When a former Democrat state senator starts making accusations against a Republican governor’s administration, responsible journalists and lawmakers would treat those claims with a degree of skepticism. When you learn that same Democrat is about to lose his $95,000 per year job because the Republican governor did not reappoint him, his credibility would surely be doubted.
Add in the fact that this former Democrat state senator was making vague accusations about alleged conversations that happened two years ago, and any respectable media outlet or legislative body would reject his accusations as purely partisan, election year politics.
Yet, there was Jim Riordan, trumpeted on the front page of the Des Moines Register and spotlighted by the Iowa Senate Democrats on Government Oversight Committee as some sort of unbiased, straight shooter during his testimony last week. Riordan’s history, his testimony and his actions in the following week should erase any doubt once and for all.
Jim Riordan is a partisan hack, making accusations against Governor Branstad in a blatant attempt to help his good friend Jack Hatch, Branstad’s Democrat opponent.
Want proof? Take a look at what Riordan wrote on the Facebook page of John Hedgecoth, Jack Hatch’s senior campaign adviser, the day after Riordan’s committee testimony:
In case that is not enough evidence that Jim Riordan is invested in a Hatch victory, and concocting a story to achieve that goal, here’s this item from three days ago, as Riordan celebrates a skewed poll that shows some good news for Hatch:
That’s right. Riordan said, “Yippie!” And this is someone the Des Moines Register bases an entire “investigative” series of articles around and the Iowa Senate Democrats prop up as some sort of credible witness. He is not.
Want even more proof Riordan’s allegiance to the Democrat Party? Check out who two of his closest friends are on Facebook:
That’s Democrat Senator Matt McCoy, a member of the Government Oversight Committee. He was heavily trumpeting Riordan’s supposed honesty during the hearing. There is also Democrat Senator Tom Courtney, who is not on the oversight committee, sat three feet away from his good friend Jim Riordan during the entire hearing, perhaps offering moral support to his partisan ally.
There’s more. Riordan, is a big fan of the unions that often clash with Branstad. He is also a member of only one Facebook group: Third District Iowa Democrats:
As if Riordan’s Facebook activity wasn’t enough proof to disqualify anything he says, his everchanging testimony should have done that. Thanks to Sen. Julian Garrett’s questioning, Riordan was shown to change his story multiple times to the Government Oversight Committee.
According to the Register, Riordan claimed then-Branstad administration Chief of Staff Jeff Boeyink threatened to cut the Public Employment Relations Board’s budget if they did not hire former Polk County Judge Robert Wilson. However, in front of the oversight committee later that day, Riordan’s story was different every time he recounted it.
Then there’s this little tidbit, uncovered by reporter Rod Boshart of the Cedar Rapids Gazette: “The governor’s office also said that PERB’s budget was increased from $854,386 to $1,057,871 effective five months before Wilson’s hire and is $290,549 higher than it was in fiscal 2010.”
So, while Riordan is claiming the Branstad administration threatened to cut his budget, the truth is they actually increased it by more than $200,000. We are fortunate the Gazette does actual investigative work that disproves the attacks in the Register’s “investigative” series.
Sen. Garrett wrote an op-ed published this week in the Des Moines Register that outlines how the paper’s sources have given significantly different testimony to the oversight committee than what is claimed in the Register’s “investigative” series.
Jim Riordan also said his fellow PERB members would back up his claim. When Jamie Van Fossen refused to do so, because he felt the board should steer clear of politics, Riordan lashed out. He exhibited the exact type of behavior you would expect from a disgruntled, soon-to-be former employee and partisan hack.
Riordan’s antics have proven anything that comes out his mouth regarding the Branstad administration should be viewed as a purely political ploy. Nothing more. His credibility is now non-existent.
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