Friday, December 31, 2010

The director (that devil) made them do it

The latest argument to get document tampering charges thrown out against Malcolm Price Laboratory School parents and grandparents is that state law didn't even allow it to charge tuition. But an earlier contention by the eight people accused of trying to dodge higher tuition remains the most troubling aspect of this case. They're simply saying they falsified their addresses because David Smith, former director of the University of Northern Iowa-run school, told them to do it. Rather than take any responsibility, they are demonizing someone else, as though they had no choice. They are likely telling the truth (especially since he was doing the same thing), but that doesn't make it a virtuous defense.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Branstad the Butcher

Gov.-elect Terry Branstad has made it clear he doesn't like all the extravagant programs Gov. Chet Culver has sunk state money into during his term in office. There's preschool offered free to anybody who wants it, without regard to their financial need. There's the taxpayer expense of bonding to pay for the I-JOBS flood recovery and infrastructure initiative. It'd be better to reduce those high corporate income taxes if you want to attract jobs to Iowa.
But don't go so far as to offer tax credits to bring jobs related to the movie industry to Iowa. After all, that was at the center of a scandal during the Culver administration.
Then there's Culver's questionable decision to quickly approve state employee contracts without allowing the incoming administration any input. Branstad's really mad about that.
So, the new governor is promising to take a meat cleaver to the current budget as soon as he is sworn into office. Waaay too much fat on the bone in an economically troubled time.
Hopefully, any changes Branstad can push through won't have a negative effect on Iowa's economy. After all, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks it the eighth-fastest-growing in the nation. And a 24/7 Wall St. study ranked Iowa the third-best-run state.
Watch for future appearances of Branstad the Butcher in this blog space. I'm sure he'll be back.