“People who contribute get the ear of the member and the ear of the staff. They have the access and access is it. Access is power. Access is clout. That’s how this thing works.”
Rep. Romano Mazzoli
Washington County Attorney Larry Brock has filed charges against three Washington county Republican candidates, as well as a business, Custom Impressions, for violation of Iowa campaign laws.
Custom Impressions, a company that does printing, awards, and engraving, is owned by Marcus Fedler and his wife, Heather. Fedler, a Paul supporter, was elected to the Republican State Central Committee in April.
Custom Impressions faces six counts of unlawful campaign sign placement, a serious misdemeanor, in violation of Iowa Code Section 68A.503(1). The signs were in support of the other candidates being charged, as well as Stan Stoops, according to the Kalona News. Custom Impressions faces an additional charge for an unlawful campaign contribution by a corporation.
Brock says that the sign placement charge came by way of a complaint, but that the other charges were made after reviews with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
Liberty candidate Priscilla Marlar, who ran unsuccessfully in HD 78, is charged with one count of unlawful receipt of a monetary campaign contribution in violation of Iowa Code 68A.503(2), which states that, “a candidate or committee, except for a ballot issue committee, shall not receive a monetary or in-kind contribution from an insurance company, savings and loan association, bank, credit union, or corporation.” Marlar allegedly received a contribution from Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel, Inc., a funeral home in Mt. Pleasant.
Marlar is also charged with one count of unlawful use of campaign funds for personal expenses. She supposedly spent around $100 to buy new tires for her car.
(Marlar, from the Washington Evening Journal)
Two supervisor candidates, Jack Seward Jr., (Wellman) and Robert Yoder, (Kalona) also face charges. Seward is charged with one count of receiving a monetary contribution from a corporation. Yoder, however, was charged with violating Iowa Code Section 68A.303, which refers to unlawful transfer of campaign funds. Yoder purportedly transferred $1,400 from his campaign account to the Free County PAC.
Serious misdemeanor charges in Iowa carry fines up to $1,875. Brock said he wouldn’t push for jail sentences, but would push for fines.
(some information courtesy of Kalona News.)
In other news, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz has been on the move to prove that voter fraud exists here in Iowa. He says investigators are looking into suspected instances of double-voting and non-citizens casting ballots, but as yet, no criminal charges have been filed.
Of three cases that were resolved, none showed evidence of fraud. However, Schultz is confident that other charges will be announced soon.
In an interview with KCRG, Schultz stated, “These things take time and you don’t want to accuse people of things they haven’t done.”
“It’s important to not just throw things out there. It’s important to do your due diligence and go through the investigation process.”
Schultz has also been pushing lawmakers to require that voters in Iowa are required to show a valid I.D. at the polls. Critics, including the Iowa Democratic party, claim that it would disenfranchise voters if they had to show identification; that Iowa runs clean elections and it is unnecessary. The measure would only affect in person voting; absentee voters would not be required to provide identification.
Schultz wants to send the message that you can’t cheat in Iowa. He has opened a “voter fraud” telephone hotline for anyone to report instances where they believed fraud may have been committed. The number for that hotline is 1-888-SOS-VOTE.
“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy: hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”
Frederick William Robertson