Tom Vilsack on Principles & Values
Democratic IA Governor
Abandoned at birth; adopted out from orphanage
Tom Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa and a major Hillary supporter, went in as the underdog for Agriculture Secretary to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who had supported Obama early. Vilsack, who had been abandoned at birth and adopted out of a Roman
Catholic orphanage, connected immediately with Obama, especially when they started talking about the 28 million Americans on food stamps. At one point Obama exclaimed, "Wow, you're passionate about this stuff!" In the end, after a detailed conversation
about biofuels, he said simply, "Well, you got it." Obama told him that the top priority of his department should be that American children be well fed. Like so many other moves Obama had made, this was a strikingly different emphasis for the department:
simple, even obvious, but significant. Since its founding in the Lincoln administration, the USDA had always been focused on serving (or pandering to) farmers. Now it was to have another central mission.
Source: The Promise: Obama Year One, by Jonathan Alter, p. 61
, May 18, 2010
Heartland PAC supports 22 statewide candidates plus IA & NH
Heartland PAC was formed by Tom Vilsack to support the election of Democrats.
Supported candidates for governor:
- AZ: Gov. Janet Napolitano
- AR: Mike Beebe
- CO: Bill Ritter
- IA: Chet Culver
- IL: Gov. Rod Blagojevich
- KS: Gov. Kathleen
- ME: Gov. John Baldacci
- MA: Deval Patrick
- MD: Martin O’Malley
- MI: Gov. Jennifer Granholm
- NV: Dina Titus
- NH: Gov. John Lynch
- NM: Gov. Bill Richarson
- OH: Ted Strickland
- OK: Gov. Brad Henry
- OR: Gov. Ted Kulongoski
Gov. Ed Rendell
- RI: Charlie Fogarty
- SC: Tommy Moore
- TN: Gov. Phil Bredesen
- WI: Gov. Jim Doyle
- WY: Gov. Dave Freudenthal
Supported candidates for Secretary of State:
- CO: Ken Gordon
- IA: Mike Mauro
- OH: Jennifer Brunner
- NV: Ross Miller
Heartland PAC also supports numerous candidates in the following state legislative races:
Source: PAC website, www.HeartlandPac.org
, Dec 1, 2006
- CO: State Senate & State Assembly
- IA: State Senate & State House
- NH: State Senate & State House
Launches presidential bid; files FEC paperwork
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a centrist Democrat seeking an early edge in an all-but-certain crowded presidential field, launched a long-shot bid for the White House. 15 months before his own state holds caucuses--the first step in the nominating process--
Vilsack announced his candidacy, filed documents with the Federal Election Commission and heralded a multistate tour beginning Nov. 30.
The governor is the first Democrat to file for the presidency although a number of better known candidates are
presumed to be running. “Americans sent a clear message on Tuesday. They want leaders who will take this country in a new direction,” he said. “They want leaders who share their values, understand their needs, and respect their intelligence. That’s
what I’ve done as governor of Iowa, and that’s what I intend to do as president.”
In polls, Vilsack has trailed the other potential candidates, among them Hillary Clinton & John Edwards. The governor even was behind in a survey of Iowans.
Source: 2008 speculation by Associated Press in Forbes Mag
, Nov 9, 2006
Religious affiliation: Catholic.
Vilsack : religious affiliation:
The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).
What’s an adherent? The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.
Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.
Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH11 on Nov 7, 2000
Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.
Vilsack signed the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":
As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.
- that government’s proper role in the New Economy is to equip working Americans with new tools for economic success and security.
- in expanding trade and investment because we must be a party of economic progress, not economic reaction.
- that fiscal discipline is fundamental to sustained economic growth as well as responsible government.
- that a progressive tax system is the only fair way to pay for government.
- the Democratic Party’s mission is to expand opportunity, not government.
- that education must be America’s great equalizer, and we will not abandon our public schools or tolerate their failure.
- that all Americans must have access to health insurance.
- in preventing crime and punishing criminals.
- in a new social compact that requires and
rewards work in exchange for public assistance and that ensures that no family with a full-time worker will live in poverty.
- that public policies should reinforce marriage, promote family, demand parental responsibility, and discourage out-of-wedlock births.
- in enhancing the role that civic entrepreneurs, voluntary groups, and religious institutions play in tackling America’s social ills.
- in strengthening environmental protection by giving communities the flexibility to tackle new challenges that cannot be solved with top-down mandates.
- government must combat discrimination on the basis of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation; defend civil liberties; and stay out of our private lives.
- that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.
- in progressive internationalism -- the bold exercise of US leadership to foster peace, prosperity, and democracy.
- that the US must maintain a strong, technologically superior defense to protect our interests and values.
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC0 on Aug 1, 2000
Member of Democratic Governors Association.
Vilsack is a member of the Democratic Governors Association:
Governors are, by definition, a different type of politician. They must be independent and pragmatic leaders, often reaching across party lines to get the people’s business done. Democratic Governors bring these skills to bear for the benefit of all of their citizens. They are leading the way with innovative ways to strengthen families, improve the quality of life, and prepare for the future. These principles are why Democratic Governors are good executives, good candidates, and will regain the majority of statehouses in 2002.
Source: DGA website, www.DemocraticGovernors.org/ 01-DGA1 on Aug 15, 2001
- Balancing budgets, investing in priorities and providing responsible tax cuts: support tax relief that is fair for working families.
- Creating new jobs and succeeding in the new economy: sustain economic development, particularly for small businesses that create the majority of new jobs.
- Supporting economic development in rural areas: ensure that rural and underserved communities have the technology
needed to participate in the New Economy.
- Improving public schools and investing in our youngest children: the most important aspect to insure a child’s education is to have the best possible teachers in the classroom.
- Protecting patients’ rights and providing seniors with affordable prescription drugs: guarantee that doctors and patients, not HMO bureaucrats, make medical decisions.
- Keeping streets, schools and communities safe: anti-crime measures that promise swift, severe and certain punishment, [plus] smart prevention measures like community policing.
- Improving quality of life through smart growth: excessive growth and sprawl threaten our communities
- Promoting clean air, clean water and clean neighborhoods: the old debate between environmental protection and economic development presented a false choice.
- Promoting personal responsibility through the next generation of welfare reform
Member of Midwestern Governors' Association.
Vilsack is a member of the Midwestern Governors' Conference:
The Midwestern Governors’ Conference (MGC) was created in December, 1962. The members of the conference include the governors of 13 Midwestern states. The MGC is a non-profit, bipartisan organization that brings together top state leaders to work cooperatively on important regional public policy issues.
The purpose of the Midwestern Governors’ Conference is “to foster regional development, to attain greater efficiency in state administration, to facilitate interstate cooperation and improve intergovernmental relationships, and to provide a medium for the exchange of views and experiences on subjects of general importance to the people of the Midwestern states.” In pursuit of these objectives, the conference has, through the years, established a wide array of committees, task forces and study groups charged with investigating and reporting on various issues of regional concern.
Recent subject areas addressed by various MGC committees and working groups
have included agriculture, economic development, trade, child support enforcement, worker retention and recruitment, and tourism promotion. The results of these efforts have ranged from written reports to cooperative efforts. The conference also addresses these and other issues through policy statements and resolutions.
The conference also seeks to meet its goal of providing a forum for the exchange of information by sponsoring periodic meetings. In addition to the annual meetings, the conference has occasionally sponsored special meetings and regional roundtables devoted to specific issues such as international trade, state anti-drug strategies, and child support enforcement efforts. The MGC is increasingly concentrating on federal programs and policies and their impact on the region. This growing focus led to the addition (in late 1998) of a Washington-based staff person to monitor federal issues for the MGC.
Source: MGC website, www.MidwestGovernors.org/home.htm 01-MGC1 on Sep 9, 2001
Member, National Governors Association/Economic Development.
Vilsack is a member of the National Governors Association:
The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington’s most respected public policy organizations. NGA provides governors with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing policy reports on innovative state programs and hosting networking seminars for state government executive branch officials. The NGA Center for Best Practices focuses on state innovations and best practices on issues that range from education and health to technology, welfare reform, and the environment. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.
Since their initial meeting in 1908 to discuss interstate water problems, governors have worked through the National Governors Association to deal with issues of public policy and governance relating to the states. The association’s ongoing mission is to support the work of the
governors by providing a bipartisan forum to help shape and implement national policy and to solve state problems.
Fortune Magazine recently named NGA as one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying organizations due, in large part, to NGA’s ability to lead the debate on issues that impact states. From welfare reform to education, from the historic tobacco settlement to wireless communications tax policies, NGA has influenced major public policy issues while maintaining the strength of our Federalist system of government.
There are three standing committees—on Economic Development and Commerce, Human Resources, and Natural Resources—that provide a venue for governors to examine and develop policy positions on key state and national issues.
[Note: NGA positions represent a majority view of the nation’s governors, but do not necessarily reflect a governor’s individual viewpoint. Governors vote on NGA policy positions but the votes are not made public.]
Source: National Governors Association web site www.NGA.org 01-NGA0 on Jan 1, 2001
Page last updated: Jan 14, 2017