The commercial that kicks off the Jack Hatch campaign for governor is refreshing in an era of the average run of the mill campaign ad of today. Most stretch the truth beyond recognition. Senator Hatch’s ad is simple and straight forward without taking any vicious swipes at his opponent. The ending of course is the shaving of Mr. Hatch’s long time facial hair. Thus he quickly contrasts himself with Terry Branstad who is easily recognized by his mustache. Senator Hatch then announces he is ready for “a fresh start.”
The headline in the newspaper Hatch reads as he gets his shaves notes Branstad may be governor for 24 years if re-elected. Yes Iowa it is way past time for some fresh ideas. It is time to retire Terry and his ‘stache. Let’s let Jack Hatch speak for himself on this point. Answering a question posed to him on Iowa Press last week Hatch answered:
Obradovich: Tell us briefly why you are running. And also, if you can boil it down into just a few words, what your vision is for the state of Iowa.
Hatch: Sure. Iowa is a state right now that is coasting. We have lost opportunities and we have not taken advantage of the opportunities that are ahead of us. We have a governor that is in the middle of a scandal-ridden administration. He has more scandals than any governor in the history of this state. It is diverting him from taking his eye on what should be the vision and moving Iowa forward. I have a different vision, a different view. I’m going to focus on security and what I call the four securities, education security, energy security, environmental security and economic and job development security. When it comes to education security I want Iowa schools to be restored to the prominence it had, that we had once before. I want every four-year-old to go to early childhood education. Every kid who wants to go to college can go to an affordable college and get the training they need for their life careers. I want adults to be trained so that they can continue to meet the demands that are here. I want our kids to swim in rivers and lakes. I want us to be prepared for the extreme conditions of our climate. I want to continue the energy proposals that have been here for the past 20 years. When Governor Branstad left office we were importing 98% of our energy. Now we are exporting 25% because of wind and solar. And economic development and economic security means that we want to have jobs that are ready for everybody in this state.”
Hardly anyone could argue Iowa is doing anything but coasting. Branstad has turned down opportunity after opportunity to move Iowa ahead, such as refusing money for rail passenger service. This is just one of many opportunities Branstad has turned down over this term. We are coasting or going backward on education, on jobs, on quality of life, and we could do much better on energy.
Is Jack Hatch the man to turn Iowa around and take us off “coast?” We here at Blog for Iowa believe so. Hatch’s record as a developer and in his public career in the senate gives us confidence that he can much better handle the leadership required to give Iowa the kick start it needs to get growing again.
One of the most important decisions a leader must make is to pick the person who would be first in line to succeed them. Right out of the gate Hatch makes a great pick in Monica Vernon, council member and mayor pro-tem in Cedar Rapids. Vernon is an accomplished business and civic leader. She has been instrumental in leading Cedar Rapids back from the devastating floods. Everyone I have asked agrees that Monica Vernon was a great choice and is someone who could step in immediately if needed. We congratulate Jack Hatch on a great start toward a fresh start for Iowa.
Mr. Hatch has already come out in favor of increasing Iowa’s gas tax to be used to fix Iowa’s deteriorating roads and bridges. To this we say it is about time someone had enough guts to do something. We just returned from a trip to Minnesota and the difference in roads is incredible. Looks like Hatch is serious about getting Iowa moving again.