A lot of Iowa roads suffered a lot of damage, and the state of Iowa will need a bunch of money to fix them. But Governor Chet Culver told us today raising the gas tax isn't the way to raise that cash. He mentioned other states have looked to "privatizing" roads, which I assume means he was talking about toll roads. I don't think he was pushing the idea here. But I don't recall him saying he wouldn't go for it either. Stay tuned on that one, I guess.
King vs. Culver--Earlier this week, Steve King, Iowa's Republican Fifth District Republican Congressman, told me he is "looking at" running against Culver for governor in 2010. I didn't expect Culver to say, "bring it on, buddy" (or some other moniker). And he didn't.
He told me he was actually looking forward to working with King next week when he goes to D.C. to work on finding federal money for Iowa's flood recovery efforts. Part of his quote was, "we'll worry about 2010 in a couple of years. Right now I'm trying to get the job done as governor and we have to work together. Even though it is an election year and what do you expect, a little partisan rhetoric is always part of the process." Oh, well. I tried.
The Gov also said he thinks ticked off smoking voters won't take out their nicotine-less-fueled anger against lawmakers who voted for the smoking ban. In fact, he said just the opposite. He thinks voters will reward lawmakers who voted for the ban. We'll have to see what some bar owners think about that.
The Gov wouldn't take a position on whether he thinks the legislature should add casinos to the ban during the session next year. He said, "we'll see what the next step is in terms of that issue and any others." Again. I tried.