Four months ago, speaking on behalf of the Iowa Family PAC, former Rep. Danny Carroll made a statement that continues to reverberate across the Iowa political landscape. On that snowy January afternoon, after endorsing Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats for Governor, Carroll outlined several reasons why the Iowa Family PAC will not support Terry Branstad, should he manage to secure the Republican nomination in June, absent evidence of a fundamental transformation.
The written statement from January 12 is posted at here, and clearly points out that Branstad so far lacks the willingness to stand up to the unconstitutional actions of the Iowa Supreme Court he helped appoint, and that his record indicates he is not up to the task on several other key issues. According to the January 12 statement, when faced with financial difficulties similar to those Iowa must confront today, Branstad’s “answers to those problems included growing government, raising taxes, legalizing gambling, and keeping what State Auditor Dick Johnson referred to as ‘two sets of books.’”
When confronted with the results of his lengthy record as governor, Branstad’s reply to the Iowa Press panel last Friday was, “I’m not going to spend my time listening to or responding to the attacks.”
After the first of three GOP gubernatorial debates however, Terry Branstad spent much of the remainder of last week attempting to deflect questions about the results of his 16 years as Governor, by labeling legitimate questions as “attacks.” Then, at Friday’s taping of Iowa Press, Branstad spent nearly two and a half minutes dodging a 20 second question from AP reporter Mike Glover concerning his record of growing state government and raising taxes.
During the Iowa Press interview, Dean Borg rightly pointed out that Branstad will need the support of Christians this November if he is able to secure the Republican nomination in June. Branstad apparently presumes that Christians will vote for a self-proclaimed conservative who has several liberal policies in his record, and who was also labeled “one of Iowa’s most liberal governors” by former Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen.
Speaking on behalf of the Iowa Family PAC, Chuck Hurley said, “More than doubling the size of state government, while simultaneously doubling the amount of taxes collected by the state, does not in my opinion give Terry Branstad fiscal conservative credentials.”
He went on to say, “Continuing to associate with a proponent of abortion and homosexuality like former Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning, and standing quietly by as his former Chief of Staff Doug Gross maligns the influence of Christians in politics, as he did in a recent National Journal article, is also troubling for someone who touts himself as a social conservative.” Hurley continued, “Most troubling is that Mr. Branstad continues to communicate a policy of impotent submission to the Iowa Supreme Court’s unconstitutional attempts to legislate regarding marriage, and presumably whatever else they decide to do.”
Hurley went on to say, “Asking a candidate to speak about his record is not an attack. We believe Terry Branstad should be willing to directly address specific questions about his record.” He concluded by saying, “Our resolve has only been strengthened by his unwillingness to candidly address the points we raised four months ago. Absent a fundamental transformation on the part of Terry Branstad, we continue to stand by our commitment not to support him should he become the GOP nominee for Governor.”