Republican Party of Iowa Condemns Fitzgerald for Using Taxpayer Dollars to Fund Campaign

Kaufmann calls on Fitzgerald campaign to pay back parents and taxpayers; asks media outlets to immediately take down advertising until after the election

DES MOINES—Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann today condemned State Treasurer of Iowa Michael Fitzgerald for his blatant use of taxpayer dollars to fund his campaign. The Republican Party of Iowa has recently heard from concerned Iowans who have shared what appears to be a very widely distributed mailer that features the treasurer and is paid for by college savings account holders:

“Michael Fitzgerald ought to be ashamed that he is taking funds from parents and grandparents who trust the state to protect their college investments. Instead, we now learn that Iowa’s treasurer is posing for pictures with children who hope to go to college some day and turning around and using their college funds to fund his reelection. At a time when college affordability is a major issue for families, this move by the Treasurer is unconscionable.” 

“Fitzgerald seems to have shown a similar pattern of corrupt behavior by using public funds to promote other programs during election years. We will continue to investigate this issue but, for now, we demand that 1) Michael Fitzgerald’s campaign pay college savers and taxpayers back for his taxpayer-funded electioneering and 2) all Iowa media outlets immediately take down any and all television, radio, print, or web advertisements from the State Treasurer so as not to become a party to this disturbing misuse of public funds.

In August, the Associated Press reported that television stations across Iowa refused to air ads as part of a major pre-election ad buy purportedly designed to promote college savings accounts. As the AP reported, Fitzgerald has a history of pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars provided by parents and grandparents saving for college into television ads as elections near, only to dial them back when he isn’t on the ballot, “The fund’s television advertising has increased the last two times Fitzgerald’s been on the ballot. The program spent $244,000 on television ads in 2010, then $150,000 in the next two years combined and $250,000 in 2013.” Complete information for 2014 is not yet available but RPI believes the sums to be substantial.