To: Interested Parties From: Progress Iowa’s Iowa Accountability Project Re: Governor Branstad Appointee Donations This report details research compiled by Progress Iowa’s Iowa Accountability Project examining appointments made by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad since becoming Governor in 2010. We found that Governor Branstad’s campaign raised $791,277.78 from 215 individuals that the Governor has appointed to positions in state government. Nearly 1 out of 6 of Governor Branstad’s appointees were discovered to be campaign donors.
We compiled the list of appointees made by Governor Branstad by reviewing press releases available on
. We then took this list of appointees and compared it to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s database of campaign donations:
Major Donors Received Top Appointments
Governor Brandstad’s largest individual donor, Bruce Rastetter, received an appointment to the Iowa Board of Regents. His brother Brent, another major donor, was appointed to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission. Together they have donated more than $250,000 to Governor Branstad’s election campaign. Governor Branstad’s second largest donor, Mary Andringa, who has donated more than $90,000, was appointed to the Science Technology Engineering and Math Advisory Council. Pete Brownell, who has donated nearly $40,000 was given an appointment to the state Economic Development Authority Board. Conrad Clement donated $34,130.00 and received an appointment to the Natural Resource Commission. Diane Crookham-Johnson donated $32,500 and was appointed to the State Board of Education.
Donors Make Up Significant Percentage of Appointees
We tracked roughly 1300 appointments made by the Governor. Of those appointments, we found that nearly 1 out of 6 (16%) had donated to the Governor’s campaign.
We limited the scope of our research to donations directly to Governor Branstad’s campaign. Additional research could examine appointee donations to other candidates, the Republican Party or conservative causes that have influence with Governor Branstad. This would paint an even more complete picture of the way campaign money influences the Governor’s decision-making on the appointment process.