Iowa Senate agrees, Regents should serve common good

Iowa Senate agrees, Regents should serve common good

 

Former Farm Bureau head blocked from confirmation vote

 

Even after weeks of personal Lobbying, Craig Lang couldn’t out lobby hundreds of Iowa CCI members, and ultimately couldn’t convince enough Senators to support his re-appointment to the Iowa Board of Regents. 23 Republicans and 7 Democrats voted to support Lang for a 30-20 vote, but Lang needed a 2/3rds majority of 34 votes to win reappointment.

Iowa CCI members had lobbied against Lang’s reappointment, as the Board of Regents under Lang’s leadership has pushed a corporate agenda inside the university system at the expense of the public interest and the common good. This included attending Lang’s hearing before the Senate Education Committee.

Lang and fellow regent leader Bruce Rastetter have come under intense scrutiny in recent months because of a number of controversial decisions – including, but not limited to, the closing of the University of Northern Iowa’s Price Labs without public input, and limiting the academic freedom of the fledging Tom Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University, a decision that ultimately forced Harkin to pull his papers from his alma mater.

Now that Lang will no longer serve on the Board of Regents, Governor Branstad will be forced to appoint two more regents. (In a separate vote, Branstad appointee Robert Cramer was also rejected by a 27-23 margin). Iowa CCI members and everyday folks across the state will be watching closely to see if Governor Branstad has learned his lesson and appoints public servants who will serve the common good, or if he again appoints big-moneyed donors and corporate cronies to the Board.

 

What’s Next?

Even though Legislation reigning in bad practices on the Board of Regents did not pass the second funnel, CCI members will continue pushing for an open and transparent Board of Regents that serves the common good, not corporate greed. And we continue to see payouts and opportunities from this campaign that started nearly a year ago.

On April 4, the first meeting of the Regents Transparency Task Force met. After reviewing transparency policies of all the regents institutions, they set 4 public hearings across the state.

The first Regents Transparency Task Force public hearing took place on April 17th at 6 p.m. at the Johnston High School.

We were there to let the Board of Regents know that we want:

• at least 30 minutes of public comment at every board meeting,

• quarterly hearings in all four of Iowa’s congressional districts every year, and

• an internal regents policy prohibiting revolving door lobbying between an employee of a regents’ private business and any regents institution for up to two years after the initial private employment ended.

Soon, the Task Force will be announcing the next public hearing dates. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

 

Join the fight

  • Contact us for more information
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