Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Everything to anyone who votes

Jim Nussle interrupted his rock-star touring habit -- on the bus, off the bus, wave to the fans, run the play list, back on the bus, and down the road -- just long enough to chat up Des Moines journalists covering state political news. And it sounds like somebody in that camp is reading the coffee grounds from one of the 77 cups of coffee they have consumed on the road.

In a sit down with Dan Gearino, of Quad City Times/Lee Newspapers, Nussle roles out this stuff...

U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle, who is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, said Monday that Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's economic development agenda is "all based on photo ops," with few benefits for everyday business owners.

Nussle said in an interview with the Quad-City Times Des Moines Bureau staff that the current system of giving cash incentives to selected business has more political benefits for the Vilsack administration than economic benefits for the state.

"It's all based on politics. It's all very arrogantly determined by just a few people in Des Moines picking winners and losers," he said.

Nussle said he would rather see the state reduce taxes for all businesses.


Nussle said one of the best ways to help all businesses in Iowa would be to lower property taxes. Decades-old limits on residential property taxes have put a disproportionate share of the burden on businesses, which business advocacy groups see as a drag on the economy.

Nussle's solution is to reduce overall state spending and then use the savings to lower property taxes. That ties into another of his proposals: a top-to-bottom review of state government, looking for areas that can be made more efficient.

The congressman said his approach puts the state government in position to lead by example, which he thinks will make cities, counties and schools decide to follow suit with their own internal reviews. That is different from Vilsack who has pushed for legal inducements and penalties to make local governments more efficient.

"Government reform to our current administration is: ‘We'll reform the government and you go first. You go first, counties, cities, school districts — you do the consolidation, you find the efficiencies, while we continue to be fat and sassy in Des Moines.' To me, that's not the way you lead," Nussle said.

Then with Radio Iowa folks Nussle is all over the felon enfranchisement issue...

Jim Nussle, a Republican candidate for governor, says he'd sign a bill into law requiring felons to repay their debts to society before they may regain the right to vote. Current Governor Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, signed an executive order July 4th that restores voting right to felons who've completed their sentences and their parole. But that order does not require the felons to have paid their court fines or restitution to victims. Nussle says Vilsack made the move to look good nationally, since Iowa is one of only five states that had denied voting rights to felons who've done their time. "What I hear from Iowans is that they are very frustrated with what seems to be an increasingly political motivation on the part of the governor," Nussle says. "It's all politics, all the time."

OMG, Policy from Jim Nussle.

Keep talking, you can do it. No need to check in with twenty different PACs on everything that comes out of your mouth.

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