Business & Economy
Lt. Gov. Reynolds to advance Iowa’s economic opportunity in Germany PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of Governor Terry Branstad   
Friday, 21 September 2012 14:56

(DES  MOINES) – Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will promote economic opportunities in Germany during a mission beginning September 23, 2012.  She will meet with the German Vice Chancellor and other economic affairs leaders to discuss trade, transportation, energy, health care and education.


“Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the world’s fifth largest national economy,” said Reynolds.  “With a population of 82-million, many consider Germany the largest and most important market in Europe.  This mission will result in valuable contacts and visibility across Germany for the state and its business opportunities.”  Time magazine writes Germany has forged the most competitive industrial sector of any advanced economy.  And, the New York Times writes, "The German economy has been one of the wonders of the world over the last couple of years."


Reynolds will meet with German Vice Chancellor Dr. Philipp Rosler, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy, a federal minister to the Chancellor, a leader of the Saxon state legislature, the Saxon Minister of Economic Affairs and Transportation, and with energy researchers, university and high school teachers and administrators, business owners, and a hospital medical director.  Meetings take place in Dresden, Lommatzsch, Leipzig, and Berlin.


“We will have several discussions with business owners regarding business conditions and the German apprenticeship program,” said Reynolds.  “At one of Germany’s largest universities, we will be briefed on renewable energy projects and hear about how German universities and elected officials are working to address education funding gaps.”


Reynolds will tour the largest hospital in Dresden and have opportunities to discuss comparative health care and financing with the medical chair of that hospital and with the German Deputy Minister for Health.  She will be introduced to German approaches to immigration and other urban affairs and then visit a village of 5,000 people to hear about rural challenges and opportunities.


“I will get an underground tour of the “Big Dig” rail tunnel project in Leipzig, currently one of Europe’s largest transportation infrastructure projects,” said Reynolds. The project is considered one of the most challenging geotechnical construction projects of its time and, when complete in 2013, will create a long awaited connection to Europe’s largest rail terminal (Leipzig) resulting in greatly enhanced transportation and rail efficiency across that region of Europe.


“Lieutenant governors will also be featured at a public forum discussing the U.S. Presidential elections,” said National Lieutenant Governors Association Director Julia Hurst.  “The electoral event will be moderated by an editor of Germany’s largest business daily newspaper.”


Organized by the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA), the 7-day mission includes five U.S. lieutenant governors and is hosted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.


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GOP Led 112th Congress: In Like a Lion, Out Like A Lamb PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 21 September 2012 14:46

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the Republican led Congress closed up shop until November to go home and campaign. From August 3rd through November 13th, the House leadership only scheduled a total of eight days of voting, while a mountain of critical work was left on the table.  Among the issues that have not been dealt with include:

  • Farm bill,
  • Middle class tax cuts,
  • Wind energy production credit,
  • Sequestration,
  • Comprehensive jobs package,
  • Research and development credit,
  • Violence Against Women Act,
  • Postal reform,
  • Sustainable growth rate,
  • Biodiesel credit,
  • Unemployment insurance,
  • National Defense Authorization Act, and
  • Expiration of Midwestern Area Disaster Bonds, to name a few.


“When the Republicans came into Congress two years ago they made a lot of promises, but in the end, all the American people got was a lot of hot air.

“Iowa farmers are suffering from the worst drought in decades and what has the Republican Congress done? Nothing.  Middle class families are facing a tax increase and what has the Republican Congress done? Nothing.  Iowa’s wind energy economy is facing uncertainty and instability and what has the Republican Congress done? Nothing. Folks are still in need of finding work and what has the Republican Congress done? Nothing.  The list of inaction really does go on and on and on.

“The fact that Republican Leaders in Congress are putting the ‘closed’ sign on the door of the Capitol is just another one of the games they have continued to play, but frankly, it is just irresponsible.  There is too much critical work to get done before closing down.  I have been calling on Congress to remain in session since early this summer and I remain committed to getting done the work that Iowans are demanding.”


What Businesses Can Learn from the Rebranding of Batman PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 21 September 2012 14:45
Exec Producer Shares How His Vision Helped
the Dark Knight Take Wing

It’s been more than two decades since Batman was resurrected – rebranded – to the mainstream world, and it’s largely due to a boy and his dream.

“I wasn’t just rejected from every studio in Hollywood; I was emphatically rejected because Batman was known only as a punch line to a joke,” says Michael Uslan, who became one of the highest-grossing movie executive producers of all time with the Batman film franchise. He writes about his personal journey in rebranding his hero to the world in his memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman (

“When I watched the sitcom in 1966, I was both thrilled and horrified – the former because my idol was on TV with a cool car, and the latter because people were laughing at Batman and that just killed me. I knew then that my purpose in life was to show everyone who the Dark Knight really was.”

Uslan reviews some of the reasons the Batman franchise became one of the most successful in film history:

• A talented team: Thanks to genius filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton, super producers, daring execs, amazing casts, and incredible crews, the rebranding of the character became so strong that the word “Batman” wasn’t even included in the titles of the last two films, “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

• Branding – a built-in narrative: A cool symbol, check; tall, dark and handsome, check; a relatable origin story (no superpowers) check; great technology for the character to use against villains, check … You know a brand has hit the mark when a logo conveys all of the key points. But rebranding can be tricky. Uslan knew about the innate potential, but Hollywood couldn’t see Batman as the Dark Knight after the 1960s sitcom, which is why it took a decade after acquiring the rights to Batman to actually start production. Rebranding is often the art of uncovering a product’s past, he says.

• Branding – a safer investment: Other successful movies this year -- Marvel’s “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Hunger Games” – all carry strong brands. Most successful products, in and out of Hollywood, have successful brands behind them, Uslan notes. When a brand has been established, it becomes a safer risk for investors and opens multiple revenue streams across many platforms.

• Unwavering conviction: How does a middle-class kid in his 20s, the son of a stonemason and a bookkeeper, buy the film rights to Batman? How does that same guy create the comic-to-film craze that society has witnessed in the past two decades when no one believed in his vision? Every time his resolve was questioned, it came down to the same answer, “I had 100 percent confidence it would work,” Uslan says.

“Branding is absolutely the most important aspect to marketing any product these days,” Uslan says. “We succeeded. I believed 100 percent in a vision that involved my favorite super-hero of all time, a character the world recognized and responded to across borders and even cultures. Batman needed to be presented in a way he’d only been seen in the comic books – as the Dark Knight.”

About Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan, (, is the Originator and Executive Producer, along with his partner Benjamin Melniker, of the Batman franchise of motion pictures. In his 36 years in the film and television industry, he has been involved with such projects as “National Treasure,” “Constantine,” and countless animated projects. His projects have won Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. He is the author of “The Boy Who Loved Batman,” his autobiography, now in bookstores and at

Federal Reserve chairman meeting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 20 September 2012 08:19
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made the following comment after a Finance Committee member meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the “fiscal cliff” presented by tax increases and budget cuts.  Grassley is a senior member of the committee.

“The Federal Reserve chairman reiterated what we already know but it can’t be said enough.  Impending tax increases combined with the mandatory budget cuts would be a severe, negative shock to the economy.  As many of us have argued for months, Congress should continue the bipartisan tax relief enacted in 2001. You don’t raise taxes in a weak economy.  President Obama himself recognized this in 2010 when he supported the bipartisan package that extended the 2001 provisions as well as AMT relief.  The Federal Reserve chairman’s strong message should persuade Democratic members of Congress and the President to take action.  The responsible approach is to avoid raising taxes while unemployment remains at more than 8 percent.”

Loebsack Discusses Arsenal Partnership with Mack Defense Leadership PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 20 September 2012 08:19

Company was first joint partnership announced under Loebsack-Schilling Arsenal law

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after he met with the leadership of Mack Defense.  Earlier this year, the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) and Mack Defense announced a public-private partnership.  The agreement was the first of its kind since provisions authored by Congressmen Loebsack and Bobby Schilling (IL-17) were included in the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  This agreement will provide Mack Defense access to the only remaining U.S. Army foundry and the Army’s only vertically integrated metal manufacturing facility and support good jobs at JMTC.

“I was pleased to meet with the leaders of Mack Defense today to get an update about the work they will be doing with the Arsenal.  I was proud to have worked with Congressman Schilling and the bipartisan delegation to give the Arsenal the ability to utilize these types of partnerships to support good jobs and strengthen the Arsenal. I will continue my work to ensure the Arsenal remains strong.”


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