Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver is questioning whether Republican rival Jim Nussle can follow through on his promise to raise teacher pay in Iowa to “better than average.” Nussle made that promise Wednesday and Culver today (Thursday) is repeating his own pledge to raise teacher pay from 42nd to 25th in the country.
Culver estimates it’d cost roughly four-hundred million dollars to raise Iowa teacher pay to the national average. Culver suggests to go further, as Nussle pledges, might bankrupt the state. “The other thing Congressman Nussle has to realize is that we actually have to balance our budget in Iowa,” Culver says. “He’s been a part of the biggest deficit in the history of the United States as the (House) Budget chairman and we can’t take out loans and put debt on our kids and grandkids like Congressman Nussle has done.”
Nussle, in turn, suggests Culver’s incapable of writing a state budget. “I’m running my own positive race. I understand Chet Culver wants to attack me every single day. I think that’s his game plan. Instead of throwing mudballs, Chet, you ought to try and write your first budget, which I’ve done. I’ve actually written six,” Nussle says. “The (budget) deficit today in Washington D.C. — in fact (it) was just announced — came down $50 billion just alone because of the budgets that I’ve written.”
Culver jabs back. “I think Congressman Nussle will start to understand how the state budget works a little bit better as he comes back to Iowa and learns how we actually govern here and get things done here and balance budgets,” Culver says.
Nussle, meanwhile, suggests Culver doesn’t have the intellect to challenge Nussle’s record. “It’s not very intelligent to make those kind of mud-ball comments, but I understand that’s all they have,” Nussle says.