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One of the more interesting moments of the 2022 legislative session was a committee meeting during which State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann amended a bill to provide protection for landowners against the use of eminent domain until March of 2023 for the carbon pipeline projects.

It appears this effort will not pass muster in the Iowa Senate after a different version passed the Iowa House, but it was one Republican state representative in particular who voted no in committee that added to the interest of the issue.

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If you recall, there was one Republican no vote in the State Government Committee when the amendment was voted upon — Rep. Joe Mitchell.

At the time we pointed out Mitchell’s close relationship with Terry Branstad. Branstad is senior policy advisor for Summit Carbon Solutions, a company that stands to gain quite a bit from the CO2 pipeline project it is working on in Iowa.

Branstad also happens to be chairman of Run GenZ’s advisory board. Run GenZ’s president and founder? Joe Mitchell.

Branstad was an early endorser of Mitchell in his primary against conservative House member Jeff Shipley. And Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Eric Branstad spoke on behalf of Mitchell on caucus night, despite Mitchell’s opposition to removing gender identity from the civil rights code, past support for banning conversion therapy and relationship with the pro-LGBTQ Log Cabin Republicans.

So when Mitchell voted against the amendment to protect landowners from eminent domain, we asked him why. And he responded:

“As gas prices are at record highs and our agriculture industry is under attack, it’s extremely unfair to switch up the rules in the middle of a process that will support biofuels and benefit everyday Iowans. This is not about politics. This is about a fair process, supporting agriculture, and alleviating the energy crisis that is hurting our communities.”
But there is an additional detail we did not know and was only revealed this week.
The vote on the amendment happened on March 16. Eight days earlier Mitchell received his largest campaign contribution of the reporting period.
It was a $10,000 contribution from Bruce Rastetter. Rastetter is CEO of Summit Agricultural Group.

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1 COMMENT

  1. “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; ”

    All three reasons cited by Rep Mitchell could be viewed as “light and transient causes” compared to “the right to property” principle embedded in our founding documents. If “the process” was wrong from the beginning, then it needs to be discarded.

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