Vaudt v Culver

No, no.  It’s just a headline.  There’s no lawsuit.  The Republican state auditor held a news conferenc today and he said the Democratic governor’s budget plan is $400 million “out of balance.” The Radio Iowa story is here, with quotes like this:  “I can write 1+1=3 on a sheet of paper, but we all know it doesn’t work and that’s where we’re at with this budget.”  That quote came from State Auditor Dave Vaudt, not from Governor Chet Culver.  Vaudt says Culver should submit a new budget to legislators because the one he presented in late January is not balanced, according to the auditor.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette’s story is here.  Here’s the power point presentation the auditor presented to reportes during his news conference.  The Des Moines Register’s story is here

Troy Price, Governor Culver’s press secretary, released a written statement.  Read it below:

“The Governor’s Budget proposal is balanced, plain and simple, and the Auditor’s analysis is simply wrong. 

“It’s an election year, and he is clearly taking his orders from the Republican Party of Iowa to try and influence this election as much as possible.  Well, the people of Iowa deserve better than this.  They expect their Auditor to provide an independent analysis, and not throw partisan attacks on the taxpayer dime.

“What’s more, it took him two weeks to do this.  Either he fell asleep at the switch, and just now got around to looking at the budget, or he needed to take two weeks to put this outlandish and ridiculous attack together.  I certainly hope the Auditor’s auditing practices are more timely than his review of the Governor’s budget.

“The fact is the Governor submitted a balanced budget.  In the last two weeks, it has already undergone significant review and amendment by the legislature, and the Governor is working closely with them to craft a budget that is balanced and protects the Governor’s priorities.  And just like every other year, at the end of the session the Governor will sign and implement a budget that is fiscally conservative, balanced, and protects the priorities of Iowans.”

The Iowa Democratic Party’s chairman issued a statement, too.  The Republican Party of Iowa’s chairman issued a longer statement.  (Not that we’re measuring, but an observation.) Republican legislators, however,  did not release statements.  Chris Rants, one of four Republican gubernatorial candidates, hasn’t tweeted about it, and I’ve not received any communications from the campaigns of the other three GOP candidates on this topic either.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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