David Yepsen

Yepsen on Politics: February 20

Feb 20, 2017  | Ep 4423

Yepsen on Politics is a weekly Q&A with Iowa Press producers and David Yepsen, host of IPTV’s Iowa Press. This week we cover political aftermath of collective bargaining for Branstad/Reynolds, the union messaging war, and early advice for would-be Governor candidates.


Andrew Batt, IPTV Senior Producer: Branstad signed big collective bargaining changes Friday but he won't be in office to face any backlash. Has he handed future Gov. Kim Reynolds a victory or a potential political leg weight for 2018?

David Yepsen, Host of Iowa Press:  The passage of any major piece of legislation is always followed by a few years of court tests and fine-tuning.  Reynolds will inherit a lot of the bad feelings since she's been by his side throughout this.

But this is also an opportunity for her to chart her own course.  She might be able to engineer some compromises and that  fine tuning in such a way that it will take some of the vitriol out of this issue.  My impression of her is that she's a likeable, friendly person with small-town values of civility.  

Branstad's pretty intense about this and I don't think it's in Reynold's nature to be quite as uncompromising.  Once she becomes governor, she could do something like extend an olive branch by asking that correctional workers be covered as law enformcemnt. Removing them seems solely limited at Branstad's nemesis, Danny Holman, the AFSCME chief.

Organized labor is never going to love Reynolds but she could lower their anger levels. And this venom at the statehouse serves no one long term.  Furthermore it's poor management to have workers so upset with management.  Perhaps Reynolds can Make Iowa Friendly Again.


Batt: Republican lawmakers have the trifecta (Gov, Iowa House and Senate control) so they didn't have to win a messaging war this past week...they just needed to pass the bill. On Iowa Press this week we had two opposing views. What's your take on the messaging now that the bill is law?

Yepsen: That's not clear.  Now that the bill is law, we'll have to wait and see just how it works and how it gets implemented.  For example, while the Republicans pulled off a big win, it's also true that many school board members get elected in small turnout elections heavily influenced by educators turning out.  

These members won't want to come off as anti-labor in the negotiations.


Batt:  What's your advice to any candidate looking to challenge Kim Reynolds for Governor in 2018 (like Ron Corbett) or Democrats in the middle of a legislative session already peering ahead to a primary for Governor in 15 months?

Yepsen:  Raise money.

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