Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Iowa has a reputation?

A Jim Nussle road tour story as reported in the Mason City Globe Gazette...

U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle said Monday he favors removal of TouchPlay machines because they pose a threat to Iowa’s reputation.

And that reputation is…

Fried Milkyway production and consumption capitol of the world?

A tipped hog to people ratio?

The most telephone customer service career opportunities in the Midwest?

The single most influential state committed to the care & feeding of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?

Oh, my mistake…

During a campaign stop at the Mason City Library, Nussle, Republican candidate for governor, said, “We have a reputation of being a safe, clean, healthy place to raise kids.

Thank you, I knew I lived here for some reason.

Gubernatorial campaigns always shape the language voters use to evaluate the campaigns, the candidates and our future; and Iowans being the enthusiastic church types easily convinced to care about a “reputation” makes the use of reputation a good choice to frame differences between Nussle and the eventual Democratic nominee.

Nussle will take every opportunity to tie that lodestone of our supposed Vilsack induced reputation slide to the Democrats. Why not? This TouchPlay mess has really focused, like a laser beam (not really I just wanted to say that) attention on Vilsack’s all consuming need for jacking the revenue to promote his nonstop need for government spending. TouchPlay was just a creative and innovative method for pulling down money from suckers to maximize the revenue the state spends.

Nussle’s right on TouchPlay, it’s not good policy to end up with more slot & slottery machines than we have people. I just hope that in a no TouchPlay Iowa we’ll never be able to reach the perfect people to gambling machine ratio in our other money-eating venues.

I'm against TouchPlay, but I'm not against gambling at casinos, and I think the state does a very good job of managing that sector.

I wish the debate that would have come out of all this was more global. Bad and good are always coupled together, and there are a lot of good points that could come from making Iowa the "Las Vegas of the midwest".
We had the PERFECT chance to fund the "Rainforest Project" and fund other multibillion dollar companies through Vision Iowa with funds earned through Touch Play! WE blew it! What can we do next?
Iowa as the Las Vegas of the midwest? Right. We'd have all of the trailer trash and none of the glitz.
Gambling is not a panacea for a state with crumbling tax capacity. It's difficult to suggest anything that might be a quick fix...but if we're going in the vice-is-nice direction, there is plenty of room for legalizing all sorts of stuff that will bring residents: a serious effort to legalize medicinal plant & herbal products (how's that for code words); go the Thai route, although our fried Milkyway habit might limit the market; and if we’re really going for it – legalize gay marriage, bigamy, polygamy, it all goes in Iowa. Okay, probably not going happen, unless the gods of fate decide to make Joe Bolkcom supreme ruler of Iowa and not just the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
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