In the summer of 2019 we told you about the House Majority Fund giving more than $285,000 to Republican legislators in the Iowa House who voted against the Heartbeat bill.
This is done through a process that should be illegal. Iowa House Republican legislators raise money individually, then “donate” it to the House Majority Fund, which is cycled through the Republican Party of Iowa. All at the direction of Iowa House leadership. Both parties do this, but we’ll focus on that in the next article.
Representative Dave Maxwell is a “Republican” from Gibson. Maxwell received $7,327.46 from the Republican Party of Iowa for direct mail in 2020. This is money from the House Majority Fund.
At first, that wasn’t reported on Maxwell’s campaign finance report which was due Oct. 19. But his committee amended its report on Oct. 22 to include that in-kind donation.
And there could have been much, much more given to Maxwell. He was set up to have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of TV commercials air during the final month or so of the campaign, but many — if not all — of the contracts were canceled.
According to online records, the ads scheduled to run from Oct. 14-20 and Sept. 30-Oct. 6 were not canceled.
So, why does all of this matter? It matters because Maxwell is perhaps the most anti-life Republican in the Iowa legislature. His voting record is in direct contradiction to the Republican Party platform on the issue that is undoubtedly most important to a significant chunk of GOP voters.
Maxwell was one of three Republicans earlier this year who killed the life amendment.
He voted against the Heartbeat bill
And he voted against the 20-week (yes, 20-week as in halfway through pregnancy) abortion ban.
He votes against life over and over and is rewarded over and over by the House Majority Fund with money for his re-election efforts.
Sadly, it is money he likely doesn’t even need. And the money could actually help a Republican, or a couple of Republicans, win close races.
Here are the results of Maxwell’s elections since 2012:
This year, Maxwell won by 3,269 votes.
In 2018, Maxwell won by 2,337 votes.
In 2016, Maxwell won by 3,847 votes.
In 2014, Maxwell won by 2,081 votes.
In 2012, Maxwell won by 840 votes.
On Sept. 29, 2020, The Iowa Standard reached out to House Speaker Pat Grassley and the Republican Party of Iowa for comment on the ad buy for Maxwell.
We reached out to RPI simply because, at the end of the day, that’s who the records indicate the money comes from. We reached out to Speaker Grassley because, at the end of the day, it is House Republican leadership making the decisions on where the money goes.
We asked if RPI or House Leadership has any sort of statement on the six-figure ad buy they had done for Maxwell considering his anti-life voting record in the Iowa House.
They never responded.
Part of the blame for this situation is on pro-life Republicans who live in Maxwell’s district. A primary against Maxwell is long, long overdue.
But there should also be some sort of standard for the House Majority Fund when it decides to redistribute the wealth. If a Republican has voted or stood against life not once, not twice, but three times — and House Republican leadership is still giving him money for re-election, it should really cause Republicans across the state of Iowa to question how much House Republican leadership cares about the life issue.
Yeah, yeah, I know the excuse.
“But we need Rep. Maxwell in order to get all of these other nice, great, fancy ‘Republican’ things done in the Iowa House.”
“Hey, if I have to have a pro-choice Republican be my 51st Republican vote in the Iowa House, then so be it.”
Money should not go from the House Majority Fund to an anti-life legislator. Period. Unless life is no longer a standard for the GOP House leadership. In which case, there are hundreds of thousands (if not a million) pro-life voters in Iowa who would like to know.
As Christians, we have heard it said… “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Is the heart of House Republican leadership rooted in simply having “control” and the “majority?” Or is the heart of House Republican leadership rooted in pro-life conviction and principle?
The last two election cycles — at least — may provide an indicator. And the indicator isn’t a good sign for pro-life Republicans in Iowa.