On Monday, The Iowa Standard reported about Sen. Chuck Grassley’s “Hawkeye PAC” shift in strategy shortly before Pat Grassley became Speaker of the Iowa House. As Speaker, Pat Grassley decides which bills have a chance to pass and which do not. He has the power to single-handily kill a bill — like he did this bill that would’ve generated millions more dollars for Iowa Veterans.
On Tuesday, The Iowa Standard reported that the Hawkeye PAC had contributed $848,000 to the Iowa House Republicans who endorsed him in his primary campaign for re-election. A significant chunk of that — more than $500,000 — went to the Iowa House Majority Fund, which is controlled by the Speaker of the Iowa House — in this case, Pat Grassley.
And today, The Iowa Standard is reporting about an email Pat Grassley had sent out from his chief of staff to Republican State Representatives. This is what the email said:
“Members, my grandpa (Chuck Grassley) asked that I send this on to all of you. He’d love your endorsement of his reelection run for the Senate. The attached letter is what we would be signing onto.
“Please send me your reply by Friday if you want to join me in endorsing him.
“Thanks all. Pat.”
Here is a copy of the email:
And here is the endorsement letter they were asked to sign onto:
Keep in mind what role Pat Grassley holds as Speaker over the other Republicans in the Iowa House. Grassley decides which campaign gets money (help) from the House Majority Fund and which campaigns do not. Grassley decides who is a committee chair (which makes it a lot easier to raise money as a candidate). Grassley decides whether your bill sees the light of day or whether it is killed. Remember, earlier this year, Rep. Jeff Shipley said his bill to limit the Governor’s emergency powers was not allowed to be filed by Pat Grassley.
In essence, Pat Grassley is the boss. And who knows what promises were made a couple of years ago when Pat was whipping up support for his run for Speaker.
Nonetheless, it could be questioned whether it is an appropriate use of the chief of staff’s time to email legislators asking them to endorse Pat Grassley’s grandpa in a U.S. Senate race.
And, is it appropriate for these legislators to be asked by their “boss” to endorse his grandpa?
It is a question readers have to decide for themselves.
But, they should keep in mind all the other factors — the donations, the power the Speaker has, any promises that may have been made in exchange for supporting Pat Grassley for Speaker, whether they’ll receive money from the House Majority Fund in their next campaign, etc.