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AG Miller Denounces Report Ranking Him Among Friendliest to Trial Lawyers’ Agenda PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 28 October 2011 05:20

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller ranks second in the nation for receiving campaign money from lawyers in the past five years and is among the friendliest to trial lawyers’ agenda, according to a report released October 25 by a conservative think tank.

But Miller denounced the report as inaccurate and called it a “cheap shot” from a corporate interest group. He said that campaign-finance data citing $338,223 in contributions in three weeks came from a discredited report, that claims about him keeping a low profile are “ridiculous,” and that more-favorable data about Iowa’s business climate are “conveniently omitted.”

“If the Center for Legal Policy were subject to Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act, we’d probably bust them because of their outright misrepresentations,” Miller told “This report is riddled with misrepresentations and omissions of important facts.”

Texas DREAM Act Under Fire in Caucus Campaigns PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Hannah Hess   
Saturday, 22 October 2011 05:08

Texas Governor Rick Perry touts his immigration record as a strength, but his opponents for the GOP presidential nomination accuse him of creating a magnet to draw illegal immigrants across the border.

His state’s decision to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented students through the Texas DREAM Act has drawn a barrage of questions from Iowans on recent visits, and a stream of attacks from fellow conservatives.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney threw the most recent elbow during a Sioux City stop on October 20, saying he had nixed a similar proposal in the Bay State.

Panel Cites Economic Uncertainty, Lowers Revenue Estimate PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Thursday, 20 October 2011 11:48

Widespread economic uncertainty and the possibility of another recession led a state panel on October 14 to adjust Iowa’s projected state revenue downward slightly for the current fiscal year.

The panel, however, still is predicting slight growth over last year.

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), a three-member panel that makes the state’s official prediction of state revenue, lowered the Fiscal Year 2012 estimate to $5.97 billion, which is $17.5 million less than the panel’s projection in March. The new estimate paces growth at 1.3 percent, or $75.9 million, from last fiscal year.

Branstad Unveils 10-Year Education Plan; Democrats Concerned About Price Tag PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 09:22

Governor Terry Branstad on October 3 unveiled a 10-year plan to transform Iowa’s education system that would end promoting third-graders who read poorly, change the pay system for teachers, and require students to pass end-of-course exams to graduate.

“Instead of spending all of our time fighting over the issues of the past, we really want to focus on the things that will ... systemically reform and improve Iowa’s education system,” said Branstad, who added that earlier debates over ending state-funded preschool and zero-percent allowable growth in school funding will not be revisited.

“This is a plan for the next decade,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass, who noted that the plan is intended to be a comprehensive package and should not be viewed as a list of options to be cherry-picked. “This plan ... should be the blueprint for where our resources now and in the future go into education.”

But Democrats were skeptical, especially because Branstad and Glass declined to set a price tag for the proposal and don’t plan to do so until shortly before the legislature reconvenes in January.

Republicans Make Choice for Key Senate Race PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Hannah Hess   
Friday, 23 September 2011 13:44

Republicans on September 22 chose Linn County GOP Co-Chair Cindy Golding as their candidate for the Iowa Senate District 18 special election, which could alter control of the Iowa Senate.

Golding, of rural Cedar Rapids, won with 51.6 percent of the weighted vote cast by the 50 delegates who gathered in the Longbranch Hotel & Convention Center in Cedar Rapids.

She defeated former U.S. Attorney Matt Dummermuth of Robins, who placed second with 28.1 percent of the vote, and Marion businesswoman Mary Rathje, who received 20.2 percent of the vote. Governor Terry Branstad encouraged Rathje to run, gubernatorial spokesperson Tim Albrecht confirmed September 23.

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