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The Commissioner and politics…..Clients need to understand that "elections have consequences."  In 2011 we are seeing that prove true in many areas including workers' compensation cases.  In the last election the voters of Iowa bought into the "Tea Party" philosophy and voted out democratic majorities in the legislature and voted out the democratic governor.  In large part the defeat of the democrats was driven by the ongoing economic problems at the time of the election.One consequence of the republican victory for the Governor’s office is that the new governor gets to pick his own team to head the various agencies.  The division of Worker's Compensation is not such an agency.  The Commissioner of the work comp division serves a full six-year term specifically to avoid the influence of politics in the selection process.  But politics is a rough-and-tumble game and the current Republican governor is trying to force out Commissioner Chris Godfrey.  So far the governor has not provided any good reasons to remove the Commissioner which leaves everyone speculating that only bad reasons are behind the move to oust the current Commissioner.  Because the governor can't actually replace the current Commissioner he instead cut the salary of the Commissioner by more than $36,000 and is trying to starve him out. Commissioner Godfrey has been even-handed in his official activity during his years as Commissioner.  The Iowa Association of Business and Industry does not object to him.  Likewise, the legislature in Iowa has unanimously confirmed him in the past.  He also received top marks in the review performed by the state government.  This makes no difference to our governor.  He has an agenda and he's going to carry it out to the fullest degree.So if you are reading this, and you have a workers' compensation case in this state, think twice the next time you walk into the voting booth.  On the other hand, if your only goal is to weaken the rights of injured workers then … Congratulations!

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Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.

Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.
1415 Grand Ave.
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Phone: 515-421-8825
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