Iowa Gets an F for Campaign Disclosure

Dec 9, 2014

Iowa has received a failing grade for its laws governing campaign finance reporting for state offices.   

The National Institute of Money in State Politics gives Iowa an F for so-called independent expenditures, or money spent without coordination with a candidate’s campaign.   

The institute complains many groups don’t have to disclose the donors behind their ads.  

Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board director Megan Tooker says she’s offered legislation in the past to require more disclosure.

“We've had trouble getting any traction in that regard,” Tooker says. But she’s talked to some lawmakers who now hope to sponsor legislation to beef up the laws.

“We are happy to work with any legislators who want to have legislation to require more disclosure,” Tooker says. 

The report also faults Iowa for not requiring reporting for issue ads, which benefit a candidate without expressly urging a vote for or against one person. 

Tooker is backing other legislation to scale back some reporting requirements to comply with court orders.   She spoke at the governor’s budget hearing for her agency.