Republican legislative leaders have hired a Des Moines law firm to pursue their case against Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack. The G-O-P questions whether Vilsack had the authority to use his item veto power to take tax cuts and regulatory reforms out of an economic stimulus package. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, says the legislators hired attorney Richard J. Sapp because his law firm had already researched the state’s possible suit against the governor. They chose the firm to investigate and then report back, presenting lawmakers with their research and the prospects of the case. Once that information-gathering is complete, Rants says G-O-P lawmakers will decide whether to move forward with the suit. Some democrats have argued against the suit because no matter how it goes, taxpayers will pay the cost, and some even suggested a law firm might take the case for free. But Rants says Sapp’s firm will be paid. Rants says there have been serious conversations about cost and nobody stepped forward and offered to take cases for free, as he notes even the attorney general doesn’t work that way. Governor Vilsack signed a bill containing a 500-million-dollar economic-development fund after he’d used his line-item veto to strike out republican priorities including tax cuts and regulatory reforms for business. Attorney Sapp works at the law firm of Nyemaster, Goode, Voights, West, Hansell and O’Brien.
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