Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon says the governor and one of his rivals in the race for governor are exaggerating the success of the Iowa Values Fund. The Iowa Values Fund has handed out huge grants to 92 businesses.
Fallon, a state representative from Des Moines, says the program’s real track record falls far short of Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack’s claim that 25-thousand jobs have been created and retained by the businesses getting grants. “We looked carefully at (the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s) numbers and that’s not the case,” Fallon says. “That’s not the case at all.”
Fallon says just under 13-hundred jobs have been created — far fewer than the 25-thousand. “We’re looking at only 1,282 (jobs) that have actually been created,” Fallon says. “That’s 19.4 percent of those that are promised.”
Mike Blouin, one of Fallon’s rivals for the Democratic party’s gubernatorial nomination, was Governor Vilsack’s economic development director for a year and a half. Blouin points to the Values Fund as a success story.
Fallon says the story isn’t quite as rosy as Blouin and Vilsack claim. “I get real tired of hearing this really rosy analysis of what’s happened when…all this is still speculative,” Fallon says. Fallon says Blouin’s “blowing the numbers out of proportion” and to illustrate that point, Fallon turned to a staff member who was holding 25 balloons. Fallon popped 23 of them — leaving two balloons which represent the small number of jobs that have been created to date.