Bartz responds to ethics complaint

Former State Representative Ed Fallon and his wife have filed an ethics complaint against Senator Merllin Bartz (R-Grafton).  Bartz issued the following statement in response:

"I have read the formal complaint filed by Ed Fallon and find it without merit.  According to procedures set forth by Senate Rules I will submit a formal response to the Senate Ethics Committee within the next ten days.  I fully expect the Committee to dismiss this complaint, thus continuing the tradition of free speech on the floor of the Iowa Senate.  It is important that the voices of Iowans are not silenced and a vote is held to determine what constitutes marriage.”

Below is what the Fallons emailed late today.

Dear Friends,

This has been another busy week in the ongoing movement to retain justice for all couples who want to marry in Iowa.  Today, we filed an ethics complaint against Senator Merlin Bartz for posting a petition on his website that encourages county recorders to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on April 27th.

Senator Bartzs actions appear to violate Article III, Section 32 of the State of Iowa Constitution and Chapter 63.10 of the Code of Iowa, which states that duly elected officials must solemnly swear to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Iowa.

Our complaint also says: We have not been able to ascertain whether taxpayers money was used in the development and maintenance of the website that Senator Bartz used to promote the petition (, but if that is the case it would appear to be a misuse of taxpayer money by an elected official to promote breaking the law. We call attention to the fact that the website in question also lists Republican Caucus staff members, who are entirely funded at taxpayer expense.

There is nothing personal behind this complaint. Ed served with Senator Bartz in the Legislature and worked with him on several issues. Ed found him to be intelligent and a man of integrity. This complaint is in no way intended to cast dispersions on Senator Bartzs character, or to imply that he is unethical, merely that in this instance, the Senators actions constitute a breach of the ethical standards established by state government.


Lynn and Ed Fallon



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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.