Iowa governor Reynolds seeks foreign agent law change

by Rod Boshart, The Gazette

DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds says she will ask Iowa legislators next session to close what she considers to be a “loophole” in the law that apparently allows state officials to work also as agents of a foreign government — an arrangement she views as a potential conflict.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Kim Schmett, a former GOP candidate for Congress who chairs the Iowa Employment Appeal Board, and his wife, Connie, who serves on a state health facilities oversight board, operate a consulting firm that was paid more than $101,000 by Saudi Arabia to lobby against a federal law that allows victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to sue that country.

Reynolds said her staff has asked the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board to review the matter and report its findings to see if any action is warranted. She noted the couple was appointed by former Gov. Terry Branstad and confirmed by the Iowa Senate to separate state posts with terms set by statute and “don’t serve at the pleasure of the governor.”

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