After weeks of badgering from his Republican rival, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver has the state’s out-going governor and state treasurer — both Democrats — coming to his defense.
Jim Nussle, the Republican candidate for governor, has ridiculed Culver’s call to invest three percent of the state pension fund in start-up companies in Iowa. Nussle says that’s too risky.
In a prepared statement released by the Culver campaign, Governor Tom Vilsack and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald say the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System “is currently investing in start-up…projects in other states” and Culver’s talking “about investing a very small percentage of that money back into Iowa.”
Nussle, meanwhile, is accusing Culver of “abandoning” the economic plans Culver has laid out for the state. Nussle points to the Culver campaign website as evidence. “He has no economic plan on his website demonstrating what his plans are for Iowa and Iowa’s economy with eight weeks to go (until the election),” Nussle says. “I don’t know what’s riskier — the original Culver plan which used IPERS or running for governor without a plan at all…If in fact he’s changing his plan he has a lot of explaining to do — not only why he’s changing his plan but what is his plan.”
Taylor West, a spokeswoman for Culver, says they’re merely revamping the campaign website. “This is absurb and an attempt by the Nussle campaign to cover up their own lack of a plan,” West says.
Culver’s call to use part of the state pension fund to finance start-up businesses in Iowa is still outlined on his campaign website, according to West. “If you go to the first page of our website there is actually a box right at the top that says ‘Culver and IPERS. Get the facts,'” West says. “This is an issue that we have been talking about and we have been very clear about.”
The Culver website is www.chetculver.com. Nussle’s website is www.jimnussle.com.
In that prepared statement released by the Culver campaign, the governor and state treasurer say there is nothing in Culver’s proposal that would threaten the solvency of the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System.