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April 2012 - Volume 18, Number 2


Click Here for a pdf verison.


What's New at Public Interest Institute?

by Deborah D. Thornton

Political Science Conference Held


The second annual conference of the Iowa Association of Political Scientists (IAPS) was held March 2 to 3 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.


Members of the profession along with politicians and journalists presented papers and discussed topics ranging from reapportionment to the Iowa Caucuses to the Harding-Coolidge Path to Prosperity to Global Political Terrorism. PII staff were active participants.


During the business meeting conducted by IAPS (and PII) President Don Racheter, Bill Parsons of St. Ambrose was voted in as President-Elect and Andy Green of Central College was elected to replace him as
Program Chairman.


At the conclusion of the meeting, Racheter turned the gavel over to Chris Larimer of UNI who had served as host of this year’s meeting and as IAPS President-Elect since the inaugural meeting of the new group last spring at Iowa
Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant.


Next year’s meeting will be hosted in Davenport by St. Ambrose, and the 2014 meeting will be hosted by Central
College in Pella.


Anyone wishing more information about the Iowa Association of Political Scientists may contact Past-President Racheter at, President Chris Larimer at, or
President-Elect Bill Parsons at


Yearly dues for the IAPS are $5 payable by check sent to Treasurer Amy Frantz, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641 or via credit card by calling PII at 319-385-3462.


PII Spring Publications

Public Interest Institute members have authored two new POLICY STUDIES on issues of keen interest to taxpayers. Research Analyst Deborah D. Thornton has written Iowa’s Privileged Class: Time for a Change!, detailing the retirement benefits received by state-government employees and discussing the significant reforms necessary to prevent an onerous burden on future workers and taxpayers.


Research Analyst John Hendrickson’s recent study, TABOR: A Pro-Growth Solution for Iowa, encourages policymakers in Iowa to consider a Taxpayers Bill of Rights measure (TABOR) to provide more accountability to government and give taxpayers a vote on tax and spending increases.


Hendrickson highlights the savings that would have been achieved had a TABOR similar to that in Colorado been in place in Iowa in the last 20-30 years. To read these informative studies, visit


FACTS & OPINIONS is one of our quarterly membership newsletters, arriving in January, April, July, and October. It consists of short articles of public interest with an emphasis on current issues.


FACTS & OPINIONS is published by Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and educational institute, whose activities are supported by contributions from private individuals, corporations, companies, and foundations. The Institute does not accept government grants.


Contributions are tax-deductible under sections 501(c)(3) and 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Permission to reprint or copy in whole or part is granted, provided a version of this credit line is used: "Reprinted by permission from FACTS & OPINIONS, a quarterly newsletter of Public Interest
Institute." The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute.


If you have an article you believe is worth sharing, please send it to us. All or a portion of your article may be used. The articles in this publication are brought to you in the interest of a better-informed citizenry, because IDEAS DO MATTER.



All of our publications are available for sponsorship.  Sponsoring a publication is an excellent way for you to show your support of our efforts to defend liberty and define the proper role of government.  For more information, please contact Public Interest Institute at 319-385-3462 or e-mail us at