Letter: Koch influence growing in Iowa politics

The Koch Industries-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has growing influence in Iowa and we should be concerned.

Recently, Gov. Terry Branstad attempted to pass legislation to strip various professions of their licensure, which among many things would make it so corporate insurance companies would no longer need to reimburse social workers and mental health counselors for the work they do with the many of the most vulnerable populations.

This bill was a nearly verbatim copy of a piece of legislation drafted by ALEC on behalf of corporations outside of Iowa under the name “The Occupational Licensing Relief and Job Creation Act” — a gentle name for something that would wreak havoc on Iowa’s already disgraceful mental health system.

Coincidence? It just so happens Gov. Branstad is a “founding member” of ALEC, and has received awards for his work on their behalf.

The growing influence Koch Industries is having over Iowa politics in the form of ALEC and Americans for Prosperity (also Koch Industries) should be of serious concern to all of us.

Demand your elected officials be honest and open about membership to such organizations.

Drew Martel

Cedar Rapids

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