You’ve heard of barn raisers where the neighbors joined together to build a barn? Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle’s campaign has scheduled “Idea Raisers” around the state tonight (Monday).

Iowans in more than 30 towns have agreed to host an “Idea Raiser” for the Nussle campaign in their home or business, inviting friends and neighbors over to talk about the state’s future. “I know that there is this cynacism about the fact that politicians always hold fundraisers, I mean that’s something we do. We need resources, of course, in order to run our campaigns but do we spend enough time listening to real people about real ideas that can affect real things that are happening in Iowa?” Nussle asks. “I’ve always tried to do that but this probably the best effort I’ve seen where we actually get, you know, hundreds of Iowans to sit down across the state and discuss them.”

Nussle says he’s been hearing all sorts of ideas from Iowans since he announced the effort in June. For example, one Iowan suggested creation of an Iowa Alumni Association — for the state, not the university. “So that no matter where they go, if they move away for the time being to Oklahoma or may to the coast or the mountains or Florida or wherever it might be, that we keep in contact with them, let ’em know what’s happening back here and let them know about jobs and opportunities and our quality of life,” Nussle says. “I thought that was a great idea.”

The meetings begin at seven o’clock, then at 7:30 Nussle will talk with all 30-plus sites via conference call. Find out more on-line at

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver’s campaign issued a statement this morning with a few ideas for their rival, Congressman Nussle, such as “stop voting yourself pay raises until you’ve raised the minimum wage” and “stop throwing away our tax dollars on pork projects and giveaways to special interests.”