Friday, May 29, 2009

Republican Party of Iowa
May 29, 2009
Contact: Danielle Plogmann

Return of Iowa retirement funds in serious jeopardy
RPI’S Boeyink: Treasurer Fitzgerald’s mismanagement could cost
hundreds of millions in lost retirement funds.

Des Moines, IA – Published reports today indicate Iowa retirees stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement assets due to the investment practices of State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald and the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (IPERS) Investment Board. At risk is $500 million of investments Treasurer Fitzgerald voted to make in an alleged investment scam with Westridge Capital Management in 2007 and 2008.

Republican Party of Iowa Executive Director Jeff Boeyink said today, “As State Treasurer, Mike Fitzgerald has the responsibility for helping guide the investment of the state’s retirement dollars in safe and sound institutions. Iowans put their trust in his ability to separate legitimate investment opportunities from get-rich-quick scams. That Mike Fitzgerald has failed in this responsibility there is no question. That he has potentially squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement funds is still in doubt, but it is looking more and more like there will be no ultimate recovery of these assets.”

The alleged investment scam was discovered by auditors earlier this year and the investment firm’s two principals are accused by federal authorities of stealing at least $553 million from investors.

Boeyink concluded, “Perhaps Iowans would be better served if Treasurer Fitzgerald would spend less time on his blatantly self-promotional ‘Great Iowa Treasure Hunt’ and more time sniffing out investment scams and ensuring the critical retirement resources with which he has been entrusted are safe and protected.”

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Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
621 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50309

Monday, May 18, 2009

RPI Chairman Strawn: Vaudt a Good Watchdog for Iowa Taxpayers

Today State Auditor David Vaudt announced he is running for re-election in 2010. He says that decision is largely because of the budget mess here in Iowa. His job is to be the watchdog for Iowa taxpayers. He says Iowa's budget situation will get even worse by FY 2011.

Click here to watch Auditor Vaudt's short YouTube video.

Also today, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn issued this statement in support of Auditor Vaudt's decision to seek re-election:

"This is great news for Iowa taxpayers. Auditor Vaudt is an independent and principled watchdog for all taxpayers. Dave is an important, but too often lonely, voice for fiscal responsibility in Des Moines, and Republicans will work tirelessly to ensure that voice remains at the Capitol for another four years."

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Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
621 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50309

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Republican Party of Iowa
May 13, 2009
Contact: Danielle Plogmann

Strawn: Governor Culver, Massive Debt No Cause for Celebration

Des Moines, IA – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today said the state's failed leadership will again be on display tomorrow as Governor Chet Culver will embark on signing ceremonies to celebrate taking the state into debt and sticking Iowa taxpayers with a $1.7 billion tab.

"This is another example of Culver's failed leadership. Massive debt spending and wildly exaggerated job creation claims do not make sound economic policy," said Strawn, noting media reports that show the Governor has inflated the number of temporary jobs created by his proposal as much as 700%.

Of the $830 million the state will borrow, $715 million of that will go to Culver’s so-called “I-JOBS” program. Media reports clearly show the Governor greatly exaggerated the number of jobs the spending will stimulate. In fact, ISU economics professor David Swenson told the Des Moines Register the program will only create about 4,050 jobs – not the 30,000 as Culver has wildly claimed. Professor Swenson also reported the program is creating construction jobs that will be temporary. Unfortunately for Iowa workers and taxpayers, those jobs will be long gone before Iowans finish paying off the massive debt.

Strawn, himself a small business owner, said, "Unfortunately, until we have new legislative leaders and a Governor who understands that small businesses and risk-taking entrepreneurs -- not state government -- create long-term sustainable jobs, Iowa's economy will continue to suffer."

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Paid for by the Republican Party of Iowa and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
621 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50309

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

GOP Calls on Culver to Use Veto Pen

Republican Party of Iowa
May 12, 2009
Contact: Danielle Plogmann

Strawn: Culver Can Restore Education Cuts, Use Veto Pen
Iowa GOP says cut earmarks, and outlines over $17 million in potential savings

Des Moines, IA. – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today called on Governor Chet Culver to use his veto pen and place the needs of Iowa’s school children ahead of legislative earmarks, including nearly $800,000 to spruce up his own residence in Des Moines.

“A budget is a statement of priorities. Unfortunately, Iowa school districts were shortchanged because Democrat leaders had more pressing pet projects, such as sprucing up the Governor’s mansion, $3.5 million in recreational trails, and $3 million in passenger rail service,” Strawn said, referring to the failure of Democrat lawmakers to fund a key $14 million teacher pay provision in the standings bill (SF 478) while spending millions of dollars on questionable earmarks in separate legislation (HF 822).

Today, the Republican Party of Iowa outlined over $17 million in potential savings in spending legislation that currently sits on Culver’s desk for signature into law.

“I challenge Governor Culver to show leadership by using his line item veto authority to stand up to this free-spending Democrat majority,” Strawn said.

“Iowans are courageously coping with extremely tight budgets of their own. As families make tough choices about how to spend their limited resources, they expect lawmakers to make those same difficult spending decisions,” Strawn said. “Instead, in marathon sessions that lasted until early morning hours, Democrats voted to put repairs to the Governor’s mansion ahead of investments in education.”

Below is a list of items from HF 822 that could be postponed or eliminated to save over $17 million in next year’s state budget.

Budget Item Dollars Appropriated for FY 2010

Terrace Hill Preservation and Restoration 769,543
Historical Preservation Grant Program 1,000,000
Great Places Initiative 1,900,000
Community Cultural Grants 200,000
Regional Sports Authorities 500,000
Warren County Juvenile Courthouse Renovation 100,000
Fire Station Improvements - Muscatine Fire Dept. 200,000
Independence Mental Health Institute 200,000
Water Trails and Low Head Dam Programs 800,000
Hungry Canyons Alliance 100,000
Gold Star Museum - Camp Dodge 1,000,000
Davenport Aviation Readiness Center 2,000,000
Mount Pleasant Readiness Center 1,000,000
Passenger Rail Service 3,000,000
Recreational Trails 3,500,000
Iowa Flood Center (University of Iowa) 1,300,000
Total: $17,569,543

Source: Legislative Fiscal Agency

“During this economic slump, sometimes worthwhile projects have to wait. We can proudly say not a single Republican legislator voted to end this important education program or support the additional expenditures on the Governor’s mansion. Republicans have their priorities in the right place,” Strawn concluded.

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SF 478 – Standings bill approved by the Legislature in the final weekend of the 2009 Session (failed to include an appropriation for the Phase I teacher pay program).

HF 822 – Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund bill approved by the Legislature in the final weekend of the 2009 Session (included the appropriation for the Terrace Hill improvements).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Gov. Culver's Job Approval Rating Falls to New Low

For immediate release;
May 6, 2009
Contact: Danielle Plogmann 319.290.4185
Republican Party of Iowa
621 East 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50309

Culver’s Job Approval Falls to New Low
15-Point Plummet since start of year

Des Moines — A new Survey USA poll shows Governor Culver’s job approval rating with Iowans has fallen to 42%, the lowest rating since the Governor took office—with 50% of Iowans expressing disapproval of the Governor’s job performance. Matt Strawn, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa said today, “It is becoming increasingly clear that Iowans are losing faith in their out-of-touch Governor and his big debt job-killing agenda.”

The April 2009 42% approval rating for Culver is down from a 57% approval rating in December 2008, just before the start of the 2009 legislative session.

Strawn continued “It is no surprise the Governor’s approval rating is his lowest since taking office and that only 37% of “no party/independent” voters approve of the job he is doing. Iowans know Governor Culver is dragging the state in the wrong direction with his support of big labor’s legislative agenda and his effort to eliminate federal deductibility and raise taxes on hundreds of thousands of Iowans.

“Culver and his Democratic colleagues who control the Legislature have made one bad move after another and voters have begun to understand the consequences of their actions. Iowans have made it clear they support a pay-as-you-go approach to government spending. Yet, the Governor gives them a $1.7 billion debt scheme. Iowans have also made it clear they support defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman and that they want an opportunity to vote on this issue. Yet, Governor Culver refuses to support a constitutional amendment that would give them that very opportunity.

“Iowans are seeking strong leadership and principled solutions to their real life problems. Simply put, Governor Culver is failing to provide either, and Iowa Republicans are ready to deliver on both,” concluded Strawn.

The Survey USA poll of 600 Iowans was conducted from April 24, 2009 through April 26, 2009.

Link to the current poll results
Link to the graph of Culver’s ratings since taking office


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

For immediate release; May 5, 2009
Contact: Danielle Plogmann 319.290.4185

Reps. Wendt and Whitead watch while wind energy jobs blow to Kansas:
Local legislators fail to act to improve Iowa’s ability to compete for green jobs.

Sioux City--“The decision by Siemens Energy to locate a new manufacturing facility and it 400 new jobs to Kansas, rather than Sioux City, is a serious blow to economic development efforts in Iowa as the global business community watches politicians like Roger Wendt and Wes Whitead pursue big-labor’s job-killing agenda and support efforts to pass an income tax increase through the elimination of federal deductibility,” Jeffrey Boeyink, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Iowa, said today.

Boeyink continued, “Actions have consequences. Unfortunately for 80,000 unemployed workers throughout Iowa generally, and the thousands of unemployed in the Siouxland area specifically, the consequences of Rep. Wendt’s and Whitead’s actions are the loss of 400 potential jobs for those in desperate need.

“You can’t offer wind energy incentives one day, and then try to put labor interests before business interests the next. That kind of mixed message doesn’t create jobs. And a borrowing scheme that will cost Iowa taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next 20 years doesn’t create jobs either.

“Republicans know the way to job creation is by working to improve the competitive tax and regulatory climate so as to encourage entrepreneurs and job creators to bring their businesses to Iowa in the future,” concluded Boeyink.

Link to story announcing the Siemens’ decision to locate to Kansas.