Story County Treasurer David Jamison is announcing his campaign for State Treasurer today. Jamison, a long-time GOP activist, has served as the Story County Treasurer for 15 years, but now, he has his sights set on becoming the Treasurer of the State of Iowa. To do that, Jamison will have to unseat 28-year incumbent Michael Fitzgerald.
The duties of the State Treasurer are a bit different than the responsibilities of county treasurers. At the county level, the treasurer is responsible for collecting property taxes and registering vehicles. At the state level, the treasurer receives all of the revenues from state agencies and the federal government, manages the various bank accounts, and coordinates all state bonding activity. The Treasurer also implements programs like the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt and college savings programs in addition to overseeing the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) and other retirement funds.
Jamison believes it is time for Iowa to hire a new Chief Finance Officer. Jamison told TheIowaRepblican.com, “I’m concerned about the direction of our state under current leadership. Our current CFO seems to think everything is fine and has publicly lauded borrowing more than $800 million without a vote of the people. The State Treasurer has failed to adequately account for how $300 million of taxpayer money was stolen on his watch.”
Jamison added, “I care about Iowa and believe the State Treasurer’s Office is the best place for me to plug in my education, experience, and conservative philosophy as we try to get our fiscal house in order. I’ve been involved in government for more than 20 years, with 15 years as a public finance officer. It’s time to get back to some very fundamentally sound guiding principles. For example, don’t let your expenses exceed your revenues; don’t place public funds in risky investments; and don’t mortgage the future of our kids and grand-kids. It’s time to put taxpayers first.”
While Fitzgerald has won re-election with relative ease since being elected in 1982, his 2010 campaign could end up being the most difficult of his career. 2010 is shaping up to be a good year for Iowa Republicans and a bad year for incumbents. Governor Culver will be the main draw on the ballot next year for Iowa Democrats. Culver’s approval numbers and re-elect numbers are dismal, and he will likely be a drag on the entire Democratic ballot.
Governor Culver isn’t the only thing Fitzgerald will have to overcome to win an eighth term. The biggest issue is bound to be the $300 plus million in IPERS money that was invested with Westridge Capital Management and lost. Two managers of Westridge Capital Management, Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh, have been charged with securities and investment fraud.
As the custodian of the IPERS investments, Fitzgerald has put hundreds of millions of dollars of state employee retirement savings at risk. It’s not the first time Fitzgerald has wanted to gamble with the retirement savings of the state employees. Last January, Fitzgerald said he’d like a state legislative panel to consider whether or not IPERS should to buy the Iowa Lottery.
Before Jamison faces off against Fitzgerald next fall, he will have to first win a Republican primary against Dyersville Mayor Jim Heavens. Heaven’s announced his campaign for State Treasurer yesterday. He has flirted with running for statewide office before. In 2008, Heaven’s considered the idea of running for the U.S. Senate but ultimately decided against it.
In the primary for State Treasurer, Jamison could hold a considerable advantage over Heavens. Jamison has been involved in various campaigns for years and is already known by many activists. Jamison co-founded the Iowa Republican County Officials Association in 2003 and was also a member of the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee where he served as RPI’s treasurer. Jamison is an Iowa native, who lives in Ames with his wife and three children. He attended Ames High School and received a degree in Management from Iowa State University.
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