Branstad still pushing false claims, wrong priorities

One day after Terry Branstad won the Republican nomination for governor, his accountability problem was back on display. Speaking to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s annual convention in Ames yesterday, Branstad told the audience, “I want to get rid of the present incumbent because he’s driven the state into the biggest budget deficit in history.”

In the psychological field, projection is “a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.” I’m not qualified to offer any professional diagnosis, but Branstad’s the guy who really did keep two sets of books to hide illegal deficits. It’s incredible to hear him keep making that false claim about Governor Chet Culver’s administration. The governor and Iowa’s legislative leaders haven’t run up any budget deficit, let alone the largest deficit ever. If Culver were running deficits, Iowa wouldn’t have a top-level credit rating or be considered one of the states “least like California” in terms of fiscal problems.

How long will Branstad keep getting away with making stuff up about Culver’s record? Your guess is as good as mine.

In other news, Branstad promised the Association of Business and Industry crowd that if elected, he wouldn’t allow key priorities of organized labor like the prevailing wage or collective bargaining bills to become law. I doubt ABI has to worry about that, since Iowa Democrats haven’t delivered on those issues during the past four years.

Culver visited a Cedar Rapids preschool yesterday and blasted Branstad’s “20th Century thinking” on preschool funding:

“This is an investment we cannot afford to not make in the future,” Culver said about the preschool initiative. He said he budgeted $90 million this year for the program and $115 million next year. […]

“While we want to continue to fund preschool … Terry Branstad wants to take that away,” Culver said. […]

The fiscal 2011 funding will assist an additional 150 school districts and school district collaborations under the statewide voluntary preschool program, he said. It is projected that during the 2010-2011 school year about 21,354 four-year-olds will be served by the preschool program in 326 school districts across the state.

Many Iowa families could not afford early education for their children without the state program. Culver is right to pound Branstad for his screwed-up priorities. Culver also criticized the Republican for wanting to go backwards on state-funded stem cell research, women’s reproductive rights and flood recovery funding for the Cedar Rapids area. Like everyone else in the Iowa GOP, Branstad has criticized the I-JOBS infrastructure bonding initiative but not explained how he would have paid for the flood reconstruction and prevention projects Iowa needs.

Branstad told Todd Dorman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette that he would not try to repeal the I-JOBS bonding, but “also compared I-JOBS to the Greek debt crisis.” Give me a break. The professional investor community drove down the interest rate of the initial I-JOBS offering because of Iowa’s solid fiscal condition and plan for repaying the bonds. In fact, I-JOBS was one of the top 10 “deals of the year” in 2009 according to Bond Buyer, the daily newspaper of public finance.

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  • Corporate shills like Branstad & Grassley...

    would have a bit more difficulty pulling the wool over the eyes of naive voters if there were more letters-to-the-editor calling them out on their lies.  They don’t like reading it and they don’t want the voters to know.

    Grassley wrote response letters to the Register pounding 2 of my friends, calling them by name, because he objected to them…telling the truth. He wrote a mean-spirited response letter (Gazette) to an author, again calling him by name,  whose daughter has a life-threatening illness.  The author questioned Grassley’s devotion to Sarah Palin and health reform comments he made (pull the plug on granny).

    Pointers for letters– Never rant. Keep your letters short and make your point early, especially if you’re submitting to the Register (about 100-150 words):  

  • A bit off topic

    But do you really think the GOP voters in the Second District even knew about Rob Gettemy’s ties to a “booby girl?” Somehow I doubt it.…

  • How long will Branstad keep getting away with making stuff up about Culver's record?

    As long as people continue to believe it.  More specifically, as long he thinks it will give him a majority.  He wouldn’t be the first politician to lie and get away with a victory (if he can pull it off), even after getting caught.

    And by the way, I wish people wouldn’t describe bad ideas as “20th-century thinking” or reference the past.  Branstad’s ideas were bad ideas in the past, present and future.  Suggesting they are outdated gives them at least a hint of legitimacy rather than just being outright wrong.