Reynolds tried to put one too many Republicans on powerful state board

Governor Kim Reynolds will withdraw one of her latest nominees for a state regulatory body after “a mistake was made” that would have upset the partisan balance Iowa law requires.

David Barker of Iowa City was among 230 appointees to state boards and commissions the governor’s office announced on March 1. Reynolds tapped him for the Health Facilities Council, from which Roger Thomas stepped down in January. The former state legislator had been the only Democrat on the council, which reviews Certificate of Need applications from health care providers seeking to offer or develop new services or purchase any medical equipment worth more than $1.5 million. Three of the four remaining Health Facilities Council members are registered Republicans.

Barker’s resume notes that the apartment building owner is on the Trump Pence Small Business Advisory Council and was an alternate delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He joined Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer at the White House last month, when the president unveiled an infrastructure plan.

Barker’s donation history shows tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Republican candidates, including Reynolds, former Governor Terry Branstad, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix. He gave the Reynolds campaign $10,000 in 2016 and $15,815.30 in 2017, which included two checks for $5,000 and the use of his airplane as an in-kind gift.

Iowa law mandates partisan balance on appointed state government bodies. Since members of one political party may not hold more than three positions on a five-member board, I sought comment on the legal basis for appointing Barker to the Health Facilities Council. Apparently others noticed the same problem; Brenna Smith responded on behalf of the governor’s office today, “Due to an error, a mistake was made on this appointment. Mr. Barker’s name is being withdrawn, and the governor will appoint a new person for this vacant position in the future.”

I have asked the Iowa Department of Public Health whether anyone from that agency informed the governor’s office that Reynolds needed to find a Democrat for the Health Facilities Council vacancy. I’ll update this post as needed. Regardless, someone on the governor’s staff should have checked before clearing Barker for this position. UPDATE: A department representative replied on March 5, “The Iowa Department of Public Health is not involved in the selection of council members nor do we take a position on whom is selected.”

I enclose below the other nominations announced this week. All require Iowa Senate confirmation, which is almost always unanimous or nearly so. No names on the list struck me as particularly controversial.

Branstad usually appointed a few former state lawmakers to government boards every year, and Reynolds has followed suit. She gave former GOP State Senator John Putney another term on the Iowa Transportation Commission and added former House Speaker Kraig Paulsen to that body. (Before landing a cushy job at Iowa State University, Paulsen worked for a Cedar Rapids-based trucking company for many years.) Reynolds also reappointed former GOP State Representative Mike May to the state Board of Education and nominated former House Republican Josh Byrnes for that board too.

UPDATE: Speaking by phone on March 3, Barker said an acquaintance in Des Moines had encouraged him to apply for the position on the Health Facilities Council after learning of the vacancy. Although he hasn’t worked in the health care field, he has studied the economics of the sector and has co-authored an article in the refereed journal Health Economics. Barker applied online and got a call back later from someone in the governor’s office. No one brought up the matter of his party affiliation until March 2, he told me, and no one ever suggested switching his registration shortly before the appointment was announced (a tactic sometimes used during past administrations to get around Iowa’s partisan balance requirement). “I think it was just a mix-up that they hadn’t put it together that my party registration didn’t work.”

March 1 press release from the governor’s office:

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced appointments on Thursday to fill Iowa’s boards and commissions.

The following appointees begin their terms on May 1, 2018, and are subject to Senate confirmation:

Alcoholic Beverages Commission, Administrator

Steve Larson, Polk City

State Racing and Gaming Commission, Administrator

Brian Ohorilko, Altoona

Accountancy Examining Board

Lesley Bartholomew, Sioux City

Rudolfo Reyes, Johnston

Robert Snodgrass, Creston

Commission on the Status of African Americans

Kenneth Morris, Jr., Cedar Rapids

Veronica Sutton, Dubuque

Agricultural Development Board

Mark Leonard, Holstein

Alcoholic Beverages Commission

Jason Wilson, Johnston

Architectural Examining Board

Linda Alfson Schemmel, West Des Moines

Scott Hatfield, West Des Moines

Anna Harmon, Everly

Commission of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs

Suresh Basnet, Cedar Rapids

Ritu Gurung, Davenport

Karlai Thornburg, Ames

Michelle Yoshimura-Smith, Des Moines

Board of Athletic Training

Brenda Easter, Indianola

Andrew Peterson, Iowa City

Audra Ramsey, Urbandale

Lisa Woodroffe, Iowa City

Iowa Autism Council

Jane Brown, Des Moines

Erika Hertel, Homestead

Evelyn Horton, Pleasant Hill

Jenny Phan, Ankeny

Caleb Primrose, Des Moines

Board of Barbering

Rebecca Brockman, Waterloo

Maureen Hardy, Hartley

Scott Sales, Pella

Board of Behavioral Science

Kevin Allemagne, Johnston

Amy Crow Sunleaf, Dubuque

Wade Leuwerke, Indianola

Commission for the Blind

Sandra Ryan, Ames

Boiler and Pressure Vessel Board

Frank Ballantini, Ankeny

Thomas Dye, Norwalk

Lynne Rush, Victor

Child Advocacy Board

Mark Hargrafen, Grimes

Beth Myers, Garner

William Owens, Ottumwa

Michael Steele, Mt. Pleasant

Board of Chiropractic

Aaron Martin, Polk City

Stephanie Netolicky, Ankeny

Randall Stange, Orange City

City Development Board

Chris McKee, Gilmore City

Dennis Plautz, Fort Dodge

Commission on Community Action Agencies

Kelly Busch, Creston

Anna Hilpipre, Brooklyn

Leland Shipley, Nodaway

Board of Corrections

Mary Chapman, Des Moines

Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences

Don Nguyen, Des Moines

Credit Union Review Board

Dave Cale, Johnston

Timothy Marcsisak, Atlantic

Becky Zemlicka, Waukee

Criminal & Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council

Tiffany Allison, Des Moines

Tammy Bramley, Ute

Joel Greer, Marshalltown

Pam Kracht, Urbandale

Cody Samec, Des Moines

Tony Thompson, Waterloo

Tom Walton, Waukee

Board of Dentistry

Lori Elmitt, Johnston

William McBride, Dubuque

Nancy Slach, West Branch

Board of Dietetics

Steven Kury, Ankeny

Brian Smith, Des Moines

Iowa Drug Policy Advisory Council

Matthew Harkin, Norwalk

Jason Sandholdt, Knoxville

Early Childhood Iowa State Board

Kathryn Dorsey, North Liberty

Sigrid Lane, Waterloo

Angela Lensch, Glidden

Katie Lott, Ames

Barbara Merrill, Johnston

Mary Petersen, Harlan

Brook Rosenberg, Des Moines

Jean Statlander, Manning

Frank Varvaris, Cedar Rapids

Economic Development Authority

Linda Crookham-Hansen, Oskaloosa

Mark Kittrell, Cedar Falls

Bruce Lehrman, Cedar Rapids

Christian Murray, Ankeny

Emily Schmitt, Clear Lake

State Board of Education

Joshua Byrnes, Osage

William “Mike” May, Spirit Lake

Kimberly Wayne, Des Moines

Board of Educational Examiners

Kathy Behrens, Carroll

Sara Yedlik, Vinton

Electrical Examining Board

Todd Cash, Mason City

Penny Clark, New Virginia

Tammy Cooper, Des Moines

Tim Gerald, Des Moines

Robert Hendricks, Winterset

Elevator Safety Board

Justin Carleton, Ankeny

Craig Clabaugh, Urbandale

Peggy VandenBerg, Albia

Employment Appeals Board

Ashley Koopmans, Waukee

Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board

Laura Sievers, Rock Rapids

Lisa VanDenBerg, Johnston

Enhance Iowa Board

Jacquelyn Arthur, Mason City

Doug Boone, Sioux Center

John Burns, Council Bluffs

Kyle Carter, Davenport

Emily Damman, Indianola

Patrick Deignan, Cedar Rapids

Environmental Protection Commission

Harold Hommes, Windsor Heights

Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

Elaine Olson, Bettendorf

Flood Mitigation Board

Lorraine Glover, Waterloo

John Torbert, West Des Moines

Iowa Great Places Advisory Board

Kerrie Kuiper, Lehigh

Gayle Redman, Gowrie

Trevor Toft, Denison

Donald Zuck, Ankeny

Health Facilities Council

David Barker, Iowa City

Healthy and Well Kids In Iowa Board (HAWK-I)

Jonathan Crosbie, Des Moines

Ronda Eick, Waterloo

Board of Hearing Aid Specialists

Molly Parker, Bettendorf

Tricia Veik, Urbandale

Higher Education Loan Authority

Annette Shaw, Polk City

Council on Human Services

Robert Brownell, Des Moines

Interior Design Examining Board

Rebecca Jourdan, Moline, IL

Jay Reyhons, Ankeny

Ben Snyder, North Liberty

Lori Wiles, Swisher

Investment Board of IPERS

Michael Warmuth, Adel

State Judicial Nomination Commission

John Bloom, West Des Moines

Kathy Pearson, Cedar Rapids

Landscape Architectural Examining Board

Nathan Borland, Clive

John Micka, Waukee

Emily Naylor, Urbandale

Latino Affairs Commission

Marlu Abarca, Des Moines

Lorena Gingerich, West Branch

Junior Jaime, Waukee

Alfonso Perez, Ankeny

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council

Gene Beinke, Clinton

Ricardo Martinez II, Nevada

Iowa Lottery Authority Board of Directors

Sherrae Hanson, West Des Moines

John Quinn, Urbandale

Board of Medicine

Katherine Asjes, Nevada

Philip Bear, West Des Moines

Mary Romanco, Pleasantville

Kyle Ulveling, Carroll

Mental Health and Disability Services Commission

Jody Eaton, Newton

Mary Meyers, Madrid

John Parmeter, Des Moines

Rick Sanders, Nevada

Richard Whitaker, Davenport

Mental Health Risk Pool Board

Rick Larkin, Fort Madison

Andrew Nielsen, Ankeny

Peggy Rice, Dakota City

Shane Walter, Orange City

Board of Mortuary Science

Rebecca Ervin, Urbandale

Seth Williams, Bondurant

Board of Nursing

Kathryn Dolter, Dubuque

Board of Nursing Home Administrators

Eldora Fisk, Mt. Vernon

Jill Barr, Spencer

Michael Moore, Washington

Justin Rash, Ankeny

Charleen Schlepp, Coon Rapids

Board of Optometry

Mark Mentzer, Ely

Monique Root, Urbandale

Board of Parole

Norman Granger, Waukee – Vice-Chair

Kathleen Kooiker, Osceola

Jeff Wright, Ankeny – Chair

Peace Officers Retirement Accident and Disability Systems Trustee

Chris Mayer, Waukee

Commission of Persons with Disabilities

Blake Campbell, Ankeny

Teresa Jorgensen, Waterloo

Michelle Ray-Michalec, Cedar Rapids

Clint Sargent, Missouri Valley

Gary Schriver, Mason City

Beth Wilde, Pleasant Hill

Board of Pharmacy

Jason Hansel, Bettendorf

Edward McKenna, Storm Lake

Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Rachel Judisch, Lake City

Board of Physician Assistants

Cheryl Arnold, Russell

Jolene Kelly, Ames

Penny Osborn, Stratford

Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board

Madison Buttermore, Des Moines

Toni Knight, Ankeny

Board of Podiatry

Kathryn Arndt, Pleasant Hill

Laurie Barr-Cronin, Des Moines

Travis Carlson, Des Moines

Roger Drown, Urbandale

Erin Nelson, Ames

Board of Psychology

Matthew Cooper, West Des Moines

Brandon Davis, Grinnell

Ruth Kunkle, Des Moines

Lisa Streyffeler, Clive

Public Employment Relations Board

Mike Cormack, Des Moines – Chair

Iowa Public Information Board

Emil Giovannetti, Urbandale

Keith Luchtel, Clive

Monica McHugh, Zwingle

Frederick Morain, Jefferson

Suzan Stewart, Sioux City

Racing and Gaming Commission

Penny Gonseth Cheers, Afton

Kristine Kramer, New Hampton

Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board

Tracy Crimmins, Fort Dodge

Dan Fuhrmeister, Iowa City

Mark Kapfer, Bettendorf

Real Estate Commission

James Clingman, Ottumwa

Terrance Duggan, Dubuque

Elizabeth Hansen, Des Moines

Board of Respiratory Care

Samantha Danielson-Jones, Ankeny

Lisa Kingery, Casey

Austin Mouw, Hiawatha

School Budget Review Committee

Gretchen Tegeler, West Des Moines

Board of Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators

Amanda Gallant, Des Moines

Dirk Hillard, Davenport

Megan Johnson, Ames

Scott Johnson, Ames

Board of Social Work

Mark Hillenbrand, West Des Moines

Neil Nelson, Indianola

Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Douglas Leonard, Atlantic

Denise Renaud, Iowa Falls

Justin Rhode, Des Moines

Commission on the Status of Women

Thomas Carnahan, Davenport

Rachelle Hunt Russian, Des Moines

Wendy Musgrave, Johnston

Sherrill Whisenand, Des Moines

Technology Advisory Council

Erin Rollenhagen, Waukee

Telecommunications and Technology Commission

Heather Fransen, Dubuque

Commission on Tobacco Use Prevention and Control

Chad Jensen, Carroll

Transportation Commission

Kraig Paulsen, Kelley

John Putney, Gladbrook

Commission of Veterans Affairs

Richard Goebel, New Vienna

Elizabeth Ledvina, Toledo

Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine

Christine Bean, Marathon

Curtis Youngs, Ames

Iowa Workforce Development Board

Carrie Duncan, New London

Becky Jacobsen, Denison

John Krogman, Atlantic

Rich Kurtenbach, Waterloo

Randy Moore, Davenport

Lynn Schreder, Granger

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