Democratic governor candidate Fred Hubbell stopped in Perry on March 23 for a meet and greet event. The event, hosted by the Perry Area Democrats, was held at the home of Alan and Monica Peitz.


Hubbell spoke to the audience about a variety of issues, including education, health care and raising the income of Iowans.


“The reason I’m here, the reason I’m traveling around the state like this is that I’m no longer willing to stand around on the sidelines and watch our state, which I love, get run into the ground by the fiscal mismanagement of this governor and misguided priorities of this Legislature,” Hubbell said.


Some of those misguided priorities, he said, included cuts to mental health and education, the privatization of Medicaid and more.


“The good news though is that it doesn’t have to happen. I think if we actually work together, we can turn this state around in a better direction,” Hubbell said.


That starts with having a governor with the right experience. Hubbell served as the chairman of Younkers and then as the president of a life insurance company, Equitable of Iowa. He also served as the chairman of the Iowa Power Fund and interim director of Iowa Department of Economic Development.


“We need a governor who’s got the leadership skills and experience to turn this state around and invest in the real priorities people need to be successful in their lives and their communities,” Hubbell said.


Those priorities, he said, start with properly funding education in K-12 public schools. He also wants to see college be made affordable again and have job training programs in every high school.


His second priority revolves around making sure every Iowan has access to quality, affordable health care. That starts with reversing the privatization of Medicaid, restoring the funding of Planned Parenthood and addressing the mental health crisis.


Hubbell’s third priority has to do with raising incomes for Iowans. To make that happen, he suggests restoring collective bargaining rights, raising the minimum wage and giving people the training and education to fill higher-paying jobs.


“I think that if we invest in Iowa and invest in Iowans, our best resource, we can actually get this state going in the right direction and start making Iowa grow the right way,” Hubbell said. “That’s why I’m running for governor.”


The event then shifted into a question and answer session. One of the audience members asked Hubbell what taxation changes would need to take place to make his plan work.


Hubbell said that when he was in the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the governor put together a tax credit review panel. It reviewed every personal and corporate tax credit, deduction and exemption in early 2010.


The panel found that many of them had no caps, which meant they kept getting bigger. Most of them didn’t have a provision that allowed review every five years to see if they still made sense. The panel also applied a fiscal impact analysis on all of the credits, deductions and exemptions to see what it was costing the state and what the state was getting in return.


Hubbell would like to go in right away and put the caps and review requirements in place and update the fiscal impact analysis done in 2010.


One of the other questions revolved around whether he supported putting guns in schools.


“I am fully in favor of making our schools safe and our communities safe, that’s a governor’s top priority, public safety,” Hubbell said. “But I don’t think putting more guns, in more places, in more hands of people without adequate control, is going to make our schools safe.”