Debi Durham

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Double D: Iowa Gov-elect Terry Branstad officially announced Debi Durham as the new head of the Iowa Department of Economic Development during a news conference at his former campaign headquarters (is it to soon to call it “former”?) Here are a few items we heard from Durham:

Durham said Branstad offered the job a few weeks ago. She said she had a tough decision figuring out what to do since she has been the President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce for 15 years.

She pulled a Bob Dole. Remember how he use to say, “Bob Dole doesn’t agree with that…”, instead of just saying “I” like most of us do? Durham said, “Debi Durham cannot create 200,000 jobs. But Debi Durham in partnership with the economic development professionals around this state…”

She said the key word in the new name (which has the catchy name of “Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress”) for the new organization is partnership, “because that is what it is about”.

Branstad said of his selection of Durham, “I looked all over the state of Iowa…you might even say all over the country for the person I thought was the right person.”

Durham said there is “not a perfect model” for the public-private partnership she and Branstad want to create, so she plans to create one in Iowa.

Durham said she talked with Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal Monday night about issues of transparency with the new organization. She said “if it involves public funds, it will be transparent”. The media will undoubtedly have plenty of questions about this as it gets going.

Durham didn’t say when she would quit her current job but plans to start working both jobs for a while.

Finally, Durham, I don’t believe, is responsible for this video (I think it was the Sioux City RAGBRAI committee). But we can still enjoy it again…

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