Patti Branco is the Republican candidate for Iowa House District 34,Â whichÂ covers theÂ Southern portion of Des Moines.Â She is running against long entrenched Democratic incumbent Bruce Hunter, in a district that has been traditionally tough for Republicans.
Bruce HunterÂ has “LaborÂ UnionÂ Liberal” written all over him, as not only does he sit as the ranking member of the Labor Committee, his wife happens to be the State Political Director for the AFL-CIO.Â His top three priorities, in his own words, are all union strengthening give aways–leaving absolutely no doubtÂ on how he feels is the best way toÂ grow the economy.
An example of the type of candidate we are talking about hereÂ is as follows, and I am not making this up.Â Among his top priorities for next session are increasing the minimum wage, “investing in infrastructure”, ensuring that teachers are “well rewarded”, and codifying “better protection of workers rights”.Â After doing these things his plan then is to “aggressively market Iowa’s (low) cost of doing business“.Â You can’t make this stuff up, and it’s high time this antiquated nonsense is voted out of office.
Beyond this, he appears out of touch in other areas.Â Apparently his district is the only one in the state that is unconcerned with soaring taxes, and he lists one of his missions as “to work to keep Iowa school’s the best in the nation”.Â It seems he has not studied any education data since the mid-1990’s.
Mrs. Branco is a very strong candidate who brings a long and impressive business background to the table.Â SheÂ has been working hard, remaining highly visible, and doing everything it takes to wage a successful campaign.Â All Republicans, especially those of you in her district, should take the time to check out her website  and resume, and get involved to help her effort.
The Conservative Reader: Iowa recently reached out to her for our continuing “3 Questions With” series.Â Below is Mrs. Branco’s take onÂ the HD 34 raceÂ and what sheÂ views as her top priorities should she win.
1)Â You are running in a traditionally tough district for Republicansâ€”how is the campaign going? And are you finding voters receptive to a change in ideology?
I feel good about the campaign.Â I have a strong business background and quite a bit of nonprofit work on boards, but this is my first foray into the political arena.Â I have had excellent mentors from the House and the Party sharing ideas and strategies that work, and I have several able and enthused volunteers.Â We are door knocking daily, attending events and getting signs out in the in the district, making calls and raising money for a final mailing in October.
I am finding that some voters are going to pull the straight ticket, Democrat, but many others seem to be disillusioned and open to my message. At one door I was toldâ€¦â€I am firing every incumbent, so if you are not one, you have my voteâ€. Â Others have indicated that maybe itâ€™s time for change. I guess the final answer to the first question will be given on November 6th!
2)Â What would you characterize as the top two major differences in political philosophy between you and your opponent?Â And how/why would your approach better serve the people of your district?
In a nutshell, I am conservative, and my opponent is liberal. I am for smaller government, lower taxes; I am for Veterans benefits,Â I am pro-life,Â I am for communication with the constituents to learn of their issues, and of the many doors I have knocked I find very little recognition or awareness of who the current 10 year incumbent is.Â Let me say, without making disparaging comments, that I believe he is the opposite on most issues, and his voting record is public information.
The first thing I would do if elected is set up a data base so that I could reach out to my constituents, learn what is important to them and share what is happening in the halls of the Capitol.Â I would be a full time pro business legislator, having no other full time career.Â I am a people person, I love Iowa and I love America.
I have been endorsed by the Iowa Right to life Organization, the Family Leader and The National Federation of Independent Small Business Owners (NFIB).
3)Â Should you prevail and enter the Iowa House next year, what are the two or three votes that you most look forward to casting? And why?
A.Â Taxes! Real estate, property and corporate.Â We have some of the highest taxes in those categories and if we want to continue to attract business to our state we need to reform the tax rates.Â More businesses in Iowa means more jobs, a robust economy, increased net worth for families!Â Lower taxes often means additional discretionary income.
B.Â I think Voter ID is an important issue and the fact that the ACLU and the courts are making it such a big obstacle course makes it even more suspect. Why would any law abiding citizen want to encourage voter fraud or prevent measures to eliminate votes from deceased voters, non-citizen voters or legal voters who manage to vote multiple times posing as others for the same ballot?
C.Â Education reform. Give tax paying parents more options. Give community leaders and local directors more control. If a teacher isnâ€™t producing let parents choose the school they prefer. Demand accountability from teachers and from the educational boards of directors.