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Union Leader Protests Group’s Leader Allowed to Witness Private Bill-Signing

DES MOINES, Iowa–The general public and media couldn’t witness Governor Terry Branstad officially signing a major rewrite of Iowa’s collective bargaining rights for union workers, that had been on the books since 1974. But the state director of a group that pushed for the changes did get to witness the signing.

Drew Klein, state director, for Americans for Prosperity, tweeted out that he watched the signing Friday.

Klein discussed the new law on Channel 13's "The Insiders" on Sunday. 

Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Local 61, said of Klein's picture with the governor, "That said volumes to me as to who was behind and pulling the strings for the passage of this law."

Homan also announced Monday that he was filing suit on behalf of union workers that the new collective bargaining law is unconstitutional because it treats different public workers differently.

Americans for Prosperity is registered as a 501 (c)(4) group, which means it doesn't have to disclose its donors, but it was founded by billionaire businessman brothers David and Charles Koch.

The group pushed for collective bargaining changes in Iowa and included the need for those changes in one of its five steps to reform Iowa that it released before the January legislative session began.

Democrats have complained that the group backs Republicans and Republicans rushed through the collective bargaining changes at the request of the organization.

Governor Terry Branstad denied that Klein got any special privileges by being in the room as he signed the bill. "I can tell you it was primarily staff and there were a few other people," the governor said, "Maybe my staff could put together a list of who else was there. It wasn't a big thing, as far as that goes."

His staff did not provide a list of others in attendance.