WASHINGTON — In the wake of last week’s revelation that right-wing group Heritage Action was stealthily organizing voter suppression bills in states across the country, Iowa Democrats have filed an ethics complaint against the organization. In a leaked video, the executive director took credit for Iowa’s new voting restrictions, saying the dark money group “helped draft the bills” and recruited people to testify at hearings. The confession potentially runs afoul of Iowa law, since the group failed to register as lobbyists. Iowa Democrats’ complaint comes just a day after the state’s ethics board opened a similar investigation.
GOP legislators across the country are working to suppress votes, largely in service of the repeatedly debunked myth that fraud stole last year’s election from President Trump. At least 361 bills aimed at restricting voting have been introduced so far this year.
Mother Jones: Dark Money Group Faces Ethics Probe After Boasting of Drafting Voter Suppression Laws
The conservative dark money group Heritage Action for America is facing a possible ethics investigation in Iowa after Mother Jones reported last week that it had boasted to donors of writing “model legislation” restricting voting access in battleground states across the country, including Iowa.
Democrats in the Iowa state House of Representatives filed ethics complaints against Heritage Action and its sister organization, the Heritage Foundation, on Tuesday. Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard filed the complaints against Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action, and Heritage Foundation senior fellow Hans von Spakovsky for allegedly violating state lobbying rules. A day earlier, a state-affiliated watchdog agency announced it had begun its own investigation.
Anderson said in a leaked video obtained by the watchdog group Documented and shared with Mother Jones that her group had written “three provisions” of a new Iowa law that cuts early voting, restricts mail ballot drop boxes, and takes away power from local election officials.