Sunday, April 09, 2006

April Odds & Ends

A press release issued by Statehouse Republicans on the Government Oversight Committee’s gracious invitation to CIETC and Iowa Workforce Development persons of interest to come before the committee for questioning.

4/8/2006

Rep. Alons, Sens. Lundby, Courtney: Legislators to begin new round of questioning in CIETC scandal

(DES MOINES) – House and Senate chairs on the Government Oversight Committee today released the letter they are sending to individuals they plan to question at Tuesday’s committee meeting regarding the CIETC scandal.

CIETC Director Ramona Cunningham, secretary Lauri Rieck, CIETC executive John Bargman, former board chair Archie Brooks, and DHS officials Jan Clausen and Ann Wiebers.

Legislators will hold their hearing on Tuesday, April 11 at noon in the old Supreme Court chamber.

Legislators want to make it clear: the meeting is open to the public.

The letter to each of the individuals reads as follows:

April 6, 2006

Ms. Ramona Cunningham
513 W. Vine Street
Saint Charles, Iowa 50240

Dear Ms. Cunningham:

In light of the recent situation involving Iowa Workforce Development and the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium, the Joint Government Oversight Committee is requesting your presence and testimony on Tuesday, April 11 at 12:00 pm in the Supreme Court Chambers at the Iowa State Capitol.

The Joint Government Oversight Committee would welcome any testimony or prepared comments you wish to share. We would like the opportunity to have you respond to our questions regarding CIETC budgeting and reporting practices, communications with state agencies such as IWD and its employees, and CIETC board practices

If you fail to comply with this formal request, the General Assembly may issue subpoenas to compel testimony and production of documents in connection with this matter as referenced in Iowa Code 2.23. Whenever a committee of either house, or a joint committee of both, is conducting an investigation requiring the personal attendance of witnesses, any person may be compelled to appear before such committee as a witness by serving an order upon the person, which service shall be made in the manner required in case of a subpoena in a civil action in the district court. Such order shall state the time and place a person is required to appear, be signed by the presiding officer of the body by which the committee was appointed, and attested by its acting secretary or clerk; or, in case of a joint committee, signed and attested by such officers of that body.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Regards (all signatures present on actual letters),

Representative Dwayne Alons
Senator Mary Lundby
Senator Thomas G. Courtney

Government Oversight Committee

Is it just me, or is anyone else wondering about this Karen Tesdall, the mysterious CIETC accountant on the executive payroll. Try Googling Karen, nothing. There are a few K. Tesdalls in the state, but no Karen Tesdall. I am assuming she is a real person and we just can’t find her…yet.

---------------------------------------------

Tom Schmitt, in a Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier letter to the editor, punches the wall on TouchPlay.

EVANSDALE --- The TouchPlay ban has absolutely nothing to do with morality. You'd have to be ignorant to buy that. The issue is centered upon cash --- cold, hard cash. Morality is merely a slick excuse.

The claim by lawmakers and Gov. Tom Vilsack that constituents are crying up a storm to end TouchPlay is simply a fabrication of false reality. Granted there is always the blue-law crowd who squeak for grease, but the regular voters really don't care. Players and nonplayers are certainly not in an uproar over these nasty little machines.

What is actually the hub of the debate is casino heavyweights. Pull strings and watch the legislators perform, we all know that.

Casinos generate more revenue than TouchPlay and within lies the real problem. It's dollars versus votes and I certainly hope the lawmakers don't think we are all stupid enough to believe it's all about kids and morality.

I appreciate his deeply held cynicism; however, on the TouchPlay issue the passion to remove these machines came from a variety of political factions. The Senator noted for leading the charge to ban the TouchPlay machines is not a pawn of special interests…okay, perhaps Senator Lundby bows to the well-financed organic food lobby, but she’s not often associated with campaign gambling largesse. On the House side, Rep Danny Carroll got lucky and worked the anti-gambling faction and the pro-casino types into a winnable anti-TouchPlay coalition.

I think most legislators see TouchPlay for what it is -- a clever lottery product patented by Dr. Ed Stanek and picked up by out of state gambling interests as a new technology to extend the industry.



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