Group gives Iowa Republicans high marks for 2023 legislative session


(The Center Square) – A conservative, free-market group gave one Iowa lawmaker a perfect score for his votes during the 2023 legislative session, while Democrats ranked as opposing much of the organization’s metrics.

The Club for Growth Foundation’s 2023 Iowa Scorecard ranked state legislators based on their votes on 11 bills in the House and Senate and gave them scores ranging from 0-100. The bills include House File 68, which established the Education Savings Accounts, and Senate File 514, which reorganizes state government. The organization identifies itself as a nonprofit “focused on educating the public about the value of free markets, pro-growth policies, and economic prosperity.”

“Our scoring is based solely on how each lawmaker votes on each bill we choose to include in the scorecards,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth Foundation, in an email to The Center Square. “The value of the vote is a direct reflection of the impact we believe that bill would have on the state’s marketplace and fiscal environment. It is important to note that the scorecard does not include all of the votes from the legislative session, and it is not intended to evaluate the overall qualifications of any legislator.”

Sen. Dennis Guth, R-Klemme, was the only Iowa legislator to receive a perfect score. Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines, D-Des Moines, received the only 0. The overall scores for Democrats are down 30% in the House and 17% in the Senate from last year’s scorecard.

“For any legislator that is voting for burdensome policies that increase the tax or regulatory burden or that prevent individual freedom, you can expect to see a downward trend in their ratings on our scorecards,” McIntosh said. “We will also disclose to the public the legislators that vote for crony policies that pick winners and losers in the marketplace whether that is through subsidies or tax credits. This also pertains to legislators who vote against policies that decrease the tax and regulatory burden, or that empowers parents to make decisions for the education of their children.”

The Club for Growth Foundation released its first Iowa scorecard in 2019. The organization is looking ahead to 2024.

“The Club for Growth Foundation will continue to educate the public on issues of economic freedom and limited government,” McIntosh said. “We will continue to disclose votes that increase individual freedom and that do not interfere with the marketplace. For example, we will continue to score bills that either increase or decrease the freedom of parents in education and that significantly increase spending or the regulatory and tax burden. We will also continue to highlight legislation that picks winners and losers in the marketplace through policies that favor special interests or industries.”

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