Time To Focus On The Real Issues In The Governor’s Race

Distraction appears to be a main focus so far in the race for Iowa governor.

Election Day is two months away. The decision Iowans make on Nov. 6 will be an important factor in where our state is headed.

But instead of having a full and frank debate over important issues and ideas that will shape Iowa’s future, Gov. Kim Reynolds and, to a lesser extent, Fred Hubbell are allowing the race to revolve around sideshow issues.

Last week, it was Hubbell’s inadequate disclosure of his income tax returns. Releasing only a few pages served to guarantee that there will be Reynolds TV ads and campaign speeches asking, “What does Fred Hubbell not want you to see in his tax returns?”

Hubbell is a very intelligent man. So, why wouldn’t he be savvy enough to foresee that making public only a few pages would be seen as wholly inadequate. Surely, he remembers how Democrats were relentless in 2016 with their criticism of Donald Trump for his refusal to make public his returns.

Hubbell’s ill-conceived decision has provided Reynolds with another topic to use in trying to distract voters.

And Reynolds doesn’t need a gift like that.

The governor has aired two particular television ads so often about Hubbell’s time as the top executive at the Younkers department store chain that many people can almost recite the entire script from memory — or at least the “money” line, “The only thing Fred Hubbell cared about was his own paycheck.”

Of course, it requires a certain amount of arrogance by the Reynolds campaign to criticize a business executive for closing department stores in the middle of a decades-long downturn in retailing, especially in mid-sized cities.

That hubris is even more obvious when you remember that Reynolds, during her time at the side of Terry Branstad, was involved in the closure of the state mental health institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant, the Iowa Juvenile Home at Toledo and 36 Iowa Workforce Development field offices across Iowa.

The fundamental issue in the governor’s race — the real issue that is at stake on Nov. 6 — is whether our state needs new leaders to guide us through these challenging times that await us.

When you have a chance to see Kim Reynolds or her lieutenant governor nominee, Adam Gregg, a lawyer originally from Hawarden, or when you can attend an event with Fred Hubbell or his lieutenant governor pick, Rita Hart, a farmer and former teacher from Wheatland, don’t just listen politely to their speeches.

Be sure to ask them about their vision for the state and compare that with where you think Iowa needs to be headed.

Ask Reynolds about how she is going to end the horror stories coming out of the state’s privatization of the Medicaid program, with recipients being denied care their doctors believe is essential and with health services providers going for four or five months or longer without being paid for services and equipment they have already provided.

Ask the governor why she booted David Hudson of Windsor Heights from the Iowa Medical Assistance Advisory Council. Was it just a coincidence that he had expressed his family’s frustrations with the way privatized Medicaid was treating his disabled son? Or was she trying to stifle a critical public voice?

Ask the candidates about their vision for Iowa’s K-12 schools. Ask them if local schools have a role that is bigger than just providing STEM training (science, technology, engineering and math).

Quiz them about the quality of water in Iowa’s rivers and lakes. Would they be satisfied if this contamination were flowing into our state from Minnesota rather than moving out of Iowa by way of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers?

Don’t let them tap-dance away from answering where they intend to go in the state budget to find the savings that will be necessary to balance the budget in the coming years if revenues continue to lag behind expenses.

Ask Reynolds and Hubbell whether they would endorse finally providing funding for the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund that a significant majority of voters approved in 2010. The Branstad/Reynolds team was never inclined to fund the fund after voters spoke resoundingly.

Quiz Reynolds and Hubbell about tuition at the state universities and the cost of attending Iowa’s community colleges. These institutions have been an important road to improved prosperity for generations of Iowa young people, but it certainly seems as if the cost of a college education is moving beyond the reach of many young Iowans.

These are the kinds of issues Kim Reynolds and Fred Hubbell should be addressing. Don’t let the focus of the campaign remain on what happened to the Younkers stores 30 years ago.

There’s much more than a yellow-dot special riding on the Nov. 6 election.


by Randy Evans
Reprinted from Bloomfield Democrat
Posted 9/6/18

7 Comments on "Time To Focus On The Real Issues In The Governor’s Race"

  • This is what you get when the party’s old guards chose who they feel deserves to run for office instead of someone more interested in advancing this state and its people as a whole . What we have with these two is 4 more years of stagnating crap , so you may as well gust flip a coin !

  • I hope you sent this to the candidates’ inboxes, too, Randy. I would crawl over broken glass to vote AGAINST Reynolds, but not everyone in the state has a (medical) dog in this fight as my family (and that of David Hudson, etc., etc.) does.
    As the old commercial said, “Where’s the beef?” I see french fries and perhaps some toppings on a sundae, but no meal, yet.
    C’mon, candidates! Tell us voters what you plan to do! Therre ARE substantive differences between you two; tell us what those differences are!

  • I agree sending wake-up calls to the candidates inboxes. “Iowa nice” is not going to cut it in this time and place in our country. They should both have to be held accountable and explain their policy stands to the people who will be most affected by them. Also having an opinion on national matters does impact locally-take a stand.

  • Most Iowans really don’t care what happened 30 years ago regarding a
    business decision. We are more concerned with the recent history of Iowa
    politics and how it effects our every day
    life. We need to know the candidates’
    vision of the future.

  • We say we want a candidate who runs on the issues, but do we really? We had a candidate in the primaries, Cathy Glasson, who clearly ran on five popular issues. But, unlike recent primary voters in other states, Iowans thought Glasson was too “radical.” Has it become radical to run on the issues? I fully support Hubbell–but I wonder about his advisors. Get out front and promise you will: fully fund education, restore collective bargaining rights, regulate corporate agriculture and its resulting water pollution! Explain these problems and define your solutions. Be bold.

  • Big surprise! With the exception of mental health, Hubbell never ran on issues. Cathy Glasson, however, ran on clearly popular issues: $15 minimum wage, fully funded public education, restoring union rights and universal health care. But she was labeled “radical” and “unelectable” by the state Dem party. Hubbell was the choice of the old party guard and his advisors appear to be grossly out of touch.

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