Thursday, November 03, 2005

Chet (SD) Culver is 'in' with a Big Idea


Surfer dude, circa 1984, Dewey Beach, Delaware.

Chet Culver announced his bid for the governor’s office this morning by offering up his version of a Big Idea. Under a Culver administration, Iowa taxpayers will spend $100 million to subsidize the renewable fuels industry. Inspired.

As reported in today's DMR...

Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver today proposed spending $100 million in state revenue to help make Iowa the nation's leader in ethanol-powered vehicles.

… "I believe that campaigns should be about ideas and vision and you deserve to know what I will do as your governor," said Culver, who announced his candidacy with his wife, Mary, and two children at his side.

Culver would use the money as an incentive to assist businesses expanding in the area of renewable fuel-related manufacturing. He would also appoint a director of renewable energy to oversee the program. …

And what has Chet been saying about Mike Blouin & Governor Vilsack’s precious Grow Iowa Values Fund?

We get an idea from Political Forecast's live blogging of Culver at a recent Drake meet & greet.

What are your thoughts on the Grow Iowa Values Fund?

He hopes that the program works to develop small businesses and keep them in Iowa with the creation of great jobs. So far its done ok, but we’re still in the early stages.

First of all, we want to hold these businesses accountable. If they don’t deliver, they need to pay the state back. If we give Wells Fargo millions of dollars to expand in West Des Moines, like we did, then as long as they come through with their commitment, then we should stick with it. Ten years and $500 is a big commitment and we need to look at it every year to make sure its working.

Second, we need to do more to make sure small businesses and entrepreneurs get a bigger piece of the pie. A lot of Iowa small businesses need a shot of capital to spread the economic opportunity across the state. He wants to see more focus on start-up opportunities as well.

Question:

What’s the difference between spending $500 million over ten years on a variety of corporate welfare projects and spending $100 million in whatever number of years on corporate welfare for renewable fuel projects?

Answer:

Nothing. But nothing is the operative word to describe a number of gubernatorial candidate’s Big Ideas; although, at least we know what we’re getting with Chet Culver.

From testimony to the Committee on House Administration, US House of Representatives on Iowa’s implementation of HAVA, February 9, 2005

Simply put, our experience has been an extremely positive one. It has brought Iowans together to bring about positive changes to the process that lies at the core of our democratic values – voting.

Chet's very up, very postive when it comes to voting.

Note: See Tusk and Talon on GIVF and opportunity costs.




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