‘Dumbest Deal’ and ‘Stupid Move’: Lines Used in First Debate

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two candidates for Iowa governor didn't take long to go at it during their first debate held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Thursday.

Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, and State Senator Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat, disagreed on the gas tax, tax cuts and tax breaks, among other issues.

Hatch continued his campaign themes of trying to connect Branstad with problems in state agencies, calling Branstad's, "The most scandal-ridden administration in the history of the state."

Branstad made frequent mentions trying to tie Hatch with previous Democratic Governor Chet Culver. "Big Debt Chet", Branstad said, arguing that Hatch wants to increase state spending and taxes.

But one topic carried over after the debate ended. It involved the $1.8 billion deal with Egyptian-based Orascom to build a fertilizer plant in Lee County in the southwest part of the state. The plant is expected to provide hundreds of temporary construction jobs and 165 permanent jobs.

The deal is backed with $100 million in state incentives. Hatch echoed comments made by Dave Swenson, an Iowa State economics professor. "The dumbest deal in the history of the state," Hatch said when asked by reporters following the debate. Hatch believes the deal unnecessarily gives too many incentives.

Branstad said of Hatch's opposition to the tax incentives, "That was a stupid move. And he's going to have to debate me in Burlington next month, near where that fertilizer plant is being built."

Watch the full Iowa Press debate at www.iptv.org.



  • John

    How does going to every county each year answer the charge that he ‘doesn’t know’ how to be the chief administrator. Perhaps less travel for the sake of politics and more scrutiny for the sake of governing would be a better tactic and maybe the next time a scandal erupts, Branstad won’t have to say “I didn’t know anything about it” when it is his job to know everything about it.

    $100 M for 160 permanent, minimum wage jobs ($15 k a year) equals a huge profit for a foreign company and is all the eggs in one basket… maybe 10 $10M incentives to Iowa startups would have been more prudent. Any way you look at it, Orascam was Branstad giving our tax dollars to Egyptian tycoons/sultans.

  • Schwester Geschwister

    Gov. Branstad is highly accessible to the citizens of Iowa, knows what’s going on in the state, every county, and has been great for Iowa and our economy. His predecessors left a mess and he had done a great job of cleaning it up and putting Iowans back to work. Branstad has always been an “in-touch” governor and Iowans are proud and lucky to have him lead the state. His detractors fling mud, digging deep for scandals where none exist. Terry Branstad is a forthright, honest, and smart man, great for Iowa and Iowans know it.

    • John

      You are right with the qualifications that Branstad is his own predecessor. If you start with his first acts in office, he insulted Puerto Rico by calling their courts primitive (a U.S. court no less in Puerto Rico v. Branstad) by denying extradition for a drunk driving killer. His actions and inactions cost thousands of farmers their land and livliehood in the 80s. OUR environment was raped and is still being defiled by his deregulation and neutering of the DNR. His actions during the 80s and 90s can be looked at in retrospect for a non partisan analysis the problem is that people rely on spin instead of memory and research. He has always done his job creation math on a calculator that has no minus sign for closures, foreclosures, and outsourced jobs which is also why he has always maintained two forms of accounting, a political presentation and the ones carried by the official books. This term Terry has done a few things illegally according to the Iowa Supreme Court and lower courts like closing the workforce development offices and administratively pocketing the money, closing the Toledo school (not so great for those Iowa children in need) for two off the top of my head.
      How “in touch” can he be when he doesn’t know the vehicle he’s in is passing other cars on the interstate like they were parked; or when he doesn’t know that $500K+ has been spent as illegitimate hush money; or when he doesn’t know, and isn’t trying to find out, who authorized it because scapegoat Carroll didn’t have that much authority. How forthright can he be when the instructions to his department heads are to not put ‘issues’ in e-mail but to have phone conversations instead. As for the economy, Bush about flushed our nations prosperity down the toilet with deregulation and one ‘right’ war and one war over lies and misdirection that made all 50 states circle the swirling waters of the fiscal toilet and Vilsack and Culver had no control over- we were all along for that ride – you can thank President Obama and the functional congress of his first two years- again Branstad is claiming Obama’s success as his own.
      He has no compassion for people in need like the unemployed (hard to use a computer terminal to find a job if you don’t have the knowledge), the underemployed (you try feeding a family on minimum wage) or distraught children (Iowa kids needing protective structure at Toledo or immigrant children in dire danger of harm). He even abetted his own son’s problems by removing consequences that your children or mine would have been subject too so the son’s tribulations continued even after the McCullough’s lives ended.
      Think and research before you foist your unsupported opinions on the rest of us please. With all due respect for the office of governor, Terry Branstad is nothing that you claim he is.

    • Jean

      Iowans don’t know the truth, Schwester Geschwister, yet. Our Governor will not be remembered as he or you would like him to be remembered by. Pray for our Governors victims and shame on those who have refused to speak up about who our Governor really is for fear of retaliation!

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