Branstad Administration Asleep at the Switch over Orascom Deal

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Branstad Administration did not know company that received $100 million in taxpayer support was under investigation for fraud

DES MOINES — Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rep. Tyler Olson today called on the Branstad Administration to explain how it didn’t know that a subsidiary of Orascom – the recipient of one of the largest state incentive packages in Iowa history – was under investigation by the US Government for fraud.

“It is unbelievable the Branstad Administration did not fully vet Orascom and gave over $100 million in taxpayer money without knowing this information,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Tyler Olson. “Iowans demand that any time state dollars are given to a company the government does its due diligence. Someone did not find this information and now Iowans are left to wonder what else we don’t know about the Governor’s deal.”

Governor Branstad announced last year that his administration was going to give foreign-based Orascom more than $100 million in state aid to build a new fertilizer plant in Iowa. The $200 million total incentive package was one of the largest corporate aid packages in Iowa history.

The Associated Press revealed today that no one with the Iowa Economic Development Authority knew an Orascom subsidiary was under investigation for defrauding the federal government.

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