Reynolds keeping donations from firm that did pro-Saudi work
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s governor is keeping campaign donations tied to a firm that profited from a controversial lobbying blitz funded by Saudi Arabia.
Gov. Kim Reynolds in November returned a $100 contribution from executive branch appointees Kim and Connie Schmett, saying she disagreed with their side work as foreign agents. The couple collected $100,000 opposing a law allowing victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia.
But her campaign kept several larger donations linked to the LS2Group, a Des Moines-based firm that received $76,500 from the same Saudi-funded work.
LS2Group executive Chuck Larson Jr. hosted a Reynolds fundraiser last summer. He and other LS2 employees gave thousands to Reynolds, and LS2Group’s political arm gave $250.
Reynolds’ campaign spokesman notes LS2Group is a private business while the Schmetts are state officials.
Connie Schmett was fined $250 last week by an ethics board for disclosure violations.