By Amanda Litvinov
Fred Hubbell, born and raised in Des Moines, is well-known in Iowa as a successful businessman and long-time philanthropist. He also served, under former Gov. Chet Culver, as acting director of the Department of Economic Development of Iowa. In that role, Hubbell identified over $150 million in wasteful incentives that were producing little return for the state.
Now, Fred Hubbell is running for governor. If elected, he has pledged to continue cleaning up the state’s finances, ending the kind of corporate handouts that his opponent, Gov. Kim Reynolds, has recklessly delivered. Hubbell has a clear plan to re-invest in public education and other public services that have been cut or languished under Reynolds and her predecessor, Gov. Terry Brandstad.
Here are five specific reasons why Hubbell has earned the recommendation of the Iowa State Education Association, which represents more than 30,000 teachers statewide.
1. Fred Hubbell believes educators should be at the table when education decisions are made
Hubbell participated in the Iowa State Education Association’s (ISEA) candidate recommendation process, during which he pledged he will rely on teachers’ experience and expertise by placing them at the table when important decisions are made about public education.
2. He chose a former teacher and ISEA member as his running mate
State Sen. Rita Hart is a farmer and former educator from the rural community of Big Rock. She taught for more than 20 years in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community School Districts. “I’ve always seen a lot of parallels between my work in the Senate and what I did in the classroom,” Hart told the Des Moines Register. “I’m constantly trying to figure out what I can do to help [students] to be more successful. It comes down to really listening, really caring about how I can make a difference.”
3. Hubbell opposes special tax giveaways for big corporations
Those unnecessary tax breaks and incentives deplete funding for public education and health care. His campaign site explains: “Gov. Reynolds repeatedly has made shortsighted and bad economic deals, like the Apple deal that gave away $20 million in state incentives for just 50 permanent jobs – that’s $400,000 per job. These types of tax giveaways have been a contributing factor to Iowa’s financial woes, news that is especially troubling as the state continues to tighten its belt with underfunding and severe cuts to health care and education.”
4. He will fight for the rights of educators and all public employees
Fred Hubble supports restoring public employee collective bargaining rights and maintaining the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS). He said during an interview with Iowa Public Radio that the 2017 legislative session—during which state lawmakers stripped public employees of their collective bargaining rights and again grossly underfunded education—was the reason he decided to run for governor.
5. Hubbell believes mental health supports are critical for our students
His mental health reform plan includes a first-of-its kind state program for children’s mental health. The program would encourage partnerships with school districts to identify and treat children, and involve pediatricians and family physicians in the mental health screening process. “We know what to do to address youth-based mental-health issues as well as mental-health issues for our state. We just need to put the leadership and funding behind it,” said Hubbell during a roundtable discussion on the state’s growing mental health crisis. Former Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds (now governor) closed two of four state mental hospitals in 2015, leaving a shortage of facilities for acute-care placements.