Thursday, February 19, 2009



Call your House Members IMMEDIATELY!

Democrats who control the Iowa House of Representatives have scheduled debate for later this morning on the so-called “prevailing wage” bill that will create state mandated wages and benefits for those working on public construction projects and raise property taxes (House File 333).

HF 333 would require contractors and subcontractors who work on public improvements to pay wages and fringe benefits that have been established by collective bargaining agreements. Even those supporting the legislation acknowledge it will result in higher construction costs for public projects and that it WILL raise property taxes.

Labor union lobbyists have flooded the State Capitol today to lobby for this bill and secure the 51 votes needed for passage.

Organizations fighting for small businesses and property taxes are working hard to defeat this bill, but they need your help.

Iowa Republicans must stand up against this power grab and tax raising scheme and contact their State Representatives, TODAY! Call your State Representative and ask him/her to vote NO on HF 333.

Please call your State Representative: 515.281.3221

PS: the debate will start yet this morning, so time is of the essence and you must ACT, NOW!

Don’t know your State Representative? Click here and use this tool to find out who represents you.

Want to see the actual bill? Click here and see the actual legislation.

PSS: Former Governor’s Branstad and Ray released the following statement this morning:

“At a time of economic stress, it makes no sense to saddle Iowa taxpayers with a big increase in the cost of public improvement projects. Due to the economic downturn and the floods, state and local governments are facing significant economic hardships. They cannot afford the additional costs of a prevailing wage law. Because of the increased cost of public projects to taxpayers, nine states have repealed prevailing wage laws since the last state passed one. No state has passed a prevailing wage law in the last 30 years.

As former governors, we believe that an Iowa prevailing wage law would be bad public policy and we urge Iowa legislators to vote against it.”

Governor Terry E. Branstad
Governor Robert D. Ray

Ask Rep. Marek NOT to support the "prevailing wage" legislation!


Des Moines, IA. -- Today, the Iowa House of Representatives is scheduled to debate House File 333, a bill to require contractors and subcontractors who work on public projects to pay wages and benefits that have been established by collective bargaining agreements. The issue is commonly known as “prevailing wage” and the passage of this bill will lead to significantly higher costs for the construction of public buildings and higher property taxes for Iowa citizens.

State Representative Larry Marek, Democrat -- 89th District, stated as recently as last Saturday that he opposed this legislation because “I don’t want to see property taxes go up.” (Washington Evening Journal, February 16)

However, sources inside the Iowa House this morning suggested that Rep. Marek is under tremendous pressure from labor unions and their dozens of State House lobbyists and may provide the 51st vote to pass the legislation later today.

“In these difficult times when thousands of Iowa homeowners are struggling to pay their taxes, let alone their home mortgage, passing legislation that will raise property taxes is beyond belief,” said Jeffrey Boeyink, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Iowa. “Iowa taxpayers simply cannot afford higher property taxes and we implore area voters to contact Rep. Marek and ask him to stand with his constituents, not the labor lobby, and vote no on House File 333.

“All too often politicians say one thing at home and do something entirely different when they get to Des Moines. We can only hope that when higher property taxes are at stake, people keep their promises and side with those who pay the bills,” concluded Boeyink.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Culver, RIO mum on disaster relief questions

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today called upon Governor Chet Culver to take responsibility for the mismanagement and incompetence that continues to plague the Rebuild Iowa Office (RIO).

Chairman Strawn also said it was time for the Governor to answer a series of questions related to growing bipartisan concerns about the operations and staffing of RIO, saying, “Governor Culver, leaders lead, and it is time for you to step up, take responsibility for the systemic dysfunction at RIO, and provide clear answers to Iowa taxpayers and impacted families.”

Recent press reports and legislative inquiries have unveiled a pattern of RIO mismanagement that ranges from conflicting explanations for $19,000 worth of new carpets, to the hiring of high-priced lobbyists, to six-figure salary payments.

Read more, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Strawn lays groundwork for 2010 election

From today's Fort Dodge Messenger:

"If you would have told me three months ago that I'd be standing before you tonight and the chair of the Republican Party, I honestly would have told you, you were crazy," said Matt Strawn, newly elected chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, before a meeting of Webster County Republicans Tuesday night.

Strawn, 35, born and raised in Ankeny, possesses a substantial political resume despite his relatively young age. After more than a decade in Washington serving as communications director for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and then chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Strawn returned to Iowa to become the owner and principal of the Iowa Barnstormers Arena Football Club.

After repeated questioning from friends and associates on why he didn't run for office, he finally did make a run, and was elected chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa on Jan. 10.

"I didn't want to be one of those guys who just sits on the sidelines and complains," said Strawn.

Tuesday night, he responded to many Webster County Republicans' questions about the future and policies of the party, with many members of the audience explaining their anxiety with the Democratic majority on the state and national levels.

CLICK HERE for more.

Sen. Harkin: "We need the Fairness Doctrine back"

Read the story from Politico's Michael Calderone

Call Senator Harkin: (202) 224-3254

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sen. Rich Olive: Wasteful Bureaucracy’s Best Friend

On flood relief, Rich Olive votes for less transparency and then tries to cover his tracks later

DES MOINES, IA - As more evidence of serious waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars are discovered every day in connection to the newly formed Rebuild Iowa Office (RIO), Sen. Rich Olive (D-Story City) is finding that his rhetoric is not matching the votes he took on the issue just two weeks ago.

While flood victims are struggling to get back in their homes and get their businesses back open, thousands of dollars have been wasted on putting new carpet in the office Des Moines and millions of dollars will be needed to pay the salaries of over 30 new full time employers, including the services of a full time lobbyist.

Speaking today, Olive voiced his concerns about the Rebuild Iowa Office becoming a permanent fixture in state government noting, “I think the concern is we’re creating a whole new government agency, a permanent agency, and none of us think that’s necessarily the way to go”.
Yet only a few days ago, Olive voted against nine separate amendments that would have brought added accountability and transparency to the agency created to oversee and implement the flood relief effort in Iowa.
Read more, click HERE.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Grassley: CBO analysis that shows stimulus bill jobs to cost as much as $300,000 each

WASHINGTON --- Senator Chuck Grassley said today that a preliminary analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the jobs created by the economic stimulus legislation being debated in the Senate would cost taxpayers between $100,000 and $300,000 a piece.

Grassley said these numbers should be contrasted to those under the January baseline of the Congressional Budget Office, in which there is no stimulus, that show the Gross Domestic Product per worker is about $100,000. Grassley said the new analysis indicates the cost of each stimulus job to be as much as three times more than jobs created without the stimulus bill.

“There’s been a lot talk about bang for the buck, but there’s no talk about actually making sure it happens so that Americans get the help they need,” Grassley said. “Before Congress spends another $1 trillion, we ought to make sure we are getting our money’s worth. Congressional leaders should postpone a final vote on the stimulus bill until the Senate has had the opportunity to carefully review a full analysis of the Congressional Budget Office.”

Read more from Senator Grassley, click HERE.