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Political group calls on Governor Branstad to apologize “publicly and personally” over speeding incident

Governor Terry Branstad
Governor Terry Branstad

Des Moines, Iowa — Progress Iowa today called on Governor Terry Branstad to publicly and personally apologize for his callous disregard of public safety and refusal to hold himself or anyone in his administration accountable for the speeding incident that took place on April 26th.

In calling for an apology, Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement:

“Iowans deserve to know that no one is above the law – not even the Governor. He should apologize immediately, publicly, and personally. Dragging his feet, allowing his administration to make excuses, and refusing to hold himself or anyone else accountable is an insult to those of us in the state who are actually required to follow the law and held responsible if we don’t.”

“We’ve heard from the Lieutenant Governor – she thinks it’s acceptable to speed if she and the Governor are late to a meeting. We’ve heard from the Director of Economic Development, who thinks it’s alright to joke about our Governor disobeying the law.”

“The administration has said the matter is under review, but the Governor shouldn’t need to wait for a report to know the difference between right and wrong. It’s time we hear from him – speaking publicly and directly to Iowans – and it’s time for him to apologize.”

On April 26th, a black SUV carrying Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds was spotted traveling down an Iowa highway at “a hard 90” miles per hour. Iowa State Patrol drivers chose not to stop the car once they discovered who was riding in the vehicle. After a Department of Criminal Investigation officer who observed the vehicle filed a complaint, he was suspended.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds told reporters that the suspension of the law enforcement officer who helped make the incident public was “absolutely unrelated” to the incident, but no consequences have been reported for anyone else involved, including the patrolmen who allowed the Governor’s driver to continue on. As of this morning, the governor has failed to apologize.  One member of his administration who has been traveling through Germany with Governor Branstad in recent days, Director of Economic Development Debi Durham, even made a joke about the incident yesterday, comparing U.S. Highway 20 to the autobahn.

While the Branstad/Reynolds administration has delayed, the issue has escalated and editorials from across the state have increasingly called on the Governor to take action:

Cedar Rapids Gazette: “The incident demands swift accountability. Issuing a ticket, paying a fine and moving on would get more public respect than excuses and foot-dragging.”

Des Moines Register: “Iowans want to have faith these officials are following the laws themselves. They want to know the Governor would not tolerate anything less.”

Quad-City Times: “This two-month-old incident does not have to be the biggest scandal of the governor’s career. But it will unless the governor speaks up and takes responsibility.”

Sioux City Journal: “Instead of a hands-off approach or excuses, the state’s chief executives should admit the speeding was unacceptable and pledge it won’t happen again.”

In addition to calling for a public apology, Progress Iowa is also encouraging Iowans to sign a petition calling on Governor Branstad to apologize. To view the petition visit the following link: http://org.credoaction.com/p/branstadapologize

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