Iowa Corn’s PAC endorses 75 candidates
JOHNSTON – Iowa Corn’s political action committee defended its candidate endorsement process Monday afternoon after being criticized and questioned by its membership in how the committee went about its business.
Mark Recker, a farmer from Arlington, and chairman of the ICGA PAC; and Kurt Hora, a Washington farmer and PAC committee member; told nine Iowa reporters the committee’s 75 endorsements, issued on Sept. 2, were based on voting records of candidates as they lined-up according to corn growers’ issues.
Recker said the committee, consisting of three Republicans and three Democrats, canvassed its grassroots membership for the state and federal issues touching corn production including renewable fuel standard, ethanol, farm bill, crop insurance transportation and commodity trading.
Recker said the PAC’s decisions were made based only on a candidate’s support of ICGA policies.
He denied criticism that the committee was too partisan in its choices.
“We didn’t look at how (candidates) voted on any other issue, like education,” Recker said, “but only how they lined-up on corn-growing issues.”
Hora said PAC decisions were made through an objective analysis including candidate responses to a survey, voting records, letters and other quantified evidence of support.
Funding for PAC contributions to endorse the 75 candidates comes from voluntary PAC donations by ICGA members, Hora said.
Neither ICGA dues, nor checkoff dollars, are used for PAC contributions.
“That would be illegal,” he said.
On Sept. 2, ICGA’s Political Action Committee issued its list of state and federal candidates it is endorsing and supporting during the 2014 elections.
“Agricultural policy is critical to the future of our farming operations,” Recker said. “The Iowa Corn PAC supports our leaders who have demonstrated their support for ICGA policy positions and priorities.”
The PAC’s endorsements include:
- U.S. Senate: Bruce Braley, D-Iowa.
- U.S. House of Representatives: Steve King, R-Iowa; Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; Pat Murphy, D-Iowa; and David Young, R-Iowa.
Endorsements for the 2014 state election cycle within the Farm News coverage area, include:
- Governor: Terry Branstad (R).
- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture: Bill Northey (R).
- Iowa Senate: Daryl Beall, D-Fort Dodge; Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City; David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan; Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines; Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City; Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig; and Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny.
- Iowa House: Rob Bacon, R-Sioux City; Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield; Peter Cownie, R-Des Moines; Dave Deyoe, R-Nevada; Dean Fisher, R-Garwin; John Forbes, D-Urbandale; Tedd Gassman, R-Scarville; Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford; Chris Hagenow, R-Windsor Heights; Chris Hall, D-Sioux City; Jake Highfill, R-Johnston; Lisa Heddens, D-Ames; Dan Huseman, R-Aurelia; Ron Jorgensen, R-Sioux City; John Landon, R-Ankeny; Brian Meyer, D-Des Moines; Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge; Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla; Todd Prichard, D-Charles City; Joe Riding, D-Altoona; Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown; Chuck Soderberg, R-Le Mars; Sharon Steckman, D-Mason City; Rob Taylor, R-West Des Moines, Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake; Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley; and Gary Worthan, R-Storm Lake.
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