Who's Left?: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has been announcing a bunch of his picks to head state agencies once he takes over Terrace Hill. He still has some to go, though. And I'm curious which people he picks to fill them.
What about Christian Fong? He was a Republican candidate for governor for a short time and now heads the Iowa Dream Project. He may have a political future ahead of him. Is there a place for him?
Who will head the Department of Education? Outgoing Governor Chet Culver has let that stay empty for months. This would be a chance to overhaul the state's education system if that's what Branstad wants to do.
What about the Department of Public Safety? Does current commish Gene Meyer get to stick around? Will Branstad work to put more troopers back on the roads?
How about the Department of Natural Resources? Seems like an interesting pick to see how a pro-business Republican would fill the position for the head of an agency that watches the environment.
There are some others, too. But here's what really makes me curious: will Branstad put some prominent Democrats in any prominent positions?
Will outgoing Secretary of State Michael Mauro, a Democrat, get a job somewhere in the administration? He's highly-respected from lawmakers in both parties. But voters booted him out this November. So what job could he do?
Will some other Democrat get a spot? How about outgoing Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge? She's a former lawmaker, nurse, and Secretary of Agriculture. She would be an intriguing pick in this ultra-political world, wouldn't she?
What about this one: Mike Gronstal? Now, that would be a fun choice, wouldn't it? Gronstal seems to have all the power at the statehouse this coming year as the Democrats' leader in the senate. With Republicans taking over the gov's mansion and the house, the senate is the only chamber the Dems will control. As the leader, Gronstal can block a vote from getting to the floor on same-sex marriage and most anything else he wants. So, it would be fascinating if Branstad offered Gronstal a great job somewhere, not some b.s. token offer, but a real position that would tempt Gronstal to give up the senate. I wonder what kind of job that could even be. Is there such a job anywhere in state government? Well, besides the governor's job, of course.