Branstad

Photo by Joyce Russell/IPR

Just a day after Governor Branstad met with President-Elect Donald Trump the news is now official. Branstad has accepted an invitation to become U.S. Ambassador to China. Officials from both parties are weighing in. Now the speculation begins on the political ramifications of Branstad leaving office. A spokesman for the Trump transition team said it’s Branstad’s experience in public policy, trade, and agriculture that won him the job. Former Iowa Democratic Governor and now soon-to-be...

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President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China, pending Senate confirmation. The word from the Trump transition team comes a day after the two men met at Trump Tower in New York City. If Branstad becomes ambassador, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become the first woman to serve as Iowa governor. The possibility that Branstad could be tapped for the Beijing post gained traction after Trump praised him at a pre-election rally in Sioux City, at...

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Update Dec. 7 at 8:09 am: Several news reports quote unnamed sources saying President-elect Trump has offered the ambassadorship to Branstad and that he has accepted. Gov. Branstad's spokesman, Ben Hammes, tells IPR the report is "premature and not confirmed." We will update this story as we learn more. Tuesday's story: Governor Branstad had what he calls a cordial conversation today with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City. But the governor remains mum about a...

Sarah Boden/IPR / Iowa Public Radio

Gov. Terry Branstad said on Monday morning that he has “great confidence” Iowa’s Secretary of State, county auditors and poll watchers will make sure the upcoming election is “honest and clean.” But when asked about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeting that Republican leaders deny that there’s “large scale voter fraud,” the governor pivoted to discussing what he perceives as a media bias against his party’s nominee. “The integrity of our electoral process is critically important,...

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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is showing no sign of pulling his support from Donald Trump. That's in spite of the fact that dozens of Republican governors, congressional representatives and senators have rescinded their endorsements of the GOP presidential nominee or said he should step down. Many of these un-endorsements came Friday and Saturday, after a video tape from 2005 surfaced. On the recording Trump brags to Billy Bush, then a co-host for Access Hollywood, about being able to sexually...

Gov. Terry Branstad says he was encouraged by the unity and commitment he observed last Thursday night at the Lincoln Day Dinner, an annual fundraiser for the Iowa GOP. Many Republican voters, both statewide and nationally, are struggling with whether to support Donald Trump, the party’s de facto nominee. Though Branstad doesn’t support everything Trump stands for, he is endorsing the New York real estate mogul, citing national security, health insurance costs and debt. "We have a lot of...

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Gov. Terry Branstad says the budget he’ll present tomorrow along with the annual Condition of the State Address is “very tight," but he adds lawmakers shouldn’t be caught off-guard by want he’s proposing this legislative session. "There's no surprise," says Branstad. "I think I've done a pretty good job of visiting with legislators about the tough decisions we have to make." Branstad says he’s proposing an additional $145 million for K-12 education, and says Iowa can afford this increase due...

Iowa Public Radio / Clay Masters

Iowa's governor wants to kill two birds with one stone. Gov. Terry Branstad says by extending a sales tax increase enacted in 2008* to 2049, schools will get an additional $10 million annually for things like technology and infrastructure projects. He projects that the state will also raise nearly $4.7 billion in this period to address soil and water conservation issues related to agriculture. "This would be an extraordinary investment and have a huge impact. It would allow Iowa to fund the...

Joyce Russell/IPR file photo

Certainly, Iowa’s role in the 2016 presidential race has been one of the top news stories in our state this year. There are also many others - including the privatization of the state's Medicaid program. "This is coming from a guy who covers politics and is looking forward to the caucuses, but I would argue that this is the most important Iowa-specific story this year," explains Clay Masters, Iowa Public Radio Morning Edition host and political reporter. Masters says that while the switch to...

Photo by John Pemble

Gov. Terry Branstad says the state will move forward as planned with the January 1 st deadline for Medicaid privatization in Iowa. That’s despite last week’s recommendation from Administrative Law Judge Christie Scase that the state dismiss one of four contracts it awarded to for-profit companies to manage Iowa’s Medicaid programs. The ruling found that Tampa, Florida-based WellCare had improper communications with the governor’s chief healthcare advisor during the bid process, and that the...

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

About 50 people rallied outside the State Capitol Tuesday afternoon , in response to Gov. Terry Branstad’s order blocking Syrian refugees from settling in Iowa. "Mr. Branstad I ask you to find it in your heart, to find the courage, and to stop being afraid of people that are different from you," said Samantha Thomas, the one of the rally's organizers and executive director of Global Arts Therapy, which does work with youth and refugees. Some attendees said they were more worried about...

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Iowa clergy submitted a letter to Gov. Terry Branstad’s office Monday afternoon, condemning what they call discrimination against Syrian refugees “on the basis of religion," and to "reject fear and cruelty" by welcoming them to the state. Branstad is one of 30 governors nationwide who want to block Syrian resettlement in their states, citing security in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. Last week he directed state agencies not to prepare for Syrian refugee settlement. Monday, though,...

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

Gov. Terry Branstad is now the owner of 1,000 rubber ducks. The liberal advocacy group Progress Iowa gave Branstad the bath toys to protest his vetoing of one-time education funding and the closing of two mental health institutions . At the same time, Branstad has worked with private donors to build a reflecting pool at Terrace Hill, the governor’s official residence. "He has slashed funding for public schools, mental health institutes, and for our colleges and universities, all while there...

John Pemble/IPR

A Republican lawmaker who negotiated an agreement with the Governor to delay the closings of the mental health institutes in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda is defending the plan against Democratic critics. Representative David Heaton of Mount Pleasant says without the compromise, the Governor would have used his veto power to force the closings on June 30 th Under the compromise, the facilities will stay open through December 15 th , and then later reopen as private facilities. Democrats in the...

John Pemble / IPR

The Republican Governor of Iowa is on track to become the longest serving Governor in the history of the United States. Terry Branstad was sworn into his sixth non-consecutive term last week.

John Pemble / IPR

Clay Masters: It's Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I'm Clay Masters. Governor Terry Branstad delivers his condition of the state speech this morning where he'll lay out his priorities in 2015. We sat down with the governor in his formal office at this capitol yesterday to get a bit of a preview. I start by asking the governor if this is the year a funding method will be approved to fix the state's deficent roads and bridges. Gov Terry Branstad: I think this is the year for us to address...

Photo by Joyce Russell/IPR

Governor Branstad’s campaign schedule this week includes helping Republican candidates for the Iowa Senate.

Photo by Joyce Russell/IPR

Republican Governor Terry Branstad is leaving nothing to chance as the November election draws near.

Brendan C/Flickr

Governor Branstad and his Democratic challenger, state senator Jack Hatch, staked out sharply different tax policies in a debate last night in Sioux City.

Some top Republicans are getting involved in the party’s early voting campaign as the GOP strives to compete with Democrats on absentee ballots.

Senior citizens grilled Iowa’s two major party candidates for governor, pressing them on issues ranging from nursing home inspections to taxes on pensions.

The head of an Iowa Senate committee looking into the hiring and firing practices of the Branstad administration is warning that the governor’s department heads may face tough prospects for reappointment in the Iowa Senate.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch has suspended television advertising in two major Iowa media markets, Sioux City and the Quad Cities, at least for now. The campaign says they’re rethinking their media buys based on how many voters have requested absentee ballots. Campaign officials say for the short term they’re moving their limited broadcast funds into the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids television markets instead, areas where Hatch expects to do well. Communications Director John...

A debate between Governor Branstad and his Democratic challenger Jack Hatch in Burlington was billed as a discussion about job creation. But Hatch made sure he got in other licks. It was a local affair moderated by the Burlington Hawkeye, and KWQC-TV’s Gary Metevier . “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our candidates . Governor Branstad and democratic state senator Jack Hatch,” Metevier said to loud applause. It was supposed to be the only applause under the rules of the debate But Senator...

Iowa’s major party candidates for governor traded barbs over Democrat Jack Hatch’s career as a property developer in Des Moines.

Iowa’s two major party candidates for governor staked out sharply different priorities in a debate Thursday at the Iowa State Fair. Democrat Jack Hatch had his first chance to go before a statewide audience with incumbent Governor Terry Branstad. And Branstad’s long record in office gave his challenger plenty to take potshots at.

Photo by John Pemble

Almost every day last week we were getting updates on these so-called confidential settlements made by the Branstad administration. More than 400,000 dollars has been paid out to laid off staffers. IPR's Clay Masters gets the latest on it and other ongoing legislative issues from statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell.

Democrats in the Iowa Senate heard from four former state employees who lost their jobs in what the Branstad administration terms a reorganization of state government. Democrats object to what they call mass layoffs of so-called merit employees who were hired for their expertise, not their political connections. One worker told of receiving money for keeping her settlement private, a practice which Governor Branstad has now banned.

Statehouse Democrats say the legislature's oversight committee will be very busy in the coming weeks, as they look into recent allegations against the Terry Branstad administration. They say the panel will first look into reports of secret settlements to fired state workers.

Students, teachers, and other school personnel turned out in Des Moines Monday for Governor Branstad’s second Bullying Prevention Summit. The governor vowed to strengthen state law to combat bullying online. But not everyone agrees.

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