[ {"id":"590be43e-81a3-57df-88ea-407aa3aec9e2","type":"article","starttime":"1481022000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-06T05:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1481023439","sections":[{"business":"business"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Rauner to sign Exelon bill in Q-C","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_590be43e-81a3-57df-88ea-407aa3aec9e2.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/rauner-to-sign-exelon-bill-in-q-c/article_590be43e-81a3-57df-88ea-407aa3aec9e2.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/business/rauner-to-sign-exelon-bill-in-q-c/article_590be43e-81a3-57df-88ea-407aa3aec9e2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Daniel Petrella and Jennifer DeWitt\nnewsroom@qctimes.com","prologue":"Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will bring his pen to the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Illinois,\u00a0on Wednesday to sign a bill that will keep open Exelon nuclear plants in both areas.\u00a0 The Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce confirmed Monday that Rauner is planning a bill-signing ceremony at 10 a.m. at Riverdale High School in Port Byron. The event will include leadership and employees from Exelon Quad-Cities Station in nearby Cordova as well as chamber, business and community leaders.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["bruce rauner","exelon","quad-cities chamber of commerce","cordova plant","rock island county","riverdale high school","port byron","exelon quad-cities station","general assembly","illinois","quad-city","governor","energy efficiency","subsidy","company","consumer group","bill","deal"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"4ef64794-41ef-5e2d-b017-df1444083ae7","description":"Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner","byline":"","hireswidth":1798,"hiresheight":1152,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ef/4ef64794-41ef-5e2d-b017-df1444083ae7/584210e11f9aa.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1798","height":"1152","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ef/4ef64794-41ef-5e2d-b017-df1444083ae7/581fad0eceba0.image.jpg?resize=1798%2C1152"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ef/4ef64794-41ef-5e2d-b017-df1444083ae7/581fad0eceba0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"192","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ef/4ef64794-41ef-5e2d-b017-df1444083ae7/581fad0eceba0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C192"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"656","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ef/4ef64794-41ef-5e2d-b017-df1444083ae7/581fad0eceba0.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C656"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"590be43e-81a3-57df-88ea-407aa3aec9e2","body":"

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will bring his pen to the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Illinois,\u00a0on Wednesday to sign a bill that will keep open Exelon nuclear plants in both areas.\u00a0

The Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce confirmed Monday that Rauner is planning a bill-signing ceremony at 10 a.m. at Riverdale High School in Port Byron. The event will include leadership and employees from Exelon Quad-Cities Station in nearby Cordova as well as chamber, business and community leaders.

The Clinton, Illinois, chamber announced Sunday on its Facebook page that Rauner plans to sign the bill at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Clinton High School.\u00a0

The governor's office did not respond immediately Monday to a request for confirmation, and as of Monday afternoon, the bill hadn't been sent to his desk.

Energy giant Exelon said it would close the unprofitable Quad-City and Clinton\u00a0nuclear plants if the General Assembly did not approve a new energy policy. The massive package, approved Thursday on the final day of the veto session, overhauls the state's energy policy and creates $235 million in annual ratepayer subsidies to the two plants.

The company says the subsidies are warranted because nuclear generation, like subsidized wind and solar power, doesn't produce climate-damaging carbon pollution.

Exelon had said that without the legislation it would take steps to shut down the Clinton plant in 2017 and the Cordova plant in 2018. Together, the plants employ about 1,500 people.

The plants also generate millions in property tax revenue for schools and local governments. Exelon is Rock Island County's single largest property taxpayer.

The House and Senate voted in a bipartisan fashion last week to approve the deal, which also includes increased investments in renewable power and energy efficiency.

After late involvement from Rauner's office, the final version of the bill included caps on rate increases for electricity customers of all sizes, from large industrial companies to individual families.

Still, the final deal was criticized by some business and consumer groups for its lack of clarity on how those protections will work.

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The Democratic-leaning Rock Island County Board re-elected Ken \u201cMoose\u201d Maranda on\u00a0Monday as its chairman for the next two years.

Maranda, D-Milan, won in a 17-8 vote over Drue Mielke, R-Coal Valley, during the board's organizational meeting, which saw 13 members sworn in following the November elections and a recent appointment.

All eight of the board's Republicans voted for Mielke, an incumbent board member who beat out Democratic challenger Ryan Shoemaker of Coal Valley in last month's District 22 race.

The board also welcomed four new faces, including Scott Noyd, D-Silvis, who was appointed to fill the vacant District 3 seat.

Noyd will replace Michael Burns, D-Silvis, whose term was not set to expire until November 2018. Following the meeting, Burns said by telephone that he resigned last month because of health issues.

Nick Camlin, D-Rock Island, was re-elected the board's vice chair, winning 17-8 over Robert Westpfahl, R-Milan, who was nominated for the two-year position.

In other changes, Kai Swanson, D-Rock Island, was elected president of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission, winning 15-8 over Rodney Simmer, R-Rock Island. Don Johnston, D-Moline, left the meeting before the vote, and Kimberly Calloway Thompson, who called for the vote, abstained.

Swanson will replace longtime county board member and former commission president Steve Ballard, who did not seek re-election.

Swanson, an administrator at\u00a0Augustana College\u00a0in Rock Island,\u00a0will lead the commission, which is made up of the 25-member County Board and oversees Niabi Zoo and county parks, for two years.

Other new members include Richard Morthland, R-Cordova, Robert Reagan, R-Moline, and Cecilia O'Brien, D-Moline.

As chairman, which is considered a part-time position, Maranda will receive $22,000 a year.

\"It's an honor to serve,\" Maranda said after the meeting. \"I'll try to continue doing what's best for the people of Rock Island County.\"

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{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"166","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/71/4717da57-a379-5999-8153-47bf0dc970c3/584621c32b257.image.jpg?resize=300%2C166"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"568","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/71/4717da57-a379-5999-8153-47bf0dc970c3/584621c32b257.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C568"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"c3a5988e-d38c-5a48-940f-190b040a45b1","body":"

The Twin Bridges Motor Inn's days are numbered as the Bettendorf City Council is ready to accept a development agreement that calls for the construction of a $22 million apartment complex in its place.

Atop its council goals for this year, Bettendorf has sought the redevelopment of the site it considers blighted and in poor condition.

Bettendorf is now set to approve a development agreement with Twin Bridges Associates LP to purchase the existing site, demolish the existing structures and replace it with a 135-unit market rate apartment complex.

Developer Frank Levy intends to construct two five-story buildings connected by a vestibule.

The development agreement calls for construction to commence within 120 days of council approval.

As part of the incentive package, the agreement calls for a $750,000 forgiveable economic development loan, 100 percent tax increment financing rebate for 20 years and vacation of Gilbert Street from 15th to 16th streets.

Economic Development Director Jeff Reiter said the developer will certify revenues and expenditures each year and provide payments toward the economic loan should revenues exceed the guaranteed rates of return to investors.

With the complex set to be built in phases, Levy said the development agreement protects the city from offering the economic incentives should the project not be completed as envisioned.

\"If we don't get that second phase built within approximately a year of next summer, all of our benefits go away,\" Levy said.

Both the Scott County Board of Supervisors and Bettendorf Community School District provided letters of support for the development and establishing a tax increment financing district.

\"After reviewing the information provided, this School Board also concurs that redevelopment of this site will mitigate the previously mentioned blight, as well as reducing the demands placed on City and County health and public safety officials,\" school board president Gordon Stanley wrote. \"This redevelopment will provide tremendous new opportunities for living in a downtown setting, while serving as a catalyst for future economic growth.\"

"}, {"id":"c5a69ae3-3b20-5988-a739-c5b80839ef9a","type":"article","starttime":"1480987800","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-05T19:30:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1481001557","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Bettendorf City Council to fill vacancy by appointment","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_c5a69ae3-3b20-5988-a739-c5b80839ef9a.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/bettendorf-city-council-to-fill-vacancy-by-appointment/article_c5a69ae3-3b20-5988-a739-c5b80839ef9a.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/bettendorf-city-council-to-fill-vacancy-by-appointment/article_c5a69ae3-3b20-5988-a739-c5b80839ef9a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Devan Patel\ndpatel@qctimes.com","prologue":"With Alderman Gary Mohr, at large, set to leave his position at the end of the month, the Bettendorf City Council has elected to fill the vacant position via appointment. Mohr tendered his resignation last month after being elected to represent District 94 in the Iowa House. City Attorney Kristine Stone said with the vacancy of any elected position, the council had two options per state code: special election or appointment.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["alderman","frank baden","election","kristine stone","scott naumann","appointment","gary mohr"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":4,"commentID":"c5a69ae3-3b20-5988-a739-c5b80839ef9a","body":"

With Alderman Gary Mohr, at large, set to leave his position at the end of the month, the Bettendorf City Council has elected to fill the vacant position via appointment.

Mohr tendered his resignation last month after being elected to represent District 94 in the Iowa House.

City Attorney Kristine Stone said with the vacancy of any elected position, the council had two options per state code: special election or appointment.

While the city called for a special election in 2014 when there were two open seats, aldermen agreed this time that\u00a0an election would be unfair to whomever filled the vacancy because the term expires at the end of 2017.

In either case, the person would face campaigning for re-election in November 2017.

\"I know what it takes to put on a campaign and do that and get elected and then turn around and do it again,\" Alderman Scott Webster, 5th Ward, said. \"I think it would be tough so I don't think I'd consider it with such a short period of time.\"

Alderman Scott Naumann, 2nd Ward, said with Bettendorf struggling to get more people involved in local government, the appointment process could draw interest either from those interested in serving or opposing the appointment process.

\"Folks in Bettendorf need to get involved and engaged one way or another,\" Naumann said.

Naumann said an appointment would also give the council the ability to look at candidates with more diverse age, gender and ethnic backgrounds, which Mayor Bob Gallagher has championed.

\"The knock against appointment is they just want good ol' boys and they just want themselves, but you've been very vocal about saying we want differences of opinion,\" Naumann said. \"New ideas, new thoughts and ways to look at the block and figure out what's the best thing to do.\"

Although the council has decided on an appointment, a special election is still possible should 224 petitions, or 15 percent of the voter turnout the last time the seat was contested, challenge the appointment.

Stone said that challenge would have to come within 14 days of the appointment.

Alderman Frank Baden, at large, said he would rather not spend the money on a special election with such a short turnaround.

In 2014, Bettendorf spent roughly $6,000 for special election polling centers.

\"If the citizens don't like us doing that, they will file a petition and then we'll go to an election,\" Baden said.

"}, {"id":"d2bdb4a5-4b86-5367-927b-9aa828aace36","type":"article","starttime":"1480974300","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-05T15:45:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1481024177","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"healthcare":"special-section/healthcare"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Deadline looming for Obamacare coverage","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_d2bdb4a5-4b86-5367-927b-9aa828aace36.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/deadline-looming-for-obamacare-coverage/article_d2bdb4a5-4b86-5367-927b-9aa828aace36.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/deadline-looming-for-obamacare-coverage/article_d2bdb4a5-4b86-5367-927b-9aa828aace36.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ed Tibbetts\netibbetts@qctimes.com","prologue":"With an important deadline looming, the Obama administration said Monday there are thousands of Iowans who may now qualify for financial help purchasing insurance coverage but don't realize it. Included in that number are 2,000 Iowans who bought insurance at the HealthCare.gov web site for 2016 and didn't get tax credits. Those people, the administration said Monday, may qualify for help in 2017 even though their incomes have not changed.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["kaiser family foundation","obama administration","health insurance coverage","illinois","nick gerhart","laurie zimmerman","iowa","affordable care act","obamacare","subsidy","premium","iowan","enrollment","insurance","administration"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9efad943-b176-5966-813e-4165a38aeed6","description":"Genesis Health System navigator Laurie Zimmerman, right, helps Maquoketa-area residents re-enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 18 at a temporary enrollment site in the Jackson County Regional Health Center.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1878,"hiresheight":1103,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ef/9efad943-b176-5966-813e-4165a38aeed6/582f86ca45618.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1878","height":"1103","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ef/9efad943-b176-5966-813e-4165a38aeed6/582f86ca44991.image.jpg?resize=1878%2C1103"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"59","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ef/9efad943-b176-5966-813e-4165a38aeed6/582f86ca44991.image.jpg?resize=100%2C59"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"176","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ef/9efad943-b176-5966-813e-4165a38aeed6/582f86ca44991.image.jpg?resize=300%2C176"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"601","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/ef/9efad943-b176-5966-813e-4165a38aeed6/582f86ca44991.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C601"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"d2bdb4a5-4b86-5367-927b-9aa828aace36","body":"

With an important deadline looming, the Obama administration said Monday there are thousands of Iowans who may now qualify for financial help purchasing insurance coverage but don't realize it.

Included in that number are 2,000 Iowans who bought insurance at the HealthCare.gov web site for 2016 and didn't get tax credits. Those people, the administration said Monday, may qualify for help in 2017 even though their incomes have not changed.

There is less than two weeks to go before the Dec. 15 deadline for people to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act and have it take effect by Jan. 1.

The administration and state regulators in Iowa are urging people to be aware of that deadline \u2014\u00a0and to take care in examining their options.

\"Iowans already covered by individual health insurance plans should not be complacent by allowing automatic re-enrollment in the same plans,\" Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said last week. \"It is important for Iowans to be sure to find the best plans for them. It may turn out that the plans people currently have are still their best options, but it is important to check around.\"

Some insurers who sold coverage in the marketplace in 2016 decided to exit it in 2017. That means people who continue with those policies won't be able to get government help. The federal subsidies are available only on the HealthCare.gov marketplace.

The administration's estimates Monday are aimed at raising awareness of the availability of financial assistance, which would help limit the impact of rate increases next year.

Nationwide, premiums for mid-level plans under the Affordable Care Act exchange are going up an average 25 percent next year. In Iowa, premiums went up between 19 percent to 43 percent, depending on the company. Subsidies increase as premiums do, but premium increases also can make more people eligible for help because the Affordable Care Act sets a target for the share of a person's income that is expected to be contributed to health insurance coverage.

If premiums rise and a person's income doesn't, that could make them eligible for help.

In addition to the 2,000 Iowans in the marketplace who may be eligible, the administration says there are an additional 41,000 Iowans who paid full price for coverage off the exchange who could be eligible for subsidies by going to the marketplace.

About 42,600 Iowans bought coverage via HealthCare.gov with the help of the subsidies.

Financial help is available to people who make up to four times the poverty level, which in 2016 for an individual was $47,520 and $97,200 for a family of four. They are given on a sliding scale. The average amount of the monthly subsidy in Iowa this year was $307, according to figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation. In Illinois, it was $237.

Enrollment specialists in the Quad-Cities said Monday they are seeing stepped-up activity with the Dec. 15 deadline looming.

Laurie Zimmerman, who works for Genesis Health System, said there was heightened interest when enrollment began Nov. 1, then it fell off a bit. She began to see increased activity in the middle of last week.

Enrollment specialists help people determine the right kind of coverage but also assist in navigating some of the rules concerning premium subsidies.

There appears to be varying levels of awareness of the existence of financial help.

Zimmerman said it's not uncommon for people not to know what kind of help they can get. \"I think that some people don\u2019t think that they\u2019re eligible for it or don\u2019t have an understanding of it,\" she said.

However, Linaka Kain, who oversees enrollment efforts at UnityPoint Health-Trinity, said most of their clients know help is available. \"They're pretty aware that you get something if you\u2019re signing up and are under the guidelines,\" she said.

People can enroll through the end of January of next year for coverage. That coverage would not become effective until after Jan. 1, however.

"}, {"id":"95d25b47-2a43-556f-b671-818538ba0250","type":"article","starttime":"1480970760","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-05T14:46:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1481003894","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Branstad confirms meeting with Trump","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_95d25b47-2a43-556f-b671-818538ba0250.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/branstad-confirms-meeting-with-trump/article_95d25b47-2a43-556f-b671-818538ba0250.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/branstad-confirms-meeting-with-trump/article_95d25b47-2a43-556f-b671-818538ba0250.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Erin Murphy\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0Gov. Terry Branstad confirmed he will meet this week with President-elect Donald Trump amid growing speculation Trump will ask Branstad to serve as the U.S. ambassador to China. Since Trump\u2019s Nov. 8 election victory, political observers and reporters have speculated Trump may offer the post to Branstad, who was a strong supporter of Trump during the general election and has a longtime working friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["iowa","donald trump","governor","terry branstad","china","mike pence","xi jinping","lieutenant governor","bill northey","iowa legislature","jeff kaufmann","debi durham","doug gross","republican party","kim reynolds","president","vice president","lt. gov.","politics","post"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"ebd72c23-baa3-5e51-8d38-25d51fc74160","description":"Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds talk to the Quad-City Times Editorial Board last year.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES FILE PHOTO","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1429,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/bd/ebd72c23-baa3-5e51-8d38-25d51fc74160/54c2b135a36fe.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"295","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/bd/ebd72c23-baa3-5e51-8d38-25d51fc74160/5845d8dc8a497.image.jpg?resize=620%2C295"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"47","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/bd/ebd72c23-baa3-5e51-8d38-25d51fc74160/54c2b135ada51.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"143","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/bd/ebd72c23-baa3-5e51-8d38-25d51fc74160/54c2b135ae9f3.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"487","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/bd/ebd72c23-baa3-5e51-8d38-25d51fc74160/5845d8dc8a497.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"95d25b47-2a43-556f-b671-818538ba0250","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0Gov. Terry Branstad confirmed he will meet this week with President-elect Donald Trump amid growing speculation Trump will ask Branstad to serve as the U.S. ambassador to China.

Since Trump\u2019s Nov. 8 election victory, political observers and reporters have speculated Trump may offer the post to Branstad, who was a strong supporter of Trump during the general election and has a longtime working friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This past weekend, a Bloomberg Politics report said Branstad is the frontrunner for the post.

Branstad will be in New York from Tuesday through Thursday on a previously scheduled economic development trip. He confirmed Monday, during his weekly news conference, that at some point during the trip, he will meet with Trump.

As he has in recent weeks, Branstad deferred when asked whether he would accept the post if offered.

\u201cIt hasn\u2019t been offered, and I love my job as governor,\u201d Branstad said Monday. \u201cThis is my focus. It\u2019s my intent to continue to focus on this.\u201d

Branstad met recently with Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Washington, D.C., during a trip that also included visits with Iowa\u2019s congressional delegation and top national Republicans.

Branstad said he discussed with Pence a desire for fewer federal government regulations on business. The governor said he expects to deliver a similar message to President-elect Trump.

\u201cWe\u2019ll talk about that and other subjects as well,\u201d Branstad said.

Trump plans to be in Iowa on Thursday for a rally as part of his victory tour. Branstad said he plans to be back in Iowa in time for the event.

Should Trump offer the U.S. ambassadorship to China and should Branstad accept, upon Branstad\u2019s resignation, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would be promoted to governor. She would become the state\u2019s first female governor.

Branstad has touted Reynolds as a possible successor and says he keeps her involved in critical aspects of the administration. He said Monday he has not discussed with Reynolds the possibility of him resigning and her assuming the governorship, but he touted her preparedness.

\u201cI think she\u2019s very well prepared and has great leadership ability,\u201d Branstad said of Reynolds.

Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the state Republican Party, expressed confidence in Reynolds should she be promoted to governor in Branstad\u2019s absence.

\u201cI\u2019ve been following Iowa politics a long time, and I have never seen a partnership where she has been included in so many aspects of the job, from the policy of the job to the campaigning to the moments when Iowans need to be encouraged,\u201d Kaufmann said. \u201cI think Kim Reynolds is as ready as any lieutenant governor we\u2019ve ever had.\u201d

Should Branstad resign and Reynolds be promoted, she would be free to appoint a new lieutenant governor, according to Iowa law and confirmed by the state Secretary of State\u2019s office. Reynolds and her lieutenant governor would serve the remainder of the term, which expires at the end of 2018.

Should that happen, possible lieutenant governor picks for Reynolds could come from current state department heads, including Debi Durham in economic development, who ran as a running mate to Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross in 2002, or Bill Northey in agriculture. Reynolds also could pick a member of the Iowa Legislature, where she served as a state senator in 2009 and 2010 before joining Branstad.

"}, {"id":"b30c922d-27c6-55b3-a71c-b50726bdb82f","type":"article","starttime":"1480967100","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-05T13:45:00-06:00","sections":[{"elections":"news/local/government-and-politics/elections"}],"application":"editorial","title":"State Board certifies Iowa election results","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/elections/article_b30c922d-27c6-55b3-a71c-b50726bdb82f.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/elections/state-board-certifies-iowa-election-results/article_b30c922d-27c6-55b3-a71c-b50726bdb82f.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/elections/state-board-certifies-iowa-election-results/article_b30c922d-27c6-55b3-a71c-b50726bdb82f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Rod Boshart\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014 It\u2019s official. Republican Donald Trump outpolled Democrat Hillary Clinton by 147,314 votes in Iowa\u2019s general-election balloting to claim the state\u2019s six presidential electoral votes. Four members of the Iowa Executive Council \u2014 acting as the state\u2019s Board of Canvass \u2014 unanimously certified the Nov. 8 election results Monday, closing the books on a near-record turnout year that drew 1,581,371 absentee and Election Day participants.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["republicans","vote","branstad","donald trump","hillary clinton","paul pate","democratic party"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9949d954-d99e-55c1-b400-8e46d7517438","description":"Members of the Iowa Executive Council \u2014 acting in their dual role as the Iowa Board of Canvass \u2014 met Monday at the state Capitol in Des Moines to certify the results of Iowa\u2019s Nov. 8 general election.","byline":"Rod Boshart, Times Bureau","hireswidth":3264,"hiresheight":2448,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/94/9949d954-d99e-55c1-b400-8e46d7517438/5845c0b6e6eb7.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/94/9949d954-d99e-55c1-b400-8e46d7517438/5845c0b6a97e3.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/94/9949d954-d99e-55c1-b400-8e46d7517438/5845c0b6a97e3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/94/9949d954-d99e-55c1-b400-8e46d7517438/5845c0b6a97e3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/94/9949d954-d99e-55c1-b400-8e46d7517438/5845c0b6a97e3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"b30c922d-27c6-55b3-a71c-b50726bdb82f","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014 It\u2019s official. Republican Donald Trump outpolled Democrat Hillary Clinton by 147,314 votes in Iowa\u2019s general-election balloting to claim the state\u2019s six presidential electoral votes.

Four members of the Iowa Executive Council \u2014 acting as the state\u2019s Board of Canvass \u2014 unanimously certified the Nov. 8 election results Monday, closing the books on a near-record turnout year that drew 1,581,371 absentee and Election Day participants.

\u201cIowans take elections seriously,\u201d said Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a council member who also serves as the state\u2019s election commissioner. \u201cThey turned out, they voted and we had a good clean, open and honest election and we saw some real participation.\u201d

Iowa\u2019s official election outcome saw Trump put Iowa in the Republican column by polling 800,983 votes to Clinton\u2019s 653,669 votes \u2014 with 934,219 ballots cast on Election Day and 647,152 absentee, which was down a couple of percentage points from absentee votes cast in 2012, Pate said. Overall, more than 72 percent of eligible Iowans cast ballots \u2014 a level about 9,000 higher than four years ago but not higher than the 2008 record turnout, he added.

Trump won 93 of Iowa\u2019s 99 counties \u2014 including traditional Democratic strongholds of Dubuque, Des Moines, Wapello, Lee and Jasper counties, Branstad noted.

\u201cIowa was one of the battleground states and I would say we may be the most successful,\u201d Branstad told his weekly news conference, \u201ca state that was carried by Obama twice \u2014 34 counties that went for Obama went for Trump, he carried 93 of 99 counties, he carried counties that historically Republicans have not carried.\u201d

Branstad, who plans to be on hand Thursday when Trump makes a triumphant return to Iowa for a victory rally, said Trump connected with people on a personal level and in a way that had people underestimating him \u2014 including Branstad initially \u2014 throughout the process.

\u201cAll of the elites and all of the experts were wrong. The people still decide elections in this country,\u201d the Iowa governor added.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson finished third behind Trump and Clinton in Iowa\u2019s presidential balloting with 59,186 votes, while Evan McMullin drew 12,366 by petition, Green Party candidate Jill Stein garnered 11,479 and 17,746 votes went to write-in candidates.

Johnson\u2019s total was significant because the 3.8 percent support surpassed the 2 percent threshold needed to qualify the Libertarian Party to be granted the same major-party status as the Republican and Democratic parties \u2014 meaning future Libertarian candidates automatically will be on Iowa\u2019s primary-election ballot and have access to checkoff money as one of the eligible parties listed on the state income tax return, Pate said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley was the top vote-getter on Iowa\u2019s Nov. 8 ballot with 926,007 to Democratic challenger Patty Judge\u2019s 549,460. Incumbent Reps. Rod Blum, R-Dubuque; David Loebsack, D-Iowa City; David Young, R-Van Meter; and Steve King, R-Kiron; also were certified as winners in their respective congressional races.

Monday\u2019s canvass also certified winners in 25 state Senate races and 100 House contests that positioned Republicans with majorities of 59 representatives and 29 senators with an open Senate seat in Davenport to be decided later this month. Also, more than 60 judges on the ballot won retention although the number of ballots cast was only about a third of the total turnout, Pate told the Board of Canvass.

Turnout in four Iowa counties topped 80 percent: Harrison, 87.91 percent; Sioux 83.57 percent; Ringgold, 82.99 percent; and Fayette, 80.81 percent.

\u201cWe had a great team effort. We feel really good about what happened,\u201d Branstad said of GOP victories up and down the ballot. \u201cI continue to think the future looks very encouraging for us with the quality of the people that were elected and their age.\u201d

During his news conference, Branstad contended the 2016 election outcome indicated the Democratic Party is \u201cnow the party of wealth and privilege, not us,\u201d while Republicans represent the working class \u2014 statements that drew immediate challenges from Ben Foecke, executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party.

\u201cGov. Branstad's claim that the Democratic Party is now the party of wealth and privilege and the Republican Party represents the working class reminds me of that time when Donald Trump said \u2018nobody respects women more than me.\u2019 Everybody knows it's not true,\u201d Foecke said in a statement.

\"Republicans tried to block Democrats' efforts to raise the state's minimum wage. Republicans have repeatedly underfunded public education, raised college tuition rates, and they have fought against Democrats' efforts to preserve collective bargaining rights that allow public employees, including police, fire, and emergency responders to negotiate fair wages, benefits and workplace safety,\u201d he added.

\"The truth is that Branstad and his Republican-controlled Legislature's first priorities in 2017 will be passing tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, writing legislation that weakens public employee organizations, and cutting funding to Iowa's public schools,\u201d Foecke said.

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