April 2003
Bond Buyer;4/22/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31619, p4
Trade Publication
In 2000, when Iowa governorTom Vilsack's staff began looking at securitizing the state's future tobacco settlement payments, it was bond lawyer Robert Helmick, one of the architects of the deal, that was dispatched to talk to lawmakers about the plan that needed their vote. Mr. Helmick shaped the legislation that created the Iowa Finance Authority, a key issuer of economic development-related deals.He was one of the architects of the Tobacco Settlement Authority Act that paved the way for the state's $650 million securitization and he worked to help the plan for the bond-financed Vision Iowa program that helped local governments finance tourism and entertainment projects. Mr. Helmick, a water polo player, helped enact the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, managed the country's water polo team in the 1972 Olympics, and rose through the ranks of the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as president from 1985 to 1991. Mr. Helmick voluntarily resigned amid concerns raised over personal business he did with several groups that had ties to the Olympic Games. Though the connections appeared to violate conflict-of-interest rules, he denied that he used his influence to benefit those groups.


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