What's on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread. I've been catching up on some former state lawmakers, legislative candidates, and government officials.
As you may recall, Jeff Boeyink resigned this fall as Governor Terry Branstad's Chief of Staff for a position with a lobbying firm. About ten days ago, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board released an opinion at Boeyink's request on how he can be involved in "government affairs" while Iowa's two-year ban on former officials' lobbying is in effect. More details on that opinion are after the jump.
After interviewing six candidates for a vacant seat on the Clive City Council, the remaining council members voted 4-0 to appoint Susan Judkins to the position. Judkins has lived in Clive since 2006. She was the Democratic nominee in Iowa House district 43 in 2012, losing to State Representative Chris Hagenow by just 23 votes. To my knowledge, no Democrat has announced plans yet to run against Hagenow in 2014.
Former Republican State Representative Renee Schulte lost her seat in 2012 to Art Staed, the Democrat she had defeated in 2008. Schulte is now consulting with the Iowa Department of Human Services on mental health reform. What was originally a six-month contract has been extended until the end of this year. Schulte recently ruled out running for Congress in the open first district.
Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, unofficially known as "Half-Term" or "The Quitter," was just in Des Moines for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's fall fundraiser in Des Moines. Another Tea Party favorite, U.S. Senator Mike Lee of Utah, was a featured speaker. O.Kay Henderson posted the audio and highlights from Palin's and Lee's speeches at Radio Iowa. Throwback Phyllis Schlafly was honored at the Faith and Freedom Coalition event. How many Bleeding Heartland readers are old enough to remember Schlafly in her heyday, railing against the Equal Rights Amendment?
From the Quad-City Times report of October 31:
Under Iowa law, some former employees of statewide elected officials may not lobby for or against legislation, an administrative rule or executive order before their former agency. That ban lasts for two years after they leave their state job.
An opinion approved by the board said Boeyink must live by that rule but can perform other duties, such as setting up a meeting between a lobbyist colleague and a staffer for the governor. The opinion says he could also communicate with the governor's office on items that are not in those categories, such as assisting a client with a proposal to a state agency. The opinion also says that Boeyink could lobby agency heads with whom he had "intermittent, brief, occasional, or insubstantial" contact during his time in the governor's office.