A spokesman for the Iowa Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about an effort to limit campaign contributions to Iowa’s elected officials. House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bill would ban lobbyist contributions to state legislators year-round.
Current law bans them during the legislative session. Marty Ryan of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union says the bill is obviously unconstitutional. "There’s all kinds of alternatives, you know, have fundraisers in your own district; don’t shake us down; et cetera," Ryan says. "But we have the right to contribute to any campaign in this state. Period."
Ryan suggests a better alternative would be immediate public disclosure of campaign contributions to candidates. "Let the public discern for themselves whether or not there’s some shenanigans going on," Ryan says. A representative with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board also warned of court challenges if the bill becomes law.