Republican Governor Terry Branstad says it is “hypocritical” for three Democrats in the Iowa Senate to resist releasing their own email about their investigation of his administration.
“We have been totally open and transparent. We have cooperated with them in every way,” Branstad says. “I’d like to see them, also, open their emails. I think it’s hypocritical for them to demand all this information from the executive branch and then hide behind legislative privilege.”
The Iowa Republican Party’s chairman issued a request last week, saying Senate Democrats’ investigation into a “hush money” scandal threatens to “turn into a farce” if three key Senate Democrats fail to reveal their own email about the investigation. Matt McCoy of Des Moines is one of the three Democratic senators the GOP’s chairman targeted and McCoy says releasing his email would expose whistleblowers in state government who’ve requested anonymity.
“The legislature has to be that third party to be able to hear grievances from employees and be a safe place where employees can report on agencies that they think are acting inappropriately,” McCoy says.
Branstad says that’s a “double standard.”
“The legislature, this particular committee has spent a lot of time attacking us, but they’re refusing to make their emails public to see if there’s political coordination,” Branstad says. “I think the public has a right to know that stuff.”
McCoy says the legislature is the “last line of defense” against fraud and abuse in the executive branch.
“I do have identities of employees that I definitely want to protect,” McCoy says.
McCoy says he’s heard from former employees as well who had no idea they had been put on the “black list” of workers not to be rehired by state government, including a woman who took maternity leave from her state job, then decided to stay home to raise her child rather than return to work.