Progress Iowa is demanding that public records be released to uncover the extent to which right wing organizations and corporations influenced Iowa’s legislative process this year.
We made our requests earlier today, following claims made last week by Heritage Action, an out of state, conservative group, that they “worked quietly” with the Iowa state legislature to pass a voter suppression law earlier this year.
We are requesting that the top legislators involved in crafting Senate File 413 (SF413), legislative leaders, the Governor’s Office, Secretary of State’s Office, and staff at the Legislative Services Agency release email communications with a number of people affiliated with the group Heritage Action, in addition to other lobbyists and notable conservatives.
“Iowans deserve to know the truth, plain and simple,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “We’ve seen the claims, heard the denials, and now it’s time for the proof. Our voting rights were gutted this year, with Bobby Kaufmann, Roby Smith, Paul Pate, and Kim Reynolds all playing a part. But who was pulling the strings behind the scenes? It’s bad enough that they worked to take away our rights. Now we find out that they may have worked with shadowy groups to circumvent our democratic process. If our elected officials hide the truth, we can only expect out-of-state groups to take this as an invitation to corrupt Iowa’s legislative process even further. Our elected officials should be working for Iowans first.”
After Heritage Action’s initial claims, Rep. Bobby Kaufmann and Sen. Roby Smith denied that they had any contact with the organization. There is an ongoing inquiry being conducted by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board into the matter, and ethics complaints were filed by Iowa House Democrats this week as well.
In addition to the Office of the Governor, the Secretary of State’s office, and the Legislative Services Agency, Progress Iowa submitted requests earlier this morning to Representatives Bobby Kaufmann, Pat Grassley, John Wills, and Matt Windschitl, as well as Senators Roby Smith, Jack Whitver, Brad Zaun, and Jake Chapman. Iowa code states that a good faith effort in responding to a request shall not ordinarily exceed ten business days.