Mike Tramontina was removed from his post as the Director of the Iowa department of Economic Development because some movie producers used state money to purchase a Land Rover and Mercedes. His replacement, Fred Hubbell, lives in a million dollar house and probably drives has a Land Rover and has Mercedes in the garage collecting dust. Hubbell will probably use his new state gig to give him a little spending money to throw around.
With the embarrassment of the IDED scandal, it’s safe to assume that Governor Culver is going to keep a close eye on the department. In fact, Culver is so serious that he tapped his good neighbor, Fred Hubbell, to run it. Hubbell basically lives in the backyard of Terrace Hill. He bought the property in January of 2007, the same time that Culver took office.
Shortly after taking office, Culver appointed Hubbell to oversee his Iowa Power Fund. Republicans have criticized the initiative by arguing that it has not created the jobs that Culver claims it has. Knowing that, I’m not going to hold my breath for some sort of miraculous turn around over at IDED under Hubbell.
So what kind of relationship does Culver have with Hubbell? Seems a little odd that the guy you want to manage your pet project just happens to move in next door to Terrace Hill, and when you tank the IDED, he’s your pick to clean crap up. Now, I ask my neighbor for advice all the time. It usually centers around something on the grill, my need to borrow a lawn mower, or what he thinks about having a cold beer with me.
I joked the other day about Culver finally getting a tutor when he hired Andrew Roos, the guy who tanked a gubernatorial campaign in Virginia before making his way to Iowa. While I’m sure Roos will help Chet complete his homework on the campaign trail, I have to wonder if Hubbell is the guy calling all the shots for Culver. Face it, we know Culver is not capable of doing it.
I also think Hubbell has his eye on running for office. Why else would a successful businessman want to head up IDED in this economy? I know, I know, because he loves this state. Whatever. We will see his name on yard signs soon.
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