The Iowa Corn Growers Association’s political action committee endorsed 74 candidates Sept. 10 for the 2018 election cycle. Established with bipartisan support of Iowa’s corn farmers more than a decade ago, the PAC’s goal is to ensure ICGA members have a voice and a seat at the table on issues impacting Iowa farmers.
“Having a political action committee is an important and necessary tool in the political process,” says ICGA PAC Chairman Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah in northeast Iowa. “Policy changes can make or break our farm businesses. The ICGA PAC endorsements provide our members with another way to educate and influence policy decisions made at the state and federal level. The voluntary ICGA PAC is an essential tool to support political leaders who have demonstrated their support for our ICGA policy priorities.”
Evaluating candidates on ICGA policy
The ICGA PAC is bipartisan and includes farmer-members appointed by the ICGA president. They objectively evaluate all candidates regardless of their party affiliation on ICGA policy only. The PAC reviews candidates’ responses to an ICGA issue survey and their voting record on ICGA’s policy priorities, such as conservation and water quality funding, ethanol, farm bill, taxes, trade, transportation, research, and value-added agriculture, including livestock.
The success of ICGA's legislative policy efforts hinges on a bipartisan approach to achieving its policy objectives, bringing both sides together for the best interest of Iowa's corn farmers. The priorities of ICGA serve as the only criteria the PAC uses to make candidate endorsements.
The corn PAC is recognized for its bipartisan approach to achieving the policy objectives of Iowa corn growers by supporting lawmakers who work to implement ICGA member priorities.
Endorsements for the 2018 federal election cycle include the following in alphabetical order:
• U.S. House of Representatives — Rod Blum, Steve King, Dave Loebsack and David Young
• Iowa governor — Kim Reynolds
• Iowa secretary of agriculture — Mike Naig
• Iowa Senate — Rick Bertrand, Joe Bolkcom, Tod Bowman, Jim Carlin, William A. Dotzler Jr., Robert Hogg, Kevin Kinney, Tim Kraayenbrink, Jim Lykam, Zach Nunn, Amanda Ragan, Jason Schultz, Tom Shipley, Roby Smith, Annette Sweeney and Jack Whitver
• Iowa House of Representatives — Rob Bacon, Terry Baxter, Bruce Bearinger, Michael Bergan, Brian Best, Jane Bloomingdale, Jacob Bossman, Wes Breckenridge, Gary Carlson, Dennis M. Cohoon, Peter Cownie, Dave Deyoe, Cecil Dolecheck, Dean Fisher, John Forbes, Joel Fry, Tedd Gassman, Pat Grassley, Chris Hagenow, Chris Hall, Mary Ann Hanusa, Lee Hein, Ashley Hinson, Steven Holt, Dan Huseman, Jon Jacobsen, Dave Jacoby, Megan Jones, Bobby Kaufmann, David Kerr, Jared Klein, Kevin Koester, John Landon, Shannon Lundgren, Dave Maxwell, Andy McKean, Brian Meyer, Gary Mohr, Norlin Mommsen, Scott Ourth, Ross Paustian, Todd Prichard, Walt Rogers, Sandy Salmon, Mike Sexton, David Sieck, Mark Smith, Linda Upmeyer, John Wills, Matt Windschitl, Gary Worthan and Louie Zumbach
Funding for endorsements of candidates from the Iowa Corn Growers Association PAC comes from voluntary PAC donations by ICGA members, Hemesath says. Neither ICGA membership dues nor checkoff dollars are used for PAC contributions. ICGA has 8,000 members. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.