Thursday, June 26, 2008

No Special Session?

I'm still trying to figure out what to make of a late afternoon meeting at the Iowa Statehouse today. Democratic and Republican leaders, their staffs, Lt. Governor Patty Judge, Homeland Security Administrator Dave Miller and representatives from FEMA all met for a little more than an hour. The participants told me they heard primarily about numbers...flood damage, houses affected, etc. But afterwards, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said a special session may not be necessary (House Speaker Pat Murphy seemed to agree). Governor Chet Culver has said previously he may call lawmakers back into special session so they could best figure out how to pay for the state's share of flood recovery efforts. It felt like news. Why was Gronstal saying this?

If you believe the whispers from lobbyists and other "insiders", Culver and Gronstal aren't exactly the best of friends. And Gronstal doesn't like Culver to tell everyone how things are going to be. For the record, both men deny there's any rift between them (You will remember Gronstal considered running for governor. He ended up supporting Culver's Democratic primary opponent, Mike Blouin).

Gronstal said there's no need to rush into special session, since they're still waiting to see how much money the feds will come up with to help Iowa.
Culver didn't take part in the meeting this afternoon. His staff told me he has already spoken to legislative leaders in the past 24 hours. And today, the staff said, the Governor was interviewing potential court appointees. Staff said Culver is still assessing damage estimates, which would take a few weeks, but could still "do things legislatively" if it is necessary (i.e., call a special session). Hmmm.....


I know we don't need this rain here in the metro right now, but as my dad says "hopefully it will knock down some of that humidity in the air." No doubt. Last night I went for about a 2 1/2 mile run and probably looked like I ran 20 miles. But I see today I should consider myself lucky that I live in Des Moines (West Des Moines, actually).

Old Spice ranked the top 100 cities where you would likely sweat the most during the summer. Is this really scientific? Anyway, Phoenix, Vegas and Tallahassee top the list. Des Moines comes in a nice, dry 60. I feel cooler already.

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