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The Iowa Senate has taken significant steps backward in the last couple of years. Ask conservatives across the state who are involved and it is unanimous. Ask people “in the know” privately and they will also readily admit it.

The Iowa Senate has failed not once, not twice but at least three times to act on eminent domain reform. Keep in mind the Iowa Senate has 34 Republicans and just 16 Democrats. That’s more than 2-to-1 in favor of Republicans.

Yet here we are with an Iowa Senate that refuses to protect the private property rights of Iowa landowners. At the center of the issue a year or so ago was Sen. Waylon Brown, who was and is one of the senators directly responsible for killing bills to protect private property rights.

Brown has championed the carbon capture pipeline projects. He has publicly stated the taxpayer-funded boondoggle is “crucial” to Iowa’s agriculture economy. And he has refused to protect private property rights of Iowans and the constitution over these so-called “crucial” private, for-profit pipelines.

It is an egregious error that the Senate Republican caucus has gone along with.

And with Brown being the only incumbent Senate Republican facing a primary challenge, any Iowan who supports private property rights and opposes eminent domain for these projects should be helping his opponent — Doug Campbell. They can help by sending donations, they can make phone calls, they can write letters to the editor, they can go doorknock on the weekend, they can write postcards. There is a lot they can do. There is a lot you can do.

It was only a few years ago that Brown was willing to oppose eminent domain for wind farm projects. One has to wonder what interests Brown has in these carbon capture pipelines for him to abandon Iowans and abandon the Constitution.

Even Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver was committed back then to protecting private property rights.

“I applaud the leadership of my colleagues on the Administrative Rules Review Committee to address this administrative overreach,” Whitver said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the House of Representatives and governor next session to make sure Iowans’ private property rights are protected.”

Yet the Republican-dominated Iowa Senate has forgotten about private property rights in this battle between landowners and Iowa GOP mega-donor Bruce Rastetter.

There are other disappointments conservatives should have when it comes to the Iowa Senate over the last two years. But none are as obscene as the inaction on private property rights — which are basic, fundamental, constitutional rights.

All that said, the Iowa Senate did do a few good things this year. All is not lost. But it has not been nearly good enough.

There’s a saying legislators like to use when they want conservatives to “settle” for something — “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

In this case, I’d suggest not letting “good be the enemy of better.”

Waylon Brown is the only incumbent Republican senator with a primary challenge. If conservative Iowans want to send a resounding message to the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus that they need to act on eminent domain reform and protect Iowans from losing their private property rights over a carbon capture pipeline, they need to support and vote for Doug Campbell.

Waylon Brown has failed as a state senator. He has failed to uphold his oath to the Constitution. He has failed his constituents. He has failed Iowans who do not want their land taken from them for this private, for-profit project.

He does not deserve another term to do further damage to our state, its constitution or its people.

Author: Jacob Hall


  1. Doug Campbell is fantastic

    Support John Rosenfeld and Christian Hermanson too

    In Doug’s the three of them are going to be conservative Christian shock troops

  2. Each legislative session, some of the legislators — including some senators — have filed bills to protect private property rights, to correct misuse of eminent domain, and to force Summit to reveal its investors, among other things. Brown, as Chair of Senate Commerce Committee, consisitently refuses to bring any of these bills to subcommittee, much less full Committee. Why? “because the governor wouldn’t sign off on it anyway” he said to us the ONE time he “lowered” himself to talk to a small group of landowners (actually, we cornered him before he could get out of the room, it’s not that he spoke with us willingly…..). These are Brown’s tactics each session. He literally runs AWAY from landowners when he sees them approaching in the Capitol.


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