The Civic Skinny article “Odd questions for would-be judges” (Aug. 29) provides further evidence of Gov. Branstad’s deliberate agenda to fill Iowa boards and commissions with the most hyper-partisan, extremist and narrow-minded political operatives. The Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission and its members have had a nationally respected record in choosing the most qualified judges to serve in Iowa. The reputation of that commission is in jeopardy as Branstad pursues his drive to appoint from a small, select group that represents the most extremist, partisan and personally biased people lacking in professional legal qualifications.

A similar example was in evidence last week as his appointments to the Iowa Medical Board asked equally bizarre and medically irrelevant questions while deciding on a women’s right to choose to use Telemedicine. Branstad is rewarding these very small politically vocal extremist ideologues by appointing them to boards and commissions established to represent all Iowa viewpoints in a balanced and fair review of facts. Many members of these groups advocate without compromise positions that oppose woman’s rights, diversity, science and seeking common ground. Remember when the legislature was forced to intercede and reject his two nominations to the Board of Regents after issues of equality and academic freedom were raised.

Iowa deserves a governor that represents all Iowans, fights for common sense solutions and rejects partisan political motivations. Iowans must demand all his future appointments represent a broad spectrum of Iowans with the necessary credentials to safeguard this state’s sterling reputation for civic oversight.

Rick Smith

–Urbandale