Iowa regents made $339K in personal gifts to Republicans since 2019

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,683
50,195
113
Members of Iowa’s current Board of Regents have made monetary and in-kind political donations totaling nearly $339,500 since 2019 — primarily to Republicans, with the majority going either to Gov. Kim Reynolds or the Republican Party of Iowa.


Iowa Code requires the nine-member board governing the state’s public universities to have gender and political balance — meaning it can’t have more than five members of the same gender or political party. The current board includes five women and four men, with five reporting Republican affiliation, three identifying as independent, and one marked a registered Democrat — Nancy Dunkel.


State law doesn’t restrict or regulate regent political giving. Neither does regent policy, which does restrict conflicts of interest — largely related to employment, ownership, or service on another board of directors that might have a relationship with a regent university.


Advertisement

“The duty of loyalty requires regents to exercise their powers and duties in the interests of the board and its institutions and not in the regent’s own interest or in the interest of another person or organization,” according to board policy. “Regents and institutional officials must endeavor to remain free from the influence of, or appearance of, any conflicting interest in acting on behalf of the board or a regent institution.”


Big donors​


Most of the 2019-to date political contributions from current board members have come from three regents: President Michael Richards, David Barker, and JC Risewick, appointed last week.


Risewick since 2020 has given Reynolds $59,517 — $39,517 of which were in-kind donations in the form of flights. His father, Christopher Risewick, gave Reynolds $35,807 in 2020 — including a $25,807 flight — plus thousands more to both Reynolds and former Gov. Terry Branstad in prior years.


Barker — a partner in Iowa City-based Barker Companies, which manages and develops apartments and real estate — was appointed to the board in 2019 and has donated $250,180 in monetary and in-kind donations to Republicans since that year — including $18,388 via in-kind donations in the form of flights, food and parking, according to public records.


Board president Richards since 2019 has given $28,552 to Republicans.


“The Board of Regents is comprised of citizen volunteers, and any political contributions are made in their personal capacity,” board spokesman Josh Lehman told The Gazette in response to its request for comment on regent political giving.


Daily News​


Newsletter Signup
checkmark-yellow.png
Delivered to your inbox every day







Lehman didn’t answer questions about board policies on potential biases or specific questions about the regents donating flights to Reynolds and other Republicans — including whether the governor requested those donations or the regents proactively offered them.


Flights​


State records don’t provide details of gifted flights — beyond dates the donations occurred.


Risewick — who Reynolds last week appointed to replace former Regent Milt Dakovich after he lost his battle to cancer in February — made the most recent flight donation to the governor on March 3, a trip valued at $21,600, according to state records.


Although neither the board nor the governor’s office provided details of that donation, a Learjet owned by Seneca Companies — a Des Moines-based petroleum services business that Risewick serves as president — flew that afternoon from Des Moines to Scottsdale, Ariz. It did not return that day.


Risewick also donated flights to Reynolds on Oct. 27 and Aug. 12. On the October date, the Seneca plane flew from Des Moines to Prairie du Chien, Wis., and back. On the August date, it flew from Des Moines to Dubuque and back.


Regent Barker’s in-kind donations included flights on April 23 to Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport; former Republican Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa, who was running for auditor; Brenna Bird, Republican candidate for Iowa attorney general; Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig; and Reynolds.


Combined, that flight donation amounted to $3,543.65.


“Excited to travel the state and visit with friends @IowaGOP district conventions today,” Naig wrote in an April 23 tweet, sharing a picture of himself with Smith, Hanusa, Bird, Reynolds, Secretary of State Paul Pate, and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.




“Folks are energized and geared up to get Republicans elected up and down the ticket, from the US Senate to the Statehouse!” Naig wrote on Twitter.


On May 12, Barker donated a flight to Pate.


On July 27, 2021, Barker donated $2,542.37 in fundraiser food and parking to Reynolds.


On Oct. 13, 2018, before Reynolds appointed Barker to the Board of Regents, he donated a flight valued at $19,884. On that day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke at the Second Annual Harvest Festival in Des Moines, a fundraiser for Reynolds.


Regent role​


Although Reynolds appoints regents, each must be confirmed by a two-thirds senate vote.


Among regent duties, the board hires presidents of the public universities; sets tuition; makes admission rules; manages campus properties — including approving building projects; and oversees University of Iowa Health Care, the state’s largest hospital system.


The board also annually approves institutional budgets and Legislative appropriations requests.


Lawmakers in recent years have fallen far short of meeting the board’s funding ask. For the upcoming budget year, which starts July 1, the board requested a funding increase of $22.1 million and instead saw it tick up by $6.2 million.

 

KFSuperStar

HR MVP
Jul 2, 2009
2,091
2,389
113
That number seems low:

$340,000

9 members

3 years

$12,000 per board member annually. That’s a golf car.
 

B1GDeal

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Jan 21, 2005
7,089
7,943
113
I'd love to see the voting records of the 3 Indies. I have a feeling they aren't who they say they are and claim Indy in order to meet the Regent's requirements. That said, not sure I care if they donate.
 

DogBoyRy

HR Legend
Jul 28, 2006
10,125
6,821
113
Members of Iowa’s current Board of Regents have made monetary and in-kind political donations totaling nearly $339,500 since 2019 — primarily to Republicans, with the majority going either to Gov. Kim Reynolds or the Republican Party of Iowa.


Iowa Code requires the nine-member board governing the state’s public universities to have gender and political balance — meaning it can’t have more than five members of the same gender or political party. The current board includes five women and four men, with five reporting Republican affiliation, three identifying as independent, and one marked a registered Democrat — Nancy Dunkel.


State law doesn’t restrict or regulate regent political giving. Neither does regent policy, which does restrict conflicts of interest — largely related to employment, ownership, or service on another board of directors that might have a relationship with a regent university.


Advertisement

“The duty of loyalty requires regents to exercise their powers and duties in the interests of the board and its institutions and not in the regent’s own interest or in the interest of another person or organization,” according to board policy. “Regents and institutional officials must endeavor to remain free from the influence of, or appearance of, any conflicting interest in acting on behalf of the board or a regent institution.”


Big donors​


Most of the 2019-to date political contributions from current board members have come from three regents: President Michael Richards, David Barker, and JC Risewick, appointed last week.


Risewick since 2020 has given Reynolds $59,517 — $39,517 of which were in-kind donations in the form of flights. His father, Christopher Risewick, gave Reynolds $35,807 in 2020 — including a $25,807 flight — plus thousands more to both Reynolds and former Gov. Terry Branstad in prior years.


Barker — a partner in Iowa City-based Barker Companies, which manages and develops apartments and real estate — was appointed to the board in 2019 and has donated $250,180 in monetary and in-kind donations to Republicans since that year — including $18,388 via in-kind donations in the form of flights, food and parking, according to public records.


Board president Richards since 2019 has given $28,552 to Republicans.


“The Board of Regents is comprised of citizen volunteers, and any political contributions are made in their personal capacity,” board spokesman Josh Lehman told The Gazette in response to its request for comment on regent political giving.


Daily News​


Newsletter Signup
checkmark-yellow.png
Delivered to your inbox every day







Lehman didn’t answer questions about board policies on potential biases or specific questions about the regents donating flights to Reynolds and other Republicans — including whether the governor requested those donations or the regents proactively offered them.


Flights​


State records don’t provide details of gifted flights — beyond dates the donations occurred.


Risewick — who Reynolds last week appointed to replace former Regent Milt Dakovich after he lost his battle to cancer in February — made the most recent flight donation to the governor on March 3, a trip valued at $21,600, according to state records.


Although neither the board nor the governor’s office provided details of that donation, a Learjet owned by Seneca Companies — a Des Moines-based petroleum services business that Risewick serves as president — flew that afternoon from Des Moines to Scottsdale, Ariz. It did not return that day.


Risewick also donated flights to Reynolds on Oct. 27 and Aug. 12. On the October date, the Seneca plane flew from Des Moines to Prairie du Chien, Wis., and back. On the August date, it flew from Des Moines to Dubuque and back.


Regent Barker’s in-kind donations included flights on April 23 to Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport; former Republican Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa, who was running for auditor; Brenna Bird, Republican candidate for Iowa attorney general; Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig; and Reynolds.


Combined, that flight donation amounted to $3,543.65.


“Excited to travel the state and visit with friends @IowaGOP district conventions today,” Naig wrote in an April 23 tweet, sharing a picture of himself with Smith, Hanusa, Bird, Reynolds, Secretary of State Paul Pate, and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.




“Folks are energized and geared up to get Republicans elected up and down the ticket, from the US Senate to the Statehouse!” Naig wrote on Twitter.


On May 12, Barker donated a flight to Pate.


On July 27, 2021, Barker donated $2,542.37 in fundraiser food and parking to Reynolds.


On Oct. 13, 2018, before Reynolds appointed Barker to the Board of Regents, he donated a flight valued at $19,884. On that day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke at the Second Annual Harvest Festival in Des Moines, a fundraiser for Reynolds.


Regent role​


Although Reynolds appoints regents, each must be confirmed by a two-thirds senate vote.


Among regent duties, the board hires presidents of the public universities; sets tuition; makes admission rules; manages campus properties — including approving building projects; and oversees University of Iowa Health Care, the state’s largest hospital system.


The board also annually approves institutional budgets and Legislative appropriations requests.


Lawmakers in recent years have fallen far short of meeting the board’s funding ask. For the upcoming budget year, which starts July 1, the board requested a funding increase of $22.1 million and instead saw it tick up by $6.2 million.

Please post slow joes ambassador donations.
One ambassador alone contributed more than all those mentioned here.
Guess that’s not a problem.
 

DogBoyRy

HR Legend
Jul 28, 2006
10,125
6,821
113
Members of Iowa’s current Board of Regents have made monetary and in-kind political donations totaling nearly $339,500 since 2019 — primarily to Republicans, with the majority going either to Gov. Kim Reynolds or the Republican Party of Iowa.


Iowa Code requires the nine-member board governing the state’s public universities to have gender and political balance — meaning it can’t have more than five members of the same gender or political party. The current board includes five women and four men, with five reporting Republican affiliation, three identifying as independent, and one marked a registered Democrat — Nancy Dunkel.


State law doesn’t restrict or regulate regent political giving. Neither does regent policy, which does restrict conflicts of interest — largely related to employment, ownership, or service on another board of directors that might have a relationship with a regent university.


Advertisement

“The duty of loyalty requires regents to exercise their powers and duties in the interests of the board and its institutions and not in the regent’s own interest or in the interest of another person or organization,” according to board policy. “Regents and institutional officials must endeavor to remain free from the influence of, or appearance of, any conflicting interest in acting on behalf of the board or a regent institution.”


Big donors​


Most of the 2019-to date political contributions from current board members have come from three regents: President Michael Richards, David Barker, and JC Risewick, appointed last week.


Risewick since 2020 has given Reynolds $59,517 — $39,517 of which were in-kind donations in the form of flights. His father, Christopher Risewick, gave Reynolds $35,807 in 2020 — including a $25,807 flight — plus thousands more to both Reynolds and former Gov. Terry Branstad in prior years.


Barker — a partner in Iowa City-based Barker Companies, which manages and develops apartments and real estate — was appointed to the board in 2019 and has donated $250,180 in monetary and in-kind donations to Republicans since that year — including $18,388 via in-kind donations in the form of flights, food and parking, according to public records.


Board president Richards since 2019 has given $28,552 to Republicans.


“The Board of Regents is comprised of citizen volunteers, and any political contributions are made in their personal capacity,” board spokesman Josh Lehman told The Gazette in response to its request for comment on regent political giving.


Daily News​


Newsletter Signup
checkmark-yellow.png
Delivered to your inbox every day







Lehman didn’t answer questions about board policies on potential biases or specific questions about the regents donating flights to Reynolds and other Republicans — including whether the governor requested those donations or the regents proactively offered them.


Flights​


State records don’t provide details of gifted flights — beyond dates the donations occurred.


Risewick — who Reynolds last week appointed to replace former Regent Milt Dakovich after he lost his battle to cancer in February — made the most recent flight donation to the governor on March 3, a trip valued at $21,600, according to state records.


Although neither the board nor the governor’s office provided details of that donation, a Learjet owned by Seneca Companies — a Des Moines-based petroleum services business that Risewick serves as president — flew that afternoon from Des Moines to Scottsdale, Ariz. It did not return that day.


Risewick also donated flights to Reynolds on Oct. 27 and Aug. 12. On the October date, the Seneca plane flew from Des Moines to Prairie du Chien, Wis., and back. On the August date, it flew from Des Moines to Dubuque and back.


Regent Barker’s in-kind donations included flights on April 23 to Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport; former Republican Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa, who was running for auditor; Brenna Bird, Republican candidate for Iowa attorney general; Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig; and Reynolds.


Combined, that flight donation amounted to $3,543.65.


“Excited to travel the state and visit with friends @IowaGOP district conventions today,” Naig wrote in an April 23 tweet, sharing a picture of himself with Smith, Hanusa, Bird, Reynolds, Secretary of State Paul Pate, and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.




“Folks are energized and geared up to get Republicans elected up and down the ticket, from the US Senate to the Statehouse!” Naig wrote on Twitter.


On May 12, Barker donated a flight to Pate.


On July 27, 2021, Barker donated $2,542.37 in fundraiser food and parking to Reynolds.


On Oct. 13, 2018, before Reynolds appointed Barker to the Board of Regents, he donated a flight valued at $19,884. On that day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke at the Second Annual Harvest Festival in Des Moines, a fundraiser for Reynolds.


Regent role​


Although Reynolds appoints regents, each must be confirmed by a two-thirds senate vote.


Among regent duties, the board hires presidents of the public universities; sets tuition; makes admission rules; manages campus properties — including approving building projects; and oversees University of Iowa Health Care, the state’s largest hospital system.


The board also annually approves institutional budgets and Legislative appropriations requests.


Lawmakers in recent years have fallen far short of meeting the board’s funding ask. For the upcoming budget year, which starts July 1, the board requested a funding increase of $22.1 million and instead saw it tick up by $6.2 million.

Crickets from the left.
Shocker
 

Latest posts