Governor Tom Vilsack says he’s not peeved but “disappointed” by comments made yesterday by a top republican in the legislature. House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City said Vilsack is unwilling to compromise with republicans on key issues like education because of his attempt to have a more prominent role in national politics. Vilsack says “that’s just not true.” Vilsack says he’s not paying any attention to the “buzz” about him being one of the folks John Kerry might choose as a running mate. The governor says he’s been very clear about his stand on state aid to schools.Vilsack says it’s not fair to say he’s not willing to compromise, as he says he’s already compromised since the education community wanted a six percent increase in general state aid and he proposed four percent. Vilsack says it’s time for the House and Senate to compromise and provide more money for schools. Vilsack also says it was “unfair” for Rants to suggest Vilsack was out-of-state campaigning for John Kerry and unable to sit down with state legislators to resolve state issues. Vilsack says he has never denied leaders an opportunity to meet. Vilsack says he extended an invitation to Rants to a private meeting this morning, and Rants declined. Vilsack says he was told House leaders were too busy to meet. Rants says that’s not the whole story. Rants says the governor’s staff called at nine this morning and asked if he could meet with the governor at 10. Rants says he didn’t want to cancel a 10 o’clock meeting with folks who were driving to Des Moines from Davenport. Rants says he asked if there was another time lawmakers could meet with the governor today, but hasn’t heard back from the governor’s staff.
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