Another Scandal, Another Hollow Denial by Terry Branstad

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Des Moines – Today before the Senate Government Oversight Committee, Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) Chair Jim Riordan testified that Governor Terry Branstad’s staff put pressure on him to hire a Branstad cronyor else there would be consequences.

Riordan, a longtime PERB board member with 30 years of public service experience, said he felt he had a gun to his head to hire Branstad friend Bob Wilson as an administrative law judge, or the PERB budget would be cut.

In response to this latest scandal – the first one that directly implicates members of the Governor’s staff – Terry Branstad said what he has said every time another corruption story surfaces – he flat out denies it.  Unfortunately for Branstad, the last time he issued such a statement, it was revealed that Mike Carroll lied about hush money payments and was promptly fired.

“Terry Branstad has already misled us once with his blanket denials – how can he possibly expect Iowans to believe him this time,” said IDP Executive Director Troy Price.  “This is just the latest in a series of scandals that leaves us Iowans wondering how many more do we have to endure?  Terry Branstad’s inept leadership has created a big mess in just three years, and it will be a long time before Iowans learn the truth about this and many other scandals.  This is long from over.”

Riordan’s accusations are just the latest in a series of scandals that have rocked the Branstad Administration in the last month.  Those include:

  • Accusations that the Branstad Administration fired long-time state employees and replaced them with cronies.
  • A federal investigation into Iowa Workforce Development Director Theresa Wahlert’s attempts to coerce judges so they make decisions favorable to businesses.
  • Testimony from Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll, who said that no hush money was paid to cover up Branstad Administration attempts at political retribution, which was later proven false.  Carroll was subsequently fired.
  • Administration officials blocking the testimony of state employees before the Government Oversight Committee.


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