At a press conference this morning, Governor Terry Branstad reportedly said he favors the use of eminent domain in certain circumstances, including for pipeline projects. The biggest project currently under consideration in Iowa is the Bakken oil pipeline, which Branstad said is up to the Iowa Utilities Board to decide upon. As he has often done before, Branstad acknowledged the controversy of the subject, but still comes down in favor of it.
That reminded some Iowa political watchers of the ads that were used against Jack Hatch, Branstad’s Democratic opponent in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The Republican Governor’s Association ran ads in Iowa blasting Hatch for not talking about eminent domain, accusing him of voting for its use in order to help developers like himself. The ad literally showed a bulldozer with Jack Hatch’s name on it tearing through a suburban-looking neighborhood.
Watch the 2014 ad for yourself and see what you think of Branstad’s recent support for the use of eminent domain for pipeline projects in Iowa.
by Pat Rynard