IOWA LEGISLATURE

Iowa Democratic leader calls for GOP lawmaker to be punished for comments on election fraud and Jan. 6 Capitol riot

House leader calls it 'partisan politics'

The House of Representatives chambers are seen at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (Andy Abeyt
The House of Representatives chambers are seen at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
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Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, has called on Speaker Pat Grassley to remove a committee chairman for what he called a series of false social media posts.

Prichard wants Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Montour, removed from his post as chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee and stripped of all committee assignments because of comments Fisher made about election fraud and the attack on the Capitol Jan. 6, and because he has refused to apologize for his posts.

“Fisher must be held accountable for his actions,” Prichard said in a letter to Grassley.

Grassley, however, said the minority leader was “playing the exact partisan politics he hypocritically denounced” in his remarks at the beginning of the session.

“Prichard clearly believes that the right to free speech should only belong to those he agrees with,” Grassley said.

In social media posts. Fisher claimed there had been “outright cheating” in Democratic-led states and cities.

Referring to the Supreme Court refusing to overturn election results, Fisher said “ ... we will survive. Remember, our side has the guns, the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

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Prichard called on Fisher to apologize. Fisher refused and called questions about his posts “a phony claim. I will not give it credence.”

Grassley gave no indication he would take action to punish Fisher. Instead, the speaker said House Republicans will focus on “doing the job they were elected to do.”

“With Republicans now representing part or all of 97 out of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowans made their voices heard, unequivocally, that they want more of the steady leadership shown by House Republicans and less of the partisan games and attacks from Democrats,” Grassley said.

It’s not about left or right or Democrats versus Republicans, Prichard said.

“As leaders in this state, we cannot remain silent and ignore the truth while promoting violence,” he said. “Healing the divisions in our country starts with leaders telling the truth and setting the right example for respect. Change starts with us.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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