The Republican leader in the Iowa Senate is accusing Democrats of inviting a “constitutional crisis” in state government. Senate Democrats this morning voted to give the Senate Oversight Committee subpoena power to call witnesses and get documents for its investigation of hiring and firing practices in the executive branch of state government.
Senate GOP Leader Bill Dix of Shell Rock says the legislative branch of government is “disrupting” the way Republican Governor Terry Branstad operates the executive branch. “It’s a balance of power issue and I just think we should be aware of that whole concept,” Dix says. “I mean we believe firmly that there should be a separation and it just seems like we’re launching Jack Hatch’s campaign for governor off the floor of the senate.”
Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says that’s “nonsense.”
“I don’t know what in the world he’s taling about,” Gronstal says. “…So I guess he’s actually against finding out what actually went on.”
House Republicans have asked Governor Branstad’s administration to answer 16 questions about the confidential settlements his administration negotiated as well as the “do not hire” list in state government. Nearly 1,000 former state employees have been black-listed since 1990 and House Republicans have asked Branstad’s aides to explain how those employees were placed on the list.
There are also questions about how those workers can appeal their black-listing. The request for answers to those questions was made April 16. The Republican co-chairman of the legislature’s Oversight Committee says Branstad staffers tell him he won’t get the answers until later this month.