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April 30th, 2014

Register Finally Reports on Unions Owning Dems; DGA Believes Hatch is DOA

It has taken six weeks and dozens of articles, but the Des Moines Register finally reported on the Iowa Senate Democrats huge hypocrisy. The Dems claim to want transparency in state government, while refusing to pass legislation that accomplishes that. There is a very good reason for the Dems’ hypocrisy.

In fact, there are 3.1 million reasons. As the Register reported Tuesday, Iowa Democrats have collected $3.1 million from unions during the past two election cycles. And the unions do not want their members dirty laundry aired publicly, so their bought and paid for politicians are complying

While the Senate Democrats smear Governor Branstad’s administration repeatedly for not revealing all the details of secret settlements made to laid off state employees, the Dems are simultaneously blocking attempts to make those details public.

“Senate Democrats are taking their orders from their union bosses not their real bosses, the Iowa taxpayers,” Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix said Tuesday. “Republicans have stood with anyone who would listen to push for the passage of House File 2462 in order to bring full transparency to government.”

HF 2462 bans secret settlements in state government and makes public the reasons employees are laid off. The Democrat-led Iowa Senate refuses to include the employee stipulation in their version of the bill.

“People need to connect the dots,” said Senator Dix. “Follow the money, and the whole picture becomes clear.”

Of course, connecting the dots is not difficult. did that more than a month ago, shortly after these partisan attacks began. We also discussed the AFSCME union’s big money ties with Iowa Democrats at length on KCWI-TV several weeks ago.

It is nice that Iowa’s self-proclaimed “number one source for news” finally joined the party. We had article after article smearing the Branstad administration, only to be contradicted during Government Oversight Committee testimony. Now, finally, Register writer Jason Noble did something colleague Jason Clayworth neglected, or refused, to do. He reported both sides of the story.

Iowa Democrats claim to want transparency in government while in fact blocking any attempt to bring forth transparency in government. This has been a partisan witch hunt from the beginning, with the sole purpose to help Senator Jack Hatch in the gubernatorial election.

DGA Believes Hatch’s Campaign is DOA

Iowa Democrats desperately want you to believe that Jack Hatch can be competitive in the gubernatorial race this November, pointing to recent polls that are heavily skewed toward Democrats as evidence that it is a close race. However, the Democratic Governors Association isn’t buying what Iowa Democrats are trying to sell.

DGA head Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced the group’s targeted races for 2014. Iowa is not among them. They don’t even have their fingers crossed in hopes that Hatch might defeat Branstad.

Here are the races the DGA is targeting, as reported by the Los Angeles Times:

Top tier: Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida. Second tier: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin. Fingers crossed: South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Arizona.

So, out of 10 races the DGA might invest in this year, Iowa is nowhere on their radar. If the DGA does not get behind Jack Hatch, his campaign is DOA. The Democratic Governors Association invested $782,000 in attack ads on Terry Branstad leading up to the 2010 Republican primary. They hoped the smears might help Bob Vander Plaats defeat Branstad, thereby providing Chet Culver with an easier route to reelection.

The DGA gave Culver another $2.3 million to aid his reelection efforts. His campaign accrued millions more from other sources and still lost to Branstad by nine points.

Culver was a strong fundraiser. Jack Hatch is not. Last May, Hatch told reporters he would need to raise at least $1 million by the end of 2013 to be competitive. He raised only $299,000 and loaned his campaign another $140,000.

By contrast, Governor Branstad’s campaign raised $3.4 million in 2013 and entered the year with more than $4 million in the bank.

Without a significant cash infusion from the DGA, even Jack Hatch’s union pals will not be able to bail him out after the Branstad campaign begins in earnest.

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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