Dahl running as Democrat

A former director of the Kendall Young Library in Webster City wants to become the next governor of Iowa.

Paul Dahl, who also served as a Methodist minister in Humboldt County, is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 2014 governor’s race.

Should he be elected, the Webster City man wants to eliminate the corporate income tax, raise the state’s minimum wage and encourage farmers to grow more vegetables and less corn.

”I think we can make Iowa better than what it is right now,” Dahl said. ”I believe in good governance. I don’t think we presently have that. I’d like to provide that for Iowa.”

”I think I have the education, experience, ethics and energy to be the governor,” he added.

Dahl is a bus driver for MIDAS Council of Governments. But from April 2011 to July of that year he was the director of the Kendall Young Library before being fired by the library’s board.

The board dismissed Dahl during a July 11, 2011, public meeting after some of its members said they had received multiple complaints about him. The exact nature of those complaints was not revealed during the meeting.

”I’m still in the process of them sharing with me what the complaints were,” Dahl said. ”I think they got plenty of positive comments after they let me go.”

He added that he wasn’t planning to stay in the library director’s job because he already had plans to run for governor.

In the early 1990s, Dahl was an associate pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Humboldt. But the ministry, he said, was never his ultimate career goal.

”When I went to seminary, I went to seminary to get the ethical foundation to be involved in politics,” he said. ”I had not planned to be an ordained pastor the rest of my life.”

While at the Humboldt church, he launched a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. That led to his departure from the church.

”The United Methodist Church, in a sense, said I was using the church for political purposes,” he said. ”In some sense, it was a mutual decision for me to depart.”

The candidate describes himself as a progressive populist and a political mystic.

He said economic development would be his No. 1 priority if he’s elected.

To foster economic growth, he proposes to abolish the corporate income tax and raise the minimum wage at the same time.

”The two things have to be tied together,” he said.

Dahl said if he becomes governor, he would cut his salary from the current $130,000 to $75,000. He said he would cut the salaries of state management employees and encourage the coaches of major sports at the state universities to accept a pay cut.

Dahl faces state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines; former legislator Bob Krause; and state Rep. Tyler Olson, of Cedar Rapids; for the Democratic nomination.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad hasn’t announced his intentions yet but is widely expected to run for another term.