Monday, February 06, 2006

Vander Plaats spreads message

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats told the group at Saturday's Legislative Coffee he has the right background in dealing with the state's critical issues.
Vander Plaats, of Sioux City, is running against U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle.

"His background is in Washington, D.C., and Congress, and I'm not saying that's bad; but my background is in education, health care and human services and business and industry, and those are critical issues of state government," he said during a visit to Council Bluffs Saturday.

Vander Plaats is a former high school teacher and principal who also served as a chief executive officer of a health care and human services organization. He currently is the president of MVP Leadership, which specializes in strategic vision and executive leadership for business and industry.

On education, he said putting more money into the system is not the only solution.
"We need to redesign the system," Vander Plaats said after he talked at the Legislative Coffee. "We need to set 21st century standards in math and science."
Accountability standards must also be more uniform than they currently are, he said.

Iowa must also become more competitive in attracting businesses, he added. It's hard to do that now with commercial property taxes 70 percent above the national average, he said.
To improve the competitive climate, there needs to be a more simplified income tax formula and more "friendly" regulations on business operations, Vander Plaats said.
To reduce local taxes, he supports the transfer of K-12 instruction and mental health development disability funding to the state.

Vander Plaats said a recent survey in the Wall Street Journal found that he would beat the top Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Sec. of State Chet Culver and Economic Development Director Mike Blouin, whereas Nussle would lose to either one of those.
This is his second try for governor; the first was four years ago.

"The campaign is going awesome," he said. "We have 10 times the money we had in 2002. The poll showed that we beat Chet Culver and Michael Blouin because the people want real-life leadership, experience, and results. People will choose leadership over politics."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Gubernatorial hopeful presents ideas to make Iowa a better place


Pulling government out of the way of private business and education will lead to the future of Iowa that gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats envisions - an effective and attractive future.

"I believe the state of Iowa needs leadership not politics, putting the cause above yourself," said Vander Plaats, a Republican from Sioux City.

The centerpiece of his plans for Iowa is economic development, he explained in front of a forum Friday hosted by the Marshalltown Jaycees, Young Professionals and Iowa Valley Leadership at the Fisher Community Center.

"Our best resource is called our kids," he said. "They graduate from our stages only to find opportunity elsewhere. The first thing they need is a good job."

Vander Plaats' road map to an employment environment that lands Iowa graduates includes ditching the Iowa Values Fund and gambling.

"We've been sold by bureaucracy that government is in the venture capital business and government picks the winners and losers," he said. "That is not how you grow Iowa."

Government needs a 21st Century update, he said. Today's business place needs to figure out how to do more with less, instead of being pushed to create more jobs that will only run the business into the ground.

Vander Plaats does not consider gambling economic development either.

"Retail owners, when you welcome gambling, you're just increasing the competition for discretionary dollars," he said.

Creating a competitive tax structure by simplifying income tax and drastically reducing property tax is another stop on Vander Plaats' road map.

"We're not only exporting young people, we're exporting moms and dads and forcing retirees to leave," he said.

Iowa is on top of the nation in the area where both parents work outside the home, he said.

Vander Plaats spent 11 years working in public education and seven years in the health and human services industry, and he sees the need for a redesign of education that infuses the classroom - not the bureaucracy - with more money. Just over half of the $3 billion for public education makes it into the classroom, he stated.

"You'll never make public education better by merely throwing more money at it," he said.

He proposed a 65 percent rule that would shift $300 million into the classroom from funds already in the education system.

"Although I'm a Republican, I'm real vocal that 'No Child Left Behind' should be left behind in the state of Iowa," Vander Plaats said.

Other issues he saw the need to be addressed are Iowa's Medicare reimbursement rate and medical liability reform.

"My doctor views me as a potential adversary," he said, due to the increase in lawsuits. "[The industry] practices defensive medicine, ... and that escalates health insurance costs."

And the state needs to take advantage of its renewable resources, he said.

"We're sitting on a gold mine, ... but the [Department of Natural Resources] is being a stumbling block, not a stepping stone for the [ethanol] industry," he said.


Ryan Brinks may be reached at

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bob Vander Plaats

A note from: Hans Vander Plaats, "Athlete of the Week"
Campaign Chronicles Update
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My dad and I have played basketball together for as long as I can remember. As soon as I could walk, we were shooting baskets at a plastic hoop in the living room. My dad has coached most of my teams over the years and he still gives me technical and mental advice on my game.
Basketball is something that our family has always done together.
My dad has taught me to love the game and to work hard at it. He has taught me that the mental part of the game is as important as the physical, and he’s taught me the joy of winning.
When I was in elementary school and my dad was coaching our team, he gave the typical huddle speech of, “Boys, we’re here to have fun.” Then quickly followed-up with, “and winning is fun!”
Even though he loves to win, my dad has taught me that the “team” is way more important than any individual; that the best teams successfully use the talents of the individuals while working together within a group plan.
I have had the opportunity to play with a great team at Hinton and I could never have achieved my individual goals without them.
There are two other people in my life that have affected my game and I have their names written on my basketball shoes. One is my little brother, Lucas, who is severely disabled and the other is my friend’s brother, Archie, who is paralyzed. Every time I put on my shoes, their names remind me how privileged I am to have the ability to play the game.
One of the most important lessons my dad has taught me is that family comes first. Before making the decision to run for governor again, he promised me that he would not miss any of my senior-year games. I know that it’s not always an easy promise to keep. He has missed opportunities to campaign because of it, but it means a lot to me to see, and hear him in the stands.
I’m grateful for the opportunities my mom and dad have given me and the lessons they’ve taught me. I’m also grateful for the chance to play basketball with a great team for the past four years. Even though my high school basketball career will be over soon, I am looking forward to new opportunities in the future and to achieving new goals.
"A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals."
- Larry Bird
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

VP stumps for the nomination

Vander Plaats stumps for nomination
By: Josh Nelson
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said Saturday recent congressional scandals and public disappointment with Washington would be a major factor in the November governor's election.
During a visit to Ames, Vander Plaats said he thought Iowans have been feeling "D.C. angst" about electing incumbent congressmen or people with strong connections to Washington as governor, which could give him an edge over his opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle, in the June primary.
"The reason is Iowans instinctively see Washington, D.C., as the problem, not the solution," he said.
According to a recent Des Moines Register poll, 79 percent of Iowans disapprove of the handling of the federal budget, which could have an impact on Nussle, who serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Allegations of corruption by congressional Republicans have compounded the problem, Vander Plaats said. Earlier this month, lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud charges related to illegal lobbying activities.
"I truly believe there cannot be a worse time to nominate a sitting congressman to try to win the governorship for Republicans," Vander Plaats said. Democrats have been attacking Nussle, considered by many as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, as a member of the "Republican Culture of Corruption."
Vander Plaats said Democrats would try to expand that characterization to any Republican nominated for governor.
"I believe that's why it's imperative that we, as Republicans, nominate a fresh face to the office of governor because we need to win independents and conservative Democrats as well as energizing our base," he said.
Vander Plaats, a former school principal and non-profit executive officer, said his record as a non-politician is something that would be difficult to compete against in a race.
"When they look at Bob Vander Plaats and my record, it's hard to say he educated kids wrong, or he delivered healthcare or was a bad CEO," he said. One challenge facing Vander Plaats is a comparatively low amount of campaign funds raised thus far.

According to recent filings, Vander Plaats raised $658,715 in 2005 and has $430,390 in cash on hand. Nussle raised $2.5 million the same year and has $1.5 million on hand. The highest Democrat, Secretary of State Chet Culver, raised $1.1 million and has $832,546 on hand.
Overall, candidates for the race this year raised more than $5 million in campaign donations, with the election still nine months away.

Vander Plaats said he would be in favor of putting limits on how much candidates could spend in an election, but for now he would "have to play by the rules."

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bob vander Plaats

Bob Vander Plaats
Bob Vander Plaats is a candidate for the 2006 Iowa Republican nomination for Governor. He is a businessman from Sioux City.
Latest News
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Vander Plaats: Ethanol incentives, no mandate (The Des Moines Register)Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats on Wednesday rejected proposals to require all gasoline sold in the state be blended with ethanol, opting...Publ.Date : Thu, 26 Jan 2006 07:33:42 GMTVander Plaats calls for ethanol incentives, not mandates (GazetteOnline)DES MOINES, IA - Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats on Wednesday rejected proposals to require all gasoline sold in the state be blended with ethanol, opting instead for incentives to bolster the number of flex-fuel vehicles running on E85, a fuel blended with 85 percent ethanol.Publ.Date : Wed, 25 Jan 2006 22:25:09 GMTCourier poll shows Culver, Nussle in the lead (Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier)WATERLOO --- Republican Jim Nussle and Democrat Chet Culver would triumph in the gubernatorial primary election were it held last week, according to an unscientific Courier online poll.Publ.Date : Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:43:14 GMTWidespread donors feed governor race (The Des Moines Register)With big checks, donors from all over the state and nation made history last year by pumping a record $5 million into Iowa gubernatorial campaigns.Publ.Date : Sat, 28 Jan 2006 10:17:44 GMTNussle 'wants to learn from NIACC' (Globe Online)MASON CITY — U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa and a candidate for governor, praised the entrepreneurial spirit of North Iowa Area Community College during a campaign stop at the college Monday.Publ.Date : Tue, 24 Jan 2006 06:14:47 GMTVander Plaats rejects ethanol mandate, seeks incentives (WOI-TV Des Moins)DES MOINES, Iowa Bob Vander Plaats is rejecting proposals to require all gasoline sold in the state be blended with ethanol.Publ.Date : Wed, 25 Jan 2006 19:56:08 GMTGovernor wannabe says marketing is key to ethanol use (Globe Online)MASON CITY — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said Thursday that marketing, not mandating, is to key to promoting Iowa renewable energy sources.Publ.Date : Fri, 27 Jan 2006 03:29:37 GMTGovernor candidates received a record $5 million in 2005 (Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier)DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Large donations from across the nation made Iowa history last year as a record $5.1 million flowed into the various campaigns for governor.Publ.Date : Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:43:24 GMTVander Plaats wins Plymouth County straw poll (Le Mars Daily Sentinel)Plymouth County voters went to caucus last night (Monday) to set the agenda for their respective parties. Because 2006 is a gubernatorial election year, however, and because Gov. Tom Vilsack will not seek re-election, focus has turned somewhat to the wide field of candidates seeking his job.Publ.Date : Wed, 18 Jan 2006 18:11:29 GMTVander Plaats touts background, ideas (Marshalltown Times-Republican)Political primaries usually center around two central themes: who will be the strongest candidate and who has the best ideas. In the case of the Republican primary for Iowa governor, Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats said he has an advantage in both areas.Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Jan 2006 18:55:40 GMT
Vander Plaats on the Blogs
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Bob Vander Plaats For Governor
... Bob Vander Plaats For Governor January 29th, 2006 Posted by Jake Porter “Oh my god, the dead have risen and they’re voting Republican!” Bart Simpson Today, I viewed the Bob Vander Plaats For Governor of Iowa website. His views on education surprised me. * FOR high expectations in the areas of math, science, communications ...Save Small Schools Publ.Date : Sun, 29 Jan 2006 02:30:48 GMTAh, What The Hell...
... OK, so this didn't take long. We've got another submission for our insanely popular* Separated at Birth. The guy you don't recognize is Bob Vander Plaats, the Republican running for governor. *Four click in three days ...Who's Makin' Bacon? Publ.Date : Fri, 27 Jan 2006 16:35:45 GMTIowa Needs help!!!
... Iowa Needs Help!!! We have too many politicians that are looking out for them instead of doing their jobs ... through the ranks. Right now I think there is hope in both Bob Vander Plaats and in Ed Fallon. Both ...Iowa Before Politics Publ.Date : Fri, 27 Jan 2006 05:27:57 GMTWeek 2 - The Scoop
... Here's this weeks scoop: Winners: This weeks big winner has to be Jim Nussle ... the rest of the field and setting new records for off year fundraising. We're not sure how Bob Vander ... Vander Plaats both perform well in fundraising, but lag far behind their main opposition. Blouin doesn't ...Publ.Date : Sat, 21 Jan 2006 15:02:12 GMTPONDERING VANDER PLAATS
... This week was Bob Vander Plaats turn to visit our luncheon club. I knew very little about him before his visit. I know more now, but not enough to support him yet. It's hard for me to put my finger ...Joe says so Publ.Date : Sat, 21 Jan 2006 05:05:10 GMT2006 Linn County Republican Caucuses
... 2006 Linn County Republican Caucuses Filed under: Politics Iowa Election 2006 — Jason @ 1: ... and businessman Bob Vander Plaats. Nussle, the establishment favorite, brought out some big guns around Iowa ... am hereby pledging my support for Bob Vander Plaats for Iowa Governor. Previous and related posts ...Antioch Road Publ.Date : Wed, 18 Jan 2006 06:09:23 GMTVander Plaats touts background, ideas
... By KEN BLACK Political primaries usually center around two central themes: who will be the strongest candidate and who has the best ideas. In the case of the Republican primary for Iowa governor, Sioux City businessman Bob Vander ... importantly, Vander Plaats said the polls over the past several months have shown a trend - of Rep. Jim ...Vander Plaats For Governor Publ.Date : Sat, 14 Jan 2006 17:11:41 GMTVander Plaats touts background, ideas
... Continuing the Marshalltown series this week with Republican candidate Bob Vander Plaats. By: Ken Black - Marshalltown Times Republican "Our goal this campaign is to peak at the right ...Publ.Date : Sat, 14 Jan 2006 13:15:59 GMTVP is a leader!!!!
... (OTTUMWA) Iowa gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats is a native of Sheldon, Iowa who says Iowa needs a change ... , and Vander Plaats says he has the experience to run the state. "I offer real-life leadership, real ... for business, put a focus on economic development," he said Vander Plaats spent seven years as a high school ...Vander Plaats For Governor Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Jan 2006 15:33:44 GMTVander Plaats for Governor
... Vilsack talks “strong communities” … walks “bigger government” If you're having trouble viewing this email, Click Here to view! ... for Governor Bob Vander Plaats stated today. “Innovation and creativity have always been the cornerstone ... …not bigger government.” Vander Plaats issued this statement in response to Governor Tom Vilsack ...Vander Plaats For Governor Publ.Date : Fri, 13 Jan 2006 15:27:12 GMT

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Darla Vander Plaats

A note from Darla Vander Plaats
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Why I will vote for Bob Vander Plaats. As his wife of 22 years, you may not think it noteworthy to say that I will vote for Bob.
You would probably guess that I am voting for Bob because I love him and want to see his efforts succeed. That would be true.
You might also guess that I am voting for Bob because I know firsthand his character, integrity, faith and heart for serving others and because I believe that he has many qualities which will make him a great leader for our state. That would also be true.
In fact, these truths used to be the whole of my support for Bob and his campaign.
However, over the course of the last several months I, not as his wife but as a concerned citizen of our state, have developed an even stronger conviction that Iowans need to choose Bob Vander Plaats in June, and then again in November.
I have had a front row seat observing Bob, his campaign staff, and their network of volunteers as they go about this very intense and fast-paced campaign. I am impressed over and over again, as I see them handle very difficult situations with grace, truth and dignity.
Please join fellow Republicans Monday night, January 16th for your local caucus. Bob Vander Plaats will be speaking at the caucus in Polk County, as well as stopping by several caucuses in the surrounding area. Darla Vander Plaats will be speaking in their home county of Plymouth. Bob is also honored to have the following, well-respected Iowans speaking on his behalf throughout the state:––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Iowans talking with Iowans Steve Sukup2002 Opponent and currently serving as Vander Plaats’ State Chair Dick JohnsonState Auditor (1979-2003) and Vander Plaats’ State Co-Chair Bernie SaggauIowa High School Athletic Executive Director (1967-2005) and Vander Plaats’ State Co-Chair Paul PateFormer Mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa Secretary of State, and State Senator Kitty RehbergFormer State Senator and Vander Plaats’Education Chair Bill Salier2002 U.S. Senate Candidate Mike WellsPresident of Wells’ Blue Bunny and Vander Plaats Finance Chair Mike Hartwig2002 Secretary of State Candidate Dwayne AlonsState Representative Dave MulderState Senator Al ManningFormer Mayor of Waterloo Craig DeckerLoras College Republican––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Join Bob Vander Plaats & Bernie Saggau for a Post-Caucus ReceptionAt the Iowa Hall of Pride103 Park Street, Downtown Des MoinesPlease call 515-278-6306 for more information
I have seen them immediately, and without hesitation, reject suggestions of taking the easy but slightly questionable approach to a problem.
I have heard them strive for honest and serious answers to questions, not the quick sound-bites that mean nothing. I have become convinced that Bob and the people he has brought around him can provide the kind of leadership that our state desperately needs at this time.
For more than a year, Bob has been meeting with committees to discuss Education, Economic Growth, Management of our state's government, and Healthcare. He has loaded these committees with highly qualified individuals and charged them with identifying bold plans to remedy specific challenges facing Iowa.
I am excited for Bob to share these ideas with you over the coming months.
I must admit that I am a skeptic. Many times, when hearing Bob's plans for leading Iowa, I have questioned whether our state's leaders are ready to accept such bold change. But the more I listen and absorb, and the more I learn about the condition of our state, the more convinced I am that these decisions aren't only viable, they are necessary.
The changes that the Vander Plaats team is striving for are not quick-fixes. They are long-term, far-reaching, fundamental changes that are long over-due.
As the mother of four children and a citizen of this state, I want someone to step up and do what needs to be done. I know Bob Vander Plaats thoroughly, and am confident that he will do just that.
Some want to question Bob's ability to lead Iowa simply because he is not a career politician. Frankly, that is the precise reason that I believe Bob is, indeed, the right person for the job.
While I do appreciate public service, my foray into the political world brings a fundamental problem to my attention. Too often, difficult decisions are avoided in the name of re-election.
I believe that we need a Governor who will make tough decisions based on a serious interest and love for Iowa.
Bob has had many interests and passions in his life. He has much to offer the state and is eager to serve, and I support this endeavor because I know that he is not looking for a notch on his political belt.
I am excited at the prospect of what can happen in our state under a leader like that.
Never in my wildest dreams have I entertained the idea of being Iowa's First Lady. I am still ambivalent about that part of this quest, because there is much about the public life that concerns me.
The role of First Lady carries great responsibility and it is a position that should not be taken lightly. If given the opportunity, I will consider it a privilege to represent Iowa with dignity; to advocate for children with disabilities and continuing to care for our four boys.
I believe with all my heart that the state of Iowa will be well-served by Bob Vander Plaats and his administration. I am joining many people across Iowa in doing all I can to help make that happen.
If you haven't already, please join us in this cause. Together, we can make it happen.
Thank you,

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Vander Plaats on Ethanol

Vander Plaats: Ethanol incentives, no mandate

January 25, 2006

Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats on Wednesday rejected proposals to require all gasoline sold in the state be blended with ethanol, opting instead for incentives to bolster the number of flex-fuel vehicles running on E85, a fuel blended with 85 percent ethanol.‘‘Mandates are not the answer,’’ said Vander Plaats, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. ‘‘They merely offer a quick fix, an easy political answer that puts trust in bigger government instead of putting trust in people and the product.’’In campaign appearances across the state, Vander Plaats spelled out his proposals for increasing the use of alternative energy, including:• Requiring the state to purchase only flex-fuel or biodiesel vehicles when replacing or adding to the state’s fleet.• Setting the registration fee for flex-fuel or biodiesel vehicles at $85.•

Establishing a relationship between the Department of Natural Resources and the renewable fuel industry to promote the product, including developing an ‘‘Iowa brand’’ of energy.‘‘We have already established a solid base for the use of ethanol and biodiesel,’’ Vander Plaats said. ‘‘Now we need to make it better through market-driven distribution.’’Increasing the use of renewable fuels has been atop the agenda in the governor’s race and the Legislature.Vander Plaats said 74 percent of the gasoline sold in the state last year contained a 10 percent ethanol blend, while sales of E85 tripled. There are about 100,000 vehicles in the state with the capacity to operate on E85.He said the state should focus on efforts to improve marketing of the fuels, and not force motorists to purchase the product.‘‘A good marketing strategy ... cultivates a genuine passion for the product and puts matters in the hands of the people,’’ Vander Plaats said.

Vander Plaats is running against Congressman Jim Nussle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. While both have made renewable energy a priority, they have taken different approaches.Nussle has called for a requirement that all gasoline sold in the state be blended with 10 percent ethanol, a proposal modeled after a requirement in Minnesota.‘‘We need to ensure that every gallon of gas has a little Iowa in it,’’ Nussle said.