING BLOCKS, AS I INDICATED BEFORE, EXPANDING ACCESS TO POWER, OF VENTURE CAPITAL. THESE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT I THINK WILL MOVE THIS STATE FORWARD.

Yepsen: THE LEGAL MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA?

Vilsack: I'M NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS. I THINK WE ARE HAVING A HARD TIME TRYING TO COMBAT AND DEAL WITH A LOT OF THE ISSUES THAT RELATE TO DRUG USE IN THIS STATE. WE ARE TRYING TO BATTLE METHAMPHETAMINE. WE'VE CLOSED DOWN 2,000 LABS. WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR KIDS ARE PROTECTED FROM THESE DRUG --

Glover: EARLY IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION, THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT INCREASING IMMIGRATION TO EXPAND THE STATE'S WORK FORCE, AND THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT GAY RIGHTS. WE HAVEN'T HEARD MUCH ABOUT THOSE TWO ISSUES LATELY. WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?

Vilsack: WELL, WE MET WITH MODEL COMMUNITIES. AS YOU REMEMBER, MIKE, WE PUT TOGETHER A PROCESS BY WHICH THREE COMMUNITIES STEPPED FORWARD AND WANTED TO WORK WITH US TO CREATE A TEMPLATE TO DEAL WITH ISSUES RELATING TO NEW IOWANS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE A WELCOMING STATE. MARSHALLTOWN, MASON CITY, AND FORT DODGE HAVE WORKED HARD IN THE LAST YEAR, AND WE'VE MET WITH THOSE COMMUNITIES. SOME INTERESTING THINGS HAVE OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF THEIR EFFORTS. IN MARSHALLTOWN, FOR EXAMPLE, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THEY HAD A NEED FOR A HEALTH CLINIC FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING NEW ARRIVALS. WHAT WAS INTERESTING WAS THAT WHEN THE HEALTH CLINIC WAS ESTABLISHED AND SET UP, MORE PEOPLE WHO WERE RESIDENTS OF MARSHALLTOWN BEGAN USING THE HEALTH CLINIC THAN THOSE NEW IOWANS, AND SO THERE WAS A BENEFIT THAT ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF THE COMMUNITY COULD SEE FROM CREATING THAT KIND OF WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE. SO THESE COMMUNITIES HAVE HELPED US LEARN A LOT ABOUT THIS ISSUE. THE FACT IS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE NEW IOWANS. WE'VE HAD NEW IOWANS ALL THROUGH OUR HISTORY, AND THE QUESTION IS WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE WELCOMING TO NEW IOWANS. ON THE ISSUE OF GAYS AND LESBIANS, I'VE CLEARLY STATED THAT I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE IN EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS. AND I BELIEVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS LAW SHOULD BE -- SHOULD BE AMENDED TO INCLUDE SEXUAL ORIENTATION. I'VE SAID THAT FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS, AND I'LL CONTINUE TO SAY IT. I THINK IT'S A QUESTION OF ULTIMATE FAIRNESS.

Henderson: DURING A DISCUSSION I HAD WITH A STATE EMPLOYEE ABOUT SOME OF THE STATE BUDGET CUTS, HIS COMMENT TO ME WAS "THERE'S BLOOD IN THE HALLWAY OVER HERE." WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR, DID YOU ENVISION THAT YOU WOULD BE PARING THE STATE BUDGET TO THE EXTENT THAT YOU HAVE, AND DO YOU INTEND TO PARE IT MORE IN YOUR SECOND TERM?

Vilsack: WELL, OBVIOUSLY, NO ONE ANTICIPATED THE WORST REVENUE GROWTH IN FIFTY YEARS. NO ONE ANTICIPATED THE LOWEST EXPENDITURE GROWTH IN THE GENERAL FUND IN THIRTY YEARS AND A GENERAL FUND BUDGET THAT IS BASICALLY THE EQUIVALENT OF WHAT IT WAS WHEN I TOOK OFFICE. BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE A SITUATION LIKE THAT. IT BRINGS OUT, ULTIMATELY, THE BEST IN PEOPLE. I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF CREATIVE, INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES FROM OUR DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS. I HAVE SEEN IOWANS RALLY TO THE CAUSE. I HAVE SEEN US TRY TO FIGURE OUT WAYS TO DO THINGS BETTER, MORE EFFICIENTLY. I'VE SEEN US BEGIN TO CHALLENGE OURSELVES IN TERMS OF HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY. AND AS DIFFICULT AS IT HAS BEEN ON STATE WORKERS, THEY STILL CONTINUE TO DO THE JOB. FORDHAM UNIVERSITY BASICALLY DETERMINED THAT THE STATE OF IOWA WAS THE BEST PLACE THAT CARES FOR AND ABOUT ITS PEOPLE. THE KIDS COUNT BASICALLY SAYS THAT WE'RE DOING A BETTER JOB OF CARING FOR OUR KIDS. OUR CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTION AGENCY RECEIVED AN AWARD RECENTLY. OUR FOOD STAMP FOLKS RECEIVED AN AWARD RECENTLY. THERE IS CONTINUED RECOGNITION BY OUTSIDE GROUPS OF SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE STATE OF IOWA SO THAT STATE WORKERS HAVE DONE AN EXTRAORDINARY JOB RESPONDING TO DIFFICULT TIMES. WE HAVE REORGANIZED AND RESTRUCTURED THREE MAJOR DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT. IT HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT FOR YEARS. WE ACTUALLY DID IT. WE GOT IT DONE. AND I THINK WHAT WE'VE SET IN PLACE IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN EMPOWER REGIONS OF THE STATE TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE AND MORE EFFICIENT IN PROVIDING SERVICE. SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT WHILE THIS HAS BEEN AN EXTRAORDINARILY DIFFICULT TIME, I'M ENCOURAGED BY THE ATTITUDE THAT I'VE SEEN FROM FOLKS IN TERMS OF RESPONDING TO THE CHALLENGE.

Glover: AT THE HEART OF ALL OF THIS BUDGET FIGHTING IN AN ECONOMY THAT'S GONE SOUTH. WHAT CAN THE STATE DO TO FIX THE ECONOMY, OR IS IT OUT OF YOUR HANDS?

Vilsack: WELL, THIS IS A NATIONAL RECESSION SO, CLEARLY, IT REQUIRES A NATIONAL RESPONSE. BUT WE'RE BEGINNING TO SEE INDICATIONS THAT WOULD TURN THE CORNER. REVENUE ESTIMATES, AT LEAST AS OF THE END OF THIS WEEK, SUGGEST THAT WE MAY BE A LITTLE BIT -- WE MAY HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT MORE PESSIMISTIC IN TERMS OF REVENUE ESTIMATES THAN WE NEEDED TO BE, AND THAT'S A GOOD SIGN. MAYBE THINGS ARE TURNING AROUND A BIT. BUT WE'VE PUT IN PLACE THE BUILDING BLOCKS. WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT A CULTURE OF PRODUCTIVITY AND INNOVATION, WHAT YOU, FIRST OF ALL, HAVE TO MAKE SURE OF IS THAT YOU'VE GOT PLENTY OF POWER. CALIFORNIA FOUND OUT THAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH POWER THAT YOU CAN LOSE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY. WE HAVE UTILITY COMPANIES THAT ARE NOW MAKING APPLICATION FOR $3 OR $4 BILLION OF NEW POWER CONSTRUCTION IN THIS STATE. THAT IS A GOOD, POSITIVE SIGN. IT'S GOING TO GET GOOD CONSTRUCTION JOBS AND LONG-TERM ECONOMIC VIABILITY. WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY TO MAKE SURE THAT IT HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND AND GROW IN THIS STATE, WHICH IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT TO THE FUTURE SUCCESS OF THIS STATE. WE HAVE FINALLY, AFTER YEARS OF WORKING WITH THE LEGISLATURE, FINALLY GOTTEN A PACKAGE OF VENTURE CAPITAL OPPORTUNITIES WHICH SHOULD HELP SPUR ENTREPRENEURSHIP. IOWA IS BEGINNING TO GET A REPUTATION INTERNATIONALLY FOR ITS PROMOTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES. THE FACT THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA IS WORKING ON NEW BIOMEDICINE OPPORTUNITIES, THE FACT THAT WE'VE GOT A PLANT SCIENCE INITIATIVE AT IOWA STATE, CREATING NEW PATENTS AND NEW IDEAS AND LICENSING AGREEMENTS FOR THE NEW USES OF CROPS, ALL OF THAT IS FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT. ALL OF THAT IS A BUILDING BLOCK FOR A CULTURE OF PRODUCTIVITY. NOW WE HAVE TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT STEP. WE HAVE TO BASICALLY FOCUS OUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS, I BELIEVE, IN THREE AREAS -- THREE CRITICAL AREAS: ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, AND THE LIFE SCIENCES. AND WE HAVE A PLAN TO DO THAT.

Henderson: WHEN YOU RAN IN '98, YOU PROMISED TO REDUCE CLASS SIZES. AND ALSO, IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, YOU SIGNED MAJOR LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD CHANGE THE WAY TEACHERS ARE COMPENSATED IN IOWA SCHOOLS, THOUGH AS YET THAT HASN'T COME TO FULL FRUITION. WHAT SORT OF EDUCATION INITIATIVES WILL YOU LAUNCH IN YOUR NEXT TERM IF ELECTED?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK THAT WE HAVE SEVERAL CHALLENGES. ONE CHALLENGE IS A WAY IN WHICH THE STATE OF IOWA CAN BETTER PARTNER WITH LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN TERMS OF TECHNOLOGY. THE LEGISLATURE MADE THE DECISION, THIS YEAR, TO BASICALLY CUT TECHNOLOGY FUNDING. I THOUGHT THAT WAS A MISTAKE. I THINK THAT THERE ARE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES FOR WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY TO EXPAND THE HORIZONS OF OUR CHILDREN AND THE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR CHILDREN. WE HAVE A GROUP THAT'S BEEN WORKING FOR SOME TIME ON CREATING A REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CONCEPT AND REDEFINING HOW HIGH SCHOOLS WORK AND THE CORRELATION AND COORDINATION BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES. AND WE ALSO, I THINK, HAVE THE NEED FOR A BETTER COORDINATED EDUCATION SYSTEM BEGINNING IN PRESCHOOL, GOING ALL THE WAY TO GRADUATE SCHOOL. AND I THINK WE NEED TO WORK AND MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE IN THE EDUCATIONAL WORLD IS WORKING OFF OF THE SAME PLAYBOOK. SO WE NEED A BETTER COORDINATION AND WE'LL MAKE SOME INITIATIVES AND PROPOSALS IN THOSE AREAS.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, FORMER DELAWARE GOVERNOR PETE DUPONT ONCE SAID THAT A GOVERNOR CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS, HE JUST CAN'T DO EVERYTHING HE WANTS. SO IF YOU'RE REELECTED, WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU WANT TO GET DONE IN A SECOND TERM?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK BUILDING THIS CULTURE OF INNOVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY. I THINK FOR FAR TOO LONG, STATES HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN EFFORTS TO CREATE JOBS WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE QUALITY OF THE JOB OR THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ITS CITIZENS. I AM CONVINCED THAT IN ORDER TO MOVE THIS STATE FORWARD, WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON PRODUCTIVITY. AND THERE ARE TWO STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCTIVITY. THERE'S INNOVATION, NEW IDEAS, NEW WAYS OF DOING THINGS, NEW WAYS OF USING CROPS, FOR EXAMPLE, AND THERE IS ALSO EFFICIENCIES. AND THAT GOES TO THE ISSUE OF HOW DO WE EMPOWER REGIONS OF THE STATE TO BASICALLY MOVE THIS STATE FORWARD. I THINK THERE ARE A NUMBER OF STRATEGIES THAT CAN BE DEVELOPED. OH, I'M SORRY. GO AHEAD.

Yepsen: YOU'VE ALWAYS GOT A CHOICE IN DECIDING HOW YOU SPEND YOUR POLITICAL CAPITAL. WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU'D LIKE IOWANS TO CHANGE? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE -- HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IOWANS TO BE DIFFERENT THAN, PERHAPS, WE ARE?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK THAT THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN. IT IS ABSOLUTELY GLOBAL IN PERSPECTIVE, AND I THINK WE IN THIS STATE NEED TO BE WILLING TO TAKE A BIT MORE OF A RISK THAN WE'VE TAKEN IN THE PAST. ONE OF THE GOOD SIGNS AND POSITIVE SIGNS FROM THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION WAS THE WILLINGNESS TO BASICALLY TACKLE THE VENTURE CAPITAL ISSUE. THAT HAS BEEN A DIFFICULT ISSUE FOR IOWA LEGISLATORS TO TACKLE, BECAUSE THERE'S SOME RISK ASSOCIATED WITH VENTURE CAPITAL. BUT THE REALITY IS -- I WAS IN TORONTO REPRESENTING THE STATE AND SPEAKING BEFORE 5,000 DELEGATES TO THE BIOCONFERENCE. AND WHAT IMPRESSED ME WAS THAT PEOPLE IN THAT DELEGATION IN THAT CONVENTION WERE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT IOWA WAS INTERESTED IN ISSUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND WAS AT THE FOREFRONT OF ADVOCATING FOR THAT. WELL, THERE'S A CERTAIN RISK ATTACHED TO THAT, AND I THINK THAT'S HOW YOU GROW.

Glover: IT WOULDN'T BE AN OFFICIAL "IOWA PRESS" SHOW IF WE JUST DIDN'T TALK ABOUT PURE POLITICS FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES.

Vilsack: I THOUGHT THAT'S WHAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR THE LAST TWENTY MINUTES.

Glover: WELL, LET'S DROP ALL THE POLICY IMPLICATIONS AND ALL. THE IOWA CAUCUS CAMPAIGN IS BEGINNING TO HEAT UP A LITTLE BIT. JOHN EDWARDS IS OUT AROUND THE STATE CONVENTION. JOHN KERRY COMING. HOWARD DEAN IS COMING. TOM DASCHLE IS COMING TO YOUR PICNIC DOWN IN MT. PLEASANT. HOW MUCH OF A HELP IS THAT FOR DEMOCRATS RUNNING STATEWIDE IN THIS STATE TO HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE COMING IN, ORGANIZING, RAISING MONEY?

Vilsack: WELL, IT'S A GREAT HELP. IT ENERGIZES YOUR BASE. IT GETS PEOPLE EXCITED. THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE PEOPLE THAT THEY MIGHT SEE ON TELEVISION. IT COUNTERBALANCES THE EFFECT THAT PRESIDENT BUSH HAS. OBVIOUSLY, HE'S A POPULAR PRESIDENT, COMES INTO THE STATE FREQUENTLY. I BELIEVE HE'S MADE SIX TRIPS TO IOWA. AND HE OBVIOUSLY HAS THE ABILITY TO RAISE RESOURCES FOR REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES, SO IT BASICALLY OFFSETS THAT. WE HAVE A LOT OF INTERESTING, ARTICULATE, AGGRESSIVE LEADERS IN OUR PARTY. AND IT'S GREAT FOR IOWA TO BE ABLE TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THESE PEOPLE UP FRONT AND PERSONAL. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MAJORITY LEADER COMING TO THE SENATE PICNIC. HE'S A FRIEND OF MINE. I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR HIM. JOHN EDWARDS IS A VERY ARTICULATE VOICE IN OUR PARTY, A NEW VOICE. JOHN KERRY CAME OUT A YEAR OR SO AGO TO HELP AS WELL. HE HAS SOME VERY INTERESTING IDEAS, PARTICULARLY ON THE ENVIRONMENT. JOE LIEBERMAN AND AL GORE, OF COURSE, HAVE BEEN HERE QUITE A BIT. HOWARD DEAN, AN INDIVIDUAL WHO UNDERSTANDS HEALTH CARE ISSUES EXTRAORDINARILY WELL, BECAUSE HIS MEDICAL BACKGROUND IS SORT OF DEVELOPING A JIMMY CARTER APPROACH TO IOWA. SO I'M SURE IOWANS WILL SEE A GREAT DEAL OF HIM. IT'S EXCITING. IT'S A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR US.

Glover: IN THE LAST CAMPAIGN, YOU REMAINED NEUTRAL EVEN THOUGH YOUR WIFE DIDN'T. IS IT YOUR INTENSION TO STAY NEUTRAL IN THIS CAMPAIGN?

Vilsack: WELL, ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT WHEN JOHN EDWARDS WAS ORIGINALLY CONSIDERING HIS SCHEDULE, HE ASKED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET IN DES MOINES WITH CHRISTIE AND MADE NO MENTION OF ME. [ LAUGHTER ] SO OBVIOUSLY, HE'S GOT THIS FIGURED OUT. I TELL YOU, I'M FOCUSED ON 2002; 2004 IS A LONG, LONG, LONG TIME AWAY. AND I REALLY HAVEN'T MADE ANY DECISIONS WHATSOEVER ABOUT WHAT STEPS I'M GOING TO DO. FRANKLY, DEPENDING UPON HOW THIS TURNS OUT, MY OPINION MAY COUNT OR IT MAY NOT.

Henderson: SPEAKING OF DECISIONS, A WHILE AGO, YOU TOLD US THAT IF ELECTED TO A SECOND TERM, THAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST. NOW THAT YOU'VE BEEN IN THE JOB, DO YOU THINK A THIRD TERM MIGHT BE ATTRACTIVE?

Vilsack: I'M REALLY CONVINCED, AND HAVE BEEN ALL OF MY POLITICAL LIFE, THAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS HAD THE RIGHT IDEA ABOUT OUR SYSTEM, AND THAT IS THAT YOU SERVE YOUR TIME AND THEN YOU MOVE ON. THAT'S WHAT STIMULATES -- CREATES NEW IDEAS AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES. I THINK THAT THERE IS A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY IN A SECOND TERM TO FINISH AND TO BUILD ON THE PROGRESS -- TO FINISH OUR WORK AND TO BUILD ON THE PROGRESS. I THINK WE OUGHT TO HAVE A MINIMUM-WAGE INCREASE. I THINK WE OUGHT TO HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PARITY. I THINK THERE ARE MORE EXCITING THINGS WE CAN DO WITH THE ENVIRONMENT, AND I THINK WE CAN BUILD THIS CULTURE OF INNOVATION. SO THERE'S MORE WORK TO BE DONE. I THINK IT CAN GET DONE IN FOUR YEARS, AND THEN I THINK IT'S TIME FOR SOMEBODY ELSE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD THIS GREAT STATE.

Yepsen: WILL YOU FILL OUT A SECOND TERM? JUST LAST WEEK "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" WAS SAYING, OH, MAYBE TOM VILSACK FOR VICE-PRESIDENT.

Vilsack: I LOVE THIS JOB. THIS IS A GREAT JOB. IT'S THE BEST JOB IN POLITICS. I SEE NO REASON WHY, IF THE PEOPLE OF THIS GREAT STATE WOULD GIVE ME ANOTHER FOUR YEARS, WHY I WOULDN'T SERVE THE ENTIRE FOUR YEARS. THAT'S MY JOB.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, WE'RE OUT OF TIME.

Vilsack: YOU BET.

Yepsen: THANKS FOR BEING WITH US TODAY. APPRECIATE IT.

Vilsack: HAPPY TO DO IT.

Yepsen: WELL, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," WE CONTINUE OUR FOCUS ON THE CAMPAIGN OF 2002, AND OUR TEAM OF LEGISLATIVE AND POLITICAL REPORTERS WILL GATHER TO REVIEW THE CAMPAIGNS TO THIS POINT AND TO LOOK AT THE FINAL MONTHS LEADING UP TO THE ELECTION. THAT'S NEXT WEEKEND, FRIDAY AT 6:30 P.M. AND SUNDAY AT NOON HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF "THE DES MOINES REGISTER" SITTING IN FOR DEAN BORG. I HOPE YOU'LL BE JOINING US NEXT TIME ON "IOWA PRESS."

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