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Iowa House District 51 will go a long way in determining if the House takes a step back in its conservatism. A Republican primary in the district features Marty Chitty and former Iowa Pharmacy Association lobbyist Brett Barker.

In 2023, the Iowa legislature passed a bill protecting children from radical, experimental sex-change treatments and surgeries. Barker registered as “undecided” on the bill to protect kids. 

Perhaps that is one reason Republican State Rep. Shannon Latham has endorsed Barker. Latham was one of the Republicans who voted against the bill protecting kids from radical, experimental sex-change treatments and surgeries.

This is the most glaring, concerning piece of his record as a lobbyist, but it certainly isn’t the only one. More on that later…

He has also been a strong advocate for the carbon capture pipeline projects in Iowa. The projects are seeking to use eminent domain in order to become reality, and while Barker said at a forum this week he is opposed to the use of eminent domain for the projects, he still said he is a strong supporter of the pipeline projects.

While Barker is correct that the two are somewhat separate issues, the reality is the pipelines will not become reality without eminent domain. So he’s going to have to choose a side. And judging by what he said prior to announcing his candidacy for Iowa House, that decision seems to be relatively obvious.

Summit Carbon Solutions features a letter from Barker to the Iowa Utilities Board written in July of 2022 where Barker expressed support for the project, calling it “critical for the future of agriculture.”

“As the mayor of Nevada, I support the initiative of Lincolnway Energy and urge the board to do the same,” he wrote.

Barker also sent the letter to the Ames Tribune for publication. And he is quoted in a news release from Summit Carbon Solutions expressing support for the project.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Big Pharma Barker championed masking and COVID shots. In mid-April of 2020, as mayor of Nevada, Barker closed all public park equipment. Gatherings of 10 or more people were “strongly discouraged.”

In March of 2020, Barker was critical of how much sway the “anti-vax” lobby has with some legislators.

In November of 2020, Barker tweeted:

“I don’t like shutdowns and I don’t like mandates. You know the best way to prevent these? Choose to wear a mask! Choose to avoid crowded places! Choose personal responsibility over personal irresponsibility! A vaccine is coming & we are starting the 4th quarter of the ball game!”

That same month, he said the speed of the COVID shot development had been “astounding.”

“Cooperation between the biopharmaceutical industry and the government will save lives and bring the economy back,” he wrote.

Barker followed up by saying wearing a mask “should not be political.”

In February of 2021, Barker was featured in this Facebook post, which said:

“I got my COVID shot because it’s the best way to protect my family, friends, community and patients and to get life back to normal.”

A month later, Barker was tweeting celebration GIFs about the thousands of COVID jabs the company was providing on a daily basis:

In July of 2021, Barker lamented “garbage headlines” and blamed the media for not helping against “vaccine hesitancy.”

Even before COVID, Barker was critical of those questioning the safety of vaccinations. In September of 2015, he said Donald Trump was “irresponsible” and “playing medical doctor.”

“Vaccines. Do. Not. Cause. Autism,” he tweeted.

Earlier that year, Barker tweeted that “any politician (who) spews false information on vaccines immediately crosses themselves off the list for my support. Deal breaker.”

For what it is worth, Barker endorsed Nikki Haley in the Iowa Caucus earlier this year. And Barker was recently endorsed by liberal Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.

Back to his role as Pharma lobbyist…

In addition to being “undecided” whether radical, experimental sex-change treatments and surgeries should be performed on children, Barker also opposed a bill filed in the Iowa House that would have required a pharmacist to dispense a specific prescription drug to a patient if a doctor prescribed a prescription drug that was approved by the FDA, including for off-label use. This bill was filed shortly after the COVID pandemic when pharmacists were refusing to fill certain prescriptions.

In addition, Barker registered against a bill requiring the medical director to establish a standing order authorizing the dispensing of Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin by a pharmacist. The bill provided immunity for the pharmacist from criminal and civil liability for any damages caused by dispensing the drugs.

This is the second Iowa House primary we have featured. To read about the first, click the story below:

Biggest Iowa House primary of the year: House District 22 between Gobble and Fett


  1. This seems to be more a hit piece than a balanced reporting where both of the candidates stand on the issues. I hope the voting public sees the biased nature of this. Do better.

    • What do you consider a “hit piece?” This is all factual information involving one candidate’s record and rhetoric. If people don’t care about these issues, then it will not influence them at all. If they do, it will. It’s a pivotal primary because of one candidate’s record and rhetoric.

  2. I am from Ames and have met RINO Barker. I told Barker that the City of Ames charges single-parent employees $250/month for Blue Cross PPO. When the employee gets cancer and too sick to work her cost explodes to $2554/month when she has no hair or income. I told Barker it’s all online and his City of Nevada is hiding how much they are paying the Blue Cross Monopoly. Barker is the Mayor, right? He should disclose this information to taxpayers. Trump’s Plan that Biden “outlawed” this last Good Friday is less than $250/month so the Ames taxpayers save over $27,000/annually per employee. I asked Barker why his Nevada doesn’t disclose benefit costs like Ames and Brett had no answer. Ames, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids sell city employees Life Insurance (Madison National Life Insurance Company) that employees lose if they get too sick to work!

    I made the Ames City Attorney give me the Madison Life certificate and women with cancer must work 40 hours per week to keep their life insurance. Cancerous slaves were treated better prior to the Civil War than Iowa women with cancer are treated today. Slaves with cancer could work just part-time, but not Ames female employees in the 21st Century. I am sure that Cedar Rapids is 30 hours a week because nobody is as stupid as that Ames bunch of non licensed HR salespeople.

    History lessen; Employer-based benefits were enacted in 1943 and you can guess which political party was in charge. Correct, mindless Democrat central planners. Between 1943 and 1985 employees would lose their health insurance at the end of the month that they were too sick to work.

    Republican President Reagan, in 1985, passed COBRA so employees could keep their insurance for 18 months, then TERMINATION. Employer-based health insurance is a nightmare for employees with catastrophic accidents or illnesses. The Des Moines Register NEVER writes about Employer-Based-Benefits (EBB) TERMINATION but a reporter could go to the Register’s own HR department and ask those non-licensed HR salespeople of the Register. I have experience asking so I will call the Registers HR department and ask what their COBRA cost is. They will ask, “Who are you?” I will tell them I need the information for the Iowa Standard.

  3. MAGA is what AMERICA needs. MAGA ARE PATRIOTS!!!!! We want our COUNTRY BACK!!!! It’s ok if you feel that way about MAGA but I don’t understand why. Has MAGA did anything against you? I doubt it.
    MAGA wants to SAVE OUR COUNTRY YOU ARE EITHER IN OR YOUR OUT!!!!! Petty bs we don’t need.

  4. What is a lie, George? You Hillary supporters lied with your Russian collusion lies. Sure Brett Barker hates Trump because Trump will give Iowans more choices than just the Blue Cross Monopoly. Brett Barker is a member of the Uniparty like all Iowa Republican politicians who hate Trump. The Iowa voters know better than liberals like Barker who claim to be Republicans.

    What is sad is Brett Barker is a so-called leader of young Republicans who refuses to discuss Republican’s solutions to Social Security with tax-free Private Savings Accounts (PSA). The good news is Kevin Virgil running in Iowa’s 4th is a tax-free PSA supporter!

    Kevin Virgil calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme which is the TRUTH! Tax-free PSAs are a Republican solution that targets wealth to the masses.


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