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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After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."
"President Donald Trump plans to formally interview Janet Yellen this week about potentially staying on as Federal Reserve chair, two people familiar with the matter said...Many Republicans on Capitol Hill want Trump to move on from Yellen, whose first term ends in February, and choose a more traditionally conservative Fed chair."
In the wake of Sunday's blockbuster 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on opioid regulation and enforcement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced legislation that "would repeal a 2016 law that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioid distributors it suspects of misconduct." In a statement, McCaskill said: “Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities."