It’s Branstad’s branch. We’re all just governed by it.

These folks think they own the joint.

Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration signed off on two-dozen confidential settlements with departing state employees, including at least a couple with extra bucks offered in exchange for silence. No one authorized state agencies to spend the roughly $500,000 those settlements cost, potentially including federal dollars.

Department heads also reclassified 300 state workers to make it easier to can them. Some who have been fired were added to a do-not-rehire-ever list, even though the list has been declared legally dubious.

The administration laid off employees who oversaw tens of millions of dollars in construction projects and handed that oversight to a handful of private firms. But the guy who ran the Iowa Veterans Home kept his job long after the governor’s office was reportedly presented with troubling testimony from staffers who reported intimidation and harassment.

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