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Iowa Politics Roundup: Branstad Sees Budget Cuts on the Way PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 10 December 2010 14:40

Governor-elect Terry Branstad says budget cuts in the upcoming year will include reductions in the Iowa governor’s office staff and security detail, and he will ask other state agencies to make similar cuts.

Branstad did not specify the number of positions that will be eliminated in his office, but said that he would have only one legislative liaison instead of two. He also said he would likely not fill some deputy-chief-of-staff positions. He said reducing his security detail will allow the state to put more state troopers on the road. He also said he’ll lead by example with a goal of cutting the cost of state government by 15 percent over five years to align state spending with ongoing revenues.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Branstad Picks Durham to Head Economic-Development Department PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 03 December 2010 13:24

Governor-elect Terry Branstad has picked Siouxland Chamber of Commerce President Debi Durham to be the new director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

As Branstad introduced her, the two of them began outlining how they plan to change the department into a public/private partnership and create the 200,000 new jobs in Iowa that Branstad promised on the campaign trail.

“That takes legislation,” Branstad said of the transformation to a public/private partnership. “We’re going to work from the present framework that exists, but we are going to envision where we want to go and we’re going to lay that out. We did some of that during the campaign, and we’re now going to move forward very aggressively on this even during the transition before we take office. But we will then need to work through the legislative process to get the changes made that we want to get made.”

Iowa Politics Roundup: Collins Considers Bid for RNC Chair PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 26 November 2010 12:40

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) political director and Iowa native Gentry Collins says he is weighing a bid for chair of the organization.

The announcement came one week after Collins announced his departure from the RNC with a scathing letter directed at current RNC Chair Michael Steele.

“I have been encouraged by many friends, both on the committee and from outside the committee, to take this step as the RNC prepares to elect a chairman in January,” Collins said in a statement.

Republican National Committee member and former Michigan GOP state chair Saul Anuzis is the only candidate to publicly announce he’s running for RNC chair.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Legislative Democrats Pick Leaders, Fear Extremism by Republicans PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 19 November 2010 14:13

Iowa House and Senate Democrats voted this week to stick with their leaders, despite losses in the 2010 election.

Representative Kevin McCarthy (D-Des Moines) was re-elected the leader of House Democrats but will now serve as the minority leader instead of the majority leader. He said the caucus saw its losses in the 2010 election as part of a nationwide setback for Democrats, and did not blame individual decisions made by legislative leaders here.

“There was not a lot we could do in this campaign environment to stop that trend,” McCarthy said. “Some serious setbacks were dealt to Democrats nationally, really pretty epic in scope in what occurred around the country. We are very united as a caucus and hopeful and optimistic about the future because when you have setbacks politically like occurred recently in the election, the opportunity for moving the ball down the field for future success is much, much greater.”

Iowa Politics Roundup: Budget Cuts First Order of Business in 2011 Legislative Session PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 12 November 2010 13:46

House Republicans will begin working the first day of the 2011 legislative session on finding “several hundred million dollars” to cut in the current year’s budget, House Speaker-elect Kraig Paulsen and House Majority Leader-elect Linda Upmeyer announced this week after being selected for their new leadership positions.

“We’re going to look for opportunities to reduce spending in the current year’s budget, and we will be doing that on day one,” said Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). “I think it’s several hundred million dollars. Are people going to notice? I don’t know. I would say ‘probably not’ because I think there’s several hundred million dollars in the current year’s budget of marginal or no value to Iowans.”

The legislature convenes January 10 and is expected to run 110 days – through April 29 – although Paulsen said he’s amenable to shortening the session.

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