Governor Kim Reynolds is desperately trying to use distorted and negative ads to damage Fred Hubbell. Reynolds’ latest charge is that Hubbell, while head of the Iowa Power Fund, wasted taxpayer money and didn’t create any jobs. Yet, Reynolds is on record praising the very investments made by the Power Fund under Hubbell’s leadership. Reynolds’ Director of Economic Development, Debi Durham, described the Power Fund board and staff in glowing terms.
“They did what they were asked to do,” she says of the board and the staff. “It accomplished a great deal.”
The Power Fund began in 2007 as a bi-partisan proposal of $25 million a year for four years (a total of $100 million). The money was to be spent on all types of renewable energy: ethanol, biodiesel, wind and solar. As the chair of the power fund, Hubbell championed renewable energy, leading to a number of successful projects focusing on rural Iowa.
“I was the chairman of the Iowa Power Fund, a state-funded group tasked with pursuing investments in innovative alternative energy solutions. With a focus on rural Iowa, we led bold investments in projects ranging from a cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, to an anaerobic digester in Amana to an algae plant in Shenandoah, to TPI Composites, where Quint Gearhart now works,” said Hubbell.
The Hubbell campaign released a new TV ad designed to counter Reynolds’ false claims that the Power Fund wasted money under Hubbell’s leadership. It shows then-Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and other GOP leaders at the 2015 opening of a cellulosic plant in Nevada. The state of the art plant was built with money from the Power Fund. Reynolds attended the plant’s ground breaking in 2012 and returned to celebrate the opening in 2015. She wasn’t criticizing Hubbell’s’ use of Power Fund’s critical investment back then.
Reynolds called the project, “a prime example of the spirit of innovation” and added the opening was “a testimony to one company’s [DuPont’s] vision and the reality that our state’s economic strategy is working.”
Reynolds also charged that Hubbell had investments in DuPont. Once again, Reynolds went negative by suggesting there was something improper about Hubbell’s investment in DuPont.
The facts show Hubbell’s Dupont investment was public record and Hubbell was just one of 11 voting on assistance for the plant. There was nothing inappropriate about the Hubbell investments, and to suggest otherwise, is outrageous. The fact that Reynolds, Governor Branstad, Senator Grassley and Congressman King all attended the plant opening in 2015 and extolled the investment, is proof of Reynolds’ flip-flopping today. Apparently, Reynolds liked Hubbell’s leadership in the Power Fund investment, before she disliked it.
Hubbell doesn’t stop there. He offers specific job creation details that totally contradict Reynolds’ negative ad claims of no jobs created. Hubbell’s campaign quotes from the 2010 impact study:
“The Power Fund investments in 31 projects were generating more than $103 million annually in economic activity, creating more than 430 jobs with tax revenue and payroll benefits, and generating projects totaling $368 million in early years.”
Just as Reynolds’ earlier attacks on Hubbell’s leadership of Younkers stores have been proven false, she is doubling down with more false accusations about Hubbell’s outstanding leadership on the Power Fund.
It’s clear the Reynolds spin team is worried about talking about her disastrous record. They have gone negative because they have a failed record that they are running away from. They have nearly destroyed the Iowa Medicaid program by turning management over to for-profit companies that are putting thousands of Iowans’ health care at risk.
In addition, Reynolds has put Iowa’s future educational achievement at risk with dangerously inadequate funding. She allowed Iowa’s public employees including thousands of teachers to be stripped of their rights to have a voice in their salaries and benefits. Lastly, Iowa’s water quality has continued to deteriorate under Reynolds’ watch with no serious plan to reverse the decline.
Reynolds’ record is not a pretty picture. It’s no wonder she chooses to go negative rather than discussing the issues critical to Iowans.
by Rick Smith