Paul Pate officially discloses more side businesses

Secretary of State Paul Pate amended his personal financial disclosure form on April 30 to add several previously unlisted businesses in the Cedar Rapids area. In a statement enclosed in full below, Pate said he decided to list “all of my business ventures” because “I believe transparency is a necessary component of good government.”

He asserted that his initial filing complied with Iowa law, noting that Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board executive director Megan Tooker said Pate need not provide more detail about companies that bought or developed commercial property during 2017.

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Ethics board gives Iowa officials green light to conceal side businesses

Secretary of State Paul Pate failed to list two companies he controls on his latest personal financial disclosure form, Ryan Foley reported for the Associated Press on April 17.

Instead of instructing Pate to correct his filing, Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board executive director Megan Tooker gave the incomplete form her blessing. She further suggested it would be unfair for her to require more detail from Pate after receiving a “media inquiry.”

Tooker and longtime board chair James Albert just gave every state official reason to believe they will be in the clear, even if watchdogs uncover material omissions on their personal disclosures.

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IA-01: Bad news piling up for Rod Blum

Iowa’s most endangered U.S. House incumbent and some of his high-profile policy positions remain unpopular among voters in the first Congressional district, according to a new survey. Two-term Representative Rod Blum has trailed named challengers in Democratic polls taken before news broke about his shady internet company.

Adding to the incumbent’s troubles, many competitive Iowa House races will take place within the 20 counties that make up IA-01. Recent special legislative elections suggest that GOTV campaigns for down-ballot candidates could drive Democratic turnout significantly higher than the level seen in 2014, when Blum was first elected.

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Six questions Reynolds must answer about fired Iowa agency director

Governor Kim Reynolds fired Dave Jamison as Iowa Finance Authority director “effective immediately” this weekend, due to “credible allegations of sexual harassment.” Communications director Brenna Smith “declined to provide more details about the allegations” than what appeared in the official announcement, William Petroski reported for the Des Moines Register.

“I’m sorry, but to protect the privacy of IFA’s remaining employees, no further comment will be made,” Smith said in an email.

That won’t cut it.

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Shady internet company still mentions fake clients, but not Rod Blum

Dubuque-based Tin Moon still promotes its work on behalf of 11,000 website clients it doesn’t have and “success stories” that did not involve the firm’s customers, if they happened at all.

But the company selling search engine optimization and reputation management services “recently removed any mention” of U.S. Representative Rod Blum from its website, the AP’s Ryan Foley reported today.

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