The Sioux City Journal fronts, and other outlets carry news that U.S. Rep. Steve King is thinking about running for governor in 2010. Charlotte Eby reports that King hasn’t made up his mind, but doesn’t want to limit his options. King was on a Des Moines swing, taping an Iowa Press program, meeting with GOP leaders and speaking to a Catholic pro-life rally, where he was heckled by peace activists.
Eby and AP’s Mike Glover each note that King says his first job is to unify the Republican party, which he believes has strayed from its core conservative principles. Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports that new Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn joined one of King’s closed-door meetings with lawmakers.
I think it’s a real long shot that King will leave a safe congressional seat and national bully pulpit to run an uphill race for governor that he probably can’t win. But he loves the attention, so a-mulling he will go.
Speaking of long-shots, The Des Moines Register reports on legislationfiled by Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, that would force almost two-thirds of Iowa’s school districts to consolidate. McCoy takes aim at districts with fewer than 750 students, and says consolidations would save millions of dollars in administration costs that could be used for other education needs.
This is, of course, going to draw plenty of fire from rural school districts and local control advocates. The state has largely left consolidation decisions to local officials, while attempting to coax them with incentives. How’s it working? The story notes that only one consolidation was recorded last year.
It’s a very necessary debate, although I’ll be surprised if McCoy’s bill gets very far.
The famous $19,000 Rebuild Iowa Office carpet is back in the news. The Gazette reportson RIO executive director Ron Dardis’ trip back to the Capitol Monday to answer more questions about the office. Last week, we were told moldy carpet was ordered replaced by Lt. Gov. Judge. Now, Gen. Dardis says the replacement was ordered by the Department of Administrative Services.
Dardis tried to argue that questions about carpet should not be the focus of a commtitee that’s supposed to be focused on rebuilding Iowa. But Republicans on the panel argued that it’s important to make sure an office formed to help victims rebuild is sticking to its priorities. Tough to argue with that.
And last week, you may remember I praised Dunkerton for getting a clean bill of financial health from a state audit. Well, now comes news in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that the town’s council and mayor got extra pay for more than a year due to an “honest mistake.” The council passed a pay cut last year over the mayor’s veto, but the city clerk failed to publish the ordinance. We’re not talking about a lot of money here, folks, but still…
My search for competent government continues.