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Iowa Press #3008
October 25 and 27, 2002

Yepsen: THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE IOWA STATEHOUSE IS ON THE LINE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION OF TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5. WE DISCUSS THE ISSUES DRIVING THE CAMPAIGNS FOR THE IOWA LEGISLATURE WITH THE MAJORITY LEADERS, SENATOR STEWART IVERSON AND REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER RANTS, AND WITH THE MINORITY LEADERS, SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL AND REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD MYERS, ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

ANNOUNCER: FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS" WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; 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, OCTOBER 25 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: WHILE MUCH PREELECTION FANFARE SURROUNDS THE HIGH-PROFILE CAMPAIGNS FOR GOVERNOR OF IOWA, FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE, AND FOR THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IT'S WORTH NOTING THAT WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY AS WELL. INDEED, THE MAKEUP OF THE UPCOMING 80TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY HANGS IN THE BALANCE. AND IT'S WORTH NOTING THAT LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES ARE RUNNING IN RECONFIGURED DISTRICTS FOR THE IOWA HOUSE AND THE IOWA SENATE FOR THE FIRST TIME. AS IS THE CASE IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, GEOGRAPHY IS THE UNKNOWN, THE "X" FACTOR OF THE CAMPAIGN OF 2002. NEW VOTING DISTRICTS BROUGHT ON BY THE CENSUS OF 2000 MEAN THERE COULD BE A SHIFT IN POWER. LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD. IN THE IOWA HOUSE, ALL 100 DISTRICTS ARE ON THE BALLOT, AS THEY ARE EVERY TWO YEARS. CURRENTLY, THE REPUBLICANS HOLD A 12-VOTE ADVANTAGE OVER THE DEMOCRATS, 56-44. DEMOCRATS NEED TO WIN ONLY SEVEN SEATS FROM THE REPUBLICANS TO TAKE CONTROL. IN THE 50-MEMBER IOWA SENATE, THE ADVANTAGE IS EIGHT VOTES, 29-21, REPUBLICANS OVER DEMOCRATS, AND DEMOCRATS NEED FIVE SEATS TO TAKE THE MAJORITY. THIRTY-FIVE SENATE SEATS ARE ON THE BALLOT. WELL, IT'S AGAINST THAT BACKDROP THAT WE WELCOME FOUR STATEHOUSE LEADERS TO THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE TO DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGNS OF 2002. SENATOR STEWART IVERSON, A REPUBLICAN FROM DOWS, IS THE MAJORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA SENATE; AND SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL, A DEMOCRAT FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS, IS THE MINORITY LEADER. ALSO JOINING US AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE FROM THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER RANTS, A REPUBLICAN FROM SIOUX CITY, WHO SERVES A MAJORITY LEADER; AND REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD MYERS, AN IOWA CITY DEMOCRAT WHO IS THE MINORITY LEADER. WELL, WELCOME BACK, ALL OF YOU. WE'VE HAD YOU ON HERE BEFORE BUT NEVER TOGETHER, SO IT'S GOOD TO HAVE A GROUP DISCUSSION. I'LL START THE QUESTIONS TODAY WITH YOU, REPRESENTATIVE MYERS. GIVE US THE COMMERCIAL. WHY SHOULD IOWA VOTERS VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS FOR THE LEGISLATURE? VERY QUICKLY.

Myers: VERY QUICKLY? WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I THINK WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS. I THINK WE WANT TO STICK TO SOME BASIC THEMES OF EDUCATION AS A PRIORITY. ECONOMIC SECURITY... PEOPLE ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THEIR JOBS AND TO THEIR PENSIONS. AND I ALSO THINK WE NEED TO STICK TO PROTECTING CHILDREN AND NOT GO VERY FAR AFIELD. WE'VE GOT ONE MAJOR TASK: TO BALANCE OUR BUDGET WITHIN OUR MEANS. WE'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE TAXES LIKE HAD HAPPENED IN THE LAST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE, AND WE'VE GOT TO LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, WHY SHOULD IOWANS VOTE FOR REPUBLICANS?

Rants: I THINK IOWANS ARE GOING TO TRUST REPUBLICANS FOR THE IOWA HOUSE FOR SEVERAL REASONS. ONE, THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PROPERTY TAXES COME OFF AUTOMATIC PILOT TO STOP THOSE AUTOMATIC INCREASES, AND ONLY REPUBLICANS ARE TALKING ABOUT THAT ISSUE THIS YEAR. THEY'RE GOING TO TRUST REPUBLICANS TO KEEP IOWA'S BUDGET UNDER CONTROL AND IN BALANCE. AND, THREE, THEY'RE GOING TO TRUST REPUBLICANS TO GET THE ECONOMY MOVING AGAIN. WE'RE THE ONLY PARTY THAT'S BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT THIS FALL.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL, THE SAME QUESTION. WHY SHOULD IOWANS VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS FOR THE IOWA SENATE?

Gronstal: YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING, EVERY CAMPAIGN REPUBLICANS TALK ABOUT CONTROLLING PROPERTY TAXES, BUT THEIR ACTIONS LAST SESSION RAISED PROPERTY TAXES -- RAISED PROPERTY TAXES FOR IOWANS. ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL TWO YEARS AGO, THEY SAID, "WE'RE GOING TO CONTROL PROPERTY TAXES." THEY PASSED LAWS THAT RAISED PROPERTY TAXES FOR HOMEOWNERS, FARMERS, SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS, VETERANS. I THINK THAT WAS A MISTAKE. THEY'VE NOW GOT A FOUR-POINT PLAN TO CONTROL PROPERTY TAXES. WE'VE GOT A ONE-POINT PLAN. WE SAY WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO IT, AND WE'RE GOING TO KEEP OUR PROMISE. THE REPUBLICANS DIDN'T.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, WHY VOTE REPUBLICAN FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE?

Iverson: BASICALLY, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, ONE, I THINK REPUBLICANS HAVE HELD THE LINE ON TAXES, AND I THINK OUR GOAL IS TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE INSTEAD OF MORE DEPENDENCY. WE HEAR A LOT OF RHETORIC ABOUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO CONTROL SPENDING, BUT YET EVERY TIME WE HAVE DONE THE BUDGET BILL, WE GET AMENDMENT AFTER AMENDMENT AFTER AMENDMENT THAT SPENDS MORE MONEY. THE PROOF IS IN WHAT YOU DO, NOT WHAT YOU SAY. AND I THINK WE HAVE DONE THAT JOB AND DONE IT FAIRLY WELL.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL, WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DEMOCRATS RUN THE TABLE, IF YOU WIN THE TRIFECTA... IF YOU WIN THE GOVERNORSHIP, IF YOU WIN THE IOWA SENATE, AND IF YOU WIN THE IOWA HOUSE? THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED IN IOWA WAS IN 1965 FROM THE 1964 ELECTION. WHAT'S IT GOING TO MEAN TO IOWANS IF YOU GUYS TAKE THE TRIFECTA?

Gronstal: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I THINK WE WILL WORK TOGETHER. I THINK IF YOU LOOK BACK TO 1964, IN THOSE YEARS DEMOCRATS CREATED THE IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM. AND TODAY SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 65,000 AND 70,000 STUDENTS GET A TICKET TO A BETTER LIFE. OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS, IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE TUITIONS HAVE RISEN TO THE HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY. THAT'S UNDER THE REPUBLICAN BUDGETS. WE THINK THAT'S A MISTAKE. WE THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO CONTROL THE COST OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE TUITION AND OTHER HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS. SO WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE GOVERNOR BY PUTTING A PRIORITY ON EDUCATION, NOT JUST K-12 EDUCATION BUT HIGHER EDUCATION.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS, THE SAME QUESTION. WHAT'S IT GOING TO MEAN TO IOWANS IF THEY VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS FOR BOTH THE GOVERNORSHIP AND THE LEGISLATURE? I MEAN AS I LOOK AT YOUR PLATFORM, YOU'RE ENDORSING CIVIL RIGHTS FOR GAYS, REPEAL OF THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW, AND HIGHER STATE MINIMUM WAGE. ARE THOSE THE KINDS OF THINGS WE CAN SEE HAPPEN IF YOU HAVE TOM VILSACK AND A DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATURE?

Myers: WE'RE GOING TO STICK TO BASIC ISSUES. I'M TALKING ABOUT HAVING A PRIORITY FOR EDUCATION, HAVING A PRIORITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY. WE'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE PROPERTY TAXES, AND WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF CHILDREN IN THIS STATE.

Yepsen: WILL YOU RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE?

Myers: YES, WE WILL.

Yepsen: WILL YOU ENACT CIVIL RIGHTS FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS?

Myers: I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT.

Yepsen: WILL YOU REPEAL THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW?

Myers: NO. [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: SAME QUESTION TO THE REPUBLICANS.

Myers: WAIT A MINUTE, THAT'S NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

Rants: IT IS FUNNY.

Myers: NO, IT ISN'T.

Rants: THAT'S NOT WHAT YOUR GOVERNOR SAYS.

Myers: WELL, HEY, THE GOVERNOR IS NOT THE LEGISLATURE. I MEAN I BEG TO DIFFER ABOUT THAT. WE'VE DISAGREED WITH THE GOVERNOR, WE'VE DISAGREED WITH YOU, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE OUR OWN AGENDA. AND OUR AGENDA IS GOING TO BE VERY BASIC THEMES, AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE PROPERTY TAXES LIKE THE LAST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE DID ON PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD IT.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, FLIP THAT QUESTION AROUND. WHAT HAPPENS IN DOUG GROSS WINS AND THE REPUBLICANS WIN THE LEGISLATURE? WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?

Rants: OUR FIRST BILL UP THAT WE'LL INTRODUCE IN THE HOUSE IS THE PROPERTY TAX LIMITATION BILL. THE SECOND BILL UP IS GOING TO BE OUR ENTERPRISE ZONE BILL TO FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY AND GET THAT GOING AGAIN. THERE WILL BE SOME OTHER HOT-BUTTON ISSUES THAT WILL PROBABLY GET DEBATED IF REPUBLICANS AND A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR ARE IN THE LEGISLATURE. I THINK THE DEATH PENALTY WILL PROBABLY BE BACK ON THE TABLE FOR DEBATE. WE KNOW WE CAN'T EVEN BOTHER BRINGING THAT UP AS LONG AS TOM VILSACK IS IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, BUT IF THAT SHOULD CHANGE, THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT REPUBLICANS WANT TO PUT FORWARD AGAIN.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT ABORTION? WILL YOU IMPOSE MORE RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTIONS?

Rants: WELL, WE HAVE PASSED --

Yepsen: IT'S IN YOUR PARTY PLATFORM.

Rants: YEAH. WE HAVE PASSED, ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, THE TWENTY-FOUR HOUR WAITING PERIOD OF THE WOMEN'S RIGHT TO KNOW LEGISLATION. GOVERNOR VILSACK, EVEN THOUGH HE SAYS HE'S OKAY WITH IT, HE ENDS UP VETOING IT. THAT WOULD BE BACK ON THE TABLE TOO.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, HOW DO YOU SEE IT IF YOUR PARTY RUNS THE TRIFECTA HERE?

Iverson: I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE VERY MUCH BASICS. I THINK, ONE, WE HAVE TO WORK TO GET OUR BUDGET UNDER CONTROL WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE. EDUCATION, OF COURSE, WE FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT TEACHERS OUGHT TO BE IN CONTROL OF CLASSROOM, AND WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO THINGS THAT WILL HELP ENHANCE THAT. BUT THE BUDGET IS THE MAIN FOCUS THAT I THINK ALL OF US HAVE TO WORK AT AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND JOB CREATION. AND WE KNOW THAT STATE IS REALLY GOING TO GROW FROM WITHIN, NOT FROM JOBS COMING IN FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE. SO I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE A COMPETITIVE CLIMATE THAT CREATES JOBS AND GETS NOT ONLY THE POPULATION GROWING BUT OUR ECONOMY GROWING. SO, LIKE I SAY, IT'S REALLY BASICS.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, I HEAR EVERYONE AROUND THIS TABLE SAYING THE WORDS PROPERTY TAX. YOU'D THINK IOWANS JUST GOT A PROPERTY TAX BILL IN THE MAIL.

WELL, WE DID.

Yepsen: WHAT IS GOING TO BE DONE ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES? I MEAN EVERYONE HERE IS SAYING WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING BUT, SPECIFICALLY, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN MIND?

Rants: WE'VE LAID OUT FOUR SPECIFIC THINGS, THE FIRST BEING TO TAKE PROPERTY TAX INCREASES OFF AUTOMATIC PILOT. I THINK THAT'S THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING THAT IOWANS HAVE. JUST BECAUSE THEIR VALUATIONS GO UP DOESN'T MEAN THEIR PROPERTY TAX BILL GOES UP, BUT THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS. SO WE WANT TO TAKE PROPERTY TAXES OFF AUTOMATIC PILOT. TWO, WE WANT TO FULLY FUND THE CREDITS. NUMBER THREE, WE WANT TO PUT IN PLACE A PROPERTY TAX LIMITATION. WE'VE TRIED TO GET THAT MOVING IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BEFORE, BUT WE COULDN'T GET ANY DEMOCRATIC VOTES TO GET IT OUT OF THE COMMITTEE AT THE TIME, SO WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD ON THAT. FOUR, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO RESTRUCTURE OUR PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM. WE'RE LOOKING AT A SYSTEM THAT'S 150 YEARS OLD. IT'S BEEN COBBLED TOGETHER AND HELD TOGETHER WITH BANDAGES AND BALING WIRE, AND IT JUST DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE. YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE WAY WE VALUE PROPERTY, THE WAY IT'S ASSESSED, AND ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS WITH THE CREDITS AND THE ROLLBACK AND EVERYTHING ELSE. THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL, WHAT'S THE DEMOCRATIC WAY OF DEALING WITH PROPERTY TAXES?

Gronstal: THE DEMOCRATIC WAY IS TO KEEP YOUR WORD. THEY SAID ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL LAST TIME THAT PROPERTY TAXES WEREN'T ON AUTOMATIC PILOT LAST SESSION. DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN PROPERTY TAX INCREASES.

Yepsen: SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO KEEP --

Gronstal: WE WILL RESTORE THOSE CREDITS. THEY SAY THEY WILL BUT FOUR MONTHS AGO THEY VOTED TO CUT THOSE CREDITS AND RAISE PEOPLE'S PROPERTY TAXES.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS.

Myers: AS SENATOR GRONSTAL SAID, WE HAVE A ONE-POINT PLAN. WE WILL NOT RAISE PROPERTY TAXES. YOU KNOW, I GET A LITTLE SILLY -- OR A LITTLE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT THIS THING IS ON AUTOMATIC PILOT. HE SEEMS TO FORGET THE FACT THAT EVERY COUNTY SUPERVISOR AND EVERY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER AND EVERY CITY COUNCIL MEMBER VOTES FOR A BUDGET. TAXES ARE NOT ON AUTOMATIC PILOT IN THIS STATE, AND I THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE BEING MISLED WHEN THEY HEAR THAT. BUT WE HAVE A ONE-POINT PLAN. WE'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE PROPERTY TAXES, AND I FIND IT A BIT DISINGENUOUS THAT NOW THEY WANT TO WALK AWAY FROM THAT AFTER THEY WERE WARNED ABOUT IT DURING THE SESSION.

Rants: WHY DON'T WE TAKE IT TO THE NEXT STEP THOUGH, DICK. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO LOWER THEM. I DON'T HEAR YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT THAT. I DON'T HEAR YOU TALKING ABOUT STOPPING THE GROWTH. [ SPEAKING AT ONCE ]

Myers: I CAME INTO THE LEGISLATURE LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES BY PICKING UP MORE OF THE SHARE OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE COSTS, BECAUSE I THOUGHT PROPERTY TAXPAYERS SHOULDN'T PAID PAY FOR THAT.

Rants: AND REPUBLICANS PASSED THAT. [ SPEAKING AT ONCE ]

Gronstal: ACTUALLY, REPUBLICANS PASSED A TAX CUT FOR THE WEALTHY, AND DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE CHANGED IT TO A PROPERTY TAX CUT INSTEAD IN '96.

Yepsen: SENATOR -- SENATOR, I WANT TO ASK A QUESTION. I WANT TO QUESTION ABOUT --

Gronstal: WHEN DID YOU LOSE CONTROL OF THIS PROGRAM? [ LAUGHTER ]

Rants: WE'RE ON YOUR SIDE OF THE TABLE.

Myers: YOU REALIZE THERE'S FOUR OF US AND ONE OF YOU? [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: MR. IVERSON, BUDGET AND TAXES. THE STATE IS IN FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY. WE CAN ARGUE ABOUT JUST HOW MUCH, BUT IT'S PRETTY CLEAR EVERYONE WOULD AGREE THAT THE STATE DOES FACE SOME FINANCIAL CHALLENGES. WHERE WILL THE NEXT LEGISLATURE CUT BUDGETS, OR WHERE WILL YOU RAISE TAXES?

Iverson: FIRST OF ALL, WE'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE TAXES. WE ARE GOING THROUGH A SYSTEM RIGHT NOW. WE ACTUALLY HAVE A COMMITTEE PUT TOGETHER TO LOOK AT REDUCING THE BUDGET. AND I KNOW YOU HAVE SAID THAT MEANS THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT GOING TO DO THEIR JOB. I THINK WE HAVE SAT DOWN WITH DEPARTMENT HEADS. WE HAVE SAT DOWN WITH THE GOVERNOR AND SAID, "WHERE CAN WE GET SOME EFFICIENCIES, WHERE CAN WE MAKE SOME REDUCTIONS?" AND THAT'S WHERE PART OF OUR FRUSTRATION LIES, WHEN THE CEO OF THE STATE ESSENTIALLY SAYS, "WELL, YOU GUYS GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO. I'M NOT GONNA MAKE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS." THAT'S THE FRUSTRATING PART THAT WE HAD. WE TALK ABOUT -- WE DID. $4.3 MILLION IN PROPERTY TAX CREDITS DID NOT GET FUNDED. AT THE SAME TIME WHEN WE WERE DOING THAT, WE WERE TRYING TO HOLD THE LINE AND PUT AS MUCH MONEY AS WE COULD INTO EDUCATION AND THE OTHER THINGS. SO THAT'S THE ADVANTAGE THAT THE MINORITY HAS; THEY GET BOTH SIDES. THEY DID NOT VOTE -- I DIDN'T SEE AN AMENDMENT TO RESTORE THE PROPERTY TAX CREDITS AND TAKE IT OUT OF HUMAN SERVICES OR EDUCATION. SO THAT'S THE BALANCING ACT THAT WE'RE ALWAYS IN.

Gronstal: YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL --

Gronstal: WE OFFERED AN AMENDMENT AND EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE SENATE, EXCEPT FOR ONE, VOTED AGAINST THE AMENDMENT TO RESTORE THE PROPERTY TAX --

Yepsen: BUT THE QUESTION, SENATOR GRONSTAL --

Iverson: DID YOU TAKE MONEY BACK FROM EDUCATION OR HUMAN SERVICES OR SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE BUDGET?

Gronstal: NO, WE TOOK IT FROM ANOTHER PLACE IN THE BUDGET WHERE IT WAS UNNEEDED, A PLACE THAT YOU HAD ALREADY GONE TO ONCE. THAT WAS THE UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK FUND. AND WE PUT TOGETHER A PLAN --

Yepsen: SENATOR?

Gronstal: -- THAT CASH FLOWED THAT --

Yepsen: SENATOR? SENATOR GRONSTAL, I'D LIKE TO LOOK AHEAD. WHERE WILL DEMOCRATS CUT OR WHERE WILL YOU RAISE TAXES?

Gronstal: I THINK -- I THINK THE WHOLE BUDGET, THE WAY YOU ESTABLISH A BUDGET IS BY STARTING OUT WITH YOUR PRIORITIES AND FUNDING THEM FIRST. SO WE WILL FUND EDUCATION FIRST, AND THEN WE WILL DEAL WITH THE REST OF THE BUDGET AND STRUGGLE THROUGH THE TOUGH CHOICES WE HAVE TO STRUGGLE THROUGH.

Yepsen: SENATOR MATT MCCOY SUGGESTED RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX. IS THAT ON THE TABLE?

Gronstal: LET ME REPEAT, I DON'T THINK WE HAVE ANY INTEREST IN RAISING TAXES AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, THE SAME QUESTION: WHERE WILL HOUSE REPUBLICANS CUT OR WHICH TAXES WILL YOU INCREASE?

Rants: WE'RE NOT PLANNING ON RAISING ANY TAXES. YOU'VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND I'M FROM WESTERN IOWA, DAVID. WE'RE IN A VERY TAX COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT OVER THERE, AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEE REPUBLICANS PROPOSING TAX INCREASES. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A DIFFICULT YEAR, HOWEVER, AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SOME CUTS. AND I HOPE THAT WE HAVE A GOVERNOR THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY WORK WITH IN TRYING TO IDENTIFY THOSE PRIORITIES. TO PUT IT IN CONTEXT OF WHAT WE ARE FACING -- I MEAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LOST THE LAWSUIT WITH THE CASINOS, SO WE'VE GOT $100-MILLION TAX LIABILITY AND A $40-MILLION LOSS EVERY YEAR FROM HERE ON OUT. WE GOT A $30- TO $60-MILLION LAWSUIT LIABILITY THAT -- WHEN THE A.G. LOST THE CASE TO ONE OF THE BARGAINING UNITS TO THE STATE EMPLOYEES, UP TO $200 MILLION. WE'VE GOT ZERO GROWTH GOING ON RIGHT NOW. I MEAN WE'RE FACING A VERY SERIOUS DIFFICULT BUDGET THIS COMING YEAR, AND IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE AGENDA. BUT WE'RE ALSO GOING TO HAVE 40, I THINK -- MAYBE DICK DISAGREES -- I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE CLOSE TO 40 NEW LAWMAKERS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND THEY'RE GOING TO COME --

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, WHY WON'T POLITICIANS PUT IT ON THE LINE: HERE'S WHERE YOU WANT TO CUT. YOU'VE NOT GIVEN ME ANY EXPLANATIONS OF THINGS YOU WANT TO GET RID OF.

Rants: WE'VE CUT IN EVERY SINGLE PART OF THE STATE BUDGET.

Yepsen: SO IT'S JUST ACROSS THE BOARD.

Rants: NO, WE'VE TRIED NOT TO DO ACROSS THE BOARD. WE HAD TO DO SOME ACROSS THE BOARDS LAST TIME, AND THAT WAS ONE OF THE DIFFERENCES WE HAD WITH THE GOVERNOR. WE PICKED OUT SELECTED TARGETED CUTS AND WE LOOKED FOR SOME PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE, AND THE GOVERNOR PREFERRED TO DO JUST STRAIGHT ACROSS THE BOARD. I DON'T THINK ACROSS THE BOARD IS THE WAY TO GO.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS, LET'S LOOK AHEAD. WHERE DO DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE WANT TO CUT, OR WHAT TAXES WOULD YOU LIKE TO RAISE?

Myers: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, EDUCATION IS GOING TO BE OUR PRIORITY. IT IS -- IN THE CAMPAIGN IT IS AND IN THE NEXT SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE, REGARDLESS OF OUR CONDITION. BUT I WOULD ALSO SAY THIS MUCH: WE NEED TO PROPERLY ADDRESS THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS. LAST YEAR WE PAID LITERALLY NO ATTENTION TO THE APPROPRIATION PROCESS UNTIL THE ELEVENTH HOUR. IN FACT, MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HAD NO PLAN UNTIL THE END OF THE SESSION. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE TWO APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRS GOT TOGETHER AND WROTE THEIR OWN APPROPRIATIONS BILL AND DISREGARDED THE WORK OF ALL THE SUBCOMMITTEES. WE WILL NOT DO THAT IF WE'RE IN CHARGE. WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY AND BE ABLE TO ESTABLISH PRIORITIES. WE'LL ESTABLISH TARGETS JUST LIKE THEY DID BECAUSE THAT'S THE LAW, AND WE WILL CONTROL SPENDING.

Rants: DICK, YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE. YOU CAN'T SAY WE WAITED UNTIL THE ELEVENTH HOUR BECAUSE YOU KNOW WE PASSED THE DEAPPROPRIATION -- [ SPEAKING AT ONCE ]

Myers: YOU DIDN'T START THE APPROPRIATION PROCESS UNTIL SEVEN WEEKS INTO THE SESSION.

Rants: WE PASSED THE DEAPPROPRIATION BILL. WE PASSED THE DEAPPROPRIATION BILL.

Yepsen: I WANT TO --

Rants: WE DEALT WITH THAT ALL ALONG --

Yepsen: MR. RANTS?

Rants: IT'S THE GOVERNOR WHO WOULDN'T --

Yepsen: MR. RANTS I WOULD LIKE TO --

Myers: YOU WERE TOO BUSY ELECTIONEERING.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AHEAD HERE. AND I'LL START THIS LINE OF QUESTIONING WITH YOU, MR. MYERS. JOBS AND THE ECONOMY. POLLS SAY THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE IOWANS FEEL POLITICIANS NEED TO ADDRESS IS ECONOMIC GROWTH. WHAT SPECIFIC SORTS OF THINGS DO DEMOCRATS WANT TO DO TO GROW IOWA'S ECONOMY?

Myers: FIRST OF ALL, I THINK WE NEED TO EXPAND OUR VENTURE CAPITAL CAPABILITY. I THINK THAT WOULD HELP OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE. I ALSO WANT TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE. AND YOU SAY THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT AS FAR AS GROWING THE ECONOMY. PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THIS STATE BECAUSE WAGES ARE NOT HIGH ENOUGH, AND IT'S TIME WE FACE THAT. SO THOSE ARE TWO THINGS I WANT TO START WITH. IN ADDITION TO THAT, I WANT TO LOOK AT ECONOMIC INCENTIVE PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSES THAT EXIST HERE. I THINK THAT'S -- THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SAYS THAT EIGHT OUT OF EVERY TEN JOBS ARE CREATED WITH THE BUSINESSES THAT ALREADY EXIST WITHIN YOUR STATE, INSTEAD OF GOING OUT AND TRYING TO BUY SOMEBODY COMING IN. THAT'S LONG BEEN A GOAL OF MINE. SMALL BUSINESS IS WHERE SOME OF THIS GROWTH IS, AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT THAT. IN ADDITION TO THAT, THERE'S A TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY GROWTH, NOT ONLY AT OUR UNIVERSITIES BUT THROUGHOUT THIS STATE, AND WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE THAT.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, WHERE DO REPUBLICANS WANT TO GROW THE ECONOMY?

Rants: LOOKING AHEAD. LOOKING AHEAD, WE WANT TO TAKE THE VERY SUCCESSFUL THINGS THAT WE'VE DONE WITH AN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM THAT'S WORKED VERY WELL IN SOME COUNTIES -- IT'S WORKED WELL IN MY COUNTY -- WE NEED TO TAKE THAT STATEWIDE. AS A STATE, WE CAN'T BE PITTING ONE COMMUNITY AGAINST ANOTHER. WE NEED TO TAKE THAT STATEWIDE, AND TRY TO MAKE ALL OF IOWA AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE CAPITAL INVESTMENT, FOR PEOPLE WHO PAY 110 PERCENT OF THE AVERAGE COUNTY WAGE, AND FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO INVEST IN THOSE COMMUNITIES.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, WHAT WOULD SENATE REPUBLICANS DO TO GROW THE ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS?

Iverson: I THINK WE'RE ON VERY MUCH THE SAME PAGE AS WHAT REPRESENTATIVE RANTS LAID OUT THERE. WE NEED TO DO THAT. AND THE VENTURE CAPITAL BILL, I BELIEVE, IS GOING TO HELP DO THAT. WE NEED TO HAVE MUCH MORE JOB CREATION WITHIN THE SMALL BUSINESS SECTOR, AS REPRESENTATIVE MYERS POINTED OUT. AND PART OF IT IS REGULATIONS. ONE OF OUR LARGEST EMPLOYERS IN THE STATE OF IOWA, JOHN DEERE, ACTUALLY HAD TO GET A WAIVER. THEY HAD THEIR PLANT UP AND RUNNING BEFORE THEY COULD GET THEIR PERMITS. WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE REGULATION SIDE THAT DOESN'T HOLD BACK AND STIFLE THE CREATIVITY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF IOWA, AND WE DON'T NEED THESE PEOPLE LEAVING THE STATE TO FIND CAPITAL TO MAKE THINGS WORK. AND SO I THINK IT'S BACK TO BASICS THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT QUITE A BIT ON THIS SHOW, CREATING OPPORTUNITIES AND FOLLOWING THROUGH WITH DOLLARS TO MAKE IT WORK.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL?

Gronstal: I THINK WE ALSO NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT -- I THINK IT WAS A MISTAKE TO CUT THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS AT OUR STATE UNIVERSITIES, BUT I ALSO THINK WE NEED TO WORK MORE CLOSELY WITH OUR STATE UNIVERSITIES AND OUR BUSINESSES SO WE CAN CONNECT RESEARCH THAT'S CURRENTLY DONE, CONNECT THAT RESEARCH TO EXISTING IOWA COMPANIES TO MAKE THEM MORE COMPETITIVE AND MORE PRODUCTIVE.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS, HOGS. IT STILL SEEMS TO BE A HOT ISSUE OUT THERE WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE. DO WE NEED TO DO MORE TO DEAL WITH THE HOG LOT QUESTION IN IOWA?

Myers: I THINK WE WILL BE REVISITING THAT SUBJECT, REGARDLESS OF WHO WAS IN CHARGE. I HEAR A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH THE MATRIX, AS TO WHETHER IT WILL WORK OR NOT. THE LAW REALLY DOESN'T GO INTO EFFECT, I BELIEVE, UNTIL NEXT MARCH, AND ALREADY THERE ARE SOME PROBLEMS WITH IT. SO, YES, I BELIEVE WE'LL BE LOOKING AT THAT.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS?

Rants: IT WILL BE BACK ON THE TABLE IN PART BECAUSE OF THE MATRIX THAT'S BEING PUT OUT. I THINK THE DNR IS MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WITH NO FLOOD PLAINS. BUT THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME TINKERING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

Yepsen: IS THAT THE CONSENSUS ON THE SENATE SIDE, SENATOR GRONSTAL?

Gronstal: YEP, I'D AGREE WITH THAT.

Iverson: I THINK WE'VE PUT TOGETHER BASICALLY A PRETTY GOOD BILL, BUT WHENEVER YOU DO A MAJOR PIECE OF LEGISLATION, THERE'S ALSO SOME TINKERING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, YOU WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING THAT BILL PASSED. WHAT SORT OF CHANGES DO YOU SEE HAVING TO BE MADE? I'VE NEVER HEARD OF TINKERING WITH A HOG LOT BILL. ONCE YOU GET INTO IT, IT'S A HUGE DEBATE.

Iverson: IT IS. BUT I TELL YOU, I THOUGHT WE DID A VERY GOOD JOB LAST YEAR WITH SIX DEMOCRATS, SIX REPUBLICANS. WE HAD VERY FRANK DISCUSSIONS. I FOUND IT WENT VERY WELL. WHENEVER YOU PASS A MAJOR PIECE OF LEGISLATION, A LOT OF TIMES YOU HAVE TO GO BACK AND: "WELL, THIS IS THE WAY IT WAS WRITTEN; WELL, THIS IS WHAT WAS INTENDED." SO I CALL IT SOME MINOR THINGS. I DON'T THINK YOU WILL SEE MAJOR OVERALL OF THE SYSTEM. IT HASN'T EVEN BEEN IMPLEMENTED YET. IN THE TIME THAT I HAVE SERVED IN THE LEGISLATURE, I HAVE NEVER SEEN A GROUP LIKE THIS PUT TOGETHER WHERE EVERYBODY HAD AN EQUAL VOICE, STARTED OUT WITH A CLEAN SHEET OF PAPER, AND DONE THINGS. I THINK THAT WAS A MONUMENTAL THING. IT WAS BIPARTISAN AND THAT BILL PASSED THE SENATE, I KNOW, LIKE, 37 TO 13.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRONSTAL, ANOTHER ISSUE IOWANS TELL US THAT THEY WANT YOU TO DEAL WITH IS EDUCATION. YOU'VE MENTIONED IT HERE TODAY. WHAT DO DEMOCRATS HAVE IN MIND TO DEAL WITH LOCAL SCHOOLS, AND SPECIFICALLY THIS QUESTION OF THE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX FOR SCHOOLS THAT MANY RURAL IOWANS FEEL DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THEM?

Gronstal: THAT'S A VERY TOUGH ISSUE AND IT'S AN ISSUE THAT, FRANKLY, DIVIDES BOTH OF OUR CAUCUSES. YOU HAVE -- IT'S AN URBAN/RURAL, NOT A DEMOCRATIC/REPUBLICAN BATTLE. AND THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE AN ISSUE. BUT WE DO NEED TO MAKE SURE OUR KIDS ARE IN DECENT SCHOOL BUILDINGS. AND SO FINDING SOME WAY TO DEAL WITH THAT ISSUE, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THAT. WE'VE ALSO COMMITTED TO CONTINUING THE CLASS-SIZE REDUCTION EFFORT THAT'S CURRENTLY IN PLACE. IT EXPIRES NEXT YEAR. DEMOCRATS HAVE COMMITTED TO CONTINUING THAT CLASS-SIZE REDUCTION INITIATIVE, AND WE'RE GOING TO FIGHT TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, WHAT WILL REPUBLICANS GOING TO BE DOING ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Iverson: I THINK AS MIKE POINTED OUT, YEAH, IT'S NOT A DEMOCRAT/REPUBLICAN ISSUE. I THINK THAT THE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX IN A LOT OF CASES HAVE CREATED MORE PROBLEMS THAN IT MAY HAVE SOLVED. I THINK THERE'S A DISPARITY IF YOU HAVE A RURAL AREA THAT ACTUALLY DOES SOME SHOPPING IN THE URBAN AREAS, THEY PAY FOR THEIR SCHOOLS THROUGH THE SALES TAX AND THEN THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN THROUGH THE PROPERTY TAX. IT'S A TOUGH ISSUE. I CANNOT SIT HERE AND SAY THAT I HAVE THE ANSWER TO THAT. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE DISCUSSED AT GREAT LENGTH IN OUR CAUCUS. WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THESE DISCUSSIONS AND TRY AND REACH A CONSENSUS, BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT GOTTEN THERE YET. AND THERE ARE SOME OTHER ISSUES THAT WE HAVE NOT ALWAYS REACHED A CONSENSUS ON.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS, YOU MENTIONED EDUCATION AS WELL. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE DONE ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Myers: FIRST OF ALL, I'VE ALWAYS BEEN OPPOSED TO THE LOCAL OPTION ISSUE. I VOTED AGAINST IT WHEN IT CAME UP BECAUSE IT DOES, AS MR. RANTS TALKED ABOUT A MINUTE AGO, PIT ONE COMMUNITY AGAINST ANOTHER, AND THAT'S WHAT WE SEE HAPPENING IN THIS STATE RIGHT NOW. ANOTHER THING I NOTICED IS THAT IN 2000 WE DUCKED THE WHOLE ISSUE OF REVISITING THE STATE FORMULA FOR FUNDING HIGH SCHOOL -- OR K-12. I THINK WE NEED TO REVISIT THAT. THERE'S SOME TREMENDOUS DISPARITIES IN THE WAY DIFFERENT SUPPORT IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE DISTRICT. WE ALSO NEED TO ENCOURAGE BROADER USE OF SOME SCIENTIFIC TOOLS TO HELP THE SMALLER SCHOOLS GET INFORMATION AND BE ABLE TO TEACH DIFFERENT SUBJECTS. AND I THINK THERE IS SOME CASE TO BE MADE TOO FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSOLIDATION.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Rants: WELL, THE LOCAL OPTION TAX IS -- IS AN ISSUE IN SOME CAMPAIGNS ACROSS THE STATE. AND HOW THAT GETS ADDRESSED IN THE LEGISLATURE WILL REALLY BE DETERMINED BY THE MAKEUP. AS I SAID BEFORE, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE 40 NEW MEMBERS IN THE HOUSE. THEY'RE ALL GOING TO COME WITH NEW IDEAS. BEYOND THAT, MOVING AHEAD -- ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT I THINK IS GOING TO OCCUPY SOME TIME IN THE LEGISLATURE IS CONTINUING TO LOOK AT HOW WE COMPENSATE TEACHERS IN IOWA, BOTH IN FORM, AMOUNT, AND HOW WE EVALUATE AND MOVE FORWARD. WE'VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT LEAVING NO CHILD BEHIND. WE WANT TO ENSURE THE CHILDREN ARE READING AT GRADE LEVEL AND PUTTING IN PLACE MECHANISMS TO TEST AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE GETTING THE RESULTS WE WANT. WE'VE TALKED ABOUT DOING THE SAME THING WITH TEACHERS. THE QUESTION IS WILL THE NEXT LEGISLATURE CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD ON THAT AS WE HAVE PROPOSED, OR WILL THEY, IF THE OTHER PARTY GETS CONTROL, WILL THEY MOVE BACKWARDS AND MOVE BACK TO A TENURE-BASED SYSTEM.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS, WE'VE ONLY GOT A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT. I WANT TO DEAL WITH SOMETHING THAT CAME UP IN THE NEWS LAST WEEK, THEY CALL IT DRUG CORN OR FARMACORN, BIOTECHNOLOGY CORN, WHATEVER LABEL YOU WANT TO PUT ON IT. THE INDUSTRY SAID LAST WEEK, THEY DON'T WANT TO DO BUSINESS IN IOWA BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO BE GROWING THAT STUFF WHERE IT MIGHT INTERFERE WITH FOOD CORN. IS THERE ANYTHING THE LEGISLATURE CAN DO TO OVERCOME THIS INDUSTRY FEAR? AND SPECIFICALLY, DO WE NEED TO SOMEHOW PROTECT THEM FROM LAWSUITS THAT MIGHT BECOME INVOLVED HERE?

Rants: TO BE HONEST, DAVID, I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER FOR THAT, BUT IT IS A PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT IOWA IS THE PLACE WHERE THAT'S OCCURRING.

Iverson: THE BIGGEST THING IS THE FEMALE PART OF THE CORN PLANT AND TO HAVE MALE PLANTS THAT PROVIDE THE POLLEN, WHICH IS JUST LIKE NORMAL CORN. I THINK IT IS A SEVERE BLOW TO THE STATE OF IOWA WHEN THE INDUSTRY SAID, "WE DON'T WANT TO RAISE IT HERE." THERE IS ACTUALLY SOME BEING RAISED IN IOWA RIGHT NOW. IT'S TOTALLY ISOLATED, A HUGE AREA AROUND IT. I THINK IT IS A MISTAKE TO SAY, "GOSH, WE'RE JUST NOT GOING TO GROW IT IN IOWA," BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THAT. AND I THINK WE NEED TO -- WE CAN'T ASSURE NOBODY EVER GETS SUED, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD AND PUT MEASURES IN PLACE THAT WILL PROTECT THIS.

Yepsen: MR. GRONSTAL, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU OR THE DEMOCRATS FEEL CAN BE DONE HERE TO -- I KNOW THE GOVERNOR HAS TALKED ABOUT --

Gronstal: I THINK, OBVIOUSLY, IT WAS A SURPRISE TO US WHEN WE SAW THAT. I THINK IT WAS A SURPRISE TO ALL OF US. AND I THINK WE NEED TO SIT DOWN WITH INDUSTRY LEADERS, BUSINESS LEADERS, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE REGULATORY AGENCIES, AND FIGURE OUT A SOLUTION TO THIS. IOWA IS THE PLACE THAT CAN BE THE FOOD CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS -- I MEAN WE'VE GOT TO FOCUS ON -- WE'VE GOT TO FOCUS ON THAT.

Iverson: I THINK WE ALL AGREE ON THAT.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT JUST ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT, SO LET'S GO FOR SOME SEVEN-SECOND SOUND BITES. MR. MYERS, WHY THE DEMOCRATS? VERY QUICKLY.

Myers: WHY THE DEMOCRATS?

Yepsen: WHY SHOULD VOTERS VOTE FOR THEM?

Myers: I THINK WE NEED SOME NEW LEADERSHIP AND SOME NEW ENERGY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE STATE SENATE, AND I BELIEVE I'VE GOT THE CANDIDATES TO GET THAT DONE.

Yepsen: MR. RANTS?

Rants: WE'VE GOT THE CANDIDATES THAT IOWANS CAN TRUST ON THE ECONOMY AND KEEPING THE BUDGET UNDER CONTROL. WE CAN'T BE HANDING OUT A BLANK CHECK TO EVERYBODY. I THINK IOWANS WILL TRUST REPUBLICANS ON THE BUDGET.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON?

Iverson: I THINK THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IS OPPORTUNITY AND DEPENDENCY, AS I SAID BEFORE. WE HEAR A LOT OF PROMISES. IT COSTS A LOT OF MONEY. WELL, YOU CAN'T SPEND MONEY AND NOT RAISE TAXES AT THE SAME TIME. IT SIMPLY DOESN'T WORK.

Yepsen: MR. GRONSTAL?

Gronstal: WHEN IT COMES TO PROPERTY TAXES, DON'T READ THEIR LIPS, READ THEIR RECORD. IN THE LAST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE, THEY RAISED IOWANS' PROPERTY TAXES AFTER THEY PROMISED NOT TO ON THE LAST CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

Yepsen: THANK YOU. WE'RE OUT OF TIME. YOU KNOW, IF JOHN MCLAUGHLIN EVER RUNS OUT OF GAS, I THINK WE SHOULD INTERVIEW FOR THE JOBS, OKAY? [ LAUGHTER ] THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING WITH US TODAY. NOW, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS" ON THE EVE OF THE ELECTION OF 2002, OUR TEAM OF POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE REPORTERS GATHERS HERE TO ASSESS THE CAMPAIGN AND LOOK TO ELECTION DAY ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5. THAT'S NEXT WEEKEND, FRIDAY AT 6:30 AND SUNDAY AT NOON HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. ALSO NEXT WEEKEND, WE HAVE A SPECIAL EDITION COMING YOUR WAY, A LATINO VERSION OF OUR "IOWA PRESS" REPORTERS ROUNDTABLE. LORENZO SANDOVAL WILL HOST THE SESSION DEDICATED TO THE CURRENT CAMPAIGN AND THE ELECTION OF 2002. AIR TIMES ARE SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3 AT 12:30, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING OUR NOON AIRING OF "IOWA PRESS," AND A REBROADCAST IS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 4, AT 6:30 P.M. THE "IOWA PRESS" SPECIAL IS IN SPANISH, HAS ENGLISH SUBTITLES, AND IS AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH ON THE SECOND AUDIO PROGRAM. AND ONE MORE PROGRAM REMINDER BEFORE WE LEAVE YOU TODAY, NEXT WEEK, MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, LIVE AT 6:30 P.M., IT'S "THE CANDIDATES WITH DAVID YEPSEN." AND I'LL BE DISCUSSING POLICY AND POLITICS WITH FOUR CANDIDATES IN TWO HIGH-PROFILE CASES. CONGRESSMAN GREG GANSKE, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FROM THE U.S. SENATE, JOINS ME MONDAY AT 6:30; DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK, SEEKING HIS SECOND FOUR-YEAR TERM IN OFFICE, IS HERE TUESDAY AT 6:30; DOUG GROSS, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, JOINS ME ON WEDNESDAY AT 6:30; AND DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TOM HARKIN, SEEKING REELECTION, IS HERE ON THURSDAY, LIVE AT 6:30. AS YOU CAN SEE, IT'S GOING TO BE A BUSY WEEK HERE ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, RIGHT UP TO ELECTION DAY. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF "THE DES MOINES REGISTER," SITTING IN FOR DEAN BORG ON THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." THANKS FOR JOINING US.

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