Iowa ALEC Politicians

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About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

This is a list of Iowa ALEC Politicians -- Iowa state legislators who are known to be involved in, or previously involved in, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). For a broader list of politicians with known ALEC ties, please see ALEC Politicians. Legislators who have cut ties with ALEC publicly are also listed here.

According to a March 2013 report by Progress Iowa:

"In the Iowa State Senate, ALEC membership is voluntary, and each Senator has to proactively pay his or her own dues. However, during the 2011-2012 general assembly, the House of Representatives, under Republican leadership, made the decision to sign up every Representative as an ALEC member, paying their dues with tax dollars. . . . At the beginning of the 2013-2014 general assembly, House Democrats decided to pre-emptively "opt out" of ALEC membership, and sent [a] . . . communication . . . to the Chief Clerk of the House. They received no response, and have not been informed whether their caucus members have joined ALEC against their will[.]"[1]

Please see the report "ALEC Exposed in Iowa" for more information.

ALEC's August 2013 board documents made public by The Guardian in December 2013 listed all members of the Iowa House of Representatives as members of ALEC despite the Democratic members' January 2013 communication. In response, Iowa House Democratic Leader Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown) sent a letter to ALEC in January 2014 saying in part, "ALEC is self-described as a 'voluntary membership organization of state legislators.' As we made clear to the Chief Clerk of the Iowa House on the opening day of session January 14, 2013, no House Democrats have applied to ALEC for membership nor do any of us wish to become members of ALEC. Since none of us have become a 'voluntary member,' I am concerned about how we came to be listed as members." Rep. Smith asked ALEC Executive Director Ron Scheberle to remove the names of Iowa House Democrats from the ALEC membership list, identify who paid their membership dues, and explain why payment of ALEC dues can be made on behalf of a legislator without the legislator’s knowledge or consent.[2]

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, for his part, responded in a statement saying, "No Democratic member of the Iowa Senate is a member of ALEC. ALEC's claims about all Iowa legislators being members of their organization are deceptive and deceitful."[3]

In response to Rep. Smith's letter, ALEC Executive Director Ron Scheberle provided a letter to The Des Moines Register, saying that the Legislative Services Agency -- the Legislature's nonpartisan administrative office -- pays ALEC dues on behalf of the entire General Assembly. But in an email to the paper, Secretary of the Senate Mike Marshall said that the Legislative Services Agency hadn't paid for any ALEC memberships in more than three years, and when it did in 2011, it had only done so on behalf of 64 House members (and no Senators). The Senate, according to Sen. Marshall, stopped participating in ALEC as a chamber in 2009.[4]

In a statement, Rep. Smith called Scheberle's response letter "just the latest in a pattern of misinformation" but "no surprise from a special interest group with no accountability beyond its corporate funders."[5]

Below is a partial list of Iowa state representatives that are known to be involved, or previously involved, specifically in ALEC task forces, as well as a list of Iowa state senators that are now to be involved in, or previously involved in, ALEC more generally. It is a partial list. (If you have additional names, please add them with a citation. The names in this original list were verified as of posting.)

Iowa Legislators with ALEC Ties

Prominent ALEC Alumni Still in Public Office

House of Representatives

  • Rep. Terry Baxter (R-08), paid 2-year ALEC membership fee on October 14, 2014[9]
  • Rep. Mark Cisneros (R-91) attended ALEC's 2020 States and Nation Policy Summit where he participated in "Workshop: New Education Polling Data with EdChoice," "Workshop: State Budget Reform Toolkit: Policy Best Practices to Help Legislators Navigate the Fiscal Uncertainty of COVID-19," "Workshop: Against Critical Theory’s Onslaught: Reclaiming Education and the American Dream," "CARE Constituent Management Training," "ALEC CONNECT Training"
  • Rep. Dave Deyoe (R-49),[10][11] Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Alternate[12]
  • Rep. John Landon (R-31)[13]
  • Rep. Charlie McClintock (R-95) attended ALEC's 2020 States and Nation Policy Summit where he participated in "Workshop: State Budget Reform Toolkit: Policy Best Practices to Help Legislators Navigate the Fiscal Uncertainty of COVID-19,"
  • Rep. Philip Thompson (R-47)[14]
  • Rep. Skyler Wheeler (R-4)[14]
  • Rep. John Wills (R-1) State Chair; attended 2020 ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit where he participated in the "Federalism and International Relations Subcommittee Meeting," "Energy, Environment and Agriculture Subcommittee Meeting," "State Chair Meeting," "Workshop: New Education Polling Data with EdChoice" "Workshop: Reducing Red Tape: Lessons Learned from Successful State Strategies," "Workshop: Post-Election Panel: The Future of Energy and Environmental Policy,"Rural Caucus Meeting," "Workshop: State Budget Reform Toolkit: Policy Best Practices to Help Legislators Navigate the Fiscal Uncertainty of COVID-19," "Training: Let's Talk about Education and Opportunity with Frank Luntz," "Training: TPUSA: Saving America’s Academic Institutions: One Student Regent at a Time. What They Are, Why They Matter, How You Can Help,"[15] "Workshop: Against Critical Theory’s Onslaught: Reclaiming Education and the American Dream," "Federalism and International Relations Task Force Meeting," "Workshop: Stop the Cancel Culture, Before it Stops You!," "Training: Digital Media: Applying Presidential Strategy To Legislative Races," "Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Meeting"; attended ALEC 2020 Annual Meeting[16][14]

Senate

  • Sen. Jerry Behn (R-24), paid 2-year ALEC membership fee on October 4, 2009[17]
  • Sen. Mark Costello (R-12)[13]
  • Sen. Dennis Guth (R-4), paid 2-year ALEC membership fee on March 12, 2013[18]
  • Sen. Ken Rozenboom (R-40) paid $200 to ALEC on March 12, 2013; it is unclear if payments were for ALEC 2013 spring meeting or for two consecutive 2-year ALEC membership fees[19]
  • Sen. Jason Schultz (R-9), former State Chair
  • Sen. Tom Shipley (R-11)[13]
  • Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-14),[11] paid 2-year ALEC membership fee on November 25, 2016.[20]
  • Sen. Brad Zaun (R-20) paid ALEC $575 on July 31, 2008[21][22]
  • Sen. Dan Zumbach (R-48) paid 2-year ALEC membership fee on March 7, 2013[23]


Former Representatives

Former Senators

References

  1. Progress Iowa, ALEC Exposed in Iowa: How Corporate Influence Subverts Our Democratic Process," organizational report, March 12, 2013.
  2. Iowa House Democrats, Iowa Lawmakers to ALEC: We are not Members, state Democratic legislative caucus news release, January 9, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, Statement from Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, state senate news release, January 9, 2014.
  4. Jason Noble, ALEC's Iowa ties challenged again, The Des Moines Register, January 15, 2014.
  5. Iowa House Democrats, Iowa Lawmakers: No Dues Have Been Paid to ALEC, state legislative caucus press release, January 21, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Leaders in the States, organizational publication, archived by the Wayback Machine on May 13, 2005.
  7. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Federal Relations: ALEC Alumni in U.S. House of Representatives, organizational website, accessed January 2014.
  8. Ernst for State Senate, Schedule B: Expenditures, campaign expenditures, May 19, 2011.
  9. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #2215 Terry Baxter for Iowa House, Check #1028
  10. 10.0 10.1 Nick Surgey ALEC 2019 ANNUAL MEETING ATTENDEE LIST Documented Aug 2019
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 American Legislative Exchange Council, Durbin Response Letter, signatory letter to Senator Richard Durbin, August 8, 2013.
  12. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Membership Directory, December 2010, obtained and released by Common Cause
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named docu
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Nick Surgey docu2019 "Documented", accessed: June 30,2020
  15. David Armiak, "ALEC Working in Partnership with Turning Point USA, Major Player in Capitol Insurrection", Exposed by CMD, January 13, 2021, accessed January 14, 2021.
  16. David Armiak, "ALEC 2020 Annual Meeting Attendees and Sponsors Revealed", Center for Media and Democracy, July 23, 2020, accessed August 10, 2020.
  17. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #1854 Behn for Senate, Check #1121
  18. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #2003 Rozenboom for Senate, Check #1161
  19. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, #1963 Guth for Senate, Check #1204
  20. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #2002 Sinclair for Iowa, Check #1664
  21. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #1521 Zaun for Iowa Senate, Check #1125
  22. Progress Iowa, ALEC Exposed in Iowa: How Corporate Influence Subverts Our Democratic Process," organizational report, March 12, 2013.
  23. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #1972 Dan Zumbach for Senate, Check #1182
  24. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, International Relations Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  25. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Membership Directory, December 2010, obtained and released by Common Cause
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 American Legislative Exchange Council, Letter to Robert C. Byrd and Nancy Pelosi RE: Federal health reform efforts, June 24, 2009
  27. 27.0 27.1 American Legislative Exchange Council, Letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid, RE: the EPA’s plan to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, March 10, 2010
  28. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Membership Directory, December 2010, obtained and released by Common Cause
  29. ALEC Task Force Packet August 2010, Common Cause, August 2010
  30. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Education Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  31. American Legislative Exchange Council, organizational task force membership directory, March 31st, 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
  32. Iowa legislature records
  33. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Education Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  34. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Health and Human Services Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  35. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, International Relations Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  36. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, organizational task force membership directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  37. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011
  38. American Legislative Exchange Council, "ALEC State Chairmen, organization website, accessed April 2012
  39. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Health and Human Services Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  40. Progress Iowa, ALEC Exposed in Iowa: How Corporate Influence Subverts Our Democratic Process," organizational report, March 12, 2013.
  41. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Membership Directory, December 2010, obtained and released by Common Cause
  42. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, organizational task force membership directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  43. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Communications and Technology Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  44. Jason Noble, Iowa Democrat drops membership in conservative legislative advocacy group, DesMoines Register, May 16, 2012
  45. 45.0 45.1 American Legislative Exchange Council, ’99 ALEC Leaders in the States, organizational document, archived by the Wayback Machine December 8, 2000, accessed November 2012
  46. American Legislative Exchange Council, [http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7BFB3C17E2-CDD1-4DF6-92BE-BD4429893665%7D/tax_35-daymailing_stfs2011_updated%20Ohio.pdf – Full Name and Address], Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  47. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, organizational task force membership directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  48. American Legislative Exchange Council, Directory – Full Name and Address, Health and Human Services Task Force Membership Directory, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  49. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Database, Disclosed by #1334 Watts for House, Check #1544
  50. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, $100 payment disclosed by #890 Nancy Boettger for State Senate Committee, Check #1058, paid February 8, 2011.
  51. Progress Iowa, ALEC Exposed in Iowa: How Corporate Influence Subverts Our Democratic Process," organizational report, March 12, 2013.
  52. American Legislative Exchange Council, State Chairs, organizational website, accessed March 25, 2014.
  53. Progress Iowa, ALEC Exposed in Iowa: How Corporate Influence Subverts Our Democratic Process," organizational report, March 12, 2013.
  54. 54.0 54.1 American Legislative Exchange Council, Public Safety & Elections Task Force 2011 Spring Task Force Summit April 29, 2011 Minutes, organizational document, June 30, 2011, p. 5, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
  55. American Legislative Exchange Council, Sourcebook, annual organizational publication, 1995
  56. American Legislative Exchange Council, Letter to Google, organizational letter with legislative member signatories, September 24, 2014.
  57. organizational member spreadsheet, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause
  58. organizational member spreadsheet, August 2011, obtained and released by Common Cause