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Liberal political group launches project to “expose misuse of public funds”

Matt Sinovic with Amanda Ragan and Sharon Steckman at Cerro Gordo County Courthouse in 2012
Matt Sinovic with Amanda Ragan and Sharon Steckman at Cerro Gordo County Courthouse in 2012

DES MOINES – The Iowa Accountability Project, an effort by Progress Iowa to root out misuse of public money and corruption in our government, launched today with the filing of an Iowa Open Records Law request asking Governor Terry Branstad’s administration to release information about how its development of the “Gross over-the-month Employment Gains” statistic that it has added to in every month’s Iowa Workforce Development jobs report.

“Iowans deserve an honest picture of how our state’s economy is doing,” said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. “We are concerned that the Branstad Administration is using taxpayer resources to develop flawed data that only serves as a re-election talking point.”

The new statistic was added to the monthly Iowa Workforce Development report in February of 2011, just after the Governor took office. The statistic only counts instances of new hires and therefore gives a distorted view of the state’s job picture. Commonly accepted measurements of job growth also include jobs lost, a figure not included in Gov. Branstad’s new metric.

In the 2010 campaign, Governor Branstad pledged he would create 200,000 new jobs. Data from Iowa Workforce Development shows that the state is far from reaching that goal, as unemployment in the state actually increased between June and July.

The public can view the Iowa Accountability Project’s request at its new website: www.accountabilityiowa.org. The site was developed to keep the public informed about the project’s activities.

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