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September 2nd, 2009

Rants: “Under Bob Vander Plaats’ leadership, things got worse. A lot worse.”

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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bob_debateGOP Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Rants continues to examine Vander Plaats’ record while President and Board Chairman of Opportunities Unlimited. Below is the press release his campaign sent out today.

Rants: Internal Audit Shows More Financial Trouble Under Vander Plaats

SIOUX CITY — “The audits and tax returns speak for themselves. Under Bob Vander Plaats’ leadership, things got worse. A lot worse. When an audit shows his organization violated the terms of their primary bond agreement – that’s not a track record to take to the Governor’s office. We have that in Chet Culver already,” said Rep. Chris Rants, candidate for Governor from Sioux City.

A review of the audit of Opportunities Unlimited during Vander Plaats’ last year as Chairman of the Board (June 2003), reveals that Opportunities Unlimited violated their bond agreement. The audit states, “For 2003 the Organization did not meet the Net Income Available for Debt Service requirement. Under the Special Covenant section of the Loan Agreement, the Organization is required to retain a management consultant.”

“Both Vander Plaats and Culver have a habit of telling Iowans that everything is fine, they have it all under control. But in both cases, their financial audits tell a very different story,” explained Rants. “Culver says he has a Triple A bond rating, and Vander Plaats says care for resident improved. Both are true, but neither explains away their deficits, nor the deficiencies in their audits. We never hear about that on the campaign trail. A self proclaimed ‘turn around’ expert is supposed to make things better, not worse.”

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*From the June 2003 Opportunities Unlimited audit report: “In 1994 the Organization received $2.53 million from Health Care Facility Revenue Bonds through the City of Sioux City, Iowa. Additional Revenue Bonds of $3.0 million were issued in 1998 through the County of Woodbury, Iowa. The terms of the Revenue Bonds include various covenants which require the maintenance of a debt service funds equal to the maximum annual principal and interest requirements, restrict how the proceeds are to be spent and have certain financial conditions. For 2003 the Organization did not meet the Net Income Available for Debt Service requirement. Under the Special Covenant section of the Loan Agreement, the Organization is required to retain a management consultant.”


About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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