The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board gave advance approval of Governor Kim Reynolds’ plan to deliver a nationally-televised speech on behalf of Republicans from state government property.
Reynolds delivered the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address from the terrace of the State Historical Building in downtown Des Moines. That part of the facility has been closed to the public all year due to renovations.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs did not charge the governor’s office for the space, which previously cost thousands of dollars to rent. However, documents Bleeding Heartland obtained through public records requests show the Kim Reynolds for Iowa campaign and the CNN television network covered some other costs associated with the State of the Union response.
Iowa law prohibits “the expenditure of public moneys for political purposes.” But a few days before the March 1 speech, the ethics board’s executive director Zach Goodrich assured the governor’s senior legal counsel that based on his understanding of the facts, Reynolds “would not be in violation” of that code section if she spoke from the State Historical Building.Continue Reading...