Ex-Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said 8/31 that voters should return him to office because the leadership under Gov. Chet Culver (D) has been ineffectual. Branstad “pointed to” the problems that have plagued several state depts., including the IA Film Office and IA Department of Aging. Branstad said he’d select dept. heads based on expertise rather than political connections. Branstad: “You’ve got a culture of corruption that needs to be corrected, you really do.”
Culver spokesperson Ali Glisson “disputed” the charge. Glisson: “Every time there has been some sort of issue in the governor’s office, Gov. Culver has been decisive and he’s taken swift action to put mechanisms in place to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. He’s dug into the situation to figure out what caused the situation and why” (Hayworth, Sioux City Journal, 9/1).
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Branstad says the AG Tom Miller (D) bears some responsibility for the massive egg recall which has created a “black eye” for IA’s poultry industry, while Miller says Branstad has his facts wrong.
Branstad “blasted” Miller on 8/31. Branstad: “The present attorney general basically let Jack DeCoster off the hook. The whole state of Iowa is getting a black eye for that guy, habitual violator. We were on course to have him put out of business before I left office and then they cut a deal with him.” Miller: “Former Governor Branstad is totally mistaken about the law in Iowa concerning feedlots and habitual violators” (Henderson, Radio Iowa, 8/31).
State Sen. Rob Hogg (D), chair of the Senate Rebuild IA Cmte, said Branstad requested a ‘94 report in the aftermath of the state’s ‘93 flooding disaster, but then he and his admin. took “no action” on recommendations designed to reduce vulnerability to future floods and help communities mitigate future flood damage.
Branstad spokesperson Tim Albrecht called it “sad and pathetic” that “Culver and his cronies” are attempting to politicize the flood, noting that about 33% of the state and federal funds allocated for disaster victims in eastern Iowa has reached the intended target (Boshart, Mason City Globe Gazette, 8/31).
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Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.
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Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.
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