Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Giving Credit where Credit is due…

One of the most difficult things for me to do is communicate with my readers are some things that go on in the State Legislature. Sure I can shed some light here and there and fill in a back story on occasion, but I’m not there, I’m not in the arena as they say.

One of the guys in the arena is Rep. Christopher Rants. Now to some he’s a villain, others see him as a victim. But what is true, is that Rants is intelligent and very knowledgeable about these issues. Fortunately, he also uses his blog and twitter to communicate.

On his website blog he is starting a series of posts that offer areas where our state can save money. This is much needed information and people should go check it out.

His use of Twitter today is phenomenal. If you want to know what’s in Culver’s budget proposal go read it here. This is what he’s got thus far.

Krusty Kudos to Rep. Rants.

Culver says all $180M of his cuts fr this year carry forward to FY10, LSA & reality disagree, only $80M carry forward - can't cut a bldg 2x

Culver currently planning no changes to current FY09 budget - thinks we'll get by - daily receipts make that unlikely in my opinion

Culver does $0 fund state employee salary bill - so no matter whats negotiated, depts have $0 to pay for it. Bold move for him.

Culver budget $100M short of closing the $779M gap - he uses plug numbers, underfunds medicaid, etc... Leaves a hole for Legislature to fill

Property Tax increase #2 - Culver cuts K-12 allowable growth but not spending authority - allows districts to levy $50M more in prop tax

Property Tax Increase #1 - Culver under funds the homestead prop tax credit by $41M from last year

Culver also proposed killing the Gambler Treatment program - which is funded with gaming revenue - so I think we'll see more shifts

Culver proposes caping the research and activities tax credit - not good for business development

Culver proposes scooping the last $27M in the Senior LIving Trust - and then killing the Trust Fund program - gone forever

Culver budget exempts the AG's Victims Compensation fund of $4M from his reduction - a good move. I hope the Legis Ds follow through on it.

Culver sites $20M in savings from "improving efficiencies"... He should read my blog post on the state vehicle fleet

Culver is calls for $200M in reserve funds in FY2010, AND $56 M in reserve funds for this year as well, FY 09

Culver's budget document just hit the desks in the statehouse


  1. "What’s a Poor Candidate to Do?" by Unnannounced candidate for Gov - Chris Rants - Sponsored by Doug Gross.

    "The other day I heard on WHO radio Bob Vanderplaats announce his candidacy for governor. He followed that up by recounting how he told Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that he’d love to be Governor with a $600 Million budget deficit because it’d allow him to dig in and make some real changes.

    I thought for sure he’d follow that up with some specifics on what he’d trim out of the budget. I mean he had a legislative leader sitting on one side, and a former state auditor sitting on the other. Surely he had some notion of what he would actually do… but I guess that was expecting too much. Instead we’ll just get more platitudes and no real solutions."

    Meowww! The primary has started. Although, Chris is right. Come on Bob. We need leadership out of you. What would you do? What would you cut?

    Don't tease. Your profession is motivational leadership. How about you show it to us with a real live example.

  2. I bet Tim Albrechts new blog - will interestingly and coincidentally be very pro Chris Rants. Tim currently works for the shadow RPI group over in Cedar Rapids funded by the Doug Gross republicans - the ones that all worked for Romney.

    I'm glad to see it Tim. We need more not less of this - but let's be honest about why it's being done. Krusty was always a front for canidates too, under the guise of being independent.

    I like what I'm seeing so far though. We need much louder and more frequent publicity. We have to do what the Register won't do.

    We also desparetly need new blood on John Bachman's show. I'd rather see Chris Rants than Doug Gross. I really don't get his being on that show. and I really really really don't get why Mike Mahaffey is on that show.

    Could they get some current people? It's boring boring boring.

    Good job by everyone but John Bachman!

  3. I chuckled a few columns ago when Tim said his blog was going to be just a little hobby.

    Why would you incorporate it as an LLC if it's just a hobby? Thoughts?

  4. Chris is showing the difference between R's and D's. Doing an ATB cut is chickenshit democrat socialism - all the programs have the same value so they all cut the same.

    R's know that merit is real and that all programs have different value.

    I recommend a 100% cut to the budget of CIETC. I recommend a 100% cut to Creative Visions. I recommend a 100% cut to Urban Dream. I recommend a 100% cut to Characte Counts. I recommend a 100% tax cut to The Truth about Trade and Technology (???)..the graft goes on and on.

    I recommend we cut 100% out of each non-profit that is run by a current or former policitian.

  5. Krusty, we had enough of Rants' rants last year when you posted them weekly. The guy's an angry boor and hasn't helped our Party one bit as we slid lower and lower in statewide stature.

  6. Look, I’m not asking you to put him on your Christmas Card list or anything. As a blogger I’m a consumer of information. I want details so I can formulate my own opinions. That said we don’t get details from the Des Moines Register or other news organizations. We get sound bites.

    Currently I have shown you what Rants has provided.

    Leader Paulsen has sent out a release saying the following:

    House Republicans React to Governor’s Budget

    (DES MOINES)—Today legislators received Gov. Chet Culver’s budget plan for 2010. House Republicans point to several initial concerns with the governor's budget.

    “The governor has promised not to raise taxes, yet through his budget, Iowans and employers will see tax increases. He promised to fulfill his commitments to education, yet he comes up short on funding some of those priorities. He assured Iowans he would keep our commitment to the Senior Living Trust Fund, yet he eliminates the fund altogether,” said House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha).

    House Republicans continue to stress transparency and openness in the budgeting process.

    “Now that we have received the budget, count on House Republicans to dive into the details and outline savings and waste,” said Paulsen. “We’ll continue to be open and honest with Iowans about how each one of their taxpayer dollars is being spent and we will challenge any attempt to raise taxes on Iowa families during this tough economic times. As we comb through the details, we will make public our concerns about what we uncover. Republicans look forward to a bipartisan and open discussion with the governor and Democrats.

    Chairman Strawn added:

    RPI Chairman: Budget gimmicks no substitute for leadership
    (Des Moines) – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn has issued the following statement in response to Governor Culver’s 2010 budget proposal:
    "While this budget represents a step in the right direction, budget gimmicks and raiding reserve funds are no substitute for real leadership.

    Iowans need to hear from Governor Culver that these self-inflicted financial problems are the result of Democrat overspending, and Republicans stand ready to provide the leadership and spending discipline that our state desperately needs."

    I’m not cheerleading for Rants, I’m just telling you he’s providing the information people like me want.

  7. McKinley added:

    Two Years of Fiscal Mismanagement Lead Governor to Desperate Budgetary Measures

    Sen. McKinley: Concerns remain over governor's bonding proposal and plans to further raid state's rainy day fund

    DES MOINES, IA – Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) released the following statement in response to Governor Culver's budget proposal that was released today:

    "During the last two years, Governor Culver and legislative Democrats have unsustainably ballooned the state’s budget by nearly a billion dollars and left the state with hundreds of millions of dollars in deficits. Had the governor and legislative Democrats acted in a fiscally responsible manner in the first place, he would not be having to take these deep and desperate measures to try to plug the fiscal holes that that were self inflicted."

    "I look forward to taking a closer look at the details and specifics of the governor's budget proposal but I strongly urge him to reconsider any plans to further raid the state’s rainy day fund and I again ask the governor to halt the progress of any proposals that would saddle our children and grandchildren with years of debt as a result of bonding."


  8. If Rants is the best that Gross and co. and do for a primary candidate against BVP, they may as well save their money. He can provide all of the information he wants, the fact remains: The guy is a prick. I, for one, would drink raw gasoline straight from the pump before I would even consider voting for Rants.

  9. Looks like the dinky democrat commenters are back at it again!

  10. Thanks for the plug.

    When you see the site, you'll see what I'm going for, and will see why I call it a fun project. I'm hopeful that you all will find it useful.

    Rest assured, the site will not be a front for any candidates or groups. You'll understand when you view it. And, the LLC is there to help me actually brand it and turn it into something.

    Until then, please sign up for email updates at! It'll be launching next month, and I look forward to walking Iowa's rows with you (sorry, couldn't help myself on that one.)

    Tim Albrecht

  11. Krusty

    Saying that Rants is a "victim" is like saying Bernie Madoff, Napoleon, and Mussolini were merely misunderstood by their peers.

    I don't care how much current information he shoves our way. He helped shove the Dream Act, reckless spending, and a complete disregard for morality in government our way too.