Monday, August 24, 2020


NEW REPORT: Hinson State House Legislation Copied Straight from DC-Based Special Interest Group

Latest example of Hinson’s DC-driven campaign stealing others’ ideas uncovered after she plagiarized campaign materials

DES MOINES  — “Recovering journalist” State Rep. Ashley Hinson can’t seem to get out from under the plagiarism scandal undermining her campaign. On the heels of a New York Times investigation showing Hinson spent the last year stealing materials from news outlets like the Des Moines Register and her own opponent’s website, a new report out today found that Hinson repeatedly copied and introduced “language in model legislation pushed by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)” in the state legislature.

Hinson’s repeated theft of others’ ideas — and reliance on DC-based organizations and consultants like ALEC to shape her decisions — raises serious questions about whose agenda she is pushing and what she actually stands for. To date, Hinson has repeatedly dodged discussion of serious policy issues at every turn, and refuses to denounce the ongoing GOP-backed lawsuit to rip away the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Read key excerpts on Hinson’s latest plagiarism below:

Iowa Starting Line: IA-01: Hinson Bills Mirrored Special Interest Group’s Model Legislation 

“Iowa Republican Ashley Hinson came under scrutiny this summer in light of reporting that showed she had plagiarized portions of op-eds and policy proposals from news outlets and Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer’s campaign website. Rather than a one-off mistake, a review of legislation Hinson sponsored as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives reveals a pattern of copying language from outside sources to inform her own policies.

“In at least three instances, bills introduced by Hinson mirrored language in model legislation pushed by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). […]

“Last summer, the Des Moines Register detailed how Iowa legislators have copied whole sections of ALEC proposals ‘word-for-word’ when introducing certain bills, such as limiting asbestos lawsuits and strengthening free speech protections at public universities. The Register’s article was part of a broader USA Today and Arizona Republic investigation that found 10,000 ‘copycat bills’ introduced in Statehouses across the country.

“In February 2019, Hinson was the sole sponsor of House File 471 to provide businesses liability protection in the event they are sued for hiring a person convicted of a crime. In 2011, ALEC introduced a template for this type of legislation to ‘immunize employers who hire ex-offenders without a violent or sex offense from being sued on that basis alone.’ […]

“House File 268 provides another example. Also introduced last February, the bill requires the Iowa Department of Management create and maintain a searchable database containing budget, audit and financial information about the state’s school districts. ALEC, a well-known proponent of private and charter schools, introduced this idea in 2009 with its Public School Financial Transparency Act.

“In House Journal Resolution 11, a proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget, the pattern holds true. In this example, the language in Hinson’s bill often is identical to ALEC’s model bill, Application for a Convention of the States Under Article V of the Constitution of the United States.”