Republicans Terry Branstad and running mate Kim Reynolds took square aim at a number of Gov. Chet Culver's policies during a campaign stop in Marshalltown Thursday.
"You have my word that I will do everything in my power every waking moment I have to put a leader back in the governor's office," Reynolds said after being introduced by Branstad.
Reynolds and Branstad both focused a great deal of time on economic development and tax issues, saying that the governor had failed to show leadership in these areas in particular. Branstad mentioned the $1.6 billion coal power plant project that did not take place in Marshalltown as something he would have supported whole heartedly.
T-R PHOTO BY KEN BLACK
GOP gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad speaks as his running mate, Kim Reynolds (left) and Marshalltown Mayor Gene Beach (center) look on during a campaign stop Thursday. Branstad focused his speech on tax reform and economic development.
Despite his support for the coal-fired power plant, Branstad said he would continue to look for ways to push renewable energy in Iowa as well, whether that was wind, ethanol or biodiesel.
"We need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil," he said. "We also know we are seeing dramatic increases in the yields of our crops and we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil by growing our own energy here."
On tax issues, the former governor accused Culver of being complacent, despite the problems that many feel exist in the system.
"Culver said four years ago he was going to reform the tax on commercial property," Branstad said. "He appointed a commission. They studied it and that was the end of it. They did nothing."
Branstad said that if elected governor again, he would look at moving some of the services that have been pushed onto the local governments, particularly mental health and school funding, and making those more state funded. Along with that, he would put on a caveat that mandates those levies be abolished, which he said would provide instant property tax reductions for all classes of property across the board.
He said he did something very similar when he was governor before, but critics have since tried to distort his record on those issues.
"That was property tax relief and they called it spending," he said.
Branstad beat two other challengers in the GOP primary for governor, receiving more than 50 percent of the vote against challengers Bob Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts. He is currently ahead of Culver in all polls on the governor's race.
Contact Ken Black at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org