The governor’s Tahoe has once again become entangled in velocity-based malfeasance.
Branstad’s SUV was pulled over for speeding at 11:34 a.m. on Aug. 27 on Highway 3 in Franklin County, just west of Hampton. Chief Franklin County Deputy Linn Larson gave Trooper Darren Argabright a written warning, but not a citation.
“The vehicle was given a warning because it met the criteria what a warning for anyone else was,” Franklin County Sheriff Larry Richtsmeier said. “If he (Argabright) had been one more mile up, he’d have got the ticket. That’s the way this officer is, he don’t care who you are.”
Larson did not know the SUV was carrying Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who attended events in Webster City, Clarion, Hampton and Lime Springs that day. The stop happened between a 10 a.m. town hall meeting in Clarion and a noon town hall in Hampton.
Hey, at least it wasn’t a “hard 90,” this time. Usually, warnings go for less than 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit. No speed was noted on the warning.
So the governor’s SUV was tooling through my old neck of the woods. Years ago, I got stopped for speeding on a county road very near that stretch of Highway 3. I also was let go with a warning. And Linn Larson used to be the police chief in my hometown. Small world.
Anyhoo, this isn’t great news for Branstad, who was probably really, really hoping that all this speeding nonsense was behind him with an election year approaching fast. Like a Tahoe with the hammer down. Now, he gets a bunch more stories recounting that fateful incident back in April, when Branstad’s vehicle was clocked at 84 in a 65-zone but wasn’t stopped. The mess that followed left some dents in the governor’s image.
In July, the governor said he didn’t want anything like that to happen again. Imagine what he was thinking when the flashing lights popped on in Franklin County. Or maybe he was too busy working in the back seat to pay attention, again.
And then, politics. Democratic candidate for governor Tyler Olson swiftly sent out a statement today:
“Governor Branstad is in a big hurry when it’s time to look out for his political career and he continues to think he is above the law, but when it comes to leading Iowa forward and keeping his promise of creating 200,000 new jobs, he’s in no hurry at all.”
OK, as someone who writes for a living, I feel the need to say this is not good. We’ve got a run-on sentence with way too many clauses in a clear English zone. Don’t worry Rep. Olson, I’ll let you go with a warning.