A group that seeks reform of the state’s campaign financing laws has released an analysis of political contributions to the Iowa legislature’s top leaders. Joan Lucas, chair of “Money and Politics” or MAP Iowa, reviewed contributions from lobbyists and groups that have an interest in bills that’re pending in tomorrow’s special legislative session. Lucas says she thinks it’s important to know where the campaign contributions are coming from, and which politicians are receiving the money.Lucas says there’s a “huge amount of money involved” and “even the appearance of undue influence needs to be avoided.” Lucas reviewed lobbyist declaration forms and political action committee disclosure reports. Lucas is demanding that lobbyists working for or against the bills to be debated tomorrow fill out the disclosure forms that’re required during a regular session.Lucas says legislators will be making extremely important decisions, and Iowans need to keep track of what’s going on by listening to the radio, reading the newspaper and watching television.Lucas reviewed contributions to the top four Republicans in the legislature, as well as the republicans who head the House and Senate tax-writing and appropriations committees. She also reviewed contributions to the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate although Republicans, not Democrats control the debate agenda in the legislature. Ironically, she found “Taxpayers United” — the PAC that opposes both the huge new state economic development fund proposed as well as the income tax reform Republicans have crafted — contributed 58-thousand dollars to the top legislative leaders. That was the most of any single PAC.
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