Monday, September 26, 2005

"...not been much of a player," policy talk from Jim Nussle

Give it up for Team Nussle; one of our presumed gubernatorial front-runners is emitting policy squeaks. As reported by the AP in the Gazette Online:

U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle, who's seeking the Republican
nomination for governor, on Monday called for a
requirement that all gasoline sold in the state be blended
with ethanol.

It's part of his package aimed at making 20 percent of
the energy consumed in Iowa from renewable sources.

``I believe consumers have made the choice,'' Nussle
said, noting that 70 percent of the gasoline sold in the
state is blended with ethanol.

``I believe it's time we make every gallon of gas
either ethanol or biodiesel,'' he said.

Nussle said soaring energy prices, disruptions in
supplies from the Middle East and hurricanes that have
ravaged the Gulf Coast have driven home the point that
it's time to focus on renewable energy sources.

``By and large, the state has not been much of a player
when it comes to energy policy,'' Nussle told The
Associated Press in a telephone interview.

``Iowa stands to be an energy state,'' he said. ...

Admittedly, not having a background or a serious interest in energy policy, it’s tough to make quips as to the quality of this particular agenda. However, it is good that policy ideas exist in Team Nussle land. It’s nice to see something outside of the “gee, we’ve made so many friends on the road” lines coming out of that camp.

Taking a tour of the Iowa gubernatorial candidates' policy links, it is clear why the Nussle announcement deserves a little applause. Most of the candidates feature issues on their web pages; some have nothing posted for the highlighted issues while other candidates have general policy bites. Not much substance floating around on these web pages.

Mr. Vander Plaats, that very tall Dutch guy with that Iowa Dutch proclivity to wince at all things excessive, is out there with all sorts of policy talk. From flat tax, to illegal immigration, to… oh just read the Iowa Press transcript or you can check out the VP issues link. It’s a good design; they might win … an award.

In a post last week, I pointed out that Mike Blouin isn’t much into policy details; although, it’s clear he’s a fan of corporate give-a-ways (probably not a good idea to ask him what we’ll do after the claw-backs expire), the removal of state income tax federal deductibility with no interest in tax burden neutrality, and tax increases for tourism. What more do we need to know?

Patty Judge is all about access to E-85 and health care, that is if she can figure out how to do it without upsetting the deep pockets that will have to fund her campaign if she wins the primary.

Chet Culver, I think he supports voters, middle-class daycare subsidies and the ArentFox government relations agenda. Outside of those three things, I have no idea.

Ed Fallon, he gets an ‘A’ for effort. Fallon is on record for each of the following issues:

Sustainable Economic Development -- hate it, if it looks like the Mike Blouin Grow Iowa Values Fund; love it, if it’s about spending money on the existing education, health care and local government infrastructure. Education -- for it, he is some sort of a registered Democrat, they can’t be anything but for the existing educational system. Health Care – for it, as long as it is universal, or, more correctly, state owned & operated. On other issues…early release for non violent offenders – for it; factory farms – against it; campaign finance reform – for it; urban sprawl – against it; property tax reform – for it; centralized human services bureaucracy – against it; slow food – for it; and, the expansion of renewable fuels – definitely for it.

Ed is sort of fun, he’s all over the political map.

And, well, Sal & Gregg I can’t find you guys.

Overall, it’s good that the campaigns are starting to talk policy; there are only so many “by the numbers” updates we can stomach.

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