Insiders followup: Former Democratic Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge made her debut this weekend on Channel 13's "Insiders". It's the first time I got to talk to her in this setting since she and Governor Chet Culver lost the election last year. Judge blames the defeat on the duo's failure to spread their message. She didn't have much bad to say about Culver. I mentioned to Judge that I didn't understand why the administration didn't have anything in place to track the nearly $800 million IJOBS plan (statehouse Democrats resisted strongly that name, by the way, realizing that all the focus would be on how many jobs the program created). I did stories last summer on the outdated IJOBS website and the governor's changing predictions about the number of jobs the program would bring.
In the end, the administration never could give us actual numbers, despite the millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent. Judge admitted she didn't understand why the jobs weren't tracked either. The only other possible critical moment of the show could have been when former GOP Chairman Mike Mahaffey questioned whether Culver was really "engaged" in governing, especially during Culver's last 2 years in office. Judge didn't say anything, neither agreeing or disagreeing with Mahaffey's assertion. Does that mean she agreed with Mahaffey, or perhaps, she was just being polite and not interrupting as the conversation continued?
Judge also had an interesting take on the "Occupy" movement that's now spreading across the world. I asked whether the movement will have any staying power in bringing any actual change. She mentioned being a student at the University of Iowa during the 1960s when students took over the building (she wasn't part of that, though, she pointed out) to protest the Vietnam War. And, of course, it was those students who helped join others nationwide that ultimately fueled the movement to get American combat troops out of Vietnam.
Here's the show in case you missed it this morning.