Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad addresses the Iowa Teachers & Administrators Leadership Symposium held on 8/4/14. Photo credit: Iowa Department of Education (Public Domain)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad addresses the Iowa Teachers & Administrators Leadership Symposium held on 8/4/14.

Photo credit: Iowa Department of Education (Public Domain)

When I read thenews” that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has a private Blackberry my first thought was this.

People still have Blackberry devices?  Seriously… why would someone still use one?

My second thought was “so what?”

What made former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton use of a private email scandalous is that she conducted government business on said email with a private email server.  That isn’t transparency.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with an elected official having a private smart phone, iPad, or other device provided they don’t use it for state business.

Actually it’s perfectly reasonable that he has a private device to not only conduct personal business, but also any political business as that can’t be done with state resources.

Here’s the thing though… even if he received work email from a state email address on his device email sent to him and by him still run through a state email server (not that I would recommend using a personal device for that).

He doesn’t though.  Roxanne Conlin and State Senator Janet Petersen (R-Des Moines) seem to think that it is improbable for a Governor to exist without email.  What did they think he did in his first two to three terms?  Email didn’t really become a thing until the mid 1990s, so he’s quite adept at being Governor without email.  Also do they honestly think he has time to sit and wade through email?  I know how time consuming it is for me with the amount of email I receive.  There are days I wished I had people handling my email correspondence.

But he’s not even using it for that, so there is really nothing to this “story.”  Reading news and maintaining or reading a schedule on a personal device should not even remotely be considered “conducting state business.”

So keep the device, but I’d recommend an upgrade.

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