NRA endorses Culver; DMPD group backs Branstad

There were dueling news releases from the campaigns of Chet Culver and Terry Branstad, touting “major endorsements” this morning. 

Culver’s was first, at 9 a.m.  The National Rifle Association endorsed Culver.  Culver showed up in a camouflage jacket for the outdoor event, held at the Izaak Walton League’s lodge in Des Moines.  Read about the event and listen to it here.  After the announcement, someone (I didn’t see who) handed out brown caps with “Sportsmen for Culver” printed on the front in blaze orange, of course. 

Branstad’s event started at 10 a.m.  It was in Pleasant Hill, which seems an odd location to hold an event at which the political action committee representing about 600 current and retire officers from the Des Moines Police Department endorsed Branstad.  The group had endorsed Culver in 2006. 

A reporter asked: Why endorse Branstad this time around?

DMPD Sergeant Dave Murillo:  “Those of you who know me, I’m a straight shooter.  I call it like I see it. When Chet Culver ran for governor, he made a promise to organized labor in this state that anything crossing his desk relative to collective bargaining he would support.  When an enhancement bill to Chapter 20 came across his desk, he voted it, then was conspicious to his absence to all labor leaders as to why he vetoed that bill.”

Reporter: So is Governor Branstad promising to sign that legislation?

Murillo: “No legislation like that, of course, has crossed Branstad’s desk because he’s not governor yet.”

Reporter: But Terry Branstad opposes the legislation you support.

Murillo: “I’d let the governor answer that.”

Branstad: “Yeah, I don’t support expanding the collective bargaining law, but I do support law enforcement and public safety and I do — I won’t promise something and then renig on it.” 

Unions representing police officers support the bill Culver vetoed and Branstad opposes.  Police argue they need greater authority to bargain over whether things like protective armor will be part of their benefit package.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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