Former telecom exec wins senate confirmation vote

Several months ago Governor Brasntad asked retired telecom executive Teresa Wahlert (pronounced WAY-lert) to be director of the Iowa Workforce Development agency.  The Iowa Senate just voted 36-14 to confirm her for the job.   (She needed 34 yes votes/two-thirds of the senate for confirmation, so she had two votes to spare.)

The Senate today rejected the nonmination of Isaiah McGee to head the Iowa Department of Human Rights.  (Read more and listen to the debate here.) The senate also rejected attorney William Gustoff, one of Branstad’s nominees to the Judicial Nominating Commission.  Branstad, as governor, may appoint seven of the 15 members of the state Judicial Nominating Commission.  The Iowa State Bar Association determines the other seven members, so they’re lawyers.  So, Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids & an attorney) said Branstad should appoint “lay people” in the seven slots he has to fill on that panel.  Hogg also said Gustoff had a conflict of interest because Gustoff had agreed to be the Iowa attorney of record in a lawsuit filed by an out-of-state firm — a lawsuit that challenged the work of the Judicial Nominating Commission.  Once Branstad nominated him, Gustoff took himself off that case.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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