The presidential contest is getting most of the attention in Iowa, butother races on the Iowa ballot have a big influence on the way things will operate at the statehouse. Republicans have held a majority of seats in the Iowa House and Senate, but democrats need to win just five seats in the House and five in the Senate in order to seize control of the Legislature’s debate agenda. The last time democrats had control of the Legislature at the same time Iowa had a democrat as governor was 1965. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a repubican from Sioux City, says if democrats win control the House and Senate, democrat Governor Tom Vilsack would have free reign. Rants says it would be a “Halloween nightmare” for Iowans, as Rants says Vilsack’s agenda includes closing small schools, establishing new rights for gays and raising taxes. House Democrat Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque says democrats will not force schools to consolidate. Murphy says republicans have, in effect, been forcing schools to merge already because the G-O-P has not provided enough money for schools. Murphy also says democrats have no plan to raise taxes. The two men made their comments on Iowa Public Television.
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