"I think from an educator point of view, I want to give the theories that have creditability weight in the classroom," Vander Plaats said during a question-and-answer session with students on Oct. 10. "There are some credible evidences on both sides, I think from an educator point of view as well as a full discourse to the students of 'Here's how people believe the world came to be.'
"I don't see where that can hurt."
But on Wednesday Nussle broke with his running mate.
"While I believe and I have taught my children that we are all God's creations, I do not believe intelligent design should be taught in our public schools," Nussle said in a statement issued by his campaign.
Intelligent design advocates argue that an intelligent designer played a central role in the origin and development of life on earth. Its critics contend the theory is a thinly veiled effort to teach Christian creationism in the public schools.
Democratic candidate for governor Chet Culver also opposes teaching intelligent design.
"I think that we need to base what we teach kids in school on science," said Culver, a former teacher. "I don't think we need to be teaching intelligent design in the public schools. I think we have to have a separation between church and state."
RAINFOREST ALL WET - Culver also believes in a wall of separation between federal dollars and indoor rainforests.
Culver said Wednesday he would not have voted to provide funding for a $150 million dollar "Earthpark" now planned for a site at Red Rock Lake near Pella. He's criticized Nussle for voting in favor of funding.
But Nussle's campaign argues that the large budget bill containing rainforest funding also included billions of dollars for law enforcement and education programs.
Iowa's U.S. senators, Democrat Tom Harkin and Republican Chuck Grassley, also voted for the bill.
VOTING WOES? - Michael Mauro, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, predicted Wednesday that voting hitches are likely on Election Day
"There's going to be problems in this election. I think there will be, hopefully not in Iowa," Mauro said before a campaign event in Ames. Mauro currently oversees elections in Polk County.
Mauro argues the problems won't stem from conspiracy theories about partisans hacking into computer voting systems. Instead, he argues that too few companies make and fix voting equipment and too few election officials are properly trained.
But Mauro is not worried whether a too-close-to-call Iowa vote would be complicated by the fact Iowa's commissioner of elections - Secretary of State Chet Culver - and the auditor of the state's largest county are on the ballot. Culver is running for governor.
"The idea that you think Chet Culver is counting anything or Michael Mauro is counting anything is kind of crazy," Mauro said. "I always got a kick out of the fact that somebody thought I was waving a wand and changing votes. If that was the case a lot of people would be winning who didn't win in the past."
Todd Dorman can be reached at (515) 243-0138 or email@example.com.