Iowa Executive Branch launches investigation into Heritage Foundation allegations

Senate Democratic Leader calls on Sen. Roby Smith to cooperate with investigation

“The claims made recently by Heritage Action about their role in secretly pushing voter suppression legislation in Iowa and other states are disturbing. The allegations by Heritage Action are that they secretly wrote and lobbied for harmful legislation that Iowa legislators are claiming they authored.

“Iowa is the first state that we got to work in, and we did it quickly and we did it quietly,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action, said during a recent meeting with supporters in Arizona. “We helped draft the bills. … Honestly, nobody even noticed. My team looked at each other, and we’re like, ‘it can’t be that easy.’”

“It is good news that the Executive Director of the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board has opened an investigation into these allegations. Specifically, Executive Director Mike Marshall has requested that Jessica Anderson provide the Board with any contacts that she or other Heritage Action representatives made in Iowa. Marshall has also asked the office of Gov. Kim Reynolds to search its records for any such interactions, according to the Associated Press.

“Today, I am calling on Senator Roby Smith, Chair of the Senate’s State Government Committee, to cooperate with the investigation by the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board. If asked, Sen. Smith should turn over any records of contacts with anyone affiliated with Heritage Action, including emails, letters, messaging memos and phone records.

“Iowans deserve to know the facts about this case and whether any laws or rules have been broken.”