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Blouin steps down as IA Dev. Dir. to explore gubernatorial bid

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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:55 AM
Original message
Blouin steps down as IA Dev. Dir. to explore gubernatorial bid
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Iowa's top economic development leader is resigning to pursue a possible run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006.

Mike Blouin, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, scheduled a press conference this morning to announce his decision. Blouin is forming an exploratory campaign committee, but his departure from state government fuels expectations that he will formally enter the race later this year.


<snip>

Blouin presided over the creation and revival of the massive Iowa Values Fund economic development program, which he contends has helped create and retain thousands of jobs since 2003. Blouin delayed a decision on his political future this spring while state lawmakers debated values fund legislation.

<snip>

Dianne Bystrom, a political science professor at Iowa State University said Blouin's economic development record will be his strength. But Blouin has taken a pro-life stand on abortion and Bystrom said it's uncertain whether he can win the nomination of a largely pro-choice party.

<snip>

http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2005/07/06/news/poli...


tom2 posted this w/in a thread yesterday. Still unofficial, but sure sounds official (must have some assurances that he can raise the money) Didn't Tom Miller run w/an anti-choice stance and lose in the primary? How long ago was that? Debi
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IA_Seth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh man, now I am torn.
I really respect Blouin and his strong record of economic development both locally (Cedar Rapids) and statewide, but I was not aware of his pro-life stance. I suppose I am a prime example of the type of voter he is going to miss out on unless he can do a LOT to change my mind.

While on the abortion topic, who the hell agreed that "pro-life" defines those that oppose it. How about "anti-choice" or "pro-govt interference in women's rights". We have to win the war of words in order to shift the discussion in our favor.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's why I didn't use the words pro-life
I prefer pro-women's reproductive health care choice but that is a mouthful now isn't it? :)

I'm not against economic development, but I am against tax revenues collected for community needs dolled out to big businesses for corporate greed. Blouin is going to have to explain Wells Fargo in Des Moines getting $$$ for expansion to me.

Several communities desired Values Fund dollars for community improvement yet it was the communities that had other funding sources for matching (casinos for one) that received the largest amount of Iowa tax dollars (not knocking those communities...have you seen Dubuque lately? WOW). When the other communities requested funding there wasn't much left to give out.

I'm not up on Labor Agreements for Values Fund work, but would want to know that the people who are working on the projects paid for by tax revenue are being paid a fair wage with fair benefits.

I'm tired of seeing large, cash-flush companies coming in to our communities and demanding free land, tax-free occupation of that land and state and local funding to build a business that will provide 50 jobs at $10.00 an hour. There has to be a better way.

Blouin's work with the Values Fund will not be enough for me to support him.
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tom2 Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. Governor not as important as legislature
I think Vilsack has shown that a Democratic governor with a Republican legislature is not very effective. The more important goal is to get Democratic control of the legislature. If the Republicans retain control, a Democratic governor cannot do much to stop them. On the other hand, a Republican governor can seriously restrict a Democratic House and Senate, and any Democrat in the governor's mansion would be better than a Republican.

The governor's mansion is important to us, but I do not think it will make much difference if it is a moderate or progressive Democrat. The legislature will be the one passing the laws. I say this because Blouin may be the best Democratic candidate, even though he may not be progressive on some of the issues we feel are important.

In Yepsen's column in the Register this morning, Blouin is quoted as saying that he is pro-life, but that he would not sign off on any legislation that goes against the Constitution. He would not be fighting for anti-choice legislation, and there would be none coming down the pike if Democrats control the legislature. Blouin would not veto Democrat legislation.

I think it is good that we have so many Democrats interested in running for governor. I hope the best Democrat gets the nomination, even if they do not share all of my views on a woman's right to choose or on some economic development issues.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. You never know what you'll get
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 01:22 PM by Debi
Remember Brandstad's last two years with a republican controlled Legislature? Nothing got done!

I worry about campaign promises made to get into an office, what is Blouin's history on women's rights when he was in the U.S. Congress? When he was in the State Legislature? If his personal views swayed his voting record then what would make it any different today?

I agree that we need the strongest Democrat to be the nominee, but shouldn't that individual promote the Democratic Platform that was created by Democrats at the State Convention?

Don't worry, if Blouin is the nominee he'll have my vote an my time and my money....ANYTHING to keep Jim Nussle out of Terrace Hill!


(Tom2, I'd love to PM you more about this but first you have to enable your profile...oh, and welcome to DU! :hi:)
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tom2 Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Nothing got done
That is my point, that there really was not much difference between when Branstad and Vilsack were governors. The legislature really sets the tone. When Branstad was governor, he tended to herd the legislature where he wanted to go. With Vilsack, the legislature tends to herd Vilsack. But the outcome is not much different.

We need a Democratic legislature and a Democratic Governor, but I do not think a progressive or moderate governor will make much difference. Fallon is closer to my views, but it would be probably the same if Fallon or Blouin was governor. As it comes down the stretch, I would go with Blouin as the nominee if it looks like he is the better candidate, pro-life or no.

Check out Yepsen's editorial on Blouin:
http://www.dmregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20...

I think I changed the PM option in my profile.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for the link
I cringe at the word 'electability' (especially now that Joe Biden has used it to kick off his Presidential campaign).

We are in agreement that whoever the strongest Democrat is we all need to get behind (and put our problems with that candidate aside).

Our household is supporting Chet Culver and that is where my time and money will be until after the primary. But, if Chet is not the nominee you will see a __________ yard sign the day after the primary!

I'll try to PM you.

Debi

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tom2 Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Electability scares me, too
After the Kerry campaign, electabiity has gotten a bad name. Kerry was three or four down my list at the time of the caucuses, mainly because I did not see him as that great a candidate (mostly because of his fuzzy stance on the war). But I always felt he would be a great president, and I worked hard to get him elected.

When it comes to the governor's race, I want the nominee to be a good candidate AND potential governor. I have an open mind at this point, and I am not writing off anyone, even a moderate Democrat.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I tried to PM you, I think you have to have more posts under your belt
before I can do that....I'll try later.

Blouin will be a strong candidate with the Governor behind him (at least I think the Governor is behind him).

I can't wait to see a debate or forum so we can see all the candidates together.

(Just got invited to a Fallon event next weekend, but we are unavailable, have seen him speak twice now so we have some idea where he's coming from)
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Would the governor support Chet C. or Blouin?
The anti-choice position bothers me since the Supremes seem to be one vote away from tossing it back to the states. If that happens the anti-choicers will be rabid for a law. I am sure the legislature will cave, so we'll need a pro-choice guv. BUT anybody but Nussle or VanderPlaats. Those men could lead us into the 10's - the 1910's.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. a little bird told me the Governor's not in Culver's corner
I hope that little bird is mistaken!

Agreed (A)nybody (B)ut a (R)epublican!!!
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pstans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I am against coporate hand outs
It would be much better to use the money to develop small business locally. Blouin was the architech behind the Values fund which is all corporate hand outs. Put pro-life on top of this and I might as well consider Blouin a Republican.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I am against corporate handouts also BUT
the other side of that coin is 'not doing anything to attract jobs or business to your state' or not doing enough. I think this is almost a damned if you do and damned if you don't situaution.
If every other state is playing this game, how can we not? It needs to be a well balanced policy with safeguards to keep the state from just being ripped off, which happens here and elsewhere. I think the current policy appears to be pretty solid. Of course there will be the unscrupulous who will exploit it.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. We could have a Governor that creates some sort of pacts
with neighboring states governors to stop the bidding wars. We could have a Governor who works with the US Congress to keep states from lowering living and working standards just to attract businesses.

We have to quit the downward spiral.

I wonder what using tax dollars to better community living (schools and child care, recreational activities, safe cities and better travel) would do to attract businesses. I wonder what $750 million dollars could have done to build up the assets of our state rather than just throwing it at corporations.

If I had the answer I'd be running for Governor - so I obvisouly don't. But I do think we as a state need to rethink the path that we're on.
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Blue Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 05:34 AM
Response to Original message
12. I met him last year
He seems like a pretty decent guy, but I can't back anyone who is against choice.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Wasn't it a couple of years ago that Vilsack vetoed the
Women's Right to Know bill? (72 hour mandatory waiting period - physician counselling - pamphlet reading and video watching)

Since that wouldn't have made abortion illegal (so wasn't unconstitutional) would Blouin have signed that? Interpreting his words in Yepsen's article, it seems the answer would be yes.

"If it's contradictory to Roe V. Wade, I think I've got an obligation to uphold the Constitution" and veto it. He added: "If I can leave a mark, I'd like to create an environment where the need for abortion gradually disappears. Then you've accomplished the same thing" as enacting a legal ban on the practice.

But on other issues, he said "if bills are passed that come to me I'll look at them from the perspective of someone who is pro-life and if it's constitutional, I'll be inclined to be supportive of it. If it's not, I don't believe in putting the state through the futility of a process in court that has no meaning at all."


http://www.dmregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20...
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