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Values Fund Success Greatly Exaggerated

Clark McMullen

Des Moines Register

April 4, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by the Des Moines Register, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Des Moines Register.]

Gov. Tom Vilsack, Mary Lawyer, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) and gubernatorial candidate Mike Blouin have all repeatedly stated that more than 25,000 jobs have been created and retained under Iowa Values Fund programs.

Blouin, on his Web site, claims, “As Director of Iowa’s Department of Economic Development, I managed the Iowa Values Fund, which has helped create more than 25,000 new jobs.”

When gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon laboriously obtained and studied records on job creation, grudgingly provided by IDED, he found a total of 1,282 jobs created, not more than 25,000. IDED’s spokesperson now claims 7,000 jobs and Blouin’s spokesperson says Blouin is sure that the 25,000 jobs will be achieved.

Wait a minute. The Iowa Legislature appropriated more than $50 million of Iowa taxpayers’ money to support the plan, and it appears there is virtually no auditing of results and even less oversight.

If these companies were seeking $4 per day in food-stamp benefits (what a destitute single adult male is allowed), they would have to check in regularly with a case worker and prove their continuing need.

Clark McMullen
Des Moines