Once again the folks at Progress Iowa listen to Governor Branstad and find his words do not match reality. Three press releases from Progress Iowa’s Communication Director Monica Biddix shows how the Governor is out of step with Iowans. Three specific areas are highlighted, but the overall thrust of the Governor’s speech is to ignore what the average Iowan is concerned about.
The first area that Branstad falls far short of the expectations of Iowans is his continuing distortion of job numbers under his administration. From the press release:
Progress Iowa Responds to Gov. Branstad’s Distorted Job Figures
““Governor Branstad’s job claims just don’t add up. He wants us to believe two minus one equals two by refusing to count any jobs that are lost, and Iowans aren’t buying it. We deserve to hear the truth from our Governor, not political distortions meant to cover up a failed campaign promise.”.”
To validate this statement the press release cited the Des Moines Register in December took the Branstad Administration to task (as have many news organizations in Iowa) for the distortion:
As reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Branstad crowed, “We hit that mark last week,” and then asked Townsend to back up the PowerPoint slide to again show the evidence that, just in the nick of time, he had met his deadline for creating 200,000 new jobs.
Here’s the thing: The net increase in jobs since January 2011 is actually about 101,700. (emphasis added)
The second area that Progress Iowa takes issue with the Governor on is his idea to take money from a sales tax earmarked for schools to address the severe water quality problem in Iowa.
Progress Iowa Responds to Gov. Branstad’s False Choice Between Quality Water and Quality Education
Progress Iowa executive director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement in response to Governor Branstad’s proposal to divert funding from Iowa schools:
“Governor Branstad just doesn’t get it. Iowans deserve quality water and quality education, and our state budget should reflect that. After vetoing bipartisan legislation last year that would have added $55.7 million for K-12 education, he’s now attempting to divert funds specifically earmarked for education, and today refused to follow state law by pursuing funding for next year. Iowans deserve better than being presented with this false choice by their Governor. By undercutting both clean water and Iowa schools, the Governor proved today he doesn’t truly value either.”
Finally, Progress Iowa took note that the Governor once again seemed to pretend that middle class or poverty issues did not exist in the state:
Branstad Ignores Middle Class in Condition of the State Address
Branstad refuses to say the words ‘middle class’ during condition of the state address for the second year in a row
Des Moines, Iowa — Governor Branstad failed to mention Iowa’s middle class during his Condition of the State address for the second year in a row. Today Branstad outlined his priorities for the upcoming year and legislative session.
Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s remarks, which also failed to mention poverty or our state’s stagnant minimum wage:
“For the second year in a row, Governor Branstad failed to even mention the words ‘middle class’ during his condition of the state address. The Governor also failed to mention poverty, or bring up the minimum wage, despite the fact that Iowa’s low-wage workers have been waiting longer than any in the country for a raise.”
“Perhaps he failed to mention the middle class because his agenda is an attack on Iowa’s middle class. By shortchanging our schools, outsourcing the health care of 560,000 Iowans by privatizing Medicaid, and refusing to pursue an increase in our state’s minimum wage, he is leaving the middle class and those in poverty behind.”
“Iowans know that the foundation of our economy and our state’s success is a strong and growing middle class. The Governor’s priorities in his address today were completely out of step with everyday Iowa values.”
Iowa needs to retire this governor once and for all in 2018. He needs to be replaced with a person who is in touch with everyday Iowans and in touch with reality.