Republican Governor Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear outlined diverging paths on taxes, abortion and carbon pipelines during their debate Monday night on Iowa PBS.
Reynolds said eminent domain should be “a last resort” for pipelines that would ship carbon out of Iowa ethanol plants and she supports current rules for how developers may get authority to seize property along the pipeline routes from unwilling landowners.
“Fifty-five percent of our corn goes to ethanol plants today and if we lose that ethanol industry, that will have a tremendous impact on farmers,” Reynolds said.
DeJear said she opposes the use of eminent domain for the pipelines.
“I believe that the landowner should have power in this situation because they put their blood, sweat and tears into their land,” DeJear said.
DeJear called the individual income tax cuts Reynolds signed into law in March shortsighted. “The vast majority of Iowans are going to get about $50 to $55 a month…It doesn’t do anything to resolve the issues with our education system today, our mental health care system today and so rather than cutting, I think this is a moment where we should be investing so that we can restore Iowans and they can have sustainability.”
Reynolds replied: “I’d like to respond to that. Talk to the working families, $55, $25, that matters to them, it makes a difference, especially as they’re seeing grocery prices skyrocket…Everything is increasing across the board, so any time that we can help Iowans keep more of their hard earned money it does matter.”
The two candidates had an extended and sometimes tense discussion about abortion. Reynolds declined to say whether she’d seek new restrictions beyond the 2018 law to ban abortions after about the sixth week of pregnancy, a law that’s in limbo due to a lawsuit.
“When it’s going through the courts, I’m not going to weigh in either way,” Reynolds said, “but my goal is to make sure that we make the law that’s on the books law.”
DeJear said Roe v Wade had provided reasonable restrictions with exceptions and that policy should become Iowa law.
“I believe that it is undemocratic and irresponsible for us to try to dictate in black and white this situation that has infinite variable as it relates to pregnancy,” DeJear said.
DeJear said politicians shouldn’t inject themselves in conversations women have with doctors about a pregnancy.
“We cannot put Iowans in those types of situations. My faith teaches me to trust people and I trust women to make that decision,” DeJear said.
Reynolds interjected: “So it’s late term abortion. They believe you can abort a baby right up until the moment it’s born.”
DeJear replied: “That’s not what you just heard from me.”
Reynolds said: “Yeah, that is what you’re saying. You’re not answering the question. You’re saying it’s up to the woman to decide.”
The hour-long debate was the only face-to-face meeting between Reynolds and DeJear before the November 8 General Election.
A debate Tuesday night on Iowa PBS between Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson and Liz Mathis, the Democratic challenger in Iowa’s second congressional district, has been cancelled. Hinson was admitted to a Cedar Rapids hospital on Sunday night for treatment of a kidney infection. Early Monday evening, her chief of staff says Hinson is feeling better, but was still in the hospital undergoing treatment.