Iowa Democrats ask ethics committee to investigate Rep. Hinson

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:28 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Democrats filed an ethics complaint claiming Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson misused her official social media accounts, which Hinson’s office calls hypocritical.

Democrats point to videos Hinson posted to her official social media urging supporters to call their representative about Democratic candidate Rita Hart’s challenge for Iowa’s Second District seat.

Hart lost by six votes to Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Hart’s campaign has said there were votes cast for her that were not counted because of mistakes from poll workers. Hinson believes the House of Representatives should not overturn the race.

The ethics complaint claims the videos showing her support for Miller-Meeks are using congressional resources for something that is not official house business. A spokesperson for Hinson’s office said Hart’s complaint to a House committee is official business and noted other Democrats and Republicans often urge supporters to contact Congress in the same way.

Megan Goldberg, a political science professor at Cornell College, said social media has made these ethic lines more confusing, but there is a likely partisan reason for the complaint.

“It’s possible that there is some partisan motivation here,” Goldberg said. “I think right now the Democrats have an electoral interest in pointing out issues like this.”

Goldberg said that’s not necessarily a bad thing because it helps keep both sides honest.

At this point, this is just a complaint. A formal investigation has not been launched.

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