The major party candidates for Governor faced-off last night in Sioux City for a 30-minute television debate. Republican candidate Doug Gross accused Vilsack of using a “classic liberal approach” to solving the state’s problems.Gross said Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack was all talk but no action on a variety of important issues over the last four years. Vilsack, in turn, was critical of the business tax breaks Gross has proposed. Vilsack said Gross has a background as a corporate lobbyist, and is focusing on corporate tax breaks that Vilsack said will take money away from other important priorities, like Iowa schools. Gross responded. Gross said Vilsack has called him a “corporate lobbyist” so often, it’s a wonder, Gross said, that his wife still liked him.Gross said Vilsack can call him names, but it won’t change the fact that during Vilsack’s tenure Iowa has gone from having one of the nation’s best business climates to one of the nation’s worst. Vilsack jumped to defend his record.Vilsack said new power plants are being built, new businesses started and the state’s investing in large-scale community projects through the “Vision Iowa” program. Vilsack said he’s excited about Iowa’s future, but said Gross’s tax breaks would wreck that future because there’d have to be cuts in education and health care programs. Gross said over 12-thousand construction jobs are being created in the state through the “Vision Iowa” program alone. Last night’s debate was sponsored by K-T-I-V television, which will air the debate this weekend.
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