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Iowa Politics Roundup: Fifth Republican Enters Race for Governor PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 24 July 2009 15:16

Rod RobertsA New York Times article this week listed Iowa's 2010 gubernatorial race as one of eight "highly competitive races" in the nation.

The competition continues to grow in the Republican primary, as state Representative Rod Roberts (R-Carroll) announced the creation of his exploratory committee for governor to about 100 people in a Statehouse conference room. Roberts, 51, promoted himself as a "new face" and as a fiscal and social conservative who is friendly and approachable.

He has been in the legislature for nine years and is the fifth Republican to form an exploratory committee. The others are Christian Fong of Cedar Rapids, Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley of Chariton, Representative Christopher Rants of Sioux City, and Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City. Senator Jerry Behn of Boone is also expected to form his committee soon.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Commissioners Warn of Gambling Saturation PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 17 July 2009 14:40

For the fewer than 10,000 people of Lyon County (in far northwest Iowa), the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission's decision to accept applications for new casino licenses for the first time since 2005 was life-changing.

"This is so huge that no one can appreciate how important this would be to our growth," said Jeff Gallagher, president of the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation. "We think that the casino, through the resort, through the golf course, through the convention center, is going to reshape life in Lyon County. ... We're just terribly excited about what can happen over the next 10 years."

Two recent studies concluded that Lyon County is the most compelling site for a new casino, with high incremental impact and low cannibalization.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Culver Says Special Session Unlikely, but More Cuts Could Be Coming PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Saturday, 04 July 2009 16:12

Governor Chet Culver said Thursday he's "very confident" the state can balance its budget for Fiscal Year 2009 with no special session but warned that it's "very possible" he'll have to order an across-the-board cut in state government as early as next month for Fiscal Year 2010, which started July 1.

Culver said he'll likely ask the Revenue Estimating Conference to meet early - in August instead of September - so he can make any necessary cuts as early as possible.

"Based on what they tell us about the first quarter of fiscal year 2010, we will have nine months to react," Culver said. "It is very possible that I'll have to do additional cuts, and we're going to take that step as quickly as we know the facts."

When asked if an across-the-board cut was his preferred approach to a budget shortfall, Culver said: "I think that's fair to say. That is certainly a tool that we have. ... The more that we can do early in Fiscal Year 2010, the better. The less pain, if you will, that we'll have to implement in '11."

Iowa Politics Roundup: Barbour Downplays Sanford Scandal, 2012 Presidential Run PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 26 June 2009 16:31

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said Thursday in Iowa that he didn't think South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's disappearance and extramarital affair would have any effect at the polls, downplayed the prospect of a run for president in 2012, and said he thinks Iowa's chances are good to elect a Republican governor next year.

"What happens in these races this year and next year will be what really matter to the party," Barbour said when asked about a 2012 run. "If after that it seems like a reasonable thing, I will consider it. I have no plan to run for president; I have no intention to run for president. But I've been around long enough to say, 'Never say never.' And we'll just see where we are after '10. But I would be very surprised if I turned out to be a candidate for president."

Iowans and Legislators Mobilize for Health-Care Reform PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 19 June 2009 15:22

More than two dozen Iowans including farmers, health-care providers, small-business owners, retirees, and faith and labor leaders were in Washington, D.C., this week for what they called "a massive mobilization for reform" organized by Health Care for America Now.

The rally included Teresa Cooley, a Des Moines nurse for 30 years; Sandy Doerring, a registered nuse and member of the Service Employees International Union; Mike Draper, owner of a Des Moines retail store called Smash; Amy Logsdon of the Iowa Citizen Action Network; retired Des Moines resident Virginia Rowen; and Don Rowen of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans.

Meanwhile, U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was this week joined by 22 state legislators including Iowa state Senators Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) and Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) as she announced the establishment of State Legislators for Health Reform and called the legislators an "incredible asset as we work to make reform a reality."

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