Top officials at Iowa’s Democratic and Republican parties are responding to two instances of political speech in remarkably similar ways — threatening litigation, government investigations and other intimidation tactics.
The first case involves a flyer critical of former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, a rumored potential candidate for governor in 2010.
Jeff Boeyink, the Republican Party of Iowa’s executive director, told state media he plans to ask the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to investigate the organization supposedly behind the flyer. Iowa has relatively strict independent expenditure filing guidelines, requiring groups to submit to government regulation — which usually requires retaining a lawyer — if they spend over $100 on a direct mailing, brochure or ad.