A democrat who’s running for governor is speaking out against the idea of a big-money state grant program for businesses. State Representative Ed Fallon, a democrat from Des Moines, says the so-called “Iowa Values Fund” isn’t good for the state. “I think its popularity ends at the walls of the capitol,” Fallon says of the Values Fund. “I have not found a lot of people who believe that giving $10 million to Wells Fargo is going to radically improve their quality of life.” Fallon says by focusing so much energy and resources on the Values Fund, other things like education and health care are suffering. Fallon’s prescription for economic growth is different. Fallon says state government should invest in what’s made the state strong — safe streets and good schools. Beyond that, Fallon says the state should invest in infrastructure that will benefit a wide range of businesses throughout the state. “When you start picking a choosing winners with a statewide board, look what’s happened. We have had 27 Values Fund grants. Eight of them are in Polk or Story County. How does that help rural Iowa?” Fallon says if the state spends 800-MILLION bucks on the Values Fund, there won’t be enough money for other priorities. “If we put all of our eggs in this basket, I don’t think we’re going to be able to do the things that Iowans have really come to count on.” Fallon is entering his 13th year in the state legislature and is seen as a bit of an outsider. He endorsed independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 2000, angering others in the democratic party.
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