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October 2009

U.S. Sen. Grassley: China re-opening market to pork

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over international trade, today made the following comment on the announcement that China will re-open its market to U.S. pork products, consistent with international scientific standards. The announcement came as U.S. and Chinese officials concluded talks at the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.

Grassley “This is very welcome news. A resumption of trade with China will benefit pork producers in Iowa and around the country. It’s significant when a major economy like China demonstrates that its trade regulations will be set in accordance with internationally-recognized sound science, and even more significant when it shows that it will follow through as a responsible member of the world trading community. I want to commend Ambassador Kirk, Secretary Vilsack, and Secretary Locke for their hard work and commitment to bringing about this important development in our bilateral trade relations with China.”

Iowa Senate: Gov. Culver declined to release communications

DES MOINES, IA. -- In a statement released today, Governor Culver’s office declined to release communications between his office and the Iowa Film Office. A Freedom of Information Act request had been made on October 5.

“Today’s decision by the Governor to refuse citizen’s access to information regarding the Iowa Film Office’s handling of tax credits is a yet another failure of management by Governor Culver,” said Senator Ron Wieck (R-Sioux City), a member of the Legislative Oversight Committee. “I for one am disappointed as a taxpayer and as a state senator that the CEO of Iowa has decided to keep his shareholders in the dark on the management of the state’s finances.”

In 2006 Governor Vilsack, in a show of openness, released internal documents regarding the state’s handling of the CIETC scandal. **Des Moines Register, Governor must set tone: No secrecy, June 2, 2006**

62% Say Congress More Responsive To Media Than To Voters

Most voters think the news media has too much power over their elected representatives in Washington and the decisions they make. It's yet another finding that highlights the distance voters see between themselves and their government. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% believe that what the media thinks is more important to the average member of Congress than what voters think.

Pappajohns' $26.4 million gift will name UI biomedical research institute

Pappajohn University of Iowa President Sally Mason announced today a $26.4 million gift commitment from longtime UI benefactors John and Mary Pappajohn of Des Moines -- the largest single gift commitment ever for the UI from individual Iowa donors -- and said it will provide the university's new interdisciplinary Institute for Biomedical Discovery with "the catalyst it needs to reach its full potential."

In recognition of the Pappajohns' gift, the institute will be named the Pappajohn Institute, and the building that houses it the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the naming of the institute and the building at its meeting today in Cedar Falls.

The Pappajohns' most recent gift for the UI, among the largest gift commitments ever received by the UI Foundation, brings their total cumulative giving for the UI to $38.6 million.

Sally mason "The University of Iowa is deeply grateful to John and Mary Pappajohn for this historic gift. Our relationship with the Pappajohns is based not only on their generosity, but also -- and perhaps more importantly -- on their vision," Mason said. "In an age when the university is reinventing itself in response to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, John and Mary Pappajohn are leaders in helping the UI advance research and education in service to our changing society.

"The Pappajohn Institute and John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building will be the centerpieces of Iowa's innovative discoveries in the life sciences, providing transformative approaches to health care, unprecedented educational opportunities and unique possibilities for economic development," Mason continued. "We thank the Pappajohns for their generous role in making the University of Iowa an even more remarkable institution."

Pappajohn institute The Pappajohn Institute will provide, in a single facility, a unique environment in which a broad spectrum of university researchers and scientists can collaborate to explore high-risk, high-yield research opportunities in the life sciences. The 200,000-square-foot, six-story facility, located next to the Carver Biomedical Research Building on the UI health sciences campus, will house laboratories and office space dedicated to leading-edge, cross-disciplinary research involving scientists from across the entire campus. The building is part of a larger university effort to bring together scientists from multiple disciplines to pursue biomedical research leading to new treatments for patients, create new educational opportunities for students and bolster Iowa's economy through new jobs and business partnerships.

"This institute at Iowa offers tremendous hope for significant advances in several crucial areas of biomedical research," John Pappajohn said. "In addition, this world-class research enterprise will provide the state with promising economic development opportunities, and it will help put Iowa and the UI 'on the map' and receive due credit for their well-earned reputations.

"Mary and I are especially inspired by the institute's collaborative, entrepreneurial and university-wide dimensions. It's our conviction that the prospects for strong returns on philanthropic investment in this institute are excellent," Pappajohn added. "And those who stand to gain the most from the institute's performance will be generations of patients nationwide and around the world."

The institute was created and is being built in partnership with the UI's academic medical center comprising the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics, the State of Iowa, the federal government and private contributors.

"The extraordinary generosity of John and Mary Pappajohn is matched only by their superb ability to identify and foster unique opportunities that will bring about positive change in Iowa and the world," said UI Vice President for Medical Affairs Jean E. Robillard. "Their creative vision for advancing biomedical research opens tremendous new possibilities for discovery that promise to change medicine and the lives of people everywhere."

Michael Welsh, M.D., whom Mason named founding director of the UI Institute for Biomedical Discovery in March 2009, said that the Pappajohn Institute would involve scientists from across the entire UI campus and is part of a larger university effort to bring together scientists from multiple disciplines to pursue research leading to new treatments for patients.

"This landmark gift from the Pappajohns will go far in helping us recruit outstanding scientific leaders to head the institute's areas of primary focus, including neurosciences, diabetes and other areas," said Welsh, who is professor of internal medicine, molecular physiology and biophysics and neurosurgery, holds the Roy J. Carver Chair in Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics, is director of the UI Cystic Fibrosis Research Center and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. "Just one example of the stellar interdisciplinary efforts that the Pappajohn Institute will house is the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, which also is being made possible by extraordinary private support."

John Pappajohn, a well-known Iowa venture capitalist and philanthropist, and his wife, Mary, are among the university's most generous supporters. He graduated from the UI in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in business and since 1969 has been the owner of Pappajohn Capital Resources. He also is the founder and president of the financial consulting firm Equity Dynamics Inc. Mary Pappajohn received her bachelor's degree in related art from the University of Minnesota, and she and John long have been supporters and proponents of the visual arts, and volunteers for leading arts organizations. Mary serves as a trustee of both the Des Moines Art Center and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

The Pappajohn Business Building, which houses the UI's Henry B. Tippie College of Business, is named for the Pappajohns. Their philanthropy for the UI's academic medical center also has led to the naming of the Pappajohn Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics and the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center.

A member of the UI Foundation board of directors since 1989, and a member of the University of Iowa Presidents Club, which recognizes the UI's most generous contributors, John Pappajohn in 1996 made a $10 million gift creating the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at the UI and at four other Iowa colleges and universities. In 2004 he bolstered support for those centers with another $4 million gift and has continued to fund them.

The Pappajohns also have provided significant private gift support for several other UI areas, including Hawkeye athletics, Hancher Auditorium, the Pomerantz Career Center, the UI Museum of Art, UI Libraries, and various initiatives in the Tippie College of Business.

"John and Mary Pappajohn are among those rare individuals who use their philanthropy to improve quality of life in the broadest sense," said Lynette L. Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation, "whether the quality they seek to enhance is in health care, the arts or economic development. Here on the University of Iowa campus and throughout the state, John and Mary have demonstrated their commitment to Iowa and Iowans. Through their gifts and by their example, they challenge us always to think bigger, aim higher and never accept less than the best. We are truly blessed to count them among our most generous benefactors and friends."

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the foundation, visit its web site at http://www.uifoundation.org.


Annointment committee *selects* Janelle Rettig to be supervisor

It comes as no surprise, that the local Democrat machine selected Janelle Rettig to be the new member of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.

Rettig will fill the seat of Larry Meyers, who passed away September 22 from cancer.

County Auditor Tom "DUI" Slockett and County Recorder Kim "On-the-steering-committee-for-elect-Rettig" Painter voted for Rettig.  County Auditor Tom "Conflict, what conflict?" Kriz voted for fellow Democrat and former supervisor Mike Lehman.

According to a Press-Citizen article announcing the decision, Slockett used Painter's cell phone to let Rettig know of the annointment committee's decision.

Rettig will be sworn into office later today. 

Your local Democrat machine just rammed another piece of their agenda down your throats folks.....

If you're tired of this kind of crap, join over 4,000 others in signing a petition calling for a special election. 


Typical liberal blog, typical liberal misinformation

With Senator Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., saying he would filibuster any healthcare bill he doesn't agree with, liberal blogs like Iowaliberal.com are throwing hissyfits.

In attempting to slam Lieberman, Iowa Liberal wrote the following:  Lieberman doesn’t have a response to the facts, in that the public option will save money according to the CBO.

The problem with Iowa Liberal's statement is, it isn't fact, it's half-truth if not blatant misinformation.  The truth is the CBO numbers that Iowa Liberal is so over-eagerly jumping on were of a preliminary estimate of a ROUGH DRAFT for healthcare reform.  The CBO itself cautioned against using their preliminary estimates in considering the proposal.  Key words, 'preliminary' and 'rough draft.'  They weren't hard numbers.  Without an actual bill to score, the numbers of course will be off and not high enough to be considered accurate.  Iowa Liberal, ignored that reality.  Iowa Liberal ignored the fact that Democrats played the public for political gain.  Pelosi's 1,990 page House health care bill (H.R. 3962) as unveiled today has not been scored yet, watch for those 'estimates' to shoot WAY up.

The following statement by Iowa Liberal lacks logic and reality as well:  "Time and time again, the voters of Connecticut have been shown the folly of trusting Lieberman’s centrist cooings and assurances when he ran against the winner of the Democratic primary, Ned Lamont."

Time and again?  Senator Lieberman lost a Democrat primary battle for his seat in 2008, ok.  He may have lost his party race because he wasn't liberal enough, but in the general election the voters of Connecticut rejected liberal Ned Lamont and expressed their support for Lieberman - AGAIN - this time winning his seat - AGAIN - as an Independent.   Yep, that's "Time and again" all right.....

Liberal idiocy is being expressed at www.iowaliberal.com, if you need a laugh, check it out!


Vander Plaats Campaign: Culver's poor planning, leadership caused misery that never should have happened

DES MOINES, IA. -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats issued the following statement in response to Gov. Chet Culver’s layoff of employees in 28 state agencies, week-long unpaid furlough of 3,258 state workers and his postponement of a decision on cuts in the Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections:

Vander plaats “There’s a saying that goes something like, ‘A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.’ Unfortunately, Chet Culver’s lack of planning and his utter failure of leadership have created a painful and totally avoidable emergency on the part of hundreds of state employees and their families. Today’s action is the result of the 10-percent, across-the-board cut that he mandated to reduce spending by $565 million. But the fact is he’s recklessly increased spending by more than $1 billion over the past two years.

“The departments of Public Safety and Corrections face the lay-off of a combined 568 employees and the elimination of another 291 open positions. I’ve said before that these deep cuts affect the safety of the people we expect to protect the general public as well as Iowans in general. There’s another point that needs to be made: Those two departments that provide essential services are being forced to make deep cuts to make up for the massive number of non-essential workers Chet Culver hired these past two years.

“When you set priorities, you begin with essential services. You protect people who work in the most dangerous situations to ensure Iowans are safe. Chet Culver needs to learn how to set priorities. Just because he’s delayed a final decision on cuts in public safety and corrections personnel doesn’t mean he’s being deliberate or effective. It simply means he’s dragging out an already bad and unavoidable situation of his own creation.”

Rep. King: King Statement on $894 Billion Liberal Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Steve King today responded to the $894 billion health care bill unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other liberals.

Steve_king “After weeks of closed door meetings, the Pelosi Democrats have cobbled together a 1,990 page, $894 billion, deficit expanding government takeover of health care. Liberals say the problem with the American health care system is we spend too much money. So their solution is to spend a whole lot more. Democrats have now perfected a form of ‘irrational logic.’

“The Pelosi Democrats are willing to spend nearly a trillion dollars to reduce the percentage of uninsured from less than four percent of Americans without affordable options down to perhaps two percent, and in the process put in place the framework for socialized medicine. This is a bad deal for every American, those present and grandchildren yet to be born. The American people need to rise up, shut down the phone lines in Congress and kill this bill.”

Hoeft believes in responsive government

My parents, Dan and Evelyn Fesler moved to Coralville and bought their home in 1939.  They both were very active in this city, with my father serving as its mayor in the 1960s.  For 60 years, our family has lived in Coralville and has been proud to call this community our home.

In recent years, however, there has been something that I find very troubling.  Whether citizens come to a council meeting to express concern on an issue or contact city personnel to try to resolve an issue with city services, their concerns are often pushed aside, not taken seriously, and in some cases, even met with contempt.

Citizens and taxpayers need to have an advocate on the City Council, and I am convinced that Bill Hoeft is that person. Bill understands that when citizens and taxpayers have concerns, they should be treated with respect and their concerns addressed in an appropriate manner.   Bill believes that government at all levels is accountable to those who are supporting it with their tax dollars. 

For these reasons, I am supporting Bill Hoeft for Coralville City Council on November 3 and encourage you to do as well.

~ David K. Fesler, Coralville