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Branstad admits 12 state agencies paid out nearly $350K in secret settlements

This news story was published on March 24, 2014.
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Clifford was not paid to have his photo taken with the Governor

Clifford was not paid to have his photo taken with the Governor… or was he?

DES MOINES – At a press conference Monday, Governor Terry Branstad announced that 12 state agencies were party to 24 secret payoffs costing the state nearly $350,000.

Branstad called the settlements “unacceptable” and said he was “troubled” by the findings.

The governor announced he was signing an executive order immediately that would “increase accountability, openness and transparency of employee settlements”. He ordered that all confidentiality agreements be posted on a website:

“Iowans deserve better,” Governor Branstad said.

“I’ve signed Executive Order 85 today,” the governor said “to ensure the executive branch operates in a transparent manner, ending the use of these confidentiality agreements, increasing accountability, and making employee settlements readily available for taxpayer viewing online.”

State Senator Jack Hatch

State Senator Jack Hatch

The governor’s election opponent, Jack Hatch, wasted no time pouncing on Branstad.

“Branstad defends secret hush money saying its legal and many agencies do it,” Senator Hatch said Monday. “This is a complete failure of leadership. I look forward to restoring the kind of leadership in the Governor’s office that Iowans have come to expect [and] are not getting from this [governor].”

He announced a list of 16 Branstad scandals, here and asked people to pick the worst ones.

A liberal political group, Progress Iowa, said after the press conference that “the Governor held no one accountable and refused to consider an independent review to determine whether any laws were broken.

“The Governor expects us to believe that hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements were paid, that he and his staff knew nothing about it, and that no one is being fired or disciplined, but it’s OK because ‘it won’t happen again’.”

In addition to the secret payoffs in his administration, the governor has been dogged by accusations of political firings in state government as well as his appointees applying pressure on judges in unemployment cases, favoring employers.

Branstad said that later Monday, he would be on his way to Washington DC for installation of a statue honoring Norman Borlaug.


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6 Responses to Branstad admits 12 state agencies paid out nearly $350K in secret settlements

  1. Bro Science Reply Report comment

    March 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    TB ran again after retiring because he enjoyed the power so damn much. Couldn’t see himself living a regular life. We voted him in because most Iowans like name recognition. Iowa is not a place to grow. It’s not a place for progressive ideas. It’s old and stale.

  2. Mediator Reply Report comment

    March 25, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I do think Governor Branstad needs to be replaced in this election.

    The Republicans should have run a primary opponent against him since he didn’t step down voluntarily.

    • Philosophus Reply Report comment

      March 25, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Terry Branstad, Nelson Crabb, there all alike…patriarchal men who want to get into office, do next to nothing, and stay there forever. The entire dynamic of these style “leaders” needs to be replaced with dynamic visionaries. If you don’t want a grass roots level person, then at least do what Iowa City is doing and elect PHd highly educated people to run your city. Retired high school teachers AIN’T cutting it. Branstad needs to be removed on principle alone (2 terms max).

      • Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

        March 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm

        Philosophus— Would you happen to be one of those dynamic visionaries? Please say you are and please lead us out of the darkness….PLEASE. Only you can do it since you are the smartest person you know. Please help us help ourselves. PLEASE.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      March 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

      @Mediator-I would agree with you but I know of no one in the Republican Party that can win against Branstad at this time. Where he does some things wrong he does a lot of things right. Like all administrations the power goes to their heads. That is why i believe in term limits. I just don’t know how to make that happen as the politicians will never vote to take themselves out of office.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      March 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I love the fact that Iowa has such a strong budget, a huge surplus. But, maybe Terry’s time is up. There’s a lot of off things coming out over the last several months that are raising eyebrows. Speeding SUVs, secret payoffs, political firings, house of horrors juvenile home, other debacles. Otherwise I think he’s done a good job, just too much coming out now. Maybe he has solutions, though.