Reaction to Branstad 2010

Democrats held a news conference immediately following Terry Branstad’s media event at Des Moines University on Friday afternoon.  Tyler Olson, a state representative from Cedar Rapids, offered up this, describing his “trip” from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines on Friday:

I got in the car this morning and it was 2009  and when I got here it was 1982 all over again.  I feel like I got in the ‘way back’ machine. I was six years old in 1982 which kind of shows the amount of time that’s passed between now and then.”

Olson graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington High School in 1994, the year Branstad ran for and won his fourth term as Iowa’s governor.

Democrats also posted some information on their “Iowa Knows Better” website. listing the taxes Branstad raised when he was governor.  And Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat who intends to seek a second term in 2010, launched a campaign commercial on Friday, too.

Christian Fong of Cedar Rapids, a Republican candidate who announced in July that was running for governor, issued a response:

“In the campaign ad that Governor Culver began airing today he talks about his “choice” to cut spending, rebuild the state and to take the tough medicine of today.   The “choice” Governor Culver fails to mention is his choice to sign budgets over the last two years that have grown state government by a rate that was clearly unsustainable. At the end of the day, ultimately it was Governor Culver’s choices that brought us to this point.  Iowa voters will have a choice next November to choose fresh leadership and I look forward to being that alternative.”

As for the Republicans candidates responding to Branstad’s (nearly official) candidacy, Chris Rants of Sioux City has been hammering Branstad for several weeks.  Bob Vander Plaats was the only candidate to issue a statement on Friday, though, after Branstad’s announcement.  Read the Vander Plaats statement below.


SIOUX CITY – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats issued the following statement concerning former Gov. Terry Branstad’s likely entry into the 2010 primary field:

“I can’t imagine anyone who has followed this long process throughout the summer and now into the fall is surprised by Governor Branstad’s decision today to resign from Des Moines University to continue his move toward an official candidacy. While those who have encouraged Governor Branstad to run have been focused firmly on Iowa’s past, I look forward to continuing my conversation with Iowans about our future. Whether we go forward, as I propose, or somehow seek to return to a seemingly happier past, one thing is clear: Iowa cannot afford to remain stuck where it is right now under Chet Culver.

“I said during my official announcement that I’m in this race to be a transformational governor who limits the size of government, reforms our tax structure to make Iowa far more competitive, sets our education system on course to become the world’s leader, and demands excellence from every dollar we spend on public services.

“I entered the race so Iowans will have a governor who makes sure our state will be a bridge to anywhere and a place where the top companies in the world want to locate, grow and thrive.  I entered the race to create a vibrant economy that can only come as a result of having a governor who energetically defends our right-to-work laws and reforms a tax structure and regulatory system that has thwarted business growth for too long.

“I’m running for governor because we must balance the state budget without tax increases and set us back on firm financial footing.  I have the courage, determination and ability to get that job done because I’ve been a turnaround CEO with front-line experience in education and human services, which are the two largest areas of our state budget.  I’m running for governor to reduce the tax burden on Iowans instead of increasing it as we’ve seen happen for so many years as the Culver administration and its predecessors have steadily grown the size of government. I’m running for governor to oppose the relentless expansion of gambling across our state, which started in the 1980s and continues today.

“I’m running so Iowa will have a governor who stands up for true conservative principles. I’m running so Iowa will finally have a governor who supports a culture of life from conception to natural death, and so I can appoint a lieutenant governor who is as passionate about that foundation of society as I am.

“Today’s announcement by Gov. Branstad does nothing to change the reasons for my candidacy.  I look forward to an open and honest debate of the issues during what will certainly be a most interesting and lively primary campaign. So, let me be absolutely clear about this: My name will be on the June 8, 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary ballot no matter who is in the race.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.