$300,000 for a consultant

News that Governor Culver plans to spend $300,000 to hire a consulting firm, to find ways to pare down the state budget, is drawing ridicule from Republicans.  House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) issued a news release this morning with this headline: Culver Hires Consultant to Explain Budget.  Read the news release below.

(DES MOINES)—As Gov. Culver’s staff put the final touches on a plan to spend $300,000 on an out-of-state consultants to find budget savings, House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) encouraged the governor to instead enact savings offered by House Republicans earlier this year.

“Gov. Culver is spending money to find solutions that we offered in April,” said Paulsen.  “House Republicans’ list of savings would have increased transparency, brought more accountability to budgeting and reduced unnecessary spending.”

In March, Republicans launched a website to gather Iowans’ input on cost-saving measures.  Soon after, House Republicans offered these suggestions, among others, such as selling part of the state vehicle fleet and reducing office supplies, which were nearly all rejected by Legislative Democrats. 

“It’s clear the governor continues to not understand his own budget,” said Paulsen.  “House Republicans will continue to offer savings and stand ready to meet with him to discuss solutions that will save the taxpayers money and make government more efficient.”

UPDATE:  Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats issued a statement on this subject late this afternoon.


SIOUX CITY – Governor Chet Culver’s decision to spend another $300,000 in taxpayer money to hire a Pennsylvania efficiency firm in hopes of closing his $1 billion budget gap is further proof that he is “in over his head, sinking fast and frantically clawing to save his political life,” leading GOP challenger Bob Vander Plaats said today.

“The Democrats are always fond of saying you can’t run government like a business and then Chet Culver runs out and hires an out-of-state business to tell him how to run Iowa’s state government. The truth is Chet Culver wants someone else to make the tough decisions for him and this latest move proves it once again,” Vander Plaats said. “Chet Culver is in over his head with almost $1 billion in excessive spending and he’s just added another $300,000 to it. Iowans elect a governor, not a company, to make those decisions. It’s time to man up, Governor.”

The Sioux City businessman added, “I’m willing to make tough decisions to balance our budget using the core principles of less government, lower taxes and higher quality. And that’s why Iowans will reject Chet Culver next year and put a real leader in the governor’s office again so we can straighten out his budget mess.”

Vander Plaats, whose experience as a chief executive officer includes the turnaround of a struggling non-profit health-care provider, said Culver’s decision to pay the outside firm shows “he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he doesn’t trust state agency directors to get us out of the problems caused by his overspending.”

“At a time when Iowans are losing their jobs and being asked to take pay cuts or freezes, Chet Culver has increased state spending by roughly 20 percent and the size of state government by 2,500 employees.  He doesn’t need to pay a Pennsylvania company $300,000 to figure out the problem. I’ll give him the advice for free, ‘When you’re in a hole, quit digging. And when you’re as deep in debt as you’ve driven the state of Iowa, quit spending so much money,’” Vander Plaats said.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.