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Reynolds Co-Chairs Ousted for Foreign Agent Work

Joyce Russell/IPR
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

A prominent Iowa Republican couple has been let go from the Kim Reynolds re-election campaign while a state ethics board looks into their work as foreign agents for Saudi Arabia.      

Executive branch officials Kim and Connie Schmett earned more than $100,000 from the Saudis for helping fight legislation in Congress to allow victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia.    

The Reynolds campaign announced the Schmetts will no longer co-chair Reynolds’s Polk County committee.

I didn't agree with what had happened. -Gov. Kim Reynolds

“I didn’t agree with what had happened,” Reynolds told reporters on Monday.   “It wasn’t acceptable.” 

The Schmetts had contributed $100 to the Reynolds campaign, which will now be donated to a fund helping victims of the September 11 attacks.

Reynolds said the Iowa Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board is reviewing the Schmett’s work to see if they have “done anything wrong.”

“But in the meantime we've refunded the money and we’ve just removed them and so there’s no misconception on where we're at with it,” Reynolds said.     

Connie Schmett continues to serve on the Health Facilities Council while Kim Schmett heads the Employment Appeal Board.  Reynolds has said they are serving statutorily defined terms and she lacks the authority to dismiss them.  

Reynolds has called on the legislature to close a loophole in state law that appears to allow state officials to work as foreign agents.