This month, Iowa PACs and political parties will have to disclose their contributions and expenditures for the first half of the year. In the past, I have not paid much attention to this report. Instead I focused on the candidate filings. This year however, I wanted to see what some of these PACs are up to.
The reports are due at the end of the week, but some are already in. One group in particular caught my attention, Master Builders of Iowa. MBI’s purpose is to promote a business environment favorable to the construction industry here in Iowa.
MBI raised $40,465.00 and spent $44,050.00 since the beginning of the year. Before the legislative session began, MBI made 21 contributions to candidates from both sides of the political aisle. Those contributions ranged from $250 to $1500. This sort of donor activity is typical of an organization like MBI.
It is after the legislative session concluded that MBI made some interesting contributions. Just so all know, PACs are not allowed to contribute to legislators or the governor during the legislative session or in the 30 days following. After the legislative session concluded, MBI made $3050 in contributions to Republicans, and $30,000 to Democrat candidates.
MBI sent each of the six “pro-business” Democrat candidates a check for $5000.00 on June 23rd. The six democrats receiving contributions were McKinley Bailey, Brian Quirk, Doris Kelley, Jerri Huser, Dolores Mertz, and Larry Marek.
On one hand, I understand MBI wanting to thank those six Democrats for blocking the union agenda, but their generous contributions really only do one thing, help maintain Democratic control of the Iowa House under the leadership of anti-business Speaker of the House Pat Murphy.
While the pro-business six are rightfully credited with stopping the doctor shopping and prevailing wage legislations, the very first vote they will be asked to cast is for who will lead them in the chamber. I also don’t really think it’s ever a good idea to invest in people who cast a vote and run from the chamber in fear for their lives.
Seriously, McKinley Bailey was all set to vote with Murphy in support of prevailing wage. Thankfully, he broke down and did the right thing, and then ran to his car in the parking lot. People like Brian Quirk and Larry Marek are no better either.
Maybe instead of investing $30,000 in unstable Democrats, MBI should invest in making sure Patrick Murphy is no longer Speaker of the House. The only way MBI can truly protect their interest is to help Republicans win back control. Republicans have consistently shown that they are firm in their opposition to big labor’s agenda.
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