Dave Jamison has been involved in Republican politics in Iowa for decades. He is currently the Story County Treasurer and has been since 1995. He’s known by most in Republican circles for his work on the Republican State Central Committee and the statewide organization he co-founded, the Iowa Republican County Officials Association, which helps Republicans get elected at the county level across the state.
Jamison now has his eyes set on statewide office, and later today, he will officially announce his campaign for State Treasurer. Last Friday, Jamison announced that former United States Attorney Matt Whitaker, who ran for State Treasurer himself in 2002, will serve as Jamison’s statewide campaign chair. Whitaker gives Jamison’s campaign a well-known and respected surrogate to help build support across the state.
In an interview with TheIowaRepublican.com late last week, Jamison outlined the issues on which he plans to campaign across the state. Unlike previous campaigns against current State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald, candidates like Jamison now have a whole host of issues to create stark contrasts between themselves and the 28 year incumbent treasurer. Jamison’s “Put Iowa First Campaign” is designed to highlight many of the areas where Fitzgerald deserves to be questioned.
Jamison talked extensively about the $300 million dollars of IPERS funds which were stolen under Fitzgerald’s watch. While the State Treasurer is one of seven members of the IPERS board, he is the only member who the voters elect to represent them. In fact, the State Treasurer is supposed to be the custodian of the IPERS fund. Jamison told TheIowaRepublican.com, “The $300 million that Westridge Capital stole from state employees and retirees shows a lack of due diligence by Fitzgerald.”
Jamison went on to explain that the $300 million lost in Westridge Capital’s Ponzi scheme under Fitzgerald’s watch far exceeds amounts involved in other state scandals like the CIETC, which involved the misuse of $1.8 million. Jamison also raised question about whether or not Westridge received preferential treatment. He cited an IPERS report to the Government Oversight Committee which pointed out that deadlines were extended and the initial request for proposal was amended to so that Westridge could be selected.
Jamison noted that the depository for IPERS funds is the Bank of New York. If elected, he wants to explore opportunities to keep Iowa’s investments in local financial institutions if they offer competitive rates and are secure investments. He also proposed letting local Iowa banks and financial institutions compete with Vangaurd in offering college savings investment (529) plans.
Jamison also said that he would use the office of the State Treasurer to speak out against bonding proposals, like Governor Culver’s I-Jobs program, that leave mountains of debt for future generations to repay. That would be a big departure from the current State Treasurer, who is only concerned about the state’s bond rating instead of the ramifications of massive state borrowing.
Before Jamison can face off against Fitzgerald next fall, he will first have to win a Republican primary against Dyersville Mayor Jim Heavens. Heavens’ announced his campaign for State Treasurer at the end of November. In the primary for State Treasurer, Jamison holds a considerable advantage over Heavens. He has already amassed an impressive list of endorsements and has active county chairs for his campaign in more than half of Iowa’s 99 counties.
In an election year that looks like it is going to be favorable for Republicans, there is a real chance at unseating both Secretary of State Mike Mauro and State Treasurer Fitzgerald. Helping the Republican nominees in both races will be a strong top-of-the-ticket led by Senator Grassley. Jamison is the clear favorite to emerge from the Republican primary, and it looks like he is ready to go head-to-head with Fitzgerald this fall.
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