Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver says if he’s elected governor, he’ll move to decentralize state government. “Put more of state government out across the state of Iowa,” Culver says. “Why can’t we perhaps have a state agency in Denison, in Sioux City, in Council Bluffs? Why can’t we move some of our state government to the corners of Iowa?”
Culver says decentralizing state government would help public officials like the governor “get a better feel” for the needs of Iowans. Culver says taking state government “on the road” will help the next state chief executive “better govern.”
Culver suggested this idea this past weekend during a forum at the Iowa Broadcast News Association convention, and one of Culver’s rivals — State Representative Ed Fallon of Des Moines — immediately responded. “Chet — bad idea,” Fallon said. “In my opinion, moving state agencies to every corner of Iowa would be a disaster.”
Fallon said the state agencies which need outposts already have a presence in branch offices around the state. “We already have — of course — Human Service, Transportation, (Iowa State University) Extension presence in many if not most counties,” Fallon said, then Culver interrupted. “You misunderstood me,” Culver interjected. “I didn’t say every corner. I said why couldn’t we take one agency to a certain part of the state, like Sioux City or Council Bluffs.”
Fallon said he’s credit Culver with introducing a “new idea” into the race, but Fallon said he was worried about what state government would look like if Culver’s idea becomes reality.