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Hatch Starts Early Debate with Branstad over Law Judges

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DES MOINES, Iowa- Democratic Senator Jack Hatch called on Governor Terry Branstad to reverse a decision regarding employment status of a state Administrative Law Judge. Hatch, who is running on the Democratic ticket for Governor said the decision to make an administrative law judge an at-will employee would mix politics into areas it should not be.

This decision, said Hatch "is a continuous pattern of ignoring the rule of law."  Hatch said making a law judge serve at the will of the political system would remove the barrier from politics. "I am hopeful the Governor would rescind the decisions," Hatch said.

The position was located in the Department of Inspection and Appeals.

Republican Governor Terry Branstad was asked about this change in his regular news conference. He said there was some confusion over this move, that the position was actually in the Department of Administrative Services.  That department reviewed a number of job classifications and found a number to be inappropriately classified. He said it was "important for some positions handling confidential information for the director of the department to serve at-will."

When asked about preparing for the first debate in the Governor's race this year Hatch said, "this will be a new experience" as eluded to Branstad's campaign experience spanning decades.

Hatch said he is "working to be as prepared as we can." This will be the first of three debates between Hatch and Branstad. The first will take place Thursday at the Iowa State Fair.  The second will be in Burlington September 20, and the final debate in Sioux City on October 14.

Branstad said he is looking forward to the debate being at the Iowa State Fair. "I've been through this a few times," said the Governor. "I'm not done yet," said Branstad in an echo of a line from his campaign commercial.



  • Mike Cee

    Once again Hatch grasps at straws in an attempt to gain some campaign traction. Jack, if you’d actually go out and do some campaigning rather than spend your time criticizing Governor Brandstad you might actually be able to sway a couple voters. Of course, that assumes you have some funds with which to campaign, which you clearly don’t.

    This is going to be one of the most lopsided races in Iowa history.

  • Jeanette

    More scary behavior of Governor Branstad. Dictatorship by Branstad. The Governor’s pending lawsuit for bullying just round the corner. Oh my! Our hearts and prayers should go out to all Governor Branstad’s victims. .

  • John

    This is just Branstad trying to screw citizens for the sake of companies. This first step of administrative appeal is still expensive for citizens. Appeal to the courts is usually out of reach of citizens who have to feed their family while trying to overcome the economic advantage that government and businesses have.
    Because they’ve been doing it for years doesn’t explain how the ‘legal’ administration claims of Iowans can be adjudicated by an executive branch officer, or controlled by one. The jurisdiction over ‘law and equity’ is vested in the courts by the Iowa Constitution and our ‘separation of powers’ (Art III §1) states “no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments (Ex, Ju, Lg) shall exercise any function appertaining to either of the others” Too bad Citizens United didn’t state that 1 vote allows $1- then politicians would know who they have to support because corporations can’t vote but right now they can buy elections for their boot licking politicians.

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