Wisconsin’s Scott Walker to help Branstad raise money for 2014

Tomorrow night Iowa’s Republican governor and lieutenant governor are holding a fundraiser in Cedar Rapids.  Terry Branstad was elected to a fifth term as governor in 2010.  The money Branstad will be raising tomorrow night isn’t for the 2012 election. It will go into Branstad’s campaign fund. This morning during his weekly news conference, Branstad said this about whether he’s raising money for race #6: “Let’s just say, we’re keeping our options open.”

Here’s the invitation for tomorrow night’s event: 

Branstad said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is returning a favor.

“First of all, you may recall back before the recall election in Wisconsin we held a fundraiser in Dubuque for Governor Scott Walker and I was delighted with the response we received and Governor Walker has offered to reciprocate and support the lieutenant governor with this event,” Branstad said this morning.

You may also recognize the name of the host of this event.  Steve Gray is trying to rust up a group of investors for a casino in Linn County. 

Branstad described Gray as “a long time friend.”

“I’ve known him because of his business experience in Cedar Rapids,” Branstad said. “With regard to the gambling license issue, I think that’s an issue to be resolved by the Racing & Gaming Commission. It’s always been my position not to take a position on those things. I think the most important thing is to look out to protect the integrity of the state and everybody that I’ve appointed to the Racing & Gaming Commission I’ve said, ‘Your responsibility is not to promote gambling, but to look at what is going to be best for protecting the integrity of the state and making sure that is paramount.”

You may also notice on the invitation above the name of Gary Kirke, the driving forward behind the Wild Rose casinos in Emmetsburg & Clinton.  I asked Branstad this morning if the prospect of a casino license for Cedar Rapids would come up tomorrow over cocktails.

“I don’t expect that it will,” Branstad said. “First of all, this is really an opportunity for us to spend some time with a great friend, Scott Walker, who has shown great courage and has made a real difference in his state of Wisconsin. He inherited an even bigger financial mess than we did and he’s made great progress in turning that around, as we have.”

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