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The Exchange, 09/26/18, Steve King, State Auditor Candidates


The Exchange. 092618

Welcome to the Exchange on Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.  

This week we will talk with 4thDistrict Congressman Steve King and with the state auditor candidates.  But first, an update on a local historical preservation project. Efforts to rehabilitate the old Warrior Hotel are progressing.  

On Monday, the City Council gave the Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building renovation project the green light by voting to amend an existing agreement with the developer.  The council voted 3-1 to amend the agreement and guarantee $16.5 million in historic tax credits, bringing the city's total financial commitment to the project to nearly $30 million in assistance.

Councilman Pete Groetken cast the lone dissenting vote. Councilman Dan Moore, who has abstained from past votes on the project because his law firm represents the developer, Lew Weinberg, was absent.

In March, the City Council approved an economic development agreement package for the Warrior project that offered more than $12 million in assistance in the form of a loan, grant, and property tax rebates. Then, Weinberg asked the city consider a $16.5 million historic tax credit guarantee until the project receives the anticipated funding from the state. If the $65 million project fails to receive the historic tax credits, the city could be required to make up the difference to Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust Co. and would be liable for repayment if the developer defaults on the bridge loan.

Before the vote, Groetken said he thinks the proposed Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building renovation is a "terrific project"  but said he was concerned about the fact that the city won’t know what the state is going to do in terms of awarding the tax credits.

I know that there is a conditional approval for $14.5 million, but the amount requested now is $16.5 million. It seems to me that we've got the cart in front of the horse," "It would be more appropriate to approve the development agreement when we know what the tax credits will be, as opposed to not knowing."

Councilwoman Rhonda Capron said developer Lew Weinberg needs the money and the city needs the Warrior Hotel renovated.

"The way I look at it, this is the last chance. It's been sitting there for 40 years. I think we need to jump on it and get it moving,"   

If the state awards the project $14.5 million in November, as the developer anticipates, City Attorney Nicole DuBois told Groetken the city's obligation would be reduced by that amount and potentially $2 million would be left for the city to guarantee. Come spring, if the state awards the project an additional $2 million, the city's obligation would be complete. Weinberg said he plans to modify his application for historic tax credits and resubmit it to the state in October.

You’re listening to the Exchange on Siouxland Public Media.  I’m Mary Hartnett.  Last week, we talked with JD Scholten, the Democratic nominee for the Iowa 4th Congressional District seat, which is held by Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King.  In a recent poll, Scholton was trailing King by only six percentage points, which a much tighter race that Steve King has been used to in the past.  This week, we hear from King. I caught up with the Congressman at a Woodbury County Republican Party Meeting at the Sioux City Country Club Friday evening.  King said voters know they can count on him to be a full spectrum social and fiscal conservative.  


In: “And I’ve acted on that all along . ..”

Out: “. . . for my wall.”

That was longtime Republican 4thdistrict congressman Steve King.  King is facing off with Democratic challenger JD Scholten in the November 6thgeneral election.  I spoke with King at a Republican party meeting in Sioux City.  

You’re listening to The Exchange, on Siouxland  Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.  Since the election of President Donald Trump, new candidates from unexpected backgrounds have been coming forward, wanting to make their voices heard.  Some of these candidates have been getting some help from Sayu Bhojawani, the founder and president of New American Leaders, the only national organization focused on preparing immigrant leaders to run for public office. Her new book is called, “People Like Us: The New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy’s Door.” The book tells stories of how local and state immigrant candidates have found their place as representatives of their people. Bhojawanie says she felt a natural affinity with these optimistic would-be politicians.


In: “So you know . . .”

Out: “. . . take a leadership position.”

That was Sayu Bhojawanie, the author of “People Like Us: The New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy’s Door.”  The book is partly a guide for immigrants who want to run for office and also includes inspiring stories of immigrant politicians who have already been elected.  She’s also the founder and president of New American Leaders, the only national organization focused on preparing immigrant leaders to run for public office.

You’re listening to The Exchange on Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.  This year, the incumbent Republican State Auditor Mary Mosiman is being challenged by ex Assistant District Attorney General Rob Sand.  I talked with both of the candidates about their ideas about the auditor’s office and how to improve it.  First, we hear from Mary Mosiman.  Mosiman has been the state auditor since being appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in May of 2013. She was elected to a four-year term on November 4, 2014, becoming the first female elected State Auditor in Iowa history.   Mosiman says auditor’s office is the taxpayers’ watchdog, that audits all of state government with oversight responsibilities for local government.


In: “We are . . .”

Out: “. . . early next week.”

That was Iowa’s State Auditor, Mary Mosiman.  She’s running against challenger Rob Sand.   Sand was named an Assistant Attorney General in September 2010 by Attorney General Tom J. Miller and spent much of his first 18 months investigating and prosecuting tax credit fraud related to Iowa’s filmmaking tax credit program.  Sand says he has already spent a lot of time working on fraud cases with the auditor’s office.

Ex-Iowa Assistant Attorney General and State Auditor Candidate, Rob Sand (D)

Iowa State Auditor Mary Mosiman (R)


In: “I have worked very closely with . . .”

Out:  “. . . before election day.”

That was Rob Sand, the Democratic candidate who is challenging Incumbent State Auditor in this November’s general election.  Sand was an assistant attorney general for the state of Iowa.

A new report concludes a majority of newly-registered voters in Iowa are under the age of 30 and the percentage is increasing.

According to NextGen Rising, a group created and financed by a California billionaire, nearly 57 percent of Iowans who’ve registered to vote in the past nine months are either Millennials or part of Generation Z.

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