Name: Jake Porter
Residence: Council Bluffs
Occupation: Business consultant
Education: Bachelor’s, business administration
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans, and how would you address them?
• Budget prioritization: The governor sets a recommended budget each year to send to the legislature. We must go through every department and agency and look at eliminating waste, consolidating ones that need consolidated, and making each one more efficient so we can prioritize spending.
• Corporate welfare: The state should stop picking winners and losers in the market. End corporate welfare.
• Criminal justice reform: Restore voting rights to anyone that has served their time and paid for their crimes. Treat substance abuse as a mental health issue. Encourage the Legislature to expunge records of non-violent (ex: marijuana) offenders so they can find work.
What steps are needed to improve Iowa’s economy and create a stronger workforce? Would any of these steps focus on helping rural economies?
We need to create an even playing field and stop picking winners and losers in the market. We need to decrease taxes on the poorest Iowans (ex: sales tax and vehicle registration fees) who pay, as a percentage of income, the highest percentage in taxes. We should decrease unnecessary regulations that promote monopolies and help rural Iowa by lower the sales tax and driving business into the state.
What should the future of Medicaid look like in Iowa?
Reverse the privatization of Medicaid in Iowa where companies give corporate contributions to the politicians that negotiate their contracts. Bring all stakeholders together so that we can work out the best possible solutions for all Iowans impacted. When the governor acts like a dictator and stakeholders are ignored, Iowans lose.
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Polls show health care is a top concern among Iowans. What would you propose as governor to control the rising costs of health premiums and health care?
The health care problems are national. Any candidates for governor claiming they are going to solve the health care issues or increased premium costs are lying to you. The problem is a national problem and will have to be resolved through Congress. The state should allow more competition to prevent monopolies.
What is your stance on providing tax credits and other incentives to companies to bring and keep their businesses in Iowa?
The state of Iowa should not pick winners and losers in the market. I see a real problem when big political donors are given state contracts and incentives. Many financially sound corporations are not only not paying taxes, but are given welfare checks. I say we create an even playing field for all Iowans and all businesses. I also don’t believe that any governor candidate is smart enough to centrally plan an economy. No place that has tried it has succeeded.
How will you approach funding for education as governor?
We will go through the budget and prioritize spending. We will cut out things not related to education from the education budget and focus more on funding schools and students as opposed to state administrative funding.
Would you support increasing the state minimum wage, or do you propose other methods to help Iowans with lower incomes? If you do support an increase, to what level and why?
I support a decrease in the state sales tax, which is a tax on the poorest Iowans. I do not believe the minimum wage should be the same in rural Iowa as it is in the cities. Iowa has very diverse rural and urban economic situations and someone in Des Moines setting a wage for say someone in Red Oak Iowa is not workable. I do not believe the state government should dictate to local governments what the wage should be.
Does Iowa need to do more to improve water quality? If so, how?
Iowa needs to improve water quality. We should prioritize spending to include water quality. Agree or disagree, the voters did pass an amendment in 2010 to fund this. As governor, I would work to fulfill the request from the voters. Big corporations that pollute should be held financially liable for their pollution.
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Do you think changes are needed in Iowa’s tax code? What would you propose?
I think the first changes we must address is the budget. Changing the tax code without addressing the problems with spending and the budget could get us into severe economic trouble. I do support decreasing things such as the state sales tax (local governments would still be able to set their own sales tax rate) and things such as vehicle registration taxes that are taxes that hurt people with lower incomes. I support ending corporate welfare.
What makes you the best choice to lead Iowa?
I will be a governor for all Iowans, not just a particular political party. I want to talk about solutions not about who paid what in taxes or what someone said 30 years ago. There are issues that are being ignored such as criminal justice reform and I say it is time that we address these issues and stop kicking them down the road. Just because something doesn’t directly harm me, doesn’t mean it isn’t harming other Iowans. We need a governor that is concerned about the welfare of all Iowans.