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Report: Sen. Grassley avoids Iowa’s largest counties for public meetings

Charles Grassley
Charles Grassley

DES MOINES – A liberal Iowa political group is attempting to shoot holes in Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s famed yearly ‘Full Grassley’ 99 County Tour, saying he skips the state’s most-populated counties.

Progress Iowa on Friday released what it calls “in-depth research” detailing Senator Chuck Grassley’s public town hall meetings since 2011. What they claim to have discovered is that Senator Grassley has not held an open public meeting as part of his annual 99 county tour in nearly all of the state’s major population centers, including no public meetings in 11 counties overall, 8 of which are among Iowa’s most populous 10 counties.

“The findings from our research into Senator Grassley’s public meetings are shocking – he has intentionally avoided hearing from the open public in most of Iowa’s largest counties,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “This is not just a one-year anomaly. Our research shows Senator Grassley repeatedly and consistently holding zero public events in nearly all of our most populated counties. Senator Grassley is essentially hiding from the public input of nearly half of his constituents. Senator Grassley reminds us regularly that he visits 99 counties each year, but with far too many private events and no public events in Iowa’s biggest counties, his so-called ‘full Grassley’ tour should be called the ‘fake Grassley.’”

Key findings from the report, which can be found at www.fakegrassley.com, include:

  • Since 2011, Senator Grassley held just 3 public town hall meetings in Iowa’s 10 most populated counties, and held no public meetings in 8 of the 10 most populated counties:

    • Polk: 0

    • Linn: 0

    • Scott: 2 (none since May 2012)

    • Johnson: 0

    • Black Hawk: 0

    • Woodbury: 0

    • Dubuque: 0

    • Story: 0

    • Pottawattamie: 1 (none since August 2011)

    • Dallas: 0

  • Senator Grassley has not held a public meeting in Polk, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, Woodbury, Dubuque, Story, Dallas, Jasper, Buena Vista, or Fayette counties, which comprise just over 45% of Iowa’s total population, according to census.gov.

  • Less than half of his 99 county tour meetings are open to the public; in 2016, Senator Grassley has stated he has visited 72 counties, but just 25 of those have been public town meetings

Progress Iowa is hosting the full findings of the report on the new website www.FakeGrassley.com, which includes additional information and statistics about Senator Grassley’s travel schedules.

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