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Iowa Senator: “Governor Branstad, you are not the victim”

This news story was published on April 22, 2014.
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Senator Schoenjahn takes a pen from Governor Terry Branstad during the signing  of a bill on dyslexia earlier this month

Senator Schoenjahn takes a pen from Governor Terry Branstad during the signing of a bill on dyslexia earlier this month

Personal point on the floor of the Iowa Senate, by Senator Brian Schoenjahn of Arlington, member of the Senate Oversight Committee

Governor Branstad, when mistakes are made, Iowans expect their governor to do more than point fingers at a news conference.

Governor, when this all started, you said the hush money scandal shocked you.

You said you would find out what happened.

So far five of your top people have spoken to the Oversight Committee.

And each and every one denied knowing about the hush money payments.

Why then, Governor, are you so desperate to shut down the investigation?

Don’t you, like the rest of us, want to know who approved the payments and why?

Governor, in every one of these scandals you’ve responded the same way: deny and deflect.

And, in every case, you go after the whistleblowers.

Governor Branstad, you are not the victim.

You play the victim while the real victims are state workers bullied and harassed sexually by incompetent managers—and then fired and blacklisted when they blow the whistle!

That’s what happened at the Iowa Veterans Home and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

You play the victim when the real victims are the engineers, architect, and project managers. They were in charge of hundreds of millions in state contracts, and were apparently fired and replaced by friends of your political supporters—and then offered hush money not to tell anyone about it.

You play the victim when the real victims are unemployed Iowans going before judges, under pressure, from your director to deny Iowans the unemployment benefits they paid for and deserve.

Governor, you’re not the victim.

Here’s my advice: Stop panicking. Get out of the defensive crouch.

Your strategy of massive resistance and complete denial is failing.

There is plenty of time to face the music, take your lumps, and fix the problems these scandals have exposed.

A final piece of advice — and this comes from Mark Twain, “When in doubt, tell the truth.”


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15 Responses to Iowa Senator: “Governor Branstad, you are not the victim”

  1. Avatar

    Annie Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I thought for a moment I was reading what Obama thinks. It’s all Bushes fault, blame everyone one else. Well all our supreme leader can do is blame, blame blame so it is the same with all politics. We need a house cleaning, startup ing with the top on down. Eventually Obama, Pelosi, Reid, ClintonSSS, all need to get flushed out of the system. Branstad is at least trying.

    • Avatar

      Brosephus Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      There’s no difference between these two parties you numb-skull.

      • Avatar

        NPO Reply Report comment

        April 29, 2014 at 1:58 am

        Truer words have never been written. Now you can see why this state under the leadership of Governor Braindead is dismantling the Human Rights Commission. They have no answers for the people of Iowa except to allow the chinese investors to take control of the key elements of our state for a kick back.

    • Avatar

      Nichole Bench Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2014 at 7:20 am

      Govenor Branstad is only passing the buck. House cleaning should include McConnell, King (both of them), Boehner, Ryan and Darrell Isis.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

        @Nickole Bench-You forgot Reid, Pelosi (who I consider the biggest threat to liberty in the country) Obama and don’t forget all the left wing liberals on the east coast.

    • Avatar

      50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2014 at 10:28 am

      every single one of them should have term limits. YOUR NOT GOING TO STOP THE GOOD OLE BOY SYSTEM. the whole government system is flawed.

  2. Matt Marquardt

    Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I always respected Governor Branstad and his service to Iowa. But lately, I am wondering if it is time to support his challenger. These scandals are getting worse all the time. Really, the icing on the cake was his appointment of our crooked Mayor Eric Bookmeyer to a state board on economic development. As Mason City crumbles at our feet, businesses close everyday, Mr. Branstad ignores the realities here in Mason City and seemingly as a political favor, makes that appointment. Mr. Branstad’s judgement seems to be failing him after all these years; the politics have become dirty. I really must question whether I can vote for Mr. Branstad this fall.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      @Matt-I am going to disagree with you somewhat here. I don’t think Branstad is any worse than any other governor that we have had. He is certainly not as bad as Culver. Now that being said, I am not pleased with him appointing Drunkmeyer to a board or even using the local parade for political reasons (and it is for politics). I think what we are seeing is politics as normal and it is all being brought out because of the election. Like I said before, I will not vote for Hatch.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        April 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        Just to follow on here=Until Hatch does something other than use dirty politics tearing down his opponent and tells us what his plans are he will not get my vote. So far I have seen nothing out of him except tearing down Branstad at every opportunity. I want to hear positives not negatives.

        • Mediator

          Mediator Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm

          Did you follow up and write to him?

          • Avatar


            April 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm

            @Mediator-No I didn’t get to it. Forgot about it until now. He probably wouldn’t answer anyway, Branstad answer with a damn form letter when I wrote him. I don’t think he even read it as it was computer generated.

          • Mediator


            April 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm

            Here’s something from his site on his plan for infrastructure improvements.


            Poke around his site if you want to learn more.

            If you’d like me to write to him on your behalf, just what would you like to ask?

          • Avatar


            April 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

            @Mediator-We shouldn’t really have to write him at all. If he wants to be our governor he should be telling us all the good things he has planned and not be using his time tearing down his opponent. I have seen enough of that to last me a lifetime and they will never get my vote doing that. They should be pointing out the differences between them certainly but all politicians lie. No disrespect intended. It is a general statement.

        • Matt Marquardt

          Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

          I can agree with you here. I haven’t seen much from Hatch, either. Remember, I am not a slave to either party, I dislike them both equally. So I only want to vote for the best candidate. I would remind anyone reading this: Do not vote along party lines; make up your own mind and use rational thought. Mr. Branstad did not do his homework on Bookmeyer, or he would know Eric is a drunk who harasses people and cashes his wife’s checks. This oversight on the governor’s part leads me to wonder what else he has overlooked, how many other major mistakes has he made? I have not given up on him 100% yet, though. I may still support him.

          • Avatar

            Buzz Crumcutter

            April 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm

            Just wait….as with any election, the worst is yet to come when it comes to either party when they start their crap flinging contest. I’m waiting and am willing to bet there will be some ugly accusations made towards Hatch regarding all of the real estate dealings and companies he’s been involved with. Some people view realtors the same as they do used car salesmen.