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items tagged with Terry Branstad

A Potent Tool for Reform: Narcisse and The Iowa Party
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2014-10-15 17:58:34

Jonathan Narcisse

If you’re an independent candidate for governor in Iowa, you know you’re getting traction when your message earns the support of county chairs from both major parties across the state. Your campaign must be striking powerful chords when you get endorsements from both conservative talk-radio hosts and liberal-activist leaders alike.

Jonathan Narcisse is running for governor again. (I have volunteered for and contributed to his campaign.) And if he garners at least 2 percent of Iowa’s vote, the Iowa Party will have official party status, which means automatic ballot access for all partisan elections for the next four years. The potency of this political weapon cannot be overstated.

Narcisse points out that partisan politics is the tail that wags the dog in Iowa, keeping voters distracted on presidential and national politics rather than focusing on how citizens’ tax dollars are extracted and spent in their hometowns, school districts, and counties – right where they live.

(This was never more evident than when, at the Scott County Republican Party board election, the central committee was told repeatedly by the leadership: “We don’t deal with issues here; we’re here to get good Republicans elected.”)

“The Occupy and Tea Party movements championed their causes through the Democrat and Republican parties, but after they helped get someone elected, they had no mechanism to hold them accountable,” says Narcisse. “The Iowa Party is not ideologically driven; it is an accountability party.” If Narcisse succeeds, the Iowa Party could be the “None of the Above” party that changes Iowa politics forever.


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Supreme Court Ruling Could Spur 200-Plus Layoffs, Close All Workforce Development Offices
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Iowa Politics

2012-03-21 14:31:48

The Iowa Supreme Court on March 16 said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s item-veto of a bill intended to keep Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) field offices open was unconstitutional.

“Simply stated, the legislature appropriated funds to IWD with strings attached, and our constitution does not permit the governor to cut the strings and spend the money differently,” said the opinion authored by Justice Thomas Waterman, who was appointed by Branstad in February 2011.

However, it does not appear that the ruling would lead to the re-opening of the 36 field offices, which helped unemployed Iowans find jobs, write résumés, and prepare for interviews.


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Branstad Unveils 10-Year Education Plan; Democrats Concerned About Price Tag
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Iowa Politics

2011-10-05 15:22:04

Governor Terry Branstad on October 3 unveiled a 10-year plan to transform Iowa’s education system that would end promoting third-graders who read poorly, change the pay system for teachers, and require students to pass end-of-course exams to graduate.

“Instead of spending all of our time fighting over the issues of the past, we really want to focus on the things that will ... systemically reform and improve Iowa’s education system,” said Branstad, who added that earlier debates over ending state-funded preschool and zero-percent allowable growth in school funding will not be revisited.

“This is a plan for the next decade,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass, who noted that the plan is intended to be a comprehensive package and should not be viewed as a list of options to be cherry-picked. “This plan ... should be the blueprint for where our resources now and in the future go into education.”

But Democrats were skeptical, especially because Branstad and Glass declined to set a price tag for the proposal and don’t plan to do so until shortly before the legislature reconvenes in January.


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