This past year I covered in detail the Iowa-Microsoft class action case which settled for $179.95 million.  The case involved allegations that Microsoft undercut competitors and acted illegally.  Real bad stuff if you believed the plaintiffs.

Now a new controversy has developed in the Hawkeye state involving Microsoft.

Last night, I saw an attack against Governor Chet Culver.  At first I though it couldn’t be possible because Culver is not up for re-election until 2010.  But it all came together when the voice over said, "Tell Governor Culver that Iowans deserve a tax break, NOT MICROSOFT."

A new law will provide Microsoft tax breaks for a proposed server farm if the company invests $200 million and makes a decision by the end of the year.

My question is whether that is a new $200 million or does the company get a credit for the $179.95 million paid in the settlement?  This is typical Iowa.  It just wouldn’t be nice and fair if Iowans picked Microsoft’s pockets for $179.95 million and didn’t give them anything in return.  And above all, we Iowans are nice and fair.