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May 17th, 2010

Vander Plaats: Is Branstad Saying He Was Wrong in 1990 and 1994?


MARSHALLTOWN – Former Gov. Terry Branstad’s attempt to capitalize on a recent health issue by saying the episode underscores the importance of selecting a conservative running mate “begs the question of why he didn’t do it when he had two opportunities and exactly what his definition of a conservative is in the first place,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said today.

Branstad was admitted to a Des Moines hospital on May 5 for a medical procedure to clear an artery that was 60 percent blocked near the site of a stent that was installed in 2000 after he experienced a heart attack. Branstad said in an interview published in the Des Moines Register on Saturday, “It’s very important, somewhat because of my age, that the person I choose as lieutenant governor … be someone I feel very confident shares my conservative fiscal and social philosophy.”

Vander Plaats said Iowans, including members of the media, should ask Branstad if he now believes his selection of then-state Sen. Joy Corning of Cedar Falls, as his 1990 running mate was a mistake.

“Joy Corning is a pro-choice, pro-gay rights activist back when Governor Branstad chose her as his running mate in 1990. Is he now saying he made a mistake selecting her? He certainly had four years to rethink the decision yet he chose her as his running mate and lieutenant governor four years later,” Vander Plaats said. “I’d sure like to hear him acknowledge that he made a mistake if he believes he now needs to choose someone who reflects his philosophy.”

He continued, “The real question going forward is just what Terry Branstad considers to be a ‘conservative fiscal and social philosophy’. He’s the governor who opened the door to gambling so that we had the lottery, horse racing, dog racing and 15 casinos in the state by the time he left office. He’s the governor who more than doubled the size of state government. He’s the governor who raised the sales tax twice, raised the fuel tax and increased a total of 30 taxes and fees. Is he telling us that he’s going to choose a running mate who shares that same philosophy? If that’s his idea of a conservative philosophy, Iowans would just as soon pass.”

Photo by Dave Davidson

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