Letter to the editor -John Brunow, Greene Co Democrats treasurer

To The Editor,

Here in Greene County we are working on Get Out The Vote this weekend before the November 6 Election. As people participating in politics we are chasing absentee ballots and calling friends and neighbors and urging them to vote. Conversations revolve around election predictions of turnout and results.

Iowa House District 47 is all of Greene County and much of Boone County (including the city of Boone). It is a district without an incumbent after Representative Chip Baltimore decided not to seek re-election. Baltimore’s decision not to run sparked a three candidate Republican primary which resulted in Phil Thompson of Greene County being the Republican nominee. Boone County Democrat David Weaver had announced his candidacy for the 47th District seat early in the year (January 18).

At the start of summer, it seemed like the House 47 race would be interesting to watch. We had two candidates  with different views. Let the parades, door knocking, yard sign placement, and fundraising begin!

Saturday we went online to look at the reports filed Friday (Friday before the General Election) to see how candidates are raising and spending their contributions. For the second report in less than a month we are stunned by the local Iowa House District 47 activity. It was the Oct. 19 report that was the first stunner. Phil Thompson reported $135,656.96 as in-kind contributions from the Republican Party of Iowa.

Really? Well, how much came to him as cash contributions? Let’s see. In the last three reports it says he raised $9,780 by cash contribution. The Nov. 2 report showed another $51,515.50 from the Republican Party of Iowa for a total of $187,172.46 for the two latest reporting periods. Wow!

A review of adjacent House districts does not show comparable levels of support being made available to other Republican House candidates. District 12 (west of Greene County) incumbent Brian Best received about $9,200 from the Republican Party of Iowa. District 20 (south of Greene County) candidate Ray Sorensen was provided $11,758.97. District 48 (north of District 47)incumbent Rob Bacon gained $2,887 from Iowa Republicans on the Oct. 19 report and has no report appearing yet for Nov. 2.

What’s happening here?

What makes this race different?

Where is all this money flowing from? Over $1,300,000 comes to the Republican Party of Iowa from Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer’s Upmeyer for House campaign fund (Committee Code 1400). The amounts channeled to Upmeyer for House are generous and the contributors are interesting, which is another story.

Historically when you look back at the Republican incumbent in District 47 reports you find tens of thousands of dollars in contributions accepted from special interests and then channeled to the Republican Party of Iowa. You find very little money raised locally during the last six years. It is troubling how big money has hijacked our legislative elections. You can find the information at www.webapp.iecdb.iowa.gov.

How can any candidate accepting that much in contributions ever be independent enough to represent us? When Phil Thompson had the opportunity to say “No, Thank you” to the big money, he failed. His decision tells the story we want House District 47 voters to know.

Please spread the word to vote for David Weaver.

John Brunow
Treasurer of the Greene County Democratic Central Committee

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