Saturday, February 5, 2011

Clerk says she was fired for views on justices; Republican lawmaker says that’s not true

A Statehouse clerk for a Republican lawmaker says she was fired after posting Facebook messages about keeping politics out of the judicial system, according to the Iowa State Daily student newspaper.
Jessica Bruning told the newspaper she lost her job as a clerk for state Rep. Renee Schulte, R-Cedar Rapids, a lawmaker who was one of 56 House Republicans to sponsor a resolution to amend the state constitution to give Iowans a chance to vote to ban gay marriage.
Two weeks ago, Schulte gave The Des Moines Register a brief statement about Bruning’s assertion, deferring additional questions to House Republican leadership.
“The short answer is no,” she was not fired for supporting same-sex marriage rights, Schulte told the Register. “Basically she’s an at-will employee. It could be for any reason. It makes me sad that she thinks that that’s why.”
Bruning, who worked for the Terry Branstad-Kim Reynolds campaign, said she was not told during training for her clerk job that she had to keep her political opinions to herself.
She said she shared information on Facebook about Justice Not Politics, a bipartisan group that to advocated retention of Iowa Supreme Court justices who wrote a decision that legalized gay marriage in 2009.
Bruning pointed out that other prominent Republicans shared her viewpoint, including Republican Joy Corning, who served as Branstad’s lieutenant governor during his first go-round as governor, and Republican Gov. Bob Ray.