Transparency, accountability, and jobs for Iowa missing
An open records request by the Iowa Democratic Party to determine the cost of Governor Branstad’s 43-city “Working Together for a Better Future” tour in June, has gone unfulfilled for 46 days. Now, as Governor Branstad embarks on a new tour across the state, Iowans are once again picking up the tab without any transparency from his administration.
“We don’t know how much these tours are costing taxpayers, but we do know they’re not creating a single job for Iowans,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky. “It would be one thing if these tours were creating jobs. Unfortunately, the state has lost 8,200 jobs under Governor Branstad and taxpayers are being asked to keep paying unknown amounts for these tours.”
In June, a spokesperson for Governor Branstad claimed the tour would cost only $4,500. However, an open records request submitted on July 6th continues to go unfulfilled. The Iowa Democratic Party requested the invoice for Governor Branstad’s plane rental, reimbursements from staff, invoices for tour expenses, and any emails related to the tour.
Iowa Code Section 22.8 states that the delay for a response to a request “shall not exceed twenty calendar days and ordinarily should not exceed ten business days.” Branstad has previously found himself in hot water for continuing to charge media outlets for records requests, despite promising to end that practice.
“This incident does raise serious concerns about transparency and accountability in the Governor’s Office. With Governor Branstad beginning a 12-city tour this week Iowans deserve to know what it’s costing them and why these ‘jobs’ tours aren’t producing any results,” added Dvorsky.