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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 25, 2005

Two Sides of Public Power Issue to Debate At UI

Two representatives from Citizens for Public Power and MidAmerican Energy will debate whether Iowa City should move to municipal power, providing a rare opportunity for Iowa City residents to hear the two sides exchange dialogue. The debate will be help Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richey Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The forum is free and open to the public. Refreshments and dessert will be available.

The discussion format will include one moderator each from three local papers: opinions editor Erik Owomoyela of The Daily Iowan; managing editor Jim Lewers of the Iowa City Press-Citizen; and columnist Linda Alexander of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Each side will be given two and a half minutes for an opening statement, followed by questions from the moderators for forty-five minutes. Time will be allotted for rebuttals and follow-up questions. The floor will then be opened for questions from the audience. Student Video Productions will tape the event for re-broadcast on UITV.

The two sides will be debating the public power questions that will appear on the Nov. 8 general election: Question 1, shall the City of Iowa City in the County of Johnson, Iowa, be authorized to establish as a city utility an electric light and power plant and system? Question 2, shall the management and control of an electric light and power plant city utility be placed in a Board of Trustees consisting of five trustees as provided by law?

Citizens for Public Power says, "the goal of a community owned public power system is not to maximize profits, but to provide an essential service." The Committee for MidAmerican Energy counters this argument by touting its reliability by saying, "MidAmerican Energy's electric rates have not increased since 1995."

The University of Iowa Lecture Committee and UI Student Government are organizing the debate. 

NOTE TO EDITORS: Representatives for MidAmerican can be reached by phone at 319-341-4454 or email at Representatives for Citizens for Public Power can be reached by phone at 319-466-4245 or by email at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,