CAMPAIGN ETHICS: Don’t Expect Rule Changes

Top Iowa Statehouse leaders say they don’t plan changes to the senate ethics rules, despite pre-session talk that changes would likely come.

“I don’t think we identified it as a great need to make changes,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said Thursday. He continued, “I think part of what we said is the system worked. The person involved is gone.”

The person is former State Senator Kent Sorenson, a Milo Republican. Sorenson resigned his seat last year after a special investigator found evidence Sorenson took tens of thousands of dollars in payments in exchange for his support for two different presidential campaign, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul, during the 2012 campaign.

Senate ethics rules forbid members to directly or indirectly take payments from campaigns. Gronstal believes that after further study of the rules, lawmakers have decided the rules are clear for senators.