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Iowa Press #3012
November 8 and 10, 2002

Borg: THERE'S A NEW MEMBER AMONG IOWA'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION. WE DISCUSS THE 2002 ELECTION AND THE LEGISLATIVE MANDATES WITH FIFTH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN-ELECT STEVE KING 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, NOVEMBER 8 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2002, REVERBERATIONS CONTINUE ACROSS THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE, AND RIPPLES ARE LIKELY TO BE THERE FOR SOME TIME. AND THE IMPLICATIONS ARE THAT A NEW POLITICAL ERA IS EMERGING. BOTH THE EXECUTIVE AND THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE NOW SOLIDLY IN REPUBLICAN HANDS, AND THAT MAY TRANSLATE ALSO INTO JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS. HERE'S A LOOK AT THE SCORECARD. REPUBLICANS CONTROL THE U.S. SENATE 51 TO 47, 1 INDEPENDENT. AND ONE SENATORIAL RACE -- THAT'S IN LOUISIANA -- YET TO BE DECIDED. AND AT THE U.S. HOUSE WITH THE TURNOVER OF 7 SEATS, THE G.O.P ADVANCED ITS MAJORITY TO 22 VOTES WITH 1 INDEPENDENT THERE AND 2 CONTESTED ELECTIONS YET TO BE DETERMINED FOR THE HOUSE. TUESDAY'S ELECTION DIDN'T PRODUCE MANY SURPRISES IN IOWA, AND THAT'S PARTICULARLY TRUE IN WESTERN IOWA'S HEAVILY REPUBLICAN FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. STATE SENATOR STEVE KING WON THERE BY A MARGIN OF 63 TO 37 PERCENT OVER DEMOCRAT PAUL SHOMSHOR. CONGRESSMAN-ELECT STEVE KING, WELCOME BACK TO "IOWA PRESS," THIS TIME AS CONGRESSMAN-ELECT STEVE KING.

King: THANK YOU, DEAN. I'M VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE. I THINK THIS IS THE THIRD TIME IN THIS LAST SIX MONTHS, AND I HOPE TO COME BACK OFTEN.

Borg: AND I'M SURE YOU WILL AS A CONGRESSMAN. ACROSS THE TABLE: DAVID YEPSEN, "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" POLITICAL REPORTER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN KING, TELL US YOUR PRIORITIES AS YOU HEAD INTO WASHINGTON. WHAT ISSUES WILL YOU BE FOCUSING ON? WHAT ISSUES WILL YOU BE HIGHLIGHTING? WHERE WILL YOU FOCUS YOUR ENERGY?

King: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WHEN I FIRST CAME INTO POLITICS, I SAID THAT I'M A FISCAL AND SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE, AND I SERVED SIX YEARS ON THE IOWA SENATE ON THOSE ISSUES. AND I DON'T INTEND TO HAVE A NARROW AGENDA IN CONGRESS, AND YET I'M NOT GOING TO BE WILLING TO LAY OUT THE SPECIFIC, NUMBER ONE BILL THAT I WOULD INTRODUCE. BUT I WOULD JUST SAY THAT MY FIRST PRIORITY IS TO GET A FEEL FOR THE LAY OF THE LAND. AND I KNOW THAT NETWORKING WITH THE LEADERSHIP AND THE COALITIONS IN WASHINGTON WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FROM THE EARLY BEGINNINGS. SO I'M GOING TO FOCUS ON BUILDING THOSE RELATIONSHIPS AND THEN CARRYING THAT THEME AND THAT PHILOSOPHY THROUGH AND WORKING ON A BROAD FRONT SO THAT WE CAN ADVANCE THE FISCAL AND SOCIAL AGENDA THAT'S BEEN SUPPORTED BY THE CONSTITUENTS IN WESTERN IOWA.

Glover: IN THE STATE SENATE, YOU HAVE FOCUSED ON WHAT PEOPLE CALL WEDGE ISSUES LIKE ENGLISH AS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE, ELIMINATING THE INCOME TAX AND REPLACING IT WITH A NATIONAL SALES TAX. WILL YOU TAKE THAT AGENDA TO CONGRESS?

King: YEAH, I'D HARDLY SAY ENGLISH WAS A WEDGE ISSUE WITH THE KIND OF SUPPORT THAT WE HAVE FOR THAT ISSUE. IT'S AN 83-PERCENT ISSUE IN IOWA AND ABOUT 90 PERCENT IN WESTERN IOWA. I WILL CARRY THE ISSUE OF THE NATIONAL SALES TAX WITH ME TO WASHINGTON. THAT'S A COMMITMENT THAT I'VE MADE TO THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN IOWA, AND THEY'VE SUPPORTED ME ON THAT. SO I'LL BE LOOKING FOR A SEAT ON THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, ALTHOUGH IT'S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR A FRESHMAN TO HAVE A SEAT ON THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE. I'LL BE POSITIONING MYSELF FOR THAT FOR THE SECOND TERM.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN KING, FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WIN ON TUESDAY.

King: THANK YOU, DAVE.

Yepsen: I GUESS WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO GET AT HERE IS WHAT KIND OF CONGRESSMAN ARE YOU GOING TO BE? ARE YOU GOING TO BE A WORKHORSE OR A SHOWHORSE? ARE WE GOING TO SEE YOU WORKING ON THINGS LIKE THE ECONOMY, OR ARE WE GOING TO SEE YOU SHOWING UP ON THE CABLE TALK SHOWS AS THE NEW BOB BARR, SOME RIGHT-WINGER OUT THERE TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE HOT-BUTTON SOCIAL ISSUES IN AMERICA? WHAT KIND OF CONGRESSMAN CAN WE EXPECT YOU TO BE?

King: WELL, I'M GOING TO WORK ON BOTH OF THOSE FRONTS, AND I'VE DONE THAT IN THE IOWA SENATE. I'VE MADE STRONG COMMITMENTS TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND THAT IS A PRIORITY. AND I'VE SAID THAT I WILL BE PUSHING VERY HARD TO COMPLETE A FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY 20 FROM SIOUX CITY TO DUBUQUE AS THE NUMBER ONE TRANSPORTATION PRIORITY. THERE ARE OTHER CONSIDERATIONS IN TRANSPORTATION AROUND THE DISTRICT. THAT'S NUMBER ONE. AND THEN WITH AG DEVELOPMENT, IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE AS CLOSE AS WE CAN BE TO BEING GUARANTEED A SEAT ON THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE. SO THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR AG POLICY IS ANOTHER PIECE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

Yepsen: AND WE WANT TO GET INTO SOME OF THOSE ISSUES WITH YOU, BUT IT STRIKES ME THAT IF YOU TRY TO DO BOTH, WILL YOU WIND UP BEING ANY GOOD AT EITHER ONE?

King: WELL, I WAS ADVISED WHEN I CAME INTO THE IOWA SENATE TO PICK TWO OR THREE THINGS TO WORK ON AND THEN FOCUS MY INTEREST ON THEM, AND I DIDN'T STICK WITH THAT VERY WELL. I BROADENED MY AGENDA OUT. I WORKED ON BOTH THE FISCAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES AND A WHOLE SPECTRUM OF THINGS. IT COMES DOWN TO BEING ABLE TO JUGGLE A LOT OF BALLS AND BEING ABLE TO IDENTITY THE COALITIONS THAT ARE EFFECTIVE, WORK WITH THOSE COALITIONS, BEING ABLE TO COMMAND A STAFF THAT CAN DO THE RESEARCH AND PUSH THESE AGENDAS FORWARD. I THINK I CAN JUGGLE A LOT OF BALLS IN WASHINGTON, BUT I'LL BE CAREFUL. I'LL MOVE INTO IT A LITTLE BIT SLOWLY SO THAT I DON'T GET OVERCOMMITTED, AND I'VE GOT TO BE CAREFUL THAT I DON'T ALIENATE PEOPLE THAT ARE THERE. THEY'VE INVENTED A LOT OF THESE WHEELS, AND I WANT TO HELP ROLL THEM.

Borg: AND ALONG THAT LINE, YOU'VE SAID THAT IT'S PROBABLY UNREALISTIC TO EXPECT THAT YOU'LL BE APPOINTED TO THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE AS A FRESHMAN. BUT YOU SAID YOU'VE BEEN GUARANTEED A SEAT ON AGRICULTURE?

King: AS CLOSE AS I CAN BE NOW, YES. I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM SPEAKER HASTERT AND AN ENDORSEMENT FROM CONGRESSMAN LATHAM TO MAKE THAT RECOMMENDATION, AND I'VE ALSO SAT WITH THE STAFF OF THE CHAIRMAN, LARRY COMBEST. IF THERE NO GLITCHES ALONG THE WAY, JUST UNTIL IT'S FORMAL, IT'S AS CLOSE AS IT CAN BE TO BEING GUARANTEED.

Borg: WHAT OTHER COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS?

King: THAT I DON'T KNOW AT THIS POINT.

Borg: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE?

King: I'M LOOKING AT TRANSPORTATION AND FINANCE AS ONE -- THAT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE THE TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN IOWA -- AND ALSO TAKING A LOOK AT THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S AN OPENING THERE. I'VE BEEN ON THAT IN THE IOWA SENATE FOR FOUR OR SIX YEARS, AND IT'S AN INTERESTING POSITION FOR ME.

Glover: THERE'S A PIECE OF PAROCHIAL BUSINESS THAT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF SOMETIME IN THE RELATIVELY NEAR FUTURE. YOU ARE A STATE SENATOR. YOU'RE NOT UP THIS YEAR SO YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO RESIGN AT SOME POINT AND A SPECIAL ELECTION HELD TO ELECT YOUR REPLACEMENT. (A) WHEN DO YOU PLAN ON DOING THAT; AND (B) DO YOU HAVE SOMEONE PICKED AS A REPLACEMENT?

King: WELL, I WISH I COULD PICK A REPLACEMENT. I'M GOING TO LEAVE THAT UP TO THE PEOPLE OF THE DISTRICT. I MET WITH THE SENATE LEADERSHIP YESTERDAY TO DISCUSS THE TIMING OF MY RESIGNATION, AND I'M GOING TO LEAVE THAT UP TO THEM. THAT ANNOUNCEMENT WILL COME WHEN THE GOVERNOR GETS THE ANNOUNCEMENT. AS FAR AS A SUCCESSOR, AS I LOOK ACROSS THE LIST OF PEOPLE THAT ARE POTENTIAL, THE NAME THAT COMES FORWARD AT THIS POINT IS STATE REPRESENTATIVE STEVE KETTERING, AND HE'S FROM LAKEVIEW. HE'S DONE A VERY GOOD JOB, PARTICULARLY ON THE FISCAL ISSUES. HE'S A BANKER AND HE UNDERSTANDS -- HE'S NOT AFRAID TO STAND UP ON PRINCIPLE, AND HE'S NOT AFRAID TO BUCK LEADERSHIP WHEN THE TIME COMES. SO IT LOOKS LIKE HE'S IN THE BEST POSITION RIGHT NOW. I DON'T KNOW WHO ELSE MIGHT EMERGE.

Glover: SO HE'S YOUR CHOSEN ONE.

King: I WOULDN'T NECESSARILY SAY THAT BUT I DO SAY THAT HE'S DONE A GOOD JOB.

Glover: I THINK YOU NECESSARILY SAID THAT. [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, IF -- WE'LL GO BACK TO DEAN'S QUESTION A MINUTE. I MEAN I UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEBODY FROM WESTERN IOWA WANTS TO BE ON THE AG COMMITTEE; IT'S PROBABLY THE MOST RURAL DISTRICT IN THE COUNTRY. BUT IT ALSO STRIKES ME THAT WE'VE GOT THE FARM BILL IN THIS COUNTRY IN PLACE NOW. WOULDN'T YOU BE BETTER OFF TRYING TO FIND SOME OF THESE OTHER COMMITTEES TO SERVE ON?

King: THERE ARE SOME MORE POWERFUL COMMITTEES THERE THAT ARE ATTRACTIVE TO ME, AND COMMERCE IS ONE OF THOSE. BUT THAT'S ANOTHER POSITION THAT IS JUST NOT GOING TO BE AVAILABLE TO A FRESHMAN. THE AG COMMITTEE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE VERY BASIS OF OUR ECONOMY, PARTICULARLY IN WESTERN IOWA. AND I'VE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING THAT I WOULD SEEK A SEAT ON THE AG COMMITTEE. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT I WON'T BE LOOKING TO LEVERAGE MY INFLUENCE IN CONGRESS AS THE YEARS UNFOLD, BUT THAT'S WHAT'S IN FRONT OF ME RIGHT NOW.

Yepsen: WELL, TALK ABOUT WHAT'S IN FRONT OF YOU LONGER TERM AS THE YEARS UNFOLD. IT STRIKES ME YOU WERE ONE OF THE FEW SUCCESS STORIES THAT REPUBLICANS HAD ON TUESDAY IN IOWA. THEY COULDN'T WIN THE GOVERNORSHIP. THEY COULDN'T WIN THE U.S. SENATE. MIGHT WE SEE STEVE KING RUN FOR GOVERNOR OR U.S. SENATOR SOMEDAY?

King: WELL, AS YOU KNOW, I LOOKED AT THE GOVERNOR'S RACE A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO AND DETERMINED THAT WASN'T GOING TO BE IN MY FUTURE, AT LEAST IN THE SHORT TERM. I'M A CAUSE PERSON AND I WILL STEP FORWARD AND DO WHAT IT TAKES TO SERVE IOWANS AND AMERICANS. AND IF IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE THAT MANTLE IS HANDED TO ME, I'D TAKE A LOOK AT IT. BUT FOR RIGHT NOW I'M GOING TO BE SEEKING TO ADVANCE MY INFLUENCE IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND BE ABLE TO SERVE IOWANS. THAT'S REALLY WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT FOR ME.

Yepsen: LET ME PUT A FINER POINT ON IT. WILL YOU RUN FOR GOVERNOR IN FOUR YEARS?

King: WILL I? I WOULDN'T SAY YES OR NO. I REALLY WOULDN'T. BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THIS STATE NEEDS SOME HELP.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN, DAVID HAS ASKED YOU TO LOOK FORWARD A LITTLE BIT. I'D LIKE YOU TO LOOK BACK. AS HE MENTIONED, YOU ARE ONE OF THE SUCCESS STORIES ON TUESDAY NIGHT. THERE WERE A COUPLE OF FAILURES AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET. YOU LOST A SENATE RACE. YOU LOST A HIGH-PROFILE GOVERNOR'S RACE. WHAT WENT WRONG THERE? WHY WEREN'T THOSE TWO CANDIDATES ABLE TO CONNECT? I MEAN TOM HARKIN CARRIED SAC COUNTY.

King: I DID NOTICE THAT, MIKE. I WAS HOPING YOU WOULDN'T BRING THAT UP. BUT AS I WATCHED THOSE RACES UNFOLD, WE WERE YET TO THE POINT WHERE WE WERE CONCERNED IT WAS GOING TO DRAG OUR RACE DOWN. AND I SAW NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNS BEING RUN BY DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IN BOTH OF THOSE RACES. AND IF THERE WAS ANY THEME THAT EMERGED IN THE LAST TWO TO THREE WEEKS OF THE CAMPAIGN, IT WAS PEOPLE WERE TIRED OF THE NEGATIVE ATTACKS AND OFTEN THEY DETERMINED THAT THEY WEREN'T GOING TO VOTE AT ALL. SO I DON'T THINK THERE WAS ANY MANDATE THAT ANYBODY GOT OUT OF THOSE RACES. THERE WAS NO POLICY THEME THAT CAME THROUGH IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE OR THE U.S. SENATE RACE. AND I THINK WE'VE GOT TO GO BACK AS A PARTY AND REBUILD OUR ORGANIZATION IN THIS ENTIRE STATE OF IOWA FROM THE GRASS ROOTS UP, AND IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT BECAUSE WE HAVE TO ORGANIZE IN OUR SMALL TOWNS AND IN OUR RURAL AREAS AND IN OUR SUBURBS. THAT'S WHERE THE REPUBLICAN STRENGTH IS. WE NEED TO DO THAT AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT IOWANS INSIST THAT YOU GIVE THEM A REASON TO VOTE FOR YOU RATHER THAN A REASON TO VOTE AGAINST YOUR COMPETITION, AND THEY WANT YOU TO ARTICULATE A VISION FOR IOWA. AND I DON'T THINK THAT CAME THROUGH IN THOSE CAMPAIGNS.

Glover: AND YOU GOT YOUR CLOCK CLEANED ORGANIZATIONALLY.

King: I THINK THAT WE NEED TO DO MORE ORGANIZATIONALLY IN IOWA. WE BUILD, I THINK, GOOD ORGANIZATION IN THE FIFTH DISTRICT. WE'VE GOT TO GO BACK AND REALLY SCRUTINIZE THOSE NUMBERS AND SEE IF WHAT WE DID TO BUILD ORGANIZATION WAS AS EFFECTIVE AS I THINK IT WAS. IF WE CAN PROVE THAT, HOPEFULLY WE CAN USE THAT ACROSS THE STATE FOR A MODEL.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, I'D BE A RICH MAN IF I HAD A DIME FOR EVERY TIME SOME REPUBLICAN TOLD ME THEY NEEDED TO WORK ON THEIR GRASS-ROOTS ORGANIZATION. I MEAN, I'VE HEARD THIS FOR YEARS OUT OF YOU REPUBLICANS, AND YET NOTHING SEEMS TO HAPPEN. SO I WANT TO KNOW SPECIFICALLY HOW YOU GO ABOUT DOING THAT. WHAT SHOULD YOUR PARTY BE DOING DIFFERENTLY TO BUILD A GRASS-ROOTS ORGANIZATION?

King: WELL, I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I WAS SEEKING TO DO ON THE DAY I WAS NOMINATED IN DENISON ON JUNE 29, AND THAT'S WHY I STEPPED FORWARD AND SAID I WILL GO TO ALL 286 TOWNS IN THIS DISTRICT. AND I DID THAT OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR MONTHS. THAT WAS TO BE ABLE TO GO OUT BROAD ENOUGH TO BUILD THAT BASE, INTO EVERY COUNTY AND TO AS MANY PRECINCTS AS POSSIBLE. BUT IT IS GRASS ROOTS AND YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE SOLID COUNTY CHAIRS AND YOU NEED PRECINCT CAPTAINS THAT ARE OUT THERE THAT BELIEVE IN WHAT THEY'RE DOING. AND IF THEY'RE NOT ACTIVE, YOU HAVE TO MATCH THEM UP AND SEND THEM SOME HELP SO THAT THEY ARE, AND YOU HAVE TO TURN OUT THAT VOTE EVERYWHERE. AND IT GETS DOWN TO A NEIGHBORHOOD BASIS. SO I THINK THAT WE'VE DONE THAT, BUT I CAN'T REALLY MAKE THAT CLAIM UNTIL THE NUMBERS CAN BE PROVEN OUT. AND IF THAT'S THE CASE, THEN I WANT TO TAKE IT ACROSS THE STATE.

Yepsen: AND I WANT TO BACK UP TO THE QUESTION OF YOUR OWN POLITICAL FUTURE. YOU'VE LEFT THE DOOR OPEN HERE FOR A POSSIBLE RUN FOR GOVERNOR. YOU STARTED TO SAY THE STATE NEEDS HELP. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

King: WELL, I HAD THIS REAL SAD AND -- I'LL SAY A REAL SAD VISION THERE IN THE NIGHT ON ELECTION NIGHT WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE THE DEMOCRATS WERE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE MAJORITY IN THE IOWA HOUSE AND IN THE IOWA SENATE. AND I BEGAN TO JUST PLAN IN MY OWN MIND HOW DO I CONVINCE MY OWN CHILDREN TO STAY IN THIS STATE IF WE DON'T HAVE A PRO-BUSINESS CLIMATE, FOR ONE THING. IOWA RANKS AT THE BOTTOM IN FAR TOO MANY INDICATORS, AND THE WORST OF WHICH IS SMALL-BUSINESS SURVIVAL INDEX. WE'RE BETWEEN 44TH AND 50TH, DEPENDING ON WHO YOU WANT TO CHECK. NOW, WITH THAT, WITH MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS RATES BEING LAST, AND IOWA NEEDS TO FIND A WAY THAT WE CAN BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE. AND I WOULD SAY THAT WE NEED TO TAKE THOSE INDICATORS AND PUT THOSE UP ON A BAR GRAPH, DRAW A LINE ACROSS THERE AND WHERE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IS, AND DETERMINE TO BRING THOSE LEVELS DOWN BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE SO WE'RE NO LONGER COMPETING AGAINST EVERY OTHER STATE IN AMERICA.

Yepsen: DID DOUG GROSS AND GREG GANSKE HAVE FLAWED MESSAGES IN THIS LAST CAMPAIGN?

King: WELL, AS I LISTENED TO IT -- AND WE WERE CONSUMED WITH OUR OWN CAMPAIGN -- I DIDN'T FEEL A THEME THAT CAME OUT OF THERE THAT REALLY GRIPPED THE HEARTS OF IOWANS. ALTHOUGH I THINK DOUG HAD A VERY GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF WHERE IOWA NEEDED TO GO ECONOMICALLY, I DON'T THINK IT GOT PRESENTED IN A FASHION THAT IOWANS EMBRACED IT? IT NEEDED TO BE SOMETHING SIMPLE LIKE THE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA, ONLY ON AN ECONOMIC SCALE.

Glover: THERE'S A LOT OF TALK AFTER -- NATIONALLY DEMOCRATS HAD A PRETTY BAD NIGHT ON TUESDAY NIGHT, AND THERE'S A LOT OF TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATS NEEDING TO GO BACK AND RESHAPE THEIR MESSAGE. WHAT I SEEM TO HEAR YOU SAY IS THAT IN THIS STATE REPUBLICANS NEED TO GO BACK AND TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR MESSAGE. IS THAT ACCURATE?

King: THAT'S ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE. AS I WENT TO OUR SENATE CAUCUS YESTERDAY AND MET WITH MY COLLEAGUES THERE, THE NEW COLLEAGUES AND THE FORMER COLLEAGUES, THAT WAS THE THEME THAT I HOPED TO BRING OUT OF THAT CAUCUS. I DON'T SEE AS I READ THE PAPER TODAY THAT THERE'S AN AGENDA THAT'S BEEN LAID OUT THERE FOR IOWA. AND I'M GOING TO CHALLENGE INDIVIDUAL LEGISLATORS TO PRODUCE THAT, BECAUSE IT'S NOT PRESENTED AT THIS POINT.

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN, YOU COME FROM THE METROPOLIS OF KIRON, IOWA. A LOVELY TOWN. IT STRUCK ME, THOUGH, THAT YOU WON AND THE CANDIDATES THAT -- AND THE REPUBLICANS WHO CAME OUT OF DES MOINES, DOUG GROSS AND GREG GANSKE, LOST. DO CANDIDATES FROM DES MOINES HAVE ANY FUTURE AT ALL IN IOWA POLITICS?

King: I REALLY DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT.

Yepsen: IS THE ANTI DES MOINES BIAS SO GREAT OUT THERE IN RURAL IOWA, IN YOUR PART OF THE STATE AND OTHER PLACES, THAT IT MAKES IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR A DES MOINES-BASED CANDIDATE TO WIN AN ELECTION?

King: I DID NOT HEAR THAT THEME UTTERED THROUGHOUT THE CAMPAIGN AT ALL. IN FACT, DOUG GROSS PRESENTED HIMSELF AS THE MAN FROM DEFIANCE. AND WE HAD A GOOD EFFORT IN SHELBY COUNTY, BUT HE BEAT ME IN SHELBY COUNTY. SO I THINK THAT HAS MORE TO DO WITH MESSAGE. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HE PRESENTED THAT I HOPE WE PICK UP AND FOLLOW ON IS THAT EVERY COUNTY NEEDS TO BE PROSPEROUS, EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SUCCEED. AND I DO THINK THAT THE VILSACK ADMINISTRATION HAS CONCENTRATED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES INTO OUR METROPOLITAN AREAS IN THIS STATE AS OPPOSED TO GOVERNOR BRANSTAD'S MESSAGE, WHICH WAS GROWTH IN ALL 99 COUNTIES.

Borg: LET ME BUILD ON THAT. WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A CONGRESSMAN REPRESENTING IOWA'S MOST RURAL DISTRICT TO REVITALIZE THE RURAL ECONOMY? AND DOES THAT, BECAUSE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN STATE GOVERNMENT, DOES THAT MEAN PARTNERING A BIT WITH THE STATE GOVERNMENT?

King: IT ABSOLUTELY DOES. AND THIS IS -- I'M A VOICE IN THIS TEAM AND THE VOICE FROM WASHINGTON NOW THAT HAS A NETWORK THAT'S BUILT IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND A NETWORK THAT'S BUILT THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE DISTRICT. AND WE DO NEED TO BE A TEAM, AND WE NEED TO COME WITH A COHERENT POLICY. THAT'S WHY I WENT TO CAUCUS YESTERDAY AND I'M BUILDING ON THOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE NEW SENATORS. SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO IS TEAM UP ON TRANSPORTATION ISSUES. AND I'VE SAID THAT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS STATE -- FIRST OF ALL, WE ARE AN AG-BASED ECONOMY, AND ALL NEW WEALTH COMES FROM THE LAND. AND WE NEED A BETTER TAX AND REGULATORY POLICY AND ONE THAT'S MORE FAVORABLE, BUT THEN THE TOOLS TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ARE TRANSPORTATION, EDUCATION, HIGH-SPEED TELECOMMUNICATIONS. IF WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO DO THAT -- AND I DO HAVE THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE TO REALLY BE HELPFUL IN THAT REGARD -- WE CAN MOVE IOWA FORWARD AND WE CAN CHANGE THE CULTURE IN IOWA SO THAT YOUNG PEOPLE GROW UP EXPECTING TO BUILD THEIR FUTURE HERE.

Glover: LET'S GO BACK TO THE ELECTIONS AGAIN, JUST FOR A SECOND IF WE COULD. IT WAS KIND OF AN HISTORIC ELECTION. REPUBLICANS GAINED SEATS IN A MIDTERM ELECTION WITH A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN. YOU NOW WILL HAVE HAD A MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE FOR TEN YEARS AT THE END OF THIS TWO-YEAR TERM. ARE DEMOCRATS NOW THE PERMANENT MINORITY IN CONGRESS THAT REPUBLICANS WERE FOR FORTY YEARS UP UNTIL 1994?

King: THERE AREN'T VERY MANY VOTES BETWEEN THE MAJORITY AND BECOMING THE MINORITY. AND I THINK OUR POPULAR PRESIDENT, AS HARD AS HE WORKED, HE PUT HIS POLITICAL CAPITAL ON THE LINE AND THAT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THIS MAJORITY THAT WE HAVE HERE TODAY. I WOULDN'T TAKE ANY OF THAT FOR GRANTED. IN FACT, I THINK WE NEED TO DO FAR MORE THAN WE HAVE ACROSS THIS NATION TO SOLIDIFY OUR MESSAGE. ALTHOUGH I'M WATCHING THE ELECTION OF THE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER, IF THAT BECOMES LIBERAL, THEN I THINK THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A MORE PERMANENT MAJORITY.

Glover: AND LET'S TURN THAT QUESTION ON ITS EAR JUST A LITTLE BIT. IF YOU LOOK AT THE ELECTION AND THE BIG PICTURE, NOT THAT MANY SEATS CHANGED HANDS. IT'S STILL A VERY CLOSELY DIVIDED CONGRESS. IS ALL THIS SPIN WE'RE HEARING OUT OF WASHINGTON THAT NOW REPUBLICANS HAVE IT, NOW THEY'RE GOING TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT, IS THAT A LITTLE OVERBLOWN? IN FACT, CONGRESS IS GOING TO BE A VERY DIFFICULT PLACE TO WORK; ISN'T IT?

King: IT IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT, AND THE AGENDA THAT MIGHT COME FROM THE HOUSE WILL BE BLOCKED BY A MINORITY IN THE SENATE YET BECAUSE OF THE 60 PERCENT -- 60 VOTES YOU NEED FOR CLOSURE. SO IT STILL ISN'T A MAJORITY WHERE YOU CAN ROLL OVER THE MINORITY AND SET IT ON THE PRESIDENT'S DESK. WE'RE STILL GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF SOME OF THE MINORITY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE PUBLIC.

Yepsen: I WANT TO GO BACK TO DEAN'S QUESTION. YOU MENTIONED TRANSPORTATION A COUPLE TIMES HERE. HAS THE STATE D.O.T. SHORTED WESTERN IOWA ON THE U.S. HIGHWAY 20 WIDENING PROJECT?

King: I THINK IT GOES BEYOND THAT BUT, YES, I THINK HAS. AND I THINK THE FOCUS HAS GONE TOWARD CENTRAL AND EASTERN IOWA. AND AS I LISTENED TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A COUPLE, THREE YEARS AGO, HE LAID OUT TO US THAT WE WERE SPENDING 50 PERCENT OF OUR MONEY ON 7 PERCENT OF THE PROJECTS AND THEY WERE GOING TO PROVIDE "A SMOOTHER RIDE FOR MORE IOWANS." WELL, THAT MEANT THAT MONEY WAS GOING TO EASTERN IOWA --

Yepsen: WHICH IS WHERE MOST OF THE PEOPLE LIVE.

King: THAT'S CERTAINLY TRUE AND THERE'S A REASON FOR THAT, THEY'VE GOT GOOD ROADS TO DRIVE ON.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT, BUT WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THE 520 -- THE HIGHWAY 20 PROBLEM IN WESTERN IOWA? I MEAN, THEY'VE JUST COME OUT WITH A NEW ROAD PLAN THAT DOESN'T LOOK TO ME LIKE IT'S CHANGED MUCH.

King: WELL, I THINK THEY MIGHT -- A COUPLE OF THE THINGS IS I CAN LOOK TO MAKE A SPECIAL APPROPRIATION THAT WOULD GO EXCLUSIVELY TO THAT, AND I WILL BE SEEKING TO DO THAT, THAT DISCRETIONARY TYPE OF AN AMENDMENT. AND IN ADDITION TO THAT, I WILL BE WORKING WITH OUR COMMISSIONERS AND TRYING TO BUILD THIS TEAM. AND I'VE RAISED THE PROFILE. I CALLED A ROLLING PRESS CONFERENCE ON THAT A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO TO RAISE A PROFILE OF FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY 20. AND I TAKE IT AS A PERSONAL AGENDA NOW FOR ME. I WANT TO LIVE TO SEE THAT DONE, AND I WANT TO DO IT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE FOR THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE WORKED ON IT FOR FORTY YEARS.

Glover: HOW BIG OF AN ISSUE IS THE MISSOURI RIVER IN THAT DISTRICT, AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

King: IT'S A BIG ISSUE POTENTIALLY. AND I JUST TALKED TO CONGRESSMAN LEE TERRY YESTERDAY. WE HAVE BILL JANKLOW ELECTED OUT OF SOUTH DAKOTA, WHO WILL BE OPPOSED TO OUR POSITION ON THE RIVER.

Glover: IT'S HARDLY PARTISAN.

King: IT IS HARDLY PARTISAN BUT LOCKING HORNS WITH BILL JANKLOW IS SOMETHING THAT WILL BE AN INTERESTING CONCEPT TOO. [ LAUGHTER ] BUT, OF COURSE, I AM FOR MAINTAINING THE CURRENT FLOWS, AND I THINK THAT -- I LIKE NATURE AND I LIKE WATER QUALITY AND SOIL CONSERVATION, BUT I THINK THERE'S WAYS THAT WE CAN MAKE SOME ACCOMMODATIONS THERE AND MAINTAIN THIS FLOW FOR BARGE TRAFFIC, FOR ELECTRICAL GENERATION, AND TO KEEP THE WATER TABLES DOWN SO THAT WE'VE GOT PRODUCTIVE AGRICULTURE. I WILL BE DEFENDING THAT. IF IT'S CONTENTIOUS, THEN SO BE IT, BUT WE WILL DEFEND OUR FLOWS.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE THE NEXT CONGRESS WILL BE DEALING WITH IS IRAQ. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

King: WELL, WE'RE TO THIS POINT NOW WHERE WE'VE GOTTEN THE NOTICE THAT THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO SUPPORT THE RESOLUTION. AND THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE TO AVOID CONFLICT IN IRAQ, SO I'LL BE MONITORING THAT VERY CLOSELY. I HAVE MADE THE STATEMENT -- AND IT'S A COMMITMENT -- THAT OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM DESERVE TO HAVE THE VERY BEST EQUIPMENT AND THE VERY BEST TRAINING. AND IF WE ARE NOT ABLE TO AVOID THIS CONFLICT, IT BECOMES THE CALL OF THE PRESIDENT. I DON'T SEE IT COMING BACK TO CONGRESS, BUT I'M GOING TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM.

Yepsen: HOW LONG SHOULD THIS COUNTRY GIVE IRAQ TO COMPLY WITH THAT NEW U.N. RESOLUTION?

King: I THINK THOSE DEADLINES ARE ABOUT LAID OUT. I DON'T KNOW THE EXACT NUMBER OF DAYS, BUT I THINK IT TAKES US INTO FEBRUARY OR NEAR FEBRUARY. AT THAT POINT -- WE MAY ALSO KNOW BEFORE THEN. IF HE DOESN'T COOPERATE, WE MAY KNOW TOMORROW, FOR THAT MATTER, IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG. SO I'M APPREHENSIVE ABOUT THIS FUTURE AS IT UNFOLDS, BUT I DO COMMEND OUR PRESIDENT FOR FOLLOWING EVERY STEP ALONG THE WAY TO HELP AVOID THIS CONFLICT.

Borg: HOW DO YOU FINANCE WHAT YOU THINK NEEDS TO BE DONE WITH IRAQ? HOW DO YOU PAY FOR IT?

King: WELL, WE'VE RUN SOME DEFICIT SPENDING, AND WE'RE INTO IT NOW. SO WE SIMPLY HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RESOURCES ARE THERE. THERE ARE LIVES ON THE LINE. AND FOR ME TO SAY I WOULD CUT A PARTICULAR BUDGET RIGHT NOW AT THIS POINT BEFORE I HAVE A FEEL FOR THAT WHOLE PIE CHART THAT'S THERE FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, I'M RELUCTANT TO DO THAT UNTIL I --

Borg: BUT ALSO TAX CUTS ARE GOING TO BE ON THE AGENDA AND MAKING THE ALREADY TAX CUTS PERMANENT. YOU'D FAVOR THAT EVEN THOUGH WE'D BE IN A DEFICIT?

King: ABSOLUTELY. I THINK TEMPORARY TAX CUTS DON'T GIVE PEOPLE CONFIDENCE TO MAKE INVESTMENTS. AND SO AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE IN OUR TAX STRUCTURE, WE SHOULD EITHER MAKE THE COMMITMENT TO MAKE IT PERMANENT OR WE SHOULDN'T PROVIDE THE TAX CUTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO I'LL BE SUPPORTING MAKING THOSE TAX CUTS PERMANENT. AND AS YOU KNOW, I'LL BE WORKING ALSO TO SET THE STAGE SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A NATIONAL DEBATE ON A NATIONAL SALES TAX TO REPLACE THE IRS.

Glover: AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE BEING TOLD, THE WHITE HOUSE IS PREPARING IS YET ANOTHER ROUND OF TAX CUTS. AS A FISCAL AND SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE, HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT MORE TAX CUTS WHEN WE'RE ALREADY RUNNING A DEFICIT?

King: WELL, TAX CUTS STIMULATE THE ECONOMY.

Glover: IT HASN'T SO FAR.

King: WELL, CERTAINLY IT HAS. WE'RE STILL THE BENEFICIARY OF RONALD REAGAN'S TAX CUTS, AND IT TAKES A LITTLE WHILE FOR THEM TO KICK IN. THAT'S WHY WE HAD PRESIDENT CARTER -- OR PRESIDENT CLINTON, EXCUSE ME. SO I DO SUPPORT THAT ALTHOUGH I HAVE FAR MORE CONFIDENCE IN STIMULATING THE ECONOMY BY REDUCING FEDERAL SPENDING THAN I DO IN STIMULATING THE ECONOMY BY REDUCING STATE SPENDING.

Glover: IF THERE'S SOMETHING I HEARD DURING THE LAST CAMPAIGN, I THINK IOWA MAY RANK FIFTIETH IN THE NATION IN MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES. REPUBLICANS NOW HAVE THE WHITE HOUSE, THEY NOW HAVE THE HOUSE, THEY NOW HAVE THE SENATE. IN TWO YEARS, IF IOWA IS FIFTIETH IN THE NATION IN MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT, SHOULD YOU ALL BE TOSSED OUT OF OFFICE?

King: I DON'T KNOW ABOUT BEING TOSSED OUT; LET'S WATCH OUR EFFORT. BUT WE ARE IN A GOOD POSITION, AND WE'RE GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO MAKE SOME SIGNIFICANT GAINS THERE. AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS IN THE CAMPAIGN: WITH JIM NUSSLE CHAIRING THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE AND NOW WITH SENATOR GRASSLEY CHAIRING THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, WE'RE IN A VERY GOOD POSITION HERE TO MOVE IOWA UP.

Glover: SO WE CAN EXPECT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN?

King: I THINK WE NEED TO EXPECT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN. AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I'M COMMITTED TO WORKING ON WITH THEM, BUT THEY'RE IN A MORE POWERFUL POSITION THAN I AM WITH THAT REGARD.

Yepsen: SPECIFICALLY WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE HAPPEN? WE DO HAVE A DEFICIT AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR A WAR. YOU CAN'T TAKE MONEY FROM OTHER STATES. THAT'S A ZERO-SUM GAME. WHAT EXACTLY WOULD YOU EXPECT TO SEE HAPPEN ON THE MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM?

King: WELL, AS I SAID, THE FIRST THING THAT I WOULD DO IS I WOULD ELIMINATE THE ADJUSTMENT IN RATES THAT COMES ALONG BECAUSE OF A PERCENTAGE. I'D TAKE THAT BACK TO A DOLLAR PER DOLLAR SO THAT THE DISPARITY CEASES TO GET GREATER. IT'S THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES THAT'S CAUSED THE DISPARITY. AND THEN THE SECOND THING I WOULD DO IS SEEK TO NEGOTIATE SO THAT WE CAN PUT THIS IN REGIONS SO THAT WE CAN NEGOTIATE TO CHANGE THE RATES BY REGION. THAT DOES ALLOW US TO CHANGE THE FORMULA AND POTENTIALLY MOVES AND SHIFTS SOME DOLLARS FROM THE HAVE STATES TO THE HAVE-NOT STATES.

Yepsen: CAN WE STILL AFFORD ANY KIND OF NEW PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS FOR SENIORS IN THIS COUNTRY? I MEAN, IF WE'RE TRYING TO FIX MEDICARE AND WE'RE PAYING FOR A WAR AND DOING TAX CUTS, IS THAT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ISSUE JUST GOING TO GET CROWDED OUT NOW?

King: I DON'T THINK IT WILL. IT DEPENDS ON THE DYNAMICS OF THE ANNOUNCEMENTS THAT CAME TODAY WITH REGARD TO IRAQ. BUT THE HOUSE HAS PASSED THAT LEGISLATION AND IT DOES SET PREPARED TO GO BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE. IF THAT'S THE CASE, IT MIGHT BE ON THE PRESIDENT'S DESK BEFORE I GET TO WASHINGTON. IF WE'RE CALLED UPON TO DRAFT A PLAN THAT'S MORE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE THAN THE ONE THAT'S BEFORE THEM NOW, WE CAN TAKE A LOOK AT A PLAN THAT IS NOT AS UNIVERSAL AND HAS -- MAYBE ALLOWS FOR MEANS TESTING SO THAT PEOPLE THAT NEED THE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS GET THEM.

Glover: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT RESONATED A LOT DURING THIS CAMPAIGN WAS SOCIAL SECURITY, GIVING PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE PART OF THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY TAX AND INVEST IT IN SOME KIND OF A PRIVATE ACCOUNT. WHERE ARE WE HEADED ON THAT?

King: I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE MOOD IS IN WASHINGTON ON THAT. I'M COMMITTED TOWARDS TAKING A LOOK AT THAT AND STARTING TO MOVE US IN A POSITION WHERE WE CAN SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY FROM ITS IMMINENT DEMISE. WE MUST ADDRESS IT. IF WE DO NOT DO THAT AND STICK OUR HEAD IN THE SANDS, THEN SOCIAL SECURITY GOES BROKE. SO I'LL BE LOOKING TO ALLOW YOUNGER PEOPLE TO TAKE A PORTION OF THEIR INVESTMENT AND DIRECT THAT INTO SOME VERY SOLID INVESTMENTS, BUT I THINK THEY ALSO NEED TO BE WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK THAT THEIR BENEFITS MAY BE CUT IF THOSE INVESTMENTS DON'T PAN OUT.

Yepsen: DID REPUBLICANS WIN A MANDATE TO DO JUST WHAT YOU'VE SAID? I MEAN THERE WERE DEMOCRATS IN THIS LAST CAMPAIGN THAT SAID, "OH, IF YOU ELECT REPUBLICANS, THEY'RE GOING TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY." AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DIDN'T BUY THAT. I MEAN THEY GAVE THE REPUBLICANS THE MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. THEY EXPANDED YOUR MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE. SO DO YOU THINK REPUBLICANS EARNED A MANDATE HERE TO DO PERSONAL ACCOUNTS TO LET YOUNGER WORKERS INVEST SOME OF THEIR OWN MONEY?

King: I DON'T KNOW IF I'D QUITE CALL IT A MANDATE, BUT I'D SAY THIS, THAT WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ADVANCE THIS ISSUE AND THE OBLIGATION IS THERE BECAUSE OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY TO REORGANIZE SOCIAL SECURITY. AND THE SUPPORT IS CERTAINLY THERE IN THE PUBLIC.

Glover: LOOK BACK AT THE LEGISLATIVE RACES. THERE WAS A LOT OF SOUND AND FURY ABOUT LEGISLATIVE RACES IN THE STATE, AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, NOT MUCH CHANGED. WHAT WENT ON THERE?

King: IT'S VERY PERSONAL. THE MORE LOCAL POLITICS ARE, THE MORE PERSONAL IT BECOMES. AS I LOOKED AT A LOT OF THE MAILINGS FROM SOME OF THE CAMPAIGNS YESTERDAY, THERE WERE SOME DECIDEDLY NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNS THERE TOO THAT I'D LIKE TO SEE WE GET AWAY FROM. BUT IN THE END IT CAME DOWN TO FACE-TO-FACE DOOR KNOCKING, INDIVIDUAL MARKETING, ALL POLITICS BEING LOCAL. AND I WAS SURPRISED AT A COUPLE OF THE RESULTS THERE. BUT TO HOLD THOSE MAJORITIES, I DON'T SEE A CONSISTENT THEME IN THOSE CAMPAIGNS THAT SAYS THAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS A MANDATE.

Glover: AND YOU TALKED ABOUT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE STATE NEEDING TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT ITS MESSAGE, REEXAMINE ITS MESSAGE, LOOK AT WHERE IT'S GOING. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF THAT PARTY?

King: I THINK THAT -- I THINK THAT IF YOU LOOK BACK AT THE LEADERSHIP, THE MESSAGE HAS BEEN ARTICULATED BY THE LEADERSHIP HISTORICALLY. THERE HAS BEEN TOO MUCH EFFORT TO GET ALONG WITH THIS GOVERNOR AND FAR TOO LITTLE EFFORT TO IDENTIFY HIM FOR THE -- I BELIEVE HE'S A TAX AND SPEND LIBERAL, AND I THINK HE DOES A VERY GOOD JOB OF COMMUNICATING. AND PERSONALLY I LIKE TOM VILSACK. WE DISAGREE POLITICALLY. I BELIEVE FROM THE VERY FIRST DAY HE WAS ELECTED THAT WE SHOULD HAVE CHALLENGED HIM AND IDENTIFIED HIM FOR THE TYPE OF POLITICIAN THAT HE IS. AND IF WE HAD DONE THAT, I DO BELIEVE WE'D HAVE DOUG GROSS AS GOVERNOR TODAY.

Glover: AND THERE WAS SOME TALK THIS WEEK FROM REPUBLICAN LEADERS ABOUT GETTING ALONG WITH HIM. I'D ASSUME YOU DIDN'T LIKE THAT.

King: I'VE BEEN OPPOSED TO THAT. PERSONALLY, I'M HAPPY TO GO TO TEATIME AT TERRACE HILL, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO POLICY FOR THE FUTURE OF IOWANS, I DON'T WANT THE TAXPAYERS TO PAY THE PRICE FOR OUR HARMONY.

Borg: I DON'T WANT TO BE OUT OF HARMONY, BUT I HAVE TO CALL TIME HERE. I KNOW YOU'LL APPRECIATE THAT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY AND SHARING YOUR INSIGHTS.

King: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Borg: AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER POST-ELECTION EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." IT WILL BE FRIDAY AT 6:30, SUNDAY AT NOON. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

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