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Iowa Press #3018
December 20, 2002

Borg: THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS NEW LEADERSHIP; NEWLY ELECTED CHAIR GORDON FISHER DISCUSSES THE PARTY'S FUTURE ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA... THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, JUST TWO DAYS BEFORE THE START OF THE 80TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF IOWA WILL CHOOSE ITS NEXT STATE PARTY CHAIRMAN. STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK LARSON IS SEEKING A SECOND TWO-YEAR TERM IN THAT JOB. IOWA DEMOCRATS HAVE THEIR NEW LEADER IN PLACE. DEMOCRATS MADE THEIR CHOICE SHORTLY AFTER THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. SHEILA MCGUIRE-RIGGS RETIRED AS DEMOCRATIC CHAIR AFTER TWO YEARS. AND TO REPLACE HER, DEMOCRATS CHOSE DES MOINES ATTORNEY GORDON FISCHER. MR. FISCHER, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE NEW RESPONSIBILITIES, AND WELCOME TO "IOWA PRESS."

Fischer: DEAN, THANKS SO MUCH. IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE.

Borg: I THINK YOU KNOW THE TWO FELLOWS ACROSS THE TABLE HERE.

Fischer: I SURE DO.

Borg: I'LL INTRODUCE THEM: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: MR. FISCHER, ONE OF THE BIG DEVELOPMENTS IN DEMOCRATIC POLITICS RECENTLY ON THE EDGE OF THE NEWS WAS VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE ANNOUNCED THAT HE WILL NOT SEEK ANOTHER TERM -- OR SEEK TO GET THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION ONE MORE TIME. WHAT EFFECT WILL THAT HAVE ON DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS?

Fischer: LET ME GIVE YOU TWO WORDS, MIKE: WIDE OPEN. I THINK IT MEANS THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS WIDE OPEN. AND I HONESTLY COULD MAKE A CASE FOR ANY ONE OF THE CURRENT CANDIDATES WINNING THE IOWA CAUCUSES AND GOING ON TO WIN THE NOMINATION. IT'S GOING TO BE WIDE OPEN HERE IN IOWA. THERE'S NO OBVIOUS FRONT-RUNNER HERE IN IOWA OR NATIONWIDE.

Glover: LET'S DO A TWO-PART QUESTION HERE: ONE, WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT HE ANNOUNCED SO EARLY; AND, TWO, WERE YOU HAPPY OR UNHAPPY THAT HE DECIDED NOT TO RUN?

Fischer: WELL, FIRST, I WAS VERY SURPRISED. HE SEEMED TO BE MAKING ALL THE MOVES OF SOMEONE WHO WAS PLANNING ON RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, MIKE. HE WAS APPEARING ON EVERY TALK SHOW, INCLUDING "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" AND "THE DAILY SHOW" WITH JON STEWART, AND HE WAS DOING A BOOK TOUR. SO IT SEEMED AS IF HE WAS GOING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. AND I THINK IT SHOWS THERE REALLY IS A HUMAN ELEMENT TO POLITICS. THESE ARE REAL PEOPLE WHO MAKE DECISIONS WITH THEIR HEART AND THEIR HEAD, AND APPARENTLY THAT'S WHAT MR. GORE DID. IN TERMS OF MY HAPPINESS OR UNHAPPINESS, I THINK THAT'S BASICALLY IRRELEVANT. THESE CANDIDATES HAVE TO MAKE THE DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES ABOUT WHETHER TO RUN OR NOT RUN.

Glover: BUT WAS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?

Fischer: PROBABLY IT WAS GOOD FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BECAUSE I THINK IT OPENS UP, FOR IOWA DEMOCRATS, THE CAUCUSES. I THINK IT WILL BE WIDE OPEN.

Yepsen: THINK DOWN TO NOVEMBER OF '04. WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH? RIGHT NOW HIS POPULARITY IS IN THE MID 60-PERCENT RANGE. IT STAYED THERE FOR A LONG TIME. ANY POLL YOU LOOK AT SHOWS HIM BEATING ANY OF THESE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES 2:1, 3:1. GIVE US YOUR REALISTIC ASSESSMENT OF HOW YOU WILL DO AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH.

Fischer: I HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT GEORGE BUSH IS DEFINITELY VULNERABLE. YOU CITE POLLS. LET'S LOOK AT THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTS PRIOR TO THIS PRESIDENT BUSH. BILL CLINTON, HALFWAY THROUGH HIS FIRST TERM, NO ONE THOUGHT THAT HE WOULD BE REELECTED. THERE WAS A DEBACLE, A REPUBLICAN LANDSLIDE IN 1994, AND PEOPLE WERE CERTAIN HE WAS A ONE-TERMER. HE WENT ON TO WIN A SUBSTANTIAL REELECTION. RIGHT BEFORE HIM, THE FIRST PRESIDENT BUSH, JUST A YEAR OR SO AWAY FROM HIS ELECTION, WAS AT 90 PERCENT PLUS IN THE POLLS AND EVERYONE THOUGHT HE WAS A LOCK TO BE REELECTED. AS A MATTER OF FACT, HE WASN'T AND HE ENDED UP LOSING. SO THOSE FIGURES JUST AREN'T REALLY THAT MEANINGFUL TWO YEARS OUT.

Yepsen: BUT TO THAT POINT, IT'S ALSO TRUE THAT THIS PRESIDENT BUSH HAS HAD A POPULARITY RATING THAT HAS HELD UP MUCH LONGER THAN HIS FATHER'S DID. AT SOME POINT THAT PARALLEL STARTS TO BREAK DOWN. I GUESS THE QUESTION REALLY IS DO YOU THINK YOU HONESTLY HAVE A CHANCE TO BEAT GEORGE W. BUSH.

Fischer: MOST DEFINITELY. THE NUMBERS THAT YOU CITE, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DAVID, JUST AREN'T RELEVANT. LET ME TELL YOU THE NUMBERS THAT ARE RELEVANT, THAT WILL BE RELEVANT IN 2004. JOB CREATION: THE YEAR BEFORE GEORGE BUSH TOOK OFFICE IN 2000, 1.7 MILLION JOBS WERE CREATED. SINCE GEORGE BUSH HAS BEEN IN OFFICE, WE'VE BASICALLY COMPLETELY REVERSED THAT TREND. WE HAVE LOST 1.5 MILLION --

Yepsen: WHY DOESN'T THAT SHOW UP IN THE POLLS THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT? I MEAN YOU'RE DEALING WITH A WARTIME PRESIDENT, AREN'T YOU? THOSE GUYS ARE USUALLY PRETTY POPULAR AND TEND TO GET REELECTED.

Fischer: BUT AGAIN, I THINK IF THE BUSH RECESSION WERE TO CONTINUE, IF THIS DEFICIT WERE TO BLOW WIDE OPEN EVEN FARTHER THAN IT IS -- AGAIN, WE HAD A SURPLUS OF $80 SOME BILLION BEFORE GEORGE BUSH TOOK OFFICE. NOW WE'RE ACTUALLY IN A DEFICIT OF $200 BILLION PLUS. THAT'S JUST ACCORDING TO THE CBO ESTIMATES, AND THAT DEFICIT IS GETTING WIDER ALL THE TIME.

Borg: THINK AHEAD TO THE ROLE OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES NOW. YOU'VE SAID "WIDE OPEN" ARE THE OPERATIVE WORDS AS FAR AS CANDIDATES. THERE ARE PHILOSOPHICAL CHANGES BEING CONTEMPLATED MAYBE GOING ON WITHIN THE PARTY AND NOW THE VULNERABILITY OF GEORGE BUSH. WHAT ROLE WILL THE IOWA CAUCUSES HAVE IN ALL OF THOSE? IS IT AUDITION TIME?

Fischer: IT IS AUDITION TIME, DEAN. IT IS VERY EXCITING TO BE AN IOWA DEMOCRAT RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ALL THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES COME THROUGH IOWA AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE MEETING WITH ORDINARY IOWANS, ORDINARY WORKING FAMILIES IN COFFEE SHOPS, IN CHURCH BASEMENTS, IN LIVING ROOMS ALL ACROSS IOWA. AND THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK IOWANS IN THE EYE AND TELL THEM THEIR POSITIVE PROGRAM FOR CHANGE.

Glover: MR. FISCHER, YOU'RE GOING TO BE CHAIRMAN OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DURING THE NEXT CAUCUS CAMPAIGN, WHICH NOW IS THE NEXT ELECTION. FIRST OF ALL, ARE YOU GOING TO REMAIN NEUTRAL DURING THAT CAMPAIGN?

Fischer: YES.

Glover: LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF YOUR CONTENDERS. YOU SAID YOU CAN MAKE A CASE FOR ALMOST ANY OF THE CURRENT DEMOCRATIC CONTENDERS. I WANT YOU TO ASSESS THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF SOME OF THE TOP CONTENDERS. MASSACHUSETTSIAN JOHN KERRY HAS BEEN PRETTY CLEAR HE'S GOING TO RUN. HANDICAP HIM.

Fischer: AS FAR AS THESE CANDIDATES' WEAKNESSES, I DON'T THINK THAT'S MY PLACE. ANYONE WHO PUTS HIMSELF OUT THERE TO RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE, EVEN AT A LOCAL LEVEL, LET ALONE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HAS MADE A VERY TOUGH DECISION. THERE ARE ENORMOUS SACRIFICES TO BE MADE.

Yepsen: OKAY, YOU TELL US ABOUT THE GOOD THINGS, AND THEN WE'LL ASK YOU ABOUT THEIR NEGATIVES.

Fischer: I THOUGHT YOU'D BE ABLE TO FIND THEIR NEGATIVES. LET ME TELL YOU SOME GOOD THINGS ABOUT JOHN KERRY. I'VE MET HIM TWICE. I'VE SEEN HIM SPEAK TWICE: ONE IN A LARGE SETTING, ONE IN A LIVING ROOM SETTING. IN BOTH SETTINGS, HE DID EXTREMELY WELL. HE'S VERY ARTICULATE, VERY WARM, VERY CHARMING. HE'S GOT A LOT OF PERSONAL CHARM. ADDITIONALLY, HIS STATUS AS A WAR HERO IN THIS WARTIME -- TIME OF WAR, I THINK, WILL BE VERY HELPFUL TO HIM.

Glover: ANOTHER CANDIDATE WHO HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE AND MADE NO BONES ABOUT HIS INTENTION TO RUN FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION IS NORTH CAROLINA SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS. HANDICAP HIM.

Fischer: JOHN EDWARDS I'VE ALSO SEEN AND IS A TREMENDOUS SPEAKER. IF YOU MEET JOHN EDWARDS OR SEE HIM SPEAK, YOU UNDERSTAND VERY QUICKLY WHY HE HAS BEEN SUCH A SUCCESSFUL TRIAL LAWYER. AND IT'S INTERESTING, AS I SAID JUST A MINUTE AGO TO DEAN, A BIG PART OF BEING SUCCESSFUL IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES IS BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH SMALL GROUPS. AND JOHN EDWARDS HAS CERTAINLY BEEN ABLE TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY TO JURIES, SO I THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE A BIG PLUS FOR HIM. ADDITIONALLY, I THINK SOME DEMOCRATS ARE LOOKING TO THE SOUTH, LOOKING TO A CANDIDATE FROM THE SOUTH IN ORDER TO MAKE INROADS THERE.

Yepsen: FORMER HOUSE MINORITY LEADER RICHARD GEPHARDT.

Fischer: RICHARD GEPHARDT HAS, OF COURSE, WON THE IOWA CAUCUSES BEFORE, BOTH GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS FOR HIM. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT HE WON THE IOWA CAUCUSES. THE BAD NEWS IS THAT IT WAS IN 1988. OUR RECORDS INDICATE THAT ABOUT A THIRD OF GEPHARDT SUPPORTERS IN 1988 WERE ACTIVE IN THE CAUCUSES OF 2000. SO HE DOES START OUT WITH A NICE, SOLID BASE OF SUPPORT. AND, OF COURSE, HE'S A MIDWESTERNER. HE IS VERY WELL KNOWN AS BEING HOUSE LEADER. AND I THINK IN THIS WARTIME -- TIME OF NATIONAL SECURITY, PEOPLE MAY WANT SOMEBODY WITH A LOT OF EXPERIENCE.

Yepsen: OUTGOING VERMONT GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN.

Fischer: WELL, HOWARD DEAN IS A VERY INTERESTING CANDIDATE. HE HAS LITERALLY SPENT SO MUCH TIME IN IOWA THAT I BELIEVE HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR IN-STATE TUITION AT ONE OF OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES.

Yepsen: SEVENTEEN TRIPS, HE TOLD ME.

Fischer: SEVENTEEN TRIPS. THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE POST-GRADUATE WORK, BY THE WAY, BECAUSE HE'S A PHYSICIAN. BUT HE HAS JUST BEEN CRISSCROSSING THE STATE, AND I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING QUITE LIKE IT. HE IS WORKING IOWA VERY, VERY HARD. AND APPARENTLY HIS RECORD IN VERMONT AS GOVERNOR IS REALLY SOLID IN TERMS OF FISCAL CONSERVATISM, MAKING SURE THAT THE BUDGET BALANCES, AND ALSO TAKING CARE OF PRIORITIES LIKE EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE.

Glover: SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER TOM DASCHLE... HOW CAN HE MAKE THE CASE THAT TOM DASCHLE OUGHT TO BE THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE TO TAKE A MESSAGE TO THE COUNTRY WHEN HE WAS THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER THAT LOST THE SENATE?

Fischer: WELL, I DON'T KNOW THAT YOU CAN BLAME TOM DASCHLE FOR THE LOSS OF THE SENATE. AND REALLY WHAT EFFECTIVELY HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE DAY IS WE LOST ONE SENATE SEAT ULTIMATELY IS REALLY WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS LAST ELECTION. AND IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE TRAGIC DEATH OF PAUL WELLSTONE, WHO KNOWS HOW THAT MINNESOTA RACE WOULD HAVE TURNED OUT. BUT THERE WAS SORT OF A DASCHLE/BUSH MATCH, IN A SENSE, IN DASCHLE'S HOME STATE. AND DASCHLE'S CANDIDATE, JOHNSON -- SENATOR JOHNSON WAS REELECTED.

Glover: BY WHAT, TWO VOTES?

Fischer: WELL, I THINK IT WAS A FEW MORE THAN TWO VOTES.

Yepsen: FIVE HUNDRED.

Fischer: I THINK FIVE HUNDRED. AND A WIN IS A WIN IN AMERICAN POLITICS.

Glover: EXACTLY. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, CONNECTICUT SENATOR, WAS THE RUNNING MATE LAST TIME. NOW THAT AL GORE IS OUT OF THE WAY, PRESUMABLY HE'S FREE TO RUN. DOES HE -- CAN HE MAKE A CASE IN IOWA? HE HASN'T BEEN HERE A LOT. HE'S AN EAST COAST SENATOR. HE'S KIND OF A MODERATE. CAN HE MAKE A CASE IN IOWA?

Fischer: I THINK HE DEFINITELY CAN MAKE A CASE IN IOWA. HE HAS NATIONAL STATURE AS AL GORE'S RUNNING MATE. I THINK HE IS VERY STRONG ON FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENSE ISSUES. IN FACT, HE WAS ONE OF THE VERY FIRST PEOPLE TO CALL FOR A DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IF YOU RECALL; AND INITIALLY PRESIDENT BUSH, FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, RESISTED CREATING A DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

Yepsen: WELL, GO BACK THROUGH SOME OF THESE NAMES. I MEAN EVERY ONE OF THESE CANDIDATES HAS SOME NEGATIVES, HAS PROBLEMS. HOW DOES, FOR EXAMPLE, JOHN KERRY OVERCOME THIS PERCEPTION THAT HE'S A NEW ENGLAND LIBERAL, ANOTHER TED KENNEDY AND A MIKE DUKAKIS?

Fischer: WELL, I THINK THAT'S A VERY EASY PERCEPTION FOR HIM TO OVERCOME BECAUSE IT JUST ISN'T TRUE. HE HAS A MODERATE CENTRIST-TYPE VOTING RECORD. HE IS TALKING ABOUT BALANCING THE BUDGET, FISCAL AUSTERITY. I DON'T THINK THAT HE IS IN THE MOLD OF SOME CRAZY LIBERAL AT ALL.

Yepsen: AND JOHN EDWARDS AND HOWARD DEAN HAVE VERY LITTLE FEDERAL EXPERIENCE. DEAN HAS NONE. EDWARDS HAS A FEW YEARS. WE'RE IN A WAR. DON'T THEY NEED SOME EXPERIENCE?

Fischer: WELL, I THINK PRESIDENT BUSH HAD NO FEDERAL EXPERIENCE TOO, AND HE SEEMED TO DO QUITE WELL.

Glover: AND HOW DOES DICK GEPHARDT ANSWER THE CHARGE THAT HE IS THE VOICE OF THE PAST. HE WAS ELECTED -- HE WON THE IOWA CAUCUSES, AS YOU SAID, IN 1988. OTHER DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING QUIETLY, "HE'S A GREAT GUY, HE'S A GREAT LEADER IN THE HOUSE, BUT HE'S YESTERDAY, I'M TODAY." HOW DOES HE DEAL WITH THAT?

Fischer: FRANKLY, I HAVE NOT HEARD THAT. AGAIN, AS I SAID A FEW MINUTES AGO, IN THIS POST 9/11 WORLD, DEMOCRATS MAY BE LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY WITH SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCE. THAT MAY APPEAL TO A LOT OF DEMOCRATS.

Yepsen: ISN'T JOE LIEBERMAN TOO FAR TO THE RIGHT TO DO WELL WITH LIBERAL IOWA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS GOERS? I MEAN MIKE IS CHARITABLE IN SAYING HE'S A MODERATE. I MEAN HE'S A HAWK! HE'S BEEN AFTER SADDAM HUSSEIN SINCE BEFORE GOING AFTER SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS COOL. NOW, WHAT DOES JOE LIEBERMAN HAVE TO SELL TO AN IOWA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS GOER?

Fischer: WELL, I THINK THE PARTY HAS CHANGED. YOU KNOW, IT'S A CLICHE TO SAY THAT AMERICA WAS CHANGED FOREVER SINCE 9/11. AND I THINK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS, FRANKLY, CHANGED. AND WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, DAVID, I THINK IT'S A BIT OF A CANARD TO SAY THAT SOMEHOW DEMOCRATS ARE ALWAYS DOVISH OR SOFT ON DEFENSE, AS YOUR QUESTION SEEMS TO BE --

Yepsen: I THINK IT'S A FACT.

Fischer: LET ME PROFOUNDLY DISAGREE. LET ME START -- IN 1948 HARRY TRUMAN STARTED THE POLICY OF CONTAINMENT OF THE SOVIET UNION. IN 1961 JOHN F. KENNEDY MADE THE SOVIET UNION --

Yepsen: I'M TALKING ABOUT CAUCUS-GOING IOWA DEMOCRATS ARE STATISTICALLY LEFT OF THE POLITICAL CENTER.

Fischer: I AGREE WITH THAT. I AGREE WITH THAT. BUT, HOWEVER, I DON'T THINK THAT IOWA DEMOCRATS ARE UNMINDFUL OF THE NEW CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE ABROAD.

Borg: ON THE OTHER HAND, DO GEPHARDT AND DASCHLE HAVE A POTENTIAL OF SKEWING THE EFFECT OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES NATIONALLY BECAUSE OF THEIR REGIONAL PROXIMITY?

Fischer: I THINK THOSE ARE TWO VERY BIG STRENGTHS THAT BOTH MR. DASCHLE AND MR. GEPHARDT BRING TO THE TABLE; HOWEVER, I DON'T THINK THAT IS GOING TO BE OUTCOME DETERMINATIVE. I THINK THAT ANY ONE OF THESE OTHER CANDIDATES COULD ALSO DO WELL.

Glover: HELP ME OUT HERE --

Yepsen: ONE LAST SECOND. DO YOU THINK THAT OTHER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE LIKELY TO START SHOWING UP HERE? THE CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR IS NORMALLY THOUGHT OF AS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. DO YOU THINK WE'LL BE HEARING FROM GRAY DAVIS? GENERAL WESLEY CLARK, THERE'S SOME TALK HE'S OUT HERE DOING SOME ORGANIZING. WE'VE TALKED ABOUT SIX NAMES. ARE THERE OTHER NAMES THAT YOU THINK WILL BE IN THIS POT?

Fischer: WELL, WESLEY CLARK HAS TALKED ABOUT COMING OUT HERE, AND HE'S APPARENTLY BEEN IN TOUCH WITH IOWA OPERATIVES AND IOWA CAUCUS GOERS. GRAY DAVIS, I THINK I READ, RULED OUT A PRESIDENTIAL RUN. BUT THIS FIELD, YOU'RE RIGHT, YOU'RE VERY RIGHT, THE FIELD IS NOT SET YET. AND I THINK WITH THE DEPARTURE OF AL GORE, IT MAKES IT MORE LIKELY THAT SOMEBODY NEW THAT WE'RE NOT EVEN THINKING OF RIGHT NOW MAY BE JUMPING IN.

Glover: ONE OF THE WAYS -- ONE OF THE BASICS THAT WE LOOK AT WHEN WE LOOK AT HOW WE ASSESS AN UPCOMING CAMPAIGN IS WHAT'S THE READ OF THE PLAYERS OF THE LAST ELECTION. GIVE US YOUR ASSESSMENT OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST ELECTION. A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY IT WAS A PRETTY BAD ELECTION FOR DEMOCRATS, ALTHOUGH YOU GET SOME DISAGREEMENT WITH THAT. GIVE US YOUR ASSESSMENT.

Fischer: I THINK THE LAST ELECTION WAS A VERY, VERY GOOD ONE FOR DEMOCRATS. I THINK THE STRENGTH OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WAS OBVIOUS. WE REELECTED A DEMOCRATIC SENATOR AND A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR ON THE SAME DAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN IOWA HISTORY. WE PICKED UP ALL BUT ONE OF THE STATEWIDE OFFICES: ATTORNEY GENERAL MILLER, SECRETARY CULVER, SECRETARY JUDGE, TREASURER FITZGERALD WERE ALL REELECTED. AND THREE OUT OF THE FOUR OF THEM WERE REELECTED BY SUBSTANTIAL MARGINS, ONLY LOSING ONE STATEWIDE OFFICE AGAIN. LEONARD BOSWELL, I THINK A WEEK OR TWO BEFORE THE ELECTION ON THIS VERY PROGRAM, YOU HAD A REPUBLICAN OPINION MAKER SAYING THAT "THE BOZ" WAS A VERY BAD FIT FOR THE DISTRICT. HE TOTALLY PROVED THAT WRONG, WINNING A SUBSTANTIAL, SOLID VICTORY IN THIS DISTRICT. AND ADDITIONALLY WE PICK UP TWO STATEHOUSE SEATS. SO I THINK THE ELECTION WAS A VERY POSITIVE ONE FOR DEMOCRATS.

Glover: SO THE SAME TACTICS, THE SAME MESSAGE, THE SAME THING THAT YOU DID IN THE LAST ELECTION IS WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO NEXT TIME?

Fischer: NO. YOU'VE ALWAYS GOT TO KEEP MOVING AND TRY TO KEEP A STEP AHEAD. I THINK NEXT TIME WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS FOCUS OUR RESOURCES AND FOCUS OUR GET-OUT-THE-VOTE AND ABSENTEE-BALLOT EFFORT ON THE CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS AND ON THE LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS.

Yepsen: IS THAT WHY YOU DIDN'T PICK UP ANY SEATS IN CONGRESS AND YOU DIDN'T TAKE CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE?

Fischer: NO. I THINK WHY WE DIDN'T WAS A NATIONAL TREND. IT'S AMAZING HOW WELL IOWA DEMOCRATS DID WHEN YOU CONSIDER WHERE THE OTHER 49 STATES --

Yepsen: HOW IS IT A NATIONAL TREND HELPS YOU CARRY THE LEGISLATURE AND -- OR CAUSES YOU NOT TO WIN THE LEGISLATURE AND NOT TO WIN CONGRESSIONAL SEATS BUT YOU WIN THE GOVERNORSHIP AND THE SENATE RACE. I MEAN IT SEEMS TO ME THAT SOMETHING HAPPENED IN IOWA THAT WAS UNIQUE TO THIS STATE.

Fischer: I AGREE IOWA WAS UNIQUE, BECAUSE A LOT OF OTHER STATES WERE LOSING INCUMBENT GOVERNORS, WERE LOSING INCUMBENT SENATORS. IN FACT, GEORGIA LOST BOTH THAT SAME DAY.

Yepsen: SO WHY DIDN'T HARKIN AND VILSACK HAVE ANY COATTAILS FOR YOU?

Fischer: OH, I TOTALLY DISAGREE. I THINK THEY BOTH HAD COATTAILS. OTHER STATES WERE LOSING LEGISLATORS LEFT AND RIGHT. IN FACT, REPUBLICANS PICKED UP 360 -- 360 LEGISLATIVE SEATS IN THE OTHER 49 STATES.

Glover: SO WHAT HAPPENED NATIONALLY? YOU CAN ARGUE THAT IOWA DID REASONABLY WELL FROM A DEMOCRATIC POINT OF VIEW BECAUSE YOU REELECTED THE GOVERNOR AND YOU REELECTED THE U.S. SENATOR. AND ANYTIME YOU WIN THE TOP OF TICKET, YOU CAN SAY, WELL, THINGS ARE AT LEAST OKAY. WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THE COUNTRY?

Fischer: I THINK AROUND THE COUNTRY THERE WAS A FEELING THAT THERE SHOULD BE A RALLYING BEHIND THE PRESIDENT IN TIME OF WAR, BUT I THINK IN TWO YEARS IT WILL BE VERY DIFFERENT. IF THIS BUSH RECESSION CONTINUES -- IF THE NUMBERS I CITED EARLIER ABOUT JOBLESSNESS, ABOUT THE DEFICIT, ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT RATES, IF THOSE NUMBERS CONTINUE TO SLIDE, HE WILL NOT BE REELECTED.

Yepsen: WELL, GO BACK TO -- ALL RIGHT. WE CAN DIFFER OVER HOW WELL OR POORLY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DID IN THE LAST ELECTION, BUT YOU STARTED OFF WITH SOME PRESCRIPTIONS FOR WHAT YOU THOUGHT OUGHT TO BE DONE FOR THE FUTURE, BETTER TARGETING, BETTER GET OUT THE VOTE. FLUSH THAT OUT A LITTLE BIT. WHAT DOES THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAVE TO DO IN IOWA TO GET READY FOR THE '04 ELECTION?

Fischer: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I NEED TO CHECK AND SEE IS CHUCK LARSON WATCHING THIS, BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE I WANT TO GIVE AWAY OUR ENTIRE GAME PLAN. BUT IN ALL HONESTY, I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS HAVE, ON THE LEGISLATIVE SIDE, A MORE ARTICULATE, MORE CLEAR MESSAGE OF WHAT IT'S GOING TO MEAN FOR THE AVERAGE IOWAN, FOR THE AVERAGE IOWA WORKING FAMILY IF THE DEMOCRATS WERE TO CAPTURE ONE OR BOTH HOUSES. IT'S DIFFICULT TO DO WITHOUT THE BULLY PULPIT. IT'S DIFFICULT TO BREAK THROUGH ALL THE MEDIA NOISE AND ALL THE MEDIA HYPE, BUT THAT'S WHAT DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TRY TO DO.

Yepsen: AND WHERE DO YOU COME DOWN ON THE ARGUMENT THAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR PARTY BETWEEN THE CENTRIST DEMOCRATS, THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL TYPES, WHO ARGUE THAT THE PARTY HAS GOT TO HAVE THE MESSAGE IN THE CENTER, AND THOSE ON THE LEFT, THE JESSE JACKSON TYPE DEMOCRATS, WHO SAY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS GOT TO STAND FOR PROGRESSIVE THINGS AND LIBERAL THINGS AND MAKE MORE NOISE ABOUT IT. IT IS A DIVIDE IN YOUR PARTY. WHERE DO YOU COME DOWN ON THAT ARGUMENT?

Fischer: I THINK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ESPECIALLY HERE IN IOWA, IS UNITED LIKE NEVER BEFORE. WE HAD A COORDINATED CAMPAIGN IN THE LAST CAMPAIGN THAT, YOU KNOW, WAS BEYOND -- ALMOST BEYOND BELIEF IN HOW UNITED AND WHAT A TEAM ALL THE PLAYERS WERE TOGETHER.

Borg: IT WAS THOUGHT THAT REDISTRICTING WOULD HAVE HELPED YOU IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES. WHY DIDN'T YOU DO BETTER?

Fischer: WELL, AGAIN, WE WON AND REELECTED CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, WHICH WAS A BIG WIN FOR US. JOHN NORRIS AND JULIE THOMAS AND ANN HUTCHINSON RAN VALIANT RACES. THEY WERE TERRIFIC CANDIDATES AND THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE RIGHT ISSUES -- MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, SOCIAL SECURITY, THE DEFICIT -- BUT JUST COULDN'T QUITE GET OVER THE HUMP IN THE FACE OF THIS NATIONAL REPUBLICAN TIDE.

Glover: WELL, LET'S LOOK AT ONE OF THOSE RACES. JULIE THOMAS IN A 58-PERCENT DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT; ALL THE MONEY SHE NEEDED; AS YOU SAID, A MESSAGE THAT YOU THOUGHT DEMOCRATS OUGHT TO BE MAKING. AND YET SHE LOST TO AN INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN WHO MOVED INTO THE DISTRICT WHO DIDN'T REALLY REPRESENT THE DISTRICT PRIOR. WHY DID YOU LOSE THAT?

Fischer: WELL, AGAIN, I THINK IT'S TOUGH TO SWIM AGAINST THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN TIDE THAT WAS GOING ON. I DO THINK JULIE THOMAS RAN A FANTASTIC RACE, AND I THINK HER DAYS OF PUBLIC SERVICE ARE STILL AHEAD OF HER.

Glover: I DIDN'T SEE A LOT OF REPUBLICAN TIDE IN JOHNSON COUNTY.

Fischer: WELL, YOU NEVER KNOW. I'LL TELL YOU, WE WISH WE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER IN JOHNSON COUNTY. WE NEEDED MORE OF A VOTE MARGIN IN JOHNSON COUNTY.

Borg: BUT SHE SAYS ALSO GENDER PLAYED A FACTOR.

Fischer: IT'S INTERESTING. I'VE HEARD A LOT OF WOMEN CANDIDATES -- A LOT OF CANDIDATES WHO HAPPEN TO BE WOMEN, I SUPPOSE I SHOULD SAY, WHO TALK ABOUT A GLASS CEILING IN IOWA, AND THAT CONCERNS ME GREATLY. THAT'S WHY I'M REALLY PROUD OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF BEING SO INCLUSIVE, OF BEING -- FOR EXAMPLE, HAVING TWO OF THE FIVE CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES BE WOMEN, ADDING FIVE HOUSE DEMOCRATS TO OUR CAUCUS. I'M VERY, VERY PROUD OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR REACHING OUT TO WOMEN CANDIDATES AND MINORITY CANDIDATES.

Yepsen: TALK ABOUT --

Glover: IN ALL OF THESE RACES, IT STRIKES ME THAT THERE WAS A BOAT LOAD OF MONEY THAT WENT INTO IT. IN BOTH JULIE THOMAS'S RACE AND ANN HUTCHINSON'S RACE AND JOHN NORRIS'S RACE, THEY RAISED UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNTS OF MONEY FOR A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CHALLENGING AN INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN. YOU TRIED TO PLAY THE REPUBLICAN MONEY GAME, BUT THEY HAD MORE OF IT. WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF MONEY IN POLITICS? IS THIS CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILL GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? ARE YOU GOING TO FIND A WAY TO SQUEEZE SOFT MONEY OUT OF THESE CONGRESSIONAL RACES? IT STRIKES ME YOU TRIED TO PLAY THE REPUBLICAN MONEY GAME IN ALL THESE AND DIDN'T GET THERE.

Fischer: TRYING TO MATCH THE REPUBLICANS WITH MONEY -- THEY'RE THE PARTY, FRANKLY, OF BIG BUSINESS. TRYING TO MATCH THE REPUBLICANS ON MONEY JUST IS NEVER GOING TO WORK FOR DEMOCRATS, QUITE FRANKLY. WE NEED ENOUGH MONEY TO BE COMPETITIVE, AND I THINK WE WERE COMPETITIVE IN THOSE THREE SEATS THAT I'VE TALKED ABOUT.

Glover: WELL, THEN WHAT'S THE IMPACT OF THAT CAMPAIGN FINANCE BILL GOING TO DO? IS THAT GOING TO SQUEEZE SOFT MONEY OUT, OR ARE WE GOING TO FIND A WAY TO GET IT BACK IN?

Fischer: I THINK -- I'M HOPEFUL THAT IT WILL SQUEEZE SOFT MONEY OUT, BECAUSE I THINK THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT IS SORT OF SLOSHING AROUND IN POLITICS REALLY KIND OF NAUSEATES THE AVERAGE VOTER.

Yepsen: JOHN NORRIS, WHAT HAPPENED IN HIS RACE AGAINST TOM LATHAM? WHY DIDN'T YOU BEAT TOM LATHAM?

Fischer: JOHN NORRIS WAS A HEARTBREAKING LOSS, QUITE FRANKLY. HE'S A PERSONAL FRIEND OF MINE. IN FACT, HE'S ONE OF MY POLITICAL HEROES. HE JUST COULDN'T QUITE GET OVER THE HUMP. I THINK WHAT HAPPENED WAS ABOUT THREE WEEKS OUT FROM THE ELECTION, HE HAD CLOSED THE GAP. THE REPUBLICANS REALIZED HE HAD CLOSED THE GAP, AND THEY POURED A TON OF MONEY INTO OUTRAGEOUSLY NEGATIVE ADS. AND NOT ONLY WERE THEY OUTRAGEOUSLY NEGATIVE, THEY WERE ALL NEGATIVE. IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS OF THE ELECTION, LATHAM DID NOT PUT UP ONE POSITIVE AD ABOUT HIMSELF.

Glover: IF WE MOVE OUT EAST TO THE ANN HUTCHINSON ELECTION AGAINST JIM NUSSLE, THERE WAS SOME TALK OUT THERE THAT THERE WAS SO MUCH -- YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT THE MONEY SLOSHING AROUND IN THESE CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS. THERE WAS SO MUCH MONEY OUT THERE, SO MUCH TELEVISION OUT THERE THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A CHALLENGER TO PUNCH A MESSAGE THROUGH. THERE WAS JUST SO MUCH CLUTTER ON THE RADAR SCREEN, THAT YOU COULDN'T PUNCH A MESSAGE THROUGH THAT YOU NEED TO WHEN YOU RUN AGAINST AN INCUMBENT, AND THERE'S SOME SUGGESTIONS THAT HAPPENED OUT THERE. IS THERE ANYTHING TO THAT?

Fischer: I AGREE. I THINK THAT WAS PART OF THE PROBLEM. I THINK THE REPUBLICANS SPENT SO MUCH MONEY IN THESE RACES THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO PUNCH THROUGH, SORT OF, THE MEDIA NOISE.

Glover: AND IT WOULDN'T BE AN OFFICIAL "IOWA PRESS" PROGRAM IF WE DIDN'T LOOK AT ELECTIONS DOWN THE ROAD.

Fischer: OF COURSE.

Glover: THE CURRENT GOVERNOR, TOM VILSACK, WON A PRETTY COMFORTABLE REELECTION CAMPAIGN. HE SAID HE'S NOT GOING TO RUN AGAIN. GIVE US A LIST OF NAMES OF PEOPLE THAT ARE TALKING ABOUT RUNNING AGAIN.

Fischer: OH, COME ON, MIKE. WE JUST REELECTED THE GOVERNOR, AS YOU POINTED OUT, BY A COMFORTABLE MARGIN.

Glover: AND I'M ALREADY HEARING TALK ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO POSITION THEMSELVES FOUR YEARS FROM NOW.

Borg: BUT STILL, IT'S YOUR JOB, TOO, TO GET THAT STABLE READY.

Fischer: I THINK THE STABLE IS READY. WE'VE GOT ALL BUT ONE STATEWIDE OFFICE. I THINK WE'VE GOT TERRIFIC LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES. WE'VE GOT A TERRIFIC LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. SO I THINK THE STABLE IS DEFINITELY READY. WE'VE GOT A VERY DEEP BENCH.

Yepsen: I UNDERSTAND YOU THINK ALL DEMOCRATS ARE TERRIFIC. WHAT ABOUT INCUMBENCY? ONE THING THAT WENT THROUGH THE '04 ELECTION WAS THAT INCUMBENTS WON, REGARDLESS OF PARTY. CORRECT?

Fischer: TRUE.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT. GIVEN THAT, WHERE ARE YOU IN '04 WHEN YOU'VE GOT AN INCUMBENT PRESIDENT AND YOU'VE GOT AN INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN U.S. SENATOR, YOU'VE GOT FOUR INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN, AND YOU'VE GOT INCUMBENT REPUBLICANS RUNNING FOR REELECTION FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE LEGISLATURE? AREN'T YOU GOING TO HAVE A VERY TOUGH TIME OF IT IN '04?

Fischer: NO. I THINK '04 IS GOING TO BE A GREAT ELECTION FOR DEMOCRATS.

Yepsen: WELL, WHY?! IF REPUBLICANS -- IF INCUMBENTS DO SO WELL IN IOWA, I DON'T SEE WHERE YOU GET THE IDEA THAT IT'S ALL GOING TO BE A PIECE OF CAKE.

Fischer: I DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A PIECE OF CAKE. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO NEED THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS AND WE'RE GOING TO NEED SOME GREAT CANDIDATES USING A LOT OF SHOE LEATHER TO MAKE A GOOD ELECTION. BUT LET ME ANSWER YOUR QUESTION. JUST A FEW MINUTES AGO, AGREED THAT IOWA WAS SORT OF UNIQUE -- WAS UNIQUE AMONG ALL THE 50 STATES IN REELECTING INCUMBENTS. A LOT OF OTHER PLACES RIGHT AROUND HERE -- MISSOURI, MINNESOTA, GEORGIA -- WE LOST INCUMBENT GOVERNORS, WE LOST INCUMBENT SENATORS. HERE WE WERE ABLE TO REELECT THEM. I DON'T THINK YOU CAN JUST SAY IT WAS INCUMBENCY WHEN INCUMBENCY DIDN'T REALLY SEEM TO MATTER IN THE OTHER 49 STATES.

Yepsen: BUT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IOWA, WHERE INCUMBENCY DOES SEEM TO MATTER.

Fischer: I THINK INCUMBENCY HELPS BUT IT'S NOT OUTCOME DETERMINATIVE. YOU CAN BEAT AN INCUMBENT AND WE WILL BEAT SOME INCUMBENTS IN 2004.

Glover: WELL, LET'S TALK ABOUT ONE OF THOSE INCUMBENTS YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO BEAT IN 2004, AND THAT'S SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY WHO IS RUNNING FOR ANOTHER TERM. HE'S ALREADY RUNNING PRETTY HARD. IN FACT, THERE WAS SOME WHO ARGUED HE'S RUNNING HARDER THAN TOM HARKIN IN THE LAST ELECTION. HE'S RUNNING. HE'S RUNNING HARD. GIVE US A CASE FOR HOW YOU BEAT CHUCK GRASSLEY. AND GIVE ME A LIST OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT WANT TO DO THAT.

Fischer: WELL, TO BEGIN, NO ONE OUTWORKS TOM HARKIN. I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYONE CAMPAIGN HARDER THAN TOM HARKIN EVER, AND THAT INCLUDES OUR GOVERNOR, WHO CAMPAIGNS AWFULLY HARD HIMSELF. TOM HARKIN IS A FIGHTER, A SCRAPPER --

Yepsen: OKAY, BUT WHAT ABOUT MIKE'S QUESTION?

Glover: WHAT ABOUT CHUCK GRASSLEY?

Fischer: WHAT ABOUT CHUCK GRASSLEY? I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU BROUGHT THAT UP, BECAUSE THERE ARE NEWS REPORTS THAT TRENT LOTT IS STEPPING DOWN AND IOWA DEMOCRATS ARE HOPPING MAD AT CHUCK GRASSLEY RIGHT NOW, QUITE FRANKLY. HE HAS REFUSED TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST TRENT LOTT FOR LEADER, AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY. TRENT LOTT PRAISED THE SEGREGATIONIST PRESIDENTIAL RUN OF STROM THURMAN. HE SAID THAT HE WAS PROUD THAT MISSISSIPPI SUPPORTED THE EXPLICITLY RACIST CAMPAIGN OF STROM THURMAN AND THAT IF OTHER STATES HAD FOLLOWED SUIT THAT WE WOULDN'T HAVE, QUOTE, ALL THESE PROBLEMS. WHY DIDN'T --

Yepsen: WHO DO DEMOCRATS HAVE TO RUN AGAINST CHUCK GRASSLEY?

Fischer: AGAIN, WE'VE GOT A VERY STRONG STABLE OF PEOPLE.

Yepsen: GIVE US A NAME.

Fischer: CHET CULVER. SECRETARY OF STATE CHET CULVER WOULD BE AN AMAZING CANDIDATE. BUT AGAIN, AS I TALKED ABOUT WITH THE GOVERNOR AND AL GORE, THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS WHETHER TO RUN OR NOT RUN.

Borg: DOES THE RURAL/URBAN PHILOSOPHICAL SPLIT POSE PROBLEMS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?

Fischer: NO. FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT SPLIT IS AS WIDELY BELIEVED OR PERCEIVED AS PEOPLE MAYBE ON THIS PROGRAM PERCEIVE IT TO BE. I DO THINK DEMOCRATS TEND TO RUN BETTER IN URBAN AREAS. REPUBLICANS TEND TO RUN BETTER IN RURAL AREAS. BUT WE'RE WORKING VERY HARD TO CHANGE THAT.

Borg: THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR GUEST TODAY.

Fischer: MY PLEASURE.

Borg: ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," OUR FINAL FOR 2002, WE LOOK AHEAD BY LOOKING BACK. IT'S OUR ANNUAL YEAR-END REPORTERS ROUNDTABLE, A 2002 HEADLINE REVIEW WITH AN EYE TO HOW THOSE STORIES WILL INFLUENCE 2003. IT WILL BE FRIDAY AT 6:30, REBROADCAST SUNDAY AT NOON. AND AS WE BEGIN CHRISTMAS WEEK 2002, ALL OF US HERE AT IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION WISH YOU AND YOURS THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAY SEASONS. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY AND FOR YOUR VIEWING LOYALTY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA... THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE;