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March 2010

Don't believe state Democrat leadership, they're not being honest with you

Amidst all of the misleading claims that taxes have not been raised by the Governor or Iowa's state legislature, see for yourself via the download link the one-half BILLION DOLLAR property tax increases during the last three years including the $195 million this year alone. Most importantly, the link is NOT sourced in a Republican or Democratic document. It's based on research by the Iowa Farm Bureau from figures developed by the strictly non-partisan Legislative Services Agency.

Are you OK with liberal leadership lying to you?

Download Property Tax Shifts Since FY2009Final

Iowa City wants your money - RE: The 2010 Census

A press release from the city, use of taxpayer funds to provide employee payroll/time spent on this, supplies, service, other resources.

Most people have received their 2010 Census questionnaire in their mailbox by now.

Please complete your form and return it promptly in the postage paid envelope. The 2010 Census will affect federal, state and local programs for the next 10 years.

It will also ensure that our states and communities receive their fair share of representation and funding. In May Census takers will begin collection information from non-responding households in a door-to-door effort. The Census Bureau saves approximately $85 million in operating costs for every percentage point increase in the national response rate. If 100% participated that's a savings of $1 BILLION.

Take 10 minutes to answer 10 questions and help to guide your community for the next 10 years. We move forward when you send it back.

Editor's Note:  The city of Iowa City is spending money urging you to send in your census form so they can "qualify" for more of YOUR money, via federal tax dollars.  Can you say, "Elected officials playing games with YOUR money?"  Why yes, yes you can.....


Attacks against Tea Party people are bogus

"I have no problem with anybody who disagrees with tea party politics. Tell me limited government is too risky; tell me Obamacare is a great idea; tell me taxes need to be raised; we'll have a lively chat.  But tell me the tea party people who I have come to know and admire are racists, and you're a liar." -- Mark Steyn

Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 46%, Democrats 39%

Support for candidates from both parties surged following Congress' passage of the national health care plan, but Republican candidates still hold a seven-point lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% would vote for their district's Republican congressional candidate, up three points from last week, while 39% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent, up four points from the previous survey.

Iowans for Tax Relief: Iowa legislature adjournment brings good news and bad news for Iowa taxpayers

End of Session

Iowa Legislature Adjournment Brings Good News and Bad News for Iowa Taxpayers

On Tuesday, March 30th, the Iowa Legislature completed the 2010 Legislative Session one day ahead of the scheduled end date. The 2010 Legislative Session was shortened from 100 days to 80 days due in part to the record state spending increases approved during the 2009 Legislative Session. The end of session brings both good news and bad news for Iowa taxpayers.

The Good News:

Fortunately for Iowa taxpayers, the No Tax on a Tax message resonated with lawmakers, and federal deductibility remains unchanged on Iowa income taxes once again. For a good portion of the 2010 Legislative Session, it appeared some Legislators were going to eliminate this important deduction and force all Iowans to pay a tax on a tax to balance the state budget. However, the Iowa Legislature heard the voices of Iowa taxpayers last spring and throughout this year and did not bring the bill to end federal deductibility out of committee.

In other good news, a last-minute effort to approve a design-build proposal which would bypass the traditional open bidding process for state projects was stopped. Iowa taxpayers can count on public projects to continue to be determined by a fair and open process accessed by all Iowa businesses.

The Bad News:

On the final day of the 2010 Legislative Session, the Democrat-led Legislature put the finishing touches on the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins on July 1, 2010. The budget approved spends $5.298 billion of ongoing State General Fund tax dollars, but the budget also spends an additional $733 million in one-time tax dollars to pay for more state spending. Essentially, by using the one-time tax dollars the Iowa Legislature has once again built the State Budget on a foundation of sand, and simply pushed the massive budget problem to next year; instead of making real spending reductions and major changes to state government operations.

Following the lead of Governor Culver, the 2011 State Budget shifts some K-12 education funding from the state level to local property taxes. This action will cause property tax increases for Iowa taxpayers.

In addition to creating another smoke and mirrors budget, Governor Culver’s priority for expanding the state borrowing plan moved through the Legislature in the closing days. The plan approved on Monday, March 29th borrows an additional $45 million for a variety of projects across the state. It will cost Iowa taxpayers approximately $90 million over 20 years to pay off the debt. This brings the total borrowing for the past two Legislative Sessions to $810 million borrowed, to cost Iowa taxpayers approximately $1.667 billion to repay over the next 20 years.

The entire spending package approved by the Iowa Legislature now moves to Governor Culver for his approval.

Look for upcoming installments of The Watchdog to keep you informed.

McKinley Offers Closing Remarks of 2010 Session

DES MOINES, IA. -- Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) today offered his closing remarks of the 2010 legislative session. His remarks are as follows:

Thank you Mr. President.

Friends & colleagues:

Paul mckinley From day one, Senate Republicans made it crystal clear that we believe this session should have been about three major and very important priorities: long-term sustainable private sector job creation, spending and budgetary reform and property tax relief.

Did we take this opportunity to focus on the important priorities Iowans care about? Did we listen carefully to our constituents? Did we do all we could to put our state back on the right track?

Mr. President and ladies and gentleman of the Senate, I expect the people of Iowa will take a look at our work these last 79 days and will come to the same conclusion: this was a session of missed opportunities.

As we leave today, 112,500 Iowans are out of work, the highest unemployment level in 23 years. There are many others underemployed and still many more who have stopped looking for work.

When we should have been focusing on making it easier for private sector jobs to be created and removing the barriers to private sector job creation, this Legislature continues policies that allow government to pick winners and losers.

When I-Jobs was created last session, Governor Culver promised it would create 30,000 jobs. In the year since, Iowa has actually lost over 30,000 jobs. More over promising and under delivering. Yet, instead of changing course of our path – we only amplified the problem.

This session was a missed opportunity to create a climate with reasonable levels of regulation and taxation that encourages private investment in our workforce.

On jobs, we could have and should have done better.

When the final detailed analysis of the new budget is complete, this Legislature has authorized the second most amount of money in state history.

Let me repeat that. This year’s spending is the second most in state history.

Iowans have grown exceedingly upset with the overspending of the last three years. We missed a golden opportunity to pass a sustainable and responsible budget that truly reflects the priorities of Iowans.

Instead, we continued the past practice of using one-time dollars for ongoing expenses, raised many fees and fines and pushed even more of the spending onto the backs of local property taxpayers. This governor and this Legislature opted to balance the budget on the backs of hardworking Iowans.

Built-in spending increases for fiscal year 2012 now exceeds $1 billion dollars and our new budget uses over $700 in one-time funds to be used for ongoing expenses. Iowa cannot afford for this to continue year after year.

On spending and budgetary reform, we could have and should have done better.

Iowa has some of the highest property taxes in the nation and this session was a missed opportunity to do something about that. Higher property taxes are just another barrier to job creation at a time when we can least afford it.

By breaking the promise made to our school districts, property taxes are set increase by over $180 million combined over this and next budget year. Keep in mind, those tax increases are in addition to the second most spending in state history. There is still way too much spending.

On property tax relief, we could have and should have done better.

We are also leaving today by again failing to give the citizens of Iowa a vote on the basic definition of marriage. Iowans have overwhelmingly asked for a chance to vote. Their desires have been arrogantly ignored. Like the issue of jobs, property tax relief and spending reform, this was a missed opportunity to act on the wishes of Iowans.

Before I conclude, I want to thank my fellow members of the Senate Republican Caucus for their hard work. I want extend my sincerest best wishes to Senators Wieck, Warnstadt and Stewart as they retire. I want to thank all of our caucus staff members, the staff of the LSA and Secretary of the Senate’s office and our pages and door keepers for their excellent work. It takes a lot of dedicated people to keep us all on track.

Though this may have been the session of missed opportunities, let there be no mistake: there is ample reason to be optimistic about the outlook of this great state.

When we do emerge from this economic malaise, we must be prepared to harness the possibility that exists and make it reality.

It will require us to take bold action and make a 180 degrees turn from our current direction.

We must fully understand that government does not create jobs and it cannot generate wealth. Instead we must unleash the originality and imagination of the private sector to build the new Iowa economy of the future.

This state is dotted with manufacturers and small businesses who have served as the lifeblood and the bedrock of our communities. We must embrace the understanding that the new Iowa economy will be about the things that we can touch, feel, need and use. Never should we allow our valuable agricultural commodities to leave this state to have value added elsewhere. We could be on the verge of a new economic explosion if we lead with the right vision, take the right approach and move away from the notion that government is the answer to growing Iowa’s economy.

Not one of us should be satisfied with the news that two-thirds of our counties lost population and 222 of our manufacturing plants closed their doors 2009. We should not accept being 49th in U.S. News & World Report or 41st according to the Small Business Survival Index in business climate.

If we do not change direction, create jobs and grow our communities, I fear we will only continue the hollowing out our state.

Iowa should be the destination place for anyone to open a business or chase their dreams. We have safe, welcoming communities, a wonderful education heritage and a dedicated and devoted workforce. We have a state that offers ample potential – 99 counties worth of potential.

Much of that potential exists because of our people.

My optimism and confidence about Iowa’s future further stems from the quality, superiority and uniqueness of our citizens.

This is a exceptional state filled with extraordinary people who are dedicated to its constant renewal.

They are blessed with common sense, are hardworking, frugal and hopeful about the future. They care about their communities, their schools and the neighbors around them. Our people are smart, they love this state and they want what is best for their families. This sense of independence, community and self sufficiency is what makes this state so astonishingly special.

If we fail to change course, those very people who make this state second to none, will find a home elsewhere. They have the skills, the work ethic and the common sense that are in high demand. They will raise their families elsewhere. They will find jobs elsewhere or start their businesses elsewhere. Other places will gain at Iowa’s expense.

We must make Iowa a hub of opportunity that attracts the brightest minds from around the world to become Iowans and be part of a tradition and way of life unlike and unsurpassed by any other.

As we leave today and go home to our districts and constituents, let us work everyday toward a more promising and prosperous tomorrow for Iowa. The future for this state could not be brighter and I could not be more excited to be part of the rebirth, revitalization and rejuvenation of the state that I so dearly love.

It’s time for a renewal of the principles that have made this state second to none.

Mr. President, as I finish today, I want to wish you all good health and safe journeys. Always remember that wherever you may go and whatever you may do: may you always be proud to be an Iowan.

Republican Party of Iowa: Des Moines to host 2010 Iowa GOP Convention

DES MOINES, IA. -- The Republican Party of Iowa tonight selected Des Moines to host the 2010 Iowa GOP State Convention, which will be held Saturday, June 26 at the Iowa Events Center.

The 17-member Iowa Republican State Central Committee formally approved the selection of Des Moines this evening.

Sioux City and Cedar Rapids were also finalists.

“All three cities would make great locations for our state convention.

Unfortunately, we can only choose one city,” said Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn.

“I want to thank the leaders of Sioux City and Cedar Rapids for enthusiastically inviting us to their communities. Each community had strong advocates on the Committee, but a clear majority favored our centrally-located Capital city.”

Strawn noted that he was pleased by the competitive and open selection process.

“Ours is not a top-down party and this decision has been guided by Republicans all across Iowa,” he said. “There is little doubt that this convention-selection process has generated more attention and input from Republican activists across the state than at any time in recent history.

This decision is reflective of the will of Republicans statewide.”

The 2010 Iowa GOP State Convention will feature 2,000 delegates and more than 1,000 alternate delegates from around the state who will meet in Des Moines to finalize the Republican Party of Iowa Platform and conduct other party business.

Prior to the State Convention, delegates will attend conventions in each of Iowa’s five congressional districts. Districts two, three and five will meet Saturday, April 24. Districts one and four will meet Saturday, May 1. Times and locations can be found on the Iowa GOP’s website.

House Republican Leader Paulsen: Final budget tops $6 billion

DES MOINES, IA. -- The final piece of the state budget was passed today in the House, bringing the final amount of general fund spending to a whopping $6.2 billion.

Kraig_paulsen “Gov. Culver and Legislative Democrats spent too much, saved too little and have raised property taxes on Iowans,” said House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). “Instead of cutting out wasteful spending and pork projects, Democrats pushed their budget problems on to the backs of property taxpayers.”

The budget is made up of $5.298 billion plus an additional $728 million of one-time revenue which is being used to pay for ongoing expenses. The Democrats are raiding the Cash Reserve Fund to the tune of $272.4 million and over a three year period, $532 million of general fund spending has been shifted to Iowa property tax payers.

House Republicans sponsored amendments to budget bills and the state government reorganization bill that would have saved taxpayers over $600 million.

“The Legislature convened with a $1.1 billion hole in the state budget. We are adjourning with a $1 billion hole,” said Paulsen. “The one thing this session will be remembered for is the massive property taxes passed on to Iowans.”

Vander Plaats Campaign: Chuck Norris to visit Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Council Bluffs on behalf of Vander Plaats campaign

DES MOINES, IA. -- Internationally known actor and martial arts champion Chuck Norris will appear at events in Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Council Bluffs for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats during the final days of the primary election.

Vander Plaats’ campaign announced today that Norris, who writes a nationally syndicated column and is active in conservative and pro-family causes, will be in Iowa on June 4 and 5.

“Chuck and Gena Norris received a wildly enthusiastic response from Iowans when they visited the state on behalf of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign,” said Vander Plaats, who was Huckabee’s Iowa chair.

“They had a crowd of more than 2,500 Iowans at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines on relatively short notice the night before precinct caucuses.

I know they’re going to generate a great deal of excitement as this year’s primary election comes down to the wire.”

Vander Plaats said logistical details of the events will be announced at a later date but he expects to appear with Norris for a mid-day rally in Davenport on Friday, June 4, and an early evening event in Cedar Rapids.

They will hold a mid-day rally in Des Moines on Saturday, June 5, and an event in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area later that same day.

Norris began his martial arts training while serving in the U.S. Air Force in South Korea.

He held the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title for six consecutive years. He has appeared in a number of popular films over the past 30 years, beginning with “Enter the Dragon” with Bruce Lee in 1972.

He broadened his fan base with younger audiences, too, when he starred in the television series “Walker, Texas Ranger” from 1993 to 2001.

A devout Christian and political conservative, Norris writes a column for the website WorldNetDaily and is the author of several Christian-themed books, including the new, expanded version of Black Belt Patriot just published in paperback by Fidelis Books. He also authored The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book, which offers 101 facts and favorites stories of his life and was released by Tyndale House Publishers.

U.S. Rep. King: King introduces bill to repeal Obamacare

Steve_king WASHINGTON , D.C. — Congressman Steve King (R-IA) this week introduced legislation that will completely repeal Obamacare. Text of his legislation (H.R. 4972) follows:

Effective as of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.

“Today the work begins to repeal Obamacare and restore the principles of liberty that made America a great nation,” King said. “The American people must take their country back by methodically eliminating every vestige of creeping socialism, including socialized medicine. The Pelosi Democrats will pay a price for their overreach. This fight is far from over."