OPINION

Iowans deserve a Governor they can trust

Dr. Steven B. Corbin

Trust is important, whether in marriage, employer-employee relationship, friends or elected officials. Having trust with today’s state and federal elected officials is becoming, at the very least, troubling.

After watching politicians’ actions, especially at the governor level, trusting them is becoming tougher and tougher to do. Two exceptions: Robert D. Ray and Tom Vilsack. Emeritus Governors Ray and Vilsack were honorable and trustworthy!

Reflecting back, Chet Culver was a disappointment. Governor Culver lost Iowans’ trust with a fraudulent film tax credit program scandal that improperly awarded $26 million.

Culver was 180 degrees opposite of Gov. Walker (R-Wis.). Gov. Culver was a person the unions trusted would support their issues while Gov. Walker did everything he could to break up the unions. When the Iowa Democratic-controlled House and Senate gave Culver a pro-union bill that increased public employees’ collective bargaining rights, he vetoed it.

My lobbyist friends say that Culver wants to be our congressman in Washington, D.C. Does anyone recall the Peter Principle?

The veracity of Terry Branstad’s comeback campaign should have been questioned. Remember when he promised that in five years all families would see a 25 percent increase in their income? Plus, he would create 200,000 “new” jobs?

First, about a 4.75 percent pay increase for each of five years is needed to garner a 25 percent income growth. Oh, you haven’t been receiving a 4.75 percent pay increase per year?

A U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report (March 26, 2015) revealed that Iowa’s personal income growth last year ranked 49th with a 1.3 percent increase? Only Nebraska had lower personal income growth (0.5 percent). Hey, at least we beat Nebraska … again!

Secondly, Gov. Branstad had 1,825 days (365 days/year x 5 years) to create his 200,000 promised “new” jobs. Let’s see, 200,000 divided by 1,825 equals ~109. That means Gov. Branstad’s team should have been announcing, daily, the creation of 109 “new” jobs. When was the last news flash announcing 109 “new” jobs were created in a week, let alone a single day?

Branstad lost the trust of elected officials, K-12 public teachers and parents when he vetoed $56M in spending for education as part of a 2015 bipartisan legislative compromise. While the governor said that he never used one-time money, his memory is failing as did so in a similar education budget deal in 2013 and with commercial property tax cuts.

As former president of Des Moines University, Branstad should know that all collegiate searches are to be as bias-free and fair to all candidates as possible. Branstad’s faux-pas of calling just one and not all four of the University of Iowa finalist president candidates will come back to haunt the Board of Regents. The governor’s handler should have said, “Governor, if you are going to call the Regents preferred candidate, at least make a token call to the other three candidates as if this gets out, we’re all in trouble.”

Another example of questionable trust is when Branstad went against Iowa law (Iowa Code section 226.1) and closed two mental health facilities! What law in Iowa is safe with this autocrat? I think the sovereign potentate said to himself, “Ah, let `em sue me and we’ll let the taxpayers pay the legal bills like they are now doing after I reduced Chris Godfrey’s salary (Worker’s Compensation Commissioner; ~$850,000 legal fees to date). And, if Godfrey wins in court, Iowa taxpayers will owe his attorney about $1 million.

Branstad’s rearrangement of the Iowa Utility Board so he would have members to support the Bakken oil pipe line crossing Iowa is too much. Note to Iowa citizens: quit fighting the pipe line gutting valuable farm land and the concept of eminent domain. It’s a done deal! It will be approved in February of 2016.

A good investigative reporter ought to see if Gov. Branstad received any campaign contributions from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry, who sits on the board of Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company is the parent company of Dakota Access. Let’s see if what I learned in mathematics at Nevada High School, Nevada, IA, specifically, the Transitive Law, applies here: if A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C. Rick Perry – Energy Transfer – Terry Branstad – Dakota Access – Iowa Utility Board – Bakken pipe line. Oh, never mind, Transitive Law is for mathematics only and does not apply to politics. Or, does it?

Branstad’s blocking the settlement of Syrian refugees to Iowa is not only anti-ANY-religion, anti-American but also anti-Iowa values. Period.

Finally, starting January 2016 over 560,000 of Iowa’s poor and disabled will have their Medicaid related services managed by four private for-profit companies. Iowa-controlled Medicaid operating expenses are about 3-4 percent. The for-profit-companies have admitted their operating expenses will be around 13-14-15 percent. As such, this can not, just can’t result in $51 million savings as touted by Gov. Branstad.

With Branstad’s previous history, can he be trusted that this Medicaid outsourcing was conducted fairly? The behind the scene “negotiation” of contracts and $38,086 he received in campaign contributions from companies seeking the Medicaid contracts smells of east coast politics.

Despite Branstad’s promise to the electorate that, if elected, he would not resign early, here’s my 2016 New Year’s Resolution: expect Branstad’s resignation in 2016. And then, the Shadow (i.e., Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds) will take the helm despite die-hard Republicans concern over her leadership capability.

Iowa’s proud citizens desperately need a Governor they can trust. I’d like the citizens and not the Democrat & Republican insiders to please step up-to-the-plate and actively seek out candidates who they think are honorable and trustworthy.

For starters, how about these 16 people, half Republican and half Democrat, listed in alphabetical order, to be our next trusted Governor: Bonnie Campbell (D), Jerry Crawford (D), Ron Corbett (R), Jeff Danielson (D), Barry Griswell (D), Mike Gronstal (D), Doug Gross (R), Rob Hogg (D), Mark Jacobs (R), Mike Mahaffey (R), Dr. Andrea McGuire (D), Bill Northey (R), David Oman (R), Kim Reem (R), Christie Vilsack (D), and Larry Zimpleman (R)?

Dr. Steven B. Corbin, who can be reached at: steven.b.corbin@gmail.com (private); steve.corbin@uni.edu (public); 319-290-9779; 4116 Maryhill Drive, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-5781; is a 1966 graduate of Nevada High School and is Emeritus Professor of Marketing, University of Northern Iowa.