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CREW: Worst Governors in America: Terry Branstad - Iowa

CREW: Worst Governors in America: Terry Branstad - Iowa

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Published by CREW
Worst Governors in America
Worst Governors in America

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Published by: CREW on Jul 17, 2013
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06/18/2014

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GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R-IA)
was elected in 2010. He had previously served four consecutive terms as governor, from 1983 to 1999.
CRONYISM
Gov. Branstad appointed his top campaign donor, Bruce Rastetter, to the IowaBoard of Regents and initiated a shakeup that allowed Mr. Rastetter to become the board  president in June 2013.
1
Mr. Rastetter, who founded an ethanol company and is currently thechief executive officer of an agriculture company, has been accused of using his board positionto stifle academic freedom and to promote a pro-agriculture agenda at the state’s threeuniversities.
2
Gov. Branstad appointed Mr. Rastetter’s brother, Brent, also a major donor, to the board of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, the state environmental oversight panel.
3
Brent Rastetter owns a business that builds large livestock operations regulated under clean water laws overseen by the commission.
4
 
PRESSURING PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Gov. Branstad sought to pressure and remove the stateworkers’ compensation commissioner on behalf of business interests. After taking office, Gov.Branstad asked for the resignation of all state department heads.
5
Iowa Workers’ CompensationCommissioner Chris Godfrey, whose six-year term is meant to shelter him from politicalinterference, repeatedly refused to resign.
6
Gov. Branstad’s administration then reduced hissalary from $109,000 to $73,259 a year, the lowest possible for his pay grade.
7
Gov. Branstad said he was encouraged to force out Mr. Godfrey by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, though the association’s president denied asking for Mr. Godfrey’s removal.
8
Mr.Godfrey filed a lawsuit against the state over the situation, alleging mistreatment and sexdiscrimination, among other things.
9
The lawsuit is pending.
10
 
1
 http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=116516;http://iowaindependent.com/4203/secrets-of-the-american-future-fund;Press Release, Office of Governor of IowaTerry Branstad,Gov. Branstad appoints Bruce Rastetter, Katie Mulholland and Nicole Carroll to the Iowa Board of Regents, February 25, 2011;http://www.regents.iowa.gov/BoardMembers/boardmembers.html;Hog, Ethanol Baron Bruce Rastetter Now a Republican Kingmaker, 
 Associated Press
, August 4, 2011; Ryan J. Foley,Rastetter Picked toLead Iowa Board of Regents,
 Associated Press
, June 5, 2013.
2
Jim Rutenberg, Don Van Natta Jr., and Mike McIntire,Offering Donors Secrecy, and Going on Attack ,
 New York Times
, October 11, 2010; Ryan J. Foley,Rastetter Picked to Lead Iowa Board of Regents,
 Associated Press
, June 5,2013.
3
 http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor.phtml?d=1283676980;
 Associated Press
, Aug.4, 2011; Perry Beeman,Iowa CCI Files Ethics Complaint Against Environmental Commissioner Brent Rastetter ,
 Des Moines Register 
, August 16, 2011.
4
 
 Id.
; Ethics Complaint Against Rastetter Dismissed,
 Associated Press
, November 17, 2011.
5
Jason Clayworth,Branstad First Demands Resignation and Then Sinks Commissioner’s Pay,
 Des Moines Register 
,July 12, 2011.
6
 
 Id.
 
7
 
 Id.
 
8
Jason Clayworth,Business Group Says It Did Not Encourage Branstad to Fire Commissioner ,
 Des Moines Register 
, July 13, 2011.
9
Jason Clayworth, Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Files $1 Million Lawsuit Against the State,
 Des Moines Register 
, January 11, 2012.
10
 Branstad Lawsuit Bill Tops $370,000,
 Associated Press
, April 3, 2013.

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