More background on Failor, Iowans for Tax Relief

As The Iowa Republican reported Monday, Ed Failor, Junior, has resigned his post as president of Iowans for Tax Relief.  Here’s The Des Moines Register story from Jennifer Jacobs; one written by Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter James Q. Lynch includes quotes from a Failor interview.

Failor sent these comments in an email yesterday:

…You may be asking “why?”.

Well, after 16 great years, I resigned as President of ITR on Friday.

ITR has great leadership, staff, and history. They are in very capable hands and will continue to be a powerhouse in Iowa policy and politics.

I am moving on to pursue exciting opportunities. I will let you all know specifically what’s next at an appropriate time.

The Muscatine-based group has been influential in Iowa politics for decades.  It was founded in 1978 by David Stanley of Muscatine, a state representative in the 1960s and ’70s who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate twice.  His grandfather had been a state senator, too. 

David Stanley’s grandfather, C. Maxwell Stanley, founded an engineering company (now called Stanley Consultants, Inc.) that built much of the electricity infrastructure for rural Iowa.  That company became one of the largest engineering and consulting firms in the world.  The Stanley family also founded Hon Industries which is the second-largest office furniture manufacturer in the world.  

David Stanley, now in his 80s, has been the main benefactor of Iowans for Tax Relief. 

Ed Failor’s father — Ed Failor, Senior — was a fixture with Iowans for Tax Relief for years, serving as senior counsel and lobbying legislators at the statehouse.  The senior Failor’s political resume includes work on the Goldwater and Nixon presidential campaigns.

Ed Failor, Junior, has worked for Iowans for Tax Relief for 16 years and while many stories written about his resignation indicate Failor had been the “long-time” president of Iowans for Tax Relief, it was a post he held for about two years and four months.  Failor has been what I would call the “public voice” of the group for years, though, as he was the person who spoke on behalf of the group in public  and with the media.   In mid-November of 2008, Failor moved from executive vice president up to president of the organiation.  At the same time, Governor Terry Branstad’s eldest son, Eric, was hired as Iowans for Tax Relief’s development director. 

Jeff Boeyink, Branstad’s chief of staff, had served as president of Iowans for Tax Relief until Failor took over in late 2008.  Boeyink next went to work as executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa until Branstad hired him away to run his 2010 campaign.

Failor was a consultant to John McCain’s 2008 campaign in Iowa until July of 2007 when Terry Nelson and John Weaver departed and Failor was part of that exodus during the campaign shake-up. 

In the 2010 cycle, Failor considered running for governor, but decided against it.  Iowans for Tax Relief’s PAC later endorsed Branstad’s bid.

In the 2012 cycle, Failor’s group hosted the Iowa College Republicans gathering in Des Moines and Failor introduced former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to the group.  Failor, who is 46, has been a mechanic on innumberable races in Iowa and he’ll be courted by Pawlenty and other presidential candidates who want a veteran of Iowa politics to run their Iowa operation.

UPDATE: Today, Katie Koberg announced her resignation from Iowans for Tax Relief.  She had been promoted to executive vice president of the organization in November of 2008.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. Eric Branstad has also resigned

  2. GOOD RIDDANCE. This clown endorsed big government liberal Democrats in the last election. I sure think he has helped the liberal cause significantly in Iowa with his egg-headed political endoresements.

    Maybe with his departure ITR will once again become a conservative organization.