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(#3116)
December 19, 2003

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IOWA PRESS #3116>>

Borg: THE NEW YEAR, 2004, BRINGS MAJOR DECISIONS. IOWA POLITICAL JOURNALISTS REVIEW THE NEWS OF 2003 THAT WILL SHAPE THE 2004 ELECTION DECISIONS, 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.

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

Borg: IN A FEW DAYS WE'LL BE INTO THE 2004 ELECTION YEAR. INTERNATIONALLY 2003 WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR THE MILITARY INTERVENTION IN IRAQ. NATIONALLY THERE ARE SIGNS THAT THE BATTERED ECONOMY IS RECOVERING. IN IOWA, THOUGH, STATE REVENUE IS STILL SLUGGISH AND STATE AGENCIES ARE BRACING FOR STILL ANOTHER AUSTERE BUDGET YEAR. WELL, ALL OF THESE TEA LEAVES AND MORE HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY ANALYZED BY OUR PANEL OF IOWA POLITICAL JOURNALISTS: "DES MOINES REGISTER" COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN; "RADIO IOWA" NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON; AND "KUNI" STATEHOUSE PUBLIC RADIO REPORTER JENEANE BECK. WELL, KAY, I SAID ANOTHER AUSTERE BUDGET YEAR. IS THAT THE WAY THAT YOU, AS A JOURNALIST, LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING TO BE HAPPENING IN THE STAT NEXT YEAR?

Henderson: THAT'S A GOOD WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, DEAN. THERE IS A HOLE AND IT KEEPS GETTING BIGGER. EARLIER THIS FALL GOVERNOR VILSACK CUT THE STATE BUDGET ACROSS THE BOARD FOR THE CURRENT YEAR BY 2.5 PERCENT. EARLIER THIS MONTH THE THREE-MEMBER PANEL THAT MEETS TO PREDICT STATE TAX REVENUES FAR OFF INTO THE FUTURE MET AND HAD A RULING THAT THE CURRENT STATE YEAR IS EVEN A LITTLE BIT FARTHER IN THE HOLE. SO WHEN LEGISLATORS COME BACK TO DES MOINES IN JANUARY TO START CRAFTING NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET THAT WILL START ON JULY 1, IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE A STATIC OR EVEN A BUDGET WHICH TAKES CUTS IN CERTAIN STATE PROGRAMS. SO IF LEGISLATORS HAVE A MIND TO, FOR EXAMPLE, PROVIDE MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS, SOMETHING ELSE HAS GOT TO GIVE.

Borg: AND, JENEANE, THERE WAS A RAINY DAY FUND ONCE UPON A TIME, WASN'T THERE?

Beck: THERE ARE STILL SOME RESERVE FUNDS, BUT THE LARGER RESERVE FUND, MUCH OF THAT HAS BEEN SPENT DOWN, AND NOW WE HAVE THIS FUND WE USE AS THE SAVINGS ACCOUNT SO THAT WHEN BILLS COME DUE BEFORE THE NEXT MONEY COMES IN, WE CAN PAY THOSE BILLS. THIS ISN'T MONEY THEY WANT TO SPEND DOWN FURTHER. THERE ARE SOME FUNDS THAT EDUCATORS ARE CALLING FOR THEM TO DIP INTO, THE ROAD USE TAX FUND, AND THOSE ARE FUNDS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR GROUPS LIKE EDUCATORS AND HUMAN SERVICE WORKERS TALK ABOUT TAPPING IN THESE TOUGH TIMES.

Henderson: BUT THE GOVERNOR TRIED THAT BEFORE. IT WAS CONCRETE OR KIDS, AND LEGISLATORS CHOSE CONCRETE.

Borg: BUT THAT BRINGS UP A POINT, DAVE. SHE SAID CONCRETE OR KIDS. THERE ARE SOME SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS THAT ARE GEARING UP AND PUTTING SOME PRESSURE, AT LEAST VOCAL PRESSURE, ON THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR RIGHT NOW.

Yepsen: WELL, AND THAT'S WHAT SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS ARE FOR, TO COME TO DES MOINES AND STATE THEIR CASE AND ARGUE THEIR POSITION. I DON'T THINK THEY'RE GOING TO GET VERY FAR. SOME EDUCATORS, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE TALKING ABOUT WANTING A 6-PERCENT INCREASE IN THE ALLOWABLE GROWTH FOR SCHOOLS, FOR EXAMPLE. REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE LEADERS HAVE SAID NO WAY, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT. SOME OF THESE INTEREST GROUPS ARE TALKING ABOUT RAISING TAXES, AND THEY'RE GOING AROUND TO THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET HEARINGS, BEATING THE DRUM FOR A TAX INCREASE. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN AN ELECTION YEAR. THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID HE'S WILLING TO LISTEN TO THAT EVEN THOSE HE CAMPAIGNED AGAINST TAX INCREASES, BUT REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE LEADERS ARE SAYING AIN'T NO WAY. DEAN, IT'S ABOUT -- THE LEGISLATURE COMES IN IN JANUARY AND THEY START WORKING ON THE FISCAL 2005 BUDGET. THEY ARE LOOKING AT ABOUT A $330-MILLION HOLE, IF YOU WILL, OF AUTOMATIC SPENDING INCREASES FOR PAY RAISES AND SCHOOL AID THAT EXCEEDS THEIR REVENUES, $330-MILLION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THEY'VE ALREADY COMMITTED TO SPEND AND WHAT THEIR REVENUES WILL BE. SO THEY'VE GOT SOME SERIOUS CUTTING TO DO. THEY'VE GOT SOME DIPPING INTO RAINY DAY FUNDS. THERE'S ABOUT $180 MILLION LEFT THERE. THEY'LL GET SOME OF THAT. AND I THINK THEY'LL PROBABLY FOOL AROUND WITH FEES, MAYBE SOME GAMBLING.

Beck: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT STRIKES ME WHEN YOU SAY THEY HAVE SOME SERIOUS CUTTING TO DO, ONE OF THE BIGGEST ARGUMENT WE'LL HEAR IS WHETHER WE SHOULD USE THE WORD "CUT" BECAUSE THAT'S PROMISE SPENDING BUT IT ISN'T MONEY THAT THESE INTERESTS HAD GOTTEN BEFORE. IT WAS INCREASES THEY WERE EXPECTED TO GET. SO THEY MAY SAY, LOOK, WE'RE GIVING YOU STATIC MONEY, THE SAME MONEY AS LAST YEAR, AND YOU CAN'T CALL THAT A CUT BECAUSE IT'S THE SAME MONEY AS LAST YEAR. BUT THOSE GROUPS WILL SURE CALL IT A CUT.

Borg: I WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT ROAD USE TAX FUND. AND ALL OF YOU HAVE HISTORY WITH THAT ROAD USE TAX FUND, AND THAT IS YOU'VE REMEMBERED THE DEBATE AND HOW SACRED THAT ROAD USE TAX FUND IS. IS IT STILL JUST AS SACRED EVEN IN A VERY AUSTERE TIME?

Henderson: IT IS SACRED AND IT'S ALSO A PRECARIOUS POLITICAL FORMULA THAT'S BEEN DRAWN UP, BECAUSE YOU HAVE FOLKS AGITATING FOR CHANGES. FOR INSTANCE, THE IOWA CHAMBER ALLIANCE, WHICH REPRESENTS THE 17 LARGEST METRO AREAS IN IOWA, IS ASKING LEGISLATORS TO CONSIDER REWORKING THE WAY THAT THAT ROAD USE TAX FORMULA, IF YOU WILL, THE MONEY THAT IOWANS PAY WHEN THEY BUY THEIR GASOLINE INTO A TAX THAT'S USED FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENT, PAY MORE TO URBAN AREAS AND URBAN STREETS AND URBAN HIGHWAYS THAN TO RURAL HIGHWAYS. LEGISLATORS AREN'T INTERESTED IN THAT. THEY HAVEN'T CHANGED THE GAS TAX IN OVER A DECADE. AND SO WHILE THERE ARE PEOPLE AGITATING FOR CHANGE IN THAT REGARD, IT'S JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE THERE'S NO POLITICAL WILL UP THERE TO MAKE THOSE KINDS OF CHANGES.

Yepsen: IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, TOO, THAT THE STATE CONSTITUTION PROHIBITS USING FUEL TAX REVENUES FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROAD PURPOSES. WE HAVE WHAT WE CALL A USE TAX IN IOWA, WHICH IS BASICALLY THE SALES TAX YOU PAY WHEN YOU BUY A NEW CAR. THAT GOES INTO THE USE TAX FUND, AND THOSE REVENUES HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN DEDICATED TO THE ROAD FUND. AND WHAT THE EDUCATION GROUPS WANT TO DO IS THEY WANT TO TAP INTO THAT MONEY. "NO WAY" AGAIN. TOO MANY INTEREST GROUPS BELIEVE THAT BUILDING ROADS AND MAINTAINING OUR HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. THERE ARE COMMUNITIES IN THIS STATE THAT HAVE REAL ROAD NEEDS, AND THERE'S NO WAY THEY WANT TO DIVERT THOSE FUNDS. THEY SAY THEY NEED MORE MONEY, SO THERE'S CERTAINLY NO WAY THERE'S GOING TO BE A DIVERSION INTO EDUCATION OR ANYTHING ELSE.

Borg: LET ME JUST SAY ONE OF THE TACTICS OF SOME OF THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS IS TO BYPASS THE LOBBYING OF THE LEGISLATORS AND GO TO PEOPLE -- GRASS-ROOTS PEOPLE AND SAY, "YOU PUT THE PRESSURE ON YOUR LEGISLATORS. IF YOU WANT X-Y-Z, WHATEVER IT IS THEY WANT, YOU TELL THEM AND YOU'RE THE ONE WHO IS GOING TO VOTE FOR THEM." HOW IS THAT GOING TO WORK?

Beck: WELL, YOU HEAR THE ADVERTISEMENTS, ESPECIALLY ON THE RADIO. SOMETIMES THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO PURCHASE TELEVISION ADVERTISING BUT YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR THOSE ADVERTISEMENTS, I'M SURE. SCHOOLS, THE IOWA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION WILL PROBABLY PUT SOME ADS ON THE AIR. THAT'S HOW IT WILL WORK BUT I DON'T KNOW WHETHER IOWANS WILL GET BEHIND THAT OR NOT, BECAUSE I THINK A LOT OF IOWANS ARE FEARFUL OF TAX INCREASES.

Yepsen: THIS IS INTEREST GROUP POLITICS, DEAN. I MEAN THIS IS WHAT INTEREST GROUPS ARE THERE FOR, TO AGITATE FOR THEIR CAUSE. AND THEIR MEMBERS EXPECT THEM TO DO THAT, EVEN THOUGH THERE'S REALLY NO REALISTIC PROSPECT OF THAT HAPPENING. PEOPLE TALK ABOUT RAISING TAXES. I JUST DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING IN AN ELECTION YEAR IN A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE THAT HAS PROMISED NOT TO DO THAT.

Borg: WELL, LET ME GO ANOTHER WAY THEN, JENEANE. IS IT LIKELY TO EXPAND OR TO STIMULATE A DEBATE ON EXPANDING GAMBLING, BECAUSE THE STATE DERIVES QUITE A LOT OF REVENUE NOW FROM THE GAMBLING WE HAVE IN THE STATE?

Beck: WELL, REPUBLICANS IN THE MAJORITY HAVE DECIDED THERE WILL HAVE TO BE A GAMBLING DEBATE. AND PART OF THE ISSUE IS THE PENDING LAWSUIT ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE TAX RIVERBOAT CASINOS AT A LOWER RATE THAN RACETRACK CASINOS AND THE RACETRACK SUIT OVER THAT, AND THAT'S IN THE SUPREME COURT RIGHT NOW. WE HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT KIND OF OUTCOME THAT GETS AND WHETHER THE STATE IS GOING TO OWE THE RACETRACKS MONEY OR WHETHER THE RACETRACKS ARE GOING TO OWE THE STATE MONEY. THAT BEING SAID, IT OPENS UP THE DEBATE FOR WHETHER WE SHOULD LIFT THAT MORATORIUM THAT WE HAVE ON GAMBLING CURRENTLY. AND IF THEY ISSUE NEW LICENSES, I CAN ALMOST GUARANTEE THERE WILL BE A PRICE TAG ATTACHED TO THOSE BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT GOING TO LET THAT OPPORTUNITY GO BY. IF THERE'S GOING TO BE EXPANDED GAMBLING, THERE'S GOING TO BE MONEY THAT COMES IN WITH IT.

Yepsen: A LOT OF REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT TO GO DOWN THIS PATH IN AN ELECTION YEAR. THERE'S A LOT OF -- THERE ARE A LOT OF EVANGELICALS IN THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUENCY THAT DON'T REALLY LIKE THE IDEA OF EXPANDED GAMBLING, SO THERE ARE A LOT OF REPUBLICANS WHO ARE SAYING, "WE DON'T WANT TO GET INTO THIS IN AN ELECTION YEAR." BUT THE PRESSURE FOR STATE REVENUES IS SO CRUSHING THAT I THINK THERE'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE SOME DISCUSSION OF THIS BEFORE THE END OF THIS SESSION.

Henderson: AND THEN YOU TALK ABOUT TEA LEAVES. IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT FOR LEGISLATORS TO READ THIS. YOU HAVE THE LARGE COUNTIES, LIKE THE SPENCER AREA AND AROUND THE CEDAR RAPIDS AREA, WHICH HAVE HAD GAMBLING REFERENDUMS AND SAID NO WAY; WHEREAS, YOU HAVE PEOPLE UP ON THE IOWA/MINNESOTA BORDER WHO'VE SAID, "HEY, WE NEED SOME ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT HERE. WE CAN LURE MINNESOTA GAMBLERS TO IOWA AND FLEECE THEM FOR A LITTLE MONEY. LET US HAVE A FLOATING CASINO IN OUR AREA." SO IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT FOR LEGISLATORS TO SORT OF READ WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE ELECTORATE UNLESS THEY'VE HAVE THOSE REFERENDUMS IN THEIR AREAS.

Yepsen: AND EVEN SOME LEGISLATORS COMING FROM COMMUNITIES WITH GAMBLING ARE NOT KEEN ON OPENING UP ANOTHER DEBATE, CREATING MORE COMPETITION FOR THEIR LOCAL GAMBLING FACILITY THERE IN THEIR HOMETOWN.

Borg: IT'S JUST THIS PAST WEEK THAT CLAY COUNTY VOTED DOWN THE SPENCER AREA?

Henderson: CORRECT. EXACTLY, YES.

Borg: JENEANE, BUT LEGISLATORS THEMSELVES ARE SHORT OF MONEY TO PAY THEMSELVES, AND SO I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A SHORTER SESSION THIS TIME; IS IT NOT?

Beck: WE CAN HOPE. [ LAUGHTER ]

Borg: WELL, THEY CAN ALWAYS GO WITHOUT PAY IS WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.

Beck: YES.

Borg: BUT I THINK THE SESSION IS PROJECTED TO BE AROUND 90 DAYS THIS TIME, AT LEAST, PAID.

Beck: THEY COULD CUT IT BACK TO 90 DAYS. AND THEY'VE TALKED ABOUT THAT AND I THINK THAT THAT IS THE PLAN. THEY'VE ALSO -- THEY'VE ELIMINATED SOME STAFF POSITIONS WITHIN THE LEGISLATURE. AND IT WILL JUST -- WE HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE HOW LONG IT TAKES THEM TO HAMMER OUT A BUDGET, AND THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES THEY'RE GOING TO ARGUE ABOUT. AND THEY CAN GO WITHOUT PAY, SO WHETHER IT TRULY STAYS AT 90 DAYS IS THE QUESTION.

Yepsen: THIS REALLY IS THE SESSION THAT DOES NOT NEED TO BE. IF THEY COULD JUST COME IN AND ADJOURN WITHIN A FEW DAYS, PASS BASICALLY A CONTINUING RESOLUTION, IT'S ALMOST AS IF THAT WOULD BE SUFFICIENT, BECAUSE OF THE PARTISAN SPLITS, THE ELECTION YEAR TENSIONS, THE LACK OF MONEY. THEY REALLY HAVE VERY LITTLE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH. YOU ALMOST THINK THE TAXPAYERS OF IOWA WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF THEY DIDN'T EVEN CONVENE.

Beck: BUT, YOU KNOW, THE STARTLING THING ABOUT THAT IS THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, STEWART IVERSON, HE'S ALWAYS SAID THAT THEIR BASIC GOAL AND FUNCTION IS TO COME IN AND JUST PASS THE BUDGET. HE'S ALWAYS SAID, "ONCE WE GET THAT DONE, I DON'T REALLY CARE IF WE DO ANYTHING ELSE. THAT'S OUR GOAL." THEY HAD A NEWS CONFERENCE THIS WEEK IN WHICH THEY TALKED ABOUT, WELL, THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER ISSUES THAT WE CAN TACKLE, ALTHOUGH WE DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY. SO IF STEW IS SAYING THAT, IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG ROAD.

Henderson: ALSO, OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, WE'VE SEEN SOMETHING HAPPEN UP THERE. THEY'LL GET AN IDEA AND THEN THEY'LL WORK IT OVER DURING THE REGULAR SESSION AND THEN THEY'LL HAVE TO COME BACK IN A SPECIAL SESSION, MAYBE A SECOND SPECIAL SESSION TO ACTUALLY GET THE NITTY-GRITTY DETAILS DONE. SO EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY HAVE A SHORT SESSION, THERE'S NO GUARANTEE THAT THEY WON'T BE BACK IN JUNE OR JULY HAVING A SPECIAL SESSION.

Yepsen: THE OTHER THING, DEAN, THAT MAKES THIS A VERY -- IT MAKES ME PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR THIS SESSION ARE THE TENSIONS THAT ARE OUT THERE. WHEN GOVERNOR VILSACK VETOED THE VALUES FUND LEGISLATION, HE REALLY ALIENATED A LOT OF REPUBLICANS. PRIOR TO THAT TIME THERE WAS A REAL SENSE THAT THEY WERE COMING TOGETHER TO TRY TO WORK ON SOMETHING. WHEN HE VETOED PARTS OF THAT BILL, THEY WERE VERY ANGRY. THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOW MOUNTING A FULL-SCALE CAMPAIGN TO TRY TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE FROM THE REPUBLICANS. SO REPUBLICANS ARE IN NO MOOD TO COOPERATE. THEY'RE IN EVERY MOOD TO TRY TO PAY VILSACK BACK. DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO TRY TO MAKE THE REPUBLICANS LOOK BAD. SO IN ADDITION TO NO MONEY, THE PARTISAN ATMOSPHERICS ARE VERY BAD.

Henderson: AND ADDED TO THAT IS YOU HAVE A LAME DUCK GOVERNOR. HE'S LOST A LOT OF HIS ABILITY TO PUSH THINGS THROUGH BECAUSE HE SAID HE'S NOT RUNNING FOR REELECTION.

Borg: BUT HE'S OUT ON A NATIONAL SCENE RIGHT NOW. OF COURSE, THAT DOESN'T AFFECT THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

Henderson: HE'S TRYING TO RAISE HIS PROFILE NATIONALLY. HE'S THE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION, AND SO HE'S OUT CRISSCROSSING THE NATION, TALKING IN OTHER AREAS.

Borg: KAY, ANOTHER ISSUE THAT COULD COME UP THIS TIME, BECAUSE OF A DECISION THAT -- A COURT DECISION HAS BEEN MADE UP IN SIOUX CITY, I BELIEVE IT IS, ON GAY MARRIAGE. TELL ME ABOUT WHY THAT IS LIKELY TO COME UP, BECAUSE OF THAT COURT DECISION -- OR JUDGE DECISION IN GRANTING A DIVORCE.

Henderson: WELL, AS A LITTLE BACKGROUND, THE IOWA LEGISLATURE, A COUPLE YEARS AGO, PASSED A DEFENSIVE MARRIAGE ACT THAT IS VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNED. IT SAYS THAT A LEGAL MARRIAGE IN IOWA EXISTS IN A MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. A JUDGE UP IN THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE STATE HAS GRANTED A DIVORCE, A DIVISION OF PROPERTY, IF YOU WILL, OF A LESBIAN COUPLE. AND SO A GROUP OF LEGISLATORS AND THE IOWA FAMILY POLICY CENTER AND THE MARRIAGE MATTERS GROUP HAVE FILED A BRIEF WITH THE COURT. AND THEY SAID THIS IS RIDICULOUS; THERE'S NO STATE PRECEDENT HERE BECAUSE THIS MARRIAGE SHOULD NOT BE RECOGNIZED IN IOWA. SO IT'S GOING TO WORK ITS WAY THROUGH THE COURTS. THERE ARE THOSE AMONG THE LEGISLATURE THAT WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT WORK ITS WAY THROUGH AND PERCOLATE AGAIN. IT'S UNCLEAR, THOUGH, WHAT THEY WOULD PASS SINCE THEY ALREADY HAVE WHAT I JUST DESCRIBED, THE DEFENSIVE MARRIAGE ACT THAT DECLARES THAT A LEGAL MARRIAGE IN IOWA IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN.

Yepsen: THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LEGISLATURE DOES NOT HAVE USEFUL WORK TO DO. IT'S CALLED IDLE HANDS MAKE MISCHIEF. THEY'RE GOING TO COME IN THERE, AND THEY'RE GETTING PAID THE $85 A DAY FOR DOING NOTHING, AND SO -- AND THEIR LEADERS ARE TELLING THEM YOU CAN'T RAISE TAXES AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY TO SPEND, ALL YOU CAN DO IS CUT BUDGETS. AND SO THEY SIT THERE AND TWIDDLE THEIR THUMBS, AND ISSUES LIKE GAY MARRIAGE AND DOVE HUNTING -- REALLY I CALL IT SIDESHOW STUFF -- STARTS TO TAKE FRONT AND CENTER. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN WE'RE ALL SITTING UP THERE AND WE'RE BEING PAID AND OUR BOSSES EXPECT US TO WRITE THINGS. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THESE ISSUES START COMING TO THE FRONT AND CENTER OF THE IOWA POLITICAL DEBATE. I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE IRRELEVANT TO THE FUTURE OF IOWA THAN A QUESTION OF GAY MARRIAGE, AND YET BOTH SIDES IN THAT DEBATE WILL BE UP THERE IN THE LEGISLATURE, FIGHTING THAT BATTLE, APPEALING TO THEIR INTEREST GROUPS, REPUBLICANS WILL BE TRYING TO COURT EVANGELICALS BY DEFENDING MARRIAGE, AND WE'LL HAVE THIS MARVELOUS DEBATE OVER SOMETHING AS IRRELEVANT AS GAY MARRIAGE.

Borg: ANOTHER ISSUE IS SENTENCING REFORM. IT OCCURS TO ME THAT BECAUSE OF IOWA'S BURGEONING PRISON POPULATION, HARSH SENTENCES PASSED A DECADE AGO OR MORE, THAT IT'S COSTING THE STATE INCREASING MONEY THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE. IS THAT LIKELY TO FUEL A DEBATE UP THERE ON SENTENCING REFORM?

Beck: WELL, IT FUELED A DEBATE LAST YEAR ON SENTENCING REFORM, AND SOME MEASURES WERE APPROVED. IT WAS NOT AS SWEEPING AS SOME LAWMAKERS WOULD HAVE LIKED, BUT ONE OF THE LEADING AND MOST ARTICULATE OPPONENTS TO SENTENCING REFORM, CHUCK LARSON, HAS BEEN CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY. HE'S A STATE SENATOR FROM CEDAR RAPIDS, AND HE IS ONE OF THE LEADING OPPONENTS OF SENTENCING REFORM, SAYING, "LET'S NOT LET OUT PEOPLE THAT WILL MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES LESS SAFE. SO THERE MAY BE A RESURGENCE OF THAT. WE MAY SEE -- AND IT IS LED BY A COUPLE OF REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS WHO BELIEVE THAT THERE CAN BE SENTENCING REFORM WHILE STILL KEEPING COMMUNITIES SAFE, SO IT MAY COME BACK UP.

Borg: WHAT DO YOU THINK, KAY? WHILE CHUCK LARSON IS AWAY, WILL THE THING COME UP AGAIN?

Henderson: WILL THE MICE PLAY OR WHATEVER?

Borg: YES.

Henderson: THERE ARE PEOPLE STARTING TO AGITATE FOR THAT. AND AS JENEANE DESCRIBED, THERE ARE REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE ADVOCATED AND MET THE STONEWALL OF CHUCK LARSON IN THE SENATE, SO IT MAY BE AN ISSUE THAT THEY BRING UP. BUT AGAIN, IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR AND SO I THINK IT WOULD BE REALLY DIFFICULT FOR REPUBLICANS, PERHAPS, TO DEBATE THAT ISSUE.

Yepsen: I'M NOT SURE THERE'S THAT MUCH MONEY TO BE SAVED BY OPENING UP THE PRISONS. SO ASIDE FROM THE POLITICAL DIFFICULTY IN DOING IT, THERE MAY NOT BE THAT MUCH TO BE SAVED. BUT YET IT'S BEEN TALKED ABOUT ENOUGH THAT I THINK EVERYONE WOULD LIKE TO GIVE IT AN AIRING JUST TO SEE IF THERE ISN'T SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT.

Borg: OR SAVED THAT QUICKLY.

Yepsen: WELL, THERE IS AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PEOPLE, THE SENTENCING REFORMERS AND THE LAW AND ORDER TYPES, THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS TO OCCUR IN IOWA IS BETTER DRUG TREATMENT FOR PEOPLE IN PRISONS, BETTER EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE IN PRISONS SO THAT THOSE FOLKS CAN QUALIFY FOR PAROLE. THE PAROLE BOARD CAN ALREADY RELEASE 80 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE IN THE INMATE POPULATION. THEY'RE JUST NOT READY TO BE RELEASED. SO PERHAPS THE MAYBE ONE THING WE COULD SEE SOME COMPROMISE ON IS TRYING TO DO SOMETHING MORE ABOUT THOSE TWO ISSUES.

Borg: DAVE, WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE -- CHANGING GEARS HERE NOW FROM THE LEGISLATURE TO THE POLITICAL CLIMATE IN IOWA. WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SENATOR GRASSLEY SEEKING REELECTION? AND I DON'T KNOW WHO'S GOING TO OPPOSE HIM.

Yepsen: THE DEMOCRATS HAVE REALLY MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY WITH THIS YEAR'S CAUCUS CAMPAIGN TO FIELD AN ALTERNATIVE TO SENATOR GRASSLEY. CHUCK GRASSLEY IS AN ICON IN IOWA POLITICS. HE IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIANS EVER IN THIS STATE'S HISTORY, AND NO CREDIBLE DEMOCRAT SEEMS TO WANT TO CHALLENGE HIM AND GO ON TO WHAT WE CALL A SUICIDE MISSION. BUT IN MAKING THAT CHOICE, THE DEMOCRATS REALLY HAVE MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE GRAFTING ONTO THE ORGANIZATIONS THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS HAVE BROUGHT HERE, TO USE THEM TO RAISE MONEY BOTH LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY, TO MOUNT A SERIOUS CHALLENGE AGAINST GRASSLEY. DEMOCRATS DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. IF THEY DON'T FILE A CREDIBLE CANDIDATE, THEY CAN HAVE SOME KOOK COME IN AND FILE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR U.S. SENATOR, AND THEY'LL ALL LOOK BAD. THIS HAPPENED IN ILLINOIS TWENTY YEARS AGO. AND SO DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW DO WE GET SOMEBODY TO RUN AND THEN WITHDRAW THEM OR PUT ON SOME KIND OF TOKEN CAMPAIGN AGAINST GRASSLEY. THEY'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING.

Borg: AS TIME GOES ALONG, IT GETS EVEN MORE DIFFICULT. WHO WANTS TO COME INTO A CAMPAIGN AT THIS STAGE?

Yepsen: AND THE OTHER THING THAT'S SIGNIFICANT HERE, THE BIG POLITICAL BATTLE IN '04 WILL BE THE BATTLE FOR THE LEGISLATURE. IF CHUCK GRASSLEY ISN'T WORRIED ABOUT HIS OWN REELECTION, HE WILL BE SPENDING HIS TIME HELPING FELLOW REPUBLICANS GET REELECTED. HE'S A PRODUCT OF THE LEGISLATURE. HE'S ALWAYS DONE THAT AND HE'S GOT FIVE MILLION BUCKS IN HIS WAR CHEST TO HELP.

Beck: ONE THING THAT MIGHT BE AFFECTING THAT, AS WELL AS THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID HE WON'T RUN AGAIN, SO EVERYONE IS INSTEAD THINKING I CAN HOLD ON FOR TWO YEARS AND WAIT AND RUN FOR GOVERNOR. SO SENATOR GRASSLEY'S RACE SEEMS, YOU KNOW, LESS APPEALING ALL THE TIME IF THEY THINK, WELL, I CAN BIDE MY TIME AND RUN IN TWO YEARS, AND THERE'S ANOTHER ATTRACTIVE SEAT THAT SHOULD BE OPEN.

Borg: WELL, YOU'VE TAKEN US INTO '06, JENEANE. ARE THERE PEOPLE POSITIONING RIGHT NOW THAT YOU CAN SEE FOR -- WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE '04 ELECTION AS IF THAT'S IN THE FUTURE, BUT '06 IS FURTHER OUT, BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE THINKING '06 ALREADY.

Beck: THERE ARE. AND THERE ARE NAMES BEING BANTERED AROUND: LT. GOVERNOR SALLY PEDERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE --

Borg: SECRETARY FOR GOVERNOR.

Beck: FOR GOVERNOR, YEAH. LT. GOVERNOR SALLY PEDERSON MIGHT WANT TO RUN FOR THAT HIGHER OFFICE, SECRETARY OF STATE CHET CULVER --

Yepsen: ED FALLON.

Beck: ED FALLON HAS ALREADY ANNOUNCED AND IS DOOR KNOCKING IN COMMUNITIES. HE'S A STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM DES MOINES. AND ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING TO JIM NUSSLE ABOUT WHETHER HE MIGHT WANT TO COME BACK AND RUN. SO THERE ARE DEFINITELY PEOPLE ALREADY LOOKING AT THAT OFFICE.

Borg: DID YOU MENTION STEVE KING?

Henderson: YEAH, STEVE KING IS TOTALLY ENMESHED IN STATE ISSUES. IT'S SOMETIMES DIFFICULT TO TELL WHETHER HE IS A CONGRESSMAN OR STILL A STATE LEGISLATOR.

Yepsen: BOB VANDER PLAATS, WHO RAN LAST TIME AND LOST, DAVID OMEN, DOUG GROSS. I MEAN BOTH PARTIES ARE GOING TO HAVE SPIRITED PRIMARIES IN '06. AND JENEANE IS RIGHT; I MEAN WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TO DO IN '04, SO THE GAMES FOR '06 ARE ALREADY BEGINNING.

Borg: AND YOU SAY WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TO DO IN '04, BUT STILL THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO TRY THE BEST THEY CAN TO FIELD CREDIBLE CANDIDATES IN ORDER TO TAKE THE LEGISLATURE IF THEY POSSIBLY CAN.

Yepsen: OH, YEAH. AND DON'T TELL MY BOSS I SAID WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TO DO IN '04. [ LAUGHTER ] YES, DEAN, THE BATTLE IS FOR THE THE LEGISLATURE. DEMOCRATS ARE WITHIN A HANDFUL OF SEATS IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE OF TAKING CONTROL. AND THEY REALLY HOPE THAT THEIR SUPERIOR GET-OUT-THE-VOTE OPERATION, WITH A PRESIDENTIAL-SIZE TURNOUT AT THEIR BACK, CAN ENABLE THEM TO PICK UP ENOUGH SEATS AT LEAST MAYBE TO TAKE THE IOWA HOUSE AND HOPEFULLY THE IOWA SENATE. AND SO THAT'S WHY I THINK THE BIG POLITICAL STORY AFTER THESE CAUCUSES CLEAR OUT OF HERE IS GOING TO BE THE RACE FOR PRESIDENT AND WHO CARRIES THAT IN IOWA AND THEN THE BATTLE FOR THE LEGISLATURE.

Henderson: AND LIKE DAVID JUST MENTIONED, I THINK THE RACE FOR PRESIDENT IS GOING TO COME BACK TO IOWA BECAUSE IOWA IS GOING TO BE A BATTLE GROUND STATE. THEY'RE BOTH GOING TO BE FIGHTING. IN 2000 WE THOUGHT WHEN THE CAUCUSES WERE OVER, WE WEREN'T GOING TO SEE THE MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES. WE SAW GEORGE BUSH AN AL GORE HERE REPEATEDLY DURING THE FALL BECAUSE IOWA WAS A SWING STATE, DECIDED BY ABOUT 4,000 VOTES. BOTH PARTIES NATIONALLY THINK IOWA IS A SWING STATE THIS TIME AROUND, SO YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WAGED HERE ON THE AIRWAVES.

Borg: JENEANE, AS YOU LOOK AT THAT CAMPAIGN, DO YOU SEE AMONG THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES NOW, OF THE NINE VYING, DO YOU SEE THE INTENSITY OF THAT CAMPAIGN, REALLY? I DIDN'T KNOW IT COULD GET HOTTER, BUT IT HAS.

Beck: WELL, JUDGING FROM MY E-MAIL INBOX, YEAH, IT IS GETTING HOTTER. THE RHETORIC IS RATCHETING UP AND ESPECIALLY AFTER THE CAPTURE OF SADDAM HUSSEIN, A LOT OF THE CANDIDATES WHO FELT THAT DEAN WAS MOVING AHEAD, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO CATCH HIM, HAVE SEEN A WAY IN, AND THEY ARE GOING AFTER HIM WITH BOTH GUNS ON THE ISSUE OF NOT SUPPORTING THE WAR AND A COMMENT HE MADE OVER THE WEEKEND THAT THE WORLD WASN'T SAFER WITH SADDAM IN AMERICAN CUSTODY. THEY'RE GOING AFTER HIM FOR THAT AND SO, YES, THE RHETORIC IS RATCHETING UP.

Borg: BUT THE TIGHT RACE AT THE TOP IS FUELING THAT, DAVE.

Yepsen: THE RACE AT THE TOP BETWEEN DEAN AND DICK GEPHARDT IS PART OF THAT. WE'VE KNOW FOR A LONG TIME THAT DEAN WAS TRYING TO KNOCK DICK GEPHARDT OUT OF THE RACE. WITHIN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE IOWA PROCESS HAS REALLY INCREASED BECAUSE SENATOR JOHN KERRY HAS DECIDED THAT HE'S GOING TO MAKE HIS STAND HERE IN IOWA AND IS GOING TO RAMP UP HIS CAMPAIGN HERE. HE'S GOT REAL PROBLEMS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND SO HE'S ADDING MONEY AND STAFF AND TIME INTO IOWA. SO YOU'VE GOT EVERY CAMPAIGN DESPERATELY TRYING TO DO SOMETHING IN IOWA. DEAN WANTS TO WIN TO KNOCK GEPHARDT OUT OF THE RACE. GEPHARDT HAS TO STAY HERE TO SURVIVE. KERRY WANTS TO BEAT GEPHARDT FOR AT LEAST SECOND, IN ORDER TO GET A BUMP GOING INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE. JOHN EDWARDS IS WAGING A VERY VIGOROUS CAMPAIGN. DON'T COUNT HIM OUT YET. A LOT OF UNDECIDED DEMOCRATS IN THIS THING. AND SO THE TEMPERATURE JUST KEEPS RISING. I'M JUST AMAZED AT THE AMOUNT OF TELEVISION, THE AMOUNT OF TIME, MONEY. IT'S UNPRECEDENTED

Borg: KAY, I THOUGHT YOU WERE RAISING YOUR HAND.

Henderson: WELL -- OH, I COULD TALK. IT'S JUST INTERESTING BECAUSE ALL THESE STATES SCHEDULED THEIR CONTESTS QUICKER AND QUICKER BEHIND IOWA.

Borg: YES, FRONT-LOADING.

Henderson: FRONT-LOADING, AS YOU WILL, THINKING THAT THEY COULD STEAL SOME OF THIS LIMELIGHT. AND THEN WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, WHERE IS THE LIMELIGHT FOCUSED? RIGHT HERE IN IOWA BECAUSE ALL THE STAKES IN THE GAME ARE RIGHT HERE. IT'S JUST STRANGE.

Yepsen: IT IS THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. INSTEAD OF DIMINISHING IOWA, THEY JUST MAKE IT MORE IMPORTANT.

Borg: BUT WHAT CAUSED THAT WAS WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES ALSO, AND THAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE IOWA CAUCUS, AS YOU'VE SAID, GETS EVEN GREATER BECAUSE OF THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED ELSEWHERE.

Yepsen: THAT'S RIGHT. IF YOU DON'T DO WELL HERE, DEAN, YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE TO GET A GAME GOING ELSEWHERE. AND IF YOU'RE HOWARD DEAN AND YOU COULD WIN IN IOWA, BAM, AND YOU COULD WIN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, BAM, ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU'VE GOT A BOW WAVE, I CALL IT, AND THINGS ARE ROLLING IN YOUR BEHALF.

Borg: SO THAT BEGS THE QUESTION, THEN, WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO DECIDED TO FORGO THE IOWA CAUCUSES, LIEBERMAN AND CLARK?

Yepsen: I THINK THEY MADE A MISTAKE. GENERAL CLARK GOT IN THE RACE LATE AND SO, STRATEGICALLY, MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO. BUT THERE WAS A PIECE OF THIS FOR JOE LIEBERMAN. HE WAS -- A YEAR AGO AT THIS TIME, HE WAS IN SECOND PLACE IN IOWA. HE COULD HAVE SPENT SOME TIME AND EFFORT HERE, AND HE CHOSE NOT TO.

Borg: WHAT, JENEANE, DO YOU SEE THE EFFECT ON THE CAMPAIGN, THE INTENSITY AND SO ON, ON THE GORE ENDORSEMENT. GORE FLEW OUT TO CEDAR RAPIDS TO APPEAR WITH DEAN THERE.

Beck: WELL, I THINK THAT IT ENERGIZED HIS BASE QUITE A BIG. THEY WERE VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT, A LARGE CROWD, AND IT DEFINITELY GOT A LOT OF MEDIA ATTENTION, WHICH IS NEVER BAD FOR A CANDIDATE THE CLOSER WE GET TO THE ACTUAL CAUCUS DATE. BUT I THINK, ONE, I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY OTHER SUPPORTERS THAT WOULD HAVE BROUGHT ON. I THINK IT ENERGIZES THAT CORE GROUP. AND THEN, TWO, NOW THAT IT WAS JUST WIPED OFF THE PAGES BY THE CAPTURE OF SADDAM HUSSEIN, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IMPACT IT'S HAD, IF ANY.

Henderson: BUT IT ALSO ANSWERED ONE OF THE CHARGES THAT HAS BEEN LOBBED AT DEAN THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PARTY DOESN'T LIKE HIM AS A CANDIDATE, THAT THEY THINK THAT HE WILL LEAD THE PARTY DOWN THE WRONG PATH. TO HAVE THE GUY WHO WAS THE STANDARD BEARER FOR THE PARTY FOUR YEARS AGO SAY, HEY, THIS IS THE GUY, VOTE FOR HIM, SORT OF ERASES THAT AS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE.

Yepsen: GORE'S ENDORSEMENT PUT THE FLAPS DOWN ON DEAN'S CAMPAIGN. HIS POLL NUMBERS NATIONALLY STARTED TO MOVE UP. THE SADDAM HUSSEIN EPISODE WHERE IT CALLED INTO QUESTION DEAN'S POSITION ON IRAQ SORT OF FLATTENED DEAN'S NUMBERS OUT. I DON'T THINK DEAN LOST ANY PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THIS SADDAM HUSSEIN BUSINESS, BUT IT SLOWED THE MOMENTUM AND HIS GATHERING IN OF THESE UNDECIDEDS. AND SO THE CAMPAIGN SORT OF FLATTENED OUT A LITTLE BIT. NOW, IS THAT A PREDICTION? CERTAINLY NOT BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY SEE THAT IN THE POLLING NUMBERS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. DEAN'S NUMBERS HAVE GONE FLAT NATIONALLY. THEY WENT DOWN BY ABOUT 6 POINTS. AND THAT'S THE SORT OF EVENT, DEAN, THAT MY EXPERIENCE WITH IOWA DEMOCRATS, THEY'RE A LITTLE BIT UNDECIDED. THEY'RE GOING TO STAY A LITTLE BIT MORE UNDECIDED, SEE HOW THIS GAME PLAYS OUT. THERE'S A MONTH YET TO GO.

Henderson: AND WHAT'S INTERESTING WHEN YOU TALK TO IOWA DEMOCRATS IS THEY'RE VERY PRAGMATIC. A LOT OF THEM IN THE PAST HAVE DECIDED WITH THEIR HEART. THIS TIME AROUND THEY WANT TO DECIDE WITH THEIR HEAD BECAUSE, AS A UNIT, I DON'T THINK I'VE RUN INTO ANYBODY WHO -- THEY'RE ALL REALLY, REALLY FOCUSED ON THE GAME AGAINST GEORGE BUSH, AND SO THEY'RE COMPARING ALL THESE CANDIDATES AGAINST BUSH.

Yepsen: YOU KNOW, AND IF I'M GEORGE BUSH, I WOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT ONE THING, AND THAT IS THE SIZE OF THESE CROWDS THE DEMOCRATS ARE GETTING. ALL THESE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE GETTING CROWDS MUCH BIGGER THAN ANYTHING I'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE. EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT, OH, DEAN HAD A BIG CROWD, BUT ANY CANDIDATE, YOU KNOW, IS GETTING A GREAT CROWD. I WAS OUT WITH JOHN EDWARDS ON THE SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING, OF ALL TIMES, AND HE'D GET 50 PEOPLE OVER IN WILLIAMSBURG THAT SHOWED TO AN 8:30 EVENT ON A SUNDAY NIGHT. DEMOCRATS ARE ANGRY. THEY ARE MOBILIZED. THEY WANT TO BEAT BUSH. KAY IS RIGHT; THEY'RE BEING PRAGMATIC ABOUT THIS. THAT SPIRIT IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS GOING TO BODE VERY WELL FOR THE DEMOCRAT NOMINEE AND COULD CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR BUSH.

Borg: JUST A FINAL COMMENT HERE FROM YOU, JENEANE. DO YOU SEE THE TURNOUT, THEN, BECAUSE OF WHAT DAVE HAS SAID, BEING VERY, VERY HIGH ON CAUCUS NIGHT, JANUARY 19?

Beck: I THINK THAT CAUCUS NIGHT WILL HAVE A GOOD TURNOUT. I THINK PEOPLE ARE ENERGIZED AND I THINK THEY ARE COMING TO THESE EVENTS. AND I THINK NEW PEOPLE THAT HAVE TOLD ME THAT THEY'VE SEEN AN INTEREST IN IT THAT THEY HAVEN'T HAD BEFORE, SOME NEW PEOPLE WILL TURN OUT ON CAUCUS NIGHT AS WELL.

Borg: THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," WE RETURN TO THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. WE'LL BE TALKING WITH DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS OF NORTH CAROLINA. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH FRIDAY AT 7:30, SUNDAY AT NOON. AND IN CLOSING, ALL OF US HERE AT IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION EXTEND TO YOU THE VERY BEST OF HOLIDAY GOOD CHEER. BUT TRAVEL CAREFULLY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. 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.