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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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."