Lower commercial property taxes. More localized control of schools. Less regulation on businesses. This is the future Dean Fisher has been working toward since announcing his bid for Iowa House of Representatives in June of 2011. And since that time, Fisher has been campaigning hard across the district, meeting voters and making himself known.
Fisher took the time to sit down with the Star-Clipper and talk about some of the big issues facing District 72, which includes all of Tama County, portions of Marshall County (excluding the city of Marshalltown) and La Porte City.
As a native of rural Garwin, Fisher grew up in the district and graduated from South Tama High School in 1975. After getting a bachelor's degree in Electronics Engingeering, Fisher went to work in his field for over 25 years before returning to run the family farm in 2004.
Dean Fisher (R-Garwin), candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives District 72 seat, took the time to speak with the Star-Clipper about his priorities and positions. Here, Fisher appears in a photo at his farm, which has been in the family since 1852. At left, Fisher poses with some of the 120-head herd of beef cows he manages.
One of the biggest issues Fisher sees is the abundance of regulation and a high tax burden on businesses that call Iowa home.
"We need to keep taxes down and keep spending down," FIsher said. "Regulations are a big issue because they're strangling our businesses."
Among the biggest culprits of a less-than-friendly business culture in Iowa, Fisher contends, is the lack of action on lowering property taxes for businesses.
"Commerical property tax reform, we've got to get that through," Fisher said. "If we want to create jobs in Iowa and make Iowa grow as a business base, we've got to lower our commercial property taxes to become more business-friendly."
Fisher pointed to states like Texas as having a more business-friendly climate with lower corporate taxes. In addition, Fisher discussed the need for more locally-focused decision making, especially in the case of Iowa schools.
"I think we need more local control," Fisher said. "I think local people can make better decisions on how to spend money than having all these mandates come down from the state."
One of Fisher's more controversial positions - at least on paper - has been his position on photo identification for voting. Fisher supports requiring a photo ID at the polls.
"It preserves the integrity of the election," Fisher said. "There is funny business going on, it doesn't get caught a lot, and it's underreported and underdetected." Fisher cited the Secretary of State's collaboration with the Iowa Attorney General as evidence that photo IDs at polling places are a bipartisan issue.
In regards to his experience, Fisher sees his diverse professional background as a definite asset - both in the campaign and if elected.
"I think I have a lot more applicable experience," Fisher said, referring to why he would be a better choice for voters than opponent Nathan Wrage (D-Gladbrook). "I've been in business, I've worked in factories, I've worked in office jobs, I managed accounts totaling over $50 million at Motorola so I've got budget experience, and I understand what it takes to produce."
"I've been a farmer and owned a farm here in our county, so I understand that segment of the economy," Fisher said. "As an engineer, I dealt with a lot of complex issues, and a lot of what you do is problem solving. I've got that engineering mindset towards problem solving where you have to come to a logical conclusion to achieve a result."
Fisher will be looking to put his experience to work if elected on November 6. In the meantime, he will be knocking on doors and attending events countywide. Fisher joins Ben Lange, Jane Jech and Dennis Kucera for a Meet the GOP Candidates event in the Dysart Park shelter house at 7 p.m. on September 19.