The State of the State: What You Won't Hear

by Kim Pearson

Tuesday, January 15th at 10:00 am, Iowa Governor Branstad will deliver his 2013 Condition of the State address. It will be a typical political speech, full of platitudes and perhaps even a restatement of some of his 2010 campaign promises. What we won’t hear is the true state of our state. You won’t hear the whole story.

So, here it is. If you’re reading this as a resident of another state, perhaps what you’re about to read will sound familiar. Unfortunately, its a narrative playing out across these United States.

Let’s start with the low hanging fruit.  Iowa’s Republican Governor Branstad will not be giving an impassioned defense of the conservative principles outlined in the Republican party platform.  Remember when Republican National Committee Chair Reince Prebus stated the RNC party platform is not “Mitt Romney’s platform?” It is clear that the Iowa Republican party platform is not Terry Branstad’s platform, either.  He is clearly dismissive of the work and ideas espoused in the platform.

For example, I am confident that Governor Branstad, if he mentions the right to life, will fail to mention that he broke his campaign promise to defund planned parenthood in 2011 and 2012. I am also confident that Governor Branstad will not defend the 2nd Amendment from the radical left’s attempt to demonize law-abiding citizens.  Even in the wake of repeated threats from the Obama administration, he will not defend the true purpose of the 2nd Amendment which recognizes our God-given right to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government.

Like may other state executive officers, Governor Branstad promised our state, “[W]orld-class schools.” That has not happened. However, the Governor is signaling an increase in education spending of approximately 177 million dollars despite recently admitting, “[W]e have dramatically increased education spending in Iowa, and across this country, in recent decades. Yet our achievement results, by and large, remain flat.” His words.

Our governor also promised us– very specifically– “200,000 new jobs, a 25 percent increase in family incomes and reducing the cost of government by 15 percent.”

None of those have happened yet, either. In fact, the trend has been downward.

The Iowa Republican party platform states, “We believe that the only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth are improper and we demand their immediate elimination.” The governor’s jobs plan was to increase jobs by 200,000.  Not only is he underperforming, he is taking your hard earned money (away from your family and your dreams) and giving them to his preferred companies. For example, see how Orascom is using millions of your dollars and has caused the State of Iowa to bond over 1 billion dollars for this project alone.

In today’s speech, you will probably hear about the State “spending less than it takes in and a budget surplus.” But what you won’t hear is how Republican Auditor David Vaudt said the last budget spent $1.04 for every $1.00 of ongoing revenue.  You also won’t hear that in a true bi-partisan fashion, Senate Democrats and House Republicans (with some exceptions) and Governor Branstad increased the budget the last two years and has already signaled a willingness to spend more this session. 

Senate Republican Leader Jerry Behn’s 2012 closing remarks included, “However, this new budget continues to spend far too much and we missed an opportunity to put into place more government reforms and efficiencies that would lead to systemic change and long-term savings.” Republicans in the minority are always the most conservative.

I am sorry that you must hear it from me, but Iowa’s Governor Branstad, as other Republican leaders across the country, do not believe in the conservative principles in the Republican Party platform.  Instead, like the John Boehners and Mitch McConnell’s in Congress, Governor Branstad will increase State spending even in the midst of a federal deficit crisis.

That is the true state of our state.

Kim Pearson is a former Iowa legislator and constitutional conservative activist.