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DURHAM’S TRAVELS: Branstad Defends Spending

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Governor Branstad defended Iowa’s Director of Economic Development at his weekly press conference in response to Channel 13’s investigative report on her spending practices.

“That is a bunch of baloney,” he said.

Last Thursday, we aired a story on the more than $73,000 Director Debi Durham racked up in airline tickets, hotel rooms and meals last year. On Friday, the Iowa Democratic Party called on Branstad to look into Durham’s expenses.

The Governor insists any first class travel must have been due to upgrades by the travel agency.

“She’s not treated different from anybody else she just works harder than anybody else, goes more places, works longer hours, has great results and these kinds of political accusations are inappropriate and unfair,” he said.

Branstad also noted that he flies coach when in the United States and business class overseas, which is allowed under state travel guidelines.