Iowa Judicial Building

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling in a campaign finance issue involving the governor.

Attorney Gary Dickey filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Board that Governor Kim Reynolds underreported the value of a flight on a corporate jet to watch Iowa State play in the Liberty Bowl in 2017.

The jet was owned by Sedgwick Claims Management Services — a Memphis-based company that does business with the state, administering workers’ compensation claims filed by injured state employees. Sedgwick  President and CEO, David North, paid for the flight by reimbursing the company for the cost of the private jet service provided.

While in Memphis, the Governor conducted some campaign activities, and the campaign finance report listed the flight as a donation at a cost of $2,880.  Dickey claimed the cost of the flight could have been from “$4,580 on the low end to $8,458 on the high-end.

The Campaign Finance Board dismissed the complaint, saying they found no violations in the reporting. Two lower court rulings then found Dickey had no standing to seek judicial review of the decision.

The Iowa Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts — saying an administrative decision that the cost of the flight was underreported might result in some adverse publicity for the governor — but it says the courts exist to hear claims brought by injured parties — and “Dickey is not injured. ”

Justice Brent Appel wrote a dissent saying: “I conclude that the best interpretation of the statute is that it establishes a statutory right to disclosure of accurate information and that when inaccurate information is allegedly provided and the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board takes no action, the statutory right may be enforced by Dickey or any other complainant under the Iowa Administrative Procedures Act.”

Here’s the ruling: Supreme Court Dickey ruling PDF