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Republican State Rep. Michael Bergan is no friend to conservatives — at all. In fact, his voting record is pretty startling.

*Voted against protecting women’s sports
*Voted against the bill banning sanctuary cities and counties when it comes to illegal immigration
*Voted against Stand Your Ground legislation
*Voted against the Heartbeat Bill in committee

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Please keep his record in mind as we go…

In Iowa, it is illegal for two people running for the Iowa House to use campaign funds to contribute to the other. So, let’s say Joe and Bob are both running as Republicans for Iowa House. Joe and Bob know they are both strongly pro-life. Joe lives in a district where 80 percent of the voters are Republican. He is going to win the general election without any challenge — perhaps he even runs unchallenged.

Regardless, Joe cannot give any of his campaign funds to Bob’s campaign. It is against the law.

But it is perfectly legal for Joe to give his campaign funds to the Republican Party of Iowa through the House Majority Fund. And it is legal for every Republican to do that, if they want.

And then, the Speaker of the Iowa House decides where all that money gets spent based on which races he believes will be competitive.

And that is totally legal. A-OK. Completely above board.

So, perhaps you are a pro-life person who contributes $100 to your pro-life state representative. But did you know there is a good chance a portion of that $100 ends up going to a Republican who votes against pro-life legislation?

Like a really good chance.

Re-enter Rep. Michael Bergan. Remember his record. Here is a refresher:

*Voted against protecting women’s sports
*Voted against the bill banning sanctuary cities and counties when it comes to illegal immigration
*Voted against Stand Your Ground legislation
*Voted against the Heartbeat Bill in committee

Bergan ran and won in 2016. Since he ran in 2018 and 2020. To be fair, his is a highly competitive seat. He won by nine votes in 2018.

Nine.

Bergan has also benefited from the House Majority Fund through the Republican Party of Iowa. Big time. Bigly.

How much, you ask…

Well, in 2016 the Republican Party of Iowa gave Bergan $278,872.52 for his campaign.

In 2018 the Republican Party of Iowa gave Bergan $181,947.59.

In 2020 the Republican Party of Iowa gave Bergan $587,760.91.

Quick – mental math…

That is a three-election total of $1,048.581.02.

Yes, the Republican Party of Iowa, through the House Majority Fund — which consists of donations from average Iowans to their state representatives — has given Michael Bergan more than one million dollars.

Now, to be fair, Bergan has chipped in $75,895 to the Republican Party of Iowa (House Majority Fund) over the years.

But still, investing just under $76,000 to get back more than $1 million is a pretty good rate of return.

So, conservative Iowans, congrats. The hard-earned money you make and then donate to your Iowa House Republican is being used to save the seat of the only Republican who voted against a bill stating girls’ sports are only for biological girls in Iowa.

This is the opposite of winning. This is literally the definition of beating yourself.

Now, perhaps you are wondering if your Republican State Representative contributes to this House Majority Fund. I’m glad you asked because I went through the work of finding every Republican who is currently in the legislature and adding up how much they each gave to the House Majority Fund.

Ready?

Well, let me make this a bit easier.

According to records on the Iowa Campaign Ethics & Disclosure Board, Martin Graber and Eddie Andrews are the only Republicans who did not contribute to the Republican Party of Iowa through their campaign committees from December of 2018 through December of 2020.

This time period covers the 2020 election cycle.

But some contribute much more than others.

For instance, all of these representatives gave less than $10,000:

Garrett Gobble
Shannon Latham
Charlie McClintock
Cecil Dolecheck
Jon Jacobsen
Henry Stone
Dennis Bush
Jeff Shipley
Brooke Boden
Martin Graber
Eddie Andrews

Speaker Pat Grassley contributed $1,508,500. He must have serious fundraising connections.

Majority Leader Matt Windschitl contributed $571,865.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann gave $237,500.

Rep. Lee Hein gave $200,000.

Rep. Gary Mohr gave $156,000.

Rep. John Wills gave $133,365.

Rep. Ann Meyer gave $125,000.

Rep. Megan Jones gave $118,350.

Rep. Joe Mitchell gave $101,500.

That is all the six-figure contributors. And here is the interesting thing when you add up all the numbers and organize them by how much they contributed to the House Majority Fund — there is a strong correlation between how much representatives contribute to the House Majority Fund and who gets selected to be a committee chair.

Grassley, Windschitl, Wills and Mitchell were all members of leadership.

Kaufmann is chair of State Government. Hein is chair of Ways and Means. Mohr is chair of Appropriations. Meyer is chair of Human Resources. Jones was chair of the Administrative Rules Review Committee.

Anyone else sensing a trend?

The list continues…

Rep. Jacob Bossman gave $92,865 and is chair of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee.

Rep. Shannon Lundgren gave $90,000 and is chair of Commerce.

Rep. Dustin Hite gave $81,193 and is chair of Education.

Rep. Brian Best gave $79,500 and is chair of Transportation.

Rep. Jane Bloomingdale gave $76,000 and is chair of Local Government.

Rep. Ross Paustian gave $75,650 and is chair of Agriculture.

After a while you get down to representatives who contributed less than $25,000.

Twenty-four Republican House members contributed less than $25,000 to Pat Grassley’s House Majority Fund.

One is chair of Economic Growth. One is chair of International Relations. One is chair of Administration and Rules.

Now, I don’t want to suggest some committees are more important than others, but I don’t see many prominent committee chairs on this list.

At all.

So, when looking at the data, one might come to the conclusion that committee chairs, which are appointed by Speaker Grassley, are for sale.

One might say that when examining the data.

And the thing about the money that is pooled together, Grassley gets to decide where it goes.

And it is a little easier to raise money when you’re a committee chair.

It is a pretty nice, round circle.

And there is no conservative argument to make for defending the House Majority Fund.

None.

At all.

And yes, both Republicans and Democrats do this.

Let’s look at what the process does.

It centralizes power.

It redistributes wealth.

It makes it impossible for Iowans to track where their donations are actually used.

I understand the reason the House Majority Fund exists — to help Republicans in the most competitive races.

I get it.

But when two people both running for Iowa House cannot legally use their campaign funds to contribute to each other, why on Earth is it legal for them to give their campaign funds to someone else and then allow that someone else to contribute those funds to another candidate.

It is intellectually inconsistent. It is wrong.

And the sad part is the only people who can change it are the people in power. And people in power aren’t typically eager to change the way power is obtained and maintained.

Legislators do not have to give their money to House Majority Fund, but it seems to pay if you do.

That is the full list.

It is important conservative Iowans know they may be giving their money to a conservative Iowa House Republican, but that money is then being spent on moderate Republicans — or someone who they would never donate money to in a million years.

This scheme should not be legal. It isn’t transparent. It isn’t honest. It centralizes power. It redistributes wealth.

Republican Iowans likely wouldn’t want to contribute $1 million to a Republican who voted against protecting women’s sports, against forcing localities to cooperate with ICE, against Stand Your Ground law and against the Heartbeat Bill.

But they have already by funding Bergan’s campaigns.

And they have no idea they’re doing it.

Iowans deserve better.

Author: Jacob Hall

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