A special investigation by the State Auditor’s office asserted on June 3 that Governor Kim Reynolds violated Iowa law by using $152,585 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to purchase “online and televised ads containing the Governor’s voice, image, and name.”
Less than 30 minutes after the auditor’s report was published, Reynolds responded in a news release that the law “clearly allows” such use of public money in the context of a public health disaster emergency.
A few hours later, State Auditor Rob Sand defended his conclusions in a new written statement.
My non-lawyer’s reading of the relevant statutes aligns with the governor’s interpretation. But while legal points could be argued, one indisputable fact is that all parties involved should have discussed these findings prior to the report’s publication, instead of duking it out in news releases today.