Monday, April 10, 2006


Inspector General: Part of Nussle's plan to bring accountability back to Des Moines.

Last week, Traveling Tom Vilsack returned from making speeches in Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York only to find Des Moines rocked by the CIETC scandal. One part of Vilsack's administration was aware of the situation more than a month ago, but the governor refused to act during one of his brief layovers in Iowa.

Another Iowa blog, Who's Making Bacon, claims to have discovered indications of nepotism and fishy payments as far back as 2004. This is only the latest incident marking a distinct pattern of mismanagment in our state agencies. First a prison break, then lotto officials gone wild with touchplay slot machines, and now this: Audit fallout builds pressure on agency officials; Worker suspended after disposing of records; Official tried to avoid U.S. probe, agency says; CIETC board votes to fire top executives in closed meeting.

To reverse this alarming trend, Jim Nussle will create the office of Inspector General, a position dedicated to rooting out the waste, fraud, and abuse that has become evident in our state government. Appointed to a six year term and confirmed by the senate, the Inspector General will have the political independence to act as an objective outlet for state whistleblowers and to hold state decision makers accountable for how they spend Iowa's tax dollars. Senator Chuck Grassley has already endorsed this initiative.