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December 5th, 2012

Iowa Senate: Failor Joins Dix Staff

By Craig Robinson

The former President of Iowans for Tax Relief, Ed Failor, Jr., has joined the staff of Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix in the Iowa Senate.  Sources tell that Senator Dix introduced Failor to the Senate Republican caucus staff on Tuesday morning.

Failor and Iowans for Tax Relief played integral roles in Iowa politics for nearly two decades.  Together, Failor and Iowans for Tax Relief have wielded influence over the legislature, Republican Party politics, and the presidential caucuses.  Failor’s departure from the organization in April of 2011 created a huge void at what was one the preeminent political organization in the state.

Failor has played a key role in many legislative victories including the 10% across-the-board Iowa income tax cut, the elimination of Iowa’s inheritance tax, instituting equal income tax treatment for Iowa sub chapter S corporations, a phase out of the Iowa tax on Social Security income, and eight consecutive years of vital tax cuts. Failor also played an essential role in blocking debt financing, defeating the proposed 20% increase in state sales tax, and in 2009, he gained national attention for the intense grassroots campaign defending federal deductibility.

Before spending the last year consulting for various groups and entities through the Whitaker Strategy Group, the hard-charging Failor had only held two jobs since the age of 24.  One at Boys Town, an organization dedicated to the housing and education of at-risk children, and the other at Iowans for Tax Relief.

The Failor name is synonymous with Iowans for Tax Relief.  His father, Ed Failor, Sr. was the face of the organization for years.  Failor is now the second president of Iowans for Tax Relief to leave the organization and land in a prominent leadership role in state government.  Governor Terry Branstad’s Chief of Staff, Jeff Boeyink, is also a former leader of the organization.

The skills that Failor honed at Iowans for Tax Relief will be an asset for Dix as well as the Republican caucus in the Iowa Senate.  The quality of legislative staff is often  overlooked by the media and activists.  Typically these people are not in the spotlight like their elected bosses are, but they play a critical role when it comes to policy proposals, tactics, and negotiations.  Failor is a high profile staffer, but with Senate Republicans stuck in a minority status, maybe Failor is just the type of staffer they need.

Bill Dix’s first major decision as the Republican leader in the Iowa Senate is not only bold, but also seems to indicate that he is going to take a much more aggressive approach with Democrat Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal in the upcoming legislative session.  If that’s the case, Republican activists will finally have something to look forward to in the Iowa Senate in January.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson serves as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prior to founding Iowa's largest conservative news site, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. In that capacity, Robinson planned and organized the largest political event in 2007, the Iowa Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. Robinson also organized the 2008 Republican caucuses in Iowa, and was later dispatched to Nevada to help with the caucuses there. Robinson cut his teeth in Iowa politics during the 2000 caucus campaign of businessman Steve Forbes and has been involved with most major campaigns in the state since then. His extensive political background and rolodex give him a unique perspective from which to monitor the political pulse of Iowa.

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