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December 2008

Representative Kraig Paulsen comments on Governor Culver's hypocrisy

Paulsen DES MOINES, IA. -- House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Culver’s plan to create a Misclassification Unit to enforce the hiring of independent contractors:

“Two weeks ago the governor was forced to implement across the board budget cuts. Then last week his own department heads asked to increase their budgets by 5.7 percent. Now the governor wants to spend almost $1 million on a task force. During this time of economic uncertainty, the governor should be looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars, not spend more of them.

"I am amazed that the governor doesn't think the 2,600 new state employees he authorized in the last 2 years are enough. Further, these additions the governor proposes are being made to address an issue that I have yet to receive a single constituent contact on."

Editor's Note:  Don't you just love how Democrats invent problems?  The Governor wants to spend big bucks in creating a new government unit - bigger government, more bureaucracy - for which there is no real problem, GEE, what a surprise......  In a quick review of the Iowa Workforce Development website there are just two complaints on this issue.  TWO.  Where is this supposed widespread problem?  Two formal complaints and that warrants a new $1 million government unit? And that will be just the-turn-a-snowball-into-a-snowman start of it....  Elected officials aren't receiving misclassification complaints, there aren't any stories about abuses/arrests in the media, we don't hear about how the government can't handle the overload of misclassification cases.... This smells like yet another liberal excuse to grow government and raise taxes......  Send Governor Culver your displeasure 

A friend of mine has long contended that the m/o for certain democrats was what he calls, "Looking for Pool Tables."  Find a phony problem which needs to be solved by throwing money at it.  You nailed it Bill!


Republican Party of Iowa: RPI chair, co-chair candidate forum rescheduled

The Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee has rescheduled the chair, co-chair candidate forum for Saturday, January 3, 2009.

The forum will be held from 10 a.m. to Noon at Republican Party of Iowa headquarters, 621 E 9th St, Des Moines. The public and media are invited to attend.

The forum was originally scheduled for Saturday, December 27th but had to be postponed due to poor weather conditions. The State Central Committee will hold elections for chair and co-chair at their next regular meeting on Saturday, December 10, 2009.

For more information, please contact Nathan Treloar at 515-282-8105 or nathan@iowagop.org.


Election 2008: A Crossroads?

MOUNT PLEASANT, IA. -- The Initiative & Referendum Institute based at the University of Southern California reported that voters in thirty-six states voted on 153 state ballot questions on November 4, 2008.  The major ballot questions which dealt with cultural issues, most notably marriage and abortion, and the economy became fundamental issues of the election.

It appears that voters continued to show strong support for upholding and constitutionally protecting traditional marriage, defined as between one man and one woman.  Arizona, California, and Florida all passed bans on same-sex marriage.  This trend continues to demonstrate that a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage and support constitutional protection of traditional marriage.

Although voters supported traditional marriage, voters rejected efforts to ban abortions.  California, South Dakota, and Colorado all had ballot questions dealing with abortion and all three failed.  “Both abortion and marriage still remain front and center in the cultural war and both will most likely remain front and center in 2009,” said John Hendrickson, a Research Analyst with Public Interest Institute in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

In addition to cultural issues voters also faced tax and bond questions on their respective ballots. The National Conference of State Legislatures reported on three significant tax issues: In Massachusetts voters rejected a measure to eliminate personal income tax; in North Dakota voters rejected a measure to “cut personal income tax rates by 50% and corporate rates by 15%;” and Oregon voted down a measure that “removes the cap of $5,600 on the amount of federal income taxes paid that may be deducted on state income taxes.”

The election results paint an uncertain future for both limited government and protecting marriage and life.  Perhaps with many state budgets in crisis, including Iowa’s budget, and the fiscal health of the nation in jeopardy, Americans will realize that economic solutions do not rest in tax increases or government-run solutions, but allowing constitutional government and the free enterprise system to work.  Whether the issue is limited government, tax reform, protecting marriage, or defending the unborn, or to put it simply, Ronald Reagan’s coalition, we must not give up in fighting this cultural war against liberals and progressives.

“Election 2008: A Crossroads?” from Public Interest Institute’s LIMITS, is available at www.limitedgovernment.org.

For an interview or more information on this issue, contact John Hendrickson, Public Interest Institute Research Analyst.


Personal income down in November

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has issued the following news release:  

Personal income decreased $20.7 billion, or 0.2 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $11.8 billion, or 0.1 percent, in November, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The full text of the release on BEA's Web site can be found at
http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/2008/pi1108.htm


Rod Sullivan and his legacy

Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan thinks that right after his turn at playing Chairman concludes at year's end, history will show that he did great things and made the right decisions when he was in the chairman's seat.  He is quick to point out for example that for the first time ever, the Johnson County Chair was granted the power to enact curfews. For the first time ever, the Chair was granted the power to do mandatory evacuations. 

Wow, what a legacy huh?

Pig The outgoing Chairman (thank goodness!) also provided *leadership* causing a 13.52% increase over the previous year with the fiscal 2009 budget of approximately $75 million.  Sorry Sullivan, but dramatically jumping from around $64+ million to $75 million from one year to the next is not a good thing.  And as if saddling taxpayers with a $10 million jump isn't enough, Chairman Sullivan led the charge with taxing Johnson County residents with an ADDITIONAL $20 million in the form of unspecified government land buys for unspecified uses.  Not the stuff of a good legacy.  Sullivan has acted like a pig at the taxpayer trough.

Sullivan is wrong in assuming that history will show his actions were justified and correct.  Voters should be further frustrated by the fact that the Sullivan led Supervisors failed to budget properly and now face up to an $870,000 budget shortfall according to reports.  Supervisors completely failed to anticipate declining interest *revenue* a.k.a. your tax dollars dwindling as a result of a declining economy.  An $870,000 budget shortfall is a HUGE problem!  We paid Sullivan NOT to make a boneheaded mistake like this.  OINK!

"We know revenues are going to be really flat, which is why we are working hard to keep expenses down," Sullivan said in a Press-Citizen report. 

Keep expenses down? Hell, why aren't we talking about deep cuts? Johnson County families are making deep cuts and making sacrifices, what cuts and sacrifices are county officials making? So far, we've heard little to none.

The Sullivan led supervisors failed to save for a rainy day.  They didn't put any money in reserve, none, nada, zip.  That's not leadership, that's callously spending every penny of taxpayer money.  Result?  Sullivan comes around asking for more money via higher taxes. 

Sullivan's line of thought:  We exceeded the budget?  Who cares, raise taxes!  After all, taxpayer money grows on trees right?  Oh, and we need to increase the budget for some pet projects, we'll need to raise taxes for that too.

Sullivan obviously hasn't cared to lead and properly plan a budget or prudently put some money into a reserve.  He thinks you are obligated to give him more money upon request.  That's apparent with the evidence of ballooning budgets, a growing list of pet projects, a huge budget deficit glaring us in the eyes and no reserve to fall back on.

Note that no program cut considerations have even been mentioned by Sullivan or any of his cohorts.  All we're getting is a generic, "We're trying to keep expenses down."

This is highly unacceptable leadership by Chairman Sullivan.  His tenure was expensive, expensive in unwarranted, needless fashion.  His legacy is one of dramatically higher taxes with little to show for it.

Let them eat cake!

Give him your opinion at: rsullivan@co.johnson.ia.us


Connie Champion floats tax hike trial balloon

Under the guise of "saving the environment," Iowa City Council Member Connie Champion wants the council to consider banning the use of plastic bags in area stores.

According to an article in the Press-Citizen, Champion introduced the idea at a meeting earlier this month and is open to measures including putting a tax on plastic bags.

Ladies and gentlement this is yet another attempt at social engineering by government, AS IF government officials know how to run your life better than you do......

Never mind that we *dummies* outside the realm of government are already doing what Connie Championless would force us to do.

  • Hy-Vee is VOLUNTARILY encouraging the use of and is selling their brand name reusable bags
  • People are VOLUNTARILY buying reusable bags online, at local stores like Ace Hardware
  • People are VOLUNTARILY using reusable bags in Fareway, at small mom & pop shops, and some of those small shops are selling their own brand of reusable bags
  • And what do you know, there's a local company in the community that features reusable bags,  Iowa City-based Cart By Cart LLC.  According to the PC report, the company has sold over 26,000 bags since July of 2007.
BACK OFF GOVERNMENT!

Is there a dirty little secret? What do you bet Connie is looking for another way to "generate" more revenue, that "revenue" coming out of your pocket?  A plastic bag tax, the stealing of your money.

Meanwhile, tax dollars are being wasted on having a city employee "researching" plastic bag policies..... My goodness, and folks wonder why property taxes go up.......


Governor Culver Signs Executive Order To Reduce Spending

Executive Order 10 enacts 1.5% across-the-board budget reduction effective January 1

DES MOINES – Four days after announcing that he would implement further state budget savings, Governor Chet Culver today signed his 10th Executive Order to institute a 1.5 percent across-the-board reduction in state expenditures starting January 1st.

“In the midst of this national economic recession, I am committed to meeting my constitutional responsibility to balance the state budget,” said Governor Culver. “My 10th Executive Order will ensure that our state’s budget remains balanced during this fiscal year. This is a step I wish we did not have to take, but it is something we must do to meet the fiscal challenges before us.”

Added Governor Culver: “America and the whole world faces economic challenges as serious as anything we have seen since the Great Depression. A key Iowa value is that we live within our means, which is why we all have a shared responsibility to be prepared for the future. We are being true to Iowa values by managing the state budget responsibly during a time of financial uncertainty. “

Earlier this month, the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) determined that state government would see additional declines in revenue during the current fiscal year. After meetings with state budget officials and members of his Council of Economic Advisors, the Governor determined the end of the economic downturn has not yet reached Iowa, that the REC could make further reductions to revenue estimates, and that an across-the-board reduction was necessary.

As a result, the Governor, in order to meet his Constitutional obligation to balance the state budget, announced that he would order a 1.5 percent across-the-board reduction in state expenditures for the current fiscal year. This is estimated to save the State $91.4 million.

In addition, Governor Culver plans to work with legislative leaders to transfer $10 million to the General Fund from accounts and funds in state government that have balances that exceed the amount needed for the current fiscal year. In recent weeks, Governor Culver has announced a total of nearly $180 million in budget savings for the people of Iowa.


Nearly $1.3 Million for Emergency Food and Shelter Program

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has appropriated fiscal 2009 funds totaling $1,296,679 to the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

“These funds will help provide the neediest Iowans with basic needs,” Grassley said. “The local emphasis of this program will help these funds get out the door quickly.”

The Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program will divide the funds to Iowa counties to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food and supportive services for the hungry, homeless, and people in economic crisis. The funds will be divided as shown below.

· Appanoose County - $8,472
· Black Hawk County - $71,287
· Cass County - $8,219
· Clinton County - $27,994
· Crawford County - $7,586
· Des Moines County - $28,247
· Jasper County - $34,240
· Johnson County - $53,864
· Marshall County - $24,201
· Page County - $9,837
· Polk County - $224,281
· Scott County - $89,343
· Story County - $35,075
· Wapello County - $22,051
· Webster County - $20,787
· Woodbury County - $52,524
· State Set-Aside Committee, IA - $578,671

Editor's Note: How effectively will government officials spend/allocate this money? 


State Auditor David Vaudt on the Next Iowa Press

Vaudt WHO: David Vaudt, Iowa’s state auditor, is the guest on the December 26 edition of Iowa Press. Vaudt will discuss Iowa’s budgets in 2009 and 2010. The program will be broadcast Friday, December 26 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 28 at 11:30 a.m. on statewide Iowa Public Television.

Joining Vaudt at the Iowa Press table are moderator Dean Borg, Mike Glover, senior legislative and political reporter for the Associated Press, and David Yepsen, political columnist for The Des Moines Register.

Please note: Guests are not available for interviews until the conclusion of program tapings..

WHAT: A taping of Iowa Press. The program will be broadcast Friday, December 26 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 28 at 11:30 a.m. on statewide Iowa Public Television. The program video and transcript will also be available beginning Wednesday evening at www.iptv.org.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 24 at 9 a.m. (Note day and time change)

WHERE: Iowa Public Television
6450 Corporate Drive
Johnston, Iowa 50131

CONTACT: Jennifer Konfrst, 515-242-3146

Please note: Iowa Public Television will also record a roundtable discussion among statehouse reporters for the Friday, January 2 edition of Iowa Press on Wednesday. There will not be a taping of the program the week of December 28.


Patent pending for Invent Iowa winners' 'Mega Melter'

Megamelter Heavy snowfall last winter inspired seventh-grade Davenport students Sam Hipple and Matt Moran to look for an easier way to remove snow and ice from their sidewalk and driveway. A year later they are in the process of getting a patent for their "Mega Melter" invention, which dispenses salt while clearing snow beneath the handlebars of an Ariens snow thrower.

Last April, Hipple and Moran were two of 357 students to enter their product into the Invent Iowa 2008 Convention, held at the University of Iowa Carver Hawkeye Arena. The annual event is sponsored by the UI College Of Education's Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development as well as the UI and ISU Colleges of Engineering. Each year the convention alternates between the UI and ISU campuses.

Since winning the convention, Hipple and Moran, who are students at Sudlow Intermediate School in the Davenport Community School District, have been invited to five other Eastern Iowa schools to talk to students about the program.

"Winning the competition has definitely built our confidence and taught us how to work as a team," Hipple said of their success. "We've even inspired other students to participate in the program."

Hipple said he enjoyed the process of qualifying for local and regional conventions and advancing to the state convention the most. They were selected as meritorious winners and each received a $50 savings bond and $500 scholarship from the UI and ISU Colleges of Engineering that can be applied toward tuition if they attend either school.

A pending provisional patent has been filed in the boys' names and in November they signed a letter of intent with Ariens Co. to commercialize "Mega Melter" to be produced and distributed as early as next year.

Invent Iowa is a multidisciplinary program designed for students in grades kindergarten through high school. The curriculum is accessible for free through the Belin Blank Web site and has been used worldwide. Each year more than 30,000 students participate in Invent Iowa activities. Students are encouraged to develop inventions that meet the requirements for a patent in the United States: they must be "new, useful and non-obvious." Students are also encouraged to keep journals documenting their inventions' development from concept to completion.

For more information contact Clar Baldus, 1-800-336-6463, clar-baldus@uiowa.edu, or visit http://www.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/events/inventia/.

The Belin-Blank Center is part of the UI College of Education. Founded in 1872, the University of Iowa College of Education was the nation's first permanent college-level department of education. Since then, the college has gained an international reputation of excellence in programs as diverse as Rehabilitation Counseling, Statistics and Measurement, Counseling Psychology, Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education, Higher Education, and Educational Administration. The College of Education is also home to the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. For more information visit http://www.education.uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500