FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2006
Contact: Kristi Dusenbery
Sioux City, IA - “The rules haven’t changed, Governor Vilsack,” Republican Candidate for Governor Bob Vander Plaats stated today. “Innovation and creativity have always been the cornerstone of a successful economy and ‘strong communities’ have always been a credit to the people who live in them…not bigger government.”
Vander Plaats issued this statement in response to Governor Tom Vilsack’s Condition of the State Address, saying that he found Visack’s remarks conflicting, “The governor talks of strong communities, but his walk is all about bigger government.”
“Iowans are well-educated and quite capable of owning their own destinies.” Vander Plaats said. “The foundation of our democracy was built on a government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people.' I believe that Governor Vilsack is proposing that strong communities are built 'of the government, by the government and for the government.' I strongly disagree.”
Rather than viewing parental involvement as innovative, Vander Plaats says that, “Iowa’s leaders need to embrace parents as the best possible resource for quality early childhood development and to provide them with the opportunities necessary to fulfill that role.”
Since 1998, when Vilsack first took office, Iowa’s national ranking in teacher pay has fallen from 35th in the nation to 41st.
While embracing good teachers as a critical element to the success of our schools, Vander Plaats believes that, “Iowa’s leaders must provide those teachers with the opportunity to do the job they love to do, instead of burdening them with impractical federal mandates and an overwhelming bureaucracy.”
“With Iowa’s schools receiving an overall grade of C- and an F for standards and accountabilities, it is time to take a look at the big picture,” said Vander Plaats. “It is reckless to suggest that the simple presence of more money will resolve the challenges facing our schools.”
Referring to Iowa’s business climate, Vander Plaats stated, “Although our number one priority should be making Iowa open for business, Vilsack’s strongest statement about our economy was a reference to state income levels.”
“Iowa has the worst ranking in the nation regarding entrepreneurial climate and is near-last in the nation for population growth,” Vander Plaats said. “Our college graduates and seniors are planning their futures elsewhere. It is time to confront these brutal facts and offer long-term solutions, within a sustainable budget.”
“The government’s role in building strong communities is not to pick winners and losers or to handicap business with an unfair tax burden,” Vander Plaats continued. “Rather, government’s role is to provide a level playing-field and a fair and competitive tax structure so that individuals and businesses are free to succeed.”
Parents and teachers are the cornerstone of strong communities…not bloated spending. Business leaders, healthcare providers and faith-based organizations are the cornerstone of strong communities…not big government.
Vander Plaats said he will continue sharing a message of hope for a stronger Iowa. “It is time we show Iowans that their government trusts them to direct their own destinies.”