RELEASE: Terry Branstad: No Recognition Deserved

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For Immediate Release:
November 13, 2013

Contact:
Christina Freundlich
515-974-1709

Terry Branstad: No Recognition Deserved 

Des Moines – Today, Terry Branstad was recognized for his achievements in prioritizing the goals of corporate cronyism in his administration – but he simply deserves no recognition in light of what he has cost Iowa’s taxpayers.  Governor Terry Branstad was recognized by Site Selection Magazine and the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Association for his approval of $200 million in tax breaks to the Egyptian company, Orascom, while they were being sued for defrauding US taxpayers.  It is these types of honors that underscore Branstad’s misplaced priorities of bailing out corporate interests at the expense of Iowa’s working families.

“Terry Branstad deserves no recognition for what he has cost Iowa’s taxpayers and working families,” said Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Troy Price. “Approving $200 million in tax breaks to a corporation under suit by the US Government is not the type of honest leadership that Iowans deserve from their governor.  Enough of the good-ol’ boys, backroom deals.  We need stronger education and more jobs that protect Iowa’s families, not the tax breaks and dealings to protect those at the top.”

BACKGROUND:

Branstad Administration Approved $200 Million In Tax Breaks To An Egyptian Company Being Sued For Defrauding US Taxpayers. “State and local officials promised an Egyptian company $200 million in tax breaks to build a fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa without knowledge of a pending lawsuit alleging one of the company’s subsidiaries defrauded U.S. taxpayers out of millions of dollars, officials told The Associated Press. The Iowa Economic Development Authority and Lee County approved the incentives for a subsidiary of Cairo-based Orascom Construction Industries, which is planning to invest $1.4 billion to build the plant near Burlington. Their failure to uncover the lawsuit — disclosed by Orascom in its annual report — raises questions about the research that went into the deal, which has been criticized as rushed and overly generous.” [Associated Press, 2/14/13]

Economic Development Director Debi Durham Said Staff Knew Of Orascom Lawsuit, But She Was Not Told. “The Iowa Economic Development Authority director told lawmakers Tuesday her team knew an Egyptian company seeking tax breaks to build a fertilizer plan in southeast Iowa was being sued by the federal government, but no one told her. Agency director Debi Durham earlier said the state’s vetting didn’t uncover the lawsuit, which alleges a company subsidiary defrauded U.S. taxpayers out of millions of dollars. Durham had told The Associated Press, ‘I’m not sure how anyone would have found that.’ On Tuesday, Durham told lawmakers she has learned her team knew of the 2004 lawsuit against the subsidiary of Cairo-based Orascom. ‘My team did know,’ Durham said. ‘They didn’t think there was a material reason to bring it forward.’” [Associated Press, 2/26/13]

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