Terry Branstad's philosophy of second chances

Governor Terry Branstad’s office released a long list of nominees to state boards and commissions yesterday. I’ve posted the full list after the jump. As he’s done during the past three years, the governor tapped several former state legislators or onetime Republican candidates for the Iowa House or Senate. The latest batch of appointees includes former GOP State Representative Lance Horbach for the State Judicial Nominating Commission, former GOP State Representative Jamie Van Fossen for the Public Employment Relations Board, and former GOP State Senator John Putney for the State Transportation Commission.

Branstad also re-appointed former GOP State Senator Jeff Lamberti to the Racing and Gaming Commission. I’m not surprised; the governor has expressed his confidence in him many times, even immediately after Lamberti’s drunk driving arrest in May 2012. A few weeks later, Lamberti pled guilty to driving while intoxicated, after which his colleagues elected him chairman of the Racing and Gaming Commission.

Several Iowa lawmakers in both parties have been caught driving after drinking too much alcohol. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds was arrested for drunk driving twice while serving as a county treasurer. Arguably, Lamberti’s lapse in judgment is no impediment to leading one of the most powerful state commissions, which will soon make a high-profile decision on granting licenses to two new casino projects.

At the same time, it’s striking that Branstad, so committed to a continuing role in public life for Lamberti, so committed to seeing Reynolds succeed him as governor, is also determined to prevent tens of thousands of Iowans from ever participating in politics at the most basic level for a U.S. citizen. Since he signed an executive order making Iowa one of the most restrictive states for felon voting, only about 40 people have managed to regain their voting rights out of an estimated “25,000 offenders who finished their sentences for felonies or aggravated misdemeanors” since January 2011. Branstad’s policy affects mostly non-violent criminals. Non-white Iowans are more likely to be permanently disenfranchised, since Iowa is the worst state for racial disparities in marijuana arrests.

Branstad recently defended his policy on these terms: “At least somebody that commits an infamous crime such as a felony ought to pay the court costs and the fine associated with that crime before they expect to get their rights restored.” The governor knows perfectly well that most ex-felons are lucky to find a job that covers essentials like food and housing. Repaying thousands of dollars in court costs is not realistic for most of these people. Moreover, “infamous” crimes can include stealing a vending machine as a teenager. Denying thousands of Iowans a real chance to exercise their right to vote is a scandal, especially for a governor so forgiving of serious mistakes made by certain well-connected Republicans.

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced appointments to fill Iowa’s boards and commissions.

The following appointees’ term begins on May 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted, and are subject to Senate confirmation.

Accountancy Examining

Mr. Dale Leibfreed, Dubuque

Mrs. Shelley Laracuente, Ankeny

Commission on the State of African Americans

Mr. Madai Taylor, Fort Dodge

Ms. Veronica Sutton, Dubuque

Alcoholic Beverages Commission

Mr. Darin Beck, Cedar Falls

Mr.  Steve Larson, Johnston (Board Administrator)

Architectural Examining Board

Mr. Tyler Kamerman, Des Moines

Ms. Tandi Dausener, Iowa City

Mr. Jerry Purdy, Adel

Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs Commission

Ms. Michele Yoshimura, West Des Moines

Ms. Karlai Thornburg, Ames

Mr. George Youi Sayavong, Sioux City

Board of  Athletic Training

Dr. Josh Hamann, Storm Lake

Dr. Pamela Davis, Bettendorf

Ms. Susan Theisen, Dyersville

Iowa Autism Council

Dr. Rachel Heiss, West Des Moines

Mrs. Jan Turbes, Sioux City

Mrs. Angela Logsdon, Urbandale

Mr. Jeffrey Jennings, Ankeny

Board of Barbering

Mr. John Anderson, Nevada

Board of Behavioral Science

Dr. Jeff Kerber, Johnston

Dr. Donald Gilbert, Bondurant

Ms. Sherill Whisenand, Des Moines

Commission of the Blind

Ms. Peggy Elliott, Grinnell

Boiler and Pressure Vessel Board

Ms. Lynne Rush, Victor

Mr. Thomas Dye, Norwalk

Mr. Frank Ballantini, Ankeny

Capital Investment Board, Iowa

Mr. Keith Wiggins, Cedar Rapids

Child Advocacy Board

Mr. Gerald Magee, Charles City

Mr. Micheal Steele, Mt. Pleasant

Mr. Mark Hargrafen, Grimes

Ms. Beth Meyers, Garner

Board of Chiropractic

Dr. Rex Jones, Spencer

Ms. Lorraine May, Des Moines

Dr. Nancy Netolicky, Cedar Rapids

City Development Board

Ms. Sarah Beatty, Sigourney

Mr. Dennis Plautz, Fort Dodge

Commission on Community Action Agencies

Ms. Mary Whisenand, Des Moines

Ms. Anna Brown, De Witt

Mr. Tom Quiner, Des Moines

Board of Corrections

Dr.  Mary  Chapman, Des Moines

Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences

Mrs. Lois Leytem, Dubuque

Mrs. Jacquelyn Hein, Monticello

Ms. Nicole Schultz, West Des Moines

Ms. Mary Clausen, Webster City

Mr. Jeffrey Porter, Davenport

Credit Union Review Board

Ms. Janet Pepper, Des Moines

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council

Mrs. Michelle Leonard, Dallas Center

Mr. Thomas Walton, Waukee

Mr. John Spinks, Windsor Heights

Ms. Mardi Allen, Spirit Lake

Mrs. Mary Kovacevich, Osceola

Sheriff Tony Thompson, Waterloo

Ms. Mary Ingham, Clear Lake

Commission on Deaf Services

Mrs. Martha Meyer, Pleasant Hill

Board of Dentistry

Dr. Steven Fuller, Bondurant

Ms. Mary Kelly Grief, Des Moines

Mrs. Diane Meier, Iowa Falls

Board of Dietetics

Ms. Stacey Loftus, Missouri Valley

Mr. Daniel Deutschman, Pella

Iowa  Drug Policy Advisory Council

Mr. Jason Sandholt, Knoxville

Mr. Matthew Harkin, Norwalk

Early Childhood Iowa State Board

Mr. James Christensen, Waterloo

Mr. David Arens, Windsor Heights

Dr. Donald Doundna, Johnston

Economic Development Authority

Ms. Linda Crookham-Hansen, Oskaloosa

Ms. Dawn Ainger, Hiawatha

Mr. Pete Brownell, Grinell

Mr. Christian Murray, Ankeny

State Board of Education

Mrs. Angela English, Dyersville

Ms. Mary Ellen Miller, Corydon

Mr. Michael Bearden, Gladbrook

Ms. Brooke Miller, Des Moines

State Board of Educational Examiners

Mrs. Laura Stevens, Milford

Mrs. Sara Arnold, Vinton

Electrical Examining Board

Mr. Jeffrey Quigle, West Des Moines

Elevator Safety Board

Mr. Justin Carleton, Ankeny

Mr. Jeremy Musil, Des Moines

Employment Appeal Board

Mr. Kim Schmett, Clive

Mrs. Jennifer Wallace, Urbandale (fills vacancy)

Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board

Ms. Rita Perea, Des Moines

Mr. Robert Fairfax, Norwalk

Mr. Jerry Shellberg, Red Oak

Flood Mitigation Board

Dr. Amy Kaleita, Ames

Mr. Ronald Herrig, Dubuque

Grain Indemnity Fund Board

Mrs. Debra Keller, Clarion

Mrs. Lori Goetzinger, Carroll

Great Places Advisory Board

Mr. Nick Glew, Marion

Mr. Brent Matthias, Waverly

Mr. Jared McGovern, Peosta

Mrs. Ruth Haus, Urbandale

HAWK-I Board

Mr. Joseph Hutter, Bettendorf

Dr. Mary Mincer Hansen, Panora

Board of Hearing Aid Dispensers

Dr. Catherine Dangelser, Ames

Mr. Jon McAvoy, Adel

Higher Education Loan Authority

Dr. Marianne Mickelson, West Des Moines

Council on Human Services

Ms. Alexa Heffernan, Cedar Falls

Interior Design Examining Board

Dr. Dorothy Fowles, Iowa City

Mr. Scott Hafield, West Des Moines

State Judicial Nominating Commission

Mr. Steve Berger, Wellman

Mrs. Patricia Roberts, Carroll

Mr. Lance Horbach, Tama

Landscape Architectural Examining Board

Mr. Jonathan Martin, Norwalk

Latino Affairs Commission

Ms. Elle Victoria-Gray, Lisbon

Mr. Ramon Rodriguez, Pleasant Hill

Mr. Alejandro Pino, Cedar Rapids

Mrs. Gloria Rodriguez, Denison

Law Enforcement Academy Council

Mr. Ricardo Martinez, Nevada

Ms. Lisa Campbell, Waterloo

Mr. Patrick Jackson, Burlington

Lottery Authority Board of Directors

Ms. Ying Sa, Des Moines

Mr. Michael Klappholz, Cedar Rapids

Board of Massage Therapy

Mrs. Jill Ellsworth, Grimes

Mr. David Edwards, Des Moines

Mr. Robert Johnson, Mason City

Mr. Bruce Bockoven, Chariton

Board of Medicine

Ms. Diane Cortese, Urbandale

Dr. Hamed Tewfik, Iowa City

Ms. Diane Clark, Lake Mills

Dr. Ronald Cheney, Carroll

Mental Health and Disability Services Commission

Ms. Lynn Grobe, Oakland

Mr. Thomas Bouska, Council Bluffs

Ms. Marsha Edgington, Osceola

Mr. Geoffrey Lauer, Iowa City

Mr. Michael Polich, Windsor Heights

Mr. Chet Hollingshead, Ogden

Ms. Kathryn Johnson, Cedar Rapids

Mental Health Risk Pool Board

Mrs. Peggy Rice, Dakota City

Mr. Shane Walter, Orange City

Ms. Teresa Kanning, Atlantic

Board of Mortuary Science

Mr. Todd Kale, Osceola

Mr. Martin Mitchell, Marshalltown

Mr. Carl Linge, Cedar Rapids

Ms. Rebecca Ervin, Urbandale

Board of Nursing Home Administrator

Mr. Michael Jenison, Ankeny

Mr. Daniel Boor, Des Moines

Board of Nursing

Mrs. Debra Larson, Marion

Dr. LeRoy Strohman, Algona

Mrs. Gwen Suntken, Meservey

Board of Optometry

Dr. Michael Portz, Red Oak

Dr. Scott Ihrke, Le Mars

Mrs. Jackie Pullen, West Des Moines

Board of Parole

Mr.  Jason  Carlstrom, West Des Moines

Mr.  John Hodges, Bondurant

Peace Officers Retirement, Accident and Disability Systems Trustee

Mr. Chris Mayer, Waukee

Commission of Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Gary Schriver, Mason City

Mrs. Michelle Ray-Michalec, Cedar Rapids

Mr. David Bert, Perry

Ms. Laura Herrity, West Des Moines

Board of Pharmacy

Ms. LaDonna Gratias, Clive

Mr. Edward Maier, Mapleton

Mr. James Miller, Dubuque

Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Mr. Bradley Earp, West Des Moines

Ms. Melinda Shetler, North Liberty

Ms. Rachel Judisch, Lake View

Mr. Craig Newton, Winterset

Board of Physicians Assistants

Dr. Jon Ahrendsen, Clarion

Mr. Gary Nystrom, Boone

Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board

Mr. Ken Thornton, Polk City

Mrs. Carol Crane, Knoxville

Mr. Jim Cooper, Urbandale

Board of Podiatry

Mr. John Bennett, West Des Moines

Mr. Gerald Edgar, Garner

Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council

Mr. Gary McDermott, Clinton

Mr. Craig Cretsinger, Spencer

Board of Psychology

Dr. Heidi Vermeer-Quist, Urbandale

Mrs. Sarah Henderson, Cedar Rapids

Mr. Ralph Scott, Cedar Falls

Mr. Adam Kurth, Des Moines

Public Employment Relations Board

Mr. Mike Cormack, Des Moines

Mr. James Van Fossen, Davenport

Public Information Board

Mr. William Monroe, Johnston

Ms. Jo Martin, Spirit Lake

Mr. Anthony Gaughan, West Des Moines

Mr. Gary Mohr, Bettendorf

Ms. Suzan Stewart, Sioux City

Racing and Gaming Commission

Mr. Jeffrey Lamberti, Ankeny

Dr. Carl Heinrich, Council Bluffs

Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board

Mr. Gene Nelsen, Johnston

Mrs. Caryl Swaim, West Des Moines

Real Estate Commission

Ms. Janet DeMott, Bedford

Mr. Michael Telford, Dallas Center

Mr. John Goede, Spencer

Mrs. Helen Kimes, Osceola

Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Board

Mr. Kenneth Pangburn, Corning

Mr. Randy Olson, Story City

Mr. Brian Wiegert, Winterset

Board of Respiratory Care

Dr. Gregory Hicklin, Urbandale

Mr. Erik Olesen, Mingo

School Budget Review Committee

Mr. Keith England, Hubbard

Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators

Mrs. Cindy Crawford, Pleasantville

Mr. Brent Welsch, Council Bluffs

Ms. Tailyn Kaster, West Des Moines

Board of  Social Work

Mr. Mark Hudson, Marion

Ms. Cynthia Schuman, Fort Dodge

Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Ms. Alison Lemke, Newton

Dr. Ryan Austin, Windsor Heights

Commission on the Status of Women

Ms. Rachelle Hunt Russian, Des Moines

Mr. Aaron Sewell, West Des Moines

Mr. Thomas Carnahan, Davenport

Ms. Phyllis Peters, Ames

Ms. Sherill Whisenand, Des Moines

Technology Advisory Council

Ms. Leann Jacobsen, Spencer

Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission

Ms. Kelly Dolan-Lange, Independence

Commission on Tobacco Use Prevention and Control

Ms. Mikki Stier, Ankeny

Ms. Michele Sandquist, Adel

Mr. Brian Pins, Waverly

Transportation Commission

Mr. Daniel Huber, Davenport

Mr. John Putney, Gladbrook

Commission of  Veterans Affairs

Ms. Elizabeth Ledvina, Toledo

Ms. Monica Blakely, Granger

Mr. Richard Goebel, New Vienna

Board of Veterinary Medicine

Ms. Ann Werner, Diagonal

Dr. Keith Leonard, Atlantic

Vision Iowa Board

Mrs. Tammy Robinson, New Hampton

Mr. Craig Johnson, Independence

Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, Mason City

Mr. Mark Kapfer, Bettendorf

Iowa Workforce Development Board

Ms. Norene Mostkoff, Waukee

Mr. John Krogman, Atlantic

Ms. Stacey Andersen, Dike

Mrs. Suzanne  Kmet, Indianola

Mr. Robert Gilmore, Dawson

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