Des Moines – Following Paul Pate’s 1997 playbook, Secretary of State Matt Schultz has once again been caught misusing the Secretary of State’s office to further his congressional campaign. In 1997, the Iowa State Ethics Commission began an investigation into then-Secretary of State Paul Pate for improperly using the Secretary of State’s official office, voter registration lists and computers to further his campaign for governor. Following the investigation, Pate was formally reprimanded by the Commission.
Today, Matt Schultz was also caught using his official office for political gain — this time to further his congressional campaign. A mailer from the Second Amendment Foundation signed by Schultz has been made to look like an official mailer sent by the official Secretary of State’s office, going so far to say far “Official Ballot Enclosed,” on a political survey.
“What we are seeing here is a classic play out of the Paul Pate playbook – abusing the Secretary of State’s office for personal political gain,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan. “Iowans deserve a Secretary of State who will focus on modernizing the office and increasing voter turnout, rather than abusing the office to score political points like Matt Schultz and Paul Pate have.”
Jennifer Jacobs @JenniferJJacobs
Iowans have been confused about Schultz mailing, which says “IOWA GUN RIGHTS SURVEY” and “Official Ballot Enclosed.” pic.twitter.com/hxGjEt0Y8L
Ethics board investigating Pate Campaign. On October 14, 1997, the Des Moines Register reported that “A state board that enforces ethics laws decided Monday to investigate a complaint that the office of Iowa Secretary Paul Pate, a candidate for the republican nomination for governor was used improperly for campaign activities. The complaint by Steven Hulsizer, a former employee, alleges that voter registration lists and computers in the secretary of state’s office were used in the distribution of campaign materials, and staff members helped with political mailings during and after hours.
Pate gets formal reprimand from state. On February 13, 1998, the Des Moines Register reported that “State campaign regulators have reprimanded Secretary of State Paul Pate because a worker in his office conducted political business on state time. …Pate, a Marion Republican, must establish formal procedures prohibiting political work in his office and establish strict separation between office and campaign work under the settlement. He also got a formal letter of reprimand and agreed to reimburse the state $250.”