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February 4th, 2010

GOP Candidates Sound off on Culver’s Executive Order

Roberts Criticizes Culver’s Executive Order for Big Labor Special Interests

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rod Roberts is criticizing Governor Culver for signing an executive order intended to benefit “Big Labor” special interests. Culver’s Executive Order 22 requires state agencies to consider using Project Labor Agreements, which would result in state government only awarding public-works projects to contractors with unionized workers. Roberts says the executive order—which Culver signed today at a convention for Big Labor groups in Des Moines—is just an attempt by the Governor to pay off special-interest groups during an election year.

“The substance of Executive Order 22 has already been rejected by the Iowa Legislature and the people of Iowa, but Governor Culver is now trying to make an end run around the legislative process to score political points prior to the November election,” said Roberts, a five-term State Representative. “This is just the type of questionable leadership that the people of Iowa have become accustomed to from the Governor’s Office.”

Roberts points out that Executive Order 22 will hurt Iowa businesses and increase the costs of public-works projects for taxpayers. Further, Executive Order 22 will give large, out-of state contractors a competitive advantage over smaller Iowa contractors whose employees are not unionized. This would result in a loss of even more jobs for Iowans.

“With the state’s unemployment rate near an all-time high, we need to be enacting pro-business regulations that will create jobs,” said Roberts, an Assistant Minority Leader in the Iowa House. “I support eliminating the corporate income tax to bring new businesses and jobs to the state. And, I believe we should not only defend Iowa’s “Right to Work” law, but we should champion the law and use it as a marketing tool to bring new businesses to the state. Because of my belief in the power of pro-business regulations, I strongly oppose Executive Order 22 and I will rescind it as governor.”

Vander Plaats: Culver More Worries about winning favors with PLA instead of looking out for Iowans

NEWTON – Gov. Chet Culver’s order the state agencies must consider expensive project labor agreements shows he is “more worried about winning political favors with union leaders than looking out for working Iowans who will have to pay the cost,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said today.

Project labor agreements, (PLAs) are a direct assault on Iowa’s right-to-work laws because they usually require that all workers be hired through union halls, non-union workers pay dues for the length of the project, and union rules on pensions, work conditions and dispute resolution are followed.

Culver’s signature on the order today will not create more jobs for Iowans but will increase the cost of taxpayer-financed construction projects such as at the state’s three public universities and at state agencies. His order currently excludes road construction.

When the Democrat-controlled Polk County Board of Supervisors entered into a project labor agreement with the Central Iowa Building and Construction Trade Council it failed to keep the project on time or on budget, according to a report by the Iowa Policy Institute.

Instead, the construction of Hy-Vee Hall was 105 days past its deadline and the total project came in $9 million over budget. The report concluded the PLA was “an unnecessary burden on the workers who were frozen out of the opportunity to work, businesses that were not allowed to compete, and the taxpayers who were forced to pay even more for the Iowa Events Center construction because of the cost overruns of the project.”

“PLAs kill competition. Iowa has plenty of highly qualified non-union firms and workers who should be allowed to bid on state contracts. We’re going to get Iowa back to work and get our state budget under control by broadening the number of people and businesses that can compete for state contracts, not reducing that number,” Vander Plaats said. “Once again, Chet Culver has shown he’s desperately trying to put his political future ahead of the futures of the rest of us. That’s not what leadership is all about.”


At a Big Labor convention tomorrow, Chet Culver is prepared to sign Executive Order 22, which would REQUIRE state departments and agencies to consider Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on large-scale construction projects.

This is a covert, back-door way to usurp the legislative process and give payback to those whose support Culver desperately needs: The labor unions.

This executive order will drive up costs. It will cost YOU, the taxpayer, even more than you are already paying.

What Governor Culver isn’t counting on is the people of Iowa to rise up and say, “Stop forcing costly, job-killing actions!” Whether it’s legislative liberals who push the repeal of right-to-work, prevailing wage, choice of doctor – all VITAL to the Big Labor agenda – to this governor kowtowing to them through election year conversions, we must stand up to him.
Not only that…he’s buttering them up at their own convention!


Simply put: This action by Chet Culver means a higher cost to you, the taxpayer. Aren’t you tired of the government picking winners and losers?

Thank you for your support of Terry Branstad’s campaign for governor.

Jeff Boeyink
Campaign Manager, Governor Branstad 2010

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